Essay on America 's Public Health Services

1524 Words Dec 8th, 2016 7 Pages
In 1938 the Public Health Services in Guatemala published the Regulation of the Department of Sexual Prophylaxis and Venereal Disease, this manual provided policies that “open[ed] up horizons of moralizing and personal support” to regulate the “sexual problem” of commercial sex workers in Guatemala. This Public Health campaign ran parallel to the urbanization of Guatemala’s rural landscape during the 1930s and 1940s. Guatemala’s commercial sex workers were usually among the working class that did not align with the Guatemalan elite’s expectations of modernization of the country because these women were viewed as diseased and dirty. However, commercial sex work was one way working class women were able to make a living. Thus, stigma for commercial sex work was high and caused social tensions between Guatemala’s two social and ethnic classes—the ladinos (the upper-middle class) and working class indigenous. Although social tensions often center around politics and economics, public health services, controlled by ladinos in Guatemala, tend to be overlooked by scholars, especially when concerns about the spread of venereal disease are used to regulate space, class, and gender. One way that the ladino elite justified and accomplished this regulation and containment of indigenous and working class women in a tumultuous time of urbanization was by implementing new health policies seen in Public Health manuals and biomedical experiments. This process reveals that Guatemalan Public…

Related Documents