The Eugenic Marriage
A Personal Guide to the New Science of Better Living and Better Babies
By W. GRANT HAGUE, M. D.
College of Physicians and Surgeons (Columbia University), New York; Member of County Medical Society, and of the American Medical Association
In Four Volumes
THE REVIEW OF REVIEWS COMPANY
Copyright, 1913, by W. GRANT HAGUE
Copyright, 1914, by W. GRANT HAGUE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SEX HYGIENE FOR THE BOY
BUILDING OUR BOYS
A word to parents—Interest in sex hygiene—The "Social Evil"—Ten millions suffering with venereal diseases in the United States—Immorality not confined to large cities—Venereal diseases common in country places—What are the consequences of venereal disease to the boy?—Gonorrhea, or clap—Symptoms of gonorrhea in the male—Complications of gonorrhea—Syphilis, or the "pox"—How syphilis is acquired—Syphilis attacks every organ in the body—Not possible to tell when cured—The chancre—Systematic, or constitutional symptoms—Mucous patches and ulcers—Syphilis of the blood vessels and lymphatic glands—The interior organs—Brain and spinal cord—The nose, eye, ear, throat—Hair and nails—What the boy with venereal disease may cause in others—The infected wife—A girl's fate when she marries—Young wife rendered sterile—Young wife made to miscarry—Is the husband to blame—Building the man—Age of puberty—"Internal Secretion" ... PAGE 139
THE PARENTS AND THE BOY
Abuse of the procreative function—The continent life—Provide the environment necessary to the clean life—The period of procreative power—Self-abuse—Masturbation—Treatment of masturbation—Night losses or wet dreams—Causes of night emissions—Sexual excesses—Treatment of sexual excesses—What parents should know about the so-called "social evil" before speaking with authority to the boy—The need of enlightenment in sexual matters—"No one told me, I did not know"—Fake medical treatment of venereal diseases—Sowing wild oats—Should circumcision be advised ... PAGE 153
SEX HYGIENE FOR THE GIRL
A MOTHER'S DUTY TO HER DAUGHTER
What a mother should tell her little girl—Where do babies come from—How baby birds and fish come from eggs—How other animals have little nests of their own—The duty of mothers to instruct and direct—What a mother should tell her daughter—Every mother should regard this duty as sacred—Every female child is a possible future mother—Motherhood the highest function of the sex—Health the one necessary essential—Symptoms of the first, or beginning menstruation—The period of puberty in the female—Changes in the reproductive organs at puberty—The female generative organs—The function of the reproductive organs—The age of puberty in the female—The function of the ovary—The function of the womb—Why menstruation occurs every twenty-eight days—The male or papa egg—The function of the spermatozoa—"Tell the whole story"—"How do these spermatozoa get there"—The union of the species—"How can a baby live in there for such a long time"—How the baby gets its nourishment in the womb—Girls must not become mothers ... PAGE 173
PREPARING FOR MOTHERHOOD
Menstruation—Irregular menstruation—Changes in the quantity of the flow—How the womb is held in place—Symptoms of menstruation—Menstruation should not be accompanied with pain—Don't give your daughters patent medicines, or "Female Regulators"—Take your daughter to the doctor—Leucorrhea in girls—Bathing when menstruating—Constipation and displaced wombs—Dress and menstruation—Absence of menstruation, or amenorrhea—Treatment of amenorrhea—Painful menstruation, or dysmenorrhea—Causes of dysmenorrhea—Treatment of dysmenorrhea—Sterility in the female—Conditions which affect the fertility of women—Climate, station in life, season of the year, age, the tendency to miscarry—Causes of sterility in the female—Displacement of womb—Diseases of womb, ovaries, or tubes—Malformations—Lacerations—Tumors—Leucorrhea—Physical debility—Obesity—Special poisons—"Knack of miscarrying"—Miscarriage—Cause of miscarriage—The course and symptoms of miscarriage—What to do when a miscarriage is threatened—Treatment of threatened miscarriage—Treatment of inevitable miscarriage—After treatment of miscarriage—The tendency to miscarriage ... PAGE 187
HYGIENE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE BABY
What to prepare for the coming baby—Care of the newly-born baby—The first bath—Dressing the cord—Treatment after the cord falls off—A pouting navel—Bathing baby—Clothing the baby—Baby's night clothes—Care of the eyes—Care of the mouth and first teeth—Care of the skin—Care of the genital organs—Amusing baby—Temperature in children—The teeth—The permanent teeth—Care of the teeth—Dentition—Treatment of teething—How to weigh the baby—Average weight of a male baby—Average weight of a female baby—Average height of a male child—The rate of growth of a child—Pulse rate in children—Infant records, why they should be kept—"Growing pains" ... PAGE 209
BABY'S FEEDING HABITS
Overfeeding baby—Intervals of feeding—How long should a baby stay at the breast—Vomiting between feedings—Regularity of feeding—Why is regularity of feeding important—A baby never vomits—What is the significance of so-called vomiting after feedings—Mother's milk that is unfit for baby—Fresh air for baby—Air baths for baby ... PAGE 223
BABY'S GOOD AND BAD HABITS—FOOD FORMULAS
Baby's bed—The proper way to lay baby in bed—Baby should sleep by itself—How long should a baby sleep—Why a baby cries—The habitual crier—The habit of feeding baby every time it cries—The habit of walking the floor with baby every time it cries—Jouncing, or hobbling baby—Baby needs water to drink—The evil habit of kissing baby—Establishing toilet habits—Baby's comforter—What can be done to lessen the evil effects of the comforter habit—Beef juice—Beef juice by the cold process—Mutton broth—Mutton broth with cornstarch or arrowroot—Chicken, veal, and beef broths—Scraped beef or meat pulp—Junket or curds and whey—Whey—Barley water—Barley water gruel or barley jelly—Rice, wheat or oat water—Imperial Granum—Albumen water—Dried bread—Coddled egg ... PAGE 235
Elementary principles of milk modification—The secret of the efficiency of mothers' milk—Two important factors in successful artificial feeding—Every child is a problem in itself—Proprietary foods of little value as infant foods—Their value is in the milk added to them—The credit belongs to the cow—Difference between human and cow's milk—What "top-milk" feeding means—Utensils necessary for home modification of milk—Artificial feeding from birth to the twelfth month—How to measure "top-milk"—Easy bottle-feeding method—Condensed milk feeding—Objections to condensed milk feeding ... PAGE 249
ARTIFICIAL FEEDING (continued)
How to prepare milk mixtures—Sterilizing the food for the day's feeding—How to test the temperature of the food for baby—When to increase the quality or quantity of food—Food allowable during the first year in addition to milk—Beef-juice—White of egg—Orange juice—Peptonized milk—The hot or immediate process—The cold process—Partially peptonized milk—Completely peptonized milk—Uses of peptonized milk—Objections to peptonized milk—What a mother should know about baby's feeding bottle and nipple—Should a mother put her baby on artificial food if her supply of milk during the first two weeks is not quite enough to satisfy it—Certain conditions justify the adoption of artificial feeding from the beginning—Mothers' mistakes in the preparation of artificial food—Feeding during the second year—Sample meals for a child three years of age—The diet of older children—Meats, vegetables, cereals, bread, desserts, fruits ... PAGE 259
WHAT MOTHERS SHOULD KNOW
THE EDUCATION OF THE MOTHER
What mothers should know about the care of children during illness—A sick child should be in bed—The diet of the sick child—A child is the most helpless living thing—The delicate child—How to feed the delicate child—How to bathe the delicate child—Airing the delicate child—Habits of the delicate child—Indiscriminate feeding—Poor appetite—Loss of appetite—Treatment of loss of appetite—Overeating in infancy—What correct eating means—Bran as a food—Breakfast for a child at school—Lunch for a child at school—Bran muffins for school children—Bran muffins in constipation—Hysterical children—What a mother should know about cathartics and how to give a dose of castor oil—Castor oil—Calomel—Citrate of Magnesium—When to use castor oil—When to use calomel—Vaccination—Time for vaccination—Methods of vaccination—Symptoms of successful vaccination ... PAGE 277
CONSTIPATION IN INFANTS AND CHILDREN
Constipation—Regularity of bowel function—The function of the stomach—Fermentation—Incomplete constipation—Importance of a clean bowel—A daily movement of the bowel necessary—Constipation in breast-fed infants—Treatment of constipation in breast-fed infants—Constipation in bottle-fed infants—Treatment of constipation in bottle-fed infants—Constipation in children over two years of age—Diet list for constipation in children—Bran muffins in constipation—Treatment of obstinate constipation—Oil injections in constipation ... PAGE 303
CONSTIPATION IN WOMEN
Chief cause of constipation in women—Constipation a cause of domestic unhappiness—The requirements of good health—The cost of constipation—Constipation and social exigencies—One of the important duties of mothers—Constipation and diseases of women—Constipation is always harmful—Constipation and pregnancy—Explanation of incomplete constipation—Causes of constipation—Negligence—Lack of exercise—Lack of water—Lack of bulk in the food taken—Abuse of cathartic drugs and aperient waters—Overeating—Treatment of constipation in women ... PAGE 315
SEX HYGIENE FOR THE BOY
"The evil that men do lives after them. The good is often interred with them."
"The pleasure in living is to meet temptation and not yield to it." Elmer Lee, M. D.
BUILDING OUR BOYS
A Word to Parents—Interest in Sex Hygiene—The "Social Evil"—Ten Millions Suffering with Venereal Diseases in the United States—Immorality not Confined to Large Cities—Venereal Diseases Common in Country Places—What Are the Consequences of Venereal Disease to the Boy?—Gonorrhea, or Clap—Symptoms of Gonorrhea in the Male—Complications of Gonorrhea—Syphilis, or the "Pox"—How Syphilis is Acquired—Syphilis Attacks Every Organ in the Body—Not Possible to Tell When Cured—The Chancre—Systematic or Constitutional Symptoms—Mucous Patches and Ulcers—Syphilis of the Blood Vessels and Lymphatic Glands—The Interior Organs—Brain and Spinal Cord—The Nose, Eye, Ear, Throat—Hair and Nails—What the Boy with Venereal Disease May Cause in Others—The Infected Wife—A Girl's Fate When She Marries—Young Wife Rendered Sterile—Young Wife Made to Miscarry—Is the Husband to Blame?—Building the Man—Age of Puberty—"Internal Secretion."
A WORD TO PARENTS.—Within recent times the subject of sex hygiene has been freely discussed by members of the medical profession and through them the general public has been made more or less acquainted with the problem. It has therefore acquired a degree of genuine interest which speaks well for the future of the eugenic ideal. Eugenics is based to a very large extent upon the principles underlying sex hygiene.
As a result of this widespread interest and investigation, we have discovered that the only method that promises actual progress, is to talk plainly and to tell the actual truth. The day of the prude has passed. To attempt to achieve results in the education of youth in sex problems, without giving, facts, is wasted effort. To give facts we must explain each problem so that its principles may be clearly understood and its meaning grasped. To point out the duty of youth is not sufficient. They must be shown why it is to their best interest to live the clean life. In every department of education we are beginning to appreciate that to achieve results it must be based upon the individual equation. This is why we have found it necessary to assert that it is the duty of parents to make sex hygiene a personal matter and to acquaint their children with the facts relating to this problem. It has been discovered, however, that a very large percentage of parents are inadequately informed on these subjects, in fact they know practically nothing about the actual facts which they are supposed to teach. I shall try to tell the story in a way which every parent will understand.
When a boy reaches the age of puberty he is susceptible to sexual desire. If he has not been told the story of his growth from boyhood to man's estate he will either begin to abuse himself, or he will be later enticed to commit himself to intercourse with some unclean female and he will acquire a disease as a result.
Inasmuch as it has been asserted that practically every boy has been addicted to self-abuse at some time, and that eighty per cent. of all males, between the ages of sixteen and thirty years, are victims of venereal disease, it would seem justifiable to assume that the boys who are informed of the facts in time are the boys who constitute the percentage who escape. This, of course, may not be literally true, but it is a reasonable assumption.
While self-abuse is a pernicious habit and may be attended with serious consequences, it is not a disease and, as will be explained later, it can be cured. It is therefore a menace to the individual, not to the race, and consequently need not concern us at the present time. On the other hand the venereal diseases are not to be considered as individual problems since they affect the welfare of the race. The venereal diseases which we will consider are gonorrhea and syphilis.
THE SOCIAL EVIL.—It has been estimated that there are more than ten millions of people in this country to-day suffering from the effects of venereal diseases. In New York city alone, there are two million victims suffering from the direct or indirect consequences of these diseases. It has been authoritatively asserted that, out of every ten men between the ages of sixteen and thirty, eight have, or have had, one or other of these diseases. When it is remembered that these diseases are not merely temporary incidents, but that they may be regarded as practically incurable in the vast majority, because of antagonistic social conditions and ignorance, and that they are highly infectious, we may begin to realize how important they are from the standpoint of race regeneration.
Statistics of these conditions are never reliable because much of the evil is hidden and lied about. It is quite probable,—if the estimates were based upon absolute knowledge—that the extent of the prevalency of these diseases would be greatly increased rather than reduced. It is however a fact, that the combined ravages of the Great White Plague, leprosy, yellow fever, and small-pox, are merely incidents compared to the effects which the venereal diseases have had upon mankind. It is useless to think that these diseases can be driven out of the land. Any hope of this nature is the impression of the dreamer. By a propaganda of education, by the spread of the eugenic idea and ideal, we may, however, reasonably hope to minimize the evil and, at least, to protect the innocent.
THE SOURCES OF IMMORALITY.—It is a fallacious idea to assume that the sources of immorality are confined to the large cities. This is far from the truth. In smaller towns and country places the diseases are quite common and conditions there tend to the spread of the contagion in a more intimate and a more harmful way. The individuals who are most likely to become affected are those most liable to succumb to temptation and whose home ties are of the best. There are many instances on record where one or two loose women spread the infection all over the country communities, infecting boys and men alike. No one can estimate what the final effect of such an epidemic may mean or how many innocent individuals may have their lives wrecked as a direct consequence. It is because these consequences are the product of ignorance in a very large percentage of the cases that there is such urgent need for enlightenment. It is at least our plain duty to tell the boy the actual facts—to post him with reference to consequences. The more thoroughly we instruct him in the elementary facts relative to the venereal diseases, the safer he will be from temptation, and if he possesses this knowledge and acquires disease, he will be more likely to immediately seek competent aid and advice.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF VENEREAL DISEASE TO THE BOY HIMSELF?
GONORRHEA OR "CLAP."—This is the most frequent of the venereal diseases. It is also the most serious. It is an unfortunate fact, that in the past,—and even to-day—boys have been told that gonorrhea is no worse than "a bad cold." This lie has been responsible for much evil and a great amount of unnecessary suffering and misery.
Gonorrhea is caused by a germ, obtained, as a rule, during intercourse with an infected person. This germ is called gonococcus. It thrives on any mucous membrane; it is not, therefore, limited to the sexual organs. For this reason it may attack any part of the body where mucous membrane is. It is particularly liable to damage, sometimes seriously and permanently, the eye. It may be spread from one person to another, or from any infected article to a person in numerous ways. The innocent may thus suffer as a result of the carelessness of the vicious.
THE SYMPTOMS OF GONORRHEA IN THE MALE are slight itching and burning of the mouth of the urethra. This is noticeable at any time from the third to the fourteenth day after exposure. These symptoms become more pronounced and a slight discharge appears. The patient is compelled to urinate frequently and it is painful and difficult. The discharge increases, it becomes thicker and looks like ordinary yellow pus. If the case is a severe one, the discharge may be blood stained, and if this symptom is present urination is more painful and more frequent.
In about ten days the disease reaches its height; it remains stationary for a number of weeks and then slowly, seemingly, gets better. The discharge grows thinner, less in quantity and lighter in color. It may refuse, despite the most careful and efficient treatment, to stop altogether; it is then known as "gleet." If the discharge stops completely the patient is apparently cured, as far as any external manifestation of the disease is concerned. In seventy-five per cent. of the cases, however, this apparent cure is no cure at all, as will be seen later.
Certain complications are likely to arise in the course of gonorrhea. The infection itself may be of such an acute or virulent type, that it invades the deeper structures of its own accord and despite the most careful, competent treatment; or if the treatment is not adequate or skillful it may be forced backward; or through neglect in not beginning the right kind of treatment in times, a simple infection may grow in degree into a serious disease, and invade the more important structures. In this way are produced disease of the bladder, prostate gland, seminal vesicles, testicles, and of the kidneys. Gonorrheal rheumatism may follow, and even disease of the lining membrane of the heart, and death.
When disease of the deeper parts occur the patient is frequently incapacitated and compelled to go to bed. He may have chills, fever and sweats, intense pain and the passage of bloody urine. He may have to be operated upon, and his general health may be permanently wrecked. So long as the germs are present there is danger despite the most scientific treatment. It is not the quality of the treatment that is at fault, it is the presence of the germs; and since it is impossible to pursue any certain method of eradication, we must continue treatment—as long as the germs are present—and hope for favorable results. The infection may last for many years. The germs having found entrance into the small tubes in the interior organs they can only be dislodged with difficulty, if at all. These pockets of germs may be excited to renewed activity by sexual intercourse, or by injury to the parts, and may reinfect the patient at any times. In a very considerable number of these cases where the deeper structures are involved, the patient may recover from the acute or painful period of the disease, only to find that he is sterile. There are many such cases, and the most vindictive individual who may believe that every who sins should be punished will admit that sterility, as the price of a moment's forgetfulness, is a terrible fee to pay.
SYPHILIS, OR THE "POX," is an infectious, germ blood disease. It is most frequently acquired through sexual intercourse.
It may be acquired by direct contact with a diseased person. In order to render such contact effective, it is essential that the skin of the healthy person be abraded, or the contact may be directly on a mucous membrane, as the mouth in the act of kissing.
It may be acquired by using any article which has been used by a syphilitic, as a drinking cup, or towel.
It may be acquired through hereditary transmission.
Surgeons frequently contract syphilis while operating on, or examining patients who have the disease. Dentists may convey it by means of instruments which have not been rendered aseptic, or thoroughly clean. Using a towel which has been used by a syphilitic has many times conveyed the infection to an innocent party. For this reason the roller towel has been done away with, and some states have legislated against its use in hotels and other public places. To use dishes, spoons, tobacco pipe, beer glasses, etc., which have been used by one having the disease is an absolutely certain way of being infected. Cigars which may have been made by a syphilitic will infect whoever smokes them with the virus of the disease. Syphilis has been known to have been caught from using the church communion cup. The public drinking-cup has been a prolific source of syphilitic dissemination to innocents. Legislators are just waking up to the danger that lurks in this institution and it will no doubt be done away with, not only in public places, but on all railroad and steamboat lines.
An infected mother can transmit syphilis to her child. If the father is affected, but not the wife, the child may escape.
Syphilis attacks every organ in the human body. The actual degree of infection has no relation to the size or character of the external manifestations. The external evidence may be minute and insignificant, while the internal extent and ravages of the disease may be tremendous and of large proportions. Many men when asked regarding incidents of the long ago, may state, "Oh, yes, I had a chancre twenty-five years ago, but it was a very small affair and soon healed up and was cured." Yet that same little chancre, that made only a mild impression on the man's mind, may, and most probably will, be the direct cause of that man's death.
It is not possible to tell with absolute certainty that an individual is suffering with syphilis by any known test. The most recent one—the Wassermann test—is not absolute by any means.
The first symptoms, or what is known as the initial lesion of syphilis, is the chancre.
THE CHANCRE is a small, hard tumor, or it may be a small ulcer with a hard base, or it may simply appear as a thin small patch on any mucous membrane. It is not painful, it can be moved if taken between the fingers, showing it is not attached to the deep structures, and when it is so moved it is not tender or sore. Any little lump which ulcerates located on the genitals must be regarded with suspicion. Boys and men should not be satisfied with any offhand statement that, "it is nothing." It may be a chancre, and it may be exceedingly serious if not properly diagnosed.
Systemic, or constitutional symptoms, begin to show themselves any time from the sixth to the tenth week after the appearance of the chancre.
ERUPTIONS OF THE SKIN characterize every case of syphilis. They occur in all degrees from the mild rash to the foul ulcer. The ulcerative process is very often extensive and loathsome.
MUCOUS PATCHES AND ULCERS affect the mucous membranes. The mouth and throat are favorite locations for these lesions. They occur in the anus and rectum, and may be mistaken in that region for other serious conditions. Men who drink and smoke suffer as a rule severely from mucous patches in the mouth and throat.
Syphilis attacks the blood vessels and the lymphatic glands. These cases may have been unrecognized, and may have existed for many years. A man may die from a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain during middle life as a consequence of a forgotten, supposedly cured case of syphilis many years before.
THE INTERIOR ORGANS may be attacked by syphilis. As a result we get disease of the liver, heart, stomach, kidneys, lungs, and other parts. It has been suggested that many diseases affecting these organs, for which treatment proves unsatisfactory, may have had their origin in a former syphilis.
THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD are quite often the seat of syphilitic affections. A tumor, known by the name of "gumma," is the result. The blood vessels of the entire nervous system may be affected and, as a consequence, we often see cases of paralysis, apoplexy, epilepsy, locomotor ataxia and death.
THE NOSE, EYE, EAR, THROAT, are frequently very seriously compromised as a result of the syphilitic poison. Deformity, caused by rotting of the bones of these parts is not infrequent. Loss of voice, or smell, or hearing, or sight, may result.
THE HAIR AND NAILS may fall out. The bones may ulcerate and rot. The organs of procreation usually participate in the degenerative process. Virility is destroyed, and impotence is quite common after a severe attack.
WHAT THE BOY WITH VENEREAL DISEASE MAY CAUSE IN OTHERS
GONORRHEA.—When the average boy acquires gonorrhea he frequently does not know, for many weeks, that he is the victim of a dangerous, infectious disease. He appreciates probably, that it relates to the sexual indiscretion he was guilty of, and feels that it is something to be ashamed of. He therefore hides his condition, confides in no one, and blindly hopes it will get better somehow or at some time. Meantime the disease, which may have been mild at the beginning, is gradually gaining ground and strength, and his neglect may eventuate in lifelong misery. No means are taken to guard against spreading the infection, the discharge may lodge on his fingers and he may infect his eyes and may lose his sight because he did not know that the discharge is one of the most dangerous fluids known. It may get on water-closet seats and infect others. Eventually he is compelled to seek aid, and he may, after a long period, be freed from the immediate consequences of his folly. At a later date he marries, and as previously explained, he infects his wife. This is the beginning of much of the domestic infelicity that is so prevalent to-day, and, inasmuch as it is a subject that should be thoroughly understood by every woman and mother, I shall carefully and clearly explain its significance and its consequences.
Let us first, however, briefly consider what may occur to others if the boy is unfortunate enough to acquire syphilis. Again the boy fails to comprehend the nature of his affliction. There is imminent danger of the members of his household becoming infected. He uses the same dishes, spoons, towels, and utensils, any one of which may convey the disease to his father, mother, sister, or brother. He may use the common drinking glass in school, college, or office, and spread the disease in this way. He may kiss any member of his family, or a baby, and infect them. He may have his hair cut, or be shaved, and the virus may be spread around in this way if the barber does not sterilize the article used,—which he never does. He may drink at a soda fountain, or at a saloon, and the next individual to use the same glass may acquire the disease. He is a menace to the individual, to the community, and to the race. Wives often acquire syphilis from their husbands.
THE INFECTED WIFE.—It has been previously stated that eight out of every ten males between the ages of sixteen and thirty, have had or have, gonorrhea or syphilis. Seventy-five per cent. of these cases have not been cured. About thirty-five per cent. of these are destined to infect wife, or wife and children, and in all probability many others.
If a young wife acquires infection from her husband, she is exactly in the same condition as the diseased boy,—she does not know what ails her, so she wastes precious time in unprofitable worry. Why should she know what the trouble is? She came to the marriage bed pure, and clean, and healthy. Her previous education did not include instruction which would even help her to guess what the trouble might be. She is simply conscious of new distressing conditions which she does not understand. She may try to believe that these conditions are incidental to the change in her life. Shortly, however, the discharge, which she has had for a number of weeks, and which she thought was only a leucorrhea, or "the whites," becomes so profuse and nasty that she begins douching. This procedure simply blinds her to the true nature of the affection, and in the end she is driven, ashamed and reluctant, to consult a physician. She may be informed that her condition is bad, and that it will be necessary that she submit to a course of treatment. After a time the physician may succeed in tiding her over the immediate consequences of the gonorrheal infection she innocently acquired. She may soon after become pregnant, and she may miscarry as a result of the old trouble, or she may carry the child the full period. When the child is born it may be blind and this defect is a consequence of the old infection to the mother from the father. If the mother is syphilitic the child most likely will inherit all the horrible possibilities of transmitted blood-poison.
Pregnancy frequently "lights up" any old, gonorrheal infection in the female, so this young wife fails to completely recover after the confinement. She is able to be about, but her strength refuses to be restored. It may be months later when she begins to suffer pain and to realize that she is quite sick. She develops a fever and may have a chill. The physician discovers that she has pus in her tubes and there is danger of peritonitis or general blood poisoning. The old germs have been roused and are active. Unfortunately they are located where it is impossible to dislodge them without resorting to a serious operation. It is now a problem of saving her life. She is taken to the hospital and her womb, tubes, and ovaries, are removed—she is unsexed.
Young wives are being operated on every day, in every city in the civilized world for just such causes. It is a notorious fact, that, in every city in the world, the number of operations that are daily being performed on women, is increasing appallingly. Every surgeon knows that eighty per cent. of these operations are caused, directly or indirectly, by these diseases, and in almost every case in married women, they are obtained innocently from their own husbands. It is rare to find a married woman who is not suffering from some ovarian or uterine trouble, or some obscure nervous condition, which is not amenable to the ordinary remedies, and a very large percentage of these cases are primarily caused by infection obtained in the same way.
When a girl marries she does not know what fate has in store for her, nor is there any possible way of knowing, under the present marriage system. If she begets a sickly, puny child,—assuming she herself has providentially escaped immediate disease,—she devotes all her mother love and devotion to her child, but she is fighting a hopeless fight as I previously explained when I stated that one-half of the total effort of one-third of the race, is expended in combating conditions against which no successful effort is possible. Even her prayers are futile, because the wrong is implanted in the constitution of the child and the remedy is beyond her power to find. These are the tragedies of life, which no words may adequately describe, and compared to which the incidental troubles of the world at large are as nothing.
If the conditions are not as bad as those depicted above, the original infection may have rendered her sterile. If the germs reached the womb and tubes, the inflammatory process may close these tubes, with the result that conception is impossible. In these cases the woman has to bear the stigma and disgrace of a childless union, though she is not the guilty party. Many husbands are sterile, however, as a result of venereal disease. It is claimed that eighty per cent. of childless marriages are caused by sterility of the male partner. Curiously and unfortunately these men never suspect themselves. The wife is the delinquent member, in their estimation. She is the victim of jest and suspicion, and later of jibes and insults. Many women have had their lives rendered miserable and unhappy because of this suspicion. They are compelled by their husbands to submit to examination and unpleasant and painful treatment and operations with the intention of rectifying a defective condition that does not exist. Many conscientious physicians refuse to treat women patients against whom the charge of sterility is made, before subjecting the husbands to thorough examination, and, since eighty per cent. of childless marriages are due to sterility in the male, this is a just and reasonable course to pursue.
During the course of all this domestic trouble and tragedy, the young wife's health has suffered—she scarcely enjoys one day of good health. Her mental condition is even worse. She submits to innuendo and insult under the impression that she is the unwitting cause of all the domestic wretchedness and often wishes she had never entered the marriage state. We must remember that these conditions wreck ideals and homes, and that they frequently render inefficient both husband and wife. The economic business of marriage becomes a failure, ambition is crushed and hope dies in the heart.
If the mother has been inoculated with the virus of syphilis her existence is equally wretched; her health is ruined; her efficiency is forever mortgaged. If she becomes pregnant she will most likely abort and she will go on aborting for years, in the effort to bring children into the home, accusing herself meantime and submitting to the reflections which are heaped upon her, while the real culprit is the husband. He assumes an injured and innocent attitude and behaves as if he had been imposed upon by marriage with a woman who cannot carry out her marital contract.
If she gives birth to a child or children, they are syphilitic. They may be deformed, or they may be feeble-minded or idiots. They may live at home for years, always ailing, always sick. They may develop epilepsy, St. Vitus' dance, skin disease, or mental vagaries, and they may have to be put into institutions for the feeble-minded, or they may die by inches at home.
IS THE HUSBAND TO BLAME?—If a boy had gonorrhea a number of years before entering the marriage state, was treated for it by a physician, until all symptoms had disappeared and had enjoyed apparent good health in the interim, and had never been told any of the facts regarding probable consequences, is it just to blame him if he infects his wife? It is certain no man would willingly subject his bride to the risk of infection, with all its horrible consequences. These conditions exist as a result of the prudish attitude of society in the past toward all questions affecting sex hygiene. We have not told all the truth to the boy. Whatever knowledge he may have had was gained from companions, or from individuals who knew the garbled facts only. There is of course no excuse for the man who acquires disease after marriage and conveys it to his wife or children. This is a very different situation and one which should merit the severest condemnation and punishment. We are, however, only interested in the boy at present and will not take up the reader's time with a discussion of the "social evil" from this standpoint.
BUILDING A MAN.—When the boy is about fifteen years of age certain changes begin to manifest themselves. He grows more rapidly, a growth in which his whole system participates. His bones grow bigger and stronger, his muscles increase in size, even his heart, and lungs, and liver, and his digestive system accommodate themselves to this transformation; the voice changes and hair begins to grow on his face. The mental process also keeps pace with the new order of things. He thinks differently and he sees from a new viewpoint. Nature is making a man out of a boy.
These changes were not understood in the past, but we are beginning to appreciate the reason for this evolutionary process. We have discovered that the cause depends upon certain active changes which take place in the sex organs. About this time the testicles begin to be active. For years these glands have been preparing themselves for this work, so they first grow rapidly, increasing in size until they are about eight times bigger than they were before this time, then they begin to pour into the circulation a secretion which stimulates changes in all other parts of the body and is directly responsible for the wonderful change that is evident in the stature of the boy's body.
This substance or "internal secretion" must not be confused with the semen. The internal secretion is simply the substance which nature employs in the developing process and is responsible for the degree of growth and quality of manhood which the boy manifests. The semen, on the other hand, is the procreative or fertilizing fluid which enables a man to beget offspring. When a boy understands this process it aids him in appreciating the importance of his sex organs and a little thought enables him to understand that if he abuses these organs he will seriously interfere with his own development. This process goes on for a number of years, until the boy reaches maturity. Any act or habit which weakens the quality of this secretion will deplete his powers and render him physically and mentally inefficient. To make a man, nature must be permitted to work in her own way. You cannot improve on her methods nor can you break her laws with impunity.
THE PARENTS AND THE BOY
Abuse of the Procreative Function—The Continent Life—Provide the Environment Necessary to the Clean Life—The Period of Procreative Power—Self-abuse—Masturbation—Treatment of Masturbation—Night Losses or Wet Dreams—Causes of Night Emissions—Sexual Excesses—Treatment of Sexual Excesses—What Parents Should Know About the So-called "Social Evil," Before Speaking with Authority to the Boy—The Need of Enlightenment in Sexual Matters—"No One Told Me, I Did Not Know"—Fake Medical Treatment of Venereal Diseases—Sowing Wild Oats—Should Circumcision be Advised?
ABUSE OF THE PROCREATIVE FUNCTION.—Breeders of animals have discovered that to breed from very young stock is not good. The quality and stamina of the progeny is lowered and the vitality of the parent stock is reduced. It is not a good economic proposition.
Boys should therefore be taught that any form of sexual indulgence is harmful before the period of full growth.
Nature did not intend that the procreative function should be exercised by individuals who were not fully developed. The perpetuation of the species must not depend upon the license of immaturity. The instinct of sex-attraction must not be debased to serve a puerile, rather than a holy purpose.
Sexual indulgence in any form, and in any degree, at any age prior to full maturity is a perversion of the primal instinct of race perpetuation. The practice has a more intimate and a more personal association with growing boys, however, than a merely altruistic reference. Any indulgence of this character at this time is physically and mentally injurious. No boy can hope ever to acquire the full measure of his possible development as an efficient working or thinking machine if he wastes his vital forces in unnatural liberties. He should be taught this truth in an emphatic manner by those responsible for his education.
There is a false idea prevalent that a continent life is harmful. So far as continence relates to immaturity, it may be strongly and justly asserted that it is probably the most important factor in the conservation of health and strength. The retention of the procreative fluids, at a time when nature is opposed to their loss, enables the growing economy to utilize them in the conservation of nervous energy and virility. If a boy dissipates these energizing fluids, he deprives his body of the richest products which he is capable of manufacturing at a time when he needs every aid in the building up of a physically and mentally sound and vigorous constitution. There cannot exist a normal development if the body is deprived of the essential ingredients necessary to growth and mental vigor.
There was a time when young men were actually taught that sexual intercourse was necessary to develop full manhood. This was followed by a period of silence, which has practically extended to recent times. Both of these systems are pernicious. We know that sexual intercourse is not necessary to the development of mature normal manhood or womanhood. On the contrary, we know that continence, not incontinence, is an absolute essential to the growth of full sexual, virile maturity, as well as to the growth of efficient and healthy manhood and womanhood.
We must appeal to a boy's reason and show him the personal side of clean living. When he understands that to attain success in every department of human effort,—on the baseball and football fields, in the ring, in gymnastic contents, in examinations, in social intercourse, in trades and professions,—a continent life is the only means possible that promises success, he will give the appeal consideration.
We must employ all the safety devices possible to guard against the inclination of youth to wander. Regular exercise is one of the very best institutions in this respect. If we can instill into our boys a love of manly sports and encourage every effort in this direction, we will be doing much to minimize the growth of any tendency toward incontinence. We must provide the environment necessary to right living. The home should be attractive and we should permit the boy to have privileges even at the expense of the housekeeping decorum. His companions should be made welcome if they are the right kind of intimates, and the parents should enter into the life of the boy and try to look at "things" from his standpoint.
THE PERIOD OF PROCREATIVE POWER.—The procreative ability begins at puberty. There is no fixed period at which it may be said to end. From puberty until the period of physical maturity, it grows in vigor and it remains stationary until middle life, when it gradually declines. The standard of virility is unquestionably an individual problem. It depends upon the various factors that contribute to good health and longevity. It may be stated that the boy who abused his procreative function, during the period of immaturity, will not enjoy, during the mature period of his sexual life, a normal standard of vigor, nor will he carry the ability into old age, to the same relative degree, as he would, and as he had the innate promise to do—if he had led a normal continent existence. It may also be stated here that there is no effective remedial measures known, that will "bring back" the procreative ability if it is lost as a result of disobeying natural laws. Drugs and treatments by quacks to cure impotence are impositions and fakes. Money and time spent in the pursuit of this dream is money and time wasted.
SELF-ABUSE OR MASTURBATION.—By self-abuse is meant the production of the venereal orgasm, with or without emission, by any means other than the natural union of the sexes.
It is a fact that the large majority of boys acquire the habit of self-abuse at some time. This is a very serious reflection upon parent, teacher, and physician, because it is through ignorance of the elementary principles of sex hygiene that this condition continues to exist. If they were warned against the possibility of self-abuse arising in innocent ways, as well as in more reprehensible ways, they would exert their influence against its acquirement. If however a boy discovers accidentally a condition of which he was innocent, and of which he does not know the significance, it is human nature that he should investigate the phenomenon and in the end suffer as a consequence. In the effort to relieve some local irritation he may handle himself and be led into a dangerous practice. He does not know that the practice may have serious results—in fact he does not know he is doing anything wrong. Many boys have practically ruined their physical health and become morally irresponsible because no one—neither parent, teacher, physician, nor friend—told them of their danger. This is unjust, but great strides are being made in this direction and we may reasonably hope, that in the not far distant future, every boy will be plainly told the true facts about himself.
Most boys acquire this habit from other boys, but as we have intimated it is possible to acquire it in what are termed innocent ways. Sometimes the sensation which leads to it is discovered by sliding down banisters; or it may be that climbing trees or poles first awakens the feeling. Very young children are sometimes taught the vice by depraved nurses. Local irritation, as has been stated, may necessitate itching and handling the parts and in this way the vice is begun. The results are the same, no matter how the habit may have originated.
If the habit is persisted in, the muscular system suffers,—the muscles become weak and flabby; the patient develops weariness and languor and loses his mental and physical vigor. He is no longer forceful or energetic, his efficiency is impaired and as a consequence his nervous system begins to show signs of depleted strength. He cannot concentrate his thoughts, he falls behind in his studies, his mental effort is sluggish, he becomes diffident and shy, shuns society, loses confidence in himself, is morbid and emotional and may even think of suicide.
It is astonishing how indulgence in this habit may affect the moral nature of a boy. First of all, he is no longer frank and open. He becomes shifty and suspicious and will not look you squarely in the face. A boy cannot become a slave to this habit without it affecting his mind. He invites debasing thoughts,—the old pure and clean method of thought and living no longer satisfy. His imagination even becomes corrupt and his moral nature and moral sense is perverted until he no longer seems to be able to tell the difference between right and wrong. He has little regard for the truth and if occasion demands it he will lie without appreciating the dishonorable part he is playing. In the end his will power is lost—even the effort to save himself is too feeble to succeed—he is a slave to the habit, his health and strength ruined.
If every boy could realize the possible end of this evil habit he would make an effort to rid himself of it before he becomes its victim and its slave. It may be easy to abandon the practice in the beginning. The longer he continues it, however, the less chance he has of finally mastering it, until, if he persists beyond a certain point, it is a matter of serious question whether he will ever be able to free himself from its grip. If the boy has lost the will power to carry out his resolves, no number of good desires or resolutions will avail. And it is just this will power that the wasting of the semen saps little by little away.
TREATMENT.—What can we do for these boys? Most of them can do much for themselves by simply stopping the practice. There are, of course, others who need careful management before the habit may be controlled and health restored. It is well to always remember to be tactful and patient and kind to these boys. Many of them are standing on the brink of despair, weak in body and weak in mind. They do not know where to turn to look for a friend—the right kind of a friend. It is a terrible thought that your own boy may be abjectly miserable in his own home because he is harboring a secret that is wrecking his health, and, though he may long for sympathy and a helping hand, neither his father nor mother have invited his confidence or spoken to him about these things. A watchful mother can usually tell when her boy becomes addicted to this habit. He will show it in his manner, he will not be free and open, he will want to be by himself. Later he will show the effects of the abusive treatment he is subjecting himself to in his appearance. He will be sunken-eyed, pimply-faced, pasty-skinned, shiftless, sneaking, silent, unmanly. No mother can fail to note these signs and she should suspect the cause and take steps to tactfully reach him before he has ruined his health absolutely.
We would advise regular exercise of a vigorous kind. Tire out the body so that sleep may be sound. Cold baths, followed by brisk rub-downs; no intoxicants, light meals, plenty of drinking water morning and night. The bowels should be regular every day. He should sleep alone on a hard bed in a well-aired room with light covering. He should keep busy every minute of the day and he should not think of himself at all.
The boy must realize that his salvation rests with himself. After he knows the real danger which the habit carries with it, he must be on his guard every moment to abstain. If he does not he may rest assured that the practice will ruin his health, render him, a business failure and deprive him of all happiness during the rest of his life.
NIGHT LOSSES OR "WET-DREAMS."—A so-called wet-dream is an unconscious emission of semen during sleep. The discharge may or may not be accompanied with an erotic dream.
After a certain age—which may be from the twelfth or fourteenth year—a boy may discover that he has discharged some substance during his sleep. He finds the discharge on his night clothes and it naturally puzzles him greatly. He may be entirely unconscious of the whole proceeding, having slept soundly during the night, or he may wake up to find the fluid actually discharging.
If a boy has not been told of this phenomenon he may regard it as a form of self-abuse of which he may have heard and as a consequence he may worry himself sick, as the night emissions continue to occur from time to time. Many pure-minded boys have been rendered miserable, and their efficiency and health have suffered as a result of just such an experience. It is, therefore, proper that they should fully understand the true significance of these occurrences.
CAUSES OF NIGHT EMISSIONS.—I have explained how nature makes a man out of a boy. During this maturing process the testicles are very active organs—their function is to manufacture or secrete the fertilizing fluid or semen. This maturing process begins actively, as I stated, about the age of fifteen, though in some boys it frequently occurs earlier, sometimes as early as the twelfth year. When the testicle begins to grow at this time they manufacture more semen than the little pockets can hold, so nature adopts the method of permitting the surplus to escape during sleep. These night emissions, therefore, are perfectly natural losses, and need cause absolutely no distress of mind whatever. The frequency with which they may occur depends altogether upon the temperament of the boy. If the boy is a strong, active, athletic boy, they may not be so frequent in him as they may be in a quiet, studious boy. The system of the athletic boy seems to utilize more of this surplus than the quieter existence of the studious boy calls for. If the discharge does not occur oftener than once every two weeks, it may be regarded as normal and natural. Should they become more frequent than this, the boy should inform his mother or father and the family physician should be consulted. It may be that he is in need of a tonic, or special instructions regarding his method of living and his mode of exercising. Whatever the cause may be, it can be corrected, and the best plan is to give it attention as soon as it is noted that the losses are too frequent.
SEXUAL EXCESSES.—It is well known to the medical profession that the marital relation is frequently practiced to excess. The same indictment may be passed on what may be termed extra-marital relations. No one has ever formulated a general sexual standard which could be safely regarded as normal. Too many individual conditions of temperament and health enter into the proposition to permit of a standard being formulated. It must, therefore, be regarded as an individual question to be adjusted, if necessary, by the family physician. What may safely be regarded as normal and harmless in one, constitutes, for many reasons, excess in another. When a man performs hard physical or mental labor, his sexual aptitude or capacity is limited, and this limitation cannot be exceeded without risk. Such a limitation may not constitute an excess in a man whose occupation does not call for a great expenditure of physical or mental energy. Any indulgence which produces exhaustion is excessive.
The age of the individual has undoubtedly much to do with his sexual endurance. A young, virile adult will tolerate a sexual expenditure which would seriously affect the health and vigor of an older man.
Environment and inclination are factors in determining the standard of some people. If the marital relations are participated in simply to preserve peace and harmony in the home, they are productive of harm even if indulged in moderately.
The symptoms of sexual excess are much the same as those of self-abuse. To a certain extent, however, they are favorably influenced, because the conditions under which the relationship is practiced are natural, because the participants are matured physically, and because there is no element of worry over the probable effects.
Sexual excess defeats its own purpose, because it engenders a lack of desire and consequently it is to a certain extent a self-limiting process. We must also remember that excess entails consequences just as the breaking of any natural law is followed by retribution of some kind. In these cases we find that discomfort follows excess. The parts become irritated and congested and disease of the prostate gland always follows.
TREATMENT.—Stop the excess by self-control and self-restraint. Employ all the aids dictated by an intelligent perusal of the laws of sex hygiene. Preserve the general health. It may be necessary to resort to local treatment, because, if the parts have been abused by excessive indulgence, there is always more or less irritation and congestion present. This condition affects the nerves, suggestive reflex sensations are produced by a congested prostate and the patient becomes morbid. It is essential for such patients to consult a physician whose local treatment will stop the sensitiveness in the parts and relieve him so that he may carry out his programme of restoration unhampered by conditions which are only amenable to local treatment.
WHAT PARENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE SO-CALLED "SOCIAL EVIL" BEFORE SPEAKING WITH AUTHORITY TO "THE BOY."—To be qualified to speak with authority, or convincingly, to a boy upon sex hygiene, the parents must be familiar with, and well versed in the subject. The facts related in the preceding pages must be thoroughly understood. No parent can study these facts intelligently without being impressed with the importance of the subject; without realizing that it is absolutely essential that the fundamental principles of sex hygiene should be taught to the rising generation; without acknowledging the tremendous part for evil which prudery and ignorance play in the education of youth; and without being convinced that most of the evil is the product of ignorance on the part of the boy, and that parents are in a large sense to blame if they fail to impart the necessary knowledge in time.
The need for enlightenment in sexual matters is a product of existing conditions. Civilization and the social environment are developing along a plane which subjects the youth to temptations that practically did not exist in the past. There is a broader and looser code of ethics. Business monopolizes the entire time of the father, and social and political unrest and misdirected ambition distracts the mother. The son or daughter has a wider latitude and a freer reign than they once had. The opportunities for promiscuous intimacies are easier, and the public conveniences and utilities lend themselves to the designs of evil-intentioned and loose-moraled women. The ease of travel, the laxity of laws, the theater, with its unchaste and indecent plays, the moving picture snows, the vaudeville resorts, whose highest priced "talent" is some voluptuous female, who has cultivated the art of draping nudity with suggestiveness and singing immoral songs, all tend to give youth a false impression of the reality of life and to make the path of the degenerate easy and profitable. The rich are growing richer, and their children are pampered and overfed and underrestrained. Time hangs heavily on their hands and their only mental effort is to devise new methods and new ways of satisfying the lust of liberty and overstimulated desire. The poor are growing poorer, and to "keep in the ring," to live and dress beyond their means as many do, it is necessary to have an unexacting standard of morals. In this way the promiscuous libertine is evolved,—the most insidious and dangerous product of present day civilization, and the most pernicious factor in the spread of immoral impulses and indecent diseases.
Parents must accept these institutions and agencies as necessary instruments of evil and adopt measures to nullify their attractiveness. Eternal vigilance is the price of success, but the quality of the vigilance must be dictated by love, not by suspicion and distrust.
When the parent can convince the boy that the knowledge is imparted, not with the intention of depriving him of what he may construe as his natural liberties and rights, but with the single intention of adding to the sum total of his pleasure and success, he will look more kindly upon any proposition that suggests a course of conduct that leads to clean living. Sex hygiene will eventually find a natural place in the scheme of education. It will be taught to male and female alike. In the meantime, however, we must begin by educating the educators—the parents. In the beginning, their task will not be easy. There will be much to overcome, much ignorance, prudery, false modesty, hypocrisy; there will be much vicious teaching and evil example to live down. But we cannot hope to achieve results in the noblest cause, save by patient, intelligent, and persistent effort and by self-sacrifice and a constant enthusiasm. The aim is to tell all,—all the truth,—so that we may never be assailed by the cry, "No one told me, I did not know," from the loved lips of son or daughter gone astray.
THE FATHER AND THE BOY.—The right kind of father can always find the time and the way to awaken in the heart of the boy the spirit of companionship. No boy living will resent the fellowship of the right kind of father. It depends upon the father! If the spirit of chumminess does not exist between you and your boy, you are at fault, you have made a mistake, you have missed your opportunity, you "did not go about it in the right way and in the right spirit." Try again—it may not be too late.
The father who adopts the habit of taking his boys (and his girls too) out for long walks, at least every Sunday, and who spends an hour with them every evening—is the right kind of father. One who has never tested the merit of walks with children cannot possibly appreciate the enjoyment and benefit that can accrue from them. It is not only the physical good that results, nor the inspiration which one may draw from nature, but the concrete advantages that come from the fellowship with the children are a new and a real experience—this is what counts. You will have opportunities of sewing seeds in their minds that will grow into a harvest that will astonish you. Children in the right mood—and they are in the right mood when they are happy, and they are happy out in the open with an interesting companion—are alert, and responsive, and eager to be told "things," and this mood can be put to marvelous use by the "right kind of father." The father who wanders forth with the fixed purpose of thinking out some business problem during the walk and permits the children to find their own amusement is the wrong kind of father. He must choose to be a child again, he must desire to please them, he must make an effort to be in harmony with them, he must draw on his experience to interest them, he must talk to them entertainingly of every interesting problem which the walk itself suggests or he must formulate a plan and select a subject with a definite educational scheme in view. We can, in a most effective way, begin to build their characters, and, by the right kind of talk and enthusiasm, he can determine their resolves to be honest, truthful, just, clean, sympathetic. He can instill into them, in a thousand different ways, the determination and inspiration to succeed. It is a wonderful and a precious chance, and it will make the "right kind of father" more just, more sympathetic, more optimistic, and it will make him young again and more successful. Try it.
Implant in the hearts of your children a love of home, make the evening meal and hour by the fireside a period of congenial fellowship, when all the little irritable ruffles of the day may be ironed out and swept away. The secret is to be intimate. Tell them the secret of success from your standpoint, how happiness is gained only by being efficient and successful, and that, to be efficient, one must be energetic and healthy. Drum into their ears the truth that life is a battle, and only the brave "win out," and health is the one essential necessity. It is astonishing how such talks will impress young minds. They will remind you of things you said, that made a lasting impression on them, long after you have forgotten the incident.
A father can, in this way, by talking of the future to his boy, convey to him the high hopes he entertains of the great success the boy is going to achieve—you establish a standard in the boy's mind, and he unconsciously hopes to attain that standard. If you have impressed him with the necessity of preserving his health and strength, as an essential to success, he will be slow to yield to any temptation that may interfere with his plans. This reasoning may sound quixotic to some people, but it is the truth. Many a boy has been inspired to success by the knowledge that his mother or father believed in him, and was confident he would be a leader. He strove to justify the pride and confidence of those who held him dear, and he won out.
To retain his health, therefore, is the first impulse to be conveyed to the boy. When he recognizes this truth, it is an easy task to instill a love of exercise, gymnastics, swimming, fresh air, cleanliness and temperance in him. If these are attained, you will have tided him over the tendency to self-abuse, and you will have rendered him less likely to yield to evil suggestion or temptation. His confidence in you will be whole-hearted and implicit. You can do anything with him at the psychological moment. It is now time to talk of more intimate matters. Carefully and tactfully, the father approaches the fundamental truths of sex hygiene.
The selection of a subject for a text as a means from which to advance toward the real facts is sometimes of importance. It must not appear as though the subject was designedly chosen. If it follows in a natural way it will more thoroughly interest the boy and he will have swallowed a large dose of truth before he is impressed with the personal viewpoint. A passing trotting horse has served me a number of times for intimate talks with boys on heredity and kindred subjects. I invite the boy to watch how the horse uses his legs, and how rhythmically and beautifully he places his feet, and how his whole attitude serves the end for which he is exerting himself—to gain speed. Tell the boy the story of how professional breeders have achieved such marvelous results; how for generations the "strain" has been kept clean and pure, how any descendant of a great sire, who showed any habit detrimental to the development of the highest racing qualities—no matter how trivial the disability might be—was cast aside, experience having taught that it does not pay to waste effort and time on any horse whose physical or mental characteristics are not up to the highest standard. Such a horse will not win, and it is only "wins" that count.
Change the subject to human beings. Tell him how the race maintains its standard; but show him the difference between the methods employed. How the horse has his mate selected because of the female's good qualities, so that the offspring may possess like qualities, if not better, and that the selection is made by men who know their business, and have had long experience in the work. How, on the other hand, a young man with no experience is permitted to choose any woman he may fancy irrespective of her qualifications. As a consequence, we have all kinds of children, good and bad, feeble and strong, honest and dishonest, some degenerates from birth, some criminal, and many diseased and inefficient, few of them "winners." It is an easy matter to preach a little sermon from this text. Show him how essential it is to select the mother of one's children wisely, to know if there is disease in the future wife's blood, if her family history is good, if her temperament is suited to his, if her domestic qualities are satisfactory, if her principles are moral and normal, and if she understands and appreciates the true object and function of marriage. Show him also the element of justice involved in the marriage contract; that he must give what he exacts, that if he expects a healthy and normal wife, he must be healthy and normal himself; if he expects purity and cleanliness he must give purity and cleanliness; if he expects to mate with a fit female he must be an efficient and fit male. Remember that every act, deed, thought, and aspiration is regulated by laws which one cannot fool with, or disobey, without reaping a harvest which will conquer, crush and ruin you, no matter how clever or smart you may think yourself.
Show him the wisdom of the breeders' habit of never permitting sexual liberties in a too young stallion. For the same reason the boy must conserve his strength and virility for the marriage state and for the function of procreation.
In a further talk, the father may extend this subject and gradually lead up to the "consequences" of the unclean life. The boy will be ready for this talk and will evince an interest in it that will be encouraging and promising.
The talk about the science of mating the horses he will understand readily and thoroughly, and he will not fail to see the point when you switch to man and apply the same principles. Then when you show how mismating is responsible for poor children quality and how disease accounts for feeble-minded and degenerate offspring, he will be fairly well posted, and he will be ready to imbibe more details, and you will have done much of your duty. His curiosity will be quickened and his interest is awakened. It depends upon the father. If your boy is honest and clean, open and decent, he will not fall without a fight, and while he is fighting he is maturing. If your picture of the consequences of the venereal diseases has been effective and vivid, he will grow up with a healthy horror of them. If your conduct as a father has been wise and exemplary, and if your home has the right kind of environment, and the right kind of mother in it, you have done all a father can do to help the boy over the rough spots. The proper kind of encouragement and the right kind of vigilance, and books which will satisfy the boy's craving for more knowledge along this line is all that is needed to help the boy to "win out."
FAKE MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR VENEREAL DISEASES.—Parents should in every possible way discourage the use of patent medicines and fake medical methods of curing these diseases. Untold harm has been done to boys and to women by these nostrums.
In every instance the motive underlying the methods of people selling these things is to frighten the patients into the belief that their condition is more serious than it is in order to justify a long and expensive course of treatment.
Their work is carelessly performed, and frequently they are directly responsible for the development of complication and dangerous sequelae. The promises of speedy cures are false, and, not infrequently, methods of black-mailing have been known to follow an expensive and unsuccessful course of treatment.
There is no class of disease in which the help and honesty of the legitimate medical profession is needed more than in the treatment of the venereal diseases. Parents should see to it that the family physician is prescribing any strange medicine that may appear in the boy's room, and not some unknown individual who may be an impostor and a blackmailer.
SOWING WILD OATS.—Writers of fiction and others of a more serious trend of thought have recognized the sowing of wild oats as an institution which, if it does not merit the full approval of society's moral code, is, at least, tolerated. No serious consequences befall the offender. On the contrary, the libertine is the type of hero who receives the commendatory quips of erotic dames and the questionable interest of hysterical maidens.
Women of easy morals are always willing to espouse the cause of the "black sheep," and to further the matrimonial success of the penitent roue. Many mothers are willing to marry their daughters to the polished villain of society, who is known as a rake and debauchee, if his family connections are desirable. It has been even held that a youth who did not "sow his wild oats" was of doubtful stamina.
That many able men have sown wild oats is indisputable, and that many men who are respectful husbands, have also gone "through the mill" is also true, but this need not blind us to the fact that thousands upon thousands, who could have been successful men of affairs and creditable husbands and fathers, have been utterly ruined, as a result of having sown wild oats. No man is a better man because of a past record of licentious habits. The man who sows and escapes the harvest is lucky. The man who reaps, reaps in abundance. Most men regret the lapses of youth. Most of these lapses would never have occurred if the impulse could have been governed by the reasoning of maturity. These acts are the promptings of an impetuosity which may be entirely foreign to the individual's innate character, but brought out by promiscuous circumstances and the ignorance and license of youth. If we can protect youth, by an adequate knowledge of the consequences, we will furnish the means to tide over the impressionable period. Until a healthy maturity of judgment will assume the task unaided.
The effects of the wild oats' theory are too tragically evident to need any argumentative refutation. The statistics of the prevalency of venereal diseases alone is sufficient; the results of these diseases are more than enough.
Study the records of the jails and prisons, courts and asylums, hospitals and health resorts, think of the hundreds of thousands of diseased and deformed and mentally inferior children, of the multitude of paretics, melancholies, ataxics, maniacs, syphilitics,—all the products of "wild oats,"—and ask if the wild oats' theory is justifiable.
Think of the ruined homes, the wretched lives of fallen women, the hopeless prayers of abandoned wives, the loneliness and misery of parents neglected and forgotten, the "bastards" and fatherless children, the drunkards and criminals and tramps—all weeds of the wild oats' harvest.
Then reflect upon the tragedies, the suicides of the betrayed and of the diseased, the bank thief, the broken hearts of deserted and hungry children, the army of inefficients—around whose necks hang wild oats' medals, the men of big business, who constantly fight the effects of early incontinence and abuse, and the thousands who go to early graves, and then ask, in all justice, if the sowing of wild oats needs justification.
Who supports the thousands of prostitutes? Who made them? Wherever you find pauperism, crime, drunkenness, insanity, idleness, immorality, vice and disease, you will find that the sower of wild oats has traveled the path and left his stain and his footprints there.
SHOULD CIRCUMCISION BE ADVISED?—The answer to the above question is "Yes," in every instance. If circumcision is done early,—during the first two weeks of life,—the operation is without danger and practically without pain. In quite a considerable percentage of all males, circumcision is an absolute necessity. For excellent medical reasons, about which your family physician can inform you, every boy should be circumcised.
A MOTHER'S DUTY TO HER DAUGHTER
What a Mother Should Tell Her Little Girl—Where Do Babies Come From—How Baby Birds and Fish Come from Eggs—How Other Animals Have Little Nests of Their Own—The Duty of Mothers to Instruct and Direct—What a Mother Should Tell Her Daughter—Every Mother Should Regard This Duty as Sacred—Every Female Child is a Possible Future Mother—Motherhood the Highest Function of the Sex—Health the One Necessary Essential—Symptoms of the First, or Beginning Menstruation—The Period of Puberty in the Female—Changes in the Reproductive Organs at Puberty—The Female Generative Organs—The Function of the Reproductive Organs—The Age of Puberty in the Female—The Function of the Ovary—The Function of the Womb—Why Menstruation Occurs Every Twenty-eight Days—The Male or Papa Egg—The Function of the Spermatozoa—"Tell the Whole Story"—"How do These Spermatozoa Get There"—The Union of the Species—"How Can a Baby Live in There for Such a Long Time"—How the Baby Gets its Nourishment in the Womb—Girls Must Not Become Mothers.
WHAT A MOTHER SHOULD TELL HER LITTLE GIRL.—Every little girl should be told the Story of Life by her mother. It should be told in simple language, so that the little girl will understand. Very early in life the little girl will be prompted to inquire of her mother "Where do babies come from?" It is wrong to give an evasive reply to this natural inquiry or to postpone telling the story, because they will be told it by playmates and will receive very wrong and very crude impressions of this wonderful subject.
Every mother knows enough of life to tell her little girl its story in a way that will impress her with the sacredness of God's beautiful reproductive plan. She should begin by telling her a story about how the birds live. How at a certain season of the year they choose a mate and go housekeeping. They build a nest, and when it is all nicely finished, the mother bird lays her eggs. Then the papa and mamma bird take turns and sit on the eggs to keep them warm, and after a time the egg breaks and a little bird is born into the world. They feed the little baby birds until their feathers grow, and when they are old enough they fly away from their home and begin life by themselves.
Many questions will be asked as the mother tells the story in her own words, and the correct answers to these questions will fill in all the difficult-to-understand points. The story of how the fish lay eggs in shallow water so that the sun may keep them warm and hatch them out will interest also. Be careful to impress upon them that there is always a mamma and a papa, a male and a female bird and fish,—that this is necessary because God made it so, and we must obey His wish. When the little girl fully understands the story of the egg bird, and egg fish, the mother can tell how the Creator thought out a different plan for other animals like the dog, horse, lion, elephant, and cow. He knew that it would neither be safe nor possible for these animals to stay at home long enough to sit on eggs and hatch their babies, so he made a nest for them inside of their bodies. There they would be warm and would always be with their mammas no matter what they were doing. So we come to the answer to their question: "Where do babies come from?"
These interesting stories, according to the intelligence and sincerity of the mother, can be taken advantage of, to impress the little girl with the importance of many of the lessons of life. For example, her attention can be drawn to the fact that man and woman are the highest types of living things that God made. No other living thing, animal, or fish, or bird, or tree, or flower, can talk, and think, and reason as man and woman can. Because of this faculty—to think and reason—the human family are always trying to find out what can be done with all the other things God made. We try to find out what the different rocks are good for; what the different trees are good for, and the different kinds of earth, and animals, and birds, and fishes, and everything in the world. We study these, and we learn much, and we are made happier and more comfortable by what we learn. For example, by studying horses, and feeding and breeding them carefully, and training them, and caring for them, we can make stronger horses and better and faster horses; by studying trees, and planting them in soil best suited to them, and giving them plenty of water to drink, we can compel these trees to grow better apples and pears and peaches. In the same way we can produce better strawberries, and oranges, and grapes, and we can grow flowers with sweeter smells and prettier colors. We do all this by training these animals and trees to grow a certain way, to eat certain food, to drink pure water, and we protect them from the cold and sometimes from the sun if it is too hot. Our faculty to think and reason has taught us just what is good for them, and we compel them to obey our laws. As a result they become strong and more healthy. Now show the little girl how important she is; how much more precious she is than a tree, or animal, or flower, and how much more necessary it is that we, mammas and papas, should use our ability to think and reason in her interest. Show her how we have found out all about babies and little girls and how we know just what to do to make strong and healthy, and pure, and good, and clean men and women of all the little boys and girls in the world. Tell her that this is what mother is doing now, training her and compelling her to do the things that will make her a strong and a good mother when she grows older. Let her distinctly understand that it is the duty of mothers to instruct and to correct their little daughters when they do any wrong. Mothers know, because they have had experience in these matters, and they know just how a little girl must live, and dress, and eat, and behave, in order to be strong and pure, and good. So when mother reproves and corrects, it is because she knows that what you are doing to merit a correction is not for your ultimate good. Show them that all young things, and young animals, and young babies, and young girls, must be compelled to obey certain rules and laws, otherwise they would not grow up to be strong and healthy. Sometimes a rose bush grows up among stones and weeds, but it never thrives, it is always more or less sick. It does not grow strong, its flowers are poor little sickly things compared to the roses on a bush that is planted in proper soil, and carefully tended and pruned, and watered. So would the little girl turn out if she grew up in bad company and did not have a mother to guard and guide her,—to prune her when she was growing careless. Everything in this world has a meaning, and when mother tells you that you must not do a certain thing you very much want to do, she has a very good reason for telling you not to do it. You may not know the reason, but you should have confidence in your mother, you should believe that she knows what is best, and that she would not inflict pain or cause you suffering unless she knew it was for your good. The young horse does not understand why a halter is put around its neck and is made to run around in a circle until it is tired. It would much rather enjoy itself in its own care-free, and happy way. And when finally a full set of harness is put on, and it is put into the shafts of a wagon and tied there, and made to pull it and its driver many weary miles the horse does not like it, and he rebels strenuously. He is, however, compelled to obey in the end, and he finally consents to become a useful horse.
It is exactly the same way with every little boy and girl. We are put into this world for a certain purpose, and we must all work. Now parents know this, and they know just how to prepare little girls and boys for this work. They therefore ask them to do many things that are not pleasant or agreeable but which must be done in order to prepare them for the work ahead.
WHAT A MOTHER SHOULD TELL HER DAUGHTER
Your daughter is now about fourteen years of age. She is about to pass from girlhood to womanhood and she should know more of life's story. The mother will now tell her the complete story in the form of little talks, based upon the following facts as texts. Each mother will doubtless add to the story as conditions justify and as the education of the mother and daughter may dictate. A multitude of little side talks can be wisely indulged in to make clear any uncertain or doubtful explanation, and every one of these incidental excursions can be made exceedingly interesting if wisely and opportunely chosen. Always remember, however, to emphasize the sacredness of the story. Do not permit your daughter to get the impression that you are telling her something that simply has to be told, just as you told her the correct way to boil an egg. Let her realize and get the impression that this is the most serious and most wonderfully interesting story in existence, the most important story she will ever hear. Let her understand that motherhood, for which she is now preparing, is the duty God assigned her in this world: that that duty must be carried out, and that she must do nothing, nor leave anything undone, to interfere with its accomplishment. Do not only impress her with the story itself, but let your own explanation be so emphatically serious, that she will deeply appreciate its momentous significance—an occasion to be remembered all her life.
If she gets the proper impression from you at this time she will never treat the subject lightly, or permit it to be promiscuously discussed within her hearing.
Begin by telling her that she is about to enter the most important period of her life. Explain why this is so in the following way, in your own words. If we admit every female child to be a future mother, and motherhood the highest function possible to the sex, then the awakening of the sex organs and the mother instinct, must be the most important developmental episode in the life story of every woman. If this is so, then it follows that every girl should enter this period in the very best physical health possible, in order to reap the best results incident to this evolutionary period. We impress and warn her, therefore, that, as her system is about to undergo important changes, she must be particularly careful of her health. A little mistake at this time may be followed by more serious consequences than if made at any other time in her life. If a girl is to become a mother, certain changes must occur in her body before the nest, of which we previously wrote, can be made ready. God did not overlook anything when He peopled the earth; He therefore wisely planned that these changes in the female should occur at a time when the girl is strong and healthy.
THE PERIOD OF PUBERTY IN THE FEMALE. SYMPTOMS OF BEGINNING MENSTRUATION.—At about the age of fourteen these changes begin to give evidence of existence. They affect the girl's whole system and the mother must be especially patient and sympathetic. Her disposition may change, she may want to be alone, and she may be more or less melancholy. She will be dissatisfied with the things that previously interested her. She will tire easily, and she may have many spasmodic pains from time to time. The wise mother will tactfully see that she takes plenty of nourishing food and systematic exercise, and that she gets enough sleep in a well-aired room. There are other physical changes which are observable at this age. The girl grows taller, the figure broadens out, the hips widen, the bust enlarges, and the waist line increases in size. These are all part of the great change from girlhood to womanhood.
CHANGES IN THE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS.—The principal change takes place in the reproductive organs themselves, and it is very essential that she should have a clear mental picture of just what is meant by "reproductive" organs and their location in her body. We mean by this term the group of organs which are concerned in creating and nourishing a child until it is old enough to be born into the world.
THE FEMALE GENERATIVE ORGANS.—These organs are the womb or uterus, two ovaries, two fallopian tubes and the vagina. The womb or uterus is the "nest." It is about the size of and is shaped like a pear. It is hollow, however, though its walls are quite thick. The ovaries are about the size of a peach stone and lie at the side of the womb,—one on either side. The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries with the womb. The vagina connects the womb with the outside world,—it is sometimes known as the birth canal. In the very lowest part of the abdomen, or belly, in front, is the bladder, which collects the urine until it is necessary to pass it out. In the back part of this region is the rectum; it collects all the undigested food, etc., from the intestinal canal. Between these two,—the bladder and rectum,—we find the reproductive organs, the womb, ovaries and vagina, described above.
THE FUNCTION OF THE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS.—It will be difficult, even for mothers, to acquire a clear understanding of the function of the reproductive or generative organs. It is an exceedingly interesting process, however, and it is well worth a patient, attentive study to clearly understand the brief description we give of it. If you acquire a distinct mental picture of the problem you will be able to tell your daughter a story that will be of intense interest to her, and a tale that is interesting is impressive and is productive of thought and reflection. That is the condition of mind we want daughters to be in when they hear this story.
The human ovaries begin to prepare themselves for their life work when the girl is about eight years of age. When they are ripe, or ready to perform this duty, the girl menstruates for the first time. This is known as the age of "puberty," which implies that she has developed, passed from girlhood into womanhood. After having reached the age of puberty it is possible to become a mother.
THE AGE OF PUBERTY.—There is no fixed age at which the first menstruation takes place. Some girls develop quicker than others,—a condition that depends upon the health and type of girl. A strong, robust, full-blooded girl will menstruate at an earlier age, than will a sickly anemic girl. The average age is fourteen years, though there is no reason to worry if a girl does not menstruate for a number of years later. In warm climates the age of puberty is from two to four years earlier than in more temperate climates.
THE FUNCTION OF THE OVARY.—Just what takes place in each ovary when it is ripe is best explained by likening an ovary to an orange,—though of course the ovary is very much smaller than an orange, as was previously noted. If you make a cut in an orange and squeeze it, you express some of its juice and most likely you will also express one or more seeds. The seeds of the ovaries are called "ovules," and the process by which it expresses them is called "ovulation." Of course there is no actual squeezing of the ovary,—the ovules grow in the ovary, and as they ripen they come to the surface, and when actually ripe, the part of the surface of the ovary to which they come, opens up (like a flower unfolding when in bloom), and they fall out. The ovule we may regard as the human female egg, and one ripens and falls out every twenty-eight days.