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In the United States today, it is common to believe we live in an era of sexual emancipation. Within the span of a lifetime, sexual attitudes have undergone major transformations. Judicial and legislative decisions permit certain sexual freedoms that, just a short time before, would have seemed unthinkable. But the progressive liberalization of sex is not the whole story. Outside the privileged domain of certain approved, legally permitted, and constitutionally protected sexual practices, sexual freedom is under sustained attack. New restrictions are being placed on commercial sex and sexual services, public sexual expression and publicly visible sexual representation, nonmarital sex and sex outside the couple, sex online, sex in the workplace, HIV-positive sex, pornography, gay sex, sex in schools and prisons, sex between adults and minors, and sex among minors. In short, there is a war on stigmatized kinds of sex that fall outside those currently sanctified by legal guarantees.

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