Chapter 16 Sex Education in the 1950s

Reproduction, Family and the State

In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020

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In this chapter, I analyse the construction of ‘reproduction’ as a topic for education in Norwegians schools around 1950. By exploring teachers’ manuals and debates surrounding sex education in schools, I discuss how the education could serve to control the sexuality of the youths. Gender and age are important categories for the construction of sexuality in the curriculum. These categories, together with profession, are also of importance when I discuss questions of control, representation and participation in this educational reform. Although I focus on Norway, I draw some Scandinavian comparisons, and relate this to discussions on family, religion and the role of the welfare state in post-war Scandinavia.


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