Discuss the impacts of birth control on men and women.
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
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. He said
everyone has sexual feelings not related to reproduction. Ellis also said that people
should have sex before marriage to see what they like, and that couples should have trial
marriages where they had sex to see if they were compatible. Both Freud and Ellis
believed that sex was a form of love that should be expressed. Finally, Dr. Morrow
wanted for sex education to be taught to children. He believed that if the children were
informed about sex and birth control they would help stop the spread of Venereal
One of the harbingers of birth control was Emma Goldman. Emma was a Russian
immigrant to America. She was a trained nurse and helped treat the men in World War I.
She also worked in a hospital and saw women dying all the time of incorrectly done
abortions. Emma was outraged about all the men who have VD and all of the women
who had died from bad abortions. She decided to start teaching about birth control. She
gave huge public rallies in cities across the country on the use of birth control.
Unfortunately, the public didn’t accept what Emma said. She was arrested in 37 different
cities. In the end, her ideas were too radical for the time, and she was sent back to
Emma Goldman opened the door for the woman who would get birth control eventually
accepted by the doctors and the public. Margaret Sanger would be the next person to
take Emma’s space. She worked in a hospital on the Lower East Side of New York.
Margaret became involved in the International Workers of the World. This was a union
that wanted to reach out to women, immigrants, colored people, and migrant workers, to
try and create a huge union. Sanger worked in the International Workers of the World
with Emma Goldman and learned about issues concerning women’s health. This is when
she begins to write about Venereal Disease, and sexual matters. Sanger wrote a brochure
about the use of birth control to help stop the spread of VD and unwanted pregnancies.
Unfortunately, due to the Comstock Law her pamphlet was considered obscene, and a
warrant for her arrest was made. Margaret fled to Europe to avoid being prosecuted for
Margaret is able to make a deal with the United States and is able to come back to
America. Once she is back in America she starts a birth control clinic. Margaret isn’t
able to get birth control devices in America, so she smuggles in condoms and diaphragms
from Europe and Japan into America for her clinics. Again, Margaret Sanger is arrested
and goes to jail for distributing birth control to the public. Sanger was then convicted of
distributing illegal items and is sent to jail for a short prison sentence.
Sanger serves her jail sentence and marries a wealthy inventor, Noah Slee. Slee has the
same views on birth control as Margaret does, and they start a birth control movement.
Sanger knew she wouldn’t be able to convince the doctors and the public of the use of
birth control of whites, so she used racist material to get the support of birth control.
Sanger uses the “science” of Eugenics, which is the science of race, to promote birth
control. She says that birth control needs to become legal in order to stop the blacks and
the non-whites from having too many children. Sanger says that the non-whites would
start to outnumber the white population in America, so birth control was needed to stop
the spread of the non-whites.
Sanger organized conventions to talk about her new ideas, and invited doctors. The
doctors eat up her ideas about birth control. Margaret starts up the American Birth
Control League, which was an organization that supported the use of birth control. By
1936, Sanger has the support of the doctors for birth control. In the same year the
Supreme Court decided that birth control was not immoral or obscene. Sanger then, with
the financial support of her husband, starts to set up birth control clinics in New York and
Margaret wasn’t finished with the legalization on birth control in New York. There
were still many states that birth control was still illegal. Sanger decided to try to make a
very cheap and efficient form of birth control. She started to work with a pharmaceutical
company to make a birth control pill. Margaret and Dr. Pincus managed to make the very
first effective birth control pill in 1959. Margaret Sanger was able to make the concept of
birth control acceptable in the eye of the general public. The one problem with the first
pill was that it contained too many hormones, and many women were having heart
attacks, cancer, and strokes..
The invention of the pill was a revolutionary step in modern sexuality. Millions of
women were on the pill. The invention of condoms made out of latex was also very
important with sex. Couples could now have sex without having to worry about getting
pregnant or getting a VD. Women could go out and have sex with her boyfriend and not
need to worry so much about the possible consequences. Another thing the pill did was it
made the country less conservative toward sex. Premarital sex was still unlocked, but it
was humored now.
Women loved the invention of the pill. With the invention of the pill gave women
tremendous power over men. Now the woman had the power to determine when she
wanted to get pregnant, and when she wouldn’t get pregnant. If a woman gets nervous
that her man will leave her all she needs to do is get pregnant, and most of the time the
man would stay with the woman because of the children. The pill did however bring on a
negative aspect of sex. It allowed women to fool around on their men and not get caught.
The only way she could get caught was to get a VD, or to be caught in the act
Men also loved the invention of the pill. Men no longer needed to use a condom to
prevent childbirth. He could go at it without having to use the cumbersome, not to
mention less sensual, condom. The Pill also allowed men to fool around on their
wives/girlfriends with out getting in trouble for it.
The final advantage of the pill was an economic advantage. Families could now control
how large their families got. If a husband and wife couldn’t afford to have any more
children they no longer needed to stop having sex like they did in the Victorian age.
They now had the pill to take care of any limitations they had prior to the pill.
In 1965 the Supreme Court made birth control legal in all states for married couples. It
wasn’t; until 1972 that birth control became legal for use by everyone in every state in
America. The taboo of premarital sex was so strong that even today there are strong anti
teen, and anti non-married couples having sex. Birth control made it possible for people
to have sex without the consequences of VD or a baby.
discuss impacts birth control women aspect birth control were touchy issues early century
only married couples that wanted have children idea before marriage crazy because
beliefs about being only procreation pleasure birth control needed there major event
person responsible making acceptable america major event being world world there
usage whore houses french english soldiers major problem with french english
governments allowing whorehouses that there rapid spread soldier that suffering from
herpes syphilis gonorrhea doesn fight well president wilson very concerned about
american soldiers getting sick able fight also wanted stop spread wilson decided during
boot camp soldiers would taught about effect them recruits take sexual education class
class were shown pictures movies showed what various vaginal diseases looked like what
they would mans organs this effective stopping american from going french whorehouses
another program government instituted stop spread give condoms government however
wasn condoning with free condoms printed condoms prevention disease only government
using stop pregnancy after world came home used information they learned sexual
education classes boot camp them work with knowledge condom recent invention
premarital widely practiced women post twice much their mothers many people early
said reproduction pleasure well psychologist sigmund freud said natural human behavior
said every normal human natural biological drive another person contradicted idea
marriage babies havloc ellis everyone sexual feelings related reproduction ellis also
people should have before marriage what they like couples should have trial marriages
where were compatible both freud ellis believed form love should expressed finally
morrow wanted education taught children believed children informed would help
venereal diseases harbingers emma goldman emma russian immigrant america trained
nurse helped treat also worked hospital women dying time incorrectly done abortions
emma outraged died from abortions decided start teaching gave huge public rallies cities
across country unfortunately public didn accept arrested different cities ideas radical time
sent back russia goldman opened door woman eventually accepted doctors public
margaret sanger next person take space worked hospital lower east side york margaret
became involved international workers this union reach immigrants colored people
migrant workers create huge union sanger worked international workers goldman learned
issues concerning health this when begins write venereal disease matters sanger wrote
brochure help unwanted pregnancies unfortunately comstock pamphlet considered
obscene warrant arrest made margaret fled europe avoid being prosecuted writings able
make deal united states able come back america once back starts clinic devices smuggles
diaphragms europe japan into clinics again arrested goes jail distributing then convicted
distributing illegal items sent jail short prison sentence serves jail sentence marries
wealthy inventor noah slee slee same views does start movement knew wouldn convince
doctors whites used racist material support uses science eugenics which science race
promote says needs become legal order blacks whites having many says whites start
outnumber white population needed organized conventions talk ideas invited doctors
ideas starts american league which organization supported support same year supreme
court decided immoral obscene then financial support husband starts clinics york
surrounding areas wasn finished legalization york still many states still illegal make very
cheap efficient form started work pharmaceutical company make pill pincus managed
very first effective pill concept acceptable general problem first pill contained hormones
having heart attacks cancer strokes invention revolutionary step modern sexuality
millions invention made latex important couples could without having worry getting
pregnant getting could boyfriend need worry much possible consequences another thing
made country less conservative toward premarital still unlocked humored loved gave
tremendous power over woman power determine when pregnant when wouldn pregnant
woman gets nervous will leave needs most time stay because however bring negative
aspect allowed fool around their caught could caught caught loved longer needed condom
prevent childbirth without cumbersome mention less sensual condom allowed fool
around their wives girlfriends trouble final advantage economic advantage families large
families husband wife couldn afford more longer like victorian take care limitations prior
supreme court legal states married wasn until became legal everyone every state taboo
premarital strong even today strong anti teen anti married possible without consequences
baby bibliography http drew http nara alic http mightymedia webstock center text
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