WAR AND SEX
When no one knows what the next day will bring, men and women tend to throw caution to the winds .
AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
During the war of 1861-1865, prostitution flourished near the army camps, providing soldiers with ‘horizontal refreshment’, as it was known. By 1862, Washington DC had roughly 450 brothels and some 7,500 full-time prostitutes. About 8 per cent of Union soldiers were treated forVD during the war.
Before, during and after WWII, the Japanese army procured over
‘comfort women’ – sex slaves from China, Korea and other occupied territories – forced to perform sexual services for the soldiers.
In Vietnam, the US military dissuaded GIs from using local prostitutes by spreading rumours of ‘black syphilis’, leading to a lifetime of banishment and the sufferer being declared KIA (killed in action).
The Pentagon once contemplated developing a ‘hormone bomb’, releasing aphrodisiacs and chemicals supposed to turn enemy soldiers homosexual so they would be too attracted to each other to fight.
If The use of libido suppressants by the British, US and Russian armies in World War II, such as bromide in soldiers’ tea and saltpetre in food, is now regarded as a myth. Sedatives with dangerous side-effects wouldn’t appear to be the best thing to administer during a war. However, the US military did distribute roughly 50 million condoms every month and it also created two mobile VD treatment centres to chase its troops across Europe following D-Day.
If American GIs in Australia and Britain were memorably described as ‘overpaid, oversexed and over here’ due to their confidence in courting the ladies – and their success rate. Sex out of wedlock and affairs were rife. The Baby Boom that followed produced about 50 million children between 1946 and 1961 and marked a huge increase in illegitimate births.
Jf The Japanese, the Americans, the British and the Germans all bombarded their enemies with propaganda leaflets featuring graphic pornography in the hope of undermining them. The tactic was a failure. Rather than desert their stations, most soldiers kept the leaflets and used them as pinups. Soldiers even collected their own side’s leaflets and traded them like baseball cards.