Changes in Attitudes.
Sexual attitudes during the 1950s were in a state of transition. On one hand, as Albert Ellis writes in The American Sexual Tragedy (1954), a woman was obliged "to make herself infinitely sexually desirable—but finally approachable only in legal marriage." But men were encouraged to adopt the swinging bachelor's lifestyle represented by Playboy magazine, which debuted in 1953. The magazine's notorious pictorials of naked women, Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner explained, were symbols "of disobedience, a triumph of sexuality, an end of Puritanism." Hefner's announcement of the death of puritanism might have been a bit premature—the sexual revolution was still a decade away—but sexual values were clearly changing. And perhaps, as such scientific studies as the one conducted by Alfred Kinsey and associates seem to suggest, Americans were never particularly puritanical.
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