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Rush Limbaugh 'slut' comment reveals a double standard on sex

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And make no mistake about it: “We” are men to Limbaugh. Women like Sandra Fluke exist for our pleasure, not for their own. But contraception jeopardizes that arrangement, by letting women decide what they want.

That’s why so many men fought for over a century against birth control, which remained illegal or highly restricted in many states until the 1960s. “Fear of conception has been an important factor in the virtue of many unmarried girls,” argued one physician in 1917. Take away that worry, he added, and single women could do anything they wanted.

It’s also why the American Birth Control League changed its name to “Planned Parenthood” in 1942. Conjuring marriage and family, the new title reassured critics who feared contraception gave too much sexual freedom to the unwed.

By the late 1940s, as sex researcher Alfred Kinsey confirmed, about half of white American women had intercourse before they married. But when future Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown wrote her 1962 best-seller “Sex and the Single Girl,” which encouraged women to seek and enjoy sexual pleasure, her publishers made her delete a long section about birth control.

Three years later, in its Griswold v. Connecticut decision, the Supreme Court invalidated state anti-contraception laws. Yet the social taboo against birth control remained, especially for single women. Just a few months after Griswold, Brown University was embarrassed by news reports that a campus physician had prescribed the Pill to two unmarried female students.

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