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Tupper KW. 
“Sex, drugs and the honour roll: the perennial challenges of addressing moral purity issues in schools”. 
Critical Public Health. 2013.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in North America, public health and social reform advocates were quick to identify and exploit the nascent modern institution of public schools as opportune spaces in which to advance their progressive projects. In particular, psychoactive substance use at first primarily alcohol drinking and sexuality were regarded as two domains of morally-charged social activity in which desired attitudinal and behavioural outcomes could be achieved through school-based education. Since the advent of these early public health or ‘social hygiene’ efforts in schools, political responses and modern Western cultural norms about both drugs and sexuality have undergone significant transformation over the course of the twentieth century. At the same time, research on purported health or social risks of substance use and sexual activity – and their prevention and mitigation among young people – has burgeoned as a field of professional practice and academic inquiry. This article undertakes a brief comparative review of historical and contemporary approaches to school-based sexuality and drug education in North America. In so doing, it also explores how scientific knowledge about the topics of sex and drugs, and the corollary project of school-based ‘prevention’ in these domains, has been shaped by evolving ideological and cultural forces. It concludes that the issues of sexuality and drug use – still steeped in conceptions of moral purity and pollution – are likely to remain strongly contested terrain for school-based education.
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Nov 30, 2013 12:43
Links Alcohol Temperance Movement and Anti-Sex #

This article links the 19th Century Temperance Movement to anti-sex purity movements. Not a new connection, but something I'd been looking for a recent citation to support.

Although the founding mission of the WCTU was to curtail or eliminate alcohol use, its early successes led the organization to broaden its progressive mandate to include a range of other activities – including educational ones – aimed at the suppression of vice and promotion of ‘social purity’ Pivar 1973, 6. Among these were ‘White Cross’ and ‘White Shield’ campaigns in the late nineteenth century, to encourage young men and women to sign ‘purity pledges’ to uphold chastity and abstain from pre-marital sex Cook 1995. Such social reform goals were seen to be wholly congruous with the temperance cause, as excessive drinking among men was linked to vices such as patronizing prostitutes and the transmission of venereal disease.
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