With the outbreak of war, complementary gender roles were reinforced. The ideal of the active fighting soldier was complemented by the image of the passive, self-sacrificing mother. These models meant that extramarital sexual relations by women were socially stigmatised.
During the First World War there was a significant increase in venereal diseases. Before the war, 5.6 per cent of Austro-Hungarian soldiers suffered from a venereal disease. By 1915 the level had risen to 12.2 per cent.
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