Shaping Sexual Knowledge: A Cultural History of Sex Education in Twentieth Century Europe (Paperback) book cover

Shaping Sexual Knowledge

A Cultural History of Sex Education in Twentieth Century Europe

Edited by Lutz Sauerteig, Roger Davidson

© 2009 – Routledge

264 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

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The history of sex education enables us to gain valuable insights into the cultural constructions of what different societies have defined as 'normal' sexuality and sexual health. Yet, the history of sex education has only recently attracted the full attention of historians of modern sexuality.

Shaping Sexual Knowledge: A Cultural History of Sex Education in Twentieth Century Europe makes a considerable contribution not only to the cultural history of sexual enlightenment and identity in modern Europe, but also to the history of childhood and adolescence. The essays collected in this volume treat sex education in the broadest sense, incorporating all aspects of the formal and informal shaping of sexual knowledge and awareness of the young. The volume, therefore, not only addresses officially-sanctioned and regulated sex education delivered within the school system and regulated by the State and in some cases the Church, but also the content, iconography and experience of sexual enlightenment within the private sphere of the family and as portrayed through the media.

Table of Contents

List of Figures. Acknowledgments. 1. Introduction: Shaping Sexual Knowledge of the Young. Lutz D.H. Sauerteig and Roger Davidson. Sex Education, Sexual Rights, Society and the Child. 2. In Ignorance and in Knowledge: Reflections on the History of Sex Education in Britain. Lesley A. Hall. 3. Sex Education and the Law in England and Wales: The Importance of Legal Narratives. Ann Blair and Daniel Monk. Shaping Sex Education Policy: Religion, Medicine and the State. 4. Taking the Middle Way: Sex Education Debates in Sweden in the Early Twentieth Century. Lena Lennerhed. 5. The Growing Pains of Sex Education in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), 1945-1969. Mark Fenemore. 6. Purity and Pedagogy: The Alliance-Scottish Council and School Sex Education in Scotland, 1955-1967. Roger Davidson. 7. Carnal Knowledge: The Social Politics and Experience of Sex Education in Italy, 1940-1980. Bruno Wanrooij. Sex Education and the Representation of Gendered and Sexed Bodies. 8. Representations of Pregnancy and Childbirth in (West)German Sex Education Books, 1900s-1970s. Lutz D.H. Sauerteig. 9. Purity Redefined: Catholic Attitudes towards Children’s Sex Education in Austria, 1920-1936. Britta McEwen. 10. The Partial Picture: Framing the Discourse of Sex in British Educative Films of the Early 1930s. Barbara Crowther. 11. Helga (1967): West German Sex Education and the Cinema in the 1960s. By Uta Schwarz. Mapping the Sexual Knowledge and Ignorance of the Young. 12. The Social Politics and Experience of Sex Education in Early Twentieth Century Poland (1905-1939). By Magda Gawin. 13. The Experience of Sex Education in the Netherlands and Flanders in Childhood Memories from the First Half of the Twentieth Century. By Hugo Röling. Contributors. References. Index.

About the Editors

Lutz D.H. Sauerteig, Lecturer in History of Medicine at Durham University, UK. He is working on a history of sex education of the young (1880s-1970s) and has widely published on the history of venereal diseases in Germany and England. His publications include Krankheit, Sexualität, Gesellschaft: Geschlechtskrankheiten und Gesundheitspolitik in Deutschland im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1999).

Roger Davidson, Emeritus Professor of Social History and Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow, University of Edinburgh, UK. He has widely published on the social history of venereal diseases and sexuality. A former editor of Social History of Medicine, he is currently working on a co-authored study of The Sexual State: Sexuality and Governance in Scotland, 1950-80.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Social History of Medicine

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Children's Studies