Prevention Strategies and Changes in Sexual Mores in Response to the Outbreak of Syphilis in Europe in the Early Modern AgeEugenia Tognotti*
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Italy
- *Corresponding Author:
- Eugenia Tognotti
Department of Biomedical Sciences
History of Medicine Medical School
University of Sassari, Viale San Pietro
10, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Tel: +39 079237866
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: May 23, 2014; Accepted date: July 28, 2014; Published date: July 31, 2014
Citation: Tognotti E (2014) Prevention Strategies and Changes in Sexual Mores in Response to the Outbreak of Syphilis in Europe in the Early Modern Age. J Anc Dis Prev Rem 2:113. doi: 10.4172/2329-8731.1000113
Copyright: © 2014 Tognotti E. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
In the same way as AIDS in the 20th century, syphilis was the sexual scourge of the 16th century. Both of these sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS and syphilis, placed women at the risk of becoming infected through sexual intercourse within marriage. Nothing is known about the individual strategies of women during the first European syphilis epidemic. On the basis of primary sources (in the form of archival material and personal letters), and of literary sources, this article tries to shed light on the preventive measures and behavioural choices adopted in Renaissance Italy. We take in account, in particular, the social and institutional context in which two structural factors were acting: the large-scale war involving long separation of spouses, and the diffusion of prostitution which offered more opportunities for men's extramarital sexuality.