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Cleaning Up After Sex: An Environmental History of Contraceptives in the United States, 1873–2010

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11084

Cleaning Up After Sex: An Environmental History of Contraceptives in the United States, 1873–2010

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Title: Cleaning Up After Sex: An Environmental History of Contraceptives in the United States, 1873–2010
Author: Payne, Sarah Ruth, 1975-
Advisor(s): Scharff, Virginia Joy
Committee Member(s): Truett, Samuel
Cahill, Cathleen
Norwood, Vera
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of History
Subject(s): birth control
contraceptives
environmental history
LC Subject(s): Contraceptives--United States--History
Contraceptives industry--United States--History
Contraceptives--Environmental aspects--United States
Contraceptives--Social aspects--United States
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: I argue in my dissertation, “Cleaning Up After Sex: An Environmental History of Contraceptives in the United States, 1873–2010,” that through the processes of contraceptive production, consumption, and disposal, over time, the role of contraceptives in human/nature interactions has become more significant and the impact more direct. I examine the production, consumption, and disposal histories of condoms, diaphragms and cervical caps, intrauterine devices, and hormonal birth control. Production, consumption, and disposal of the birth control methods I study have determined physical experiences with both our bodies and with the non-human natural world, but those three processes have also shaped discourse about nature and bodies. Likewise, discourse about nature and bodies helped to determine which contraceptives were made, how they were made, who had access to them, the manners in which they could be used, and what happened to them when humans were done with them. This environmental history of contraceptives in the United States illustrates the interwoven, contingent, and reciprocal relationships among device production, consumption, and disposal; contraceptive discourse; and human bodies.
Graduation Date: July 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11084

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