England’s Girls and England’s Future.
A 1917 small pamphlet issued by the National Council for Combating Venereal Diseases; published as sex education to teach women of the ills of syphilis and gonorrhea. The dangers are real and the young female reader is told that it “...will be your part to fight against the causes of it, and to help others to fight. You must do it for the sake of the homes of England and the little helpless babies who have never done any wrong.” (p5)
Young girls are warned that an “undue friendship between boy and girl” can result in venereal diseases for girls as young as 13 and 14. The book is quite vague in its “how to’s” for how one should put up a fight. Girls should not become to aroused and go “too far” (engagement does not mean marriage; no pre-marital sex) and girls should value, not misuse, their bodies as well as avoid drink. Those unfortunates who contract a sexually-transmitted disease must consult a doctor immediately, avoiding all quack remedies.
Co-author Mary Scharlieb, female physician and gynecologist, was “one of the most illustrious representatives of the first generation of medical women ... From 1913 to 1916 she served on the royal commission on venereal diseases. She supported the recommendations of the commission to set up free clinics and for a public campaign of information and education about the dangers of venereal disease.” However, Scharlieb considered birth control a potential avenue to sexual hedonism. “None the less ... [h]er importance as a pioneer in expanding women’s opportunities and reaching the top of her profession remained undiminished.” (ODNB)
Scarce and only one copy in America. A separate work, with the same title but by a different author, was issued in the same year.
Description: England’s Girls and England’s Future.
London: The National Council for Combatting Venereal Diseases, 1917. First edition. 11, pp. 5½ x 4¼ inches. Printed wrappers. Minor creasing; Very Good.