A collection of over twenty pamphlets bound in one volume.
VENEREAL DISEASES: Contagious Diseases Acts of the 1860s
A collection of pamphlets bound in one volume. Recently bound in half calf, 8vo. The Contagious Diseases Acts were originally passed by the Parliament in 1864 with additions made in 1866 and 1869. In 1862, a committee had been established to inquire into venereal disease in the armed forces. On the committee's recommendation the first Contagious Diseases Act was passed. The legislation allowed police officers to arrest women suspected of being prostitutes in certain ports and army towns. Since there was no definition of prostitution, the question was left to the police officer's discretion, and women could be arrested even if there was no actual evidence of prostitition. The women were then subjected to compulsory examination. If a woman was declared to be infected, she would be confined in a lock hospital until she recovered or her sentence was completed. Men suspected of frequenting prostitutes were not subjected to the same treatment. The law was initially aimed at working-class women in towns near military bases, due to the concern that sexually transmitted infections were hampering Britain's forces. The original act only applied to a few selected naval ports and army towns, but by 1869 the acts had been extended to cover eighteen "subjected districts". The lack of provision for the physical examination of prostitutes' male clientele, became one of the many points of contention in a campaign to repeal the Acts. The book includes contemporary pamphlets/reports relating to the Acts, mostly in support of extending them, including one by Elizabeth Garrett (the first woman to qualify in Britain as a physician and surgeon). This phamphlet has the tipped in signature of her sister Millicent Garrett Fawcett. Fine.