In English

Dr. Matleena Frisk, post doc

Frisk’s research for the project concentrates on the changing practices of premarital heterosexual relationships in the 1950s to 1970s Finland. The main source is a collection of sexual autobiographies. Frisk also studies the fear of premarital pregnancy, availability of contraceptive methods and contraceptive knowledge, and the 1970 law allowing abortion on social indication. Various other sources from import statistics to short stories and sexual health leaflets are utilized to address these questions.

Frisk and Keski-Petäjä study the role of availability of contraceptives and abortion on the sense of control over one’s life path. Together with Taavetti, she re-analyses sexual autobiographies originally collected in a project called Finsex in the early 1990s.

At large, Frisk’s research interests lie in the intersection of consumption history, gender history and history of sexuality. She focuses on the relationship of consumption, norms and cultural changes. Her doctoral dissertation in economic and social history was published by the Finnish Network of Youth Studies in 2019.

Email: matleena.frisk ( a )


M. Soc. Sci. Miina Keski-Petäjä, doctoral candidate

Keski-Petäjä’s doctoral thesis in economic and social history focuses on the experiences of unwanted pregnancies and the possibilities to control childbearing in the 1950s’ and 1960s’ Finland. Keski-Petäjä investigates young women and their life courses in the context of pronatalist abortion policies and poor availability of birth control.

Previously in her master’s thesis Keski-Petäjä has researched the processes of abortion seeking from the Family Federation’s (Väestöliitto) social counceling services. Additionally, Keski-Petäjä holds the position of senior statistician at Statistics Finland specializing in gender and population statistics. Email: miina.keski-petaja ( a )

Riikka TaavettiDr. Riikka Taavetti, post doc

Taavetti’s studies in this project focuses on Finnish sex research and, in particular, on the development of the influential FINSEX research project.  Her study place the FINSEX project into the international traditions of sex research and experiments with different ways of rereading the research material it has gathered. Her study analyses the normativities built in the project from the perspectives of queer sexuality, construction of Finnishness and Finnish sexuality and the exclusion of experiences of violence.

Taavetti’s doctoral dissertation in political history was titled Queer Politics of Memory: Undisciplined Sexualities as Glimpses and Fragments in Finnish and Estonian Pasts (Helsinki: University of Helsinki, 2018). Her research interests include, in addition to the history of sex research, Estonian and Finnish queer history, oral history, cultural memory studies, and the history of feminism. More information on personal web page. Email: riikka. taavetti ( a )