Social Anthropology Seminar: To See a Moose: The History of Polish Sex Education

On 15 April 2020, a momentous moment occurred when Poles were under a strict lockdown imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus. At the time, people could only leave their homes to buy food or satisfy other essential daily needs. This was the very day that the Polish parliament, sitting remotely, decided to discuss the prohibition of sex education. Sex education was presented as demoralising and endangering the Polish nation. It needs to be asked: how was this debate possible?

In To See a Moose, Agnieszka Koscianska shows the long and nonlinear history of sex education in Poland and offers an in-depth anthropological and historical analysis that shows the processes that led to this parliamentary debate. In this talk, she will focus mostly on the historical roots of today’s discussions on sexuality as well as on ideological boundaries that frame them and make them salient in today’s Poland.


Agnieszka Koscianska is Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw. In 2021, she is Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies. She is the author and (co)editor of several volumes on gender and sexuality, including Gender, Pleasure and Violence (Indiana University Press, 2021).

Seminar organisers: The University of Edinburgh, School of Social and Political Science

Seminar convenors: Jiazhi Fengjiang and Resto Cruz


Please register for this event here.