The Impact Of Birth Control

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The aspect of sex and the use of birth control were touchy issues in the early 20th century. Sex was only for married couples that wanted to have children. The idea of sex before marriage was crazy. Because of all the beliefs about sex being only for procreation and not for pleasure birth control was not needed. There was one major event and one key person who are responsible for making the use of birth control acceptable in America. The major event being World War I. In World War I there was a lot of usage of whore houses by the French and English soldiers. A major problem with the French and English governments allowing men to go to the whorehouses was that there was rapid spread of VD. A soldier that is suffering from herpes, syphilis, or gonorrhea doesn’t fight too well. President Wilson was very concerned about the American soldiers getting sick and not able to fight. He also wanted to stop the spread of VD Wilson decided that during boot camp the soldiers would be taught about VD’s, and the effect of them. The recruits had to take a sexual education class. In the class the men were shown pictures and movies that showed what various vaginal diseases looked like, and what they would do to a mans sex organs. This was an effective in stopping the American soldiers from going to the French whorehouses. Another program the U.S. Government instituted to stop the spread of VD was to give out condoms to the soldiers. The government, however, wasn’t condoning sex with the free condoms. Printed on the condoms was “ for prevention of disease only”. The government was only using birth control to stop VD not pregnancy. After World War I the GI’s that came home used the information they learned in the sexual education classes in boot camp and put them to work. With the knowledge of the condom and the recent invention of the car, premarital sex was widely practiced. The women of post World War I had twice as much sex as their mothers had had. Many people in the early 1900’s said sex was not only for reproduction but for pleasure as well. The psychologist Sigmund Freud said sex was a natural human behavior. He said that every normal human had a natural biological sex drive. Another person who contradicted the idea of sex only for marriage and babies was Havloc Ellis.

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