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July 8, 1950

A Psychiatric Approach to the Treatment of Promiscuity

JAMA. 1950;143(10):935. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910450075029

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Abstract

This publication comprises a report of a psychiatric study made under the auspices of the Venereal Disease Division, United States Public Health Service, the California State Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Department of Public Health from January 1943 to July 1947, and it is a continuation of a similar wartime study reported on in 1945.

A psychiatric service was operated in direct connection with a venereal disease clinic; 365 women and 255 men patients are included in this research study. The chief objectives were to determine causes of promiscuity and the effectiveness of psychiatric and case work treatment in combating it. Attendance at the service was voluntary, and treatment was individualized.

Although no single factor or group of factors was found to determine or exclude promiscuity, unsatisfactory familial relationships, neurotic conflict and current environmental factors appeared to have direct relationship. Patients who availed themselves of the psychiatric

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