As Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders reportedly prepares to announce another run for president, according to his hometown paper the Burlington Free Press, his unusual past views on a variety of issues have begun to resurface on social media, posing potential problems for the 77-year-old Sanders if he joins the growing filed of candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Earlier on Monday, as the Inquisitr reported, a video from 1988 surfaced on Twitter showing a shirtless Sanders and his wife Jane singing "This Land Is Your Land" while visiting the Soviet Union.
But also on Monday, an example of Sanders' controversial early writings also surfaced on Twitter, specifically, a December, 1969 essay titled "Cancer, Disease and Society," originally published in the Vermont Freeman underground newspaper. In the five-decade-old piece, Sanders argues that cervical cancer is caused by a woman's inability to achieve orgasm, that women who dislike sexual intercourse are more likely to contract cancer, and that women who were raised by mothers who disapproved of their having sex at ages as young as 16 were also more susceptible to cervical cancer.
Researchers have never established any evidence that sexual inhibitions are linked to cancer, and according to the National Cancer Institute, "although stress can cause a number of physical health problems, the evidence that it can cause cancer is weak."
Sanders in the Vermont Freeman essay also blames schoolteachers for causing the sexual repression that he incorrectly claims leads to cancer, at one point referring to a teacher as an "old b***h."
When Sanders published the "Cancer, Disease and Society" essay he was 28-years-old, just one year younger than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when earlier this month she became the youngest person ever elected to a congressional seat.
But the 1969 essay was not the only one in which Sanders expressed his views about what he saw as harmful sexual repression. In another 1969 essay, uncovered by Mother Jones magazine, Sanders complained that children were not generally allowed to touch other children on the genitals.
"If children go around naked, they are liable to see each others sexual organs, and maybe even touch them. Terrible thing!" Sanders wrote, sarcastically. "If we [raise] children up like this it will probably ruin the whole pornography business, not to mention the large segment of the general economy which makes its money by playing on peoples sexual frustrations."
A spokesperson for Sanders told Mother Jones that "like most people, Bernie's views on many issues have changed over time." But the spokesperson did not specifically disavow Sanders' belief in the link between sexual repression and cervical cancer.