Sleeping With Uncle Sam: 
The Government's Sex Education Campaigns for Young Adults.


Dr. Alexandra Lord

Acting Historian

United States Public Health Service

Washington, D.C..


Tuesday, March 27th, at 4:30 5:30 p.m.

Ruhl Student Center, Community Room




While the American government has consistently told young adults to "just say no" to sex, college and high school students have often said "just said yes" to sex.   Through an analysis of the federal government's hundred year campaign to provide information on sex and sexuality, Dr. Lord will provide insight into both the reasons for the disconnection between the government's message and American sexual mores and the implications this disconnection has had for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and syphilis.




Alexandra Lord is the Acting Historian for the United States Public Health Service. She received her B.A. from Vassar College in 1987 and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995. That same year, she won the Richard Harrison Shryock Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine for her essay "'The Great Arcana of the Deity:' Menstruation in Eighteenth-Century British Medical Thought" (later published in The Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Spring, 1998). During 1995 to 1996, she held the J. Elliot Royer Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the History of Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. From 1996-2000, she was on the faculty of Montana State University, Bozeman and then the State University of New York, New Paltz. Dr. Lord's research interests include the history of sex education and sexually transmitted diseases, medical perceptions of puberty and the history of women's health. Currently, she is researching the PHS's attempts to fight venereal disease through the use of sex education during the 1920s. Dr. Lord has given papers and published work on topics ranging from medical understanding of puberty to the history of the caesarian section and twentieth-century attempts to control sexually transmitted diseases. Her most recent article deals with the Public Health Service's attempt to teach young girls about sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases during the early 1920s ("'Naturally Clean and Wholesome:' Women, Sex Education and the United States Public Health Service," Social History of Medicine, December, 2004).