Let’s Talk About Sex (and Reproduction): Counselling for Reproductive Health in Post-war Europe Let’s Talk About Sex (and Reproduction): Counselling for Reproductive Health in Post-war Europe

Counsellors in reproductive health help patients and parents interpret the results of genetic tests, make decisions about treatment and birth control, and understand sexual difficulties. Counselling encounters are potentially highly emotional — provoking guilt, fear, confusion, relief and joy — and can powerfully impact individuals, families, extended families and communities. 

They also have rich and varied histories. In post-war Europe, counselling and communication practices in reproductive health have driven and been shaped by the ‘liberalisation’ of sexuality, the psychological turn, ethical and legal debates about reproductive autonomy and disability, discourses about race, gender and medicine, a growing need for patients to manage risks, and new definitions of responsible citizens and patients.

This two-day interdisciplinary conference focuses on three principal fields: sexual and birth-control counselling, infertility counselling and genetic counselling. It brings together historians, sociologists and current professionals to discuss how counselling has changed, how its practices have shaped reproductive health and what its histories can tell us about practices today.Among the presenters are Tracey Loughran, Angus Clarke, Elizabeth Anionwu, Naomi Pfeffer, Teri Chettiar and the founders of the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA).

As part of the workshop, there will be a public lecture at 4.00pm on Friday 12th December by Kate Fisher (Professor of History, Exeter University):  ‘Sex Objects and Sex Education.’

Please email conferencescrassh.cam.acuk if you would like to register for the conference.


12. Dezember 2019 – 13. Dezember 2019


University of Cambridge, SG1/2, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, CB3 9DT Cambridge