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Visual Culture and Health Posters

Title:
Will You Be a Free Man or Chained
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Description:
During the First World War, a tension developed between "social hygiene" reformers, who condemned illicit sexual behavior and emphasized education as the key to fighting venereal diseases, and more pragmatic medical officers who promoted prophylactic stations for the treatment of venereal diseases on military bases. This 1918 poster illustrates a common message promoted by social hygienists, who worked vigorously to close down red-light districts in American cities and to educate soldiers about refraining from sexual activity. The image equates venereal disease and "enslaving habits" (such as masturbation) with a loss of personal and political freedom, asking the viewing soldier whether they will choose to be free or chained by the consequences of sexual indiscretion. This strategy was part of a larger campaign to define a male sex role that was at once powerful and virile yet pure and virginal by combining a high sense of moralism with a confident masculinity.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (757,085 Bytes)
Date:
1918
Creator:
United States Army. Social Hygiene Division
Source:
Original Repository: History of Medicine Division. Prints and Photographs Collection
This image may also be accessed from the Images from the History of Medicine (IHM).
URL: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/ihm/
IHM Order Number: A018548
Publisher:
United States Army. Social Hygiene Division
Rights:
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Public Health
Visual Culture and Public Health Keywords:
Venereal Disease
Exhibit Category:
Infectious Disease
Unique Identifier:
VCBBBW
Document Type:
Posters
Slides (photographs)
Language:
English
Format:
image/jpeg
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2010-06-03
Linked Data:
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