No Man’s Land? Gendering Contraception in Family Planning Advice Literature in State-Socialist Poland (1950s–1980s)
MetadataShow full item record
This article examines popular medical discourses on contraception produced in state-socialist Poland following the legalisation of abortion in 1956, a time when the party-state declared family planning to be a public health project. By analysing popular medical literature, I argue that the popularisation of family planning constructed and relied on gender norms that could ease anxieties about the mainstreaming of ideas relating to sexuality and contraception, as well as anxieties about gender equality in a state-socialist context. I show that the femininity constructed in Polish birth control advice was based in fertility and the physical attractiveness required to maintain a husband’s sexual interest. Although masculinity was represented as distant, egoistic and violent, experts broadcast mixed messages about the effectiveness and usefulness of popular male contraceptive methods, some of which were at times utterly demonized.
- Artykuły / Articles 
Using this material is possible in accordance with the relevant provisions of fair use or other exceptions provided by law. Other use requires the consent of the holder.