On October 8, NYU Professor Jonathan Zimmerman gave talk at NYU Tel Aviv entitled “Hot and Bothered: How Globalization Stymied Sex Education”.
Professor Zimmerman’s talk focused on how sex education has never won a sustained foothold in modern schools. Although sexual attitudes around the world have liberalized in the past half-century, sex education has not followed suit; indeed, the modern phenomena of globalization have mostly served to inhibit–not to expand–the subject. As visual and digital technologies spread new sexual images and ideas around the world, citizens joined hands to curtail sexual instruction in their schools. In the 20th century, the movement of people and ideas across nations made sex education into a subject without a home.
Jonathan Zimmerman is Professor of Education and History and Director of the History of Education Program, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He also holds an appointment in the Department of History of NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A former Peace Corps volunteer and high school teacher, Zimmerman is the author of Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory (Yale, 2009), Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century (Harvard, 2006), Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools (Harvard, 2002), and Distilling Democracy: Alcohol Education in America’s Public Schools, 1880-1925 (Kansas, 1999). His academic articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, the Teachers College Record, and History of Education Quarterly. Zimmerman is also a frequent op-ed contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and other popular newspapers and magazines.