During World War II the servicemen suffered quite a bit from the dangers of unprotected sex. In response the U.S. government commissioned this wonderfully horrific set of posters. Meant to scare the soldiers straight with such taglines as “Men who know…say no to prostitutes” and “A minute with Venus. A year with Mercury!”

Brilliant, pure genius. I know these “propaganda” posters would make be think twice before bunking up with the local floozie. I think the current government should re-release a campaign like this. How fun would that be to see these littering the walls of the subway. In my opinion advertising and messages have become more politically correct without good reason. If a message communicates then it communicates…you might as well be upfront about it. Either way…I find these to be terrifying and hilarious at the same time.


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  • amsoil says:

    Wow. These are really historical. I am actually amazed that one of them speaks to women in a pretty modern sense, the "Beware of chance acquaintances" one. Some are pretty terrifying, but not all of them.

    • kat says:

      How utterly un-surprising that almost every single one of these signs blames women for the spreading of STDs. It's funny how they villainize the prostitues, but how many prostitutes would be out there if men weren't such horny creepy perverts in the first place?

      • Taylor says:

        Actually,kat, quite a few of them point out guys as dangerous. It's 50/50 guys,girls. . . wonder where that attitude was in the 1980's when I was coming up?

  • It does seem like women are demonized by association with fascist dictators much more often than men are in these posters.

    • JAK says:

      That's because these ads are targeting the users of prostitutes, i.e. male soldiers. Besides the fact that men are the most likely people to use prostitutes, the vast majority of soldiers at the time were young men. Saying "Hitler isn't your only enemy" was naturally the most effective way of putting it.–If anyone was being discriminated against, it was gay men.