Dr. Robin Jensen, “Dirty Words: The Rhetoric of Public Sex Education, 1870-1924,” April 5, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. in Ford Hall Room 102.
Dr. Jensen is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. Her current research examines historical and contemporary discourses about health and science, focusing specifically on questions dealing with sex education policy, gender equality, and rhetorical history.
Dr. Jensen’s book, Dirty Words: The Rhetoric of Public Sex Education, 1870-1924, details the approaches and outcomes of sex-education initiatives. Through her analysis of rich sources such as lectures, books, movies, and posters, Dr. Jensen demonstrates how women were both leaders and innovators in early U.S. sex-education movements, striving to provide education to underserved populations of women, minorities, and the working class.
Dirty Words shows how women in particular struggled for a platform to create and circulate arguments concerning this controversial issue, and the book also provides insight into overlooked discourses about public sex education by analyzing a previously understudied campaign targeted at African American men in the 1920s.
This public presentation is part of the Willamette University Conversation Series on Constructing Freedom and Responsibility in Public Life, directed by Cindy Koenig Richards.