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Women in History: Flappers in the 1920s

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1. Central to the history of American women are changing conceptions of female sexuality, and women's shifting abilities to safely and readily access birth control. Conceptions of female sexuality, and the degree of control which women did (and did not) have over their reproductive lives, underwent significant changes between the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.
In your essay, consider how notions of female sexuality, and ideas about birth control, shifted between 1873(when the Comstock Act was passed) and 1936 (when legal restrictions on the dissemination of birth control devices and information began to loosen in the United States). Be sure to note both changes and continuities in ideas about the nature of female sexual desire, romantic and sexual relationships between women, and romantic sexual relationship between women and men in your answer.

2. You are the president of a prominent women's college in 1914, seeking to lure new students to your(doubtless excellent, but sadly also quite broke) institution of higher learning. To do so, you must write a prospectus for potential students and their parents, touting the numerous advantages of higher education for the modern young woman. In your prospectus, be sure to both discuss the many advantages of a college education for young women, and to address both parents' and young women's possible dears about the potential "dark side" of higher education.

3. You are a young, female journalist in 1920, who has been asked by her editor to write an article about the ever popular subject of "young women today, and their crazy crazy ways." In your piece, you are to contrast your generation with that of your mother, reflecting on what differentiates your generation from hers, in terms of your attitudes about political involvement, organized activism, self-presentation through fashion and make-up, and ideas about marriage and sexuality. What are the differences between your generation and your mother's? What are the similarities (if any)? What is the attitude of your generation towards hers, and vice versa?

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The solution discusses the women of the 1920s and how they were different than their mothers.

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