These '40s Sexual Health Posters Make Us Laugh — & Cry A Bit, Too

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Sexual health warnings aren’t anything to joke about. But, we can’t help but chuckle at the campaigns from yesteryear — featuring phrases like “Booby Trap: Syphilis and Gonorrhea.” Yes, that was actually a slogan back during WWII.

Interesting, since recently, the Brazilian health ministry was forced to drop a sexual health ad with the tagline, “I’m happy being a prostitute.” No, it didn't go over well, but it was far from being the first STD advert to foray into risky territory — as illustrated by our World War II campaigns.

While the pun-heavy adverts did a good job of getting straight to the point of the message, they make us feel a little uncomfortable about how the women in these ads were portrayed. It's hard not to infer from these that only women are carriers of syphilis and gonorrhea. Positioned as some sort of siren, the woman as temptress is easy to dismiss as a dated trope — but is it? So yes, at first glance, these posters are hilarious — but they're slightly sobering, too. Let us know your thoughts in the comments, though — are we overreacting, or is there something truly troubling here? (The Guardian)

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Photo: Via The Guardian