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Penn Lightbulb Cafe: Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion


Dec 11, 2019
06:00 PM until 07:00 PM


WHO: Melissa Wilde

Associate Professor of Sociology

School of Arts & Sciences

University of Pennsylvania    


WHAT: Penn Lightbulb Café: Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion


WHEN: Wednesday, December 11, 6-7 p.m. 


WHERE: Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St., Philadelphia


Conservative and progressive religious groups fiercely disagree about issues of sex and gender. But how did we get here? In this talk, Melissa J. Wilde shows how today’s modern divisions began in the 1930s in the public battles over birth control and not for the reasons we might expect. By examining thirty of America’s most prominent religious groups—from Mormons to Methodists, Southern Baptists to Seventh Day Adventists, and many others—Wilde contends that fights over birth control had little do with sex, women’s rights, or privacy.


The talk is part of the Penn Lightbulb Cafe, a free public lecture series presented by Penn Arts & Sciences that sheds light on faculty research in the arts and sciences. The presentation will be followed by an audience Q&A. Café events are free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be available for purchase before, during, and after the talk. RSVPs are encouraged due to limited seating. For more information or directions, call or email Amber Grier at 215-573-3008 or





View map Suzanne Roberts Theater
480 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA

Additional Information


School of Arts & Sciences, University of Pennsylvania



Contact name

Amber Grier

Contact email



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