Posture photos were a practice of a variety of elite American universities through which every entrant to those Universities was required to pose naked with rods attached to their spines to show the exact position of their spinal column. This practice persisted from the War to at least the late 60s. Although most wre systematically destroyed, some survive in storage and others were stolen, notably from both Vassar and Wellesley. George Bush, Bob Woodward and Hilary Clinton were notable participants in the programme. It has been suggested that the photos may have come to be used in, or have been planned to be used by, the CIA programme to use sexual blackmail to manipulate people, such as in the case of Craig Spence. The official reason for the pictures being taken was to diagnose bad posture so that members of the student body could be given remedial attention should they suffer from curvature of the spine.
Naomi Wolf has been credited with bringing the posture photos to light, after causing a fuss over a joke made about stolen posture photos at a University event. However these photos were never secret, and were always known of by both university authorities and students.
George Hersey, a professor at Yale, wrote a letter to the Times claiming the photos were used in anthropological research for eugenic reasons, as part of a study into creating a master race.