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Exhibit looks at the quirkiness of historical sexual health campaigns

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booby_trap.jpg"Booby Trap," "Good Time Girls," and "Smash the Prostitution Racket!" These were a few of the terms used during early- to mid-20th century public health campaigns by the American Social Health Association. Today, these terms are outdated, humorous, even offensive. But, in some respects, that makes for a great teaching tool.

"One of the things that the American Social Health Association believed in strongly was bringing prostitution, human trafficking, and STDs to light," said Linnea Anderson, a curator with the Social Welfare and History Archives at the University of Minnesota Libraries. "They believed that if you swept it under the rug, kept it secret, that it allowed them to flourish. It's one of the reasons we selected the cartoon, 'If we can get the beast out of his lair...' for the theme of the exhibit."


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  • At the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, our mission is to inspire, educate, and support innovative leaders to advance the common good in a diverse world. The purpose of the Humphrey Diversity blog is to open communication between and among our students, alumni, faculty, staff and the larger community interested in diversity and public policy. If you have information to share with the community on a related topic, please send content to hhhdiversity@umn.edu.  More information about diversity initiatives at the Humphrey School is available on the Humphrey School website.

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