stardreamer 2015-03-14: "Are you seriously suggesting that increased awareness of consent issues is a temporary moral panic, and that (say) 30 years from now, date rape and acquaintance rape will be back to 'business as usual'? Would you have said the same thing 30 years ago about child sexual abuse?"
Thirty years ago, child sexual abuse was taken much less seriously than it is now. My guess: thirty years from now, it'll be somewhere in between being routinely covered up, and it being a very bad idea to post a picture of your child taking a bath.
Consent issues: I don't think it will go all the way back to the way it used to be. (And I very much hope not.)
Just as the back and forth movement of attitudes on racial discrimination hasn't included a return to legal slavery. And has included the possibility of a Black being elected President. (A few decades ago, fictional Black Presidents didn't reach the White House by election; they were in the line of succession.)
***Lee Gold: " 'If you graduated from high school thirty years ago, don't take for granted that nothing has changed. Check.'
"Dan, let's start by discussing whom and what data sources you check with. Asking the nearest teenaged relative is probably not good enough."
I would begin by reading magazines for teens. They're an imperfect mirror; but they do show startling differences.
"'Places you haven't been to in a while have undergone change. In 1965, some Paris restaurants had hectographed menus in their windows; this is probably no longer the case.'
"I didn't see this in 1971. But maybe I was just looking at the wrong Paris restaurants." Or maybe copy machines had become more familiar in the meantime.
"'When "Jennifer" became the most popular girl-baby name in the US,
" ' it was easy to predict that in a bit less than twenty years there would be a lot of college women named Jennifer.
"Or perhaps domr og yhrm eoulf [sic] have changed their names to Jenny and Jen."
One member of Twin Cities sf fandom is called Seven. She was the seventh Jennifer in her Star Trek club.
"'By the late 1980s, it should have been obvious that the Soviet Union was in no shape to successfully invade the US.
"As opposed to bombing it to a glowing nuclear wasteheap." Maybe. The Soviet Union was sufficiently badly organized that such orders might not have been carried out.
"'Take account of moral panic cycles.'
"I'd have thought that network TV shows fading in viewership and cable and web shows gaining and help start niche panic cycles gaining. So far I haven't heard of a TV / web medical or legal show favored by anti-vaxxers but I expect to do so eventually. (I am fervently pro-vaccination. That's not the point here.)"
Most niche Viewing With Alarm doesn't become mainstream (or large minority) moral panics most of the time.