skip to content

Cambridge Reproduction


Caroline Rusterholz is a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the Faculty of History and a College Research Associate at Saint John’s College. Her work brings a rigorous, interdisciplinary and comparative approach to major problems in gender history, the social history of medicine and reproductive politics in 20th Century Europe. She explores the history of gender and sexuality, and the social history of medicine by focusing on the monitoring and the sexual lived-experience of ordinary individuals in twentieth century Europe. Her first book Deux enfants c’est déjà pas mal, Famille et fécondité en Suisse, 1950-70 (Antipodes, 2017) analyzed the reasons behind the decrease in marital fertility in Switzerland in a comparative perspective (1955-1970). Her second book Women’s Medicine: Sex, Family Planning and British Female Doctors in Transnational Perspective 1920-70 (Manchester University Press, 2020) explores the key role played by British female doctors in the production and circulation of contraceptive knowledge and the handling of sexual disorders between the 1920s and 1970s at the transnational level, taking France as a point of comparison. Her current research project tackles youth sexuality in postwar Britain through the case study of the Brook Advisory Centres (BAC), the first centre to provide contraception for young unmarried people. As an NGO with clear connections with the National Health Service, BAC provides an insightful locus to explore how teenage sexuality was handled institutionally, debated publicly and experienced individually.