Publication Date

Spring 2022

Subject Area

Section 4: Scandal & Reform


In 1866 the Contagious Disease Acts were passed in England, these Acts were set into place in order to reduce the number of venereal diseases that were being contracted by military men living in garrison towns and naval dockyards. The Acts however, only targeted women at the heart of the issue and allowed for nonconsensual, unethical, and violating medical examinations to be conducted in women who were suspected of prostitution. This paper gives a glimpse into some of the women and their works who were instrumental in the efforts to repeal the Acts and improve the rights and lives of women.

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