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You Don't Think, A War Department Pamphlet, NO. 21-15. War Department.Washington, DC.16236
 You Don't Think, A War Department Pamphlet, NO. 21-15. War Department.Washington, DC.16236

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Price: $150.00

Product Code: 20200015

"YOU DON'T THINK IT CAN EVER HAPPEN TO YOU VD ... venereal disease." And so starts a 64 (unnumbered) pp booklet made during WWII to educate soldiers on various sexually transmitted diseases, mainly syphilis and gonorrhea. The military efforts to stave of venereal diseases often sought to balance the religious and moral standards of the home front while dealing with the reality of soldiers away from home and fighting a war. The booklet is written in plain simple language, using different colors to emphasis certain words; each message with a relevant illustration.  Additionally, within the text different fonts or embellishments (capitals, italics, font color, etc.) are used to emphasize certain words. For nearly all text pages, there is an accompanying illustration on the next page used to underscore the text. It begins by stating that no matter how "smart at sizing up a gal... [you] could not tell at a glance" if a girl had VD, and "No girl is going to tell you she has it, you can't ever be sure". It continues on by educating the reader a bit on how one can get a STD, such as "almost always you get it by sexual intercourse when THIS PART of the body is exposed" (this quote is accompanied by an illustration of a fully clothed man with red lines used to indicate his genital regions). This is followed by bringing on the shame stating that it can "wreck....  a lot of plans" (accompanied by an illustration of a diamond ring) and also "your armies plans: venereal diseases can put a man OFF THE TEAM  -- and that is O.K. by the ENEMY..." (accompanied by an illustration of soldiers deploying from a LCVP/ Higgins boat during a beach landing with one soldier looking away, drawn in red). It continues by imploring the soldier to "live by the moral and religious laws that have been taught you: Don't have sexual intercourse outside of marriage [and] if you do expose yourself, TAKE ALL PRECAUTIONS ... always use a rubber ... and be sure you have a PRO-KIT with you". What follows next is very detailed instructions on where a soldier can obtain such items, and how to use them. What is an interesting contraction in this section is that they actually use the appropriate anatomical  terms rather than the undefined "THIS PART" with an oblique illustration from earlier in the pamphlet. The booklet ends, with two final statements to the soldier, "If you do get careless and become infected ... the Army has the best treatment you can get anywhere" and that "SCIENCE is on your side soldier, USE IT."  On the back cover is printed "War Department Pamphlet No. 21-25, 'You Don't Think,' is published for the information and guidance of all concerned. [A. G. 726.1 (13 Jun 44) ] Distribution: One to each male officer and enlisted man."   Staple binding. Measures 5 1/4" x 4 1/4". To view the item, please click on the following link: Sexual transmitted diseases were a bit problem for the military effort, something that the US learned in WWI when VD caused around 18,000 soldiers a day to be laid up. Towards the end of 1944, mainly due the military's effort to educate the troops and medical advances (with gonorrhea going from a month long hospital stay in 1943 to a 5 day treatment course that normally could be done while on duty in 1944), those numbered had dropped to about 600 per day being laid up due to sexually transmitted diseases.  The message from these campaigns included Attempts to stop the soldier from engaging in sexual activity by shaming them, either by using the religious and moral standards (sex should only happen between married couples, VD can destroy families, etc.) If a soldier caught a VD and had to be removed from duty, he was letting his fellow soldiers down, and helping the enemy. Depicting  women as deceitful or temptresses that soldiers had to been on guard against. Normalizing the use of condoms or a "pro-kit" (prophylactic). Due to the length of this booklet it manages to extoll on all of the various forms of deterrents.