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VICE AND HEALTH



VICE AND HEALTH

PROBLEMS SOLUTIONS



BY
JOHN CLARENCE FUNK, M.A., LL.B.

DIBBCTOB, BUBEAU OF PBOTECTIVB SOCIAL MEASURES, PENNSYLVANIA

STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT; SCIENTIFIC ASSISTANT, U. S.

PUBLIC HEALTH SEBVICE; FOBMEBLY U. 8. NAVY LAW

ENFORCEMENT BEPBESENTATIVE; VICE-AGENT, U. S.

DEPABTMENT OP JUSTICE; SUPERVISING

INSPECTOR, U. 8. OFFICE OF NAVAL.

INTELLIGENCE




J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
PHILADELPHIA AND LONDON



fK




COPYRIGHT, 1921, sfr j. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY



PRINTED BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

AT THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS

PHILADELPHIA, U. 8. A.



TO
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

WHOSE INTEREST AND INSPIRATION
WILL DO MUCH FOR GOOD MORALS,
GOOD HEALTH AND GOOD LIVING

THIS LITTLE BOOK IS DEDICATED

BY THE AUTHOR



50584V



PREFACE

With a very definite development
of interest among groups and indi-
viduals having a locality's welfare
sincerely at heart, it was felt that a
practical guide to certain phases of
one of the most important municipal
problems would be of some assistance.

Personal experience, covering a
number of years, has emphasized the
fact that many people who become
concerned in the suppression of vice
and in its corollary, the reduction in
the incidence of venereal disease, are
quite ignorant of many of the neces-
sary details essential to a successful
attack. Then, too, officials are some-
times sincerely wedded to certain
ideas of control and tolerance which
have been cleverly inspired from in-
sincere motives.

7



8 PREFACE

If, therefore, the facts herein set
forth will aid in a rational approach
to the vice and venereal questions, this
small volume will have served its pur-
pose and justified its existence.

300 N. Second Street,

Harrisburg, Pa.
Sept. 1, 1921. J.C.F.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER AO

PREFACE 7

I. PROSTITUTION AND ITS CAUSES 11

II. PROSTITUTION* AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS... 20

III. THE BUSINESS SIDE OF PROSTITUTION 33

IV. RESULTS OF PROSTITUTION 44

V. THE GOVERNMENT'S FIGHT 62

VI. MEDICAL MEASURES 83

VII. LAW ENFORCEMENT 98

VIII. MEDICO-LEGAL MEASURES 120

IX. EDUCATION 137

X. WELFARE AND REHABILITATION 148

XI. GOOD GOVERNMENT 161



8 PREFACE

If, therefore, the facts herein set
forth will aid in a rational approach
to the vice and venereal questions, this
small volume will have served its pur-
pose and justified its existence.

300 N. Second Street,

Harrisburg, Pa.
Sept. 1, 1921. J.C.F.



CONTENTS



CHAPTER AOB

PREFACE 7

I. PROSTITUTION AND ITS CAUSES 11

II. PROSTITUTION* AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS... 20

III. THE BUSINESS SIDE OF PROSTITUTION 33

IV. RESULTS OF PROSTITUTION 44

V. THE GOVERNMENT'S FIGHT 62

VI. MEDICAL MEASURES 83

VII. LAW ENFORCEMENT 98

VIII. MEDICO-LEGAL MEASURES 120

IX. EDUCATION 137

X. WELFARE AND REHABILITATION 148

XI. GOOD GOVERNMENT 161



VICE AND HEALTH

CHAPTER I

PROSTITUTION AND ITS CAUSES

Prostitution is based upon a funda-
mental impulse, and is but the com-
mercialized or misguided manifesta-
tion of a normal physiological func-
tion. The crime involved, so far as
the public is concerned, is not so much
in the act itself but in its promiscuity
and consequences.

Thousands of men, by no means
limited to the unmarried group, seek
distractions which the common
woman can readily supply; and vi-
cious persons, quick to see the advan-
tage of the situation, individually and
collectively long ago sought to stock

the market naturally existing and at

11



p: HEALTH'



IS

the same time to stimulate a greater
one. The net result was, that in the
United States a comparatively few
years ago, nearly every community of
any size either possessed an open
" red-light " district, of which in
some instances actual boasts were
made, or had its quieter section to
which one could be easily directed.

The denizens of these vice neighbor-
hoods were recruited in a number of
ways. Some were forced into the life
through faked or actual marriages to
dissolute men whose only purpose was
to victimize and profit thereby ; others
by sheer inclination; still others by
unfortunate steps leading to seduc-
tion, illegitimate children and dis-
grace; another group because of
poverty; and yet others through a
false idea of the ease and excitement
of a gay life and fine feathers ; and a
very large class who owing to a low



PROSTITUTION A;ND- i'I.$Atf SJ&S 13

mentality were for any reason, or for
no reason at all, inducted into activi-
ties by professional procurers.

It must be realized that behind
every woman of vice there are others
sharing in her proceeds. Prostitu-
tion is very definitely a business
proposition. The corruption funds
of the manipulators have time and
again proved all too alluring to the
police and other officials, and thus
legal immunity was, and is, pur-
chased. It is almost axiomatic that a
municipality is only as good as are its
politicians and police force, and they
are strict or lax depending upon the
amount of general interest displayed ;
and indifference has been the rule.
DesirejLor .gain and jmblic unconcern
may therefore be considered as two
of the basic causes of prostitution.

A good income being securable
from vice, its fostering and develop-



14



ment was but a natural sequence. In
large cities " rings " involving men
and women actually engaged in the
traffic were developed ; and under the
paid protection of the police were
usually allowed to flourish unmolest-
ed. A number of these groups, as will
be seen, have been successfully
broken. Many smaller units, while
possibly not so highly organized, still
have their leaders who control the
major portion of the segregated
business.

The relentlessness with which pro-
fessionals seek recruits is almost un-
believable. With an average of three
to five years' activity for the prosti-
tute, a definite necessity to fill the
gaps in the ranks has developed a
high efficiency. Small wonder, then,
that hundreds of girls annually " dis-
appear ", that fresh young faces are
constantly being fed to patrons of



PROSTITUTION AND ITfc> CAUSES 15

public places, and new women are
continually arriving at houses of
prostitution or are otherwise engaged
in various vice enterprises. At the
outset, therefore, it must be thor-
oughly appreciated that commercial-
ized immorality is not sporadic but is
backed by power, influence, and the
complexities of a modern business
organization.

After eliminating feeble-minded-
ness, the. dance hall,



liquor adjunct removed, is one of the
most potent vice f actorsythe niain ob-
jection to this institution is the com-
pany to be found there. Many young
men who act with comparative decen-
cy among their own set, resort to the
public dance to prey upon the pretty
young girls frequenting them. Be-
sides, men and women, especially in
the larger cities, seek such places for
outright recruiting purposes. Permit



16



a young woman to habitually patro-
nize these resorts, no matter how
decently conducted they may claim to
be, her chastity and possibly her fut-
ure life are in danger.

Thejjii^nncMU - a6 an element of
vice, looms large. Joy-rides are pro-
lific of harm, even with the urging
appeal of liquor now minimized.
Mothers permit their daughters to
accompany young men upon excur-
sions leading to the dark and solitary
rendezvous, who would not counte-
nance their remaining alone in a
dimly-lighted room with the same
escort; and many girls without par-
ental knowledge make a casual ac-
quaintanceship with men in cars who
" cruise " the streets for willing vic-
tims. In numerous instances the first
downward step has thus been taken.
Again, many a young woman after a
hard day's work in a store or factory,



PROSTITUTION AND ITS CAUSES 17

has innocently sought amusement,
and in so doing has permitted herself
to be taken to places of questionable
character such as shady restaurants,
cabarets, and road-houses, there to be
gradually, if not abruptly educated to
the false idea that to work for ten or
fifteen dollars a week was foolish
when three or four times as much
could be " made easily ".

One of the fundamental causes of
moral dereliction rests with the^ome
andjtS-Siirroundings. Crgseded tene-
ment existence and JDOQIL JioiisingL
conditions generally, sap the stamina
ofmanyTtEus developing a predispo-
sition to weaken before the onslaughts
of evil. Even in the higher social
strata, lack of training in self control,
in understanding of the sex impulse,
and of preventive knowledge, coupled
with an over confidence of parents in
the moral stability of their children,



18 VICE AND HEALTH

have led to dire consequences. More-
over, the general independence of the
modern youth and maid, who as a
care-free and pleasure-seeking class
has openly revolted at the " old
fashioned ideas " of life and living,
comes in for its toll. And finally,
youth is not so protected as formerly.
Immature girls are filling offices and
factories. The old time safeguards
of sex have therefore considerably
broken down; and thus unrestricted
and unconstrained daily mingling of
men and women creates possibilities
leading to illicit ventures for those
disposed in that direction.

Notably in New York and Chicago
investigations undertaken some years
ago resulted in bringing before inter-
ested people astonishing facts in con-
nection with prostitution as a traffic ;
and the large vice districts of those
cities were consequently eliminated.



PROSTITUTION AND ITS CAUSES 19

Occasionally a reform wave would
strike a smaller place, resulting in a
general exodus of vice habitues, who
immediately returned to their former
haunts when the official order had
spent its force.

At the outbreak of hostilities with
Germany the United States took a
definite and systematic stand against
prostitution which extended over the
entire land; but despite concerted
action by the federal and state gov-
ernments from that time up to the
present, many cities still have more
or less well defined vice localities.
The reasons for this will be explained
in a subsequent chapter.



CHAPTER II

PROSTITUTION AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS

Commercialized vice is plastic; it
adapts itself when it must to condi-
tions. The most usual form, how-
ever, is to be found in a group of
women living in a certain neighbor-
hood where the business is either
openly flaunted by the aid of a red-
light and window solicitation, or is
more discreetly operated, depending
upon the official attitude. Such places
are usually located in the side streets
and alleys, and frequently near rail-
roads. In seaports a number of them
are close to the water front. These
localities are known as " districts ' :
or " the line ".

A district marks the last step in the

demoralization of women, many of
20



PROSTITUTION AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS 21

whom need institutional care rather
than the psuedo-correctives of the
police court with its usual fine and
infrequent jail sentence.

It is in such places that liquor may
be yet obtained at bankrupting
prices ; it is here one will find congre-
gated at certain hours the men who
" farm " the women and solicit for
them; it is here that debauchery
reaches its lowest level ; and it is here
that blasting disease is transmitted to
the outside world. But with all of
that, it is prostitution's popular and
favorite form.

It appears to be a very general
opinion that such neighborhoods,
with their known houses, measurably
reduce the existence of other vice
manifestations. Nothing is further
from the truth. It is quite out of the
question to limit the majority of the
>rostitutes to one locality. This fact




22 VICE AND HEALTH

was well illustrated in certain second
class cities wherein recent investiga-
tions proved segregated districts to
be in full swing. The " high visi-
bility " of these places had dimmed
official and civic eyes to the fact later
disclosed, namely, that over forty=fi.Y.e
r>r-eefit. (a conservative estimate )jof
the_cpmmon women in thes^communi-
ties lived outside .-jo^thej>ale> It-
should be evident therefore that
" segregation does not segregate";
on the contrary the presence of
grouped houses of assignation merely
stimulates the commercial feature,
develops an added peril to virtue and
health, and dulls vision to the other
forms of vice.

It is also said that the prostitute is
necessary to protect the chastity of
other women. Such a statement, even
if sound, could have no ethical justi-
fication; but the case really works



PROSTITUTION AND ITS^MANIFESTATIONS 23

the other way more. lintiousness,
more license.

+**"~ m - ^

In a large northwest city* a reign
of violence and assault took place
upon the closing of its several vice
localities ; women were terrorized, and
law and order were at low tide. When
the police corralled the offenders, it
was discovered that they were paid
hirelings of the underworld whose
only purpose was to win the public
over to the idea of the necessity of
vice as a matter of social protection.
The notorious failure of this plot was
a terrific boomerang. No district has
been tolerated in that city for years,
and other forms of prostitution have
been greatly minimized. Women are
as safe there as in any other Ameri-
can community. Moreover, violence
as an argument against the elimina-
tion of commercial vice has never

* Seattle, Wash.



24 VICE AND HEALTH

been attempted elsewhere. Mothers,
daughters and wives need have no
fear for themselves if a district is
closed; a very vital concern should
exist, however, if a district and prosti-
tution generally, are allowed to
flourish.

With the segregation theory goes
its partner, medical regulation.
Again, there is no such thing. The
vaunted medical inspection (upon
which certificates of health are given
and then displayed by the prostitute
as an earnest of her good physical con-
dition) is usually



Even if the



examination is honest, means are at
hand to camouflage certain condi-
tions. And further, assuming that
there is no open evidence of disease,
in a few hours a prostitute may be-
come infectious.



PROSTITUTION AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS 25

In 1917, in a Pacific Coast city*



>^



ninety-seven per cent, of the common
women we]^loun3^to]be infected. In
an eastern city t, in 1915, ninety-six
per cent, of the prostitutes had a
venereal Disease. Medical certificates
were^ freely used by these women^ In
a small locality, in 1919, there were
three houses with twenty prostitutes,
each of whom had a physician's cer-
tificate, and eighteen of them had
syphilis or gonorrhea, or both.

That the clandestine and " char-
ity " girl may also be infected, as she
frequently is, does not lessen the out-
standing fact that segregated districts
and disease go hand in hand. Then,
too, while the clandestine and charity
girl expose comparatively few, the
known prostitute exposes hundreds.
In a raid upon a house containing

* San Francisco, Cal.
t Baltimore, Md.



26 VICE AND HEALTH

three women, all of whom were syphi-
litic, cards punched by the madam
indicating a payment in advance for
the prostitute desired, were seized
and used in court as evidence ; th.ese
contained forty-nine, thirty-seven,
and twenty-eight punch marks respec-
tively for the day's activities.*

" What always has been, always
will be " is an assertion frequently
heard in support of a district's con-
tinuance ; but immutability has proved
to be but a phantom in the face of a
virile attack.

Variations of the above reasons are
repeatedly advanced, and like the
main arguments, apparently possess
a certain logical basis which thus
makes them dangerous. The propa-
ganda of the underworld in this re-
spect has been most effective; conse-

* See " The Case Against the Red Light ", a
pamphlet published by the American Social Hy-
giene Association and State Boards of Health.



PROSTITUTION AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS 27

quently there are thousands of men
and women in the United States, well
meaning people, who being casually
attracted to the question, are con-
vinced that the segregated district and
its known house of prostitution is
vice's safest form. Public opinion is
in this manner fortified in an attitude
of tolerance which truth alone can
finally dissipate.

General Pershing, whose experi-
ence with the medical regulation of
vice in Mexico and with the various
phases of control applied to the
American Expeditionary Forces,
qualifies him to speak, has thus
summed up the case against segrega-
tion: "Many of us who have experi-
mented with licensed prostitution or
kindred measures, hoping thereby to
minimize the physical evils, have
been forced to the conclusion that
they are generally ineffective. Abra-



8 VICE AND HEALTH

ham Flexner has argued the case so
convincingly that on the scientific side,
it seems to me, there is no escape from
the conclusion that what he terms
4 abolition 9 as distinguished from
i regulation' is the only effective mode
of combating this age-old evil."

Hotels are being generally used for
the purposes of clandestine prosti-
tution, and in a great many instances
with perfect safety. The conditions
found in large hostelries are particu-
larly adaptable to professional im-
morality. The hotel lobby or corridor
becomes an attractive setting for the
marketing of wares, which is usually
aided by bell-boys or procurers ; and
once met, the contracting parties have
little difficulty in securing accomoda-
tions, if not at the assignation point
then at some near-by house, the de-
tails of baggage being previously
arranged.



PROSTITUTION AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS 29

The small and disorderly hotel, of
which there are several in every city
of any size and many in the larger
ones, operates either boldly or clan-
destinely, as conditions warrant.
Such resorts, irrespective of any dis-
trict, contain many of the disadvan-
tages of the segregated form and are
less likely to be disturbed by munici-
pal interference. A prostitute will
remain at one of these places for a
week or so, then move on to another,
thus operating in a cycle which may
involve several cities. Her " guests",
who have been procured by her own
efforts upon the streets, or have been
steered to her by the hotel boys, are
entertained in her room.

The low-grade apartment house is
quite akin to the disorderly hotel,
with the difference that detection is
somewhat less easy in the former than
in the latter.



80 VICE AND HEALTH

Booming houses ofttimes, when
revealed, are places of accomodation
where regular " lodgers " are dis-
creetly made available. These estab-
lishments differ from the usual house
of prostitution in that they have no
parlor attachment. Besides, the mad-
am is likely to have certain women on
her list, living privately, who are
readily summoned by telephone.
The latter class is sometimes com-
posed of women who are legitimately
employed during the day but for vari-
ous reasons are willing to quietly
prostitute themselves. Houses hav-
ing no residents but to which women
are summoned, are known as " call '
resorts.

One of the most general manifes-
tations of clandestine prostitution is
observed in street solicitation. This
may take the direct form of the spok-
en word or the more tactful flirtation.



PROSTITUTION AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS 31

If the woman does not happen to be a
regular inmate she will invariably
lead her victim to a place designed for
the purpose of catering to transient
and illicit accommodations.

The automobile, especially the "f or-
hire " car, is a definite element in vice
activity. The chauffeur frequently
has several women who are subject to
his call; and the automobile being
driven to a secluded spot, is used as
the locus operandi, when necessary.

And lastly, there is the quiet girl
who to all appearances lives decently
yet who commercializes herself.

While the various phases men-
tioned above comprehensively cover
the commercial manifestations it
must be remembered that hundreds of
young women become charitably pro-
miscuous ; they are decidedly hard to
control, and present as great a prob-
lem as the commercial counterpart.



34 VICE AND HEALTH

Thus it appears that the difficulties
in eradicating prostitution are more
general than might at first be sus-
pected, and are by no means re-
stricted to a segregated locality. It
follows that numerous points of
attack are indicated; these must be
planned with care and be persistently,
conscientiously and generally pur-
sued. Spasmodic local efforts make
good press material but do not hit at
the heart of the matter. Constant
suppression of vice in all of its forms
in every locality is essential to any
reasonable advance against the prob-
lem. Modern methods, among other
things, involve just that.



CHAPTER III

THE BUSINESS SIDE OP PROSTITUTION

Prostitution pays and pays hand-
somely. Finance is its life, gain its
very heart. Eliminate the dollar and
the elaborate machinery sustaining
the traffic disappears.

In districts the girl does not rely
upon her own energies for trade. She
is regularly established, and has her
interested parties on the outside who
are masters in the art of information.
Men are engaged for the most part,
and operate occasionally directly;
that is, without any visible means of
support, but more often under the
blind of some kind of employment.
The automobile has created an excel-
lent shield for this activity.

As in the old horse-cab days, the
driver of the modern public convey-

3 33



34 VICE AND HEALTH

ance is well informed on vice locali-
ties; and for his regular fare plus a
bonus will take the inquirer to them.
After landing his patron he subse-
quently receives an additional com-
pensation from the landlady whose
establishment he favors. While all
taxi-cab drivers are not connected
with the prostitutes, and companies
of good standing penalize by im-
mediate dismissal any employee oper-
ating illegally, this method of obtain-
ing admission to the underworld may
nevertheless be relied upon for satis-
factory results.

Policemen also frequently direct
inquiring strangers. In short, a dis-
trict is one of the easiest neighbor-
hoods in a city to locate, if one exists.

A distinction, however, must be
drawn between the occasional inform-
ant and the out-and-out " cadet ".
The latter is a despicable person who



THE BUSINESS SIDE OF ^PROSTITUTION 35

is directly controlling one or more
women, in whose proceeds he largely
shares, if, indeed, he does not get all
of them. This is a matter of personal
slavery and is most difficult to ex-
plain. The power exerted over the
unfortunate girl is absolute, and
cruelty appears to be an essential to
its success. Her type of mind trans-
lates a beating into displayed affec-
tion, though the logic involved is
quite incomprehensible.

Once inside of the resort the will-
ing victim pays a dollar or more for a
drink of poor whisky, usually treat-
ing the inmates in the parlor who are
at leisure, they however sipping cold
tea at the same exorbitant price.
If the man has plenty of money
and can be induced to become suf-
ficiently intoxicated he may later
find himself penniless by reason of
his indiscretion.



36 VICE AND HEALTH

It has long since been demonstrated
that with the high rents and various
extortions connected with the busi-
ness, resorts are compelled to rely
upon other than the up-stairs fees.
Liquor, therefore, has always been
considered a necessary adjunct. The
" underground railroad " still deliv-
ers this commodity freely to such
places. However, with the existence
of prohibitive prices some madams
(as the proprietresses are styled)
have successfully adapted themselves
to national prohibition by selling soft
drinks at a fancy figure, and thus
manage to conduct a profitable con-
cern. Incidentally, it may be added
that higher charges prevail for privi-
leges than formerly obtained.

It is unnecessary to discuss the
details of the internal economy of an
establishment, except to remark that
by a clever charge system for fashion-



THE BUSINESS SIDE OF PROSTITUTION 37

able apparel, peddled by agents cater-
ing to the trade, and by the usual fees
for board and lodging, the bulk of the
earnings of the inmates finds its way
into the hands of the madam, who, in
turn, surrenders a large portion of it
to the landlord. The men directly
backing the resorts come in for their
share; and the " friends " of the


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Online LibraryJohn Clarence FunkVice and health, problems - solutions → online text (page 1 of 6)