Reprinted from today’s KU Today:
LAWRENCE — As the World War I military draft brought to the forefront the high rate of venereal disease among the civilian population, states began to enact measures to quarantine people and begin forms of treatment to try to control syphilis, gonorrhea and other potential outbreaks. However, a University of Kansas researcher has documented examples of how this process continued well into peacetime and how these laws were generally enforced along lines of gender and class, especially punishing poor women. Nicole Perry, a University of Kansas graduate student in sociology, studied Chapter 205, the state of Kansas quarantine law that took effect in 1917 and led to approximately 5,000 women being imprisoned at the Women’s Industrial Farm in Lansing between 1917 and 1942.
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