Crazy Venereal Disease Posters from WWII
During WWII, venereal disease became somewhat of an epidemic among American troops. According to the U.S. Army’s Office of Medical History, between 1942 and 1945 there were a total of 803,283 reported cases of venereal disease among army personnel, or a rate of 44.87 soldiers out of 1000. The most popular disease by far was gonorrhea, with syphilis coming in second. All this VD meant a lot of days were missed, 2,600,100 days lost due to venereal disease in 1942 alone, with 1,859,910 chalked up to gonorrhea. To give you an idea of what today’s STD population in the US Army is, between 2000 and 2012 the rate per 1000 soldiers for any given STI (HPV now being the most popular) is no higher than 1.755 (source pdf). Ah, the good old days! And of course, rather than pointing the finger at each other for spreading the disease, soldiers were encouraged to see women as time-bombs of filth, “good time” girls (aka sluts) and prostitutes who were nasty dirtbags just waiting to inflict their disease on an innocent, unsuspecting soldier just looking for some fun, paid for, unprotected sex with a woman whose job it was to do it with him and all his friends. So a lot of money was spent on a poster campaign warning soldiers about these women and their close connections to the Axis of Evil, and the results are pretty funny if you can overlook the misogyny they’re fueled by. Check out a collection of anti-venereal disease posters from WWII (and a few from WWI) below!