Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Women's History


Women’s History Graduate Program


This thesis looks at the impact of rural to suburban immigration on traditions of sex education among Mexican women living in California. Through the intimate life histories of a small group of women from two generations, this project examines the ways that silence, public education, and community networks worked together to create and adapt traditions of sex education. At the center of this project are the oral narratives of mothers and daughters that came of age in different spaces and periods of time. The older generations of women were raised in Mexico’s rural regions during the 1970s and ‘80s, while the younger generation is coming of age in Southern California’s suburban communities. These environments shaped the ways in which they learned and talked about sex. Their experiences provide an untapped source of information for the study of the affects of immigration on traditions of intimacy and femininity.