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ERIC Number: EJ1174410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
"The Mind Has to Catch Up on Sex": Sexual Norms and Sex Education in the Hull House
Fair, Alexandra
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v54 n3 p249-265 2018
From its beginning in 1885, the Hull House was beacon for social progress and urban reform. Founders Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr recruited talented, passionate partners from diverse fields to address issues from street sanitation to education in Chicago's immigrant communities. Among residents' many projects, their involvement in the "social hygiene" movement for sex education and contraception is perhaps the least recognised, in part because the Hull House did not save materials directly related to these services. As a result, the professional activities of Hull House residents Drs Rachelle Yarros and Alice Hamilton reveal a productive relationship between the Hull House and the social hygiene movement. Part of their critical work was to dismantle the cultural association of contraceptives and sex education with "fallen women" and reframe these services as necessities for maternal health. The papers of their professional organisations chronicle their delicate efforts to challenge assumptions about reproductive healthcare while preserving Victorian ideals about sex as a private, procreative endeavour strictly between married, monogamous people. Rachelle Yarros was particularly active, producing a dearth of literature on sexual health, teaching classes on the subject, and overseeing the opening of Chicago's first public birth control clinics. Each of these advancements, including the birth control clinic, was available on Hull House grounds. By capitalising on the financial and medical resources available to them as physicians and reformers, Yarros and Hamilton achieved significant gains in women's healthcare and initiated a national conversation about sexual health as a human right.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois (Chicago)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A