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Article
March 13, 1897

THE SOCIAL EVIL—SHOULD IT BE REGULATED? CAN IT BE EXTERMINATED?

Author Affiliations

DAVENPORT, IOWA.

JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(11):479-483. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440110001001
Abstract

The subject for this evening's discussion is one entered into with considerable hesitation. The more the subject is studied the greater and more difficult does the question become. Philanthropists and moralists are in favor of an aggessive war of of extermination. City and government officials favor, as a rule, some sort of regulation; physicians are found on both sides of the controversy. That the subject is one of most vital importance, one which threatens our very existence as a healthy race, is evidenced by the fact that it has stamped nearly three millions of the people of these United States with syphilis. That the subject is of enough economic importance for the best thought of our legislative bodies is evidenced by the statement that the men in our cities pay to prostitutes $300,000,000 annually. This statement alone would seem of almost enough importance to cause the mathematic American to stop

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