Rare Venereal diseases
the science of keeping fit:
Keeping Fit, Department of Health and Human Services
fighting venereal disease in world war I
alexandra M. Lord
In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, mothers and wives wrote to President Wilson asking him to keep their boys and men “clean” and away from moral temptation. Government officials, who knew that war always sparked a rise in diseases in general and venereal disease in particular, shared this concern and just eleven days after war was declared, federal officials established the CTCA or Commission on Training Camp Activities.
Charged with providing activities which would prevent the “moral decay of soldiers, the CTCA developed what they called “The American Plan.” While European governments called for the use of medical measures to prevent the spread of venereal disease, the Americans maintained that sex education, combined with wholesome activities, could prevent an epidemic of venereal disease. By emphasizing abstinence, good sex education would provide soldiers and sailors with the necessary tools to control their sexual desires. In the words of one medical officer, “educational measures will eventually prove effective, except in cases of utter depravity which fortunately are rare.”
But was depravity really rare and was the American military genuinely prepared to address this issue in their sex education programs?
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Book 1 - The StudentÂ's Manual of Venereal Diseases (2nd Ed.), Book 2 Â- Headaches; Their Nature, Causes and Treatment (3rd Ed.), Book 3 Â- Scrofula and its Gland Diseases, Book 4 Â- The Change in Life, in Health and Disease (4th Ed.), Book 5 Â- The Surgery of the Rectum, Book 6 Â- Clinical Lectures on the Diseases of Women delivered in Saint BartholomewÂ's Hospital, Book 7 Â- Syphilis and Marriage; Lectures delivered at the St. Louis Hospital, Paris
Book (New York: William Wood & Company (1881), Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. (1882), Philadelphia: Henry C. LeaÂ's Son & Co. (1883), Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. (1883), Philadelphia: Henry C. LeaÂ's Son & Co. (1881), Philadelphia: Henry C. LeaÂ's Son & Co. (1881), New York: D. Appleton and Company (1882),)