But then, as now, it's damnably dangerous for any large reaction to follow a public flare-up. Can you imagine a world in which legislation followed the demands of Star magazine?
So Hollywood has been into self-censorship from the beginning, with its governing body set up not by artists but by politicians. And it has followed not real wants of the public but the hysteria of the media and the strong, organized voices of lobbyists like Catholic groups who claim to represent common morality.
But while violence, depictions of drug use, and profanity are a virtual free-for-all on the screen, sex has remained stuck in the 50s. How else do you explain the lack of gag at "Knocked Up," where a woman makes a decision to not only keep an unexpected child that will probably K.O. her budding career but that she will make every effort to forge a relationship with a man she dislikes?
The only other corollary is to smoking, to which we are currently in moral opposition. The addition of sex to the list of "things that corrupt" only really makes sense, possibly, if you think that maybe our biggest problem with sex is that people might smoke afterwards.
Strangely, of course, although many of us pay lip service to the so-called double standard of sexual conduct, and Hollywood appears immovably mired in it, few people actually operate under the same restrictive conditions in their daily lives.
We date, we have sex, we get ourselves in situations deliciously, dangerously over our heads, and we live and love and learn.
We go to violent movies to see a more extreme version of what we imagine the most exciting life could be. Why do we settle for vanilla sex?