An editorial by Megan Daum in the Los Angeles Times discusses Generation X, the sexual disquiet of the peak years and AIDS all within the context of Christine O’Donnell. It reinforces the things I outlined in the above chart some time ago about Gen X cynicism.
On the one hand, it’s hard to believe that any Gen Xer, regardless of political stripe or religious principle, would think such a thing. If you were in your teens or 20s in the late 1980s and early 1990s, you had condoms shoved in your face as vigorously as the fear of HIV transmission was drilled into your brain.
On the other hand, in those pre-AIDS cocktail days, the standard message was that there was no such thing as totally safe sex, protected or not, and that it was only a matter of time before the disease ravaged the non-IV-drug-using heterosexual population. The free-for-all that baby boomers had enjoyed was over; the sex-positive, “Girls Gone Wild” sensibility of the millennials was years away. People were still getting it on, of course. But somehow it didn’t quite feel like a “getting it on” kind of culture.