Lecture – Sex during the Cold War: Sex Education in Socialist Poland
The Queer and Feminist Studies Working Group hosts a talk by Professor Agnieszka Kościańska discussing her book “To See a Moose: The History of Polish Sex Education” (New York 2021). The talk will be followed by a discussion moderated by HEC researcher, Marta Chmielewska.
In To See a Moose: The History of Polish Sex Education, Koscianska looks at how sex education in Poland has changed since the 19th century. The book explores how sex was described in the school curriculum, and how topics of queerness, female pleasure or abortion were approached. Koscianska analyses a variety of textbooks, including those scrapped by the communists for fear of offending religious sentiments. She also examines how the Catholic church retained its power in Poland under various regimes. Koscianska 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. Focusing on the post-war period, she explores how the introduction of socialism brought both restrictions in gender rights and new opportunities.