Posted By: Sheri (FunReadin,Last2PostsEngBd) on 'English'
Title:     Scandal opened sex talk 
Date:      Mon Feb 15 05:56:13 1999

by the Washington Post

Long after the lofty constitutional lessons have been forgotten, the Clinton 
scandal will be remembered for something else: the mark it left on the 
nation's sexual landscape.

The turning point was obvious to CNN correspondent Candy Crowley last fall 
when she stood before a television camera describing graphic details of the 
president's  sexual encounters, then received a call from her mother and her 
son, both dismayed at the words they'd heard her utter on the air.

Debra Haffner knew something had changed when the 13 and 14-year-olds in the 
sexuality class she teaches at her Westport, Conn. church bombarded her with 
questions:  What is oral sex?  Do people do that?  Why did Monica save the 

It is far too simple to reduce the impeachment trial of the president to a 
moral referendum, a victory of the sexually liberated over defenders of 
traditional values.  But it is inescapable that the year leading up to the 
Senate's verdict has forced upon the nation a thorough examination of its 
sexual mores.

Experts in sexual behavior don't believe Americans are behaving any 
differently in the bedroom - neither a feverish rise nor a fearful drop in 
adultry, for example.  But the Clinton scandal has left other, more subtle 

People are talking more openly about sex, over the office copier, on radio 
talk shows and family dinners.  A Pew Research Center survey last fall found 
that nearly 60 percent of parents had spoken to their teen-agers abuot 
whether the president had had sex with Monica Lewinsky and that 1 in 5 teens 
had read at least part of independent counsel Kenneth Starr's sexually 
explicit report.

Eight years after the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings made workplace 
discussion of sex seem almost dangerous, mena nd women across the country say 
the Clinton scandal opened the door to unprecedentedly raw at work sex talk.  
The scandal has coincided with the popularization of the Internet, where chat 
room discussions and jokes about sex are among the most popular topics.  

But perhaps more important, a year of national soul-searching has hsaped and 
crystalized Americans' reasoning about sex and public morality: With near 
unanimity, we apparently find Bill Clinton's excapades wrong, even 
deplorable.  But most Americans don't find his sins politically disqualifying.

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