The American religious debate over birth control, 1907-1937 /
by Kathleen A. Tobin.
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2001.
vi, 226 p. ; 23 cm.
0786410817 (softcover : alk. paper)
More Details
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2001.
0786410817 (softcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Kathleen A. Tobin is an assistant professor of history at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-02-01:
This impressively detailed study of the birth control debates in early-20th-century America serves as both a religious survey and cultural historiography of the period. Tobin (history, Purdue Univ. Calumet) analyzes the social context affecting the development of Protestant and Catholic attitudes toward contraception, including an emerging women's rights movement, the influential anti-population growth sentiments of 18th-century English clergyman Thomas Malthus, xenophobic anti-immigration feeling, and the burgeoning yet bogus eugenics and "scientific" race theory movements of that time. While containing ample information bearing on today's debates over procreative ethics, the book maintains a balanced and respectful tone toward each of the various traditions that participated in this controversy a century ago and still pursue their conflicting visions of faith and family. This work's integration of religious studies, social ethics, and politics makes it especially inviting as historical study. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through faculty and researchers. B. Stetson Azusa Pacific University
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, November 2001
Choice, February 2002
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Bowker Data Service Summary
Kathleen Tobin considers the cultural environment, religion, its connections to the roots of birth control and denominationalism and the influence these elements had on the debate over the morality of allowing family planning in the USA up to 1937.
Main Description
The ongoing debates on the morality of artificial birth control sparked a heated public debate in the early twentieth century in an already religiously fragmented United States. Many denominations took part in the deliberations both publicly and privately. In examining the ideas about contraception and birth control at that time, this book considers the cultural environment, religion and its connection to the roots of birth control, the questioning of religious doctrine, the Protestants' view of birth control, the Lambeth conferences of 1930, the influence of conservatives, and the influence of Catholics. Also discussed is the historical context of fundamentalists versus modernists, neo-Malthusianism, eugenics, immigration, the movement for legalization organized by Margaret Sanger, and how the Catholic Church came to lead religious resistance to artificial birth control.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vi
1907-1921: The Cultural Environmentp. 1
Religion and the Roots of Birth Controlp. 39
1921-1926: Doctrine in Question, Battle Lines Drawnp. 77
1927-1929: Protestants Silent, Shift at Handp. 123
1930-1931: Lambeth and Its Aftermathp. 148
1932-1937: Conservatives Hold Strong, Catholics Hold Strongerp. 186
Conclusionp. 210
Bibliographyp. 213
Indexp. 223
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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