Publication details

Sexology’s Unexpected Progressiveness in the Cold War East : Shaping People’s Sexual Selves, Creating Socialist Societies


LIŠKOVÁ Kateřina

Year of publication 2021
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

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Description In this chapter, I focus on three moments of innovation brought about by sexological expertise during state socialism in three countries: Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary. Drawing upon years of collaborative research and using the examples of the female orgasm in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, abortion in Poland at the turn of the 1950s and 1960s, and open marriage in Hungary in the late 1970s, I show both similarities and differences in the ways sexuality was seen in various countries over time. I highlight the role sexologists played in how sexual matters were taken up by people and, importantly, perceived by the state actors and, as a result, incorporated into laws and policies. In effect, I argue that through understanding expertise, we can understand the (changing) emphases of the state. In other words, by studying the most intimate (as it is represented in sexuality), we can understand the most public (as it is represented by the state).
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