What a Pair

What a Pair

Foot fetishes flourish during epidemics of sexually-transmitted diseases, according to a 1998 study. The paper, published in the PubMed database of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), was unearthed by the Discovery Magazine Discoblog:

“During the current millenium, there have been four major epidemics of sexually transmitted disease as noted by contemporaries. In the Western World there was an apparent gonorrhea epidemic in the Thirteenth Century, syphilis epidemics in the Sixteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, and AIDS in the current century (Moodle, 1923; Long, 1929; Bayon, 1990). During each of those periods there seemed to emerge a sexual focus on the female foot. This focus apparently coincided with each of the first three epidemics and disappeared with the epidemic’s subsidence, usually after 30-60 years (Mc- Kmney, 1965; Windle, 1992). This focus on feet was unique to each of these epidemic periods. During all other periods, eroticism was attached to breasts, buttocks, and thighs. Biblical, Egyptian, and Classical art and literature focused on these female body parts but not the feet (Cowell, 1969; Windle, 1992).Whether feet were bare or exposed as in the Ancient World or covered in the early Medieval one, feet were not seen as sexual foci (Rossi, 1977; Windle, 1992)…”

— “Sexualization of the female foot as a response to sexually transmitted epidemics: a preliminary study,” Giannini AJ, Colapietro G, Slaby AE, Melemis SM, Bowman RK, Psychological Report, 1998 Oct;83(2):491-8.

The investigators tested this hypothesis by analyzing 10 years of pornographic magazines spanning the period from 1965 to 1994, overlapping the start of the AIDs epidemic. Read about it here:

“NCBI ROFL: Sexualization of the female foot as a response to sexually transmitted epidemics: a preliminary study.” Discoblog

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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