Masculinities, Contraception and Sexual Health in Late-Twentieth Century Britain, 1967-1997: Call for Interview Participants

I am looking to conduct face-to-face interviews with men – of any sexual orientation with experience of sex and relationships – born between 1950 and 1975 for my PhD research on men’s decision-making around contraception and sexual health at University of Birmingham. This project, funded by the Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures (BRIHC) will enrich understanding of a previously un-researched area of the modern British past, especially regards the period on which this project focuses, between 1967 and 1997 during the supposed ‘sexual revolution’.

Historians who have already written on contraception and intimate life in the second half of the twentieth century assume that women claimed control of contraceptive decision-making in a remarkable shift; the result of a long struggle to gain power over their fertility, aided by the arrival of the contraceptive pill. It is likely this narrative has been vastly over-stated, however it has been seldom critiqued and alternatives have scarcely been explored which provide men’s role in and their experiences of this apparent shift. As well as understanding the changing nature of contraceptive practice, I am also interested in how individuals negotiated the rise of ‘safer sex’ in this period and the general impact this initiative had on ‘real life’ sexual practice and on intimate relationships.

By providing your personal testimony, you will allow for individual, personal perspectives on this history to be told and made visible in the historical record. Oral testimony of this kind also makes possible a more nuanced history of intimate life in this period. As well as capturing previously untold experience, your testimony will create the possibility of understanding how people’s experiences are remembered and the external influences at a particular moment in the past and since then that have affected remembering and retelling. All testimony will be treated as confidential and anonymity will be ensured, unless you, as the participant desires to remain identifiable.

For more information and if you wish to be interviewed as part of this project, please email me at KLJ594@student.bham.ac.uk to arrange an informal conversation prior to interview.

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