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Catholics in the American CenturyRecasting Narratives of U.S. History$
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R. Scott Appleby and Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451409

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451409.001.0001

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Crossing the Catholic Divide

Crossing the Catholic Divide

Gender, Sexuality, and Historiography

(p.81) Chapter 4 Crossing the Catholic Divide
Catholics in the American Century

R. Marie Griffith

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at another area of assimilation and distinctiveness: gender and sexuality. It explores how Catholics made up roughly a quarter of the nation's population during the twentieth century; how their leaders held to a particular, well-developed view of sexuality and gender; and how contemporary historians of sexuality and gender have neglected to integrate Catholicism into their accounts. Drawing on Leslie Woodcock Tentler's study of Catholics and birth control, the chapter surveys the ways in which disparate reformers, including Margaret Sanger, Alfred Kinsey, and Mary Steichen Calderone, managed their interactions with Catholic leaders and ideas. The chapter also grants specific attention to sources of the Protestant–Catholic divide, as well as to some possibilities for remedying it in new scholarly work.

Keywords:   gender, sexuality, Catholicism, Leslie Woodcock Tentler, birth control, Margaret Sanger, Alfred Kinsey, Mary Steichen Calderone, Protestant–Catholic divide

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