New findings from an oral-history research project investigating sexuality, marriage, and birth control among working-class couples born in the first quarter of the twentieth century run contrary to the family-planning and marriageguidance manuals of the period, as well to demographers' and historians' assumptions. These couples tended to prefer traditional methods of birth control, notably withdrawal, to more modern, mechanical, ones on the grounds that they were more “natural”. Although many respondents acknowledged that withdrawal compromised sensual pleasure to some extent, most saw equivalent, or worse, drawbacks in the other available means of birth control.

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