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Modern Sexual Cultures: Early 20th-Century Pamphlets

An annotated guide focusing on early 20th-century memoirs, marriage and hygiene manuals, and other sexological texts.

Truth About Quacks and Self Medication (1940)

This pamphlet warns readers of “quacks.”  Medical “quacks” are people claiming to be doctors and medical professionals but lack credentials. “Quacks” look to profit off vulnerable men and women, often people afraid of the stigma that would result from seeking treatment for venereal diseases and women looking to terminate a pregnancy. These so-called doctors promise to cure their ailments and perform safe medical procedures, but they have no knowledge of such treatments. This pamphlet reflects the danger that stigma and ignorance can cause, and also suggests how knowledge and authority around issues of sex and sexuality are constructed.

Keywords: Pseudoscience, Venereal Diseases, Quack Medicine, Abortion

The Truth About Quacks and Self Medication

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