MANPOWER: Sex education for men – 1930s style by the U.S. government


So, my grandmother hasn’t been able to live on her own for a while, and we’re finally cleaning out her house to get it ready to sell. She’s been in that house for at least 40-50 years, maybe more, so there’s lots of stuff accumulated.

She and my grandfather had an upright piano that us grandkids used to play (read: bang) on all the time. My husband’s really been wanting a piano (“for the kids” he says – I know better), and we needed to figure out what to do with the one in my grandmother’s house, so we decided to claim it. When he went to direct the piano movers last week, he and my aunt were looking through some of the old books and documents in their library.

They came across an old pamphlet that the U.S. Public Health Service (issued by the Treasury Department for 5 cents in 1935) put out for men about how to control themselves sexually to prevent STDs. It was entitled “Manpower”.

It’s quite amusing in this day and age. =)

I find it amusing that my husband showed this to me today — we’ve had the piano and all the other books he brought home for nearly 2 weeks — the day my first story, which happens to be about a college student who has an STD, was released for the GoodReads M/M Romance anthology.

While I don’t want to write out the whole thing because it’s 15 pages of fairly small text, I figured I’d pass along the inside cover blurb called “Sex In Life” and the section entitled “Seminal Emissions”. Maybe later on, I’ll post up “Control of the Sex Impulse”.


MANPOWER – V. D. Pamphlet No. 6
Sex In Life
“Sex–links the man who marries to the past and to the future in a great chain of human beings.
“His only means of affecting the racial stock of his country is by his physical fitness. By one false step he may infect the stock, topple over the hopes of fathers and mothers reaching back for thousands of years–generations, patiently building up sound bodies and minds–and blight the lives of distinct individuals of generations to come. The spark of life is a sacred trust to be received reverently and transmitted undimmed to future generations.
“Sex–uncontrolled is disaster and wreck. Sex in control for men means Power.”

Seminal Emissions
“Inside the body, near the bladder, are two other glands, called the seminal vesicles. When a youth reaches the age of 15, 16, or 17 (though it may be earlier or later), these glands become filled with a fluid which is occasionally discharged from the sex organ in the night. This discharge is called a seminal or nocturnal emission. It is frequently accompanied by a dream. It is a perfectly normal experience which almost all young men have. It may come several times a month, or only once in two or three months. A few young men never have emissions. Young men need not and should not worry about these experiences.”

~ by Adara O'Hare on July 13, 2011.

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