The U.S. Government's Sex Education Campaign from World War I to the Internet
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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Writing a book is never a solitary project. I have benefited tremendously from the suggestions and knowledge of many people. Within the Office of the Public Health Service Historian and the Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria Harden, Sheena Morrison, John Parascandola, John Swann, Lindsey Hobbs...
A Word on Terminology
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Over the past hundred years as our views of sex education, sexually transmitted diseases, and out-of-wedlock births have changed, the terminology used to describe these concepts has also shifted. As a historian I prefer to use the terminology that was in vogue during the period under study...
1 In Bed with the Fed
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It was, the headlines screamed, a “case of too much candor.” On December 1,1994, World AIDS Day, Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders publicly announced that masturbation “is part of human sexuality and it’s a part of something that perhaps should be ...
2 The People’s War, 1918–1926
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The manager of an Illinois factory was upset. Everywhere he looked, there was evidence of moral corruption. In his own factory, several youngwomen under his management had contracted venereal disease...
3 Battling the Mad Dog, 1927–1940
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When Dizzy Malone burst into his office, the District Attorney couldn’t help himself. “ ‘Dizzy Malone,’ he gasped, ‘the same, gorgeous body and all!’ ” A “jane with a . . . red past,” Dizzy “went tomen’s heads.” She was every adolescent boy’s dream of a bad girl. Yet despite her appeal, this blonde bombshell had her limitations; she was, after all, nothing...
4 Lifting the Shadow from the Land, 1941–1945
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Prostitution is just like any other business,” a city official in Washington,D.C., noted with dismay. “It goes where the cash is.” During the late 1930s much of the cash came from the unattached young men who...
5 A False Sense of Security, 1946–1959
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If you want to know the truth,” seventeen-year-old Holden Caulfield confessed, “I’m a virgin.” He had come “quite close to doing it a couple of times,” but as he reluctantly admitted, “something always happen[ed]” to prevent it. “The thing is, most of the time...
6 Making Love, Not Babies or Disease, 1960–1980
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When the Beatles asked, “Why don’t we do it in the road?” they promised that “no one will be watching us.” But when John Lennon and Yoko Ono posed naked on the cover of Rolling Stone, everyone was watching. By 1969 sex had become, if not a public activity, then certainly a topic...
7 Telling It Like It Is, 1981–1988
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It’s done in plain language, it’s done at a 12- to 13-year-old reading level, it doesn’t mince words, yet it is in good taste It began slowly. AIDS, C. Everett Koop said, “entered the consciousness of the Public Health Service rather quietly, rather gradually, and with almost no fanfare at all.”...
8 Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, 1989–2008
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The blogosphere went wild. John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin, a religious conservative and the relatively unknown governor of Alaska, as his vice-presidential nominee sparked almost nonstop rumors as ...
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Dear Beth,” the letter read, “sex education should not be taught in schools. Children should learn from their parents. . . . When the subject is discussed in schools, children learn that sex is something they should start right away.” For the advice columnist who received this letter, the answer was clear: “Teachers who are properly trained do an excellent job” ofproviding sex education. More important, the columnist gently pointed out,“there is no indication ...
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Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 21 halftones
Publication Year: 2010