‘Two is Enough:’ Class, Gender, and the Nuclear Family Ideal in Cold War Hong Kong

30 Nov 2023 04.30 PM - 06.00 PM Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public
Organised by:
Florence Mok

The seminar explores how the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK) strengthened the nuclear family ideal, fought male preference, and liberated women from unwanted pregnancies using the ‘Two is Enough’ campaign of 1975. The campaign upheld heteronormative family values against the 1967 Riots, a spillover of the Cultural Revolution. Transnationally, it modelled on the ‘Stop at Two’ campaign in Singapore and South Korea, equating the two-child ideal with social stability. At the edge of the Bamboo Curtain, local family planners aligned the two-child ideal with East Asian couples’ aspiration for middle-class lifestyle, decentering the West in global histories of population control. 

Carol C. L. Tsang is Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Hong Kong. She is a historian of gender and reproductive health in Hong Kong, and has published articles on prostitution and women’s medicine. She coordinates and teaches courses on gender studies, motherhood, and family. Her two forthcoming articles on family planning in Cold War Hong Kong and hormone pregnancy test in East Asia will appear in Cold War History and Medical History respectively. Her current book project titled Better Babies: Eugenic Reproduction in Modern Hong Kong explores the production and transmission of reproductive technologies and knowledge in interwar Hong Kong.