Youth, gender and teenage sexual counselling in Britain: The making of the Brook Advisory Centre, 1964–2000


  • Dr Caroline Rusterholz

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Teenage access to contraceptive advice and sexual counselling was a hotly debated issue in post-war Britain. The first Brook Advisory Centre (BAC) opened in London in 1964 to provide sexual counselling and contraceptives for unmarried and young people. Other Centres followed in places such as Birmingham (1966), Bristol (1968) and Liverpool (1974). The history of the BACs constitutes an ideal case study through which to reassess the history of teenage sexuality and the anxieties it caused in post-war Britain. 

As a non-governmental organisation which had clear connections with the Family Planning Association and the NHS, the history of BACs helps to explore the way teenage sexuality was handled, debated publicly and experienced individually.