History of Sex, Love and Sexuality 1925 - 1950

About the history of sex, love, and sexuality from 1925 to 1950, various books including Ulysses are published, nipples are kept out of movies, Pontiac uses sex to sell, the pill comes out.

1926--Dutch physician Theodor van de Velde, in his book Ideal Marriage, urged men to learn techniques for bringing about female orgasm. In the same year, Wilhelm Reich published Function of the Orgasm in which he said that failure to achieve orgasm caused mental and physical diseases. (Later Reich claimed that masturbation could combat cancer.)

1927--Judge Ben Lindsay, of Denver's juvenile court, created a worldwide sensation with a book that advocated "companionate" or trial marriages, as well as the legalization of birth control.

1928--A Research in Marriage by Dr. G. V. Hamilton appeared. (See: A Survey of Sex Surveys--1900-1975, Chap. 19)

1928--James J. Walker, Mayor of New York, said he had never heard of a woman who had been made pregnant by a book.

1929--Radcliffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness, a gentle British novel about lesbianism, was taken into court on the charge of being obscene. Judge Bushel admitted the novel had literary merit, but nevertheless ruled to censor it, stating, "I am convinced that The Well of Loneliness tends to debauch public morals, that its subject-matter is offensive to public decency, and that it is calculated to deprave and corrupt minds open to immoral influences. . . ." The book's publisher, Donald Friede, appealed to a 3-man appellate court, which overturned the banning and legitimatized the book.

1929--Katharine B. Davis's Factors in the Sex Life of Twenty-Two Hundred Women was published. (See: A Survey of Sex Surveys--1900-1975, Chap. 19.)

1930s--The invention of the latex process resulted in the manufacture of a better condom.

1931--A Thousand Marriages, by Dr. Robert Dickinson and Lura Beam, was published. (See: A Survey of Sex Surveys--1900-1975, Chap. 19.)

1933--Ulysses was cleared by a Federal judge for publication in the U.S.

1933--The Hays office would not allow motion pictures to expose the nipple on a woman's breast or the inside of her thigh.

1933--Dr. Robert Dickinson came out with Human Sex Anatomy, the 1st modern book by a sexologist to contain illustrations of sex positions.

1934--Henri Littiere, a Parisian baker, was brought into court for making his wife wear a chastity belt. An amateur researcher into the Middle Ages, he had found such a belt in the Cluny Museum, Paris, and had had it copied by his orthopedist. It was of velvetlined metal and was provided with 2 small openings. The judge suspended Littiere's sentence and fined him 50 francs.

1936--Sulphonamide drugs were discovered and used in the treatment of gonorrhea.

1938--The New York Board of Censors banned all movies mentioning pregnancy, venereal disease, birth control, abortion, illegitimacy, prostitution, miscegenation, and divorce.

1938--Life magazine ran an article illustrated with still photos taken from the movie The Birth of a Baby, evoking great disapproval from the Comstocks. The New York district attorney arrested the publisher.

1941--From Forbidden Words by Robert A. Wilson:

The 1st use of modern psychology as an advertising tool occurred in 1941 when Dr. Ernest Dichter wrote a study for Pontiac explaining the sexual symbolism (headlights, pistons) of the automobile and indicating how subliminal use of this could be used to increase sales. Pontiac followed this advice, and sales skyrocketed.

1946--God's Little Acre, by Erskine Caldwell, was banned in St. Paul. In the same year Doubleday & Co., Inc., published Edmund Wilson's Memoris of Hecate County, which contained an explicit description of a woman's genitals. A 3-judge New York court found this book obscene, and, when the case reached the Supreme Court, the vote was split, so the decision of the lower court stood.

1948--The Kinsey Report was published. (See: A Survey of Sex Surveys--1900-1975, Chap. 19.)

1950s--Oral contraceptives were tested and put on the market.

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