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To See a Moose
The History of Polish Sex Education
Foreword by Frances Pine
Translated from the Polish by Philip Palmer
354 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-060-1 $145.00/£107.00 Hb Published (May 2021)
eISBN 978-1-80073-061-8 eBook
“Kościańska produces a solid—and at the same time extremely readable—history of sex education in contemporary Poland. She navigates through the early twentieth century, the interwar period, the years of state socialism, and three decades of democracy in search of sites of the production and reception of sexual knowledge.” • Aspasia. The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History
“The Author places her analysis in the context of today’s debates on sex education in Polish schools. It appears that the history of these debates is more complicated than one might think based on widespread narratives of progress: it does not lead from the backwardness of the early 20th century to conservatism and censorship of state socialism and to the wind of liberalism that came from the West during the postsocialist transformation.” • Etnografia Polska (Polish Ethnography)
Guiding the reader through the development of sex education in Poland, Agnieszka Kościańska looks at how it has changed from the 19th century to the present day. The book compares how sex was described in school textbooks, including those scrapped by the communists for fear of offending religious sentiments, and explores how the Catholic church retained its power in Poland under various regimes. The book also identifies the women and men who changed the way sex was written about in the country, and how they established the field of Polish sex education.
Agnieszka Kościańska is Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw. In 2021, she is Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies. She is the author and (co)editor of several volumes on gender and sexuality, including Gender, Pleasure and Violence (2021, Indiana University Press).
Subject: Anthropology (General) Gender Studies and Sexuality History (General)
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Agnieszka Kościańska talks to Lukas Becht of RECET about the rich and fascinating history of sex education in the 20th century with a focus on Poland.
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