Sex education. For most Americans, these two simple words conjure up diverse images: the gym, the inept health teacher, the snickers, the embarrassment, and, most importantly, the confusion. A premier rite of passage for American pre-teens and teenagers, the obligatory class or classes on sex education have been a central component of American culture for decades.
Since launching its first sex education programs during World War I, the U.S. Public Health Service has dominated American sex education. Alexandra Lord, the author of Condom Nation: The U.S. Government’s Sex Education Campaign from World War I to the Internet (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), will discuss how public officials have struggled, throughout the twentieth-century, to create sex education programs that balance both cultural and public health concerns. In doing so, she will explore how and why sex education has become such an explosive topic in America today.
Alexandra Lord (PhD, University of Wisconsin) taught medical history and served as historian of the United States Public Health Service through 2007. In January 2008, she became the Branch Chief of the National Historic Landmarks Program, and serves on the Board of the National Council on Public History. Dr. Lord has published on topics ranging from early medical theories about menstruation to the history of biowarfare. And she has spoken on medical history and preservation issues at places ranging from Ellis Island to the National Library of Medicine. Her latest book, Condom Nation: The United States’ Sex Education Campaign from World War I to the Age of the Internet (Johns Hopkins, 2010) won awards from the British Medical Association as the best popular book on medicine and as the best book furthering public understanding of medicine and science.
This special exhibition will open in conjunction with the Handerson Lecture January 27th and will be on display through April 1st, 2011.
Please join us for this event held at the Allen Memorial Medical Library.