Article ID: CBB099727718

From ‘Puritanical Goosebumps’ to the Nostalgic Longing for Heterosexual Harmony: The Emotional Organisation of Sexuality in Relationship Education in the 1970s and 1980s (2019)


Comprehensive approaches to sex education emphasise an integration of the mind and the body via emotions. Drawing on the historiographical shift towards the study of emotions, this paper explores cognitive, bodily and emotional dimensions of sexuality education and social relations. By analysing the institutionalisation of sex education in Luxembourg, the paper examines often neglected sex education material as well as political reform debates in a Catholic-conservative context. The analysis demonstrates that in the mid-1980s, and despite public disputes, reform opponents shared a common horizon in sex education: they promoted emotional education to channel sexual practices in the direction of family formation. As a consequence, emotional education marginalised bodies, sexualities and forms of relationship that were not conforming to the ideal of a happy heterosexual dyad in which ‘love and sexuality belong together’. It is argued that the prohibition was part of a twofold emotionalisation of sex education in the 1980s.

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Authors & Contributors
Katz, Jonathan G.
Hubbard, Thomas K.
Urban, Wayne J.
Bruckner, Matilda Tomaryn
Kandel, Eric R
Lowen, Rebecca S.
History of Education
History of Psychiatry
Classical World
Historical Journal
History of the Human Sciences
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
University of Chicago Press
University of Alabama Press
Random House
University of Pennsylvania Press
Paradigm Publishers
University of Oklahoma Press
Emotions; passions
Science and politics
Sexual behavior
Freud, Sigmund
Schnitzel, Arthur
Kinsey, Alfred C.
Deventer, Jacob van
Gasson, Father John
Arnold, Magda
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
18th century
United States
Vienna (Austria)

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