Venereal Disease, Public Health and Social Control: The Scottish Experience in a Comparative Perspective
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Universidad de Granada
Davidson, Roger. «Venereal Disease, Public Health and Social Control : the scottish experience in comparative perspective». Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam, 1997, Vol. 17, p. 341-368, https://raco.cat/index.php/Dynamis/article/view/106120.
During the first half of the twentieth century, VD became in many countries a metaphor for the forces of phisical and moral pollution that appeared to threaten social order and racial progress. By reference to some central aspects of the Scottish experience in a comparative perspective, this article seeks to identify the common denominator of anxieties and assumptions which fuelled public health initiatives towards VD and which defined the boundaries within which VD policy options were discussed. In particular, it will explore various dimensions of social control associated with the treatrnent and regulation of VD; the degree to which VD controls and procedures have targetted and stigmatised <<sexuallya ctive* women, their use to regulate the sexual behaviour of the young, and the way in which discourses shaping medical practice and policy towards VD have enshrined both class and racial stereotyping. The article also examines the powerful moral agenda which shaped the categories and content of treatment and the focus of epidemiology and public health debate. Finally, the institutional and cultural factors shaping the distinctively compulsionist stance of Scottish public health administration towards VD will be explored as a means of identifying some of the possible comparators needed for broader comparative analysis of VD policy in the twentieth century.