It’s Sunday evening, November 6th, less than two days before the national election, and anxiety is all about. What to do with this anxiety about the fate that awaits the United States and beyond?
Fortunately, I must prepare a talk that I will deliver in Portland, Oregon this upcoming Friday, November 11th. It’s a good distraction from national events. I will present new material, not another author talk about my new biography of Dr. Marie Equi, published in late 2015 by Oregon State University Press.
My new presentation is titled “To Engage or Avoid: Matters of Sex for Oregon Physicians, 1900-1925.” I will look at the different ways doctors understood and dealt with the relatively new science of sexology and how they grappled with too-big-to-avoid controversies over sexual issues.
Sexology, or the science of sexuality, would have an enormous impact in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Often, physicians used their positions of authority to enforce social and sometimes legal rules about sexual and gender authority. Other times doctors tried to look the other way, fearing the impact of taking a stand on controversial matters.
Physicians one hundred years ago dealt with a raft of sexual issues. The threat of STDs, the role of quarantine for contagious diseases, birth control, abortion, prostitution, and the popularity of mandatory sterilization.
Who did what and how they managed is the focus of my talk. My early thanks to the sponsor of the event, the History of Medicine Society at the Oregon Health & Science University. Please join us for this free and open-to-the-public talk on Friday, November 11, 12 0 1pm at the OHSU Auditorium. For more info, contact 503-494-5587 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Marie Equi, Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions,” by Michael Helquist, available at bookstores, at Oregon State University Press, and online.
Author Historian Activist