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classified as indicated in Table II.


or inmate





of house of




















Per cent











1942 Five mos.









Per cent











Total 209


The average time that these girls were held in detention for examina-
tion was seven days. If treatment was necessary and they were
believed to be irresponsible and had no family to whom they could
be released for supervision, they were held longer. One girl was
held in jail for three months of treatment. She had previously been
released and proved herself unreliable. She was then held for three
months to attempt to render her noninfectious. There was no family
or responsible friends to assume supervision of her after release.
However, employment was obtained for her in another city.

In Table III, the girls are classified as :

First offenders: (under observation of the clinic for the first time
as an inmate of the jail or detention home) ;

Occasional offenders: (under clinic observation twice previously) ;

Habitual offenders: (under observation of the clinic three times
or more.)

The study is based on three age groups of offenders : minors, from
9 to 20 years inclusive; 21 to 29 years inclusive, and 30 years and

For the seventeen month period, of the total of 278, in all age
groups examined, 69, or 24 per cent, were found infected with a
venereal disease. One hundred and eighty-three were residents of
the community and 95 non-residents, or 34 per cent, of the individuals
were not residents of this community.


Age group

9-20 Age group Age group

inclusive 2129 years SO years

Status (minors) inclusive and over Total

Infected 22 33 14 69

Not infected 73 68 68 209

Total 95 101 82 278

First Offender 75 72 46 193

Occasional Offender... 18 19 17 54

Habitual Offender 2 10 19 31

Total 95 101 82 278

Eesident 59 62 62 183

Non-Eesident 36 39 20 95

Total 95 101 82 278

Needed Program

After study of the Tables it is apparent that the minor age group
from nine to twenty years inclusive, which is 34 per cent of the
total group, are young people for whom the public is entirely


responsible. Of the total of 95, those known to the juvenile
authorities were 69. The other 26 were girls held in the city jail.

A survey to find the number in this group registered with social
agencies, found 54 registered and 41 not registered with any agency.
The records do not show how recently any were known to a social

The situation is apparent. There is a group of minor girls in
Tacoma who are in social difficulties and in present or potential
physical difficulties. Under the present plan they are subjected in
the city jail to the society of habitual offenders, such as drunks and
prostitutes. They are released without a plan or assistance for their
future. The community has the right to expect them to be isolated
from the general public and they should be isolated from habitual
offenders. This problem could be relieved for these minor girls by
a social plan for protection and rehabilitation including training and
employment, adequate housing and recreation.

Recommendation :

1. Provision of trained personnel to segregate cases and accept responsi-
bility for the social plan at the time they enter detention.

2. Location of proper detention while under examination, treatment for
study and until released from the enforcement agency.

3. Consultations with a psychiatrist for mental disorder with recommenda-
tion for social adjustment.

In the age group 21 to 29 inclusive, 39 per cent are non-residents
of this community. The predominant charges against this group are
disorderly conduct and city vagrancy. The number previously known
to any social agency is 40, but there is no indication of how recently
they were known to that agency. Sixty-one were not registered.

Many of this group are soldiers' wives, seeking employment and
housing. Many are untrained and have difficulty in finding work.
In this group 71 per cent are first offenders and are as much
bewildered in this congested city as are young girls. Recommended :

1. Social service to study the cases at the time they enter detention.
Segregation as needed as a result of the study.

2. Clinical service of a psychiatric nature for diagnosis and direction.

3. Assistance for employment and rehabilitation including recreation.

The age group of 30 years and over presents a different problem
as 44 per cent are habitual offenders. The predominant charges
against them are drunkenness and city vagrancy. Twenty-seven had
been previously registered with a social agency; not registered, 55.

Recommended :

1. Social history.

2. Adequate housing.

3. Psychiatric examination. i , ,


Final Recommendations for a Community Plan for Social Protection:

1. A committee of responsible people, with an active chairman,
to include lay, professional and law enforcement representatives,
charged with a specific responsibility of putting a corrective program
in operation.*

2. Committee functions :

a. Plan for detention facilities.

b. Plan for adequate personnel.

c. Plan for provision of funds.

d. Delegate to existing agencies or a new agency, the responsibility of
promoting this as a community program and executing the protection of
the individual by the case work plan.

* Becent correspondence indicates that such a committee is being formed.


Smash the Prostitution Racket is one of a set of six posters recently produced
by the American Social Hygiene Association for education of the public. Other
placards are titled Health Is a Patriotic Duty Keep Fit, A Blood Test and
Examination Protect Tour Health and Family, Syphilis Can Be Cured, Two
Men Who Had Syphilis, and We Are Helping to Stamp Out Syphilis.


Published especially in response to requests from industrial plants for edu-
cational posters, these are generally useful. In two colors, blue and yellow, on
strong white paper, size 11 x 14 inches, the price is 50 cents per set, postpaid;
$5.00 per dozen sets or $25.00 per hundred sets, plus postage. Order from the
Association at 1790 Broadway, New York City.


In November 1941, the Committee on Social Protective
Measures of the Boston Committee on Public Safety Miss
Gertrude Hooper, Chairman appointed a Survey Sub-Com-
mittee to make a survey of conditions in Boston upon the
basis of which a social protection program for the City might
be inaugurated by the main committee.

The Sub-Committee, hereinafter called the Survey Com-
mittee, consisted of the following members:

Richard H. Anthony, Chairman; Emmanuel Borenstein, Miss Mary
L. Brinn, Miss Dorothy J. Carter, Miss Mary A. Clapp, Miss
Mary Driscoll, Harold G. Dunney, David Geller, Captain James J.
Hinchey, Mrs. E. B. Houghton, John B. Hozier, M.D., John J. Murphy,
0. T. Gilmore, ex officio; Miss Gertrude Hooper, ex officio; Miss
Josephine J. Albrecht, Secretary.

The Survey Committee held its first meeting on November
21, 1941 and discussed the suggested outline which would
serve as a basis for the survey. Sections of the survey were
assigned to different members of the Committee. It was
immediately apparent that the Survey Committee did not have
the funds, personnel, nor the time to make a first-hand
observational report on many of the conditions about which
information was sought, but would have to rely on the reports
of various individuals and agencies conversant with condi-
tions. By this much, the word " survey" is a misnomer, but
is used for want of a more accurate term to describe the type
of study herein made.

The Survey Committee agreed to confine its study to mat-
ters of an emergency nature, and, therefore, postponed con-
sideration of Title IV Educational Programs. The Com-
mittee, however, recognizes the importance of including edu-
cational programs in any long-term social protection plans.

While collecting data the Survey Committee met several
times to compare notes on progress.



The tentative findings and suggested conclusions and
recommendations as published here with the survey outline
were prepared and discussed in detail by the Survey Com-
mittee at a final meeting on March 6, 1942. The final report
was accepted by the Committee on Social Protective Measures
at a meeting on March 18, 1942.


I. The Serviceman on Leave
A. The pattern to date

1. Potential soldier and sailor influx into the community at any
one time : daytime, evening, overnight, week-ends.

2. How do soldiers and sailors get to the community when they
are on their own, in what approximate proportions, at what

a. Train price of fare

b. Bus price of fare

c. Other transportation price of fare

d. Private conveyance

3. Where do the servicemen on leave go in the community (pattern
of movement) ? By what street routes :

a. Soldiers from (encampment, fort, etc.)

b. Sailors from (yard, establishment, etc.)

c. Do they tend to remain near the railroad and bus terminals,
or do they disperse?

d. Where do they congregate in greatest numbers?

4. What types of places and services do servicemen on leave
patronize :

a. In the daytime

b. In the evening

c. Overnight

5. What prices are asked for essential services to men on leave for :

a. Food (in places most frequented by them)

b. Liquor (in places most frequented by them)

c. Lodgings

d. Amusements (casual attendance, not for specially-conducted
groups) :

(1) Theaters

(2) Sports

(3) Other

e. Dances conducted by non-commercial organizations


6. What recreational and other services do servicemen on leave
patronize in the community, in what numbers and at what
times :

a. Recreation centers

b. Non-commercial dances and other entertainments

c. Home hospitality

d. Information services

e. Lodgings

f. Churches

B. What services do soldiers and sailors find lacking in the
community f

C. Recommendations

II. The Girl Problem
A. Tine pattern to date

1. What public places do unaccompanied women and girls fre-
quent in substantial numbers and where they may meet service-
men on leave:

a. Out-of-doors

b. Taverns and restaurants (including "juke joints," and
where dancing is an adjunct)

c. Hotels

d. Bowling alleys

e. Dance halls (where dancing is the main purpose of opera-

f. Roller-skating rinks

g. Other

2. What kind of supervision (a) police, (b) health, (c) licensing,
is exercised over the places where unaccompanied girls and
servicemen meet :

a. Out-of-doors

b. Taverns and restaurants, dance halls, roller-skating rinks,
bowling alleys, etc.

c. Hotels

d. Other

3. Are girls employed in taverns and other commercial places
frequented by servicemen, and if so, under what conditions
as to:

a. Hours of employment (length, at what times of day and

b. Wages (do they depend largely upon tips?)

c. What are their duties (serving food or drinks, acting as
hostesses, dancing partners, etc.)

4. In arrests of girls in parks, taverns and other public places,
what action is taken by :

a. Arresting officer (including charges on which arrested)

b. Jail attendants


c. Court

d. Probation officials

e. Penal or reformatory institutions

f . Welfare and rehabilitation agencies

g. Public or private health agencies
h. Policewomen

5. How many public and private welfare agencies provide tem-
porary shelter for women held on charges of prostitution,
vagrancy, etc., or for health authorities for examination or
treatment? How extensively are they being used? What serv-
ices are available to first offenders temporary boarding, home
care, medical treatment, work opportunities, individual case
studies, transportation service for transients, and planned rec-
reation opportunities? How extensively are they being used?

6. What is the prostitution situation in the community as regards :

a. Houses of prostitution

b. Individual prostitutes

c. Lodging houses

7. Illegitimacy:

a. Is it rising?

b. Can illegitimacy be traced to servicemen?

8. Digest of laws and regulations pertinent to the girl problem,
under :

a. Prostitution

b. Public health

c. Licensing of public places (including alcoholic beverage
licenses, hours of closing, conditions of work, etc.)

B. What deficiencies in the laws and regulations are hampering effec-
tive action on the girl problem in these departments:

1. Police

2. Health

3. License

C. Recommendations

III. Genitoinfectious Diseases
A. The situation to date

1. Syphilis and gonorrhea rates for this community for ten-year

2. Syphilis rates of draft registrants, etc.

3. Syphilis and gonorrhea statistics for army and navy establish-
ments in the area surrounding community, since the current
emergency began


4. Number of contacts named in the community and percentage
these contacts bear to the total contacts named in the area.
Contacts broken down as to:

a. Eeported to police :

(1) Number of taverns named and number of times certain
taverns named

(2) Followed by police:

(a) Successfully

(b) Unsuccessfully

b. Referred for health follow-up:

(a) Successfully followed up

(b) Unsuccessfully followed up

5. Explanation of method used in obtaining contacts from infected
servicemen and health follow-up of contacts in the community

B. What laws, regulations or facilities are now lacking for an ade-
quate genitoinfectious disease control program for the community

C. Recommendations

IV. Educational Programs to Aid in the Protection of Girls, Repres-
sion of Prostitution, and Control of Genitoinfectious Diseases

A. What educational programs are under way in the community!

1. In the schools

2. Among young people's groups

3. Among the adult population

B. What elements are lacking in the educational program f

C. Recommendations



Boston is the lodestar which attracts most servicemen on leave in
Eastern Massachusetts. The concentration of these men is within a
relatively narrow band three miles long from Massachusetts Avenue in
the South End to City Square in Charlestown, and the greatest con-
centration is at either end of the half-mile axis that has Scollay
Square on the north and Washington and Essex Streets on the south.
The physical facilities of Greater Boston are of little use in serving
this concentration in the downtown district of Boston proper.

Boston can expect 10,000 servicemen in this area at any one time
and, with the increase in the personnel of our armed forces as the
war progresses, may expect more.


FIGURE 1. Concentration of servicemen on leave in Boston.


W Concentration Area

1 North Station
2 South Station
3 Bus Terminal

A Recreation Center, 149 Staniford St.
B Recreation Center, 641 Atlantic Ave.
C Recreation Center, 581 Mass. Ave.
D Y. M. C. Union, 48 Boylston St.
E Army and Navy Y. M. C. A., Charlestown
F Soldiers' and Sailors' Club, 8 Fayette St.

Free services to servicemen in Boston are many and varied, but
still inadequate. They are also somewhat erratic. Dances, special
shows and sport events occur at scheduled times and bear no relation-
ship to the sudden influx of many men due to such unforeseeable
events as the arrival in port of several Naval vessels or the sudden
granting of leave to large numbers of Army men. There is a need
for more of the continuous type of free service to which a serviceman
can resort at any time.

The total capacity of the three major recreation centers in Boston is
900 a day. If the facilities of voluntary centers are added, bringing
the total capacities to a possible 1,500 or even 2,000, only a fifth of
the potential influx of men could be accommodated at any one time.

A possible total of 1,200 cots is available at a cost of 50 cents a
night or less. These are obviously insufficient to accommodate a poten-
tial 10,000 men. The lodging situation for Negro servicemen is
particularly acute. All soldiers on leave must find a place to sleep
when they are away from camp more than one day. Sailors may
return to their ships for the night, but many prefer to spend all of
their leave period ashore.

A serviceman who is anxious to spend his leave time in attractive
surroundings that are more luxurious than barracks or ship, finds it
virtually impossible within the limitations of his available money.

vtiJM i


If he wants a hotel room with bath, he must pay at least $2.50 a
night and even then in the least desirable hotels. Meals in attractive
places must be purchased at regular prices, which might be, for a
week-end leave, the following minimum sums :

Lunch $ .45

Dinner .60

Breakfast .25

Dinner . . .60

Total $1.90

Liquors can be bought only at regular prices at bars and restau-
rants. Beer costs 10 cents a glass ; spirituous liquor at least 30 cents.
A man who spends $2.00 for liquor over a two-day leave period will
not purchase enough to take him very far from the path of sobriety.

Movies may cost 15 to 25 cents. Attractice places for dancing,
bowling, roller-skating, etc., cost more. A serviceman who sought to
find wholesome, attractive amusements off the streets during his
waking hours between noon of Saturday and 6 P.M. Sunday, could
hardly spend less than $1.50.

Minimum expense of a week-end passed in a pleasant civilian
atmosphere might be :

Boom in hotel $2 . 50

Meals 1 . 90

Liquor 2 . 00

Amusements 1 . 50

Transportation in town .20

Total $8.10

Transportation to and from camp (soldier) 1.60

Grand total . . $9.70

It is very difficult for the serviceman to meet the type of girl whom
he was used to meeting in civilian life. A regular, continuing system
of home entertainment for servicemen has been largely lacking.
Dances take care of but few casual servicemen on leave; the larger
affairs have been attended by soldiers or sailors in groups especially
brought to town and returned to camps or ships.

The serviceman is therefore virtually compelled to seek his amuse-
ment in the cheaper commercial places where he meets girls of the
prostitute or promiscuous type. It is easier and cheaper for the
serviceman to meet one of these girls and spend the night with her
than to hunt out inexpensive amusements less dangerous to his health.
Many servicemen, by preference, will make the easier choice, but many
others could be diverted if the facilities were available at reasonable


It is therefore recommended by this committee :

1. Greater efforts should be made to provide inexpensive lodgings in
decent, supervised surroundings, in downtown or adjacent Boston, in
ample numbers to accommodate the potential influx of men. It is
recognized that this is a tremendously difficult problem and that the
Lodging Committee of the Boston Soldiers and Sailors Recreation
Committee is making strenuous efforts to solve it. The limitations of
voluntary effort may have been reached and it may be necessary for
the state or municipal governments to recognize the problem as one
affecting civilian health and morale and so provide facilities and funds.

2. Additional recreational facilities should be offered in the areas of
greatest concentration where servicemen may find relaxation and
amusements at nominal cost. Soldiers' and sailors' clubs, attractively
furnished, where the men may perhaps purchase beer and full meals,
at cost, are suggested. The Union Jack Club for British seamen (in
the old Exchange Club quarters) is cited as an example. Many
servicemen on leave want to drink liquor and such clubs where they
may have beer, eat, talk, sing, play the phonograph or radio, meet
their friends, play games and feel that the places are their own, may
keep many of them, at least much of the time, off the streets and
away from the cheap bars and dance places. Other nations at war
have recognized the need to provide such facilities as an important
factor in soldier, sailor and civilian morale. Capital funds for such
clubs might come from private citizens or state or municipal sources
and the continuing expenses should not be particularly heavy.

3. Reduction in fares for men in uniform on the city's transporta-
tion systems is suggested. The round trip cost of 20 cents to free
attractions outside downtown Boston may deter many servicemen
from visiting them. Reduced fares for servicemen may assist in open-
ing a larger recreational area than is now possible.

4. Expanded home entertainment opportunities under proper
supervision and clearance through the central office of the Boston
Soldiers and Sailors Recreation Committee are urged. The experi-
ence of soldiers on maneuvers in the South where they were widely
entertained at the homes of civilian families indicates that the men
enjoyed the hospitality and felt an increased sense of responsibility
for proper conduct in the communities that made them welcome.


The problems arising from servicemen's meeting girls are complex
and cannot be solved by any single or drastic action. To uphold the
morale of our armed forces, servicemen must be allowed to meet girls
from time to time. If they do meet girls there is no method of con-
trol, except constant personal chaperonage, which will prevent illicit
sex relations in some instances.


Relations that spread syphilis and gonorrhea and those that result
in illegitimate pregnancies are, of course, universally considered
undesirable. Illicit relationships which do not have these unfortunate
effects may produce psychological and personality ills, particularly
when they result in promiscuous sex behavior frequently leading, in
the case of girls, to prostitution.

In addition to these realistic considerations, of course, illicit rela-
tions violate the moral standards which the community upholds as

From December 1, 1940, to December 20, 1941, 792 servicemen in
Massachusetts, infected with syphilis or gonorrhea, reported 857 con-
tacts which they had within the period, prior to their infections, in
which the diseases generally develop. In the Army group alone,
which numbered 58,000 men by May 1, 1941, 623 infected men
reported 672 contacts. This averages approximately one contact per
year for every 86 men in this group. A high-ranking Naval officer
has estimated unofficially that 95 per cent of Navy personnel have at
least one sexual contact per man during the three-year term of enlist-
ment. Between 12 per cent per year and 95 per cent for three years
lies a large area of debatable ground.

Between December 1, 1940, and December 31, 1941, 198 servicemen
with genitoinfections reported 219 contacts in Boston. While this
group is small in comparison with the total number of servicemen
who visited Boston within that period, it has an importance greater
than its size, for it is this group whose health and morale have been
impaired by visits to Boston. If these men each spent an average
of two weeks hospitalized or immobilized, then contacts in Boston
accounted for 2,772 man-days lost to our armed services in 13 months.

In a special six-month study it was noted that 49 per cent of the
exposures of servicemen and girls in Boston, leading to genitoinfec-
tions, occurred in the final two months of this period. Whether these
figures indicate an increase in sexual exposures of servicemen in
Boston or that more exposures are resulting in genitoinfections, cannot
be deduced. In either event they indicate a progressing rather than a
static or declining problem.

It should be remembered that the problem in Boston is a community

Online LibraryAmerican Social Hygiene AssociationJournal of social hygiene (Volume 28) → online text (page 53 of 71)