National Committee on Maternal Health
Contraception, sterilization, sterility, and premarital hygiene were taught in less than half of American medical schools. The National Committee on Maternal Health surveyed medical schools to determine the state of human reproduction education in 1929 and 1933. Of the 77 schools surveyed, 34 taught contraception and 41 lectured on sterilization.
In response to the 1929 NCHM survey, Harvard Medical School’s Dean David Edsall reported, “The men are taught something of the methods of contraception and sterilization during their regular course work, but there is no specific class in it.” Dr. Arthur T. Hertig recalled Rock’s lecturing about the taboo subject as early as 1928. As these lecture notes illustrate, Rock would occasionally integrate such material into his lectures about primates thus stepping around the legal barriers.