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She Talked About Sex: Margaret Mead

Women's Right Advocate, Pioneer: Margaret Mead

I like to talk about dating, love, sex, and the like here on M.I.S.S. But it wasn’t that long ago that talking openly about these subjects was taboo. In honor of Women’s Equality Day, let’s take a look at one of the female pioneers of American sexual revolution and discussing topics of relationships in the open, Margaret Mead.

Margaret Mead was an American anthropologist and author. In the 1920s and 30s, Mead spend time in the islands of the South Pacific, living with and studying the ways of the natives and making observations of the society there as opposed to that in the United States. Starting at the age of 23, Mead immersed herself in field work, resulting in Coming of Age in Samoa, a continuing best-seller albeit controversial book for her time. Her book claimed youth in Samoan culture were both taught to and allowed to value their sexuality and that our society creates problems when we deny sexuality and try to hide it. Coming of Age in Samoa shocked Americans as Mead shared that Samoan women dated and participated in casual sex before having a family, without consequence on their future. While Mead’s work was sensational and her conclusions would be challenged, she started conversation, created a new movement in anthropology, and started changing the way American society views dating and sex. The criticized pioneer stated, “I have spent most of my life studying the lives of other peoples — faraway peoples — so that Americans might better understand themselves.”

After Coming of Age in Samoa, Mead authored several other books and often tackled different social issues ranging from gender and sex roles, race, and birth control. Mead also contributed monthly to Redbook, also commenting on social issues.

The next time you talk to your girlfriends about dating or blog about that hottie you are scoping, take a moment for Margaret Mead who started shifting views so you can.

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One Response to “She Talked About Sex: Margaret Mead”

  1. Gabriella GDK says:

    Great post Stella!


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