British concern over the reproduction of the population and society of Uganda intensified from 1907 through 1924. Institutions and ideologies were developed to cope with an epidemic of STDs, to promote the family as a unit of reproduction, and to reform motherhood. The British colonizers and the African elite of Uganda built a population crisis from a collection of beliefs and data. The perceived severity of this crisis - and the response it evoked - changed over the years. That response began as a straightforward medical attempt to treat the ill. After the World War, though, "social hygiene" became an important therapeutic tool, and the administration worked to instill shame and to change the sexual behavior of individuals. At the end of the war, the administration medical service and its missionary allies promoted motherhood through the Maternity Training School (MTS) in an effort to make more women reproduce and to make them better mothers. And in the 1920s, the administration and the missions attempted to shape African family structures and private life by employing midwives trained by the MTS in health and education initiatives

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Copyright © University of Chicago Press. This article first appeared in Signs 16:4 (1991), 787-807.

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