This comes after a paragraph about the inability of sex researchers to take into account their own culturally-induced biases. I use the familiar metaphor of the fish trying to understand water, which is often used to describe the difficulties encountered when we try to examine our own culture.
Many of the initial questions were seemingly trivial. Why can’t girls wear slacks to school? Why must men always wear ties, which seem to serve no practical purpose? Why do so many dresses button or zip up the back? Why can’t a boy wear his hair long just like the Beatles? Why do I have to wear white gloves and a hat just to go shopping downtown? Why is it cute to be a tomboy but not a sissy? If these sound like children’s questions, maybe it’s because at first they were. I remember puzzling over these and many other rules when I was growing up. The answers were even more puzzling – and annoying! “That’s just the way it is.” “Because I said so.” Culture, and the authority of grownups. In the 1960s, the Baby boom generation started to question more and push back harder, along with some allies in older generations. They were aided and abetted by a consumer culture that may have been more interested in their buying power than in cultural and political change.