EUGENICS AND FEMALE EMBODIMENT IN CZECHOSLOVAK PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS DURING THE 1960S AND 1970S

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Authors

SHMIDT Victoria

Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Bohemia: A Journal of History and Civilisation in East Central Europe
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Citation
WWW https://www.bohemia-online.de/index.php/bohemia/issue/view/106
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.18447/BoZ-2018-4380
Field Sociology, demography
Keywords eugenics; population policy; female embodiment; socialism; Czechoslovakia
Description This study deals with policies directed at women in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s and1970s. The author has studied several public campaigns in the press and on the radio that aimed at changing women’s behaviour. Their goal was to encourage women to use the contraceptive pill. This new practice was described as natural, progressive and self-determined. However, unwanted behavioural patterns (such as abortion, postponing motherhood) were condemned as old-fashioned or unhealthy. This was based on a pronatalistic policy aimed at increasing the birth rates of the majority society. While Czech and Slovak women should have two or three children, access to abortion was facilitated for Roma women and women with disabilities, but also for women from socially disadvantaged families. This image of the modern socialist woman, mistress and mother, shows clear continuities with the time of the so-called national rebirth in the 19thcentury
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