Karolina Widerström: at the Frontiers of Sexual Education

A R T L▼R K

31oz7pTYalLOn the 4th of March 1949, Swedish gynaecologist, sex educator and activist Karolina Olivia Widerström, died in Stockholm at the age of 93. She was the first official female physician with a university education in her country. Her best-known work was Kvinnohygien (Women’s hygiene), published in 1899, and reprinted until 1932. She was chairman of the Swedish Society for Woman Suffrage and a member of the Stockholm city council. She belonged to the first generation of women to vote in her country and one of the first women to be admitted to a Swedish university.

Nowadays, we perceive Scandinavian countries as some of the most democratic and liberated places on earth. This was not always the case. In Sweden, for instance, the issue of sex education was first introduced at the turn of the century when the country was suffering poor health, restricted living conditions and…

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