Book Too Hot to Handle

273 views 4 pages ~ 1032 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

In the book, "Too Hot to Handle" Jonathan Zimmerman gives a detailed worldwide history of sex education, and he elaborates how the controversial subject of sex began in the West before spreading to the other parts of the world in the last century. Notably, as people interacted with each other internationally, they joined forces to block sex education classes in schools. The author analyzes important individuals who opposed and supported the sex education movement and also gives more insight into one of the most controversial and divisive emblems of modern schooling (Ahluwalia 455).

Sex Education in American Public Schools

Most parents find themselves in an awkward situation every time they think of discussing sexually related issues with their children. However, sex education is a reality in most of the American public schools and the curriculum in some states contain explicit details aimed at pre-teen children (Ahluwalia 457). Therefore, the professor at New York University offers an insight into the current sexual oriented regime, describing the century-long and world-wide debate over the people responsible for teaching children about sexual issues and how they should do so.

The Early 20th Century and Sex Education

Mr. Zimmerman informs the reader that in the early 20th century, most of the radical leaders thought of using sex education as a tool for monitoring the mushrooming sexual autonomy among the young generation and also as a way of managing their community life. In 1928, a proposal was presented to the League of Nations by a particular British delegation which was aimed at devising a scheme of biological controlling (Zervas 306). The politicians hoped that the plan would help to introduce a sense of individual responsibility in the issue of racial function. Notably, some ideas during the time reasoned that sexual impropriety was the one responsible for the dominance and strength of the white populations. Therefore, Eugenicists of the time supported sex education curriculum in their attempt to improve the genetic stock of humankind.

The Nazis and Opposition to Sex Education

However, the Nazis had a different opinion over introducing sex education curriculum to schools through their racial supremacists. In 1933, during the German censors, the Nazis banned sex education in schools, and they reasoned that the middle-class individualists fueled the idea over its introduction (Zervas 307). Fascists in Italy understood sex education as a way of weakening the sexual drive for men in the Italian fatherland. Also, there were critics in Western Europe that had their objections to the idea. Most of the Dutch parents adopted the "Do not do it" slogan, and according to the author, they thought that sex education was responsible for harming innocent children under the guise of protecting them. Notably, Zimmerman explains that the opposition of sex education among the Dutch community became popular in the early twentieth century (Ahluwalia 456). Therefore, the common understanding concerning sex education was that the facts it propagated about sex were exaggerated and did not have the correct values of knowledge and that they violated the innocence of the young people. Also, sex education was seen as a way of trampling the rights of the parents to raise their children the way they wish and saw it fit.

Acceptance of Sex Education in Scandinavia

Notably, Scandinavia was the only place where sex education gained momentum and acceptance. Sweden went on record to be the first country to recommend sex educations in all its public schools in 1956 (Ahluwalia 460). Remarkably, the idea was motivated by campaigning for the introduction of birth controls and the need for keeping small families. According to the author, the move was also aimed at easing the burden of parenting to working mothers. However, Zimmerman points out that that the Swedish authorities were reluctant to support moral instructions with the curriculum. The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education recommended that the sexual education curriculum should not brand extramarital affairs as sinful.

Evolution of Sex Education

However, over the year's sex education evolved beyond the initial reasoning of its racial improvement and social control. At one time, sex education was recommended to the disciplined forces as a strategy to mitigate the spread of venereal diseases that soldiers contracted especially during the Second World War. In the 1960s, the communist nations developed their sex education curriculum as a strategy to battle the perceived immoral principles of the West that they thought had infiltrated their communities (Blount 523). However, most of the western leaders proposed sex education to the developing countries as a way to mitigate the expected high population growth rate and as a strategy to avoid the looming famine. The international conference on populations met in 1994 to push for sex education and reproductive rights (Zervas 308). However, countries such as the Philippines and Guatemala opposed the conference citing that it might be a way insulting their culture, but the defense was given arguing that the meeting did not seek to impose abortion, adultery, and sex education on societies, religions, and individuals with their social ethos.

Present View of Sex Education

Presently, religious leaders and traditionalists reason that sex education was a kind of a social charter. Most schools are ruled by the common agenda and strategy of sexual liberation through education (Blount 523). The approach to the subject of sex education evolved to include issues such as sexual pleasure, orientation, health, behavior, psychology, and anatomy. However, the survey conducted by the author does not investigate the present worldview of sex education including its outlook and curriculum. However, in the end, he acknowledges that no research has ever determined the impact of sex education on the sexual behavior of the young people.

Works Cited

Ahluwalia, Sanjam. "Too Hot To Handle: A Global History Of Sex Education By Jonathan Zimmerman". The Journal Of The History Of Childhood And Youth, vol 11, no. 3, 2018, pp. 455-457. Johns Hopkins University Press, doi:10.1353/hcy.2018.0055.

Blount, Jackie M. "Jonathan Zimmerman. Too Hot To Handle: A Global History Of Sex Education. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015. 202 Pp. Cloth $29.95.". History Of Education Quarterly, vol 55, no. 4, 2015, pp. 523-526. Cambridge University Press (CUP), doi:10.1111/hoeq.12146.

Zervas, Theodore G. "Too Hot To Handle: A Global History Of Sex Education". European Education, vol 48, no. 4, 2016, pp. 306-308. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/10564934.2016.1248697.

August 14, 2023

Education Literature



Subject area:

Sex Education

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Sex Education
Verified writer

RiaSm02 is great for all things related to education. Sharing a case study that I could not understand for the life of mine, I received immediate help. Great writer and amazing service that won’t break the bank!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro