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Title:Translating sex culture: Transnational sex education and the U.S.-Swedish relationship, 1910s–1960s
Author(s):Ghanoui, Saniya Lee
Director of Research:Reagan, Leslie J
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Reagan, Leslie J
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hogarth, Rana; Oberdeck, Kathryn J.; Turnock, Julie; Stenport, Anna
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):sex education
history of sexuality
American-Swedish relations
U.S. history
transnational history
Abstract:“Translating Sex Culture: Transnational Sex Education and the U.S.-Swedish Relationship, 1910s–1960s” traces the history of American-Swedish sex education relations; the exchange, modification, and reception of sex instruction material; and the opponents of the subject who connected sex education to larger cultural issues. I demonstrate that from the 1910s–1960s, the establishment and growth of American sex education resulted from international collaboration, with special attention paid to Swedish sex education cultures and their integration into the American landscape. In the 1910s–1930s American sex education organizations and filmmakers crafted sex instruction films, pamphlets, and lectures and exported them across the globe. Swedish critics and physicians responded positively to American sex education cultures in Sweden. After World War II, however, American organizations imported Swedish ideas into the American landscape. Thus, Swedish sex education culture influenced American sex education and sexuality culture, shaping how countless citizens thought about sex in the post-World War II era. Conservative activists in the 1950s–1960s turned their ire about school sex education towards Sweden, contending that the American sex education culture had become too much like the Swedish system. This controversy stemmed from larger Cold War geopolitics and provoked a conservative cultural backlash against sex education. More broadly, this dissertation demonstrates that historians can no longer tell the history of sex education without examining the transnational relationship, as American sex education has never been divorced from outside perspectives.
Issue Date:2021-04-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Saniya Ghanoui
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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