Wilson Center Experts

Frances L. Bernstein

Research Grant
Kennan Institute

Russia and Eurasia
Assistant Professor of History, Drew University
Wilson Center Project(s):
Making Sex Soviet: Gender, Sexual Enlightenment, and the Politics of Health in the Soviet Union, 1918-1931
Aug 01, 1998
Jan 01, 1999

Project Summary

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.