Wilson Center Experts
Frances L. Bernstein
This project analyzes the extensive program of popular sex education or sexual enlightenment developed by physicians as a central component of the revolutionary agenda to transform life in the 1920s. Incorporating a wide variety of published and archival sources, it examines the medical practices, programs, and propaganda which defined sexual norms--and the consequences of transgressing those norms--in the new state. This study aims to broaden common views of revolutionary politics through its analysis of the cultural meaning assigned to good health, showing that issues of hygiene and sexuality figured centrally in the formation of Soviet society.