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The multifaceted nature of the sexual revolution in America is a complicated topic to disentangle, but examination of the different strands of the movement reveals how people from all walks of life participated in this transformation of mores, even if they themselves were not consciously aware of their contributions. Beth Bailey’s work Sex in the Heartland closely examines these different factors that composed the sexual revolution, while emphasizing the theme that the sexual revolution was a complex combination of events that was experienced and constructed by different people in widely disparate ways. Bailey uses the town of Lawrence, Kansas and the University of Kansas as a case study for examining the manifestation of the sexual revolution, which makes her work a valuable source in exploring the sexual revolution at DePauw University. Examination of the Hoot humor magazines from 1952-1954, minutes from DePauw’s Publication Board, and The DePauw student newspaper illustrate how several facets of the sexual revolution intersected with one another on DePauw’s campus and reveal themes of tension between students and administrators over new attitudes about sexuality, and ways in which students themselves upheld sexual double standards.


Clifton J. Phillips Archives Research Award winner.