"In 1963 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first oral contraceptive for marketing. Ortho Pharmaceutical introduced its first birth control pill in 1963, and by 1965, the Pill became the nation’s leading method of reversible contraception." There were side effects and risks like high blood pressure, weight gain, headaches, blood-clots and cancer. They have improved greatly in the last 50 years, and are now more safe than they were at that time.
"In 1961, American Wilma Rudolph ran the 100-meter dash in 11.2 seconds for a new world record. The 1963 Equal Pay Act made it illegal to pay men and women different wages for equal work. Betty Friedan published her book, The Feminine Mystique, in 1963. Mary Quant introduced the miniskirt"
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The release of the birth control pill helped cause a sexual revolution in the United States and in other countries where it was allowed to be prescribed. Women were no longer fearful of unwanted pregnancies and the pill was easy and discreet to use. It allowed women to express themselves in ways they had not been able because they were afraid of getting pregnant. In addition, women were able to limit the number of children they had, leading to a drop in the birth rate in many industrialized countries. With fewer children to take care of, women were able to get jobs. I don't think it's a coincidence that Betty Freidan's groundbreaking feminist book, "The Feminine Mystique" became such a best-seller during this time. Unfortunately, it also unleashed a wave of sexually transmitted diseases which many couples had not thought about. They knew gonorrhea and syphilis could be controlled by antibiotics, but diseases like herpes, chlamydia and eventually AIDS, were not considered threats until later. So, even though the birth control pill helped change many social habits during the late 20th century.