The sexual revolution began penicillin

1950s in the U.S. were not so puritanical, as is commonly believed, comparing them to the sixties. And the reason for this was a new powerful tool for syphilis.

Fashion on a risky, unconventional sexual relationship, marked a turning sixties, actually began a decade earlier, in the conformist fifties, the economist Andrew Francis of Emory University (USA).

It is believed that the sexual revolution has been made possible with the advent of the birth control pill, which so happily coincided with a period of growing the rich and cheeky baby boomers in the U.S. and Western Europe. However, it is not in it, and in widespread use of penicillin, which has led to a rapid reduction of cases of syphilis in the 1950s. Risky sex is less expensive to health and has worked for a long time known law of economics: if the value of the commodity falls, the demand for it is growing.

In the U.S., syphilis reached its peak in 1939, killing 20 thousand people. This disease in those days regarded in much the same way we now look at the AIDS risk of infection is always dreading the adventure lovers.

Penicillin was discovered in 1928, but in clinical practice, it began to be used only in 1941. During the Second World War, the problem of diseases, sexually transmitted infections, acute, it has become a real threat to the army's military. The generals were eager to release the soldiers from this danger, and therefore the study of antibiotics active. And found that penicillin — an effective tool against STDs.

Immediately after the war, penicillin became an integral part of civil medicine. In the U.S., syphilis evolved from a chronic, potentially fatal disease to a disease that can be cured by a prick. From 1947 to 1957, deaths from syphilis decreased by 75% and the incidence rate — by 95%.

With access to the documents of 1930? 1970 by the health of the federal and state levels (some have been digitized for the first time at his request), Mr. Francis drew attention to three measures of sexual behavior: the ratio of illegitimate births, births among teenagers and gonorrhea — a very contagious disease, sexually transmitted and spread rapidly.

Once syphilis was defeated, that is, from the end of the 1950s, began a sharp increase in all three indicators. Of course, the events of the 1960s and 1970s, and in medicine, and in public life have played an important role in the sexual revolution, but the root cause still was penicillin, said Mr. Francis.

By the way, some doctors 1950 is anticipated. Spanish specialist Eduardo Martinez Alonso urged to remember that God created the disease to protect people from sin. And earlier payment for sin was death (Romans 6:23), and now vengeance is negligible. The sting of sin is removed, and to sin with impunity.

A similar trend, Mr. Francis found today. Studies have shown that the development of antiretroviral therapy leads to the fact that some people are a little less worried about HIV and more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior.

The study is published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Prepared according to the eScience Commons.

Category: Science

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