Women's medicine

Sex, family planning and British female doctors in transnational perspective, 1920-70

By Caroline Rusterholz

Women's medicine
Hardcover -
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526149121
  • Publish Date: Dec 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    Women's medicine highlights British female doctors' key contribution to the production and circulation of scientific knowledge around contraception, family planning and sexual disorders between 1920-70. It argues that women doctors were pivotal in developing a holistic approach to family planning and transmitting this knowledge across borders, playing a more prominent role in shaping scientific and medical knowledge than previously acknowledged.

    The book locates women doctors' involvement within the changing landscape of national and international reproductive politics. Illuminating women doctors' agency in the male-dominated field of medicine, this book reveals their practical engagement with birth control and later family planning clinics in Britain, their participation in the development of the international movement of birth control and family planning and their influence on French doctors. Drawing on a wide range of archived and published medical materials, Rusterholz sheds light on the strategies British female doctors used and the alliances they made to put forward their medical agenda and position themselves as experts and leaders in birth control and family planning research and practice.

    This book is relevant to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5, Gender equality.


    'This book ... fills important gaps in women's history and the history of medicine and health and is an outstanding contribution to the history of contraception. The rich source base and meticulous documentation underpinning Rusterholz's bold arguments make it a solid historiography, well organized and thus easy to follow. I therefore highly recommend Women's Medicine.'
    Agata Ignaciuk, University of Granada, Journal of British Studies



    Henry-E.-Sigerist-Prize for the History of Medicine and Science


    1 Giving birth control medical credentials in Britain, 1920-70
    2 Sexual disorders and infertility, expanding the work of the clinics
    3 Medicalizing birth control at the international conferences (1920-37), a British-French comparison
    4 Building a transnational movement for family planning 1927-70
    5 Testing IUDs, a transnational journey of expertise



    Caroline Rusterholz is a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge

    Women's medicine

    By Caroline Rusterholz

    Hardcover £25.00 / $36.95

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