In their efforts to combat female frigidity, Chelala, Arce, and the students imagined a role for medical experts in state bureaucracy and they promoted and cultivated a close, private relationship between laypeople and physicians. While it seemed important to medical professionals that they advocate female sexual pleasure, they also stressed the connections between female sexual pleasure and reproduction. After more than four centuries of Spanish colonization, Cubans had fought for and all but won independence in only to have the U. Arce believed that many frigid women faked their orgasms during sexual relations with their husbands. Lawmakers revamped the nation's legal structures by revising the civil and penal codes and writing and enacting an entirely new Cuban constitution.
After the pre-nuptial exam law failed to pass, Chelala's tireless efforts to communicate with and teach the layperson in the lates through the s suggest his disillusionment with the State's effectiveness to enact eugenic-based legislation. In their theses, the students whose immediate audience was the faculty of the medical school, not Cuban laypeople were very explicit about the sexual techniques men needed to learn in order to cure their wives of female frigidity. In the case of the husband, he, by general rule, does not enter into marriage a virgin. For example, sexologist Angel argued that a bad first sexual experience would seriously affect the couple's conjugal future. While the eugenicist and sexologist saturated the Cuban public with their opinions via mass media publications and radio broadcasts, the medical students wrote for a more particular and perhaps exacting audience: Arce advertised that in these courses he would explain sexuality using various educational methods: With this agenda, the medical professionals took part in the public discussion concerning societal problems and the future direction of the Second Cuban Republic. Their theses on impotence were medico-legal studies in which they delineated the various ways a doctor could prove that a man was impotent for cases in which Cuban legal authorities needed medical proof and certification of impotence for a divorce case. Throughout the s and s, feminists were active public advocates for women's and children's rights and for more equitable gender relations in the domestic and labor arenas. Of course women had always worked, especially in the informal sectors, but changes in the types of women who worked and the types of work they engaged in i. While these concerned medical professionals thought that the honeymoon was a crucial moment in which pleasurable sexual relations set the foundations for marital felicity, they also paid increasingly close attention to marital sexual relations that followed the wedding night. Chelala also communicated with the public by writing advice columns in magazines and by reading aloud and answering letters from his readers on his radio shows. Interestingly, while medical professionals expressed their desire for women to have orgasms, they only desired them to have orgasms during coital intercourse with their spouses. The majority of the scholarship on Latin American eugenics to date emphasizes Latin Americans' overall rejection of racist eugenics and highlights Latin Americans' focus on gender, motherhood, and pronatalism during the first wave of the eugenic movement, Medical professionals wanted to teach laypeople to worry about these issues and to encourage them to seek education and counsel from scientific experts. Ignorance and Impotence Arce, Chelala, and the medical students often claimed that most female frigidity was caused by several different factors: In light of the Chelala and Arce's suggestions, some of the students' suggestions were more creative, often calling for state intervention in laypeople's intimate lives. It was a novel way of applying science to the regulation of sexual reproduction in the lateth and 20th centuries. The texts included descriptions of female genital anatomy clitoris, labia, etc. In contrast to Chelala, who focused upon the reproductive risks, or Arce, who focused on the male experience, these students were preoccupied with women's experiences on the wedding night. Early scholars claimed that the eugenic movement ended in the s and s once the general public became aware of past Nazi abuses of eugenics and as advances in genetic science debunked the science of eugenics. Beginning in the early s, Chelala began to cultivate relationships with numerous international figures active in the eugenics movement, corresponding with figures such as Margaret Sanger, head of the American Birth Control League; Paul Popenoe, U. This task will not be accomplished in a few days, but it will be a great ideal for the future of our nation. Thus, it could be assumed that these physicians' interest lay in the sexuality of white Cubans, not of Cubans of color whose sexual practices were portrayed as morally suspect by social scientists at the time and because more white Cubans tended to contract legal marriage than Cubans of color did during this period. Perhaps because the theses were meant to be seen by faculty members and not the general public, the student's recommendations were much more explicit and descriptive than those that Chelala and Arce were able to provide their audiences in the popular media. Similar to Arce and Chelala, the medical students' solutions and recommendations for laypeople's sexual problems suggested that they not only wanted to play a more powerful role in governmental institutionalized settings, but also to foster close, intimate relationships with laypeople.
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