Looking at sex education through a historian’s eyes

Education scholar Zimmerman to speak for Assembly Series

Jonathan Zimmerman, PhD, professor of education and history at New York University (NYU), will present “Beyond Bedrooms and Borders: What a Historian of American Sex Education Learned by Looking Overseas” for the Assembly Series at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in the Ann W. Olin Women’s Building Formal Lounge.


His talk, which is co-sponsored by the Phi Alpha Theta history honorary, will include some recent research findings on the history of sex education in Vietnam.

Zimmerman also is director of the history of education program at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development Research. As he often notes in his books, op-ed pieces and blogs, the classroom always has been the battleground for America’s culture wars. Although the Scopes trial occurred nearly a century ago, the fight over teaching evolution in the classroom, as well as the ongoing conflicts over prayer, sex education and which “side” gets to tell the story of America in its textbooks is as fervent as ever.

Zimmerman is the author of many books on this subject, including Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory; Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century; Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools; and Distilling Democracy: Alcohol Education in America’s Public Schools, 1880-1925.

A former Peace Corp volunteer and high school teacher, Zimmerman earned his bachelor’s degree at Columbia University and his master’s and doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. His other research interests include democratic community and education, the influence of schools on development and immigration history.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the website at assemblyseries.wustl.edu or call (314) 935-4620.