Margaret Sanger: “Sexual Impulse-Part II”(1912)
Margaret Sanger was a New York City nurse in 1912, when she wrote “Sexual Impulse—Part II.” The essay represents her early activism, beginning with her goal of promoting sex education among women. Here she equates women’s autonomy with sexual knowledge and freedom. As time passed, she sought to reach broader and broader segments of the population, first speaking to working-class women, then to middle-class and society women, and finally to an audience that included physicians, legislators, and eugenicists (scientists who dealt with control of hereditary characteristics). Until the end of her active and long life Sanger continued to refine her arguments and address new and different audiences on behalf of birth control, but she always maintained that birth control was fundamentally both the right and the responsibility of each woman.
Margaret Sanger (Library of Congress)View Full Size