What social/environmental factors affect sexual attitudes in the United States today?
There are many social and environmental factors that affect sexuality today. Let us look at two of them.
One of these factors is a physical factor. Although we do not know exactly why, girls are generally reaching puberty more quickly today than they did in the past. This is probably caused by some combination of factors having to do with the physical environment in which we live today. This has, it can be argued, caused our society to become more sexualized. Since girls’ bodies are maturing when they are as young as 9 or 10 years old in some cases, they are exposed to more issues that relate to sex and sexuality at a young age.
Another factor is more social. This is the fact that women are now seen as more equal to men in all ways. In the past, women were seen as in some way uninterested in sex and sex was therefore not a topic to be raised in polite company. Today, we believe that women are equal to men in more ways. Included in this is the idea that they are sexual beings and that it is therefore acceptable to refer to sex openly in public. This has helped to lead to a situation in which sex permeates all aspects of our culture.
I would think it important to consider the role of the media in the attitudes of both men and women when considering the social behavior and many other aspects, of gender and human interaction. For several generations now it has been common practice to sell an enormous number of products by giving them a seductive quality. Anything from bath soap to cigarettes are hawked with ads geared to "get the girl or guy." Businesses and advertisers are also very good at at "targeting", their market.This means that they choose young, impressionable, sexually curious individuals to influence, in an effort to promote their products.
Economics can also be a consideration in gender dynamics. The traditional treatment of women for centuries was based on the fact that women were mostly dependent on men, fathers, husbands or, rarely, employers. Now that women are more evenly integrated into the work force they have a greater range of choices as to what kind of relationships they choose. Social changes have made the traditional family unit less of a mandatory need for women and more of a chosen option.