Sexually Explicit, Socially Empowered: Sexual Liberation and Feminist Discourse in 1960s Playboy and Cosmopolitan
Degree Granting Department
Humanities and Cultural Studies
Daniel M. Belgrad Ph.D.
Robert E. Snyder Ph.D.
Laurel Graham Ph.D.
careerism, consumerism, feminism, individualism, sexuality
In this thesis, I provide an analysis of 1960s American popular culture by examining Playboy, "The Playboy Philosophy," Cosmopolitan, and Sex and the Single Girl. These cultural artifacts furthered the feminist movement by challenging gender structures and sexuality. I discuss how these publications focused on the advancement of the individual through careerism, consumerism and sexuality. These publications assisted in challenging and breaking down various aspects of gender and sexual boundaries and assisted in reworking social limitations that kept women from advancing themselves outside of the pre-set gender roles of domesticity. Regardless of the traditional feminist critique of Hugh Hefner and Helen Gurley Brown, this thesis argues that in fact these popular culture icons and their publications worked to re-negotiate sexual liberation, which assisted in furthering women's liberation. This thesis analyzes the writings and advertisements of these publications and shows that Hugh Hefner and Helen Gurley Brown have positive correlations to feminist discourse.
Scholar Commons Citation
Chaves, Lina Salete, "Sexually Explicit, Socially Empowered: Sexual Liberation and Feminist Discourse in 1960s Playboy and Cosmopolitan" (2011). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.
American Studies Commons, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Sociology Commons