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This chapter argues that the U.S. occupation of the Panamá Canal Zone during World Wars I and II involved a medicalized state of war against venereal diseases and the sex trade. The U.S. military developed intricate spatial practices of racial and gender segregation that attempted both to contain excessive soldier sexuality and to regulate soldier contact with the multiracial population of Panamá. In their most intrusive dimensions, these programs involved the arrest and screening of Panamanian women as “venereal disease suspects” whose purported racial proclivities for dirt, bacteria, and seduction were likened by occupation health officials to the pestilence of...

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