The politics of birth control, 1920-1940

the impact of professionals

Irene Gordon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The birth control movement in the U.S. originated in the years before the 1920s as a movement concerned with women's rights and sexual freedom. Demands for the legalization of birth control came from feminists and other radical political activists. During the 1920s, however, the movement became respectable and nonradical. Women's rights became a secondary concern, shoved aside by concern with medical health and population control. This transformation was achieved through the professionalization of the movement. 2 groups who were particularly influential were the doctors and the academic eugenists. The doctors ma de birth control a medical issue, held back the development of popular sex education, and stifled a previously developing feminist approach to the birth control needs of women. The academic eugenists helped transform the movement into a population control movement with racist and anti-feminist overtones. While both groups contributed to the technology of contraception, they retarded its popular acceptance by transforming it from a popular movement into a professional staff lobbying operation. author's modified

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)253-277
    Number of pages25
    JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
    Volume5
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 1975

    Fingerprint

    Politics
    Contraception
    family planning
    politics
    women's rights
    Women's Rights
    Population Control
    Lobbying
    legalization
    sex education
    professionalization
    contraception
    Sex Education
    Group
    acceptance
    staff
    Technology
    health
    Health

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health Policy
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Nursing(all)
    • Health(social science)
    • Health Professions(all)

    Cite this

    The politics of birth control, 1920-1940 : the impact of professionals. / Gordon, Irene.

    In: International Journal of Health Services, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1975, p. 253-277.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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