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HIST/WFQS 260: Sex and Reproduction in Nineteenth Century America: Before Margaret Sanger

This guide is a companion to Ms. Edwards' group assignment, Sex at Early Vassar


The controversy of higher education for young women: Dr. Edward Clarke's Sex in Education (1873) and responses to it, on education's effect on the female reproductive systems. Special attention should be given to the impact on Vassar, and Vassar's responses.

Clarke's text

In the Misc

How do you measure the influence of this debate?

  • Read prefaces to editions after 1st edition. They often mention how many books have sold when they describe the need for subsequent editions.
  • Search magazines and newspapers for reviews and editorials about the book.  Remember to look into the perspective of a periodical, i.e. who were its writers and editors and who was its audience.