"The theory that a beautiful prostitute who had served the invading French army accounted for the late fifteenth- century epidemic of the French disease resonated with popular perceptions and reinforced efforts to control disease by placing certain types of women in institutions. “Debauched” men were also culpable in disease origin stories. Undisciplined as soldiers and unchaste in habits, ruled by sensual pleasures, debauched men upset the natural order by allowing themselves to be ruled by women or by enjoying themselves with other males. The French disease therefore became a symbol of the dangers associated with uncontrolled femininity and undisciplined masculinity. Although these narratives of the French disease’s dangers built on earlier medieval and Renaissance literary traditions of disease, beauty, and danger, their popularity in the early modern period can be partly attributed to the moralizing impulses of the Counter-Reformation Catholic Church, the political and military failures of the Italian peninsula, and the impact of contagion theory."
Laura J. McGough - Gender, Sexuality and Syphilis in Early Modern Venice: The Disease that Came to Stay
, 46 (via effusionofbiopower