Vintage STD prevention posters are the best/worst

Vintage sex ed alert! The San Franciso Department of Public Health (um, coolest local government agency in the country? I think so!) brings us 100 years worth of STD prevention posters. On Twitter, Tracy Clark-Flory described them as “awesome(ly awful).”

Some are just plain awesome though. This one is my favorite.

These days, when some folks in Philadelphia believe giving young people access to condoms is “irresponsible,” Massachusettes lawmakers decry a sex education website as “disgusting,” and a famous man says women who are sexually responsible are “tacky,” it seems like we could use a little more of this kind of frankness.

As my second favorite poster warns, “False shame and fear may destroy your future.”

And, as my third fav—ok, ok, I’ll stop!

What’s your favorite one? Go vote.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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