The Pill ruined the institution of marriage, says Raquel Welch
Raquel Welch has blamed the Pill for the decline of the institution of marriage.
The Hollywood actress said the widespread use of oral contraceptives had led to a breakdown in sexual morality and fuelled the growth of rampant promiscuity among the young.
Miss Welch, 69, said the situation has grown so grave that “these days nobody seems able to keep it in their pants or honour a commitment.”
While she argued that it carried some benefits, she said the enduring legacy of the Pill has been social anarchy.
Miss Welch has been a sex symbol since she sprang to international fame for her role in the 1966 film One Million Years BC—and was voted by readers of Playboy magazine as “the most desired female of the 1970s.”
But in an article to mark the introduction of the Pill to the U.S. market 50 years ago, she distanced herself from the fruits of the sexual revolution of which she was a part.
“The growing proliferation of birth control methods has had an awesome effect on both sexes and led to a sea change in moral values,” she said in an article for television channel CNN entitled “It’s SexO’Clock in America.”
A positive consequence of the Pill was it had “made it easier for a woman to choose to delay having children until after she established herself in a career,” she said.
Miss Welch, who has three failed marriages behind her, added that a “significant and enduring” effect on women was the idea that they could have sex without any consequences—with the result that fewer today saw marriage as a “viable option.”
She went on: “Seriously, folks, if an ageing sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it’s gotta be pretty bad.”
Miss Welch married high school sweetheart James Welch in 1959 at the age of 18—whom she divorced five years later.
She kept quiet about the couple’s two children, were Damon (born in 1960) and Tahnee (born in 1961), as she tried to launch her career.
Arriving in LA during the “beach party craze” of the early 60s, she landed minor roles in films such as Elvis Presley’s Roustabout (1964) and A Swingin” Summer (1965) before being catapulted to stardom with One Million Years B.C. in 1966.
The film star, who was linked to a string of men in her heyday—including Elvis Presley, Dean Martin and Burt Bacharach—said she would urge women to feel comfortable with growing old.
“I want them to stop being scared of it, because it’s just another chapter in life,” she said on the Oprah Winfrey show.
“I want to encourage them not to be disturbed and to really embrace it and go with it.”