JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
Of all the infectious diseases there is none so easily and so surely
avoidable on the part of the individual as the venereal diseases. It becomes
therefore a most important matter to inquire into the influences that lead
up to exposure and favor infection and to aim at their removal as far as possible.
Now, alcohol gives rise to certain physiologic effects that may result either
in simple functional disturbances or in actual structural or organic disease.
While alcohol is primarily a stimulant, it becomes, when taken in large amounts
or for long periods, a depressant, lowering inhibitory activity, especially
as exhibited in the psychic sphere. It is in this way that it leads to sexual
abuse and that it acts as a predisposing cause of the venereal diseases. Of
this relation practical experience affords abundant evidence, a statistical
presentation of which has been undertaken by the distinguished psychiatrist
Dr. Aug. Forel,1 who dwells upon the frequency with
which alcoholic indulgence on the part of young men, and even of young women,
leads to illicit sexual intercourse, with its obvious attendant dangers, while
he points out upon the other hand that a large proportion of prostitutes are
the offspring of alcoholic parents. In both sexes alcohol increases sexual
desire, while it blunts the moral sense and lowers the powers of resistance.
It further increases indifference to the results of illicit intercourse and
carelessness in their prevention.
THE RELATIONS BETWEEN ALCOHOLIC INDULGENCE AND VENEREAL DISEASE.. JAMA. 2001;285(23):2952. doi:10.1001/jama.285.23.2952