girls. Articles with titles like “WhynThis Marriage Survived” (Cosmo) andn”Can This Marriage Be Saved?” (Journal)nappeared in both. While Dr.nSpock held forth in the Journal on hown”mothers of small children [can] keepnfrom being driven crazy,” Cosmo wasninvestigating ways of improvingnhusband-wife communication and ofnusing new psychiatric theories to providenan “answer to family conflict,”nAdvertisements in both were likewisenaimed at a domeshc sensibility.nAds in Cosmo in the early 60’s stillnappealed to “MARRIED WOMEN”nand to wives interested in “the IdealnMarriage.” Child-related ads were notnnumerous in Cosmo, but they werenthere, offering products to ease baby’snteething pain or to improve a slownchild’s reading skills. Hard as it is nownto believe, Cosmo even ran publicnservice ads reminding “growing families”nto “worship together this week.”nThe numerous food ads in a Journalnfrom the same period invited readers ton”treat your children” to spaghetti or tonmake meals “the whole family loves”nwith rice. Other ads extolled the virtuesnof name-brand diapers, babynshampoo, and children’s aspirin. Perhapsnbecause stay-at-home mothersnhad time for such diversions, bothnCosmo and the Journal regularly featurednshort stories and even completennovels, flanked predictably by bookclubnads.nTo be sure, significant differencesnbetween Cosmo and the Journal werenapparent even 25 years ago. The blissfullynwedded couple on the cover ofnCosmo was then usually drawn fromnroyalty or the Hollywood set, while thenJournal cover showed an anonymousnpair, posed as Mr. & Mrs. TypicalnAmerican. Trying to find out “HownAmerica Lives,” the Journal profilednthe achievements and woes of somenaverage American family each monthn—a New Jersey schoolteacher, wife,nand three children this month; a Texasnoil broker, wife, and four kids the next.nIn contrast, Cosmo was chasing “thenInternational Set,” Hollywood stars,nand “the great families of the world”n— Sassoon, Rockefeller, Rothschild,nAlba, Krupp. (“I always find the starnmaterial fascinating reading,” wrote annappreciative Cosmo reader, “especiallynwhen it’s written with the decent attitudenof a publication such as Cosmo­npolitan.”) It is unlikely that a series ofnCosmo photos of swimsuit fashionsncould then have appeared in the Journal,neven though each of the bathingnbeauties was properly identified asnMrs. Gotrocks. Even less likely to havenappeared in the Journal was a provocativenCosmo piece on “Myths AboutnSex,” despite the author’s repeated assurancesnthat his interest was solely inn”marital success” and in helping thenreader enjoy “her nocturnal interludesnwith her husband.” Cosmo ads for annIllustrated Encyclopedia of Sex wouldnnever have run in the Journal (even ifnthe book was to promote “modernnmarried sex practice”), nor would annad for a beauty guide for the “AlluringnWoman.”nFor while Cosmo was romanticizingnthe “strong sexual attraction” betweennmarried (always married) televisionnstars and was encouraging readers tonfind more pleasure with their husbands,nthe Journal was worried that thennation had become “preoccupied—nalmost obsessed—with the superficialnaspects of sex . . . with sex as a formnof entertainment.” This, the Journalndeclared, was “not true sex, with itsncorollaries of love, marriage and childbearing.”nElsewhere in its pages, thenJournal warned its readers against “thendanger in a ‘harmless flirtation,'” andnpraised the Australians for “avoidingnthe problem of sex craziness in thenschools” by leaving sex education tonthe home, forbidding cosmetics,nteaching restraint as a virtue, and requiringnschool uniforms. Cosmo maynhave been awestruck by screen starsnand rich equestrians, but the Journalnwas lauding volunteer Sunday Schoolnteachers and PTA leaders and in anremarkably prescient article was questioningnwhether post-Sputnik curriculumnreformers “know what they are upnto.” Contemporary educators, the authorncomplained, had no sense ofnoverall purpose, no longer tried tonshape “a character imbued with Christiannvirtues,” and actively discouragednexcellence as “undemocratic.”nTo examine these same two women’snmagazines today, two and a halfndecades later, is to see a radical shift inneditorial perspective on the family andnfeminine identity. In Cosmopolitannthe rejection of marriage and family isncomplete. The Cosmo cover girl nownlives with (but is rarely married to)nnnsome film executive or medicalnstudent—who does not appear withnher. Cosmo articles now promoten”Great Sex” or “wonderfully wickednsex,” practiced with as many partnersnas the reader can entice. Editors boastnthat a recent survey (tabulated andnanalyzed by Linda Wolfe in Womennand Sex in the 80’s: The ‘Cosmo’ Reportn[1981]) revealed that “the majori­nty of Cosmo girls have had at least twonlovers and many—two thirds—havenhad from five to more than twenty-n. five,” although not at the same time.nCosmo readers are “perhaps the mostnsexually experienced women in westernnhistory.” Now when Cosmo considersnmarriage at all, it is to tell thenreader to put it off until at least 30 sonthat she can enter wedlock with “anvariety of sexual experience.” (Whatncolor does a Cosmo bride wear?)nFor those who have already tied thenknot—not to worry — Cosmo hasnarticles on how to get a divorce asnpainlessly and profitably as possiblenand on how to explain to a boorishnhusband that children are now passenbecause they interfere with career advancement.nA recent Cosmo quiz,n”Are You a Decadent?” scolded thenreader who refrains from “nicelynnaughty activities” and who does notn”accept your wicked streak.” The “GaynDebauchee” who “denies herself noi/zing”nis praised for “earthiness andnspontaneity” but cautioned about “excesses”nthat could land her in trouble.nThe Cosmo Golden Mean has beennachieved by the woman “who’s readynDECEMBER 1985 / 39n