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Book: The Case Against the Sexual Revolution

Ditching the stuffy hang-ups and benighted sexual traditionalism of the past is an unambiguously positive thing. The sexual revolution has liberated us to enjoy a heady mixture of erotic freedom and personal autonomy. Right?

Wrong, argues Louise Perry in her provocative book. Although it would be neither possible nor desirable to turn the clock back to a world of pre-60s sexual mores, she argues that the amoral libertinism and callous disenchantment of liberal feminism and our contemporary hypersexualized culture represent more loss than gain.

The main winners from a world of rough sex, hook-up culture, and ubiquitous porn—where anything goes and only consent matters—are a tiny minority of high-status men, not the women forced to accommodate the excesses of male lust. While dispensing sage advice to the generations paying the price for these excesses, she makes a passionate case for a new sexual culture built around dignity, virtue, and restraint.

This countercultural polemic from one of the most exciting young voices in contemporary feminism should be heard by all men and women uneasy about the mindless orthodoxies of our ultraliberal era.


Louise Perry is a writer, New Statesman columnist and campaigner against male sexual violence. Contact

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