Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: 10.25143/amhr.2019.XII.04
Title: Categorized Soviet Citizens in the Context of the Policy of Fighting Venereal Disease in the Soviet Latvia from Khrushchev to Gorbachev (1955–1985)
Other Titles: Padomju pilsoņu kategorizēšana venerisko slimību apkarošanas politikas kontekstā padomju Latvijā no Hruščova līdz Gorbačova valdīšanas laikam (1955–1985)
Authors: Lipša, Ineta
Keywords: Fighting VDs;immoral and parasitic lifestyle;marginalised populations;prostitution;male homosexual;the Soviet Union (SU);the Latvian SSR (LSSR);venerisko slimību apkarošana;amorāls un parazītisks dzīvesveids;marginalizētas iedzīvotāju grupas;prostitūcija;homoseksuāļi;Padomju Savienība;Latvijas PSR
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: RSU Medicīnas vēstures institūts. Paula Stradiņa Medicīnas vēstures muzejs.
Series/Report no.: 12 (31);
Abstract: In the Soviet period, the incidence of venereal diseases (VDs)2 was ideologically interpreted by authorities as a deficiency inherent in capi- talist countries. It was stated that VDs would be eliminated in the Soviet Union at the earliest possible date. Compared to the independent Republic of Latvia (1918–1940), during the Soviet period, despite a larger popu- lation, the number of registered VDs infected patients was significantly lower. In such a historical context, a strange ideological obsession could be observed in the activities pursued by Soviet authorities when fighting VDs. The notion of the VDs as a remnant of the capitalist system determined the treatment of Soviet citizens infected by the VDs as marginalised populations. In order to achieve the goal of becoming a country where the VDs were eliminated, the Soviet Union practised a drastic dispensarisation system in the treatment of VDs, which was focused only on certain groups of the population that were identified in the documents of internal use for the fight against VDs. Starting with the 1960s, the VDs fighting policy also included the fight against prostitution, euphemised as the fight against “frivolous women”, by directing the control against the female gender. At the same time, the decisions at the highest level of the Soviet government, that were mostly marked by the “not to be published” stamp, formally cor- responded to the ideas of gender equality and Soviet ideas of rule of law. In the context of the marginalised populations, authorities were of the opinion that it was justifiable to humiliate citizens, who would be forced to undergo unjustified medical examination, because the smallest proportion of marginalised populations, who were subjected to forced medical examination, turned out to be VDs positive. When assessing the extension of such prac- tices to the wider population, it was recognised that this would not contrib- ute to the strengthening of the Soviet rule of law. The purpose of the article is to reveal the development of the population categorisation practice in the context of the VDs fighting policy in the Latvian SSR.
DOI: 10.25143/amhr.2019.XII.04
ISSN: 1022-8012
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