Entre reconduction de la tradition et émancipation prétendument libératrice : la représentation des pratiques sexuelles véhiculée par le flot d’images diffusées en Occident durant la « Révolution sexuelle »
AbstractBy the 1960s, many scholars have questioned the belief that the “Sexual Revolution” that took place allegedly in the West from the second half of the 20th century, truly transformed the sexual attitudes and behaviour of Westerners, and it even so the conditions were met for sexuality to undergo a real process of liberation. This thesis examines through an empirical study and an exemplary case the impact of the “Sexual Revolution” on the representation of sexual practices in a selection of artworks and movies released in the 1960s and 1970s in the West. Specifically, it paints a thematic portrait of the nature of the images illustrated in a sampling of books on Western erotic art and appearing in sexual scenes in selected mainstream fiction feature films made in the United States. Using a content analysis by thematic grids, it scrutinizes book illustrations and film sexual scenes through a series of indicators containing several variables, including the types of sexual practice illustrated, the types of sexual desire and the forms of union between partners, the identity of the characters shown in these images as well as their social and sexual roles. Through an analysis by pivot tables, it isolates the recurrences, absences, and co-occurrences that characterize the sampled images. From the data obtained, a discourse analysis is conducted to discover the rules that govern those representations. The installation La chambre nuptiale (1976), created by feminist artist Francine Larivée to raise public awareness about the possibility that the “Sexual Revolution” has not led to real changes in the private life of Quebecers and that tradition has continued to exercise great influence on them, is for its part an exemplary case study of the Quebec situation. The analysis of this artwork also forms a bridge between the American and European contexts of the corpora, while constituting a summary of the results obtained throughout the study. The data obtained help demonstrate from an empirical basis that the pictures examined betray the preponderance of a vision that is mainly oriented towards white heterosexual male ideas and preferences of what sexual practices and eroticism should look like, and consequently validate the suspicions of the specialists. Thus, despite a genuine desire to glorify and demystify sexuality, and to produce a portrait where the new ideals of the “Sexual revolution” are visible, it appears that the writers and filmmakers who created the documents studied here did not overcome the traditional marital sexual morality and sexual taboo surrounding certain types of sexual practice, desire, identity, and forms of union between the characters. In addition, they continued to associate eroticism with what exceeds the normative model and the transgression of what is prohibited, and therefore contribute to perpetuating the idea that sexual intercourse in legitimate couples are boring and routine.
Lieutenant-Duval, Verushka <http://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/view/creators/Lieutenant-Duval=3AVerushka=3A=3A.html> (2016) Entre reconduction de la tradition et émancipation prétendument libératrice : la représentation des pratiques sexuelles véhiculée par le flot d’images diffusées en Occident durant la « Révolution sexuelle ». PhD thesis, Concordia University.