Exercise and education: facilities for the young female body in Scotland, 1930-1960

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6 Citations (Scopus)


This article uses testimony gathered from oral history interviews and contemporary physical education sources to explore the schooling of the young female body in Scotland between 1930 and 1960. It looks at the ways in which girls were educated about their own bodies and their physical capabilities at school, taking into account official understandings of the adolescent female body and how these may have affected girls' experiences of exercise. The article examines the ways through which girls negotiated the particularities of their adolescent female bodies throughout their exercise experiences, and specifically how they learned about and coped with menstruation and body changes. It argues that the school environment within which most Scottish girls would first have been exposed to exercise would hardly have been conducive to the formation of a healthy relationship between girls and their bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-769
Number of pages21
JournalHistory of Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • body
  • education
  • adolescence
  • oral history
  • female


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