Sexual Factors (1942)
Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies, United States War Department, 1942
The venereal rate is one of the recognized indices of morale. Training manuals of foreign armies contain information on the dangers of venereal diseases. In some few instances, controlled houses of prostitution have been set up with the approval, of the military.
Soldiers are specifically warned in the Training Manual against contact with commercial prostitutes, the prime consideration being the maintenance of health. Space voted to the dangers of venereal disease, with symptoms described in detail and explicit directions given for treatment. Unmarried soldiers on furloughs are provided with protective devices.
It has been reported that, in Poland, houses of prostitution are provided under the direct control of the military. The general plan followed is to provide girls who are young and attractive, and are volunteers. One of these houses has been described as follows: the lower floor is the quarters of the guard; the second floor is a soldier's canteen and reading room; the third floor is fixed up for the girls, who are encouraged to provide an attractive, home like atmosphere. They are on duty between 1600 and 2200 and keep all of their fee of 5 reichsmarks (about $2). Before a soldier goes to the third floor, he is given a medical examination. He must not be under the influence of liquor in any degree, nor are the girls permitted to drink or to have liquor in their rooms. The girl initials the soldier's service record, and the guard makes an appropriate entry for control purposes.
Among the officers there are infrequent occasions for geisha parties which may be followed by a night spent with the geisha. The conscripts, having but little money, cannot afford this, and so must be content with the prostitutes of some cheap brothel in the locality. The physical aspects of sex are thus provided for, but romanticism is discouraged. Soldiers are not allowed to have of pretty girls in the barracks, as such pictures, it is thought, might distract from military duties.
An Italian military manual devotes two pages to a factual discussion of venereal diseases and prophylaxis. No effort is made in the manual to consider the "moral" aspect of the matter, or to intimidate the soldiers.
The following is reported in connection with the Ethiopian Campaign. Describing Asmara, headquarters of the northern Italian Army in Eritrea, which included 200,000 men, 1 eyewitness says: "A house of prostitution with 26 inmates was provided. Regulations provided for its use by enlisted men during the forenoon, price 10 lire (about 50 cents) ; non-commissioned officers during the afternoon, 20 lire (about $1) ; officers during the evening and night, 30 lire (about $1.50).
The location of most army barracks in or near cities rather than at points isolated from the civilian population means that the men in the army have opportunities for feminine companionship usually available to civilians in the USSR. Further specific information is not available.
f. Great Britain
The task of settling the men's sexual problems is turned over to the commanding officer of each unit. Suggestions in the army manuals to officers handling sex behavior are:
(1) set a good example;
(2) encourage men to keep in touch with their wives and families (married men in camps near their homes are provided with "sleeping out" passes whenever possible);
(3) make sure that the men know the location of the prophylactic treatment room, and understand how to use it;
(4) see that your men's evenings are filled with plenty of healthy interests and amusements.
Men are required to report for physical inspection not later than the morning following their return from leave. Cases of venereal diseases an immediately segregated and sent to base hospitals for treatment.