A permissive society, also referred to as permissive culture, is used to describe a society in which social norms become increasingly liberal, especially with regard to sexual freedom.[1][2] The term is often used pejoratively by cultural conservatives to criticise what is seen as a breakdown in traditional values, such as greater acceptance of premarital sex, an increase in divorce rates, and acceptance of non-traditional relationships such as cohabitation and homosexuality. A.P. Herbert was considered influential to the notion of permissiveness due to his reform of divorce laws in England.[3] It was particularly used during the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s in Western culture by opponents of the changes in attitudes of the era.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Alan Petigny, The Permissive Society, America, 1941–1965 (University of Florida, 2009; ISBN 978-0-521-88896-7)
  2. ^ John Ayto (2006). Movers and Shakers: A Chronology of Words that Shaped Our Age. Oxford University Press. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-19-861452-4.
  3. ^ "The Father of the Permissive Society". History Today. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2023.