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2018 | 10 | 1 | 55-100

Article title

Säkularisierung im Intimbereich.  : sexualität und Reproduktionsrechte in Irland und Polen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg



Title variants

Secularization in private sphere : sexuality and reproduction in Ireland and Poland since World War Two

Languages of publication



The article deals with discourses on sexuality in Ireland and Polandsince the end of World War II. Because of their nature as “Catholic” countries, both societies witnessed harsh debates on sexual morals and affiliated issues such as contraception and abortion, which were fought between supporters of Catholic social thought on the one side and “progressive” reformers in politics, medicine, and education on the other. Therefore, the article seeks to put these debates into context of processes of (de-)secularization of European societies in the 2nd half of the 20th century. The article focuses on the comparison between Poland and Ireland, because on the one hand there were cultural and historical parallels between them, but on the other hand during the “Cold War” they belonged to two antagonistic“ideological camps”. This led to an attempt of a forced secularization in Poland, which also included sexual morals, while the Irish discourses on sexuality were dominated by the Catholic Church. Finally, the article also analyses recent developments that took place since the 1990s and led to a decrease in power of the Hierarchy and changes in sexual morals in Ireland, while current events in Poland show that the debates about sexuality have not come to an end yet.


  • Masarykův ústav a archiv AV ČR, v.v.i., Gabčíkova 2362/10, 182 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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