Sex education has historically been subject to many forces: religion, educational policies, public health concerns, social trends, local and national politics, and gender and sexual orientation. Each has played a role in the creation and evolution of sex instruction. The public’s response to sex education has likewise ranged widely.

Bag of Trouble
U.S. WWII sex education poster promoting safe sex (U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1940)

NOTCHES invites submissions on histories of sex education. We welcome blog posts (1000-1500 words); interviews with scholars, archivists, and activists; as well as submissions to our “Archives of Desire” series in which historians reflect on a primary source and its value in research or teaching. Both proposals and full submissions are welcome.

Possible questions for exploration include (but are not limited to):

  • In what formal and informal contexts has sex education taken place?
  • How have health professionals and educators communicated the subjects of sex and sexuality?
  • How have religious bodies, faiths and institutions shaped sex education policies and reform, and what pushback has occurred?
  • In what ways has the discourse of sexual education evolved in relation to or been inflected by race, gender, socio-economic class, and so forth?
  • What role has the media played historically in furthering sexual knowledge?
  • How has sex education been taught globally and what transnational issues arise when examining sex instruction comparatively?

Style and image guidelines:

  • Submissions should be written for a non-specialist and international audience. Therefore, avoid jargon and use hyperlinks – not footnotes – to clarify terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to a general readership.
  • Include at least one relevant image for which you have obtained permission, and caption your image with clear attribution information. We welcome your use of a range of sources such as movies or sound files.
  • Include a short hyperlinked author bio and photo with your submission
  • For more information see

Please send submissions or proposals to NOTCHES assistant editor Saniya Lee Ghanoui ( by 31 January 2016. Submissions from outside North America are especially welcome. All submissions to NOTCHES will undergo an internal peer-review process. Proposals and queries are most welcome.

Creative Commons License

NOTCHES: (re)marks on the history of sexuality is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

For permission to publish any NOTCHES post in whole or in part please contact the editors at

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