"Social hygiene" is an inclusive phrase covering activities of which the campaigns against venereal diseases and prostitution are only a part, but necessarily in past years the most prominent part. Eventually the social hygiene movement will become recognized by the public as a constructive effort to promote all those conditions of living, environment and personal conduct which best protect the family as an institution and secure a rational sex life for the individuals of each generation.
Prior to 1900, certain scientific and sociologic data were recorded in their bearing on the reduction of syphilis and gonorrhea, but no effective public health measures were instituted. From 1900 to 1912, existing facts were marshaled for educational campaigns, and new facts of the highest importance were discovered. In the medical field there were added new observations of gonorrhea, its ravages, communicability and treatment, the discovery of the organism of syphilis in 1905, the
WILLIAM F. SNOW. PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES IN RELATION TO VENEREAL DISEASES. JAMA. 1916;LXVI(14):1003–1008. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580400009005