Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



It is common knowledge that sexual mores vary in every culture. Sexual ethic and social structure are interrelated. Sexual morality is not the same in an industrially advanced society as it is in a primitive agriculture regime (the industrial revolution's influence upon sexual morals will so attest) Sexual mores vary in different parts of the same country (Puritan Massachusetts and pioneer Wyoming could not be expected to develop the same set of rules), and indeed between different social strata in the same one locality. Every society imposes regulations and codes upon sexual relations, and quite rightly. However, the striking fact is that Americans, permissive inmost other areas of behavior, are more restrictive than others in their laws about sex. As Max Lerner describes it, the American female has wide freedom of movement, and the American male is expected to be inventive and adventurous about his work, but they come up against strong taboos in sexual behavior.