Caroline RusterholzMar 4, 2023
Family Planning and British Female Doctors in Transnational Perspective, 1920-70
Manchester University Press 2021
Who built the twentieth century birth control movement? In Women's Medicine: Family Planning and British Female Doctors in Transnational Perspective, 1920-70 (Manchester University Press 2020), Dr. Caroline Rusterholz highlights British female doctors' key contribution to the production and circulation of scientific knowledge around contraception, family planning and sexual disorders between 1920-70. It argues that women doctors were pivotal in developing a holistic approach to family planning and transmitting this knowledge across borders, playing a more prominent role in shaping scientific and medical knowledge than previously acknowledged.
The book locates women doctors' involvement within the changing landscape of national and international reproductive politics. Illuminating women doctors' agency in the male-dominated field of medicine, this book reveals their practical engagement with birth control and later family planning clinics in Britain, their participation in the development of the international movement of birth control and family planning and their influence on French doctors. Drawing on a wide range of archived and published medical materials, Rusterholz sheds light on the strategies British female doctors used and the alliances they made to put forward their medical agenda and position themselves as experts and leaders in birth control and family planning research and practice.
Nicole Bourbonnais is Associate Professor of International History and Politics and Co-Director of the Gender Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Her research explores reproductive politics and practice from a transnational, historical perspective. Profile here.