Constructing expert discourses of hetero- and homosexuality in state socialist Poland

Dr. hab. Agnieszka Kościańska: Constructing expert discourses of hetero- and homosexuality in state socialist Poland

In state socialist Poland, sexual science developed as a patient-oriented, holistic discipline, embracing achievements in medicine, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history, and religious studies, providing recourses for sex education and therapy. Sexuality was perceived as multidimensional and embedded in relationships, culture, economy, and society at large.

This session will present the dialogue between sexologists and their patients to show how sexuality (both hetero- and homo-) was constructed vis-à-vis the notion of good sex (as defined by Gayle Rubin). This lecture is based Koscianska’s archival research on Polish expert knowledge of sexuality (the 1950s-present) covering major academic sexological publications, popular sex manuals, sex education handbooks, magazines running sex-related columns. She also conducted in-depth interviews with sexologists active in the 1970s and 1980s.

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