This chapter considers the posters produced by the government to deal with the ‘problem’ of venereal disease. The chapter considers how V.D. became recognised as a problem, ways of dealing with the problem, and means of treatment before the First World War, and the growth of the problem in that war.
Inter-war, we note the growth and influence of eugenic principles of responsible healthcare and selective breeding. We consider how the problem was dealt with before the war, particularly by voluntary organisations, and look for any state involvement, particularly after calls for the Ministry of Health to be more involved in prevention and treatment.
The ‘problem’ of V.D. grew again in the Second World War, and we look at ways of dealing with the problem: moral messages, calls for medical treatment to be freely and confidentially available, and legislative measures, such as Regulation 33B which was largely concerned with contact tracing. Posters produced as part of campaigns will be discussed individually, although we look for patterns in the content, in the message, the text and the images used. The campaign went into the public sphere (having previously only been in public conveniences) in 1942, and the reaction to the posters was widespread, through Wartime Social Surveys, Mass-Observation and Home Intelligence.
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