Medical Vibrators for Treatment of Female Hysteria
During the late 1800s through the early 1900s, physicians administered pelvic massages involving clitoral stimulation by early electronic vibrators as treatments for what was called female hysteria. Until the early 1900s, physicians used female hysteria as a diagnosis for women who reported a wide range of complaints and symptoms unexplainable by any other diagnosis at the time. According to historian Rachel Maines, physicians provided pelvic massages for thousands of years to female patients without it being considered erotic or sexually stimulating. After the Western Industrial Revolution, physicians began using electric machines in medicine, including the medical vibrator, which researchers theorize was used to more efficiently bring women to a hysterical paroxysm, the former medical term for a female orgasm.
Breast Augmentation Techniques
Breast augmentation involves the use of implants or fat tissue to increase patient breast size. As of 2019, breast augmentation is the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States, with annual patient numbers increasing by 41 percent since the year 2000. Since the first documented breast augmentation by surgeon Vincenz Czerny in 1895, and later the invention of the silicone breast implant in 1963, surgeons have developed the procedure into its own specialized field of surgery, creating various operating techniques for different results. By having varied incisions, implant placements, and improved ways of treating surgery-related complications, advanced technology has enabled women to undergo breast augmentations for aesthetic, medical, or reconstructive reasons. Trans women may also benefit from breast augmentations.
The Development of Silicone Breast Implants for Use in Breast Augmentation Surgeries in the United States
In the 1960s, two plastic surgeons from the United States, Thomas Dillon Cronin and Frank Judson Gerow, collaborated with the Dow Corning Corporation, which specialized in silicone products, to create the first silicone breast implant. Surgeons used the implant, named the Cronin-Gerow implant, to improve the look of a woman’s breasts, by correcting for asymmetry, augmenting the size, or creating a more uplifted profile. Surgeons began widely using the breast implant almost immediately after it reached the US market in 1964, and breast augmentation quickly became one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the country.
“Some of the Uses of Electricity in Gynecology,” (1901) by William Henry Walling
In 1901, physician William Henry Walling published the article, “Some of The Uses of Electricity in Gynecology,” in the January issue of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Journal
. Walling was a practicing gynecologist who studied electro-therapeutics, or the use of electricity in medicine for the treatment of disease, which was an emerging topic during the late 1800s. Walling stated that proper administration of electrical current to a woman’s vagina
, bladder, or rectum could be therapeutic for gynecological diseases. He supplies scientific explanations for some of his claims, but not for all.
“Genetical Implications of the Structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid” (1953), by James Watson and Francis Crick
In May 1953, scientists James Watson
and Francis Crick
wrote the article “Genetical Implications of the Structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid,” hereafter “Genetical Implications,” which was published in the journal Nature.
United States v. Milan Vuitch (1971)
In the 1971 court case United States v. Milan Vuitch
, hereafter US v. Vuitch
, the US Supreme Court ruled that a Washington, DC law was constitutional by overturning a 1969 district court decision. Beginning in the early twentieth century, Washington, DC, prohibited abortions except for abortions performed to preserve the life or health of the pregnant woman. In 1969, Milan Vuitch, a physician in Washington, DC, was convicted of criminal abortion
for providing an abortion
when the woman’s life was not endangered.