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is very much overcrowded. On account of this overcrowding the methods are necessarily more or less those of a prison. This statement is not intended as a reflection upon those responsible for the management. They are as much the victims of circumstances as are the unfortunate inmates. We urge upon the proper State authorities the need of immediate and adequate enlargement of this institution or the provision of others of similar character.
7. The Professional Prostitute. The public prostitute who is an inmate of a house is an important factor in the complicated problem. Into the trade of these women enter powerful business interests, as well as the demoralization which comes to men and women by its attendant vices and diseases. The confirmed prostitute, if she is to be reformed and helped, must be entirely separated for a long period from her former environment of commercialized prostitution.
Against these powerful business interests, the liquor dealer, the house owner and his agents, the man who runs the place, the furnishers of all sorts from the butcher and grocer to the dry goods houses and the supported men, against these stands the girl, usually young, feeble of will, unskilled as a worker, a lover of ease, perhaps at first deceived, and always after a time the victim of liquor, “dope" and other stimulants. One physician who has a large practice in venereal disease wards, says:
"They all use some drug or stimulant such as opium, tobacco, anything that is near; the abnormal habits of life, the excitement, the terrible physical strain demanded; the life is against biology as well as sociology; they are in most cases gone physically,
gone nervously, gone socially." It is obvious that the weaker factor, the girl, will be crushed in so unequal a conflict. On her falls the ignominy, the loss of health, of social position and final physical and social death. While the men who profit by this vice, live on, sleek and prosperous—often so powerful in politics that even decent men dare not expose them.
Most of these women do not know where to turn if they should leave the house, and their physical condition and mental state render them absolutely incapable of self-direction or normal conduct.
A suggestion well worthy of consideration is that the municipality secure a farm on which a trade school and hospital could be established, to which prostitutes found in houses of ill-fame could be com
mitted on indeterminate sentences. Obviously it is necessary that measures of almost drastic control should be established if such women are to be helped permanently and society served. Yet society should remember the deep pathos of their evil estate as described by a character in a recent work:
“These dubious divinities of the gaslight and the pavement represent the eternal sacrifice of woman, the tragedy of her
abasement, her obedience to the world.” Attention is called to the recommendations of the Commission,
THE SOCIAL EVIL AND ITS MEDICAL ASPECTS.
No phase of the social evil can be demonstrated with more scientific certainty than the physical aspect. It has been clearly proved through many and accurate sources that no danger to the integrity of the race is so great as the diseases which accompany prostitution. The greatest attention must be paid to every means which makes for the control of venereal diseases and of dissemination of reliable information concerning them for the protection of the innocent.
With these facts in mind let us study the various classes of men and women who are involved in this vice.
The Professional Female Prostitute. . The testimony shows that the professional female prostitute is broken down within ten years after she begins to ply her trade. No better argument as to physical harm could be offered than this statement. Practically all professional prostitutes have had syphilis or gonorrhoea or both. It is the exception when either of these diseases is completely cured. During a certain part of the time they are communicable. Not infrequently these diseases are communicable and at the same time difficult to recognize. Therefore, a professional prostitute having intercourse with from ten to sixty men in a single night will infect a large number of men. Drug habituation also is more widespread amongst prostitutes than amongst any other class of society.
Occasional Prostitutes. Occasional prostitutes are frequently infected with venereal disease. They are highly dangerous when so infected. Venereal diseases are bacterial in origin. From the epidemiologic standpoint they belong in the category with smallpox, diphtheria and scarlet fever. They cause most of the sterility, most of the peritonitis in females, most of the salpingitis. They cause a large part of the joint inflammations—a large part of the insanity and nervous diseases and a long train of diseases which go by other names but have syphilis as an underlying factor. Congenital defects and deformities are largely syphilitic in origin.
In spite of all this a study of mortuary statistics does not give us