Birth Control, Marriage,
and Sex Counseling Clinics
of Sex Reform
Fortunately, "puritanical" America has sent us not only the dancing girl, but it has sent us also the woman, Mrs. Margaret Sanger. I
Don't enter marriage blindly.
Go for counseling.
There can be no happy marriage without physical and mental health. Marriage may not last without conscious planning.
Children cannot thrive without healthy genes. 2
The marriage, sex, and birth control clinics established by municipal and health insurance officials in German cities during the Weimar Republic constituted a remarkable experiment in the publicly funded "management of sexuality" and procreation. 3 Physicians and social workers used them as laboratories in which to implement and contest the politics of medical sex reform. They tried—with varying degrees of success—to translate into clinical practice their ambition to produce, via satisfying heterosexuality, healthy offspring at well-timed intervals. At the same time, the centers' reports on the emotional, sexual, and material impoverishment of working-class life became raw data for constructing a new highly ideologized vision of sexuality that called for combating both frigidity and dysgenic births. Doctors' experiences in clinics both radicalized their commitment to reform of the laws restricting abortion and contraception, and increased their attraction to eugenic sterilization.
The establishment of a network of birth control and sex counseling centers depended on two conditions unique to Germany. First, the existing national public health and social insurance system was formally committed to the provision of preventive and social health services. Second, Germany had a