"To Establish Habits of Health": Health Education and Advice for Girls - Past, Present and Future


  • Aniko Varpalotai University of Western Ontario, conducts research in physical and health education, rural education, gender issues in education and comparative international studies of these issues.
  • Ellen Singleton University of Western Ontario, conducts research in historical and contemporary curriculum studies in physical and health education, moral education, particularly issues concerned with competition and fair play, and critical analysis of female physical activity in vintage and contemporary children's literature.


This article examines school health textbooks covering almost one hundred and fifty years. The social construction of curriculum in public schools, particularly from the perspective of gender is examined through changes in conventional medical attitudes and beliefs and how sex education and sexuality were regulated for women through notions of moral "purity." Résumé Cet article examine les manuels scolaires de santé à l'école, sur une période couvrant presque cent cinquate ans. La construction sociale du curriculium dans les écoles publiques, particulièrement de la perspective des geres et étudié à traveers les changements dans les attitudes de la médecine conventionnelle et des croyancesasu sujet de la façon dont l'éducation sexuelle et la sexualité étaient réglementées pour les femmes par le biais de la ligne de pensée de la "pureté" morale.


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