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A Text-book of Sex Education: For Parents and Teachers



FIFTY years ago in England sexual conduct, when taught at all, was inculcated by moral maxims alone. Parents counselled chastity, and left the rest to " natural instinct," without suspecting that instinct is not a guide to social behaviour. The primary aim was the preservation of" innocence" in the young by a compulsory ignorance. In my youth we were told that the wonders of reproduc- tion were improper subjects of inquiry. Our eager normal curiosity was hushed, but not stifled. The mysteries grew enormously, and occupied the mind with futile bewilderment and speculation. Enlightenment was entirely banned in the home. We learned the sacred truths of life at haphazard, casually, furtively, and in the process we drank from poisoned wells and our souls sickened.

Sex was early associated in the juvenile mind with the unclean, the pathological and the repellent things of human life. Curiosity and disgust waged a strange conflict. We garnered fantasies and falsehoods instead of facts. Those of us who were encouraged to respect for married love were perplexed by the attitude of our elders regarding "sex." We were taught that the "flesh," the human body, was "animal, and that the aim of virtue was annihila- tion of "lower desires," the very instincts that arose formidably at the period when the spiritual nature began to awaken. The power and the splendour of the love of the sexes were not revealed to us by sympathetic home teaching. Our ideas of " love '- and " sex !! were contradictory, misleading and frequently demoralising, The sparse knowledge gained at the mother's knee was vulgarly dis- torted and supplemented by conversations with others who had been reared in the customary tradition and were supposed to be " innocent."

One of the supreme difficulties in educational guidance in sexual morality and hygiene is the preparatory expulsion from the mind of the pupil of these preconceived ideas, idle fables, and indecent notions learned from ignorant and vicious sources. The state of 'innocence" is an impossibility among modern boys and girls.


Even in those rare instances where the system of protection through ignorance appears to be effective, there has been no pro- tection against the spontaneous awakening of impulse- We can- not assert positively that there is no sexuality in the very youngest of children. Signs are evident in many cases in infancy. Apart from all external influence, there is the probability of peripheral stimulation arousing emotion and manifestation.

Sex education is not a mere question of pedagogics. It is a main part of education throughout the whole of life. Sexual love touches morality and hygiene at almost every point. Inquiry into the most massive emotion experienced by humanity is an absolute essential of sociology.

In writing this Text-book, a task involving specific difficulties, I have endeavoured to systematise a method of teaching which will be helpful to parents and all who have the care of children and adolescents. It is obvious that there cannot be a strictly formu- lated single mode of instruction ; I hope that what I have written may assist in preparing the way for wide parental and scholastic effort in this urgent educational reform. I trust that this volume may impress some unpersuaded minds with the importance of the subject discussed.

The Lessons for young children and those of school age are indications and suggestions for the consideration of teachers who are puzzled concerning the method of conveying instruction to boys and girls of different ages. This is not a book for the young, but for the instructor. It has been arranged to supply a basis of sex education, and the Lessons given may suggest many others. The discretion of the parent or teacher must always be exercised in accord with the child's sex, age and temperament.

I shall be glad if readers who are interested in sex education, or those who desire information upon special phases of the subjects discussed, will communicate with me. I wish to thank the teachers and correspondents who have kindly assisted me with suggestions and data.















VI. PHYSIOLOGY . . . . .117




IV. THE BOOK . . . , .171






" FOR the due discharge of parental functions, the proper guidance is to be found only in Science." HERBERT SPENCER.

" THERE is no creature more liable than man to be spoiled by bad training on the one hand, or to be improved by good training on the other ; and if the present age has any good reason to hope, as we are inclined to think it has, that it contains within itself the germs of a higher development of the race than the earth has yet seen, such hope can grow only from the serious concern with which both parents and teachers shall bring themselves into a reverential attitude before the great vital forces of Nature, physical and moral." Prof. JOHN STUART BLACKIE.

" IT may be at last that sexual love that tired angel who through the ages has presided over the march of humanity, with distraught eyes, and feather-shafts broken, and wings drabbled in the mires of lust and greed, and golden locks caked over with the dust of injustice and oppression till those looking at him have sometimes cried in terror, * He is the Evil and not the Good of life,' and have sought, if it were not possible, to exterminate him shall yet, at last, bathed from the mire and dust of ages in the streams of friendship and freedom, leap upwards, with white wings spread, resplendent in the sunshine of a distant future the essentially Good and Beautiful of human existence." OLIVE SCHREINER.






THE moral and rational direction of the erotic, or sexual, impulse, through rightful education in the home and the school, is now recognised by most thoughtful minds as an essential of social ethics and national hygiene. During the past fifty years the need for this important instruction in the conduct of life has been urged by reformers, clergymen, physicians and teachers in Europe and America. Parents, in an ever-increasing number, are becoming solicitous for the right guidance of children in the understanding, the control and the sublimation of the sex emotion. There is an unprecedented demand for enlightenment in this long- neglected field of personal, social, and racial health. The methods of withholding sane knowledge, obscuring the great facts of human life, and meeting inquiry with indifference, evasion or falsehood have been tried and found injurious.

Ignorance in this matter has proved one of the strongest allies of vice and disease. Prudery has never fostered purity. The condemnation of a natural spirit of curiosity has not annihilated curiosity, but transformed it into furtive prurience. Impure, vulgar and pernicious sources of information have been substituted for objective scientific teaching; and the whole subject of sex love and


reproduction has tended to become a morbid preoccupation of distorted minds.

In the civilised countries it is almost rare to find a man or woman who has developed rationally or sanely in know- ledge of the vital instinct. Civilisation intensifies the secondary sexual characters, and accentuates and elaborates the complexity of the emotion of love. It has never been simple to direct and inhibit the most powerful of passions experienced by mankind. Progress has been a constant repression, involving conflict, and giving rise to stern com- bat between social custom and moral ideas and strongly vehement primitive desires. Refinement does not destroy the force of this universal impulsion. All the artifices and the culture of the past great civilisations complicated the relation of sex to society.

Anthropology and psychology, and more especially the investigation of the subconscious, or unconscious, self, are demonstrating that the fear of sex has never been absent from the minds of men. The association of sex with the holy, or the forbidden, and the widespread ascription of danger in the union of the sexes, cannot be banished from the human brain in a few generations. Very slowly we are approaching, for the first time in man's history, a sane intellectual perception of the sexual impulse. The more widely the subject is studied the stronger becomes the conviction that an eternal ignorance has gravely misled humanity.

All the rigorous endeavours to ignore the sway of sex, to annihilate desires, to expel nature, and to extol celibacy as the highest spiritual ideal have proved unavailing. These efforts of total suppression have often induced ab- normality and vice ; for the way of sublimation is not in attempted extinction, but in transference. The very teaching of chastity has been widely nugatory through a misapprehension of physiological laws, mental processes and manifold internal and external factors influencing sexual development.

Dread of the force of sex has had a large share in the framing of moral and social codes. There is, however, always the risk that fear may become morbid or patho- logical. And there can be no question that this psycho-


neurotic anxiety is a very common symptom among the rivili

ice of tin !<; >i se .ual manifestations

arising from I may :il* Hie following

from a letter to Professor Stanley Hall, written by a well- known doctor of philosophy :

" My entire youth, from six to eighteen, was made miserable from lack of knowledge that anyone who knew anything of the nature of puberty might have given. This long sense of defect, dread of operation, shame and worry has left an indelible mark."

Few men and women of to-day are entirely free from sex phobias or safe from psychic sexual affronts or conflicts. The untaught child or youth is dangerously exposed to these secret fears and to the chances of shock, sometimes leading to a minor neurosis or a life of mental conflict. For example, it is well known that the first appearance of the monthly function alarms a great number of uninstructed girls. In numerous cases described by physicians hysteria began at this crisis, and in others sensitive girls have attempted suicide under the delusion that they were assailed with a terrible disease. Probably, in ordinary normal instances, the uninformed girl endures considerable anxiety and bewilderment at the first menstrual period.

The dreads and frights to which inexperienced brides are the prey are an exceedingly common cause of psychic injury. The agonies of morally-predisposed lads, wrought by sudden spontaneous longings, and by the phenomenon of the nocturnal dream and automatic emission, can scarcely be exaggerated.

The new system of psychotherapeutics (mind-healing) instituted by Freud, and employed by Jung, Bjerre, Ferenczi, Brill, Ernest Jones and other mental pathologists, is enlarging our knowledge of the dominant part that sex plays in human psychology. Psychologists of eminence are satisfied, after many years of research, that one of the chief sources of the minor mental disturbances that afflict millions of men and women of our times is to be sought in erotic complexes. These obscure longings, fears and


ungratified wishes may appear quite unrelated to the sexual impulse. Nevertheless, in the mature view of scientific inquirers, there is always a lesion, a psychic injury con- nected with sex, or a fixation of infantile impressions.

Although some of the exponents of the new psychology do not accept, in an unqualified degree, this unvarying causation of neurosis, they are all profoundly impressed by the powerful influence of the sexual libido upon thought and action that may seem entirely devoid of such influence. Whenever we encounter morbid anxiety, or " anxiety- neurosis," we shall find, on the evidence of the psycho- analysts, " a reaction against repressed sexuality." The " key to the problem of the psychoneuroses," it is main- tained, can only be found by those who accept the sexual cause of the pathological states. " The erotic conflict," states Jung, of Zurich University, " is the key to the con- ception of neurosis." "The question which troubles the patient is whether you like it or not the ' sexual ques- tion/ or, more precisely, the problem of present-day sexual morality."

Those who boast that love conflicts do not trouble them, that the sexual question is " nonsense," and that they have no sexual emotions are quite unconscious that a host of nervous signs, and even some physical symptoms, reveal quite plainly to the psychotherapist that " the great conflict " is the origin of their trouble, though ascribed by them to other sources. 1 " Only a few " can escape this common human perplexity.

" Neurosis is probably altogether impossible with healthy physiological marital life. . . . The major amount of the nerves and hysteria of the present day may be traced to faulty sexual hygiene." 2 No evidence is now wanting to support the view that sexual ignorance is a fruitful cause of neurotic and psychic disorder.

A single misstatement on the part of the parent may shatter a child's faith in the parental wisdom and honesty. We need a complete candour. Facts are the only secure basis for moral codes and the only guide in the hygiene of the sex life. It is just the ignoring of facts that leads

1 Analytical Psychology.

8 The Healthy Marriage. G. T. Wrench, M.D., B.Sc.


us into neurosis, perversion and vice. " Shic4ding " the young may, and often does, defeat its object very disas- trously. One chance conversation with an attractive but vicious or vulgar companion may entirely obliterate all the parental influence. " Facts " that is to say, scientific knowledge must always be the surest protection of youth or adult.

The sex development of the girl, especially at the period of puberty, is more complicated than that of the boy. Yet it is precisely the girl whose sex education is most neglected. That the methods of imparting the necessary instruction must often vary to some extent in regard to the sex of the pupil will be admitted by most teachers. But any suggestion that the truth should be withheld from girls, by reason of their superior feminine modesty, can only be regarded as reactionary. Among all the writers who may lay claim to attention in this matter I can only recall one, Professor Miinsterberg, who affirms that girls should not receive any instruction. Undoubtedly the character and the manner of sex education are of supremely vital importance ; but the enlightenment must certainly be as sound in the case of girls as in boys.

There may indeed be excellent reasons why the education of girls in sexual physiology and hygiene should be wider than that of their brothers. The burden of parentage falls chiefly upon the female sex, not only in married life, but from the pre-pubertal stage until the menopause. Sex is more generally diffused in woman than in man. She is destined to conceive and bear as well as to spiritual love, and to these ends she is forced to endure physiological disabilities. Moreover, as the first and earliest teachers of the young, women have an immense responsibility towards their children and to the community. It is therefore very important that the mothers should be well taught before they essay to teach. Furthermore, love being even more essential for the psychic and physical well-being of woman than of man, and as her main interests are concentrated upon the family life and the tending of children, her knowledge of the principles of healthy pro- creation and the rearing of the young should be as complete as possible ; and the sex question in all its bearings upon the



home, the morals of the young, and the laws and customs of society should be a question of paramount significance.

The sexual problem exists for all of us, and although civilisation intensifies the problem, it provides also, by the extension of knowledge, science and experience, the means for grappling with the difficulty. No one who has a sense of responsibility towards the children born to him can evade this question. The average conscientious parent wishes that his son and daughter may fare better through the dangers and trials of life than he has fared. It is his desire that his child may grow up sane in mind and sound in body, well equipped for the inexorable struggle of modern life. The ordinary system of education provides only a few of the essentials of such equipment. A boy or girl may pass years at school and college and remain in late adolescence completely ignorant of the structure of their bodies and the physical functions. At the onset of puberty, when bodily and psychic manifestations of a novel nature intrude themselves, and lead to inevitable speculation and reflection, the youth and the maiden are interned for the greater part of each year with members of their own sex and separated from the parents. It is now that the soul of the young awakens. This is the supreme hour for learning the first important lessons of life. Can it be said that the average boy or girl receives even a rudimentary enlighten- ment at this critical age ? Such ^^information as the young gain is gathered casually and haphazard by conversations with companions as ignorant as themselves, by chance leading, and by secret conjecture.

At this adolescent climax the vital energy begins to arise in a new form. Between the early spontaneous mani- festations of this energy in childhood and the fresh arousing at the coming of puberty there is usually a latency period. The boy or girl is often not consciously interested in sexual affairs at this stage of pre-pubertal development. But the development of the mysterious internal secreting glands, with the hormones or " arousers," begins to affect emotion and tinge thought. Without any external stimulation there may be a mingling of hormone fluids with the blood stream, musing vague unrest and new longings. There are also specific signs in the parts of generation, giving rise to


un-.itisticd rctlm ions and often to considerable perplexity and wonder. The mental soil is prepared for aberrant or morbid brooding. There is a development of secretive- ness and shyness. Often physical sensations, unrestful- ness, worry about passing examinations, the suggestion or example of companions, curiosity leading to experiment or lascivious conversations are the incentives to a habit of excessive masturbation.

Frequently there is a youthful tendency to sexual inver- sion which is partly due to the segregation of the sexes. Both boys and girls are liable to develop a semi-passionate affection, or a sensuous attachment, for one of their own sex. This temporary aberration in adolescence is so preva- lent that some scientific inquirers regard it almost as a normal phase of youthful sex development. It is certain that these attractions are most frequently of a purely senti- mental character, and they may be described as a reaching out of the young emotions for love. In many instances the pupil, boy or girl, is affected emotionally by an older person of the same sex. There is in some cases a risk that the susceptible or the predisposed by heredity may become actually inverted (homo-sexual), especially when under the influence of an adult of an abnormal type. This danger is so plainly recognised by all intelligent head masters and mistresses that there is no need here to enlarge upon it. Unquestionably a want of comprehension of the sexual instinct and all that it implicates renders the young peril- ously exposed to this aberration during the years of tutelage.

The risks for the unprepared boy are increased when he leaves school and mixes freely in all kinds of company. He is bound to encounter licentious persons whose con- versation and example may colour the whole of his career. When we are forewarned by the fact that in Europe an enormous number of cases of gonorrhoea are contracted by youths under the age of twenty-one, we should realise the sheer necessity for safeguarding the young by fitting in- struction upon the dangers of venereal disease. Many are blighted upon the very threshold of manhood. The in-

on of young children is terribly frequent in Europe and

America. his <"' .'&'

"A well-known "woman physician of Chicago affirms


that ignorance is often responsible for the attitude of the girl towards immorality. As an instance she cites the case of a girl now working at one of the establishments in the stockyards whose mother ' did not tell her things.' She is now five months pregnant." 1

There is now a wide agreement among eminent physicians and the commissioners at conferences, on venereal maladies that one of the most effective preventives of the spread of the evil is sex education. " Many of the immoral influences and dangers which are constantly surrounding young children on the street, in their amusements and in business life may be counteracted and minimised by proper moral teaching and scientific instruction." 2 Bloch recommends such en- lightenment, in the final stage of education, in sexual physi- ology and hygiene. 3 The majority of the medical witnesses at the British Royal Commission on Venereal Disease (1913- 1914) spoke earnestly in advocacy of the instruction of young people of both sexes.

We must accept the fact that the great mass of persons in the higher civilised societies are more or less unbalanced in their judgments upon questions of sex. This condition is due to a want of education. No doubt inherited tendency to fears and superstitions, bred in primitive brains, has a part in this phenomenon of the cultured races. But lack of sane teaching in childhood and youth is the chief cause of the perversion of outlook upon the subject. The prudish recoils and repugnances and the libidinous prurience spring from a deplorably defective knowledge of the great vital emotion. Our want of respect for sex is a foe to true morality, and a peril to national and racial health of mind and body.

The primary duty of legislators, ethical leaders, jurists, pedagogues and sociologists is to instruct themselves in the science of sexualogy. There is no possible way of escape from the Sex Problem. The libido, in its wide sense, is the urge of all humanity, just and unjust, wise and simple, rich and poor alike. To understand human nature we must understand sex.

1 The Social Evil in Chicago. 1911. American Vigilance Associa- tion. 2 Ibid.

3 '.lhe Sexual Life of Our Time. Iwan Bloch, M.D. English trans, by Dr Eden Paul. 1908.



From an extensive collection of authoritative opinion upon the urgent need for educational guidance I have selected the following extracts. Other views of scientific minds will be found in quotation throughout the volume. Inquiry into the literature of the Sex Question in Europe and America shows the widespread and increasing develop- ment of a fervent demand for knowledge on a soundly scientific basis.

Sir THOMAS BARLOW, Bart. (President Roy. Coll. of Physicians), before the Royal Commission on Venereal Diseases, 1914

Question : " Apart from the general educative effect on the public \vhich our Report may have, do you think any special instruc- tion on these subjects is desirable ? "

Sir THOMAS BARLOW : " Yes, very desirable. ... I am willing to have it come from all sources if only the teachers are properly enlightened. . . . Directly young people are sent to work, what- ever the work may be, I think they ought to have instruction on this matter." Referring to knowledge of sex matters among the young, Sir T. BARLOW said : "It is awful the way they learn them now. They learn them in the very worst way."

Sir VICTOR HORSLEY said : " I would teach every child at the age of twelve reproduction. ... In the secondary schools they ought to receive full instruction. ... 1 think the public will get accustomed to it, and I think the quicker they do the better."

Dr CHALMERS (Med. Officer for Health, Glasgow) : "I think on general sexual matters of morality so called that instruction might be properly given to both sexes."

Dr BURNET HAM (Head of Health Department, Victoria) : " The educational factor undoubtedly is an important one."

Mr J. E. LANE, F.R.C.S. (Senior Surgeon, London Lock Hospital) : " There rm;st be, in the first place, some elementary idea of physiology and sexual physiology."

Mr D. POWER (Surgeon and Lecturer, St Bartholomew's Hospital) replied to a question that he thought " the whole of the com- munity wants educating."

Dr D. WHITE : " As they are approaching that age [between fourteen and fifteen] I think the moral education ought to be helped out with a knowledge of the physiological facts."

Dr HELEN WILSON advocated instruction by lecture, leaflet.

and private talk, with " a background of the physiological and health teaching."


Dr E. B. SHERLOCK, B.Sc., Lecturer on Biology (author of The Feeble-Minded) : " So long as the scientific spirit actuates those who carry on the work of investigation, nothing but benefit to society at large can result from a critical study of our con- ceptions of sexual morality."

Dr BERNARD HOLLANDER (Nervous Disorders of Women] : "Amongst young women of a marriageable age there is often a great deal of ignorance concerning reproductive functions, and a still greater amount of half knowledge, which is more dangerous than total ignorance. . . ."

Dr T. N. KELYNACK (editor of The Child) : " It is being recognised that a rational education must provide for adequate instruc- tion in regard to sex hygiene. ... In all religious, social and educational systems the meaning and manifestations of the sex instinct must receive foremost consideration " (The Child, June, 1918).

Dr G. T. WRENCH, M.D. (The Healthy Marriage): "Irreverence towards sex and ignoring of its primary importance to men and women cannot but be gravely disadvantageous to the cleanliness and health of any society."

The late Prof. E. METCHNIKOFF described the neglect of sexual instruction as highly culpable " the most immoral of acts."

Dr HAVELOCK ELLIS (Ed. Contemporary Science Series, and author of Studies in the Psychology of Sex) says : "In England little or no progress has yet been made. ... It must indeed be said that those who oppose the sexual enlightenment of youth in large cities are directly allying themselves, whether or not they know it, with the influences that make for vice and immorality. ... It is scarcely necessary to say that the ordinary teacher of either sex is quite incompetent to speak of sexual hygiene."

Dr F. M. GOODCHILD (Arena, March, 1896) : " It is little short of criminal to send our young people into the midst of the excite- ments and temptations of a great city with no more prepara- tion than if they were going to live in Paradise."

Professor KARL PEARSON, M.A. : " Since the entire development of our species is quite dependent on the sex relations, the natural historian of the future will appeal, to an extent scarcely imagined in the present, to the science of sexualogy and to the formal history of sex."

STEPHEN PAGET, M.D. : " All of us, when we think seriously about boys and girls from fourteen to eighteen years old, have at the back of our minds the thought of sex. . . . We must begin while they are children. . . . But we are still at sixes and sevens how to tell children about their bodily nature. ... I do not believe that what we call ' innocence ' is any sane pro tection to boys and girls against impure or perverted ways in adolescence."


THE BISHOP 01- LONDON : " The time gone l>v for whispers and paraphrases. Boys and girls must be told what these great vital farts of life moan, and they must be given the proper knowledge of their bodies and the proper care of them. No abstractions : the only way now is to be frank, man to man."

A. A. BRILL, M.D., Ph.B. (author of Psychanalysis) : " The ignor- ance displayed in matters sexual is appalling."

Mr SIDNEY UNWIN (Bedales School, England) : " Sexual indulgence is ultimately connected with the affections, and the affections must be trained as much as any other part of the child's person- ality if he is to have control and a right use of the sex force within him." l

Dr EIHJARD CERESOLE, LAUSANNE (at the International Congress on School Hygiene, 1907) : " The ideas of the day on sexual hygiene and ethics are still those of the barbaric ages. They are not in harmony with the progress of modern science, and they constitute a permanent and inveterate danger to society."

Prof. JUNG, Zurich University (Analytical Psychology) : " The prob- lem of the present day, sexual morality, , . . The problem and conflicts of love are of fundamental importance for humanity, and with increasingly careful study it comes out ever more clearly that the love life is of immensely greater importance than the individual suspects."

Principal G. STANLEY HALL : " This probably ought to be the most inspiring of all topics to teach as to the truly pure in heart it is the most beautiful of all " (Adolescence).

Professor MAURICE A. BIGELOW (Columbia University) : " At present there are no thoroughly satisfactory books for adolescent boys and girls. . . . There is still plenty of chance for authors to experiment in writing books of this class. . . .

" An adolescent girl of fourteen to sixteen should know the general plan of her own sexual structure " (Sex Education),

Dr MARY SCHARLIEB, M.D. (Youth and Sex) : " It is a positive cruelty to allow a young woman to marry without knowing facts on which her happiness depends."

Mr F. ARTHUR SIBLY, M.A. (Headmaster, Wycliffe College, Stone- house) : "No improvement on present conditions is possible until there has been much plainer speaking."

Prof. PATRICK GEUDES and Prof. J. A. THOMSON (Problems of Sex) : " They should be told, honestly and hopefully, that these are the normal and necessary growth stirrings of life. . . .

" It is ignorance, not science, which engenders pruriency and communicates filthy miivledness. . . . There is too much mist

  • See opinion of Mr J. II. Hadley in Chapter Til , Part II., of this

volume, " Views of Teachers."


about the life journey, from its origins and at its climax mists dark and unwholesome, favouring errors of judgment and errors of conduct " (Sex).

Dr ERNEST JONES (Psychoanalysis): "The early development of the sexual instinct is a highly delicate one, and one peculiarly prone to errors both of direction and of intensity."

Dr W. F. ROBIE (Rational Sex Ethics) refers to " the Cimmerian darkness which surrounds the sexual question for most young people, and indirectly enters the married state. . '. . I think this emotional appeal is the principal point of attack in the forewarning and training of young people in a correct view of the sexual life."

PAOL BJERRE, M.D. (History and Practice of Psychanalysis) : " That sexual development is the hardest test for a human being must indeed be considered a universally accepted truth."

Sir JAMES PAGET, M.D. (Sexual Hypochondriasis) : " Ignorance about sexual affairs seems to be a notable characteristic of the more civilised part of the human race." Sir J. PAGET recom- mended instruction in the duties of marital life.

Miss HOSKYNS ABRAHALL (Child Nature and Education}: "Early adolescence is the time when boys and girls should begin to realise the responsibility of one generation to the next, should learn to feel that they are to hand on a great inheritance, and should be animated by the generous resolve not to suffer this to be impaired."

THE VICE-COMMISSION OF CHICAGO (1911): "The Commission believes that in the case of children beyond the age of puberty sex hygiene may be taught in schools under carefully trained and scientifically instructed teachers. For younger children the parents should do the teaching as the part of a sacred duty. ... In colleges and universities sex hygiene should be univers- ally taught."

Rev. HUGH NORTHCOTE (Christianity and Sex Problems] : "If mothers with marriageable daughters would carefully and rightly consider the matter, they would in almost all cases find the duty a possible one, and would be able to give a theoretical knowledge of the sexual process with such considerateness and tact as neither to stimulate unduly nor to stifle the just growth of sexual emotion."

Dr CHARLES D. Fox (Psychopathology of Hysteria] : " It is indeed deplorable that a prolific cause of hysteria and its manifestations is the culpable ignorance of young girls."

JUDGE LINDSAY (Juvenile Court of Denver). " In nearly every case the children brought before the court said that it was not from their parents, but in the street, or from older companions that they learnt the facts of sex. ' Parents do not know their children, nor have they the least idea of what their children


know, or what their children talk about and do away from them.' Judge Lindsay states that nine tenths of schoolboys and school girls are very inquisitive concerning matters of sex" (extract from Sex in Relation to Socie.'y, by Ilavelock Ellis).

EDWARD CARPI MKR : " The civilised girl is led to the altar often in uttermost ignorance and misunderstanding of tho sacrificial rites about to be consummated."

CANON LYTTELTON, formerly Headmaster of Eton, holds that the necessary facts of paternity must be explained to both boys and girls (I raining of the Young in Laws of Sex}.

Dr GEORGE H. NAPHEYS, M.D. (Physical Life of Woman) : " Ignor- ance here (i.e. in marriage) means suffering, disease and some- times death. Let us then interrogate science in regard to these matters among the most interesting of all human concerns."

Professor E. H. STARLING, University College, London (letter to the author in Married Love, by Dr M. C. Stopes): " Instinct in man is all insufficient to determine social behaviour, and there is need of instruction in the highest of physiological functions, that of reproduction. ... It is better to acquire knowledge by instruction than by a type of experience which is nearly always sordid, and may be fraught with danger to the health of the individual and of the family."

Mr CECIL M. CHAPMAN, Metropolitan Magistrate, said : " I believe that the root cause of nearly all this injustice and immorality lies in the wrong attitude of mind regarding sex relations which still misleads public opinion."

M. EDEN PAUL, M.D. : " The time appears to be ripe for a full discussion of topics which it has, until quite recently, been the custom to ignore " (Prefatory Note to Eng. trans.. The Sexual Life of Our 1 ime).



THE principal hindrances to the diffusion of knowledge of the laws of sex, the reproductive process and racial improve- ment are: (i) the apathy of a large number of the com- munity ; (2) hesitation, resistance, and occasionally hostility on the part of a proportion of parents ; (3) the lack of capable scientifically-trained instructors.

The indifference to the question is undoubtedly lessening among the educated classes ; still a large amount of pioneer work is necessary before the need for sex education on sound principles is widely admitted. We have still an opposing party advocating silence, obfuscation, or evasion. There are many persons, with a very superficial outlook upon the matter, who endeavour to persuade themselves that " nature " takes care of sexual morality and hygiene, and that " natural instinct " provides adequate guidance in childhood, youth and conjugality. This serious mis- apprehension causes much individual and social error and calamity. 1

As for those who belittle or condemn all effort to spread the light amid a gloom that can only be described as Cim- merian or appalling, we can merely hope to counteract their apathy or opposition by tactful education in socialisation. Whenever a topic is judged by the unreflective or the stub- bornly conventional as unnecessary, idle or unimportant, we may well inquire into the cause of the resistance.

Generally it will be discovered that the actual aversion towards inquiry is a test of the deep importance for personal study. Individual sex complexes, fear, shame, prudery, disillusionment with love, and marital trouble are often the sources of an almost invincible prejudice against sex 1 See remarks by Prof. Starling in opening chapter.


psychology. The- nces are extremely common in

the nations. specially in the \\Vst. They are frequently so strong that sex matters are banished to the realm of the imdebatable, and sometimes even described as "revolting," "disgusting," "unclean" or "abominable."

Even some of the pioneers of women's social freedom have sho\vn resistance to enlightenment in simple facts of the natural order. Mary Wollstonecroft, who was con- sidered highly " advanced " in her day, declared that the teaching of botany and the reproduction of plants to young women would soil their innocence and imperil their sense of modesty. Mrs Lynn Lynton was opposed to education in the laws of sex, and frequently declaimed against the spread of vital knowledge among women.

It follows from the apathy, want of knowledge and the inimical attitude that so few parents and pedagogues are fitted for the duty of training the young in the guidance of the sex impulse. While there is no widespread recogni- tion of the supreme need for this knowledge, there must be great difficulty in finding well-qualified monitors. This serious deficiency can only be mended by a gradual process of popular adult education. It is therefore necessary to reiterate that parental and scholastic enthusiasm must be fostered by every possible means. Granting the existence of a still formidable prejudice, based upon a want of broad appreciation of the significance of the subject, it can scarcely be said, as in the statement of one of the critics of my books, 1 that there are " too many " published contributions to the question. So long as sex education is not included in the general education for life, there can scarcely be an undue insistence in speech and written word upon the necessity for this teaching.

The combating of ignorance, prejudice arising from false modesty and false moral estimates, and the vulgar views of the street, is a work requiring fortitude and hardihood. Even the publication of earnest scientific works on sexual physiology and psychology is still beset with some difficulty.

The pornographic or lascivious view of sex is one of the f actorsof resistance to reverential inquiry. A typical devotee of the lewd in literature and art is most frequently, if not 1 T he Psychology of Marriage 1918.


invariably, an opponent of sane sex teaching. At the best, he or she is indifferent to the scientific and idealistic aspects. No help can ever be expected from the prurient minds of either sex. The man who collects books described as erotica, gloats over indecent photographs, and relates un- clean jests is often quite ready to join with the most ultra- prudish in the denunciation and misrepresentation of the scientific teaching of sex. This attitude of a large number of adults is naturally imitated by the young who come under their influence. As a result, quite young children may start life with a meretricious view of all natural sex functions and processes, and the greatest care and ingenuity of the teacher may be almost or entirely powerless to remove the blight from the mind.

The cultivation of the respectful attitude in the minds of the young is often rendered difficult by the fact that the soul has been stained by vulgar and lewd suggestions. There is no doubt that the parent who thinks that ignorance is better than knowledge has often been corrupted in his youth. And instead of. realising that the sure armour of pure knowledge would have protected him, he forms the fatal judgment that a profounder ignorance will prove a moral safeguard for his child.

But how can this entire blankness of thought and imagina- tion be guaranteed in the ordinary life of a child or youth of our day ? Such ignorance is impossible. Even without external influence, the stirrings of the sex emotion are bound to arise internally and spontaneously in the most normal of children. Furthermore, it is ascertained that a healthy general development of the mind and body is usually accompanied by a vigorous functioning of sex. As a medical friend remarked to me years ago : "If I imprisoned my little boy on the top of a high tower he would still have sexual thoughts and impulses from within himself."

The hankering for the improper and the obscene is a manifestation of the tremendous misdirection of the re- pressive method. It is becoming more and more evident that children reared with a healthy knowledge of sex matters do not develop a taste for conversational improprieties and vulgarity. The effort of total suppression frequently, if


not in all cases, results in a prurient as opposed to a wholesome ruiin- itv.

The etiology of the in. i. vent story or joke is now beginning to be understood. 1 It is of the nature of a relief or explosion. The censored or taboo topic undoubtedly becomes frequently an absorbing secret subject of reflection. Inevitably man yearns for the forbidden fruit. The more severe the pro- scriptions the stronger the curiosity, and the more potent the temptation to evade them. This curiosity is, ho'.\ modified to a large degree by a familiarity with the scientific facts of sexuality. Thus we cannot too often repeat that science has the kev to purity of thought and behaviour.

The vicarious gratification of sexual desire is instanced in the case of the inveterate obscene jester. Repression of thought and act becomes unendurable and the pent-up feeling seeks a vent. Now, as the opportunities for sane discussion of the longings are exceedingly limited, through social convention, prudish prejudice and innate dreads, relief is sought in the common and tolerated method of society e.g. the double-meaning joke of a sexual character, the in- decent " limerick," the reading of pornographic books, and the very common habit of scribbling rhymes and indecencies upon walls. These practices reveal a tremendous ill- repressed preoccupation with the obscene in minds that have never been directed towards a clear comprehension of the high meaning of the natural instincts.


The objections to enlightened education in sex must now be considered with cautious impartiality. There is a plea that this knowledge is " dangerous." But no one has pointed out specific instances of immoral conduct, impro- priety of speech and demeanour, or other ill results of the scientific teaching of sex hygiene and ethics. The risk of emotional excitation and the arousing of erotic desire pre- maturely are extremely rare contingencies. That sexual erethism may be aroused in some hyperaesthesic adults by

1 For a full discussion c re Wit in A'? 'alien to the I' nconscioits, by Fioi. Sigmund Freud.


even inspecting a physiological diagram is true in a very few cases. I have been told by a mature woman that the reading of a work on physiology, in which the organs of sex were explained, aroused desires that had been partially dormant. This, however, is no argument against the ac- quisition of knowledge for the mass of men and women.

In the above instance my informant had led a life of intense repression of ordinary intelligent curiosity. She was, on her own admission, often secretly stirred with spontaneous, powerful yearnings, which she scarcely under- stood. In very early childhood she contracted a common habit, through the suggestion of a female servant, and her eroticism had developed in a thoroughly morbid soil. Her mother had silenced all her youthful questions concerning the mystery of birth, the relations of the sexes, and the periodic function of women. She was austerely com- manded not to think about such things. This lady married at a rather late age and has shown a very strong resistance to normal sexual relations with her husband.

This example may be accepted as a warning and as a common typical instance of the need for sensible instruc- tion in girlhood. The thrusting down of the natural con- scious wish for information, the long abnormal absorption with mental sexual images and the prudish reactions had induced sex hypersesthesia in a strongly amorous subject. Almost anything that can be said to possess a stimulating quality would be likely to arouse erotic excitement in such a mind. These stimuli are very abundant for the normal and perfectly healthy person. For the abnormal and the morbid they are immensely more numerous. The over- sexed person lives constantly exposed to incitements and mental aphrodisiacs. Hence sensation may be stimulated by objects, sounds, odours and contacts that would have no influence upon the normal being.

Suitable enlightenment in childhood would, in the great majority of instances, prevent abnormal or aberrant sexual development. If erotic feeling is aroused by the spectacle of a plan of the human body, or by a sculptured image of the human form, there is a too intense susceptibility to stimuli. This sexual hypersesthesia is often the consequence of an undue repression, as exampled by some of the mediaeval


ascetics. It arises also from the suppression of natural inquiry in the manifestations of the sexual life and the scheme of reproduction. If sex is regarded from the earliest years as intrinsically shameful, or associated with evil, there is every chance that the mental attitude to even the most beautiful and elevating emotions may become dis- torted and even diseased.

Opposition to sex education among the young on the ground that such teaching may foster premature desires is not in the interest of morality. We cannot leave the mind of the child entirely blank. The influences of the world, even in childhood, are too numerous and constant. A father assured Professor Jung that his little daughter was absolutely " innocent " of all knowledge of sexual matters. The professor discovered that the child had an inveterate auto-erotic habit. A very large number of children of both sexes discover sex sensation spontane- ously, and often long before puberty.

It is impossible to preserve an absolute ignorance and there is no validity in the protest that children should, not receive instruction. Absolute ignorance, even in quiU young children, and in the most refined environment, is scarcely possible in modern life, and more especially in the case of the young brought up in towns. Parents who fear to imperil childish modesty by the teaching of physiology should inquire whether this risk is not infinitely greater when the acquisition of knowledge is left wholly to chance. The untaught and unprepared child is usually only too easily affected by the first flippant or vulgar companion with whom he or she associates. Moreover, as I have pointed out, we have not only to protect the child from evil influ- ences of an external character, but we need to explain the automatic internal arousing of the new desires that often develop before the normal age of puberty.

The preliminary information concerning birth cannot cause immodesty, if imparted judiciously and reverentially. On the contrary, a little child who has been taught respect for the fairy magic and solemn mystery of human repro- duction will develop modestly, and will feel revulsion when the subject is mentioned with a frivolous disrespect or made a topic of coarse jesting. A sensibly instructed boy or girl


will regard motherhood as something too beautiful for ribaldry. I am convinced that the emotional and aesthetic aspects of sex love and of the reproductive process are elevated and refined in the youthful mind educated on scientific lines.


In my youth it was said by many parents that " there are things a child should not know. " The tendency now, among an increasing number of earnest-minded guardians of the young, is to inquire as to what should be told, and how the knowledge should be conveyed to the childish intelligence. The new psychology of the child shows, without doubt, that the withholding of the truth injures the emotional and intellectual relationship between parents and their children. One well-meaning lie repeated by the father or mother may destroy for ever the confidence of the child. A severe reproof in response to a childish question or speculation upon reproductive enigmas acts as an excitant to further curiosity and speculation. Parents are wont to imagine that the hushed voice or the admonition to silence checks the inquisitive tendency. No doubt such tactics check the child from further attempts to learn from the parent or teacher. But instead of diminishing the curiosity, the evasive answer or the palpable untruth stimulates a deeper craving for enlightenment. This is an inevitable consequence.

Parents must ask themselves if they are not positively culpable when they refuse sane guidance in sex for their children. It is a mistaken sentiment of affection that prompts the mother to silence austerely the first vague questionings of her son or daughter. True love for a child is exhibited by a solicitude for protection. Ignorance is not protective. It is a fearful menace. The sexual life is exposed to manifold perils from childhood to the senile stage. For many it is a stormy sea, beset with reefs and shoals, and for all the passage is opposed by difficulties in steering a safe course.

Among the advocates of sex knowledge for the young are some who doubt whether the parent is the best teacher,


except in the tender years of the child. It need scarcely be insisted that the mother, the first of all teachers, should be the natural initiator of young children. The first and natural source of this knowledge seems to be the maternal. That the average mother is rarely well equipped in every respect for this important task is one of the primary defects of our educational methods.

Conscientious fathers and mothers frequently confess that they do not feel fully competent to teach their own children the rudiments of this knowledge. In the case of adolescents, whose curiosity naturally excels that of the young child, the questions are more difficult to answer with requisite candour. A host of parents declare that shyness assails them when discussing the most intimate aspects of the sex life with their children. This shyness frequently inhibits parental guidance. It is an actual problem for many solicitous parents.

If the resistance against candour is strong the parent can hardly be recognised as the most effective instructor of the child at the age of puberty. This resistance is not necessarily prudish. It may arise in those who have a sincere wish that their children shall be properly instructed. For personal and intimate reasons there is often a relative reserve in speech upon certain phases of sex. The final, but highly pertinent, question of the child is concerning the part enacted by the father in generation. And it is precisely this query that is disregarded or shirked.


A schoolmistress of an elementary school at Chesterfield, realising the urgency of scientific sex teaching, began to impart a knowledge of physiology to her pupils. Un- fortunately there was opposition from the parents of the children, and the humane and disinterested efforts of a hard-worked teacher were hindered by an ill-founded hostility to physiology.

As one of the advocates of scientific sex teaching points out, we have still to reckon with the forces of ignorance and coarse-mindedness. 1 The education of parents must be 1 See Sex in Relation to Society, by Havelock Ellis.


undertaken in very many instances before we can begin to educate the children. Propaganda by means of lectures and literature, designed for defectively educated parents, would serve a good purpose in preparing the way for sex guidance in the home and the school. We must recognise that very many fathers and mothers have faith in the efficacy of complete silence, or of " leaving such matters to nature." They must be taught that the method of concealment is disastrous, and even " culpable," as Metchnikoff states ; and that abandoning the moral direction of the erotic impulse to " nature " is hardly practicable at the present stage of human evolution.

The instinct of animals can never supply adequate guidance for human beings in the control, rightful use and sublimation of the passion of love. Sexual love in man and woman cannot be compared rationally with the rutting impulse in the animals. Love is always more or less massive and pervasive in the consciousness of civilised mankind, and is, in fact, the very mainspring of man's energy and numerous mental activities.

A complete reform of the intellectual attitude towards the sex question must precede any widespread understand- ing of the need for tuition. The gravity of the problems of the sex life from infancy to old age must be made evident to those who look indifferently upon the subject of sex education. An immense responsibility rests upon the clergy of the Church and the ministers of Nonconformity. So long as they neglect to speak earnestly in recommenda- tion of educational guidance in sex development, they must fail in the fulfilment of a trust as moral guides and reformers in this most vital of all human affairs.

Hitherto the only training of the young in matters of sex in England has been purely religious. For the greater part, the religious exhortation has consisted of severe denuncia- tion of fleshly lusts, fornication and marital infidelity. This negative teaching needs to be supplemented by positive instruction. The highest moral or religious idealism is compatible with the deepest scientific apprehension. I am impressed by the earnest moral and spiritual attitude to questions of sex shown in the writings of the leading sexual psychologists of all nationalities. These eager students of


human life reveal a devotion for humanity which is often quite secondary in the volumes of tlioologically orthodox writer?. " Our scientific spirit is devout," said Pro: William James. The ardent quest for truth is, in the widest sense, religious, or a seeking for the good.

The necessity for the moral-emotional appeal cannot be urged too vigorously. Sex is not a study of dry bones, but a live and intensely emotional subject. Spiritualised love is a matter of faith, deep feeling, refined sentiment, idealism, poetry, aesthetics and romance. The scientific analysis of the deepest emotion of the heart e.g. love inspires wonder and reverence, and combats materialistic conceptions and vulgar disesteem for sex. This knowledge, by enlarging our view of human nature, brings understanding and sympathy. It assists in forming true moral judgments. It explains some of the profoundest mysteries of human behaviour. The quest of truth by the aid of science may necessitate a stripping of the disguises that hide the real man or woman, and this process may sometimes reveal the ugly and the repellent. But in baring the soul how often may w r e find beauty, nobility and virtue as a contrast to the evil or morbid characteristics.

No earnest student can afford to shirk the realities of life if he would learn the highest and the lowest that is possible to humanity. There must be unflinching vision on the part of those who would teach. And this may require a knowledge of the darker side of the sexual problem. But the brighter side, as one investigator insists, 1 is the side that should be vividly presented to the mind of youth. The splendour and the beauty of the love of the sexes must be revealed to the young through the intelligence and the emotion.

To minds unassailed by prudery or salacity the sexual passion conveys most that is finely spiritual, inspiring and sacred in life. With the child one cannot begin too early the duty of imparting respect for the body and its mar- vellous mechanism, as a preparation for later instruction in nature's racial purpose and the meaning of sex love in the mighty scheme of living creatures, with Man as the highest manifestation of brain development.

1 W. F. Robie, M.D., Rational Sex Ethics.



THE primitive form of sex education of the young will be found in the initiation rites of puberty practised among ancient and modern barbaric and semi-civilised peoples. These practices have been, and are still, very widespread throughout the world. The savage mind, probably univers- ally, fears the sexual instinct and looks upon the union of the sexes as dangerous. Anthropology and folk-lore abound with instances of this dread, and numerous travellers and explorers have described the curious ceremonials connected with the attainment of the pubescent age in both sexes. The initiation customs are a training for manhood and womanhood. They stimulate physical courage and endur- ance, and inspire the mind with awe for the mighty reproductive force. This education is usually undertaken by the older members of the tribe, who seclude the young disciples in remote parts of the country, often for weeks or months.

Most of this primitive teaching involves submission to painful ordeals as a part of the discipline of the future life. The training of the boy or girl is laborious and ascetic. In some tribes of Australia circumcision is practised on the males and an operation is performed on the female generative organs. These operations must be suffered with- out an expression of pain or the pupil is disgraced. Similar inculcation of fortitude and restraint characterises the initiatory pubertal ceremonies of some African races. The Indians of California sequestrate girls of the age of puberty in a pit, attended by aged women, who by symbolic means explain the process of reproduction. At the end of four days of instruction the girls are decorated, and corn is thrown over them.



Wherever we search amo I we shall

that instruction in the duties of marriage and parentage are considered highly essential for the welfare of the in- dividual and the community. As most primitive people marry soon after attaining puberty, early enlightenment is necessary. It is a strange fact that the uncultured mind ned ages ago that a preparation for conjugality is an imperative matter, whereas the cultured minds of to-day often assume that such education is unessential. No one except Stephen Paget has, I believe, made a practical pro- posal of ceremonial at the arrival of the adolescent period. 1 But a modified form of the primitive rituals, adapted to the present age, might be made highly impressive to the young. Such a rite could be surrounded with appropriate solemnity, and employed as a kind of confirmation of a reverential attitude towards manhood and womanhood and their racial responsibilities. On the other hand, some teachers are of the opinion that all teaching should be un- obtrusive and not definite or specialised.

It must not be inferred that savages are lacking in modesty. On the contrary, the primitive sense of sexual delicacy is very frequently acute. And, from the evidence of anthropology, it is well established that barbaric people associate reproduction with the holy. The sex initiation of the young among primitive folk is undoubtedly associated with religious belief and social ethics. These rites are of an extremely solemn character.

The ancient Oriental races were especially deferential towards the sexual impulse. In the old theologies of India full regard is given to questions of marriage, conjugal hygiene and the art of love. The chief religious symbols denote generative power. Phallic worship, which was one of the most ancient of all religions, was a cult in honour of repro- duction and fertility, and its signs still survive in all parts of the world. In India phallicism is traceable in many rituals and pious observances, and its symbolic images are preserved as sacred.

Vishnu, Manu, and Vatsyayana give counsels for the regulation of the sexual life and conjugal conduct. The Kama Sutra is a grave erotic manual for the use of the devout, 1 See Adolescence.


though its sex morality is not always that of the Western nations. To Kama was given the charge of mortal love by the Creator.

Hindu womanhood is divinely represented by the goddess Uma and the female deity of a vast number of Indian people is Shakti or Sakti. Manu asserts that " the mother exceedeth a thousand fathers in the right to reverence, and in the function of teacher." Woman in her noblest guise is personified in Sakti, which word signifies power and energy. There is no shame for the procreative office in the Hindu religion. Sir William Jones states that the cultured Hindu cannot understand how that which is natural can be offensively obscene, and that the frankness of the classic works is no proof of depraved morals. The most rigorous restraints upon desire are as much a part of the creed of devout Hindus as the rightful gratifications. This honest acceptation of the vital impulse of love has no doubt a share among the factors which, according to Mrs F. A. Steel, makes the morality of India " far higher " than that of England. A native writer on Hindu Love has said that the sacredness of the relation of husband and wife in India " is invested with a heavenly grandeur which passes all description."

In Burma the passing of girls from childhood to early womanhood is a festival. The girl is attired in her finest robe, earrings are placed in her ears as a mark of the age of marriage, and guests offer congratulations. The Burmese boy is impressed with the importance of attaining puberty by a ritual of tattooing the legs. Married happiness is the rule in Burma, and sex equality is established. There is reason for believing that the esteem for love and the absence of all prudish reactions against questions of sex are amonz the chief factors of the morality and social well- being of the Burmese people.

The ancient Hebrews, under the rule of Moses, observed a very strict sexual hygiene, and the code contains explicit directions, which are of the nature of education in the vita sexualis. In the faith of Islam the sex relationship is controlled by severe regulations, and Mahomet framed precise rules for conjugal behaviour and pre-marital continence.



The Catholic Church has always recognised the import- ance of the Sex Question. The theological contributions to this subject are very numerous, and many of them are written with the utmost candour. In receiving confessions the priest is bound to encounter irregularities of the sexual life committed by penitents, and it is apparent that the clergy were, at an early age in the history of Catholicism, equipped with a knowledge of the sex instinct in most of its manifestations and aberrations.

This is proved conclusively by the existence of a great classic library of volumes and treatises upon the main phases of sexuality. Upon authoritative scientific judg- ment, the Roman Catholic Church " has always displayed greater openness and less hypocrisy than, for example, the Protestant pietists." 1 There are, however, exceptions to the reticent attitude of Protestant teachers, notably that of Martin Luther, who openly discussed matters of sexual conduct.

Catholic divines and savants have undoubtedly provided an extensive literature treating upon problems of sex. There are very few of the abnormalities and perversions known to psychopathologists which are not discussed in the works of Catholic authors. The Golden Key of Antonio Claret, Archbishop of Caba, and Matrimony, a standard volume by T. Sanchez, are representative works. These writings are to be classed, for the greater number, as efforts towards the enlightenment of mankind in the nature, force and widespread influence of the emotion of sex love.

If Catholicism imperilled the sane mental, emotional and ethical attitude to love and the intercourse of the sexes by extolling the celibate life, casting suspicion on marriage and aspersing woman as a source of corruption and danger, it cannot be denied that, on the other hand, many of the

1 Iwan Bloch. M.D. ( 7 he Sexual Life of our Time), enumerates various accredited writings of the fathers and clerics of the Church. Among these are Augustine, Bouvier, Capellmann, Dens, (iury, Liguori, Molinos, Pereira, Kousselot, Sanchez, Soto, Suarez, Aquinas, Wigandt and Zeuardi.


great teachers of the Church refused to darken the sex question. There was a perfectly clear recognition of the enormous influence of the erotic energy in human life, and a fervid endeavour to cope with the evils and morbidities arising from this force. Moreover, the ethical and hygienic counsels for the celibate and the wedded were frequently sound and practical. We must therefore set this humani- tarian ardour against the fanatical injunctions of complete asceticism, which, as sacerdotal records prove, usually de- feated the ends of morality and purity. At all events, the Catholic Church sanctioned and encouraged enlightenment in this department of knowledge.

Martin Luther plainly perceived the importance of direction in sexual conduct, and his vehement antipathy to the teaching of celibacy inspired him with zeal in attack- ing the ascetic doctrine of the Catholic creed. That Luther was a man of powerful vitality and strong passions is evident from his own writings. "He to whom the gift of continence is not given," he writes, " will not become chaste by fasting and vigils." The Protestant reformer's hetero- doxy in conjugal ethics is evinced in his suggestion that women united to impotent husbands should be permitted to take another partner, in cases where there was no desire for divorce. He emphasised the fact that virility will always seek natural gratification, and recognised it as the chief sign of manhood.

Nevertheless, Luther was not free from the ascription of some of the eminent Fathers to sin as the source of the sex instinct. He was inclined to think that it would be better for humanity if all men were moulded from earth. It is obvious that any association of the love impulse with " original sin " is prejudicial to sound teaching in sexual matters. Notwithstanding, we must accord to Luther re- spect for his outspokenness upon the marital relation and his courage in combating prejudices that he had outgrown.

Swedenborg may be taken as an example of a sectarian leader who recognised the need for sex enlightenment. To his followers he addressed a ponderous volume upon Conjugial Love characterised by much common-sense in portions, but containing statements that will not stand scientific analysis.



For centuries throughout Christendom there was no effort to diffuse education in sexual physiology and hygiene among the mass of the people. After the Reformation, and especially in the days of Puritanism, there were many published exhortations to chastity and violent denuncia- tions of sensuality, sexual irregularity and adultery. The Mosaic Code was revised in all its austerity. Sex became a forbidden topic. In England and Scotland innocent love was commonly regarded as a species of wantonness. Scottish theological writers of the seventeenth and eigh- teenth centuries vie with one another in solemn warnings against the lure of the erotic impulse. Fanaticism went to the length of forbidding music at weddings and denounc- ing parents who kissed their children on the Sabbath. Under this harsh and unnatural system of repression every kind of sex vice and perversion flourished.

For a long period in our country the only attempt at guidance in a virtuous and healthy sex life was a practical condemnation of the instinct that attracts and unites the sexes and continues the race. Bad sanitation and personal uncleanness accompanied a diseased mental view of the relations of the sexes. Love brought joy and pleasure ; therefore to the misguided zealot of perpetual abnegation of all enjoyment love was a danger and a source of sin. A poisonous prudery was the companion of gross lust and furtive vice.

Syphilis began to ravage Europe with its deadly poison. The brothels were numerous in the cities of Europe. Attempts at repression brought a reaction of libertinism, and the first efforts of legal regulation of prostitution were instituted in England. The spread of venereal diseases began to foster physical degeneration in the race.

There is no discoverable trace of any endeavour to combat the licence, vice and diseases of those days by means of sexual education. The grosser kinds of indecent literature were in circulation, but no scientific volumes were issued. Physiology was neglected and the knowledge of medical men was very limited. The preachers denounced immorality.


But no one showed the way to a rational, moral and healthy sexual life.

A volume which may be classed among the works essaying to control sex conduct was published in Latin in 1760, and afterwards translated into most European languages. It was the composition of a Swiss doctor named Tissot. I refer to this treatise because it was highly esteemed and widely distributed at a time when such writings had become scarce. This book was the celebrated Treatise on Onanism : A Dissertation upon the Maladies produced by Masturbation.

The work of Tissot is of historical interest, inasmuch as it deeply influenced contemporary medical minds and gave birth to strong traditional opinions that survive to this day. Tissot, in the role of a reformer of sex morals and an enlightener of youth, was unwittingly the benefactor of countless quacks throughout the civilised nations. The consideration of the difficult but profoundly important question of auto-erotism (masturbation, onanism, self- abuse) is one of the primary necessities of the parent and teacher who would lead the young rightly. But the teachers must gain their instruction from the highest sources of modern research.

Tissot was the pioneer of the immense host of " scare writers," both well-intentioned and unscrupulous, who have played a great part in shaping the thought of youth in questions of sex. He raised " a colossal bogy," * which other physicians of larger knowledge and experience have dethroned. Iwan Bloch accepts Tissot as " the true founder of the scientific literature " on this theme, but entirely disagrees with his flagrant exaggerations and uncompro- mising pessimism. There is no doubt that this Swiss physician and his huge army of followers, consisting of some medical and numerous lay writers and preachers, have caused very many cases of sexual neurasthenia, hypo- chondriasis, mental depression, anxiety neurosis and even suicide.

1 See vol. i., Studies in the Psychology of Sex. Havelock Ellis.


Undoubtedly some of the apparently inexplicable suicides of children and adolescents are the result of the terror, remorse and despair induced by reading alarming descriptions of a whole host ot major and minor maladies attributed to masturbatory habits. In The Psychology of Marriage I have referred to the injurious influence of terrifying quack pamphlets upon the mind and nervous system of young people and of many adults.

Tissot's almost epoch-making treatise was succeeded by other writings of a similar type, in which all the ills and the diseases of mankind were traced to auto-erotism. Lallemand, in 1836, wrote a medical work on this topic which repeated some of the errors of his predecessor. Since then the majority of the authors appealing to a large public have unreservedly accepted Tissot and Lallemand and their school as models. Often these writers have frightened their readers with their well-meaning moral enthusiasm. Unfortunately the terroristic method has been proved by the experience of balanced scientific minds and thoughtful moralists not only ineffectual but a stimulus to excesses. The psychic injury inflicted by this means is incalculable. Victims who have been told that they will become lunatics have actually lost their reason through dread alone. Dr Savage and other authorities mention suicide as a result.

The historical survey of sex education shows enormous gaps in the issue of writings designed as offering guidance to adults. And it is only within the past fifty years that a demand has arisen for the enlightenment of children and adolescents.

The movement must be regarded as in its infancy in England. In America and Canada there has been con- siderable advance during the past twenty-five years.

Bosnia, among European nations, has lately set an admirable example to the civilised world by the inception of State instruction in sexual questions. The reform was initiated as a check upon the tremendous spread of venereal diseases. In a short time the results have proved almost marvellous. The reduction in the cases of disease are most significant.



DURING a long period in England and America a voice was heard now and again in the wilderness. James Hinton, a cultured physician, wrote earnestly upon sexual ethics and hygiene in the Mid- Victorian period ; but his works are rarely read, except perhaps the well-known Mystery of Pain. Hinton asserted that " science has in its hands the key to purity." a statement that is now coming within the probability of acceptance by all honest minds. Have- lock Ellis frequently quotes Hinton with admiration. He states that one of this author's contributions to the discussion of sex is still in manuscript.

J. Milner Fothergill, about thirty years ago, strongly advocated sex teaching in his volume on Adolescence. The exclusion of any reference to the reproductive system in Professor Huxley's Physiology shows that in his view the time was not yet for enlightening the young in matters of sex. Twenty years ago there was scarcely any available volume sufficiently plain for the comprehension of an average young man or woman who wished to understand human reproduction. There were medical manuals and ponderous technical works in abundance, but nothing of the character of Miss Norah March's Towards Racial Health, or Dr Herbert's Introduction to the Physiology and Psychology of Sex. Many conscientious parents sought in vain for helpful information for their children. Such information was very scarce.

The Elements of Social Science, a volume attributed to a well-known physician and chief of a London hospital, had a very large sale, and was translated into several languages some years ago. This was an earnestly written book on several phases of the Sex Question. The writings of Dr



Acton, Dr Trail, Dr Foote and several other medical authors upon srxual physiology and reproduction are still oo ally seen in booksellers' windows in England and An Foote's volume was of a partly scientific character, works made no appeal to the young.

The description sexual psychology was probably never used fifty years ago. In recent years Professor Karl Pearson, in one of his essays, has referred to the import- ance of the study of " sexualogy " as a very important part of sociology. The leading pioneer of this new branch of scientific research in England is undoubtedly Havelock Ellis, who has made the study the chief part of his life's labour. To him we owe great advance in our knowledge. With painstaking industry and scientific thoroughness Ellis has collected a vast mass of highly useful data for social reformers, legislators, physicians and teachers.

The introduction of sex instruction in pedagogics has only just begun in England. Canon Lyttelton, when head- master of Eton College, realised the necessity for the sexual education of the young. The headmaster of Bedales School, a co-education institution, has set an example in this direction. It is, however, difficult to find many instances of the initiation of class teaching on this subject in the United Kingdom.

In my early manhood I attended a lecture in a pro- vincial town hall given by a then popular travelling evangelist. This preacher was supported by some of the leading ministers of the town, and the hall was filled with a large audience of " men only." The method of this missionary cannot be commended. His plea for purity was marred by an ignorance in physiological statement, and his illustrations, designed to terrify evil-doers, were extravagant and so alarming that one of his hearers was carried out in a fainting fit. I cannot believe that there is any true inspiration to virtue in a vehement denunciatory address lasting for over an hour. No help- ful practical counsel was offered to the young men present.



Pleas for instruction in sex physiology and hygiene are more numerous in the United States and Canada than in Great Britain. In the United States there are several influential propaganda associations, notably the American Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, which is largely the result of a vigorous advocacy undertaken by Dr Prince Morrow, a high-minded reformer and scientific investigator. The Chicago Society of Social Hygiene dates from 1906. The Vice-Commission of that city, held in 1910, published an earnest appeal for the enlightenment of the young in their Report of 399 pages.

In the States there has been considerable private and individual effort towards education in this urgent matter. Dr Helen C. Putnam has made practical proposals. 1 Principal Stanley Hall, of Clark University, is a whole- hearted pleader for sex knowledge, and has contributed much valuable literary material to the subject. In the various schools and colleges with which Professor Hall has been connected he has felt it his duty to speak plainly to young men students. Literary instruction in America is represented by a long list of books and pamphlets. A practical volume has been written on Sex Education by a well-known American biologist and teacher, Professor Maurice Bigelow.

In Canada the Government provides suitable sex teaching in all the State schools in Ontario. Boys and girls after the age of ten receive enlightenment in physiology and are taught respect for the sexual function. Sir Thomas Barlow, the well-known English physician, has approved of the system of instruction in the western states of Canada, and says that it "has been done without any offence whatever." 2

Ellis writes that in the Italian Normal Schools the subjects of sex and reproduction are looked upon as a necessary educative process. Michels refers to the

1 See " Biologists in Public Schools " in New York Journal of Med., Nov., 1906.

2 See Report of Royal Commission on Venereal Diseases, 1913-1914.


advance in this form of education in Italy, 1 and gives an account of a representative conference of men of >>cience, and clerics and pedagogues convened for the discussion of the Sex Question.

I n France, where education is not mainly a means of be- coming a successful money-maker, proportionate regard is paid to the spiritual things of life in the school curriculum. The moral influence in the French schools has been described with fervent appreciation by Principal Stanley Hall. Due attention is being directed to sex education in France, and much credit is to be accorded to the earnestly scientific humanist and physician Pinard for his eloquent appeal for this amelioration of the educational code. 2

In Bohemia Dr Stanislav Ruyicka has given lectures on sex physiology and hygiene to school children up to the age of fourteen. The teachers in the large towns generally approve of this means of public education. German reforms in sex education have progressed considerably in the past twenty-five years, and the same advance has been made in Austria.

Dr Eduard Ceresole, Lausanne, Switzerland, is of the opinion that "It is more necessary to the child's moral and physical welfare that he should be instructed on sexual questions than to be taught any other of the actual school curriculum. . . . To the people who taboo all sexual subjects as immoral I will answer that a scientific fact or truth is never immoral, but that the hypocrisy and concealment now prevailing with regard to such matters are decidedly so."

In a reform so young as that of educational guidance in sex development there cannot be much to relate in the way of results, at anyrate in Great Britain and Ireland. There is unquestionably a movement towards scientific inquiry in sex psychology among the thoughtful classes. But we are as yet in the initial stage of sexual pedagogy and the training of the young in the laws of a healthy sex life.

1 Sexual Ethics.

2 Dr Lucien Butte, an eminent medical inspector of schools in France, speaking at the English meeting of the Internation

gress on School Hygiene, advocated the tcai-iiiiig of sexual hygiene as quite as important as any of the laws of health.



THE qualifications of the instructors in sex education require cautious consideration. Resistance to inquiry in this branch of knowledge is so strongly developed in some men and women that it constitutes a positive disqualifica- tion. Unless the teacher can feel zealous for his subject, and take a sincere and scientific interest in it, he is not fitted for this important task. Before we can institute this much-needed reform in pedagogics, we must convince a far larger number of teachers of both sexes than exists at present of the great necessity for the reform. There are still not wholly unintelligent persons who believe that a shirking of this matter makes for morality. They fear sex knowledge in any form as a menace to the natural modesty of youth.

Any prejudice or repressed sex complex debars from the work of instruction. There must be the conviction that sex is inherently a clean topic, and the ability to distinguish between mere idle curiosity or the prurient habit of mind and a genuine bias for knowledge in the service of the higher needs of humanity. The teacher requires a spiritual perception of the massive power of love as well as an appreciation for the scientific method. He or she should be something of the artist or poet in addition to a physiologist and psychologist. If the trainer of the young in the rules of a healthy and moral sex life cannot make the requisite emotional appeal to young people, he or she can never become an ideal preceptor. For although the teaching must in some cases be entirely dispassionate and objective,



there are occasions when personal sympathy, arising from insight and a knowledge of the human heart, is very essential.

It is obvious, therefore, that efficiency in instructing the young depends principally upon the teacher's zeal for the subject. Without enthusiasm and earnestness the instructor will fail to impress the pupils with the high importance of the study, or to assure their interest, apper- ception and attention. At present there are not many educationists fully equipped with the essential ardour, psychological understanding of the juvenile mind, and knowledge of embryology and physiology. There are no professors of sex psychology in the universities, and the teacher must prepare himself or herself by private study and research.

As a preliminary it would be well if the instructor placed himself in the hands of an expert psychoanalyst. In all of us there exist opposing psychic elements, an accumula- tion of the detritus of barbaric ages, a resistance to the subject and a sense of timidity in approaching it. This fear is one of the strongest proofs that the topic is of unusual importance. If the first impression tells us that a subject is unnecessary or dangerous, we should ask ourselves why we have this opinion. Reason and reflection may inform us that there can be no progress in man's moral and mental development if investigations are shirked on the plea that they are unpleasant, irksome or attended with certain risks. Is it not true that it is frequently those rnatters that arouse resistance in the mind which are of the very deepest moment ?

Psychoanalysis explains the origin and the meaning of the inner censor who whispers that we had better avoid this or that inquiry. It reveals the dominance of the sub- conscious, enlightens us concerning our deep-seated pre- judices, dreads and intellectual cowardice, and clears and invigorates the conscious mind. The new researches in psychology have let in a stream of light upon the mysteries of mental disease, the bewildering problems of sex, the significance of myth and legend, the association of art and life, the subject of education, the development of the mind of the child and the social customs of mankind.

The theories of Freud demand the careful attention of


teachers. I can only outline very briefly the chief principle of the newest psychology. The theory is based on the tendency of primal desire and volition to come into con- flict with the moral sense and the ethical ideas of civilised society. This struggle for the modern man or woman, and perhaps especially for woman, is more or less con- tinuous and subjects us all to severe repressions. A re- pressed wish or tendency is not banished. It remains alive, though apparently controlled, and works in the mind in a mysterious secret way. The wish or impulsion, being opposed to our moral or social conceptions, has to be censored or held in firm check. This conflict may become a " complex " in the subconscious self, causing mental perplexity, depression or various forms of minor neurosis.

In dreams the unfulfilled wish manifests itself symbolic- ally. The vision is symbolic, because the wish is some- thing that the subject refuses to confront directly. Dreams give us glimpses of what we really crave. They afford startling instances of our real and deepest tendencies to the psychoanalyst trained in their interpretation. A dream may be described as a revelation to the consciousness of a drama played in the subconscious mind, or the working of a powerful desire that the dreamer has tried to expel from waking thoughts.

Psychoanalysts cautiously dissect and examine dreams for a clue to repressed tendencies. They also make use of the " association method," in which a selected list of words is repeated to the subject, who replies as quickly as he can with a single-word image called up by the test word. If the response is slow to a particular word, that word possesses considerable personal psychic significance. For example, if the person under examination cannot respond rapidly to the word "father," the delay might be accepted as pointing to a " father complex." The man who ponders for some seconds upon the association of " father," and then says " severe," gives the psychoanalyst an illuminating reply. But his response may be far less plainly significant, and it is the task of the analyst to divine the true meaning of an apparently irrelevant reply.

For the normally minded, psychoanalysis cannot fail to prove helpful, and it is a mistake to suppose that the method


is only useful in the cure of psychopathic symptoms. Any research that will enable us to understand in the degree some of the profound and apparently inscrutable mysteries of the operation of the normal mind is highly valuable. It is probable that the psychoanalytic method will be widely employed in the future in the difficult Held of ethical training. Professor Jung's remarkable work upon The Psychology of the Unconscious should be studied by every teacher and sociologist. The psychoanalytic literature is increasing steadily in England, America and the Continental countries. 1

" Know thyself " is the injunction of ancient wisdom. Every thinking human being is a mystery to himself or herself. We are bewildered by our temptations, surging impulses, moral defections, frustration of powerful yearn- ings and vestigial relics of superstition and fantasy. The psychic conflict impels some to drugs and alcoholic stimu- lants, and drives others into neurosis, depression of mind, morbid anxiety and weariness of life. A single shock to the mind in childhood may give rise to highly complicated mental and nervous symptoms in after life. The new in- vestigations into the subconscious mind, the origin of our perplexities and dreads, and their reaction upon thought and conduct are clearing away a cloud of primitive mis- conceptions and hindering delusions.

If the prospective teacher cannot purge himself from hindering reactions and realise that this is one of the most urgent of all reforms in education he is certainly unfitted for a solemn task. On the other hand, if the aspirant feels keenly, and is impelled to the vocation by moral enthusiasm, humanism and a devotion to truth, he will find that there are no insurmountable obstructions in the path of self- tuition. There is now a wide literature of biology, physi- ology and sex psychology in Europe and America. This ranges from the primer to the advanced text-book. The teacher with the right mental attitude to the subject and an aptitude for study need not be deterred because he or she has not undergone a lengthy scientific training.

'See list of books for teachers, Chapter IV., Part III. The principal English contributors to this study are Ernest Jones, Maurice Nicol, and in America A. A. Brill and Dr White.


A thoroughly educated science master might possess the technical knowledge and yet lack enthusiasm for this teaching. Undoubtedly the scientific spirit is of prime importance. But we must avoid the dry-bone method of instruction as cautiously as we steer clear of undue emotion- ality. Our teaching should be soundly scientific, with an admixture of aesthetics and poetry. The moral aspect of the subject must not become a dreary exhortation, but hopeful, practically helpful and inspiring.

Knowledge of the reproduction of plants is necessary, and this may be learned from the standard manuals of botany. The evolution of sex should be studied from the unicellulars and the infusoria on to the multicellular organisms and the sperm and egg producing animals up to man. The expansion of the psychic influences as we rise in the evolutionary scale should be especially noted, and ample illustrations are to be found in the courtship and mating of birds and quadrupeds. Entomology will assist in explaining reproductive processes.

The physiology of human reproduction should be care- fully studied from the standard text-books before the study of sexual pyschology. Some knowledge of sex pathology is necessary. Genetics and eugenics should be part of the preparatory course. Anthropology should be included.

It is true that the full study of any one of these branches of science is the labour of years or a whole lifetime. The teacher cannot master all these subjects ; but he can understand their importance and scope and acquaint himself with the rudiments and the essential facts for the instruction of the young.


Whether the instruction is given individually or in classes, the teacher should formulate a clear scheme. The following is a short suggested plan of instruction :

Embryology. Explain at the outset how life began with protoplasm. Show an egg as an illustration of a cell, and point out the great diversity in size of cells from the minutely microscopic to the fowl's egg. Explain the process of cell division, fission and budding, and pass on to reproduction


by the sexual method, the union of the sperm and the ovum. This may be explained to young children by the examination of anthers, pistils and stamens. Cite the potato as an instance of a continuation of a sexual generation i.e. by growth from seed or tubers. The di (Terence between the body or somatic cells and the germinal cells should be pointed out and their use ex- plained. Various seeds of plants can be shown as germs. Eggs of insects, such as the cabbage butterfly or the silk- worm moth, should be shown. Take a poppy seed and describe how this minute germ contains the determinants of size, height, colour and other qualities of the full-grown plant. Some examples of heredity may be given in plants, insects, animals and man showing the wonders of the germ plasm.

Nature Study. Children should be taken for country rambles and taught how to use the senses of vision and hearing. Encourage them to observe wayside plants and to distinguish different kinds of birds. The variation in the plumage of male and female birds should be indicated. In springtime nests may be examined. There should be attention directed to the chivalry and courage of male birds and their solicitude for the mate and the young. Lessons of ethical value can be learned by the altruism and devotion of sentinel birds among the gregarious species, industry and skill in building the home, and ingenuity in providing for the fledglings. Numerous instances of parental care and bravery may be given, and examples of the affection of mated pairs.

The country-side is a huge open volume of fairy lore which cannot fail to interest children if the teacher possesses the right aptitude and knowledge. Natural history study can be made as fascinating as sport. Birds and animals can be stalked and watched at work or play. Bloodless hunting for insects, birds and animals will stimulate interest in nature, train the faculties, teach perseverance, patience and concentration, and provide a healthy hobby of great educational value.

Children should collect the eggs of butterflies and moths, \ await the emergence of the larv;e, and keep them during the caterpillar and chrysalis stages until the full-grown insect


(imago) leaves the pupa case. Differences in secondary sexual characters of insects, form and colour, may be observed. The life history of the mayfly and of insects born from ova dropped into water is an interesting study for most intelligent children.

Sitting under an oak in autumn, the instructor may instance the lavishness of nature in providing the seed, and explain that only a tiny proportion of the scattered acorns will grow into trees. Explanation may be made why the seed is so profuse in plants and animals. The ova of salmon and other fish may be instanced. Children like object lessons ; therefore many different life germs should be shown to them from the seeds of common flowers and vegetables to birds' eggs, frog spawn and the roe of fish.

Ponds are alluring to children, and almost any pool contains interesting creatures. The humble three-spined stickleback may be seen building his nest and guarding the mate and her life germs. In spring the gaudy attiring of the male fish should be noted. Frog spawn may be examined and tadpoles watched as they merge into frogs. The adornment of the male newt in the pairing season, the hatching out of aquatic insects from the mud, the spawning of fish and the pairing and nesting of moorhens, coots and dabchicks are among a few of the manifold object lessons afforded by a pond.

The farmyard is another field of research. Lessons in parental devotion may be learned from fowls, cows, pigs and sheep. The protective instinct of the cock is instanced in his agitation and solicitude for the hens when a hawk appears. Devotion is shown by the mother bird in shelter- ing her brood and denying herself of the choicest morsels of food. Children should see the chick emerge from the egg. The keeping of pet animals should be encouraged. By means of nature study an intelligent teacher can im- part a knowledge of the immune reproductive energy in all living things and explain incidentally some of the methods of generation. Many important introductory lessons in sex education may be learned in the woods, and on the moors and hills. This pleasant form of study is more attractive than any classroom teaching.

Physiology. From puberty onwards it is necessary that


tho inquiries of UK' boy or girl should he nuswered frankly. \Ye must tell our pupils the truth. This requires \ knowledge, insight into character, tact, candour and sympathy. Physiological tuition need not be purely anatomical or histological. It can be made even romantic and poetic without endangering scientific fact.

A clear exposition of reproduction in mankind may be desired by a naturally curious boy or girl. This may be given in private talks between the tutor and the pupil. In the case of serious students of from sixteen to twenty, it may be possible to give class lectures on sexual physiology, especially if the students have been gradually prepared for this course. But at the present stage in the development of sex teaching many teachers agree that private instruction is the better method in the majority of schools.

At the outset the instructor should stress the intimate connection of the brain and the sexual system. The structure of the reproductive organs should be explained, their rapid development at puberty, their high racial pur- pose and their hygienic care. The difference in the germ cells of man and woman should be shown. Several volumes ,on reproduction contain illustrations of the spermatozoon and the ovum. Young men and women of the nubile age are likely to ask direct questions concerning the physical union of the sexes. They may be betrothed and on the eve of marriage and yet lack much necessary knowledge.

The more pertinent questions can be answered in a perfectly grave, dispassionate and seemly manner, and it is safe to state that the honesty and frankness of the teacher will win the gratitude and respect of the inquirers. The experienced married adult often fails in apprehension of the very acute and often terribly perplexing conflicts of the mind endured by unenlightened or half-enlightened young men and maidens who are about to marry. This whole- some demand for physiological and hygienic knowledge must be gratified by explicit and honest information. So profound is the prevailing ignorance of sex that it is often necessary to frame answers in the very simplest language. Decent-minded youths, who may only know the vulgar terms for the racial organs, are frequently ashamed to


speak of them. The Latin words used by educated persons should be explained by the teacher.

There are now several reliable volumes upon marital hygiene which may be safely recommended to young men and women upon entering married life. Some of these are in the list in another chapter of this book. 1

Sex Psychology. This includes the study of human sex selection, the evolution of modesty, the relation of the amative impulse to the main activities of the mind, the development of sexuality in childhood, and adolescence and its normal manifestations in the adult life, the origin and nature of aberrations of instinct, the question of sex educa- tion, the emotional and mental differences in the sexes, discussion of the forms of human marriage, inquiry into the source and the practice of sexual morality, and various sociological considerations.

This comprehensive subject cannot be neglected by the earnest teacher, social reformer, physician, alienist, jurist and clergyman. It is at the basis of a practical sociology. It is a fundamental part of the ethics of sex. It is a key to the study of human nature.

Interest in the psychology of sex is seldom shown by adolescents. Most of the volumes on the subject are too scientific in temper and in terminology to appeal to the average young man. Moreover, they are costly and in some instances difficult to obtain. For the teacher the study is indispensable for a comprehensive view of the interaction of body and mind in the sexual sphere, for an understanding of development of the sex life and as the bed-rock of rational sex ethics. Even a little psychological knowledge may protect both young men and young women from the perils of life, and assist them in choosing the right partner and in making marriage harmonious.

Anthropology is a great storehouse of data for the guidance of teachers in the evolution of human love and sex relation- ships. All pedagogues should be acquainted with the works of Frazer, Crawley, Hartland, Reclus, Heape, Westermarck and Jung. The sex question of to-day cannot be viewed with adequate knowledge if the study of man's erotic development from the primitives of the 1 See pages 179 to 184


human race up to the civilised human beings of our own time. Anthropology lets in the light upon tin- origin of the fear of the sex force, the me;miiu; of surviving taboos, the part played by symbolism in culture, the socialising influence of the amatory impulse and the moral problems of sex.

Hygiene of Sex. This is of paramount importance. The care of the reproductive organs and functions involves both physical and psychic direction. If the reverent, non-prudish and non-prurient attitude is encouraged from the earliest years of childhood there will be solicitude for the preservation of the health of the whole body. Respect for the body engenders regard for hygiene.

Both sexes should be told the importance of frequent local ablution, as well as cleansing the whole surface of the skin. Indolent, ease-loving adolescents should be advised to find some congenial amusement necessitating free exercise of the muscles. Compulsory sports or athletics are not advisable ; but everything should be done to stimulate a liking for the open air and active exercise. Diet must be sufficient and plain. Regularity of bowel function is essential. Special instruction is necessary for girls on the hygiene of menstruation.

The aim of the parent and teacher should be to substitute vigorous games, inducing a wholesome excitement, as a counteracting force to the excitation wont to arise from mental causes when the body is habitually inactive. Lying awake in bed after a good night's sleep should be dis- couraged. Over-fatigue must be avoided ; for nerve and muscle tiredness, causing restlessness and wakefulness, is often an exciting factor. Needful discrimination must be used in recommending fatiguing exertion to the young. On the other hand, endurance and hardness must be fostered. The point of importance is not to urge the too willing child to activity that produces a depressing fatigue. The feeling of tiredness should not be that of painful exhaustion.

Sexual perversities and bad habits must be checked as early as possible by therapeutic confidential talks and appeals to the emotions. It must be repeated once again that dire threats, violent denunciations and unsympathetic


reproaches should be avoided. All counsel must be inspired by sympathy, the cultivation of self-respect, honour for the generative power, and idealistic views upon the love of the sexes. Overstatement of mental and physical risks, as many high authorities assert, may produce the very results that we wish to combat.

Sexual Ethics. Moral teaching must have a psychological basis. Facts must be faced boldly. There must be no pretence that the struggle for chaste living in a powerfully sexed young man is very simple. The striving may be likened to a stern athletic contest and moral mettle and resistance aroused in the youth. It should be insisted that strength of will is manly, that virility endures if it has not been abused and that happy married love is the ultimate reward of a process of training in restraint. Both sexes should look forward to an early marriage as the right state of life in maturity. There should be warning against entering conjugality without deep affection.

Warnings against the dangers of flippancy, vulgarity and indecency in our view of sexual matters are imperative. A clear distinction between scientific interest and a shame- faced, idle curiosity must be explained with great care. Many persons of reputed education still fail to perceive the difference between lascivious speculation and wholesome ethical and psychological inquiry.

Instruction concerning the perils of venereal diseases is a part of both hygienic and moral enlightenment. This matter cannot be shirked. Many adolescents fall into danger through sheer ignorance. Mere vague exhortations to purity are inadequate. The evil must be shown in all its bearings upon the individual, the family, the community and the nation. The warnings must begin at puberty. We cannot dismiss our responsibility to youth and the coming generations by pleading that the subject is " unfit for discussion in polite society," "unsavoury" or " revolting." The consequences of these diseases are undoubtedly disastrous and repulsive. For this reason every means of prevention and cure must be employed, and the preventive measures must begin with the instilling of respect for the procreative power, refined ideas upon sex love and an enlightened social sense.


The basis of sexual morality is the recognition of tin* rights and claims of others and the desire to shun the infliction of injury to our neighbours. When it is known that an enormous number of young men fall victims to one or another of the two pernicious diseases resulting from prostitution and reckless promiscuous intercourse, it is criminal neglect to refrain from plain speaking. If venereal affections can be reduced remarkably in a short time, as in the case of Bosnia, by the institution of public instruction upon this social peril, it is obvious that the spreading of knowledge in other countries is likely to prove equally efficacious. The tremendous increase of these diseases during the European War calls for a continued vigorous propaganda.

The bulk of young men are still disposed to treat gonorrhoea lightly. Owing to our amazing ignorance of all matters appertaining to the sexual life and the darkening of the subject of this racial poisoning, the view persists that this infection leaves no after-effects and that it can be cured in a few days. Need we wonder that tens of thousands of the erring and the innocent surfer through the consequences of these concealed infections ? It is not only the vicious who are punished. Chaste wives are constantly infected by their husbands, little children con- tract the diseases, and infants are exposed to this terrible taint.

Young men should be told that neglected gonorrhoea often produces permanent injury, such as the blood-poisoning known as septicaemia, inflammation of the bladder, kidney affections, disease of the prostate and the urethra, and some of the worst forms of arthritic or joint rheuma- tism. Dr Kidd ascribes many cases of chronic joint inflammation, incapacitating the victims from work, to gonorrhceal infection in early life. The results upon women are even more appalling. Many physicians attribute fifty cases of sterility out of a hundred to this cause. The poison often penetrates to the ovaries and sets up serious conditions. Sepsis is apt to occur after child-birth. Some cases of abortion are due to this ravaging ailment. Iritis may affect the eyes, and blindness in the newly born is a common result. This specific ophthalmia is highly


infectious, and often attacks persons living regular lives. Much uterine trouble is attributed to gonorrhoea.

The immediate symptoms of syphilis and the devastat- ing effects of its sequelae should be explained to both sexes at puberty. As many are poisoned soon after puberty, and some before, the need for timely monition is manifest. Syphilitic poisons are liable to assail any part of the body long after the disappearance of the primary symptoms. The spirochoetes (germs) find their way into the vital organs and sometimes reach the heart and cause angina pectoris. They penetrate the brain and the nerves, producing meningitis, paralysis of one side of the body or of the legs. General paralysis of the insane is another manifestation of syphilitic disease. Locomotor ataxy is one serious sequel. Dementia may be caused. Blindness is far from rare.

Syphilis is heritable, and the offspring are often attacked by convulsions, inflammation of the mucous membranes, wasting of the tissues, bad growth of the teeth, deafness and mental defectiveness and idiocy. Premature births and still-births are a common consequence.

It is apparent that ethical admonition to purity should be supported by clear statement of the physical and mental tragedies arising from venereal contagion. The dangers can be indicated without terrifying the young man into the belief that it is impossible to escape them whether one is chaste or unchaste, and inducing the morbid dread known as syphiliphobia. It should, however, be pointed out that the risks for the loose-living are extremely high, and that one hour of dissipation may be the source of suffering and sorrow for a lifetime. There may well be stress on the sordidness of mercenary intercourse of the sexes, the social injustice involved by committing women to a life of disgrace, the coarsening and brutalising effect of prostitu- tion, the perils to the race and the serious risk of loss of virility and a capacity for happy married love.


THE appropriate opportunity for beginning to teach the child the rudiments of reproduction usually occurs in the first stages of childhood. Wonder often arises in the mind of a boy or girl at the birth of a brother or sister, or at the breeding of domestic animals and household pets. Questions are addressed to the parents as to the origin of life. Whence comes the infant? How does the mother know that a new child will be born ? These are interrogations that occupy the mind of every intelligent child. Even when there is no direct questioning, the parent may still assure himself or herself that the child is speculative and curious.

Frank-natured children who have not been repressed unduly are sure to ask direct questions. This frankness must be met with parental candour, sympathy and tact. Prompt and kindly response to the inquiries is essential from the outset. A loving talk must precede all formal scientific education, and the impression made by this candid conversation prepares the way for later and fuller instruction in the school or lecture-room.

It is obvious that the child who questions the mother has a natural confidence. Every means should be observed to cherish this good faith and not to divert it nor to impair it in any way. The mere statement that God " sends " babies, or that storks bring them to the parents, does not satisfy the average child. Most children show a capacity for rational thinking, and even the infantile mind is sometimes astonishingly logical.

Let it, then, be taken for granted that the mother desires to impart the necessary knowledge to her child as early as possible in mental growth. This period may be ten years before the coming of the pubertal development

P 49


The child of three or four may make inquiry in a perfectly natural manner. Although there must be certain differ- ences in the method of instructing boys and girls of the age of fourteen, younger children may be taught on a similar plan. It is never advisable to accentuate too strongly the sexual differentiations in childhood. What is fitting for the boy to know should be also fitting for the girl in the graduated lessons of sex physiology.


The examples of sex instruction that follow may, of course, be modified, amplified or revised at the discretion of the teacher, and in regard to the age, intelligence and idiosyncrasy of the pupil. The language should be simple and homely. The poetic and symbolic can be blended with practical enlightenment, and the whole subject rendered interesting as well as serious. In words such as these the mother may reply to her young child's first questionings :


You were very surprised this morning when you found that pussy had four beautiful little kittens cuddling up to her, and you have asked me where the kittens came from. It seems very wonderful that yesterday there were no kitties, and to-day there are four of them, all alive and hungry. But the kittens were growing for a long time, safe and warm in the body of their mother. It needed many weeks for them to get ready to come into the world as soft, warm, furry kittens. You see that their eyes are still closed, and that they are weak on their legs, and not able yet to romp about, as they will do in a few weeks' time. When you were born you could not see at all clearly for some days, and if I had made a sudden loud noise you would not have heard it.

In a few days the kittens will see, and they will begin to know you by sight. And now I will tell you how the kittens grew in the body of their mother, because I want you to learn what a wonderful thing life is, and how all the


birds and the animals and men and women are born. Thf kittens grew from tiny seeds or eggs in the body of their mother. You know that if I take a pea and put it under the ground in the garden that the warm earth will make it grow. In a few weeks a little sprout shows above the soil, and soon it becomes a tiny leaf, and goes on grow- ing till it climbs up a tall stick. If you like to put some seeds of cress on a piece of wet flannel you will be giving life to a plant. This is very wonderful and you can try it for yourself.

The seed from which the kittens come is very tiny indeed. But it grows and grows and is fed by the mother's blood. You know that puss has been hungrier lately. That was because much of the food that she ate had to feed the kittens that were growing within her. Now perhaps you under- stand that all living things come from seed or eggs, just like trees and plants grow from seed sown in the earth.

In old days men used to call the earth " the Great Mother " and " Mother Earth," because the earth is the mother of the huge oak-trees that spring from acorns and of the lovely flowers of the garden. And the plants and the vegetables that grow on the earth are the food of many animals, such as elephants, camels, cows and sheep.

When the kittens were big enough to be born they wanted to leave the body of the mother and come into the light. So they found their way out through a part of the body which has been called the gateway of life. And now you see they are quite alive and drinking the milk that is made in the breasts of the mother.


This morning let us walk across the meadow to the copse and look for birds' nests. I want to show you a blackbird's home, or nest, with the eggs in it, which will in a few days become little birds with large, hungry, gaping mouths and almost naked bodies. I think we shall find a nest in that blackthorn bush with the pretty white blossoms showing. Do you know that those blossoms will turn into little sour plums called sloes, and that some


of the sloes will fall on the ground and after some time make other sloe or blackthorn bushes ? You see again that all living things come from seeds or eggs.

Now I have found a blackbird's nest with bluey eggs spotted with brown. There are five of them. Each one has a tiny bird in it, and the eggs were dropped in the nicely made nest by the hen or mother. You know there are two sexes in birds the males or cocks, and the females or hens. The hens are the mothers and the cocks are the fathers. The father bird is blacker than the mother bird, and he has an orange beak. He is very fond of the mother bird, and keeps near her for many weeks in the spring. While the hen is sitting on the eggs to keep them warm and make the birds in them, the father goes to find food for her. He sits on a bough not far from the nest and often sings a cheerful song to his wife or mate. When the young birds are hatched, the male bird feeds both them and the mother, and keeps watch against enemies, such as hawks and crows, or cruel children.

If you feel one of the eggs you will find that it is warm. If it gets cold the little bird inside will die. After several days the chicken in the egg has a few feathers, and his beak grows. When he is ready to come out he picks a hole in the shell, pushes his head through and wriggles out. The eggs grow in the body of the hen, and in March or April she has the nest all ready to lay the eggs in. But before she begins to make the nest she finds a male bird, or mate. She chooses him because he is strong and brave and kind. The hen knows that she must have a protector while she is sitting on the eggs and attending to the young ones, and she wants a mate to help her to build the home. Just as your father and I love one another and you, so the male and female blackbirds love one another and their family.


You have seen the blackbird's eggs and learned some- thing about how birds are born. To-day I want to tell you about butterflies. Come into the garden and let us look for butterfly eggs. Here are some on this cabbage


loaf, little specks all clustered together. Inside those ks of eggs are tiny grubs, or caterpillars, waiting to be born. One day they will bore their way out of the eggs and begin to feed on the leaves. They have strong jaws and are able to eat large holes in the leaves. When the caterpillars are big they seem to get sleepy and tired. They leave off eating and a shell begins to grow over them. They then turn into pupae or chrysalises. The chrysalis lies as though it was dead ; but it is not really so. Inside the shell a white butterfly is forming.

It is very strange and wonderful that the butterfly, which only lives for a few days, should be so long in the making. First it is an egg in the body of the mother butterfly and is laid on the cabbage leaf. Then it becomes a caterpillar and eats hungrily till it changes to a chrysalis ; and at last the perfect insect, a fine white butterfly with black-spotted wings, comes into the sunshine and flies about, seeking for a mate.

If the butterfly is a female, or mother, she soon gets eggs in her and looks for a nice young cabbage on which to lay them. When she has done this her life's work is over and she soon dies. But she leaves behind her a great number of eggs, which are the beginnings of more butter- flies.


I have told you something about birds, butterflies and kittens and how they all come from eggs or seeds. Let us talk to-day about fish and how they are born. It is a curious thing that the egg of a salmon is very much bigger than the egg of many animals that are much larger. We call the eggs of salmon roe. A salmon's egg is almost as large as a pea. It is like jelly, and if you drop it on the floor it will bounce like a ball. Inside that little ball of jelly is the germ or seed of a fish that may grow to fifty pounds in weight. You know that a little acorn will make a huge oak.

Only the female or mother salmon has eggs. She has very many thousands of them. In the autumn these egg[s swell and are called " ripe." This means that Nature is


anxious for more salmon to be born. Nature always wants plants and animals to increase, and that is why she gives them an enormous quantity of eggs.

When the mother salmon feels that she would like to get rid of some of the ripe eggs, she grows restless, and swims up the river to the higher part, where the water flows over a nice clean gravel bed. On the way she meets the father salmon, who goes with her. This is called pairing. In the spring the birds pair before they have young ones. We may say that the two salmon are a married pair, for they keep together for many weeks. The place where the female salmon lays her eggs is called the redd or spawning bed. Before she lays the eggs, the male salmon helps her to make a number of little hollows in the gravelly bed of the stream. The eggs are passed from the body of the mother salmon into the holes, and both the father and mother keep watch over them for some time.

But the mother salmon cannot make young salmon without the help of the father. If she laid the eggs and nothing was done to them they would never become little fish. So the male salmon covers them with milky stuff, called milt, to make them fruitful or fertile. This means that the milt must be added to the eggs before tiny salmon can be born.


You know now that both the male (or man) salmon and the female (or woman) come together to bring young ones into life. In plants we shall find the male and female, as we do in animals. Some plants are both male and female in one, but in others they are separate plants. You have tasted dates. These fruits grow on big trees. One tree may be called the father and another the mother, and unless the two grow near together there will be no young dates.

When plants have flowers the male or father part is called the stamen and the mother or female part is called the pistil. Before the little plant can grow in the seed a powder called pollen from the stamen must fall on the pistil. I have told you that Nature wishes many animals to be born. She is just as anxious that there shall be


trees and flowers ; so she provides plenty of seed. In the " clock " of a dandelion, the feathery seeds that you often blow into the air, arc as many as 240,000. Some of these thousands upon thousands of feathers, after dropping to the ground, turn into little dandelions.

Some plants are able to make seed by the help of the wind, which blows the pollen on to the pistil. These are called wind-loved plants. Other plants grow seed through the work of insects, and especially the busy bees, that come to the flowers for honey. If you notice a bumble bee you will see powder or pollen on his hairy body, and this pollen is left on the pistils of flowers to make new flowers bloom on new plants.

The flowers that insects visit are generally very brightly coloured, scarlet, yellow or blue, and they have sugar or honey in them. While the bee is getting honey to eat and to store up for the winter, he does not know that he is helping to make plants. In hot countries, where there are very tiny birds, known as humming-birds, plants are in- creased by these birds carrying the pollen from one flower to another.

Young plants are not born from the bodies of other plants, but from Mother Earth. The seed falls from the plants when it is dry and ripe and lies on the ground, sometimes covered by dead leaves, and in time it bursts and the shoot of a baby plant comes above the soil.


In some very curious living creatures, such as worms that you see in the garden and leeches that swim in ponds, the father and mother part are in the same animal. It is when we begin to learn about the higher kinds of animals, the birds, four-legged things and men, that we find the father part and the mother part in two different persons. Some animals are nothing more than a skin, a stomach and a mouth, like certain kinds of live sponges. Creatures of this kind grow new creatures out of themselves by casting off parts of their bodirs. Amon- the rocks of mountains are beautiful white crystals which grow to a


certain size and then make other crystals. * It is so with some sorts of animal beings.

When the mother part and father part are found in the same living creature it is able to have young by very tiny specks of the two parts coming together. The mother part is generally much larger than the father part. Some oysters have both parts and others only one. The same thing is seen in garden slugs. In some water-animals the father part and mother part fall from the animal and come together to make a new being. Sometimes these two-in- one animals can separate themselves into two halves. This is called cleavage or division. One of the animals that splits off parts of the body to make another living creature is the sea- anemone, and another is the jelly-fish.


You have asked me how you came to life and I will tell you. You have learned already several interesting and wonderful things about the coming to life of some insects, birds, fishes and cats. When your father and I knew that we loved one another, and were married, I hoped that I might have a baby of my very own and so did your father.

One day I felt that a little live creature was beginning to grow in me, and I knew that I should have a child. For several months you grew inside me, safe and warm, not far below my heart. At first you were only a seed, but month by month you began to shape into a little boy. I could not tell then whether you would be a boy or a girl and I did not know till you were born.

You lay in a nest, which grew larger while you were growing, and before you came into the world, through the gateway of life, I knew that you were alive and getting bigger, because sometimes I could feel you moving. Some of the food that I ate came to you from my blood, which passed through your little body and made you strong.

At last you had grown big enough to come into the world and to leave the warm nest. Like the chickens in the egg, you wanted to come out, and you found the way. When you were born you were tiny and helpless, and felt cold


after being in the nest. I was very happy when I saw my dear little son, and took him in my arms to warm and feed him. For a long time you were fed on the milk from my breasts. When you grew bigger your teeth began to come and you were able to chew food.

That is how my son came to life. He is a part of myself, and that is why I love him and he loves me.

Now I have explained all that you want to know. If anyone tells you any different story it will not be true.


When you are older and want to learn, and can under- stand some things better, you will learn about the body, or the living house in which you breathe. It is a very wonderful machine and so wonderful that even wise men are still learning something new about it. I wish you to know while you are quite young that the body is precious and that you must take care of it, and understand it, like you would take care of something that you valued very much.

All animals that have bony backbones are called verte- brates. You and I are vertebrates. Some animals, as you know, do not get milk from their mothers when they are little. You and I were fed on our mothers' milk, and we are called mammals. We are the highest kinds of mammals in the world. This is chiefly because we can think much better than other animals. Our brains are what we think with, and we ought to learn how to think well, so that we may act rightly, keep ourselves well and be of use to others by acting wisely and kindly.

If we do not know anything of our bodies we are sure to make mistakes sometimes. All children have to be taught what they should eat and drink, how to keep clean and other important matters. The monkeys, who are next below us among the mammals, know many things by instinct and do not need to be taught. But life is more difficult for human beings and without thought they would be worse off than many animals. If a young monkey is thrown into the water instinct will tell


him how to swim. But a boy has to be taught how to swim.

The body can only be kept in order by warmth, air to breathe, food and drink, rest, work, play, and getting rid of waste things. This keeping the body clean outside and in is very important. A part of the useless matter that is amongst our food and drink must be sent away from the body. Some of it goes through the skin, which is full of millions of tiny holes, or pores, and is called sweat. If the body did not breathe through the skin it would soon die. Washing is necessary to remove some of the liquid, or sweat, that stops on the skin, and to keep the pores clean and open to the air.

Another part of the waste stuff is passed out of the body through the bowels, below the waist. The outside passage is called the anus. The watery waste matter comes out in front of the body. Now I want to tell you that very silly little boys and girls, who have not been brought up properly, often make stupid remarks about these parts of the body. Don't pay any attention to them. There is really nothing to laugh at in this getting rid of substances not needed in the body. It is foolish to talk unnecessarily about these duties or to pretend that they are either shameful or funny.

When you are older you will learn more about the uses of certain parts or organs of the body ; but until you are big enough to understand, just think of them as sensibly as you do about the eyes or the ears. I mention the parts now because I want you to use them properly all your life. Very much pain and illness come from not attending regularly to getting rid of the unwanted matter through the two passages. Many men and women are ill all their lives because they have not formed a good habit in this way when they were children.

The urine, or water from the body, should be passed off directly the feeling is uncomfortable, and you should make the same rule about the excrement, or unwanted matter, from the bowels. I can hardly tell you how important it is to remember this. It is a matter that concerns not only the body but the mind. Your happiness depends very much on your doing these duties regularly. Many


them from bad to worse. This does not mean that

lould countenance sin and vice. But we should try

to uplift the fallen by sympathy and love, recognising always

that we are none of us free from sin, though some kinds of

temptation may not trouble us.

Prudery is not clean-mindedness and is opposed to true

^sty. Many persons who are innately immodest and

v y' prurient minds assume an extreme attitude of pro-

..*' ty as a disguise. The modest woman is not shocked

1 he manifestations of life, but by the misuse of the love

impulse, by vice, vulgarity and the affectation of shame

for harmless things.


The union of lovers in wedlock brings new happiness and

new responsibilities into their lives. When two are made

one by the solemn conjugal bond each partner enters upon

a great adventure full of golden promise. The natural and

^oral sanction for marriage is love, which has grown out

c y r ong mutual attraction and courtship. Without

^ 2c on and the desire for companionship there can be

/^f'le union of man and woman.

Before a maiden consents to marriage she should under- stand the full moaning of the conjugal life and its duties. The dreams of youth are often misleading, and when the feelings are ardent, prudent reflection and self-examination are often overwhelmed by emotion. An infatuation blinds many to the defects and failings of the loved person before marriage. Many girls marry without a passionate attach- ment to their suitors. Sometimes discontent and un- happiness urge them into a hasty marriage ; and there are some who look upon married life merely as a means of obtaining material comforts, luxuries, more liberty, or a better position in society. All these adjuncts to well- being may, however, fail to bring contentment to the heart Mn;in who is capable of a devoted love. The greatest in lif<- are not purchasable. There are deep spiritual need^ that only the things of the spirit can satisfy.

v women pine amongst luxuries because their luait hunger is not appeased. They become nervous, prematurely


old and frequently ill. Something vital is wanting in their lives, and this want cannot be gratified by the possession of money, a fine house and beautiful dresses. A wife may possess all these, and yet feel that she has been cheated of the chief heritage of woman, the love, sympathy and devotion of a good man.

Girls of the marriageable age should know that men prone to sudden attractions for women through < physical charms, and that there are types of men who see: incapable of loving through admiration for mental or me, ex* qualities. A strong attraction towards the bodily virtues is an essential of true love in both man and woman. Broadly speaking, women seek strength and energy in men, and men seek beauty in women. But a passion arising only from the senses is seldom very lasting. There must be respect for character, recognition of fine moral qualities, and an affinity in intellectual tastes.

A woman may be allured by a handsome man, and under the spell of this fascination she may overlook the fact that he is a spendthrift, or an idler, or lacking in the qualities of sympathy, understanding and kindness. Therefore the physical attraction alone is not a guarantee of an abiding affection. There must be the attraction of the mind and the spirit as well as the aesthetic or sensuous appeal.

A young woman sought by a lover should assure herself that she loves him sincerely with body and spirit before she consents to marriage. She should be sure that he has no habit or strong desires that are likely to cause disharmony in married life. She should be tolerant of his little weak- nesses, and not censorious of his mistakes, and should demand the same consideration from her lover for her foibles and errors. There should be an agreement between the two to help one another in overcoming defects of tempera- ment. Even in an ardent love-marriage the small irrita- tions of daily life are liable to influence the pair, and tact and patience must be cultivated.

Much of the spiritual beauty of marriage is dependent upon physiological harmony. The sacrament of wedlock is the union of bodies as well as spirits. We cannot truly love, in the conjugal sense, a person who is physically re- pugnant. Now, unfortunately, many girls enter marriage


without proper comprehension of the very intimate nature of the physical union and its effect upon the mind and the emotions. We are beginning to realise that a large number of marriages are unhappy because of the spiritual dis- harmony arising from the lack of bodily affinity. Hence it behoves the prospective wife to acquaint herself with the I the conjugal life and the laws of reproduction. This >'dge may be gained from a well-informed married d, or from one of the scientific but plainly written uuctuuals on these subjects which have been published during the past five and twenty years.

No woman would think of beginning a craft or profes- sion without preliminary preparation. The preparation for marriage is certainly of equal importance. And when we consider that our marriages do not concern us alone, but the children who will be born to us, the community in which we live and the generations to come, we are justified in saying that the knowledge essential for healthy conjugality is the highest of all. It should be considered a disgrace, if not a crime, to marry without understanding the principles of the force that is the very mainspring of humanity.

The will to live rightly and the most exalted religious enthusiasm are not sufficient alone to guide us safely in matrimony. A desire for sound knowledge is in itself a moral or religious impulse. The earnest, spiritually minded man or woman strives after wisdom as a light for the feet. We know on the testimony of deeply religious, but far- sighted, clergymen that piety without knowledge of natural laws does not always ensure noble living, or protect us from committing grave mistakes. Moral zeal supported by sound knowledge must be our watchword.

It is the main object of these lessons to convince you that body and mind are inseparable, mutually dependent and continually affected one by the other. The loveliest flower- ing of the soul has its physical origin and precedents, and the thoughts of the brain flash their messages to the re- motest organs of the body. Pity causes the heart-throb, and there is truth in the old saying that the bowels move with compassion. The brain poisoned by the acids of fatigue gives rise to gloomy, apprehensive ideas. When the brain is flushed with healthy blood the dejection


vanishes, suspicions and dreads are allayed, and the sad man of yesterday assures himself that life has its hours of supreme rapture.

Throughout nature we find proof that mating is attended with joy and pleasure. This is essential for the continuance of the species. Human marriage is the source of the highest happiness. But human love is an intensely complicated emotion, and this very complexity in the pairing impu' in man is evidence of his wide differentiation from i animals immediately below him. The physical impulsion in man becomes subordinate in many instances to the spiritual longings, and these desires are more complex than the purely physical or the sensuous. This accentuation of the mental or spiritual yearnings brings certain risks of disharmony into marriage. The mental machinery of civilised men and women becomes highly intricate, delicate and liable to derangement. Civilisation increases and in- tensifies our emotional desires and creates new needs.

This heightening of the emotional power in the love of mankind makes it imperative that the impulse should be directed by knowledge, and not left to the mercy of dying instincts. We need knowledge in marriage in order to preserve the fresh beauty of love. Much, perhaps most, of the unhappiness in married life is the direct result of ignorance. Men do not learn the true nature and the deepest desires of women, and women neglect the proper study of men. It is easy enough to say that men are happy if their wives give them good dinners, or that women are quite content with existence if their husbands are generous with money. We know from daily experience that excellent cooking does not constitute the highest human felicity for a vast number of husbands, and that many wives, with all the luxuries that wealth can procure, are utterly disappointed with marriage.


THE hygiene of the reproductive system depends largely upon the general care of the body. Proper sanitation, judicious nutrition, suitable exercise, healthful clothing and careful ablution of the whole surface of the skin are essential for a hygienic sexuality. It is well known, for example, that insanitary overcrowding lowers vitality, and is a source of consumption and other diseases, and that congested living tends to heighten sex precocity.

Very few parents make a scientific study of the impor- tant question of alimentation during infancy, childhood and adolescence. In the well-to-do orders young children are often overfed, and in the poorer classes a large number are under-nourished. Overfeeding is the bane of many children. How often are children stuffed with rich and stimulating food under the misapprehension that the more a child eats the stronger it will be. We see many young children of both sexes who are overfed. They are clumsy in their movements through obesity, and the excess in diet produces biliousness, skin rashes, boils, and prepares the soil for the development of disease in adult life. Though the body of a child requires fats, this does not indicate that constant fatty food in large quantities is beneficial.

In school life many children do not receive sufficient nourishment for bodily upkeep and growth. The dietary in the better-class boarding schools has improved during the past fifty years ; but many adolescents are not sufficiently fed. For the maintenance of sexual, as well as general, health, the diet of childhood and youth must be plain, nutritive and non-stimulative. Flesh foods in undue quantity are injurious to children, and after puberty they tend to inflame latent sexual desire. There is no doubt 109


that overeating actively stimulates eroticism in adolescents and adults.

It is hardly necessary to caution parents against permit- ting children to take alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is one of the most potent of sexual stimulants. It quickly affects the blood vessels and the brain, and besides exciting desire, it relaxes the power of control. Wine has its value as a beverage in health and in some cases as a medicine. But ||f alcoholic drink is pernicious for children and should only be used with careful moderation by the adult. Excessive drinking undoubtedly slackens inhibition, coarsens the brain and arouses libidinous feeling. There is little doubt that the poisoned life germs of the intemperate produce diseased offspring. Epilepsy, idiocy, mental defectiveness and many other ailments of body and mind are noted in the descendants of heavy drinkers.

We may not be able to check all the peripheral or spon- taneous excitations of an erotic character in the child. We can, however, greatly lessen the risk of external stimula- tion and artificial excitement. The physical stimuli are undue warmth of the skin caused by clothes and bed- coverings, too prolonged hot bathing, irritations in the genital and anal regions, a rich diet, all forms of luxurious living and flogging. 1 The mental excitations may be even more numer- ous, especially in the case of children of the wealthier classes. These arousing factors are over-excitement, late hours, suggestion through companions, the influence of erotic or indecent conversation, vulgar entertainments, obscene books and pictures, nervous anxiety from any cause, often producing a craving for relief, and a prudish upbringing. I believe the last to be the most potent of all.

There is a tendency for almost any part of the skin to become erogenous. This important fact should be care- fully heeded by all who have the care of the young. Much caressing, kissing and fondling must be avoided. The highly sensitive skin covering, with its countless nerves, is in direct communication with the brain. In hysteria the sensitivity of the skin is often intensified. The earliest of all pleasurable sensations arise from the skin e.g. the act of suckling in infancy. Cutaneous excitation undoubtedly 1 See page 138.


causes the most powerful aivl often overwhelming psychic MI ! notion of the skin of the forehead, causing stimulation of the nerves, is a common habit of many who iiv thru brains. In China fathers refrain from kissing their daughters for fear of erotic stimulation. It is not necessary to observe such extreme precaution as this, but all reflective parents will recognise that risk may attend excessive caressing of the young.

Ellis points out that the connection between the sexual sphere and the skin is shown in acne and pimples on the face. The " blackheads," so frequently seen on the faces of pubescent boys and girls, are probably an abortive effort of the sebaceous glands to grow hair. " As a rule acne appears about puberty and dies out slowly during adoles- cence." This skin affection is also liable to appear during menstruation.

The sensibility of the skin is very manifest in young children who find pleasure in tickling. This sensation is a pain-pleasure, which is sometimes sought voluntarily. It is not in itself a morbid manifestation ; but it is obvious that it may become so if the irritation is applied to specific parts of the body. The eminent physician Gowers said shrewdly that the sexual act is a " skin reflex." A medical correspondent, writing to Ellis, advances the theory that ticklishness in virgins may be " nature's self-protection " against sexual advances. It is perhaps significant that the inclination to be tickled usually ceases at puberty.

We may state with assurance that the avoidance of un- due tactile stimulations in childhood is advisable. Every care should be taken to keep the sex feeling at bay until such time as it may be legitimately satisfied in a marriage of love. To this end we must guard against everything that can become a sexual irritant. Every ascetic of old realised the value of cold in allaying unruly desires. Warmth is an excitant; and though artificial heat is necessary for health in cold and damp climates, we must not be too warmly clad for sexual health.

Children and adolescents should not sleep on luxurious feather beds. The garments should be loose. There should not be pressure or friction in the genital parts. One writer traces the masturbatory habit in little boys to tight


breeches. Close-fitting stays are said to have the same effect upon girls. Some very young children often handle themselves almost constantly until they are corrected. This habit often arises from local irritation through pressure of clothes or from uncleanness of the parts.

Norah March points out that, physiologically and psychic- ally, in boys, the sensations of sex " are more acute and specific than in girls/' * This difference between boys and girls should be admitted and faced by the parent and teacher. The scheme of Nature does not harmonise with all our moral and social codes. The adolescent boy may experience erotic feeling long before he is fitted to reproduce the species. Thus a serious problem arises for the young man and his guardians.

In our day there is a growing postponement of the age of marriage. " Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way ? " is a pressing question for the hygienist and the moralist. We can only employ every possible means to diminish the influence of amatory stimuli for those com- pelled to a long period of celibacy. And these means must be exercised from infancy. We cannot begin hygienic and ethical guidance at a too early age. But this direction must be very carefully planned and conducted.

The hygiene of celibacy needs to be clearly formulated. We are beginning to apprehend that it is not sufficient simply to enjoin purity and chastity. We must devise other safeguards. This cannot be done while the great bulk of fathers and mothers, tutors and clergymen exhibit no active interest in the educational guidance of sex development. The untaught cannot instruct.

Mere exhortation to continence, control and the repres- sion of " evil thoughts " is lamentably inadequate, as daily experience proves. We tell a boy that lust is a sin, and warn him against concupiscence, while we inflame his system with a too generous diet, permit alcoholic stimulants, provide him with a feather bed and too much covering, and generally coddle him. We counsel purity and give no hygienic instruction for the maintenance of a clean mind in a clean body. We silence natural inquiry and leave the boy exposed to those corrupting influences of the world 1 Towatds Racial Health.


from which there is no escape in the average adolescent life. .nstil prudish, shamefaced views upon sox, wliicli M-t tin- niin-! morbidly wondering, and often induce an insatiable secret curiosity. How can we expect that the youth will attain manhood with a fine respect for his sex potentiality, his procreative responsibility and his duty to the race ?

Excess in athletics and the more violent games may induce fatigue of the nerves and the muscles, which in its turn causes disturbed sleep, and is apt to arouse sexual desire. A deficiency of exercise for the body leaves a superabundance of force that may be expended sexually. Overstrain of the mind produces insomnia, and masturba- tion is often practised in order to obtain sleep. Listening to erotic, indecent talk awakens smouldering fire in many youths. The amatory excitants are extremely numerous, and that which has no effect upon an under-sexed or phlegmatic nature may be a powerful aphrodisiac for another.

The struggle to maintain chastity may be very severe in some young men, while in others it may be slight. Impulses may be constant in the highly virile or merely periodic in some cases. When excitement arises in the celibate he should try to transfer the energy into hard work, vigorous play, absorbing, non-exciting study, or any interest that demands concentration. Every effort of diffusion of the sexual longing fortifies the will, and there is no doubt that a well-exercised will, like an actively used muscle, can become stronger.


The hygiene of the female sex life is more neglected than that of the male in most civilised races, especially in the Western world. Although the erotic nature of woman requires more subtle stimulation, especially of an emotional- psychic kind, than the amative desire of man, it must not be' supposed that prolonged celibate living has no trials for the average healthy woman as well as the neurotic or hyperaesthetic types. Dr Elizabeth Blackwell and other women physicians have endorsed the view of gynaecologists H


that sex plays an eminently influential part in a woman's life.

We may be less concerned with the risks of unchastity in the girl than with the boy, but we cannot overlook the fact that neglect of sex hygiene injures the female even more than the male. So meagre is the knowledge of the laws of the sexual life among women themselves that many suffer from symptoms arising from the uterus or the ovaries without the least consciousness of the nature of the disorder.

The prevalence of displacement, malposition and prolapse of the womb is due in most cases to artificial and unhealthy living, to overstrain and neglect of suitable rest after pregnancy. Prolapsus often occurs in unmarried women and in girls during adolescence. Besides the physical disability and suffering caused by this derangement, there are mental influences, sometimes of a marked character. The sufferer is nervous, depressed, irritable, peevish. These symptoms usually vanish magically after medical attention ; but if neglected they may quickly transform a normally patient woman into a harassed condition, disturbing to domestic concord.

Most of the menstrual disorders are preventable through hygiene. The whole process of pregnancy or gestation is made complicated, and often painful, by injudicious living. Delivery or parturition is rendered more torturing and sometimes a danger to life through the unhealthy mode of existence before and during wedlock. Suckling, or lacta- tion, has also its abnormalities and ailments. A host of women have wandered so far from Dame Nature that they cannot nourish their own offspring. Some have no milk ; others have an insufficient supply. Sometimes the nipples have been flattened out of all shape, and are practically non- existent through the constriction of the corset.

A vast number of women fail to participate in a normal manner in the marital embrace. Dr Mary Stopes estimates that seventy to eighty per cent, of wives are unhappy in this relation, through the ignorance of their husbands of the nature of women and no knowledge of the periodicity of erotic inclination in their sex. But many are " frigid," or anaesthetic, from various physical and psychic causes. Vecki has found abnormality of this kind in whole families,


This unnatural condition is sometimes the outcome of ( aivfully imparted prudish prejudice against sex, produc- \phobia. For this disorder the lack of s \ education is frequently responsible. False ideas have taken root deeply in the mind during childhood and youth, and a repugnance of the scheme of reproduction has developed into a true mental complex.

A large number of cases of premature birth and abortion, or miscarriage, are avoidable. The reproductive powers of many women are overtaxed by too rapidly recurrent pregnancy. The majority of working-class mothers cannot rest sufficiently after delivery, and the health of the race is endangered. Various rigorous forms of labour sap the power of potential and actual mothers. The sedentary life, malnutrition, want of fresh air and nervous strain render some women unfit to continue the race. Anaemia and neurasthenia handicap an immense number of women in the battle of life. Ovarian maladies often follow a denial of the function of maternity. All these are dysgenic factors, forces acting against the well-being of the individual and the community. They are chiefly, if not entirely, the result of the neglect of woman's sex hygiene and education.

Our daughters should be protected against these evils by a knowledge of the mechanism and the right use of the body, by an appreciation of their duty as mothers, and by a practical education in the laws of sex, the care of the racial function, and the management of infants and children. They should be taught that love is not only the most inspiriting of all personal experiences, but the source of human progress in all the finer spiritual and moral develop- ments. The ideal attitude to sex must be inculcated not only by ethical precept, but by scientific teaching that inspires interest, and reveals the marvels, the beauty and might of the eternal life energy.

Physical hygiene depends upon sane hygiene of the mind. We cannot hope that either boys or girls will develop a proper esteem for the body if the mind is darkened by counsels of prudery, or soiled by prurient ideas. Fantastic and irrational recoils of the mind must inevitably occur when the subject of sex is approached with shameful furtiveness. If the brain is not working healthily we cannot


expect a healthy functioning of organs intimately related with it. Wrong and distorted thinking upon sex diverts the erotic impulse from normal expression, and often leads to abnormality and perversion. Hence the need for a sane psychic hygiene of sex from childhood and throughout the whole of life.


FOR the aid of parents and teachers in instructing adoles- o'nts some knowledge of the structure of the organs of generation and their functions is essential. It is not often necessary to impart precise anatomical information to children before the age of puberty. But hygienic counsel cannot well be given without physiological knowledge, and parents with sons and daughters of the marriageable age should be able to answer inquiry concerning physical processes. When we realise that the well-being of the body is greatly dependent upon healthy sex function, as well as nutrition, it is not possible to separate the physiology of the reproductive system from general physiology. We cannot interpret the psychic elements in sex love without a knowledge of sexual physiology.

Reproduction in such lowly organisms as the monera and amoeba, which are microscopic unit-masses of protoplasm, is by cleavage or division into equal halves. Man's earliest forerunners in the animal kingdom increased by division, the splitting of single cells, or by the formation of buds. Sexual differentiation marks great evolutionary progress. The offspring of the female cell and the male cell inherit the qualities of both parents, and there is advance in intelligence, complexity of structure, and variation in individuals. Thus the attraction of two differing cells is the beginning of psychic or spiritual development and ex- pansion. The process of reproduction becomes intimately associated with, and practically dependent upon, psychic inlluenees. Manifold subtle mental and emotional forces enter into sexual love, which is no longer a media n i. il copulatory act.

This attraction of the sperm cell of the male to the ovum



of the female is the biological, the primal, source of love in mankind. The brain becomes dominated by a mighty passion with stupendous power for human weal or human woe. Man's progress is to an enormous extent the result of the complex sex development, differentiating him from the animals.

The sexual differences in the two sexes can be seen in the embryo in the tenth week after conception. After birth the sex organs are immature, and remain infantile until the approach of puberty at about fourteen in the girl and fifteen in the boy. In males the testicles, which contain the germs of life, are in the groin, or inguinal region, until the oncoming of pubertal growth, when they descend into the sac or scrotum. The tissue of the external organs of generation in both sexes is profusely supplied with blood. Congestion of the blood vessels produces the state of turgescence necessary for coitus (sexual union).

The male sperm is contained in tubules in the testicles and is expelled in the sex act. The active fertilising cells are in a fluid which is injected into the female vagina. If a spermatozoon meets a mature ovum in the uterus, or the ovarian tubes of the female, conception occurs. The ovum (female generative cell) is minute in size, but the spermatozoon (male cell) is very much smaller. The male germs are extremely active, and may be said to find the ovum by instinct. Ancient physiologists believed that the spermatozoa were animalcules.

Ova are contained in a capsule, or follicle, discovered by R. de Graaf in 1677, an( ^ since called the Graafian follicle. This fibrous follicle has fluid, and is lined with cells that encompass the true ovum. The ovum is of oval form and may be about y^^ inch in diameter, or considerably larger when ripened. Ova are conveyed from the ovaries to the womb, or uterus, by the oviducts or Fallopian tubes.

The uterus is a highly dilatable bag, provided with glands from birth. At puberty these secreting organs increase in number, and they elongate during menstruation. The passage from the exterior of the body to the womb is called the vagina, meaning a sheath. It is supplied with mucous glands and a network of nerves. The mouth of the womb is in the upper part of the vagina.


The breasts are provided with secreting glands, larg<

small ducts, and cells that form oil and milk globules. The

s, or mammae, increase in size at puberty, and enlarge

still more during child-bearing and suckling. In old age

they usually shrink and lose their firmness and rotundity.

Menstruation, the menses, or monthly course is a law of sexual periodicity occurring in the human species in most once in the lunar month. It is a preparation for mcy, and is believed by some investigators to involve a monthly discarding of membranous tissue in the uterus, and a kind of inner renovation. During the period the mature ovum passes into the uterus, where it awaits the male fertilising element. If unimpregnated, the ovum perishes. There is still doubt as to the exact cause of the real physical nature of the menstrual process. The matur- ing of the ovum does not appear to be an efficient cause, as ovulation is a continuous activity and has been noted before birth. Moreover, removal of the ovarian organs does not always affect the monthly function. Menstruation has occurred when ovaries and tubes were absent; and there may be no menstrual flow, though the ovaries are perfectly normal and ovulation occurs.

Menstruation has been regarded as a supernatural event. There were formerly endless taboos and regulations con- nected with this natural phenomenon. Among some savage and semi-barbaric peoples the cycle occurs at long intervals. This has been noted among the Eskimos, the Laplanders, American Indians, and in South American tribes. Among Europeans there are instances of the fortnightly recurrence of menstruation. Dr Marie Carmichael Stopes has lately published some highly interesting data concerning the regular recurrence of sexual desire in women at the mid- monthly period. This periodic manifestation is regarded by Dr Stopes as a natural law that is almost unrecognised in the civilised societies of to-day. To the neglect of this law she attributes a large part of conjugal disharmony and unhappiness. 1

It seems plain that the higher the evolution the more marked is the tendency to frequent repetition of the menstrual function and the more copious the flow. There is a view 1 Married Love. M. C. Stopes, M.D. Fifield, London, 1918.


that the process has been rendered more frequent by artificial living and by various stimuli ; but some of the higher apes are known to menstruate once a month. It has been suggested that prolonged menstrual periods may arrest growth in delicate girls, and Dr Fothergill has stated that if this wastage can be checked development of the body proceeds. 1

When it is recognised that menstruation is a continuous process, we shall realise that girls require a different up- bringing from boys. In the reproduction of the species the female plays the more exacting part throughout nature. A woman may be said to be in a perpetual state of prepara- tion for the exercise of her maternal office. The physio- logical and mental changes, involved from puberty, when menstruation begins, until it ceases at the menopause, or change of life, are recurrent and affect the whole being. As Ellis states : " If we have to investigate the compara- tive reaction of a man and a woman to any scientific test, we have to recognise that the woman lives on a curve, and that her exact position on the curve at a given moment may affect her superiority or inferiority to the man."

The internal ductless glands, termed " hormones " by Professor Starling, are of great importance in the psychic and physical sex life. From the glandular cells of the testicles in man is secreted a fluid that affects body growth and determines the secondary sexual characters. These glands act before the germinal function is established. They are, in a large part, the source of manliness of structure and of the masculine qualities of mind. Their secretion also arouses amatory excitement in the brain. Analogous secretions in the ovary of the woman influence both mind and body. There seems to be little doubt that the diffusion of these hormone secretions in man and woman arouses the mating instinct and contributes to sex characters of a secondary nature. Experiment shows that injections of secretion from these remarkable glands will produce very marked results in persons who have a deficiency of the hormone fluids.

1 Refer to Man and Woman. Havelock Ellis. Scott, London.


THE sexual instinct by reason of its potency, complexity and reactions is predisposed to aberration, abnormality

and perversion. Absolute normality is not always easy to define. There are the subnormal and the supernormal manifestations, as we find them in the under-sexed or the strongly-sexed individuals. Lombroso describes erotic excitement in women as pathological, whereas many physiologists class feminine sexual anaesthesia, or coldness, as a disorder or neurosis. Ancient asceticism was wont to regard the love impulse as the outcome of morbidity of the soul. Many savage people imagine that the normal physical intercourse of the sexes is dangerous to health.

The researches of modern therapeutists illuminate the mystery of sex perversions. Some of these phenomena of the sexual life seem to be echoes of promptings in the early history of the race, and some are associated with the strange infantile memories. Passive algolagnia, or the enjoyment of pain as an erotic stimulant and means of satisfaction, may arise, as we have seen, from the infliction of corporal punishment on young children. 1 Active algolagnia, or Sadism, is an exaggerated survival of the impulse to capture and seize, or, in other terms, an accentuation of the element of violence in the male, the more active sex. In a slight degree it may be said that most women have traces of the instinct to endure pain inasmuch as their passivity, and

1 I Schoolmaster's Diary contains some wise passages upon sexual morality and hygiene in boyhood. The occasional ill effects upon the chastiser as well as the chastised are indicated in the opening chapter. The Diary merits the attention of all parents and teachers for its earnestness of aim, suggestions for reform and deep sympathy for the young.

often their altruism, contrasts with the energy and egoism of men. This passivity may merge, under certain stimuli, into a positive seeking for violence or the endurance of pain. The natural vehemence of the male may be transformed in greater or less degree to a desire to inflict pain. In extreme instances, Sadism finds expression in acts of sheer cruelty and even murder. This perversion is often associated with a mania for shedding blood.

We cannot ignore the morbid psychology of sex if we would be at all points prepared in the guidance of youth. It is useless to affect that sex aberrations are unusual. They are far from rare in either uncivilised or civilised races. Perversions of the sex instinct have been noted in the lowest as well as the highest orders of mankind, in the genius and in the most primitive of savages.

Animals in domesticity frequently develop sexual per- versity.

A fair proportion of boys show some slight traits of cruelty towards companions and animals, and this deficiency in sympathy is probably more notable before than after puberty. Pity and kindness are often deepened when the psyche begins to develop. If a youth exhibits an un- usual tendency to inflict suffering, especially without pro- vocation on the part of the victim, we may with some reason suspect a Sadistic strain. But care must be used to distinguish between the thoughtless, ignorant imposition of suffering, often noticeable in quite young children, and deliberate, meditated acts of cruelty. The wanton tortur- ing and mutilation of animals is undoubtedly associated with algolagnia. Such cases are occasionally reported in the newspapers. The friends of the offenders are unable to account for these acts on the part of an individual who may appear perfectly sane.

When algolagnia becomes a true psychosis, or definite perversion, there is serious danger lest the sufferer should injure others. There are terrible records of deeds of cruelty committed by sexual perverts under insane obsessions. In all the sexually perverse and vicious sections of the com- munity in the civilised nations, satisfactions are secretly provided for perverted persons in houses of ill fame. The chronicles of sexual abnormality, collected by alienists,


i.nis and psychotherapists, abound with instances of the ingenuity of perverts in obtaining gratification.

The aberrant impulses may be checked by careful nurture in childhood and youth, by sublimation of the erotic yearn- ings, and by hygienic living and engrossing interests. Hypnotism, or suggestion, has been employed with success by many psychopathic experts. Psychoanalysis is more likely to effect a complete cure. Teachers, jurists, doctors and clergymen should consult the works of Freud, Jung, Bjerre, Pfister, Ernest Jones, Brill, Djerine and other writers of the psychoanalytic school.

Various degrees of sex perversion are instanced in the inveterate habit of repeating indecent anecdotes and jokes, the writing of obscene anonymous letters to women, and collecting lewd pictures and photographs. By these means some persons obtain " a vicarious gratification," and this may become an actual substitute for normal satisfactions of instinct. Subjects addicted to the mania for cutting off women's hair in the streets have admitted that this misdemeanour is a sexual impulse. Men and boys who improperly expose themselves (exhibitionists) are sufferers from a somewhat common form of perversion.

Some inquirers in the abnormal psychology of the sexual instinct regard kleptomania as a sex aberration. Klepto- maniacs have confessed that they experience erotic feeling at the moment of purloining an article, and that the danger of detection intensifies the pleasure. Another common anomaly of the sex emotion is fetichism, in which the focus of interest is transferred from the body of the desired person to parts of the clothing, especially to shoes.

The safeguarding of the developing sex feeling against perverse tendencies is a matter of great importance for the parent and the teacher. Quite unwittingly those who have charge of the young may foster perversions and abnor- malities. Prudishness and contempt for sex may cause a pathological frigidity in women. Flippant or gross con- versation about love and sexual relations may stimulate a powerful libidinous inclination in youth, which is likely to induce perverse practice in later life.



The prevalence and the alleged increase of homosexuality, or sexual inversion, makes it necessary to devote a few pages to this difficult enigma of human nature. A perfectly normal development of the sex instinct in adolescence and the adult life, in which the affection and desire are towards one of the opposite sex, is described as heterosexual. If the emotion and the yearning are aroused by a person of the same sex, we speak of the attraction as inverted or homo- sexual. There are men and women who are born with in- verted instincts. These are classed as true sexual inverts and are sometimes described as urnings or uranians. The typical male invert is found in all classes of society, from the highest to the lowest.

The homosexual is a responsible being. He is fated with a congenital tendency, but, like the inheritor of the alcoholic bias, or the man with an imperfect sense of right and wrong, he is bound to adapt his conduct to the codes of the society into which he is born.

In this text-book it is not necessary to discuss sexual in- version in all its bearings upon the individual and the com- munity. It is necessary, however, to refer to a transitory manifestation of this aberration, which is a not uncommon phase of the pubertal stage. We cannot overlook the fact that a number of teachers and parents are confronted with this difficult problem. 1 Whispers of unmentionable practices in certain schools reach the ears of solicitous parents.

Mr A. C. Benson, an experienced educator, states that no boy is likely to preserve his innocence in passing through school life. " One hears of simply heart-rending cases where a boy dare not even tell his parents of what he en- dures." 2 This aberrant tendency is noted among girls as well as boys. Intensely emotional friendships are common in some girls' schools, as described to me by women teachers.

1 Several writers on school life allwde to this matter, usually in ambiguous terms.

2 I he Upton Letters.


In her Aditirss to the Headmistresses of Elementary Schools, L M. Faithfull, Principal of the Ladies' College, Cheltenham, states : " It is the duty of every headmistress, as part of IKT school work, to teach her girls the control of their affections in relation to school friends and teachers and the reasons for the importance of reserve in the expres- sion of emotion. ... In her talks with elder girls a head- mistress can discuss very plainly the reasons for reserve and self-restraint in friendships and the possibilities that lie before girls in falling in love and marriage."

It is important for parents to know that psychologists of note have traced a frequent transitory tendency to strong sentimental attraction, sometimes of an erotic type, be- tween young persons of the same sex, and an adoring, even passionate, devotion of a boy or a girl for an older member of the same sex. The truth is that in the first strange and frequently powerful reaching out of the heart for love in the pubertal period, and even before, a fervidly emotional nature may " fall in love," as it appears, with a person of the same sex. In many instances, probably in the majority, there is no definite, specialised physical arousing whatever.

No doubt school life, with its practically complete seclusion from the opposite sex, may aid in the temporary fixation of an ardent affection upon one of the same sex. It is noted that this transient, sentimental phase is a common form of substitution-love in both boys' and girls' schools. The keenly awakened sentiment vaguely quests for response and satisfaction. When the boy or the girl leaves school and mixes freely among both sexes, the emotion speedily takes the normal course, and the preoccupation is directed upon the opposite sex.

Reviewing the matter cautiously, I am convinced that the conclusions of the newer psychology are correct. This temporary emotion is not rare under trie present system of sexual segregation in youth, and may even arise when there is no compulsory separation of the sexes. The love instinct in its nascent stage gropes, often semi-consciously at the most, for expression and satisfaction. There may be no sentiment whatever regarding the opposite sex, though a craving to love and to be loved exists in the child's t>:


Therefore, in the vast majority of cases, the true inverted sense never develops fully nor becomes permanent.


The transitory and vague inverted tendency of childhood and adolescence may develop and become permanent through experimentation in erotic irregularities, or by the example of adults or older school companions. Normally there is great variety in sexual idiosyncrasy, and suggestion and example may induce abnormal proclivities in youth. How, tken, shall we protect our children against the risk of acquiring perverse habits ? Our first endeavour must be to establish a respect for sex and a high appreciation for the need for controlling wandering propensities. We should teach that normality is healthy, natural and socially advantageous. It must be insisted that the formation of abnormal habits is likely to become a terrible tyranny.

There is also the moral aspect of the question. The boy who instils homosexual ideas in a companion may cause social disgrace and complicate the struggle for chastity. We must exert the most careful discernment in warning the young upon this danger. It may not be necessary to refer explicitly to homosexuality and perversions ; but there should be general counsel and warning against tampering with the life force. If inversion is suspected, the boy or girl should be treated as early as possible by a skilled psychotherapist.

Let us close this chapter with a hopeful anticipation of human progress towards a finer sex life. For ages sexual excesses and morbidities have prevailed among mankind. Some of these evils are due to disharmonies and savage survivals that evolution will ultimately remove. The races still flourish in spite of the common theory of degenera- tion. There are always strong natural forces counteracting deteriorating processes, and there is ample proof that the course of humanity is ever upward. Old diseases fade and disappear, and new maladies appear, but man's intelligence improves progressively, and therapeutics and hygiene advance remarkably, cycle by cycle. The more we under- stand natural law the more are we protacted against the risks of social, moral and physical decline.


No sexual psychologist, looking at the past pages of hum. m development, and noting the present manifestations of tin- vita se-.\nalis, can doubt that we are moving upwards, and, very slowly though it may seem, working out the herita es of fantastic as contrasted with scientific or

direct thinking.



THE lessons learned " at the mother's knee " leave a deep- cut impression upon the child's brain. From the age of three till nine years the callow mind is highly receptive and retentive, and that which is stamped upon it is likely to remain throughout life, tincturing thought and actuating moral conduct.

There are defined cycles in sex development. The first cycle may be said to begin with consciousness in the new- born infant. In this infantile stage spontaneous sexual manifestations are wont to o Tur. Sexuality in a young child is in the subconscious, anc no knowledge of the mean- ing of physical sensations exists in the brain of the infant. Nevertheless, self-gratification, or auto-erotism, has been noted in many instances in children of both sexes before the age of three. These infantile experiences are apt to re- echo throughout life. Analytical psychologists of our day have asserted that the subconscious racial force in 'the child may be heightened by undue caressing and fondling by un- instructed parents and elders. It is therefore necessary to avoid all the stimuli likely to intensify precocity. A few typical instances of the arousing of the sex organs into activity, taken from actual cases, may be given here for the guidance of parents and teachers.

A little boy, long before the age of puberty, may experi- ence pleasurable feelings associated with the sex organs. Such feelings may be manifest while swarming up a pole, in swinging, riding, and by other mechanical mean's. It must not be supposed that gymnastics are erotic excitants in the



majority of cases. Probably the very reverse is the truth. But certain forms of stimulation in specific subjects may produce unfamiliar and bewildering sensations. We must not forbid swinging because one girl of six experiences for the first time an unwonted feeling connected with the racial organs. This form of healthful exercise may have no such effect upon a hundred other children. It is, however, supremely important that the parent should realise that the capacity for these experiences exists in many young children. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Lying in an overheated bed may stimulate prematurely the sexual nerves of a boy or girl. Occasionally there is a congestion of the blood vessels of the reproductive parts, leading to turgescence or swelling. This may occur in the case of the healthiest of children, and without any trace of sexual thought. It is often a result of too hot baths, pos- ture, warmth, stimulating foods or a full bladder. These physical manifestations are apt to direct the attention to the organs and may lead to handling. In this way the habit of masturbation frequently begins in children who have no inkling of sex matters.

Parents should know that the range of auto-erotism is very wide. Masturbation or " self-abuse " is only one form of the many phenomena. The sexual system is so widely diffused that many apparently unrelated nerves and organs may become erogenous centres. A sensation in the skin of almost any part of the body may send a message to the brain and arouse perturbation. It has been noted that even the eye, under certain kinds of stimulation, may exhibit an extraordinary sympathy with the reproductive apparatus. Such affectability may be abnormal and excessive ; but the existence of erogenous zones in parts of the body remote from the sexual organs is a normal condition. The purposive retention of the contents of the bowels, fairly common among children, and often leading to obstinate constipation, is stated to be a form of auto-erotic satisfaction.

The most active erotic spheres are the mucous mem- branes of the lips, the vagina and the penis; but these acutely sensitive parts are linked up with the whole nervous system, the vital organs and the brain. We speak of loving with the heart. The ancients regarded the liver as the seat


of amatory passion. No thoughtful person will dispute that the love impulse causes a thrill to the innermost nerve of the organism. A fervent kiss of affection stirs the very deepest emotions of the soul as notably as it electrifies the body. Love shows us great mysteries of psyche (mind or spirit) and soma (body).

It is the duty of parents to acquaint their minds with the general natural laws directing the continuance of the race. They should know that sex is never absolutely dormant from infancy to senescence. So keen is the zeal of Nature for the perpetuation of the species that she has contrived endless cunning devices for furthering reproduc- tion. Nor is sex solely the means of replenishing the earth. The sex or reproductive cells act and react upon the growth or body cells. The secretions that make the race make the unit, the man and the woman. A hardened ovary in the woman affects her physical system, her brain, and her emotional and intellectual being. The castrated man ex- hibits bodily and mental and moral changes. An extract from the pituitary gland, administered to a woman, may produce remarkable results in child-birth, hastening and easing parturition. The secretion from the thyroid gland in the neck often governs human individual destiny. Disorder of this organ may cause goitre, and it is well known that the thyroid is affected during menstruation.

This sway of sex to the remotest quarters of the body, with its dominance in the innermost recesses of the conscious and subconscious mind, is a profound fact of human life revealed by science. We cannot place the activities of the generative cells as something apart from the general activity of the body. The waning of sexual vigour seems to influence the productivity of the brain. Virility is an essential of mental efficiency and capacity for intellectual energy. If the sex functions are performed normally and healthily, there is a harmonious working of the human machine.

It is apparent that parental care is vitally important during the period of infancy and early childhood. When it is understood that the natural spontaneous arousing of sexuality is inevitable, those who are concerned for the well-being of the young will refrain from stimulating this


activity by injudicious excitants in diet, recreations and s that evoke premature sensations in susceptible children. Late hours arid over-excitement must be avoided. Town life has a tendency to foster precocity in a child. It would be well if all young children could spend most of their time in the country, and be encouraged to live as much as possible out of doors.

The risk of masturbation must be faced. This habit may become excessive in very young children through irritation in the external genital organs. Secretions from the glans-penis in boys may cause smegma, which provokes intense itching under the prepuce or foreskin. This possibility should be recognised, and means employed for keeping the glans clean. If a boy or girl is apt to touch and rub the organs, some irritation should be suspected. This is a serious matter demanding plain speech. Cir- cumcision lessens the chances of irritation, and it is stated to be a preventive of nocturnal enuresis or incontinence of urine. It is supposed that the chances of bad habits are lessened by directing boys to force back the prepuce below the corona, and some parents, on medical advice, encourage this practice. There is, however, in the opinion of some persons, some risk in this preventive measure. The necessary handling of the organ may give rise to voluptuous feeling, and masturbation may result. Vecki condemns this practice as very likely to produce the evil that it is intended to prevent. 1 But it seems obvious that the external parts in children of both sexes should be washed regularly. Care is necessary lest undue concentration of interest may be directed to the organs in childhood.

Besides the spontaneous and automatic arousal of sex feeling, there are numerous external stimulations which foster auto-erotic gratification. Bad example of playmates is a common cause. Servants sometimes incite to these habits by manipulations of quite young children. Ignorant mothers in the lower classes have been known to use this means to keep restless infants quiet. Overfeeding upon stimulating foods may quicken the impulse. Clothing, if tight around the genitalia, may cause irritation and con- gestion. Heavy coverings on the bed cause restlessness 1 Sexual Impotence. Victor G. Vecki, M.D. Fourth edition, 1912.


and a flow of blood to the organs. Suggestion in conversa- tion may act injuriously, especially in the case of acutely intelligent children. The need for a reverent attitude to sex is extremely urgent.

Girls are not less likely than boys to acquire the auto- erotic habit through irritations, which occur in the vulva and clitoris. The early wearing of stays is said to cause precocious sexuality. When it is known that a degenerate cult of tight corset- wearers exists in England, with a journal devoted to their craze, the relation between tight lacing and sex hyperaesthesia (heightened feeling) seems to be well established. There are many reasons why the clothing of girls should be as loose as possible.


The vague and unsuspected curiosity and the automatic manifestations of the infantile stage are followed by a period in which sex seems to be latent or dormant in the child. This is the play age, when a number of engrossing interests and activities absorb most of the energy of healthy children. There may be a positive resistance to sexual emotion in all forms. Boys begin to show a distaste for the companionship of girls, and girls speak contemptuously of boys. The boy seems anxious to escape from feminine influence. He may tease his sisters and resist the maternal rule. He wishes to break away from the mother's knee, and he is wont to resent the control of both parents. " Awkwardness " arises in both sexes during this pre- pubertal development. Children " get a little out of hand," and become " trying."

This stage is characterised by immense activity. Play is vigorous, often to the point of extreme fatigue. There is a desire to cast off all infantile restraints. The child delights in being thought a big boy or a big girl. The immature sentiment of companions who have attained puberty is derided by the juvenile of nine to twelve. No- thing bores the boy more than allusions to love and senti- mentalism. Stories about lovers are rejected with intense scorn. There is preoccupation with games and sports, a thirst for exciting adventure, and a developing taste for hobbies.


The inactivity of the sex cells at this period is apparently necessary for the growth of the body or somatic cells. Growth is rapid and the appetite almost insatiable. The system calls for ample nutrition, and there is great expendi- ture of physical force.

Although there is not an active consciousness of sex differ- ences at this stage, the infantile impressions and influences remain in the subconscious mind. These impressions re- awaken strangely as puberty approaches. This third period is even more important than the first. During the latent cycle there has been a steady, graduated preparation for the great awakening of pubescence.

The life of the girl in the dormant period is naturally like that of the boy. Though she displays less muscular exuber- ance, she is fond of romps and play. Her sex consciousness slumbers in most normal instances ; but she may continue to lavish care upon dolls, and express a mild interest in the engagements or weddings of friends. She would like to run wild and play as boys play ; but usually she is reminded that the rough-and-tumble diversions of her brothers are not proper for girls. As the female mind and body develop more rapidly than the male, the girl is " older " than the boy by what may be called a two years' start. She accumu- lates more fatty tissue and less muscle than her brother. Her inclination for robust exercises is often stronger than her physical capacity. She tends to become anaemic or chlorotic. Her emotionality is somewhat more marked than that of the boy. She cries more readily, exhibits more affectableness and is more liable to pique. These tendencies are greatly accentuated by conventional nurture at home and at school.


The crisis of puberty ushers in adolescence. Sex-awaken- ing, arising from marked internal and external changes in the body, accompanies the full birth of the psyche or spirit. This period may be described as the novitiate for manhood and womanhood. It is the age of wonder, dreams, longings, instability, development and variation. In boys the period begins about fifteen and in girls at about fourteen. At


twenty we say that a youth is reaching the adult age, and at eighteen we regard the girl as a young woman.

Puberty in man is a stage on the journey to maturity, marked chiefly by the new capacity for erotic emotion and potency for the continuation of the race. There is some change in bone structure. The mysterious thymus gland vanishes. Organs of the throat develop and the tone of the voice changes. Hair appears upon parts of the body. There is growth of the organs of reproduction. The seed of humanity begins to form in the seminal vessels and the testicles, and the secretion plays its dual part in the upkeep of the body and the generative function. This alteration in the metabolism or chemistry of the body has an enormous influence upon the brain and the emotions. The internal secretions, mingling with the blood stream, arouse the soul of man and woman. These hormones (arousers) are the love-awakeners. From their activity springs that glorious efflorescence, the love of the sexes and parental affection. 1

It has been discovered that lessened action of the pituitary gland will induce infantile or arrested development of sex. Thyroid affections may cause atrophy of the sexual organs. Sex precocity has been related to a condition of the supra- renal capsules. Puberty and body growth are probably associated with the adrenal organ. From the ovary of the woman is secreted a fluid that is essential for the general healthy functioning of the body and for the immense changes of the pubertal period. From the hormone of the testicle are derived the influences that govern bone develop- ment in young men. The cortex of the brain and the organs of generation are mutually dependent upon one another. Can any doubt remain that the whole bodily system is involved in love and reproduction ?

When we have learned that the amorous, or strongly sexed, woman is so by reason of a free ovarian secretion, and that the potent and lusty man owes his idiosyncrasy to a liberal testicular secretion, we have at least discovered that a powerful erotic capacity is not in itself a sign of moral inferiority, but a perfectly natural phenomenon. And the possession of this knowledge is at least an indication to persons thus endowed by nature that the conflict between 1 See chapter on Hygiene.


innate desire and the observance of the moral sexual code must be waged by them with reason and vigilance. We are thus enabled by science to shape, temper and adapt our ethical standards in the difficult question of sex ethics and our attitude towards those who perplex us by their aberrations.

The erotic excitement attendant upon puberty has fre- quently no connection whatever with deliberate willing or volition. Such excitement may occur in an entirely ignor- ant child. In puberty the accumulation of seminal fluid in the organs and the stirring of the internal hormones in the brain often take a youth unawares and set up a novel craving. The same must be said in the case of the ovarian hormone in the maiden. This arousing is independent of the will. It is not the voice of Satan, but the prompting of Dame Nature. That the whisper may incite to Satanic ends is perfectly true ; but the arousing is often unavoid- able.

This physiological stimulation is not of the same order as the excitation arising from purposive thought of an erotic character. The impotent man and the woman with ovarian deficiency may be aroused, though the physical stimula- tion is absent. Just as an abundance of sperm will cause a message to the brain, and evoke longing, so will a thought in the brain convey a message to the organs of sex. It often happens that the psychic activity fails to produce response in the sexual nerves. In these cases there is abnormality, an under-sexed condition, or sexual neurasthenia.

The expulsion of semen during sleep, an occurrence that greatly alarms a very considerable number of adolescents, is a typical automatic phenomenon. Undoubtedly volup- tuous dreams may be frequent, through dwelling upon erotic fancies during the day ; but in many instances they are entirely unsought and unwelcome. Deliberate self- excitation during the waking hours is on a different plane. In this case the action is volitional and determined by reflection.

As restraint upon the libido sexualis in mankind is imperative for the security and welfare of the community, the power of inhibition necessarily becomes highly developed in the finer types. Individuals of a low quality of brain


development are frequently deficient in this power of control, and in insanity it is often entirely absent. The necessity for due inhibition must be impressed upon young people in whom the instinct is strong, easily aroused and precociously developed.

It is essential, therefore, that the adolescent should understand the physical and psychical inter-relation of the erotic impulse, and this necessitates plain physiological teaching at the right age. Hygienic counsel should be given in reference to the stimuli arising from within. For example, a youth should know that a full bladder is apt to provoke tumescence, or engorgement, of the sex organs, and that the excitation produced is not to be regarded as a normal prompting of nature. There are postures also, such as sleeping on the back, that cause sexual tension. Pressure from clothing is another irritant and may produce a condition of hypersesthesia of the genital region.

The psychic factors must be reckoned with. Highly excitable adolescents should not permit frequent mental preoccupation with amorous images, such as exciting pictures and sensuous literature. That which may be quite harmless for one type of young man or young woman may be harmful for another. A wise parent or teacher will strive to understand the diversity in idiosyncrasy, and to direct the aesthetic taste in wholesome fields. But this safeguarding should not savour of prudery, nor be exercised in an arbitrary and drastic manner. Much immorality is engendered by harsh severity and a bigoted condemnation.

The free social intercourse of adolescent boys and girls is wholesome and prophylactic. Segregation of the sexes breeds morbidities, heightens sex curiosity, and intensifies cravings. Friendships between the sexes in youth are to be encouraged. Early love may have a restraining and elevating influence, even though evanescent, for in adoles- cence there is a tendency to spiritualise and idealise the passion that attracts the sexes one to the other, and the more sensuous elements are in abeyance. Pre-conjugal chastity is more often observed by the romantic young man who falls fervently and seriously in love than by his unemotional comrade.


That sexual intercourse in adolescent males is far from being exceptional is shown by the fact that a large number of young men contract gonorrhcea before the adult age. This affection is often present in girls who do not make mercenary connections, and are sometimes looked upon as entirely innocent of sexual irregularity. Singular ignorance exists, even among youths who mix freely in varied com- pany, concerning venereal diseases ; and a large number of girls, from whom all knowledge of sex has been cautiously obscured, know nothing whatever of the existence of this danger. In country districts many adolescent girls are quite ignorant in this respect, and they are not infrequently infected by strangers from the towns.

Athletics, sports, hobbies, friendships and congenial study or work that engrosses are counter-excitants tending to the preservation of chastity. There is no doubt that certain occupations in youth may induce desire. Sedentary work is often provocative through insufficient expenditure of physical force. Over-study may excite. A medical man tells me that while " cramming " for an examination in his young days he was surprised to find himself in a constant condition of erethism. During anxiety about passing examinations there is often broken sleep, feverish- ness and tension, producing sexual excitement In some instances. It is indeed extremely difficult to expel or avoid all the stimuli from the lives of the ardent and vigor- ous. As Stanley Hall indicates, these incitements are manifold, insidious, and liable to prove intrusive during the very period when we need all our vital force for the struggle for existence.

The lack or insufficiency of outdoor exercise has much to answer for in the production of heightened and perverse sex feeling. Vecki ranks this want of outdoor life as one of the leading causes of masturbation. Sluggishness of body leaves us exposed to undue urging of the sexual instinct, whereas muscular activity uses up a large part of vitality. Ancient wisdom represented the chaste Diana as a huntress. I have already referred to the imperative need for more healthful recreation in the open air, and a shortening of the hours consumed in the fight for subsist- ence. There is little doubt that the unhealthy nervous


overstrain of sedentary and city life accentuates morbid sexuality.


Quite well-meaning parents still persist in the practice of corporal punishment, through an ignorance of its poten- tiality for evil. Chastisement on the bare body is a form of satisfaction sought by a large number of sex perverts in all the civilised nations. This voluntary endurance of pain for the obtaining of pleasure is one of the forms of the perversion classified as Masochism or algolagnia. Masoch, an Austrian novelist, has related his own experiences of this pleasure-pain, and whipping is a fashionable vice of most large cities in Europe. Rousseau states that he sought this punishment from his governess after discovering its attraction. Many cases of algolagnia are recorded by writers on the abnormal psychology of sex.

In spite of the large weight of scientific authority and the growing view of educational reformers, we continue to employ the rod for the correction of youth in the home and the school. " This brutally empiric aphrodisiac," as Dr Vecki terms it, is a relic of past ignorance and violence. There is no doubt that in the case of susceptible boys flogging on the nates or the back arouses the nerves of the spinal cord that cause sexual desire. Even the witnessing of flogging has this result in some persons. Ample testi- mony to this is to be found in the scientific discussions of the question, and in the annals of cruelty and torture in all ages. The region involved in flagellation is supplied with the same nerve as the sexual region. Hence the probability of stimulation.

Besides the resulting risk of auto-erotic practice attending upon flogging, there is the danger that a latent predisposi- tion to Masochism may be aroused, and flagellomania may become a confirmed passion.

The effect of performing castigation has also been con- sidered by expert psychologists, and it is well known that some eminent birching pedagogues have been victims of morbid obsession. Ellis cites the instance of Udall, an Eton headmaster, celebrated for his frequent use of the birch, who admitted gross conduct with his pupils. It is probably


certain that the huge majority of those who employ bodily punishment do so with the sincere conviction that their means are beneficial to children ; and it is not to be sup- posed that many ardent disciplinarians find pleasure in imposing pain which is deemed necessary. Moreover, the average parent and teacher know nothing of the risks which have been pointed out. They follow with good faith an old and time-respected tradition of juvenile training.

If parents were better equipped for observing childish traits and hidden propensities, they would learn that many children show what seems to be abnormal interest in the subject of whipping. In three personal records of the de- velopment of the sex instinct out of twelve, sent to Havelock Ellis, the writers allude to their juvenile attraction to this topic. I have met both men and women who recall this preoccupation of childhood. Children frequently play at whipping one another. Krafft-Ebing gives the instance of a woman who was playfully whipped by a man friend of her father at the age of five. " Since then she has always longed to be caned." In some cases self-flagellation is practised. Reverdun, a Swiss alienist, recounts the in- stance of a girl patient who made a formidable whip with twelve lashes for flogging herself.

We are led by a great mass of scientific evidence to the conclusion that in the case of some children, if not of all, there is an element of menace in the infliction of corporal chastisement. It is doubtful whether the stick has ever sharpened the dull wits of a born dunce, or quickened normal discernment in the brain of a mental defective. The disciplinary value of castigation is doubtful in almost all cases, though Professor Stanley Hall, a leading authority on the education of the young, thinks that such correction may be beneficial in the case of some types of boys.

While there has been a tendency in the past to exaggerate the evils arising from masturbation, modern M-imtific opinion remains divided as to tin* dr-give of harmful i: auto-erotic practices. Some eminent medical investigators


have been unable to trace any serious nervous consequences in instances of moderate indulgence, though they condemn the habit upon moral and aesthetic grounds. Other physi- cians of high standing attribute neurasthenic symptoms, impotence, disinclination for normal intercourse and minor local affections.

Some writers believe that neurasthenia may be a result of excess, and others ascribe dullness of brain in the young, physical listlessness and heightened emotionableness. The gross over-statements of a past school of medical and ethical writers have been exposed by a number of contem- porary authorities; and it has been repeatedly stated in recent years, by general practitioners, neurologists and psychiatrists, that the extravagant and highly alarming pro- nouncements of unscientific, though often well-intentioned, writers have produced some of the very results attributed to the practice itself. 1

The possible injuries resulting from masturbation are mostly of a moral and emotional character. Careful re- search proves that this excitation and nervous taxation in adolescence is harmful. If the habit is begun in childhood, before the actual virile age, -weakening of the nervous system may be the penalty. One of the chief risks of auto- erotism is the fact that indulgence can be far more frequent than sexual intercourse. The opportunities are always present and the chances of extreme excess are high. Bloch, who is not disposed to the extremist view, states, neverthe- less, that " solitary vice influences the psyche and the character in the mere child." He traces moroseness, hypochondria, shyness, and love of solitude to inveterate self -gratification. Some authorities attribute neurasthenic signs and restless, high-strung symptoms to the habitual auto-erotic subject.

The formation of the habit sometimes induces a distaste for marriage. It is apt to foster misogyny in man and misanthropy in woman. Some masturbators seem incap-

1 Reference may be made to Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex; Bloch, The Sexual Life of Our Time ; Northcote, Christianity and Sex Problems ; Stanley Hall, A dolescence ; Robie, Rational Sex Ethics ; Gallichan, Psychology of Marriage ; Bigelow, Sex Education ; Forel, The Sexual Question.


able of falling in love in a natural manner ; and those who have wasted their power and nervous force experience dread lest they may be unable to consummate wedlock physically.

The practice renders some young men blase and cynical, and causes some women to adopt an attitude of false modesty towards the sexual side of conjugality. There is the possibility of a disinclination for normal intercourse. Capacity for normal satisfaction may cease in both sexes, and in this abnormality we have the root of several forms of sex perversion. Psychic recoils against the ordinary ex- pression and satisfaction are induced. The extraordinary is craved. Abnormal ideas develop and lead to abnormal practices. Perversity in this respect may shatter the chances of a harmonious marriage. The imagination is wont to exercise itself upon bizarre forms of sexual pleasure, and when the mind has dwelt for long upon such images confirmed perversions of a disastrous character may be the result.

Besides the too constant stimulation of the genital system, there is the mental and moral conflict, which is rarely absent among the educated and higher types of man and woman. The struggle between the insistent force of the desires, often rendered excessive by indulgence, and the ethical or religious sense, may become intolerable. Remorse for this practice has caused some of the intensest mental suffering known to humanity. Sometimes there is an acute self-loathing and a weariness of life. Attempts are made to destroy the habit, and each lapse from con- tinence brings dire contrition and a sense of despair. Revolt against the normal love of the sexes and a reaction against the sexual scheme of nature are common consequences. There may be an exalted profession of purity, chastity and spirituality in those whose imagination is steeped in sensu- ality. The prudery of the masturbator is sometimes a social menace, for his or her views upon the subject of sex are unbalanced, deeply prejudiced and distorted.

Love, tenderness, sympathy and understanding are the means that should be used in aiding the sufferer to overcome the propensity. A conversation with a tactful and intelli- gent physician may be helpful. All " scare literature "


must be avoided. Sometimes the acquisition of a little knowledge of the part played by sex in human destiny gives enlightenment, explains difficulties and temptations, and inspires control. Psychoanalysis, as practised by the new school of mental therapy, is the best method of treatment for sex obsessions, aberrations and complexes. Little reliance can be placed upon the employment of drugs or hygiene alone. The cure must be attempted through the mind. Full, open confession to a sympathetic psycho- analyst may work wonders when other methods have failed.


Puberty in girls is marked by alterations in the bony framework, notably in the pelvis and the lower part of the spinal column. There are muscular development and growth of the breasts. The womb and the ovaries enlarge, and there are changes in the structure of the external parts of reproduction. Psychic development is equally remark- able. New emotions are likely to perplex the mind, and there are variability, instabilitj', restlessness and quick transitions of mood. Religion may appeal deeply. An enthusiasm for art, for study or for philanthropic activity may suddenly appear.

Attention should now be devoted by the mother to the fresh demands of nature upon the girl merging from child- hood to reproductive capability. The " mimic pregnancy " of menstruation is an occurrence for which the girl should be rationally prepared by the mother. It is unnecessary to reiterate the numerous risks to health of mind and body that are likely to be encountered when girls are uninformed as to the purpose and the normality of the monthly crisis. To guard against the probability of hysteria, nervous ail- ment, sex repugnance and derangements of the ovarian and uterine system, every girl should receive plain physio- logical and hygienic counsel. This teaching should be supplemented by conversation upon the ethical and social aspects of love, marriage and parentage.

The functions of the body can be guided in regularity by intelligent care during adolescence. Much abnormality and disorder of menstruation is avoidable. Over-exertion


at the period is always risky, and irregularity may result from insufficient exercise between the cycles. The attitude of mind towards the periodic manifestation of the ripening of the ovum has influence upon the right performance of function. There should not be any disgust at this process. Its great racial significance should be made plain, and the function treated with a sane respect as a symbol of the eternal generative energy of nature.

It is at the period of the monthly rhythm that a girl's sex emotion is likely to be acutely aroused for the first time. This natural prompting is rarely understood by girls who have been brought up without the vaguest enlightenment. We have noted that the mingling of the hormone of the ovaries with the blood influences the brain and the psyche. It should be known that this periodic arousing of hitherto inexperienced emotion may expose an ignorant young woman to danger.

Seduction usually overcomes the ill-prepared victims at the period when the brain is eroticised. Moreover, it has been ascertained that auto-erotic obsessions frequently accompany the menstrual cycle. Furthermore, lapses into error, misdemeanour and crim: are frequent when normal control is lessened by the physical and psychic ordeal. We may state broadly that the girl is often " not quite herself " while undergoing this periodic process. For the manifesta- tions of menstruation are not simply local and physical. They affect the whole organism, to a greater or a less extent, according to constitution and habit.

When a girl has been forewarned concerning this recur- rent slackening of inhibition, she is at least prepared to exert increased control. If irritability, depression or dis- content cannot be banished entirely by those prone to these trials, they may be partially repressed by a strong effort of will. It is at least essential that a young woman should be aware of the difficulties which she may be com- pelled to face during the process of the maturation of the ovum in the womb. As Dr Mary Scharlieb and other women physicians have pointed out, this phenomenon should not be " a most alarming incident " in a girl's life, but a significant and hopeful happening.

The risks of unchastity in the girl are fewer than in the


case of the boy that is to say, if by " unchastity " we connote irregular intercourse of the sexes. But it is the view of a considerable number of investigators with wide medical experience that auto-erotism is even more preva- lent amongst girls than boys. One reason for this view must be attributed to the fact that many adolescent males find gratification in temporary liaisons and in prostitution. Another factor is the wider diffusion of the sexual sphere or erogenic zones in the female sex. It has often been re- peated that the area of sensitivity is localised in man. In woman there is much greater tendency to the transference of the zones to various parts of the body, especially the skin, the breasts, the urethra and other regions enumerated by sexual physiologists. From the evidence collected from women, the range of auto-erotic excitation is wider in the female sex than in the male. Ellis thinks that " after adolescence there can be no doubt that masturbation is more common in women than in men."

Several observers have noticed the frequency of erotic day-dreaming among young women, which is indulged in for the purpose of gratification. Professor Maurice Bigelow says that this is probably more harmful than mechanical means, and that "it is believed to be more common in young women than in men." The ingenuity of women in all civilised countries for devising auto-erotic satisfactions is a remarkable fact in the psychology of sex. 1 Masturba- tion is not only the practice of civilised races ; it is prevalent among savages of some tribes and may be regarded as almost universal. Under civilisation there is a tendency for the habit to increase and spread, through the additional stimuli, deferred marriage, example and suggestion.

As in the case of boys, the sedentary lives led by many girls, and occupational factors, foster auto-erotism. It has been proved that the treadle sewing machine produces sex excitement in some women. Constipation has been sug- gested as a source of irritation. A rich diet and an idle life are likely to arouse erethism. Overheated rooms, loung- ing, lack of interests and amusements, and reading inflam- matory love stories induce erotic fancies in the brain. A

1 See records byEllis, Bloch, Rohleder and Gamier among other investigators.


suitable alternation of work and play, and spells of rest, are necessary for the health of the adolescent girl. ess of sentimentality should be avoided in the up- bringing of girls. Broadly speaking, it is advantageous to harden girls and to soften boys. In some cases the feminine traits are over-developed in girls, and many boys would be better for the inculcation of a sense of pity and tenderness. It is the sentimental, impressionable temperaments that are most prone to auto-erotism. We must not presuppose that this tendency is only found among the coarse-fibred and the highly sensual. It is especially notable in the artistic, the poetic, the spiritually disposed and the refined natures. Such types, through the vividness of the imagina- tion, and often through an inherited amative disposition, are more exposed to temptations and more susceptible to suggestion than the phlegmatic, the unimaginative and the dull.

All moral counsel regarding this practice must be judi- ciously tempered with a sympathetic understanding of human nature, and especially of juvenile human nature. We who have passed through the fires of youthful passion should never forget our perils. Harsh condemnation and severe threats and punishments rarely, if ever, succeed. These methods encourage more or less resentment, create a spirit of distrust, and lessen or annihilate good feeling between parent and child. The " emotional psychic " appeal is the most effective. All the advantages of retaining vigour of body and brain should be rehearsed, and young people should be told that any tampering with the vital force in youth is likely to impair the joy and the peace of conjugal love. A spirit of idealism may be instilled into the majority of adolescents by fine example, by broad-minded, tolerant precept, and by praise for sincere endeavour in fine living.



THE lack of sex guidance during school life has very serious results upon the individual and society. A boy or a girl is sent from the sheltered home to form one of a community composed of all types and shades of character. For several months of each year there is a severance from parental control. The young pupil is thrown among the good and the bad, and is exposed to both favourable and detrimental influences. Often the most attractive companions are not the best associates for youth. An older comrade may im- plant ideas and set examples that will colour the whole of a junior boy's career.

There is no doubt considerable variety in the tone and moral atmosphere of the average boarding-schools and public colleges. Certain schools of both classes have a doubtful reputation, while others appear to be comparatively immune from evil influences. If we question those men of our acquaintance who are willing to discuss the matter and to recall episodes in their school life, we shall find that a few have no very distinct recollection of pernicious conversation or bad practice, while others gravely assure us that their first lessons in vice were learnt during tutelage in schools and colleges of a high reputation as institutions of learning.

If disordered sexuality and perversions are rampant in certain boys' schools, we have not to seek far for the causes. The school period is the period preceding and during the development of puberty. It is the time when erotic emotion is coming into consciousness. The physical changes of this cycle are usually a source of curiosity, and the ac- companying influences stimulate to inquiry and experience. Talk upon sexual topics is almost certain to arise when a number of boys are crowded together day and night for



three months at a spell. The wonder and the speculation rarely receive rational satisfaction. Sex is regarded as an i lie attitude is either grossly phallic, or pornographic, or flippant, ignorant and vulgar.

There are usually one or two boys in the majority of schools who affect a wide knowledge of sex matters. This knowledge is not wholesome and rational. It is a com- pound of shame and indecency. It is from such sources that the mass of our sons obtain their early sexual " instruction." The common gutter words for the sex organs and the union of the sexes are employed, and there is a hideous besmirching of that which should be regarded as beautiful and sacred. Example by a lewd-minded boy stimulates a desire to vie in telling improper stories, and gradually a whole dormitory or an entire school may be- come permeated with obscenity.

The laws directing public morals prevent me from giving, even in an expurgated form, the anecdotes, rhymes and jests that were rife in my schooldays. I have never dis- covered the authors of the thousands of gross, and often very unsavoury, tales and jokes that are told daily through- out almost the whole of society. There are evidently brains that devote considerable pains to this exercise.

Familiarity with sex matters, through foolish and frivol- ous conversation, threatens most boys and a considerable number of girls. Indecent allusion to the intimacies of the sexes sets up prurience and incites to experimentation in vicious practice. This disrespect may become the habitual attitude and last during the whole of life. Men and women who describe sex as " dirty " or " nasty " are generally those whose minds have been tainted and injured in child- hood. The purifying influence of true love, based on respect for womanhood, may mitigate the effects of this early tarnishing of the mind. It has been pointed out to me by an Oxford professor that the pornographic propensity may accompany a spiritualised conception of sexual love. This may be possible in the case of some minds ; but obscenity seems scarcely compatible with a noble sex idealism and a true reverence for whatsoever things are pure.

There is no doubt that concentration upon pleasures of an erotic character leads to solitary and mutual masturba-


tion in schools. The young are naturally exposed to inner or peripheral irritations. All other stimulations should be avoided as far as possible. The mind absorbed with libidinous thoughts is not in a wholesome condition, and there is the danger that the ideas may become vehement and obsessional. In youth it is well if thought concerning sex is dispassionate and not preoccupied with the voluptu- ous element. The school environment frequently blunts the finer sensibilities of boys, damages the intellectual out- look upon the love of the sexes, and fosters inclinations that will seek for gratification in later life.

In a sad, private communication which I have received from a young man educated in one of our leading public schools, the writer refers to the various forms of sensuality which are prevalent, and attaches his present habits and his unhappiness to this influence. 1

The statement of the Rev. Lord William Gascoyne-Cecil is illuminating : "I had an experience in one of our great public schools which I am certain I can never wish anyone to ^mdergo. As a boy I was immersed in an atmosphere of filth and foulness which was blacker than any I have known later, or that I have reason to believe exists in England. " 2

A correspondent writing to Havelock Ellis says : " The dormitory was boisterous and lewd. . . . My principal recollection now is of the filthy mystery of foul talk that I neither cared for nor understood. What I really needed, like all other boys, was a little timely help over the sexual problems, but this we none of us got, and each had to work out his own principle of conduct for himself. It was a long, difficult and wasteful process, and I cannot but believe that many of us failed in the endeavour."

Some loose-minded boys find a perverse delight in questioning younger companions concerning their sexual knowledge and in imparting lewd ideas. In my youth the new-comer at school was often asked if he was " up to snuff," which was the slang form of inquiry concerning his acquaint- ance with the physical relations of the sexes and the mysteries of reproduction. If the boy confessed ignorance he was speedily supplied with vulgar and graphic descrip-

1 See also Hime's Schoolboys' Special Immorality. 1 The Nation's Morals. Cassell, Loncjou.


tions, accompanied by low jests and laughter. Some of the stories of schoolboys are of a repulsive and scatalogic type, invoking disesteem for the human body and a false attitude towards natural functions. Nothing is sacred to the mind imbued with indecency.

This flippant regard for sex greatly complicates the important task of rational enlightenment. As we have all been more or less exposed to this early influence, it is often difficult to obliterate the sense of shame, disgust and recoil from the mind of the adult. We encounter " educated " persons, even a fair number of teachers, who announce that the whole subject is " beastly " or " unpleasant." Yet Stanley Hall says this should be considered one of the most beautiful of all subjects for the instructor of youth. When boys are accustomed to the obscene and vulgar estimates of sexuality, the work of the teacher is rendered extremely difficult. In class teaching of biology there is even the fear that one ignorant boy may incite to giggles, or infuse an element of prudishness. A medical friend, who is zealous for the enlightenment of the young, tells me that he would fear to illustrate the racial organs and explain them to a class of adolescents lest he might incur the risk of arousing furtive mirth in some of the pupils.


The moral tone of the school is largely dependent upon the attitude of the principal towards the sex question. In another chapter will be found communications from headmasters upon the instruction of the young. Some of our teachers are clerics, and it is a lamentable fact that very many clergymen shirk or suppress topics of sex. Appar- ently they are of the opinion that clean knowledge of re- productive processes, sex physiology, sex hygiene and sex ethics do not come within the scope of moral and spiritual guidance. I have heard of a headmaster of a Public School who expressed great astonishment when he discovered that a not uncommon practice of boys, writing obscene words on walls, existed among some of his pupils.

It should be clearly understood that religious influences per se are not sufficient for the direction of adolescents in


the higher conduct of the sexual life. In schools where attendance at chapel is imperative and the religious atmos- phere is of paramount importance, there is not always convincing testimony to clean thinking and decent conduct among the pupils. It is undeniable that religion is often a restraining force. On the other hand, the connection between religious emotionability and the racial instinct has been established beyond any question. Sincere piety may be a means of sublimation, and no one can doubt that faith is in some cases a safeguard of youth.

Archdeacon Wilson, in Essays and Addresses, writes : " The boys whose temperament specially exposes them to these faults are usually far from destitute of religious feelings ; there is, and always has been, an undoubted co- existence of religiosity and animalism ; emotional appeals and revivals are very far from rooting out carnal sin ; in some places they seem actually to stimulate even in the present day, to increased licentiousness."

Again, we have the testimony of Dr Elizabeth Blackwell (Counsel to Parents) that auto-erotic manifestations are " observable in refined, intellectual and even pious persons." Canon Lyttelton makes a similar statement.

We must recognise that the aptitude for religious fervour is not evinced by the majority of boys. Stanley Hall has found, from careful inquiry, that few lads are genuinely inspired by the example of Jesus Christ. The very divinity of Jesus places His character above the human level in the estimate of very many young people. The boy's ideal hero is a purely human figure. It is a fact also that most boys resent compulsory attendance at worship and services. I have questioned many boys upon this matter, and there is little doubt indeed that religious exercises are apt to be regarded as irksome. In natures attuned to the influence of religion there will be a natural responsiveness. But it is often necessary to appeal to the moral sense by means not necessarily associated with theological beliefs and orthodox dogmas. Light comes to the soul through more than one window.

Pious precept may fall upon sterile soil. But the same soil may be fertilised by biological knowledge and practical, helpful moral counsel. A religious instinct may exist in


a child vvlio appears resistant to the conventional church teaching. Idealism can be aroused by human suggestion. It is necessary to discriminate in temperamental bias. Can it be supposed that the average, boisterous, adventur- ous schoolboy can be transformed into a saintly being by merely sending him to chapel twice a day ? A far more elaborate and subtle method is essential if we would spiritualise our boys.

The clerical pedagogue who thinks that he has fully appreciated his responsibility towards youth by pulpit preaching and the enforced attendance at services may have utterly failed in one of his supreme duties. If a head- master is " not interested in sex," he can only be feebly interested in humanity itself.

If he considers that the classical languages and mathe- matics represent a truly " liberal education," he is out of touch with the most vital of human affairs. The principal of a school has the solemn charge of a number of young people at one of the most critical periods in their bodily, mental and moral development. At the crisis when new and mysterious forces of the soma and psyche are becom- ing palpable, and often insistently present in consciousness, every individual lad requires discerning direction in the right path. This guidance cannot be neglected by the conscientious teacher. It is not enough for him to say this is entirely the duty of parents. He should know that the great majority of parents neglect their duty in this respect. Masters should co-operate, as a few are now doing, with parents in the task of educational guidance in sex development.

Sex education is one of the fundamentals of moral instruction in school life. Individual, social and racial welfare depends upon sex morality and hygiene. No one can be a good citizen, founder of a family and competent parent without an appreciation of the importance of the sway of the sexual ijistinct in the progressive development of the higher organisms and in mankind. The separation of the sex life from the other vital activities is impossible. Love is the origin and the mainspring of 1 fe.

Science masters who omit embryology and reproduction from the curriculum may be said to devita ise education.


Huxley's otherwise excellent manual of Physiology, from which all reference to the generative system was omitted, remains as a landmark in tutelary inefficiency. We are now learning that sexual physiology can be taught as a part of general physiology.

Every year brings evidence that the scientific reformers in pedagogics, physicians and clergymen are beginning to realise the need for enlightening the adolescent in the laws of the continuance of life. Our new sexual ethics must be founded upon biology, physiology and psychology, and not upon misguiding conjecture, ancient superstitions derived from barbaric minds, and the theories of archaic fantasy- thinking. It is the duty of the educationalist to collect all available data that may assist him in educating his pupils in a finer esteem for the force that underlies the vital urge or elan vital.


What shall be our method of training the young in the science of sex ? After the rudimentary or preparatory in- struction in the home, should the boy or girl receive class instruction in the school ? Upon this question there is con- siderable difference of view among teachers who recognise the need for imparting knowledge. Professors Geddes and Thomson, who have insistently advocated sex educa- tion, are of the opinion that the more precise and scientific information must be given in schools. They do not approve of "a doctrinaire scheme of instruction, coercively im- posed from without." We must first consult the child and attempt to understand his idiosyncrasy and point of view.

The scheme outlined by these earnest sociologists con- sists in the opening out of wide interests in adolescence, the encouragement of play and legitimate adventure, and by disciplines in sports and exercise that promote endurance. Such education in hardness is, to some extent, a develop- ment of the primitive rites of initiation at puberty, described by several anthropologists. This preparation for man- hood and womanhood may be made impressive. Conjoined with this vent for activity, there should be a development of the ethical and imaginative faculties, a fostering of chivalry, self-control, mutual respect between the sexes,


and healthy-mindedness. In actual teaching Professors Geddes and Thomson remind the instructor that " what is to be suggested is that mystery is observed because sex is sacred, not because it is shameful." This is a supremely valuable counsel for all educators.

From botanical lessons the teacher should pass on to zoology. The hygienic and moral guidance may be en- trusted to headmasters or the school physician. In every case education must be carefully differentiated. It is necessary that full parental assent to this instruction shall be gained. In the training of girls there must be regard to differences in the male and female mental and emotional outlook. The instruction of girls should be " gentler " than that of their brothers. 1

Professor Maurice Bigelow, in his Sex Education, states that adolescent girls of fourteen to sixteen should know the general plan of their own sexual structure. " The worth- whileness of chastity " should be pointed out by contrast- ing the good and evil. Books upon sexual physiology and health should be frank and direct. " At present there are no thoroughly satisfactory books for adolescent boys and girls."

Dr W. F. Robie recommends the emotional appeal in safeguarding the young, and states the need for a much wider knowledge among those who should be responsible for sex education. 2 Maria Lischnewska, one of the pioneers of sexual pedagogics, advises information in the fertilisation of plants and the reproduction of fish and birds, beginning in the eighth year. Later, the teaching should be extended, and rudimentary embryology and the function of repro- duction may be taught. At puberty there should be in- struction in the development of the sex instinct and careful hygiene counsel.

Professor Iwan Bloch supplements his citation of the views of teachers with his own conclusions. He would have children of ten taught the natural history of the reproduc- tive process, and graduated explanation up to the age of fourteen. "The principal aim is to strengthen the char-

!See Sex. Patrick Geddes and J. Arthur Thomson. Williams & Norgate. is. 6d.

1 Rational Sex Ethics. Badger, Boston, U.S.A.


acter, to induce the habit of self-command and self-denial by a profound and intimate grasp of sexual problems." There must be a guarding against sex stimuli in youth. " Discipline, work, abstinence, bodily hygiene, are the means for educating the character, and these also play the principal part in sexual pedagogy." 1

Havelock Ellis is in favour of the broadest possible sexual education, judiciously administered in relation to age and sex. He thinks that the mother is the natural teacher in early childhood. She must be able to speak " with frank- ness and tenderness." The real facts of the sex life are " as wonderful as any fairy tale." There can be no diffi- culty in arousing an intelligent interest in the young. But facts, not fancies, must be instilled. The preparatory instruction need not be technical, but conveyed in intimate talks between parent and child. There should be a reverential attitude towards the racial organs.

Ellis plainly recognises the difficulty attending formal school education in sex subjects. We are, in so many instances, reared in the pernicious tradition that " sex matters are filthy " that a large proportion of parents protest against their children learning " filthy knowledge." Under democratic conditions, the teacher's task is im- possible. Ellis fears that the introduction of physiological teaching upon sex, even in an unobtrusive form, into the average school in England will prove a very slow reform. It will be seen, however, from some of the communications that I have received from teachers that there are indica- tions of a progressive movement in the direction of sane education in schools. The European War has aroused us to the need for many social reforms. Specific sex prob- lems, often of an alarming kind, have arisen from this conflict ; and in this matter, as in others of constant im- portance, we have been impelled to inquiry and to organised action. That which has been for long obvious to a few reflective men and women is beginning to assume some significance in a fairly large number of minds.

Havelock Ellis suggests botanical instruction as a first step in sex teaching. From this study of the reproduction of plants the pupil passes to the natural history of animals, 1 The Sexual Life of Our Time.


an'l to human anatomy and physiology. " The text-books from which the sexual system is entirely omitted ought no longer to be tolerated." The attitude of the young mind towards the human body is considered by Ellis as highly important in sexual training. He believes that there is a spiritual value in nakedness, or, as Bloch expresses it, " a natural conception of nakedness."

Undoubtedly disesteem for the body is a source of sin. There should be a sane acceptance of the plain facts of organisation and function. It is a sign of degeneration that " the clothed man sees in the uncovered body only a sensual irritation." The prudery in regard to statuary is an instance of our decline from natural simplicity. As Ellis states, " familiarity with the sight of the body abolishes petty pruriencies, trains the sense of beauty, and makes for the health of the soul." Maria Lischnewska deploring " the horror of the civilised man at his own body," finds therein one of the roots of the prejudice against wholesome sexual instruction.

The valuation of the noble human body was wellnigh impossible in the days when St Bernard spoke of man " as nothing else than fetid sperm, a sack of dung, the food of worms," and "a dunghill." To-day such a description of the " human form divine " would not be tolerated, except by a few morbid and disordered minds. But such con- ceptions still linger vaguely, if not positively, in many " civilised " brains. Hence abuse of the bodily organs, neglect of hygiene, scanty regard to aesthetic development and uncleanness. The task of counteracting the injurious disrespect for the body is part of the duty of parent and tutor. Those who deem the body vile are apt to use it vilely. There is little hope for purity in the sex life till we have banished contempt for the human body.

The Rev. Hugh Northcote asserts that " religious tench- ing will not in any case do all that is required " in directing the sex impulse. This writer insists that " ethical respon- sibility is an essential element of sex psychology " ; but he expresses the fear that " an unscientific, poorly informed hortatory teaching, seeking to arm itself with the aegis of Christianity," is likely to be as dangerous as a non-ethical science of sex. Northcote advises conversations with the


family physician ; and instruction by enlightened school- masters and clergymen should follow parental counsels.


The question of the desirability of class instruction must be considered cautiously. Such teaching is in the initial stage of trial in America, Canada, Scandinavia, Switzerland and France. The instruction is conveyed by lectures given by teachers trained in the subject to separate audiences of boys and girls. Reproduction is explained by the fertilisation of plants and zoology. Some teachers supplement the biological teaching by hygienic and moral counsel.

In the United States and Canada class instruction has proved beneficial, and the system will probably become more generally adopted in the near future. It is not an easy task for the instructor to speak explicitly upon the intimate relations of the sexes to an ordinary school class. Many teachers flinch from necessary plain speaking in public. The instruction in class presents obvious diffi- culties. But how can adequate teaching be given individu- ally in a college of a hundred or more boys or girls ? For the present, until a saner, more detached attitude of mind takes the place of shame, resistance and bashfulness, it seems only possible, in most cases, to impart general know- ledge of biology and embryology to classes of boys or girls. We may wish that the obstacles to class teaching could be banished by a common-sense appreciation of the intrinsic cleanness of the subjects of sexual physiology and repro- dution ; but the resistance and the timidity are very deep- rooted, and we cannot hope to eradicate them rapidly. In teaching those who are the heirs of a long ancestral fear, derived from primitive brains, we are compelled to proceed slowly and carefully.

The first and probably the principal effort is to purge f the minds of parents and pupils from irrational and un-' worthy concepts of sex. Until we have educed the right spirit and the fitting receptivity of mind it would be rash to unfold suddenly or violently the inner mysteries of a subject regarded by many as esoteric, and by a considerable


number as improper. The preliminary stage of sexual pedagogy seems to involve a mental catharsis, a complete expulsion of hostile, or at least hindering, preconceptions and prejudices. It is quite probable that the proper attitude to the topic will develop during the study of plant reproduction and illustration of the development of sex as we rise in the scale of animal evolution. We may be said to be safe while the teaching is concerned with botany. It is when we attempt to explain human reproduction that difficulties may arise in a class of boys or girls influenced by the ordinary home nurture. There is the danger that one or two pupils may regard the subject as " rude " or " improper."

This probability has a somewhat paralysing effect upon the most earnest and tactful of instructors. In some instances the teacher may have to overcome his or her own resistance or inclination to shirk the matter. Having mastered this impediment, it is discouraging to discover that a proportion of the pupils are not properly prepared to accept the teaching in a natural, wholesome spirit. The point to urge from the outset is that the study of sex is not low, revolting or forbidden, but sacred, inspiring and beauti- ful to all clean minds. Children should be taught that the nastiness is not in the subject, but in the attitude of mind with which we approach it. The inculcation of refinement and delicacy should be based upon a clean purview of the natural scheme of life. We should insist that it is nasty to associate nastiness with organs and functions that are not only indispensable for the continuance of life, but have their great part to play in noble living, health of body, sanity of mind, the life work, the formation of moral judg- ments, and the development of the spiritual and religious sense. We must teach that sex is linked up with all the human activities, aspirations and fine achievements.

The difficulty in class teaching is that the great majority of children come to school entirely uninstructed in sex matters. We cannot accept the information picked up from ignorant companions or servants as suitable pre- liminary knowledge. On the contrary, such " knowledge " may be extremely detrimental and hindering. If the average parent prepared the child for the more formal


and technical teaching in the school, the tutor's task would be considerably lighter. As it is, the school teacher may be the first person who has ever spoken rationally to the child on sexual topics.

The school training of girls in the laws of sex may re- semble the teaching of boys in the initial stages. Examples of the reproductive plan in the vegetable kingdom should be followed by descriptions of ovulation in birds and fishes. At puberty more specific instruction is essential. The association of the monthly cycle with maturity should be explained and the right hygienic counsel imparted.

Acknowledging with Dr Balls-Headley and other practi- tioners skilled in the diseases of women that sexual health is terribly neglected by the great mass of the potential and actual mothers of the race, we must arouse head- mistresses of girls' schools to a sense of their responsibility towards the physical as well as the mental well-being of the girls entrusted to their care.

Although fastidiousness is commonly accepted as a feminine trait, the fact remains that girls left to themselves very frequently neglect ordinary cleanliness and care of the body. They tend to grave errors in diet, are apt to neglect regularity of bowel function, and are often disregardful of the need for frequent ablution of the whole body. Fre- quently there is a superstitious fear of water during the menstrual period.

It is lamentable that the ascetic libellous ascription of " impurity " to women still tinges in some degree the Attitude of many women towards their bodies and the offices of sex. Boris Sidis, the mental pathologist, gives an instance of a convent-reared girl who was imbued with a sense of the innate impurity of sex, and especially her own sex. In after life, following upon marriage, she developed a positive abhorrence of women. Minor forms of such distortion of judgment are far from uncommon in girls. This attitude has caused tragedy in many marriages. Sex- phobia may be so pronounced that recoil against conjugal intercourse may persist throughout married life. This


morbid repugnance is also responsible for the harsh, narrow and uncharitable views of human nature expressed by some women.

Most women, even among the educated class, enter marriage with very scanty knowledge of the essential physiological facts. Some possess no knowledge whatever. There are plentiful recorded instances of a complete ignor- ance among women of various ages. This total unpre- paredness for conjugality and maternity is a remarkable anomaly of " civilisation." It is a total annihilation of the theory that " instinct teaches." Instinct cannot teach human beings who have lost instinct. It is one of the main aims in the education of girls to suppress natural instinct, and if knowledge is not substituted the inexperienced bride is placed in one of the cruellest and most helpless of situations.

The sex education of girls in adolescence should be the duty of the mother. If the parent feels incapable in this matter, the help of a sympathetic and intelligent married woman friend should be sought. Adequate enlightenment concerning marital intimacies can scarcely be made part of class instruction. Even if a teacher is able and willing to talk privately to a girl about to be married, the fact that the instructor is herself unmarried is not calculated to inspire a high confidence in the pros- pective bride. A woman physician of broad human sympathies and a knowledge of sexual psychology is an efficient counsellor. There are young people who prefer to seek instruction from a comparative stranger. A strong inhibitory shyness very often exists between mother and daughter.

Admitting that sex resistance and recoils are more likely to manifest themselves in young women than young men, it is needful to exercise scrupulous care in the sex education of girls. It is very necessary to prepare the way for know- ledge by fostering a healthy natural attitude of mind. Much may have to be unlearned. It is often essential that a primary respect for the body should be instilled. This appeal may be made aesthetic, poetic and symbolic as well as scientific. The beauty of the human form and the wonders of the bodily nirHianHin may be made a


romantic subject. A mere anatomical catalogue is certainly not enough, and may be simply repellent. The fascinating interaction of the somatic and the psychic, the magical metabolism, and the eternity of the germ plasm can be rendered interesting themes by the skilful instructor.

The arousing of the erotic impulse and the religious or moral sense both occur at puberty, and are apt to manifest themselves simultaneously. Morbid religiosity is sometimes epidemic in schools, and may be traced in some instances to a sex hypersesthesia in which eroticism and piety are curiously blended. Intense sentimentality may develop at this time, accompanied by a prudish attitude towards material or physical phenomena. Ill-educated teachers, lacking knowledge of juvenile psychology, often foster in- stead of checking this excess of emotionalism in adolescent girls.

There is a progressive improvement in feminine education and the hygiene of girls' schools ; but there is still need for the reform and the remodelling of the educational cur- riculum and methods. It is a depressing experience for one who is earnestly solicitous for humanistic education to see a growing girl utterly fatigued and nervously irritable and wakeful through trying to cram the dead languages in order to pass an examination. The time devoted to Greek and Latin would often be spent more profitably in the study of the vital matters essential for a knowledge of modern life. We need not enter into the discussion concerning the value of a classical education. It is admitted by all pro- gressive educational experts that acquaintance with the ancient languages should form a part of a wide culture. But we have to decide whether it is good policy for a girl to give more study to Latin grammar than to biology, physiology, psychology and sociology.

The neglect of science in girls' schools is a grave hindrance to the education of the average woman. There is an un- reflective and ill-founded view that scientific knowledge unfits the mind for the practical business of life. It is perfectly true that a scientific investigator, a zoologist, a chemist or an astronomer may be so completely absorbed in his studies and researches that he has no remaining energy for other affairs. But there is very little fear that the


average boy or girl will neglect the daily duties of life through an elementary knowledge of biology. And it is certain that even a little science is valuable in performing the commonest tasks. Cultivation of the faculties of observa- tion, reflection, criticism and concentration undoubtedly assists in playing the great game of life. Human exist- ence to-day, in all the civilised nations, must of necessity derive more and more light from scientific knowledge.



THE child and the adolescent are exposed to dangers of misdirection of thought upon sex, and often to positive corruption of morals, through ordinary social intercourse. However zealously we may shield the boy or girl, there is always the risk of mental and moral contamination. A chance expression overheard in the street may arouse a deep curiosity in an inquiring child, and there is no question that the obscene inscriptions upon walls and hoardings have their effect upon the mind of youth. In his closely analytic study of juvenile development, Mr Joyce, in his Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, refers to the influence of the pornographic words and drawings which disfigure the walls of many public lavatories, waiting-rooms, park shelters and fences.

Even when the lad has escaped the normal menace of school life he is not safe when he goes into the world and mixes in business with men of all types. A young relative of mine, who was for a time a clerk in a foreign bank in London, was asked by a middle-aged superior : " Have you ever been with a prostitute ? " When the young man replied " No," the older man remarked : " Then it is time you showed that you are a man." Such suggestion is by no means uncommon.

Probably only a few debased men deliberately incite youths to loose habits ; but there is, in many business houses, an atmosphere of misdirected sexuality, and a persistent tendency to coarse and indecent conversation and jesting. Nor is this tendency inconspicuous in work- rooms, factories and offices where girls are employed. I have evidence that a vulgar appraisement of sex love and the habit of loose talking are prevalent in many v/ork-



places and large stores. We must not severely condemn those who err in this way through ignorance, bad nurture and a pernicious environment. Few of us are entirely immune from this taint of vulgarity.

It is almost impossible to exercise complete supervision over the selection of companions for our sons and daughters. Any interference in this matter on the part of the parent is likely to be resented by the boy or girl entering upon the adolescent stage ; and such resentment is calculated to impair the confidence that should exist between youth and age. If we are scrupulous in retaining the good faith and affection of the children in our charge we shall find that they seldom develop close secretiveness concerning their friendships. A discriminating parent will refrain from prohibiting association with a particular comrade until he or she is well assured that the influence is detrimental. There should be kindly insistence on the fact that the best and most companionable youths are the healthy-minded, the naturally and rationally inquiring, and .those possessing a diversity of interests and wholesome hobbies.

It is always safe to encourage boys in an ideal of physical vigour, endurance, animal courage and the fair-play or " sporting " sense. Although sport and athletics may sometimes bulk too greatly in the youthful outlook on life, there is not the least doubt that rigorous games, with their inviolable rules and the principle of playing fair in all sports, conduce to a feeling for justice, generosity towards a rival and a sense of honour. This ideal of always " playing straight " may be an aid in the temptations of the flesh. We ought to instil the idea of bravery and hardiness com- bined with compassion for the weak and a zeal for socialised living.

There may be still some persons of both sexes who think that a young man should sow his wild oats. There are, however, harmful and harmless excitements and dissipa- tions. It is hardly true that, do what we may, a young man will go his own way and flirt and trifle with vice. If the sowing of wild oats means, as it usually does, the seduction of girls of an inferior status, and the substitution of coarse sensual satisfactions for psychic and uplifting love


during early manhood, the process stands utterly con- demned on ethical, social and hygienic grounds. On the other hand, a too tight curb on restive youth, whether male or female, frequently fails to restrain. We can " shelter" or restrict to a dangerous degree. The attempted suppres- sion and the undue repression of the primitiveness of healthy boyhood or girlhood may be fatal to morality, sanity of mind and soundness of body. All vigorous young creatures crave excitement, adventure, the courting of dangers, the expression of a high vitality.

Boys must " run wild " on sound biological lines. We have become civilised, urbanised, and half tamed too rapidly for some of our fundamental, savage, ancestral longings to adapt themselves. It is terrible to reflect upon the consequences of a denial of ample playtime for the vast multitude of the young among the people. The neglect of life for the eternal grindstone is a serious factor of spiritual atrophy and of physical deterioration. It is not all of life to labour. Stanley Hall is right in his view that the majority of adolescents do not play enough. This is especially true in regard to girls. For we must remember that the athletic girls of the high schools and the colleges are only a small part of the population. For the mass of men and women, overwork and too prolonged work is a sheer necessity under existing conditions.

Debarred from healthful play amid the soothing and beneficial influences of nature, tens of thousands of young men, confined in reeking cities, discover no other outlet for their superfluous energy and their passion for adventure than drinking, betting and promiscuous or " wild " love. This sowing of wild oats is not an outcome of idleness, as among the rich. It is a reaction, a protest against the drab monotony of poorly paid and incessant toil in more or less uncongenial surroundings. For the city toiler there are long spells when it is hardly possible to escape, even for a few hours, into pure air and sunshine. In the vast com- plication of modern industrialism we may trace the source of much sexual abnormality and degeneration.


The attitude of society towards sex cannot at present be considered favourable to youthful development on moral, physical or racial lines. There is no definite ethic, no supreme standard, and no fine idealism when we examine the minds of men and women as a mass. Nothing can be more bewildering to an earnest adolescent boy or girl than the views and judgments of society upon questions of the erotic or sexual life. The conflicting opinions and the inconsistencies in practice are innumerable and utterly chaotic.

There is the view of " the man of the world," which is chiefly a mere matter of sex gratification. There is the almost rare appraisement of love as something superbly uplifting and ennobling ; and there is the extremely common estimate of sexuality as something unworthy, animal throughout, a force that must be suppressed as a shameful lust, a mark of man's low spiritual state, a retribution for the Fall in Eden, and a perpetual menace to purity of thought and conduct. There is the ascetic recoil that impels men and women to seek safety and to conserve chastity by voluntary isolation from the world, and self- immolation and emotional mutilation. There is the gross, callous, entirely lascivious evaluation of sexual love. Allied with this, though unconsciously, is the prudery that censures and would even suppress all examination of the strongest instinct and most powerful psychic force in humanity. The lecherous and the prudish are both the foes of light, morality and social happiness, though they may refuse to recognise one another.

Society tells the youth one day that it is absolutely essential for his well-being that he shall preserve an inviolate purity. To-morrow the bewildered young man hears that if it were not for the prostitute there could be no ' ' pure women "; that the courtesan is a necessity in all civilised states ; and that the majority of men actively support prostitution. He is told in the same breath that we are a monogamic people, and that the ordered polygamy of the Oriental races is abominable. He learns that love is


the one thing that cannot be bartered, and he discovers that quite a large host of respectable women are reared in the tradition that " a good match " means a marriage with an affluent partner.

For a thoughtful youth or maiden the attitude of every- day society seems a medley of amazing contradictions. We teach our children to honour motherhood ; but the legally unmarried mother we hunt from our doors, and condemn her to misery and infamy, while we cruelly visit her offence upon her innocent offspring, depriving the child of certain essential civic rights. We affect that love is beyond price, but we award " damages " in cash to the husbands of unfaithful spouses. We teach that affection between the sexes is spontaneous, irresistible and beyond our will ; but if two are joined without this natural bond of union, and wish to sever the link, we exhort them in the name of religion and purity to remain in unnatural, socially disruptive pseudo-conjugality. We avoid any social con- tact with " the fallen woman/' but invite the lowest fallen of men, be they well bred and mannered, to our domestic circles.

How can a young man or young woman mingling in ordinary, respectable, conventional society frame, from such a conglomeration of conflicting estimates, any sound, practical code for the conduct of the love life ?

Common-sense, intuition and experience gradually aid many in forming a rough-and-ready valuation of love and marriage. But how many there are who pass through life compassless and rudderless upon a turbulent sea. The ways of nature are obscured from a host through the dark maze of ignorance constructed by society. What foresight, what protection, what guidance can there be without knowledge ?

It has been said that it is life, not books, that influence thought or corrupt morals. Undoubtedly words spoken by those to whom respect or admiration is accorded are often more potent than a printed page from a work of superior wisdom. Most young people gain their views of love and sex from the spoken opinions of their associates.

The ideas begin to form in childhood in the home, and are modified, elaborated, revised or rejected when the


restraint of home life is relaxed. Society represents many liaracter and mind ; but it is no exaggeration to say that the majority of men and women, not excluding the reputed well-educated, are blind leaders of the blind in questions concerning the evolution, physiology, psychology, hygiene and ethics of sex. The great preponderating are not equipped with adequate knowledge of a hitherto almost universally neglected study.

There can be little validity in the counsels of guides who do not know the way through the jungle. In matters of sex the average man and woman have not thought it worth while to learn the way. They have relied on " instinct " : a very valuable possession for a tiger, both in hunting and in love, but an asset that man loses with a steady regularity of impairment as he becomes civilised and mechanical. It is obvious that instinct in sex still impels man. But it does not tell him always and un- erringly how he should act. The human mother has to be taught how to care for her young.

In the important question of pre-marital chastity the educated world has no clear direction and very little help to offer the young man. " Purity " is inculcated as a high virtue, especially in women ; but the term is never plainly interpreted by ethical counsellors, nor is the best way of attaining to pureness in living pointed out to ardent, strongly sexed youths. One member of the community will maintain urgently that prolonged sexual abstinence is never injurious to body or mind, while another will refer to its dangers and hint of insanity and impotence as probable results. Some will assert that strict continence is always easy for women ; others will affirm that the periodic arising of sexual desire in woman places her practically in line with man in amative inclination.

Realising that both " natural instinct " and the advice of the uninformed fail when put to the test, it becomes imperative to call in the aid of scientific knowledge. And this is precisely that which the average man and woman lacks. The influences that reach the youth or the maiden through association with ordinary society are therefore questionable. At the best the counsels and prescriptions are dubious, and at the worst they are injurious and debasing.


It is necessary to warn the young against this risk. An impressionable boy or girl may suffer a deplorable distortion of mental and moral vision through imbibing common unreflective opinions upon the emotion of love and the relations of the sexes.

It must always be remembered that knowledge of sex is frequently in the nature of an astounding revelation, and that shock or revulsion may occur in the case of an entirely unprepared mind. The sudden awakening to the facts of the sex nature, when shock is the outcome, may mark the beginning of hysteria or some other form of neurosis. There is full proof of this peril in the analysis of the newer school of psychotherapists.


The drama, the variety stage and the cinema all con- tribute to the sex enlightenment of the young. There is for some persons a strong sensuous appeal in the stage, but this does not by any means nullify the educational and reformative factor of the play. We cannot discuss classic opera as an aphrodisiac (sexual excitant) because desire is aroused in some by music, or because certain members of the audience are moved erotically by the display of the female form in the ballet. The appreciation for aesthetics is doubtless linked up with the sex instinct, and song, painting and fervid poetry may be regarded as sublimated forms of primary yearnings. But this association does not commonly enter into the conscious mind.

When the stage vulgarises the emotion of love and derides sexual idealism, the influence may be distinctly evil. Thus a flippant presentation of infidelity in marriage, or the treating of vice as a jest, may act very injuriously upon frail and unbalanced minds. The potentiality for good in the drama will scarcely be disputed by the thoughtful ; nor will the power for ill be denied. It may be noted here that the standard of official stage censorship, which forbade moral plays because the theme was the social consequences of venereal disease, and sanctioned foolish farces, in which the ideal of chastity was flagrantly ridiculed and cleanness of living derided, has changed within the past few years.


The realities of war seem to have convinced many of the vital realities of life in times of peace. There is a tendency now to convert the stage into a pulpit.

The contention that an exhibition of semi-nudity of women on the stage in revues, pantomimes and spectacles fosters lust in the beholders has a foundation in fact. But, as many sex psychologists are agreed, it is very hard to say what will not, or may not, give rise to libidinous thought in specific cases. If a sight of the sea can arouse amorous emotion in one individual, and a melody by Chopin in another, we can scarcely affirm that feminine charms on the stage are without their influence. On the other hand, the banning of alleged indecent clothing on the stage and elsewhere has been attempted by authority in most civilised countries. Invariably the edicts have shown no result in a reformation of public morality.

This consideration brings us to the difficult question of the practical moral value of " policing " public entertain- ments. A too rigid intervention seems always the source of more indecorum in secret places. This reaction appears to be inevitable. The craving for the forbidden is extremely potent in a large number of human beings. The reform of public recreation is a matter of education and has little relation to Acts of Parliament. When parents are really awakened to the necessity for safeguarding youth against any sight or speech that lowers instead of elevating respect for sex, there will be no public demand for ugly or vicious forms of amusement. The " suggestive " ceases to attract those who understand the sacred nature of the mysteries of love and life.

We must avoid the Puritanism that inspires reckless revolt and leads to defiant excess, and the licence which outrages our finer aspiration. Some of the songs of the music halls are not those we would choose for our children's singing. Many are harmless, others vulgar and ineffably foolish, and some undeniably detrimental. Nevertheless the popular place of amusement must be encouraged almost at any cost. There should be more halls of music, song and laughter.

The cinematograph, like the stage, may be made a very valuable instrument for public diversion and instruction.


There is no doubt that boys have been incited to adventure and even to crime by impressions gained at picture shows. We are, however, apt to forget that the representations of heroism often exert a moral influence. In America an inquiry among teachers and children has proved that the cinema pictures have, in some cases, stimulated unselfish- ness, kindness, compassion and heroism.



THE influence of the written word on the mind of the young is beyond question. Many children derive their earliest impressions of love between the sexes from fairy stories and old legends. It has been pointed out that the erotic pass- ages in The Arabian Nights may have an injurious effect upon the young. This objection might be applied to a number of the classics of our literature, including the plays of Shakespeare and Paradise Lost. I have questioned a few intelligent men and women concerning the alleged danger of The Arabian Nights, and their view is that the passages under discussion made no impression upon them in childhood, the consensus being that children are apt to skip, or give little attention to, descriptions of love- making.

There is, however, no doubt that crude enlightenment may be gained from the Bible. There is considerable testi- mony that children read some parts of the Old Testament with intense curiosity, and that they often question parents and teachers as to their meaning. A highly intelligent lady tells me that on her first visit to a Sunday school she was told the story of the Garden of Eden. The statement " Adam knew Eve " puzzled her, as it has puzzled other children who have no acquaintance with archaic forms of speech. The teacher maladroitly refused to answer the question. On the next Sunday the interrogation was re- peated by the little pupil and an answer again evaded. The inquiry was resumed on the third Sunday, with the same result. " After that," says my informant, " I thought the te:.-lvr a very silly person, and I refused to attend the Sunday school in the future."

References to the rite of circumcision and to emasculation



sometimes arouse the curiosity of children of both sexes. I recall the case of a schoolmate who, during a Scripture lesson, asked the master the meaning of the word " eunuch." The teacher suggested that the boy should ask his father. Boys and girls are often interested in the account of the birth of Esau, the story of Ammon and Tamar, Joseph and Potiphar's wife, Samson and Delilah, and passages in the Mosaic Code referring to sexual hygiene.

Allusions to marriage in the Epistles of St Paul often cause juvenile curiosity and give rise to questioning. Thoughtful children ask for explanations of such dicta as " It is better to marry than to burn," and " Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Most parents can re- member instances of such desire for knowledge among young children.

The habit of searching the Bible for these passages is fairly common in both boys' and girls' schools. Frequently the stories are repeated to other children. The danger is that the interest in the narratives may be frivolous, vulgar or lascivious ; and the recognition of this danger has even led to misguided proposals that the Bible should be expur- gated for the use of children. The undiscerning advocates of " revised " or bowdlerised classics always lose sight of the fact that all expurgation is apt to kindle a more ardent curiosity. There is a desire to read the deleted sentences. Thus a book that is intrinsically harmless may be made harmful.

That the Bible contains condemnation of fornication and other offences which are mysteries to the mind of the young child does not appear to be a sound reason for placing it in an index of unpermissible juvenile books. Undoubtedly there are references to abnormal sexual practice and to more than one form of perversion. Sooner or later the child will almost certainly, in his journey through life, en- counter actual cases of these vices or abnormalities. The honest and ethical course for the instructor would seem to be a tactful, sympathetic heed to the child's inquiries. The classics, sacred or otherwise, should be read under parental or pedagogic direction. There are passages in the master- pieces of literature that may be read in the wrong spirit, and set up a detrimental attitude to sex questions. Much


depends on the idiosyncrasy of the reader, but more (K pends on the insight and good sense of the guardian or tutor.

It is well to explain to children that the forms of expres- sion in speech ;n:d writing change from age to age. A word which has a coarse or suggestive implication to-day is often a word that was in the common polite use among our ancestors. Although some few of the classics of old must be classed as " erotica," and are likely to stimulate a youthful curiosity, the great mass, despite plainness of jphrase or coarseness in the modern connotation, are pro- foundly moral in influence.

No sane teacher would ban Shakespeare by reason of isolated, incidental passages, nor proscribe Paradise Lost on account of the description of the nuptials of Adam and Eve. The general tone and the elevated purpose of a volume or a classical legend should be explained to the young reader ; otherwise, in certain instances, the child may con- ceive an opinion that the author directly aimed at impro- priety. This is an almost inevitable risk in the instance of young people who have been reared in the prudish attitude towards sex. The naturally wholesome, sympathetically and rationally directed mind of a boy or girl very rarely hankers pruriently for the merely sensual or the simply obscene in literature. The chief aim of the teacher is to maintain a healthy curiosity, a real spirit of inquiry for the sake of knowledge.

It has been said that life, and not books, corrupts. This is but a part truth. Sensitive, imaginative, intelligent children are often deeply influenced by what they read. It is impossible to doubt the effect of false and vulgar fiction upon the characters of an immense number of the young of both sexes. Stirring sea tales inspire boys with a yearning for the sailor's life ; stories of battles and " glorious war " foster longings for adventures on the field, and the lives of highwaymen, brigands, pirates and intrepid criminals stimulate to example in numerous instances. Impression- able girls are highly affected by love stories. Many en- deavour to mould themselves from the models presented in cheap novelettes and ephemeral fiction. Books foster day- dreaming in both sexes. The imaginative often try to


personify in themselves the heroes, heroines and even the villains of romance.

There is no question that some books are detrimental to a sound sex development. Among these are the obviously indecent productions, usually sold by stealth, and certain conventional works of fiction which are often widely recommended as " safe " or " clean." A novel that purports a portrayal of love, and entirely ignores the passional element and the physical basis of attraction, may so utterly mislead a young girl that she is in dire risk of marrying under a whole mass of misunderstanding and fallacious conjecture. The " girl's book " often distorts life in the most grotesque fashion. The tendency to " spiritualise " human nature is carried to a ludicrous extreme. Manliness in these stories has very little resem- blance to actual manliness. Such fiction retards or mis- directs the sex development of many adolescent girls. It is extremely doubtful whether any tale that is false to life can be described as safe reading for the young.

The persistent reading of love stories, with highly volup- tuous or so-called "suggestive" passages, is one of the factors of the psychic sexual development of both sexes. That the artistic handling of a great passion should be impassioned goes without saying, and the greatest artists have shown the overwhelming force of love. Many of the lesser novelists, whose aim is to appeal to the vast crowd of average men and women, and not to the discriminating and intellectual, overstress the sensual side of the sex relation- ship. On the testimony of library assistants and book- sellers, these highly savoured erotic novels are read chiefly by young women. Three to four of these stories are react in a week by a large number of leisured women. This con- stant titillation of the mind with amorous images is a vicarious form of gratification of the amative instinct and mast be classed among the auto-erotic satisfactions.

This inordinate absorption of very stimulating fiction has its psychic and physical effects. The reader is in a frequent condition of erethism. In some morbid cases the reading of erotic stories becomes an actual substitute for normal appeasement. Such continued hyperstimulation of the imagination involves a tax on the cerebral and nervous


system. It is sexually unhygienic. The mind should not Juvll constantly upon the sex impulse. Intellectually this intemperance in sensuous novel-reading is disastrous. The habit of lazily skimming books of fiction destroys concen- tration and disables the reader from reading any serious literature with close attention and interest. This mental tippling is a widespread custom among idle women.

The theme of modern love as developed by Thomas Hardy, Arnold Bennett, H. G. Wells, Galsworthy, Beres- ford, Cannan, Mackenzie and a few other thoughtful novelists of to-day is of very considerable service in sex education. Whatever the respective aesthetic defects of these writers may be, they write with that knowledge and sincerity that is the essence of ethical and artistic morality. There may be dissent from the gentle pessimism of Hardy's Jude the Obscure, or from the social ethics of Beresford's Jacob Stahl, but there is the clear ring of truth in the un- folding of the love or " human " interest. There is no sensuality for its own sake in the work of these writers, and no futile evasion of the fact that sex love cannot be divorced from the senses.

Instead of the policy of " the locked bookcase," there should be helpful guidance of the young in reading. Children and adolescents should be encouraged to talk about the books that interest them. The banning of certain volumes may be necessary in the case of young children. There is, however, always grave risk in severe prohibitions. If a wholesome taste is fostered the child will not be attracted by the baser kind of fiction, and will reject the pornographic and the unsesthetic. It is impossible to banish the emotional and erotic stimuli from the life of an adolescent boy or girl. We can diminish the excitations and supply fine inspirations in the place of mere lubricity by an appeal to the aesthetic sense and the emotion.

A reverential attitude towards sex should be inculcated by all possible means. Children should be taught that in- decency is ugly or blasphemous. The most beautiful naked statue can be made vulgar by the addition of a single article of dress, and a lovely sonnet marred and soiled by the sub- stitution of a single word. But in avoiding the Scylla of indecency we must always be careful lest we fall into the


Charybdis of prudery. The fanatical priest who went to public museums in Germany, and defaced the generative organs of human statues with a hammer rendered a service to the indecent by his insane prudishness. Thus the cen- soring of certain passages in books may have the same result. The most cautious discrimination is essential if we would avoid stimulation when our object is repression. A veiled fact may be a source of danger, though unconcealed it may prove a potent moral force.


In the introductory chapter I have referred to eminent modern opinion upon the need for sex education. The specific educational volume upon this subject is a quite recent product, but not without precedents. Sexual hygiene has been associated with the great theologies. Moses, Mahomet, Zoroaster, some of the Christian Fathers and Luther laid down moral and hygienic rules for their disciples and followers. As we have seen, the initiation rites of puberty among primitive people are of the nature of sexual education. In the Karma Sutra of Vatsyayana we find the Brahminical " Rules of Love " explicitly framed for the guidance of youth. The Catholic Adveniat Regnum Tuum, a modern work, contains counsels for the direction of the sex impulse in the young.

Scattered through the writings of social reformers and moralists of the past are pleas for training the young in the conduct of the sexual life. Bloch mentions Rousseau, Salzmann, Basedow and Jean Paul as celebrated peda- gogues who advocated the enlightenment of youth at an early age. During the past fifty years in Europe and America the output of books especially designed for the young has been very considerable. In France, Germany, Austria, Russia and the Scandinavian countries the ques- tion of imparting this necessary knowledge has come into the scope of sociology and pedagogics.

America has taken a leading part in the crusade against ignorance, and some of the best contributions to the discus- sion and the soundest constructive volumes are being pro- duced in the United States.


It is inevitable that unqualified and ill-equipped writers have contributed to the large and growing library of works upon sex problems and sex education. In the main, the authors ot the inadequate books and the " scare literature" with a sentimental, religious tone are actuated by humane motives. A proportion of the publications are, however, manifestly issued as " good sellers," and appear with catch- penny titles, and in somewhat flamboyant, illustrated covers. Others are sent out by quacks who advertise drugs or mechanical remedies for those who have " lost man- hood," or " shattered nervous systems," etc., through " self- abuse " and sexual vice.

The uninformed parent, clergyman or teacher desiring a means of enlightening themselves or young people in their care often purchase the much-advertised books or pamphlets in good faith. We must first teach the teacher. A volume bearing the name of a clergyman or a medical practitioner as author is not necessarily reliable throughout. Some ministers and philanthropists who write with fervour on these subjects are entirely untrained in physiology and psychology. All exhortation must be supported by biological knowledge and an enlightened understand- ing of human nature. Frequently the misstatements in books of this class actually defeat the ends of purity and morality. There is harmful ignorance as well as pernicious vice. Either of these factors militate against moral truth.

Some of the books by medical authors of a past school of thought are practically discredited nowadays by scientific criticism and the growth of accumulated knowledge and experience. For example, the once almost classic Dr Acton, author of Prostitution, The Reproductive Organs, and other volumes, can only be read cautiously and with due regard for his strong preconceptions and personal bias. Acton, who wrote about fifty years ago, denies all erotic physical response in women, and denounces any ascription of sexual desire to the sex as " a vile aspersion." l A medical man who is so blind to the facts of everyday life can scarcely be accepted as a guide for teachers. Such a

1 See criticism by Havelock Ellis in "The Sexual Impulse in Women " in Studies in the Psychology of Sex.


pronouncement read by a totally uninstructed and uncritical young woman might prove in after years a source of pro- found emotional and nervous disequilibrium.

While the most valid contributions to the study of the sexual problem are the work of physicians, there are still some medical writers who manifest deficient psychological insight and a restraining respect for traditional interpreta- tions. Dr Cowan, in The Science of a New Life, formerly much read, and quoted to-day by lay authors, asserts several hypotheses as though they were established truths, and falls into curious hygienic errors which later and more scientific investigators have entirely corrected.

The Self and Sex Series, published lately, and very widely circulated, contains volumes by Dr S. Stall and Dr Mary Wood Allen for the guidance of youth. The excellent moral enthusiasm of the writers of What a Young Boy Ought to Know and Almost a Man is fully apparent. Unfortunately in the first book Dr Stall tends to overstatement in his zeal for emphasising the evils that he seeks to remedy. His method of inspiring alarm has been shrewdly criticised in Dr Robie's Rational Sex Ethics and in the Rev. H. Northcote's Christianity and Sex Problems.

The question of the right book is not an easy one. H. G. Wells has said : " The printed word may be such a quiet counsellor." This is quite true. The difficulty is to find the really sound and informative counsellor. Titles, con- tents and the names of the writers may all mislead the seeker for counsel. We must always bear in mind that a vast number of men and women are supremely ignorant of the whole question, or possess only the crudest knowledge. Often a bias against any heed to the subject has to be broken down. This resistance hinders some from any attempt at enlightenment of the mind, and places them entirely remote from any chance of usefulness in imparting information to the young.

The following list of educational volumes for teachers and pupils is by no means a complete bibliography. It contains some of the chief and accredited books on the subject, with a few comments upon them.





Studies in the Psychology oj Sex. By HAVELOCK ELLIS. 6 vols. F. A. Davis Company, Philadelphia. The price of all but the sixth volume is 2 dollars per vol., and the sixth 3 dollars.

Vol. I. 7 he Evolution of Modesty, Sexual Periodicity and Auto- erotism.

The author's contribution to the discussion of auto-erotic practices should be very valuable to physicians, schoolmaster! and parents.

Vol. II. Sexual Inversion (homosexuality).

Vol. III. Analysis oj the Sexual Impulse.

Containing investigation of the impulse in both sexes.

Vol. IV. Sexual Selection in Man.

Vol. V. Erotic Symbolism.

Treats various perversions of the sex impulse from the scientific, social and remedial point of view.

Vol. VI. Sex in Relation to Society.

This excellent volume might be read first. It discusses "The Mother and Child," "Sexual Education," "The Valuation of Sexual Love," " The Function of Chastity," " The Problem of Sexual Abstinence," " Prostitution," " The Conquest of the Venereal Diseases," "Sexual Morality," "Marriage," "The Art of Love " and " The Science of Procreation."

This series has a wide reputation, and is invaluable to jurists, legislators, teachers, and earnest social reformers. It is not designed for young readers, and may be classed among the foremost " advanced " inquiries into the sex question. For the thoughtful general reader the sixth volume can be highly recommended as a work of great sociological value.

The Task of Social Hygiene HAVELOCK ELLIS. Constable, London; Chapters on the "Position of Women," "Sex Education, "The Falling Birthrate."

Man and Woman. HAVELOCK ELLIS. Scott, London. 6s.

This should be a text-book for all teachers. An extremely interesting study of the secondary sexual characters and their social import.

The Sexual Life of Our Time. IWAN BLOCK, M.D. Trans, from the sixth German edition by Dr M. Eden Paul, M.D. 1908. Rebman, London. 2 is.

An advanced scientific work of 761 pages covering a large field in the psychology and physiology of sex. It contains social and ethical reflections and a mass of information.


The Sexual Question. Prof. AUGUST FORBL, Zurich University.

One of the standard books on the subject. An exhaustive inquiry.

The Sexual Life of Woman. Dr KISCH.

Useful to the medical practitioner and school teacher. A full examination and hygienic counsel.

Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory. Prof. SIGMUND FREUD. Vienna. English translation, London.

The investigation of the sexual impulse in childhood is of high importance. Freud's contributions to psychology have aroused a wide scientific interest and provided material for future research.

Adolescence. Prof. W. STANLEY HALL. 2 vols. Appleton, U.S.A. An indispensable work for parents, teachers and all persons concerned with the physical, mental and moral health of the young.

Analytical Psychology. Prof. JUNG.

This volume contains a very instructive account of the psychic-sexual development in a little girl, which affords a lesson for parents.

The Evolution of Sex. Profs. PATRICK GEDDES and A. THOMSON. Scott. 43. 6d.

A plainly written treatise on embryology, reproduction and metabolism of the body.

Sex. Authors as above, is. 6d.

A useful volume for the instructor and for adolescents.

Problems of Sex. Authors as above. Cassell, London. 6d. A thoughtful booklet.

Youth and Sex. Part I., Girls. By Dr MARY SCHARLIEB. Part II., Boys. By F. ARTHUR SIBLY, M.A. Cassell. 6d.

Sound hygienic instruction and a discussion of auto erotism in schools by a schoolmaster.

Embryology The Beginnings of Life. Prof. GERALD LEIGHTON, M.D. Cassell. 6d.

A handy little book for teachers.

The Great Unmarried. WALTER M. GALLICHAN. Laurie, London. 7 s. 6d.

An inquiry into the causes of celibacy. Chapters on " Adolescent Restraint and Pre-Marital Celibacy," " The Sway of Marriage" and "The Uplifting of Marriage." References to sex education and training of the young.

Sexual Ethics. Prof. MICHEL. Scott. 6s. A very instructive discussion.

Sex Education. Prof. MAURICE BIGELOW, Columbia University. Macmillan, London. 53.

This should be in the library of everyone engaged in educa-


tion or the care of the young. A very strong plea for sexual knowledge as a means of race regeneration.

Reproduction and Sex Hygiene. Prof. STANLEY HALL. A sound essay by a foremost educational authority.

Towards Racial Health. NORAH MARCH, B.Sc. Routledge. 3-5. 6d. A well- written, plain account of reproductive processes, well adapted as a hand-book for teachers and parents. Practical and useful.

Training of the Young in the Laws of Sex. CANON LYTTELTON. Longman, London.

An earnest, soundly written plea by the former headmaster of Eton College.

Teaching of Sex Hygiene. PRINCE MORROW, M.D.

This is the work of an American physician which has been highly recommended.

Sex Education. J. WILE, M.D., Dumeld, U.S.A.

Problems of Sex Education. EXNER.

By an American investigator of repute.

Rational Sex Ethics. W. F. ROBIE, M.D. Badger, Boston, U.S.A.


The publishers announce that this volume is only sold to members of the medical and legal profession. It is, however, a very serviceable work for teachers. The tone is ethically earnest, and the investigation of the sexual lives of a large number of normal, intelligent men and women is highly in- structive as a basis for inquiry into moral questions of sex.

Most of the volumes in the above list are for adult studious readers. They are chief y too advanced, in the scientific sense, for young readers, and are addressed to mature men and women who seek honestly for knowledge in the domain of sexual psychology and ethics. It is generally not advisable that young people, in the first period of adolescence at least, should read pathological treatises, or descriptions of the grosser forms of sexual perversion. The brighter side of the sex impulse e.g. the normal and healthy should be revealed first to the mind of youth.


The following books by W. STANLEY HALL are of high value :

Chums, Youth and Life Problems (for girls).

These may be given to boys and girls of the age of fourteen.

The Human Flower is a simple booklet designed for young children, though not entirely accurate scientifically.

Healthy Boyhood. ARTHUR TREWBY.

This deals with auto-erotic habits. Havelock Ellis describes It as "a little book of wholesome tendency."


Almost Fourteen. M. A. WARREN. 1892.

Although highly praised by such an earnest sociologist as Ellis, this book was actually condemned in America in 1897. It has been reissued " with most of its best portions omitted " (Ellis).

Preparation for Marriage. HEAPE. Cassell, London.

This is the title of a book by a well-known anthropologist.

Personal Information for Girls, For Young Women, For Boys and For Young Men are the titles of four booklets by E. EDWARDS. Anglo-American Book Co., Wimbledon, London, S.W. is.

Girl and Woman. Dr CAROLINE LATIMER.

May be placed in the hands of intelligent girls of fifteen.

The Human Body. A. KEITH, M.D. Williams & Norgate, London, is. 3d. A good introduction to physiology.

Youth's Noble Path. F. J. GOULD. Also for adolescents : On the Threshold of Sex.

The Romance of the Human Body. Dr MACFIE.

The poetical and scientific method of teaching physiology.

The Courtship of Animals. W. PYCRAFT.

This is a fascinating and instructive volume by an ardent naturalist. It may be recommended to adolescents.

The Childhood of Animals. Prof. CHALMERS MITCHELL.


Volumes on Parentage, Heredity, Eugenics, the Care of Children and Conjugal Hygiene are numerous. Among a large number, the following may be selected as suitable for an ordinary intelligent reader of either sex :

Human Elements in Sex. Dr ELIZABETH BLACKWELL. 1894. Counsel to Parents. Dr ELIZABETH BLACKWELL.

Differences in the Nervous Organisation of Man and Woman. H. CAMPBELL, M.D.

Man and Woman. HAVELOCK ELLIS. A valuable volume.

Healthy Marriage. G. T. WRENCH, M.D. Plain counsels on hygiene.

Health and Disease in Relation to Marriage. SENATOR and KAMINER.

The Art of Taking a Wife. P. MANTEGAZZA.

Woman and Marriage. MARGARET STEPHENS.

Before I Marry. Dr T. S. CLOUS TON.

The Problem of Race Regeneration. HAVELOCK ELLIS. Booklet.


and Race Regeneration. Dr MARY SCHARLIEB. Natural Inhailitncc. FRANCIS GALTON. Parenthood and Race Culture. C. W. SALEEBY, M.D. Health in the Nursery. W. ASHBY. The Physical Life of Woman. G. H. NAPHEYS, M.D. Genetics. W. BATESON, M.A. Le Mariage. Dr P. GARNIER (French). Gamier Freres, Paris.

The Psychology of Marriage. WALTER M. GALLICHAN. Laurie & Co., London. 53. net.

An examination of the sex instinct, counsels for husbands, wives and parents, and discussion of conjugal hygiene, pre- marital restraint and some aberrations of the sexual impulse.

Causation of Sex. E. R. DAWSON. 6s. Heredity. J. A. S. WATSON. Jack, London, yd.

Love and Marriage. ELLEN KEY. Introduction by Havelock Ellis. Putnam.

Nature of Man. Prof. E. METCHNIKOFF. (References to sex

disharmonies.) The Changing Girl. CAROLINE W. LATIMER. is. Fleming Revell Co.

Married Love. Dr MARIE STOPES. Preface by Dr Jessie Murray. 1918. Fifield, 53.

Offers plain counsel to men and women, and unfolds a theory of periodicity in women which demands attention.

Human Embryology. Prof. KBITH.


Adolescence. STEPHEN PAGET. Constable, London, yd. A sensible pamphlet.

Problems of Sex. JEAN FINOT (trans.) Strongly Feminist.

1 "he Spirit of Youth and the City Streets. JANE ADDAMS. An earnest appeal.

Sex and Society. W. I. THOMAS.

How to Love. WALTER M. GALLICHAN. Pearson, London, is. 3d. Addressed chiefly to youth. Chapters on the Nature of Man and Woman, Marriage as an Art, Chastity, Parentage, etc. Prostitution in Europe. FLEXNER. Hygiene of School Life. CROWLEY. Education in Sex Hygiene. R. N. WILSON.

Sex Antagonism. W. HEAPE.

A careful scientific inquiry.


Psychology of Woman. LAURA MARHOLM. Mental Trials of Sex. HELEN B. THOMPSON. Women and Labour. OLIVE SCHREINER.


The Grip of the Venereal Microbe. W. N. WILLIS. Laurie, London. 35. 6d.

Plainly written account of the prevalence, dangers, symptoms and modern treatment of veneral diseases.

The Psychopathology of Hysteria. C. D. Fox, M.D.

Sexual Disabilities of Man. COOPER.

Evolution of the Diseases of Women. BALLS-HEADLEY.

Mentally Deficient Children. G. SHUTTLEWORTH and W. POTTS. Third edition. 1910.

Defective Children. Dr G. T. N. KELYNACK, M.D.

Mother's Manual of Children's Diseases. J. M. DUNCAN. London. 2S. 6d.

Social Diseases and Marriage. P. A. MORROW. 155.

Sterility in Woman. J. M. DUNCAN.

Woman in Health and Sickness. R. BELL.

Hygiene in the Nursery. L. STARR.

Care of Infants. MILDRED BURGESS, M.D. Lewis, London, is.

The pamphlets issued by The National Council for Combating Venereal Diseases (President Lord Sydenham, and Vice- Presidents Sir Thomas Barlow and the Bishop of Southwark) will be found very useful for parents and instructors. A complete list of the publications may be obtained from the General Secretary, 8 1 Avenue Chambers, Southampton Row, London, W.C.i. Ignorance the Great Enemy, by C. Osborne, and The Duty of Knowledge, by A. Maude Royden, are judiciously written warnings against the perils of sexual disease. Sir Thomas Barlow and Sir Malcolm Morris wrote The Problem of Venereal Diseases : How Ministers of Religion Can Help. Dr Mary Scharlieb has written a booklet, What Mothers must tell their Children. This is excellent propaganda literature written by expert authorities, and the cost of the pamphlets is only a few penc.



THROUGHOUT the preceding chapters stress has been laid upon the dangers of a lack of knowledge of the nature and development of the erotic impulse in childhood and youth, and the need for devising the best system of instruction. There may be, however, some readers who still under- estimate the perils of ignorance. They may desire concrete and specific instances of the psychic and physical accidents resulting from a want of practical scientific enlightenment. The traditional fallacy and misunderstunding that obscure the subject tend to the assumption that the enthusiastic advocates of sex education overstate the evils of ignorance. It is sometimes urged that the average citizen, guided by " natural instinct," is not confronted with problems of sex. If we examine this view cautiously, we shall discover that the mental and moral conflicts arising from the profoundest of the emotions are often transferred or manifested in vicarious or symbolic forms. A person may attribute depression of mind, nervous symptoms, sleep- lessness, anxiety, and bodily functional disturbances to overstrain in work, uncongenial surroundings or pecuniary worry, when these are merely the contributing factors. The basic cause of the trouble is often far from the sufferer's consciousness. Doubtless, the trials and worries of the conscious mind aggravate the nervousness and contribute to the depression, though frequently these are less important than the subject suspects. The fact is that very few indeed can possibly escape entirely from the psychic amative conflict in modern civilised life.



The primary source of a psychoneurosis, or of hysteria, is traumatic e.g. arising from physical shock, or injury, or mental insults. The symptoms may not show themselves immediately after the lesion, but may be induced later on by a " liberating stimulus." As an analogy, we may cite the instance of the patient who believes that his rheumatism is due to lying down on wet grass. But many persons lie on wet ground without contracting rheumatism. Exposure to damp may act as the liberating stimulus for microbes in the body, but the getting wet is not the cause of the complaint.

Shell-shock may act as a liberating stimulus for a neurotic injury of old standing, which may not be even suspected. One man in the trenches is scarcely alarmed by an explosion that may shatter another man's nerves. For one woman the loss of a child means a veiling of the sun and the deepest despondency ; for a less affectable woman it is a transitory grief, and for the abnormal it may not be even a cause of sorrow.

A curious and .incomprehensible obsession may arise, as an echo of a far-off childish impulse, under a sufficiently powerful stimulus. There is no doubt that an early psychic insult or shock often produces in predisposed individuals marked perturbations, which, though not strictly normal, cannot be classed as morbid.

We have to admit that the strain and complexity of modern life in the civilised communities is a fruitful agent of mental and nervous disturbance and of actual insanity. It may be that " love troubles " are not the commonest source of actual cerebral derangement, but there is no question that erotic problems in our time engender minor forms of nervous and psychic disorder, especially in women.

The ancient association of hysteria with the womb was not as entirely fanciful as it appears. There is, at all events, a close connection between the generative force and the mental faculties. It is widely admitted by in- vestigators that psychic sexual influences are notable in hysteria. We must not theorise crudely that hysterical symptoms in women are the result of enforced celibacy and unsatisfied physical desire. But we may say safely


that sexual-emotional injuries are a common cause of ia in both men and women. The fact that the sufferer is unconscious of the injury does not weaken the evidence of a traumatic origin.

In a recorded case of hysteria in a girl of seventeen, the first attack occurred when a cat jumped on to her shoulder as she was going downstairs. Here apparently was the primary shock. But this incident was not the efficient cause. Inquiry proved that, on a previous occasion, a young man had made advances to her on the stairs and that her emotions had been awakened.

Again and again we discover that psychoneurotic mani- festations arise from such occurrences. The primary injury may be caused by a mere startling conversation on sexual matters with a companion in childhood ; sudden violent erotic overtures, the conflict in the mind of a young woman who finds herself falling in love with a friend's husband, or the discovery of sexual irregularity in a re- spected relative. Any of these experiences may be kept inviolably secret, and every effort made to forget them. They may sink down into the under-conscious mind, and there remain submerged, but not destroyed. The very fact that they cannot be mentioned, through fear, shame, intense reserve, or prudery, seems to add tenacity to these impressions. There is "a foreign body in the consciousness" which, sooner or later, is likely to cause trouble.


The foregoing passages may enable the reader to realise that guidance in sexual development provides at least a measure of protection against psychic sex injuries. The utterly unguided are undoubtedly those who are most liable to exposure to these shocks, and the most likely to suffer extremely. " Leave the direction to nature " is the recommendation of the unenlightened. We know that the boy or girl, carefully shielded in the home from all " impure influences," and not prepared with necessary knowledge, may learn corruption in half-an-hour from the speech or the example of a bad youthful companion,


or a debased elder. This is a matter of everyday happening.

The mystery, the silence, the fear and the bewildering

Eersonal fantasies associated with the instinct of love >ave the great mass pf men and women exposed to psychic lesions. Profoundly deep prejudices, repugnances and dis- gusts may become embedded in the mental texture in child- hood, to result in later life in neurosis, vice, failure in marriage or grave errors in living. The greater part of one's in- tellectual energy may be used up for a considerable period in an effort to expel the delusions foisted upon the mind in youth. A revelation of actuality, after a long dream of unreality, frequently brings a serious psychic crisis. The psychology of the sexual life abounds with instances.

The persistence of early impressions in the psychic- sexual sphere is very remarkable, and must be recognised by all who are engaged in the training of the young. Sidis studied a case of a man who feared a perverted obsession that assailed him. Under analysis it was found that in his eighth year schoolmates had committed an outrage on the patient. Abhorrent as the idea was to the subject, thoughts of abnormal practices continually invaded his mind, Causing much distress.

The over-accentuation of reserve towards sex matters in childhood and youth, which is part of the policy of " protecting the young," often fails disastrously. This is especially noticeable in women. A complete ignorance renders the mind intensely susceptible to shock ; and it cannot be too frequently repeated that sexual affronts or shocks are often serious, and accountable for much married disharmony, unhappiness, and even tragedy. There are instances of ignorant brides mistaking their husband's normal conjugal ardour for grossness or immorality. The sudden confronting with altogether novel experiences hitherto ; ssociated with sin or disgust may well alarm and repel the uninstructed virgin. It is in such revulsions in the early days of marriage that discord of the most serious character arises ; and from one moment of recoil may follow years of secret unhappiness and the annihilation of affection and esteem.



The following cases of the mischievous results of ignorance ha\ i- come under my own observation, or have been described to me by friends.

Case i. A medical friend relates that, in his student days, he shared rooms with a fellow-student, X. Returning one night, he saw his companion sitting in an easy-chair, apparently half asleep. As X. did not reply when spoken to, his friend approached him and saw a laceration in his throat. The cut was deep, but had missed the more vital parts and X. had collapsed. His companion gave him medical attention, stopped the bleeding and dressed the wound. This attempted suicide of X. was the result of terror and brooding, induced by reading a lurid pamphlet on the fright- ful and inevitable consequences of masturbation. X. had never spoken of his dread and sufferings, and had been driven into sheer despondency. He recovered of the injury to the throat, and of his depression. His friend dispelled his fears and gave him sound hygienic counsel.

Case 2. A young woman of the middle class, brought up in total ignorance of the meaning of conjugal relations, became engaged at twenty-four. She read a pamphlet explaining the reproductive process and was " horrified." Later, she learned from a novel that women have sex im- pulses, and was appalled to discover that her sex could be so " immoral." She married a man a few years older than herself. The marriage has been very unhappy, and the pair have separated. The husband has since developed alcoholism.

Case 3. A man, married at the age of twenty-eight, had been told that the marital function was extremely " weakening." He practised rigid continence for periods of months, and the conjugal relation was never quite normal. His wife, who was normally constituted, physically and mentally, suffered acutely through his coldness. She developed neurasthenia, a bad form of anaemia, and eventu- ally an affection of the heart, from which she died at the age of thirty-four. She attributed much of her ill-health to her disappointment in marriage. 1

1 Refer to Married Love, Dr C. M. Slopes, for instances of similar suffering among married women.


Case 4. A woman with a high ideal of love and marriage and a deeply religious nature, married, at about thirty, a widower with four children. The husband was pious and Puritanical. Disharmony arose from the honeymoon, owing to the man's maladroitness in conjugal duties, and the bride developed a strong repugnance to the marital relation, which became a positive loathing. She was often reproached by her partner for not obeying St Paul and " submitting herself to her husband." Her life was very unhappy. The pair quarrelled frequently, and the wife had no affection for her husband. Though she wished to leave him, her strong Christian principles forbade a sever- ance of the marriage tie. Both partners were prudish in their attitude to sexual affairs. The wife taught her daughters that " the physical part of marriage " was " horrible."

Case 5. Mrs T., brought up in conventional ignorance, married at thirty. On the bridal night she told her husband that she would never consent to intercourse. As persuasion failed, Mr T. refused to use force and the marriage has never been consummated. The husband has formed a clandestine intimacy with the wife's close friend.

Case 6. A normal young man married a sexually an- esthetic (frigid) woman. She frequently repelled her husband's ardour and caused him great mental suffering. The wife's coldness induced psychic sexual impotence in the husband. After much unhappiness, the pair were divorced. The man married again, and became normal and potent.

Case 7. A girl married an ardent suitor. Soon after union she expressed disgust for the physical intimacies of wedlock, and blamed nature for " inventing such a scheme." The disappointed husband resorted to alcohol as a solace. In a few years he was unfaithful, and his wife divorced him. He has married again and is happy.

These are by no means rare instances of the result of ignorance. They are unforiunately typical. The more ex- perience of life gained, the deeper becomes the conviction that the neglect of the art of love, which is the very basis of happy marriage, is the cause of some of the profoundest misery known to humanity. In the majority of unions


there has been no attempt to acquire even theoretical scientific knowledge, and no plain apprehension of the fact that the spiritual felicities depend upon mutual recognition of the necessity for cultivating the mind in the right conduct of a lifelong, intensely intimate and very complex relation- ship. Love is a tender and precious bloom, beautiful beyond our dreams, but, like all fragile flowers, it is vulner- able to rude winds, sensitive to frost, and liable to languish and pine without constant care and tendance.

The presuppositions of most persons, and especially of the closely " guarded " virgin, concerning marital conduct are derived from surmises and traditions of fantasy and ignor- ance, which would be ludicrous were they not tragic in their consequences. It is an amazing anomaly that the most important matter in our lives should be one that we place outside of the boundary of approved knowledge. That there can be any association between a romantic, passionate love and the classification of facts that will aid in confirm- ing and conserving the emotion is, to some minds, an ap- parently incomprehensible proposition. But it is absolutely beyond dispute that knowledge must take the place of fantasy in the practical usage of the potent emotion of love. In no human sphere is ignorance so perilous as in conjugal love.

The more we learn of the potentiality of a harmonious co-operation of the sexes in the supreme task of giving life, the moral influence that is diffused by successful marriages, and the excellence of a realisation of " a city of lovers and friends," the more urgent is our desire that this force should be studied in all its phases, bearings and possibilities. We are urged, therefore, to place the psychology of love in the foremost rank of the inquiries essential for founding finer ethical standard, a practical sociology and a new "ideal of racial regeneration. In fine, we need a Science of Sex.

" Whenever there is the slightest possibility for the human mind to know, there is a legitimate problem of science. Outside the actual field of knowledge can only lie a region of the vaguest opinion and imagination, to which unfor- tunately men too often, but still with decreasing prevalence, pay higher respect than to knowledge." 1

In the actual cases given above, the menace of ignorance 1 Prof. Karl Pearson, The Grammar of Science.


among women is clearly instanced. Most matrimonial trouble must be ascribed to this mental unpreparedness for an entirely new relation with one of the other sex. Psychic affront is an extremely common phenomenon among women. It is a frequent cause of coldness in conjugality, the sexual anaesthesia that provides a harassing problem for a host of husbands, and blights the joy of wedlock for a greater host of women. Dr Marie Stopes is disposed to believe that probably eighty per cent, of wives do not experience the benefit that nature has ordained as the accompaniment of the sex act. When I mentioned this estimate to a married man and the father of a family, he remarked that it was too low. He believed that there are not even twenty per cent, of married women who know this happiness.

Ellis has collected many instances of mental suffering and physical injuries, some of them serious, through ignorance of marital function. "It is indeed astounding to find how ignorant, both practically and theoretically, very able and highly educated men may be concerning sexual matters." l

The rout deceives himself that he understands women and love. Often he does not possess the least comprehen- sion of the virginal mind. His experiences with professional courtesans have imbued him with false ideas concerning women. One medical authority records over one hundred and fifty cases of injury inflicted by husbands on wives. The psychic harm is frequently even more serious in after- effects ; the emotions receive deep wounds, leaving scars that may last for a lifetime. Repugnance shown by wives towards natural union is extremely frequent, and the prime cause must be sought in the ignorance of both sexes.

It may be said truly that we are all of us the unthinking victims of an evil upbringing, which exposes us from childhood to senility to injury to ourselves and to the risk of injuring even those whom we most love.


The chances of committing error in wedlock must remain very high until the great mass oj men and women are educated 1 Sex in Relation to Society.


in conjugal behaviour from all standpoints, psychic, moral and physiological. We shall never solve the riddle why marriage is so often a failure until we realise this fact. It is well to preach love, patience, forbearance, sympathy and control. But these excellent factors of married affection may fail completely if psychic injury, wrought through ignorance, is the misfortune of one partner or the other. A mental shock in an hour of tense emotion may shatter the hope of conjugal happiness during life. So potent is the influence of the mind upon the body that a shock to the sensitive soul frequently inhibits the normal expression of wedded love for the whole span of existence. However deeply the affronted person may long to banish the inhibiting feeling, it still endures, and defies expulsion. The obstruct- ing recoil, or the aversion, may be clearly viewed as irrational or abnormal. Nevertheless the sufferer's will is paralysed. The delicate psychic mechanism has been jarred beyond repair.

We are apt to attempt the impossible by severing body and spirit in an estimate of the love of the sexes. The most inspiring and beautiful instances of spiritual love in marriage arise from the fortunate fusion of two psychic and corporal affinities. In these unions we shall never fail to discern a harmonious adjustment and intermingling of the two vital elements. We often attribute these success- ful marriages to chance. No doubt, in spite of knowledge and discretion, a man or a woman may be swept, on a mighty wave of emotion, into a disastrous union. But we are prone to overvalue the influence of " chance " in wed- lock, and to accept a fatalistic view of the possibility of great felicity. If we convince ourselves that this is a ques- tion of " sheer luck," we are scarcely likely to prepare ourselves for the risks. It would be as reasonable to argue that success in business is " all a matter of luck." We are shrewd enough to recognise that knowledge counts in the struggle for money-getting. Cannot knowledge aid us in the realisation of love and concord in wedlock ?

The true consummation of love in marriage is continually threatened and hindered by the common mistakes repeated generation after generation. Men and women continue to reproach one another and to foster antagonism, through



the neglect of knowledge of the secondary sexual characters. Women think that men can be lured or coerced into denials or to actions which are inherently more feminine than masculine ; and men often imagine that women can be shaped intellectually and emotionally upon the male model. The comparative passivity of women in love is a cause of offence to one man and a high virtue in the esteem of another. Both men view the matter with an absence of psychological comprehension. This " passivity " is often the disguise assumed by a sensitive woman reared in the masculine tradition that women should live in vestal ignorance. Man unjustly censures woman for the very qualities that ages of patriarchal authority have imposed upon her.

With equal unreason, some women frequently admonish men because they are apt to place great importance on the gratification of the erotic impulse. Women forget that this is a male characteristic throughout organic nature, and overlook the fact that all along the line of human evolution their sex has accentuated maleness by choosing the most vigorous and virile men as partners. Men have intensified women's innate amorous resistances by means of pro- scriptions and penalties, and women have heightened man's eroticism by numerous lures and also by the enforced cultivation of an extreme reserve and diffidence. Instead of blaming each other for a condition that has developed out of ages of slow evolution, barbaric experiment, and a lack of psychology, both sexes should endeavour to readjust their relations by beginning to learn some of the funda- mental sex differences in structure, disposition, aptitude, intellect, emotion, aspiration and desire.

Reverting to the question of the perils of ignorance, it may be said that a volume at least might be written on the subject. There is the eugenic ideal of race culture, that tends to the highest moral and physical well-being of offspring and posterity, and there is the dysgenic practice, which prevails wherever knowledge is in disesteem.

The eugenic question covers too wide a field for even brief discussion. I may, however, attempt to show the prevalence of some factors of degeneration. The high infant mortality rate, the increase of mental defectives, the


too common occurrence of premature births, still births ami misi-.-m-iagrs, the inability of many nmtli<T, to tlu-ir children, the enormous prevalence of uterine dis- placement, the number of ovarian maladies, the results of the racial poisons of alcohol, syphilis and tuberculosis, the extent of sterility, the effects of hard labour upon the maternal function, and the risks to national health through too frequent rapidly successive pregnancies all these evils are of vital social significance. Most of them, if not all, are remediable. It is a question of social science, moral solicitude and systematic action.

As we advance in civilisation and humanism, we may reach a period when it will be considered immoral to permit the young to grow up in ignorance of the supremest duties of mankind. Our heirs of a higher social order will look back with wondering horror upon the preventable sin, disease and misery of our day, as we gaze now upon the pages of past human apathy, ignorance, vice and folly.

Every young man and woman about to enter upon the responsible duties of parenthood should have passed through a graduated course of sex education from the nursery to the school, and from the school to the public lecture or to the hygienic and therapeutic counsellors appointed by the State. There should be full scientific instruction for girls before marriage. The care of health during menstrua- tion and pregnancy and infant hygiene and the management of children ought to be foremost subjects in all female educational schemes. Both sexes should be taught that haphazard procreation is a sin. The solemnity of the function of giving life must be impressed upon the mind at puberty. Upon marrying, young couples should know the rules of healthy conjugal life, the varying emotional and physical needs of man and woman, and the importance of shielding the unborn child from harm. They should have learned that breast-fed children stand a better chance of attaining vigour and beauty, and resisting diseases, than the artificially nourished. They should understand that every human being born ought to have a fair start, not only from birth, but from the time when its potentialities lie in the germ plasm of the progenitors.

Early marriage should be encouraged by the moralist


and the social hygienist as the most effective restraint upon vice, and for the physical and mental welfare of society. Enforced child-bearing should be condemned. The wife should be the owner of her body and the determining partner in the matter of reproduction.

A high enthusiasm for the production of beautiful and vigorous offspring should be cultivated by every possible means. The fallacy that the healthiest parents produce the largest families of healthy children should be corrected. When children are born rapidly from a single mother, the chances of death for the later-born children are very great, and the later offspring are likely to be feeble. The seventh- born die in some communities at the rate of 330 per 1000, and more than half of the twelfth-born infants in every thousand are doomed to an early death. There is a steady rise in the infant death-rate per 1000 after the birth of the fourth child.

The burning question of sexual hygiene before and after marriage can no longer be excluded from education in the home and the school on the plea that such teaching is non-essential. Louder and more insistent comes the demand from thoughtful persons in every civilised country and in every class of the community. The Great War, rag- ing while this book was written, has opened the eyes of a multitude to the existence of menacing problems connected with the relations of the sexes. The savage survivals of fierce and cruel lusts have been instanced in foul enemy atrocities that cannot be published openly. The untimely deaths of hosts of the most vigorous men and the maiming of the body and the mind of countless thousands have complicated the social anomaly of the unmated woman. The aftermath of war provides new enigmas for the eugenist, the reformer in sexual hygiene, the legislator and the educator.

A common example of the contradictions, conflicting ideas and the prevailing haze in the average mind, when sexual questions are discussed, is the tendency to refer the amative instinct to a low or animal sphere of human nature. Yet nothing shows the great differentiation


between the sex impulse in the animal and the m.m tli, in the man's capacity for making love serve other high purposes besides the generative.

Nature's processes are slow. We are fain to believe that the genus Man is extremely ancient. If mankind have existed on the globe for five hundred thousand years, what is such a period in the cosmic sense ? It is certain that animals peopled the earth scores of millions of years before men were known. For an aeon of time there were no human beings in the world. The vaunted " lord of creation " is a recent development of animal life, and in his body are numerous vestigial organs reminding him of his pre-human ancestry. In the brain of man also are thoughts, desires, passions and impulses of brute-like, feral, barbarous fore- runners.

The history of human love is still in its earliest pages. Romantic passion as we know it is a recent development. There are races of men on the earth to-day whose love ideals scarcely attain to those of the birds and the higher mammals. There are hosts of men and women in the advanced civilised states whose conception of love is hardly above the animal plane. On the other hand, there are some highly evolved human beings who instance the enormous potentiality of this passion of the soul and the body in noble lives, the sublimation of the coarser sensual elements, and the exalta- tion of the spiritual. They are those who show us the possibilities of sex love in its finest development, and inspire hope for an era when this spiritualising power will emerge from the swamps and thickets of a social order that inhibits its supreme activity and progress.

We cannot look for a renascence of love until we under- stand the meaning of sex in human affairs. We are hurled, as it were, from rock to brier in our ideas upon the erotic power. One person guides us to the obstructing boulder of the mind that love is simply carnal desire ; another leads us to the entangling brier that " spiritual " love is some- thing wholly sunderable from all desire of the senses. One moralist teaches that our only hope of salvation from the fetters of a gross instinctive impulse is in an abnormal and constant asceticism. The prescriptions and the pro- scriptions are so bewildering and numerous that the mass


of our young men and women are without any sure light to their feet in a journey beset with constant dangers and dilemmas.

The daily spectacle of the sightless or the purblind endeavouring to lead the inexperienced among the morasses and thorns of the erotic life is a lamentable reflection upon our widely proclaimed culture and morality. Many of us act criminally towards the young by withholding the truth that alone can protect. We utter a few wise saws, whisper an injunction of " purity," without knowing ourselves what " purity " or " chastity " really mean, and leave practical guidance untouched. We deliberately, in the majority of cases, obscure the truth under the fatal delusion that darkening facts promotes a facility for virtue. That is to say, we send our boys and girls on an errand along a cliff edge, assuring them that the path is dangerous, while we carefully blindfold them upon starting. Such is the out- come of the reticences, the deceptions, the evasions and the false modesty which influenced the mass of us in our child- hood. We know that below the cliff are the ruthless sea and the jagged reefs, and that many in our experience have stumbled to death. Yet we are silent, or, if we whisper, we confuse or mislead. And we say that we love our children. ,

It is time that we taught ourselves and our children that the love of man and woman is not an ethereal essence, entirely sublimated or separated from the physical impul- sion, and prevented others from equally deceiving them by suggesting that love simply means sexual intercourse. We must tell them the truth, because it is beautiful and of good report. We must explain that out of this imperious bodily craving has developed a transcendently marvellous emotion that purifies and exalts the soul, that increases sympathy and unselfishness, that irradiates from the family to the community, that quickens the sense of beauty, deepens moral and religious feeling, and vitalises all the powers of humanity.

Shall this be our basis of teaching, an instruction begun tenderly by the mother, and continued by those entrusted with the care of the child and the adolescent ; or shall we perpetuate the present neglect, which leaves our children


the prey to forbidding fancies, to idle and mischievous presuppositions, to doubts and alarms, and to the degrading and destructive influence of the untaught, the halt- enlightened, the viciously frivolous, the indecent and the vile-minded ?




THERE is a general view among reformers of the vital branch of education discussed in these pages that the primary teacher should be the mother. This brings us to a con- sideration of the relation of the Woman's Movement, or Feminism, to the subject of sex. Upon woman devolves the principal share in the transmission of life and the up- bringing of children. If women are even less capable and prepared than men for the task of training the young in the laws of life, this incapacity requires an immediate remedy, because upon the initial direction depends almost all the chances of success in later education.

The freeing of women from the shackles of the barbaric ages is not simply a matter of admission to the electorate, the amelioration of legal enactments bearing upon marriage and divorce, and industrial reforms. Most important of all is the removal of the hampering prejudice that has placed an understanding of the sex question outside of the field of women's education. The greater part of life must no longer be regarded, as Henry James once said, as " a sealed book to the virgin." Intellectual emancipation should accom- pany liberation from civic and social injustice.

It has been a part of the " polite education " of women to exclude or to hide the great truths of the human funda- mental instincts. Women have acquiesced in this taboo upon knowledge from a mistaken self-protective sense. But this shrinking from the light, though it has always gratified the more sensuous types of men, who would have women " innocent " which simply means, in this respect, childish and ignorant and appeased the patriarchal males, who adhere to the code of feminine subjection, has never been a protection for woman. This ignorance has,



on the contrary, proved one of the gravest dangers of womanhood. The chief source of the tragedies of woman's life is to be sought in the moral conflicts, the emotional stress, the conjugal and domestic problems, and the multiform difficulties arising from the relations of the sexes and the function of maternity.

Besides the high chance of a life of involuntary celibacy, women are exposed to greater risks of unhappiness in marriage than the mass of men. For many reasons, the home remains the normal sphere of woman, in spite of the great increase of women workers in most professions and trades. So long as the racial instinct exists, woman will be the chief maker of the home, and will find her highest satisfaction in family life. Woman's welfare is therefore even more dependent upon a peaceful and pleasant domestic environment than the well-being of the average man is dependent upon the " fireside clime." Marriage to the great multitude of women means motherhood, the co- operation of man in founding the family, the consummation of strong yearnings for affection and sympathy, and the fulfil- ment of imperative functions. Upon wedlock the greater number of women stake all their chances of happiness.

It is painfully apparent that a large proportion of wives never realise their maiden dreams of married love. They may not repine openly, nor resign themselves to hopeless despondency ; but the sense of disappointment is often present, and only slightly relieved by the reflection that disillusionment is the common lot of the married, and that what cannot be cured must be endured. The view that it is better to be unfortunately mated than not married is not an invariable consolation. An unhappily married woman is very frequently more unhappy than her spinster sister. She may suffer more in health of mind and body than the celibate woman whose love emotion has never been vitally stirred.

The radical causes of conjugal infelicity among women are ignorance of their own physiological and psychic organisation, misapprehension of natural laws governing sex union, and a very imperfect understanding of the nature of man. This lack of the knowledge requisite for successful matrimony is frequently entirely unconscious.


The maiden has not the least intimation of her profound ignorance, or at the most she is only vaguely aware of this deficiency. She is urged into betrothal and marriage by sentiment, the glamour of love, the desire for a home of her own, and the conventional view that marriage gives social status to a woman. Frequently her strongest passions are not concerned. She is unaware of their very existence. Courtship may awaken dormant impulse; but the full import of the desires are not grasped, or they may be strenuously resisted as evil promptings. The ardour of the wooer may bewilder and even affront the inexperienced girl, and her natural feminine reserve and modesty may become an abnormal or morbid revulsion after marriage.

The woman who has been sedulously instructed from girl- hood that sex is essentially " our lower desires," and that the ways of nature are mysteriously shameful, and the woman who has received no counsel of any kind are in the gravest peril of misfortune in wedlock. They may pass the greater part of their lives in a peculiarly acute process of ridding themselves of the deep-rooted thorns implanted in the mind through direct teaching of a false kind, or the growths that have accumulated through secret personal speculation and surmise. Marriage is for many men and women a hard school for unlearning the misconceptions and fallacies formed in the mind during childhood and youth.

Divested of the human right of preliminary theoretical knowledge, the bride is entirely dependent upon the initia- tion of the husband. Realisation is sudden, vehement and frequently poignant. The man is usually as ignorant of his wife's deepest psychic and physical needs as she is of his. Neither of the partners in this great undertaking is cognisant of the manifold risks to which their ignorance or their miseducation exposes them. They rely wholly upon the fact that they are in love with one another. They have not learned that the art of love is the sole conservator of affection in marriage.


We are wont to believe that feminine resistance to sane instruction in sex matters is a deep-seated, even hereditary,


characteristic. Experience proves that this conception is erroneous. The indifference or the hostility exhibited by many persons is not innate and inherent. This apathy rarely exists in the child of normal intelligence. There is a budding curiosity, which ,is perfectly natural and com- prehensible. The child is deeply impressed by the birth of a baby in the home, and questions arise in his or her mind. Children arc witnesses of the caresses that the parents lavish upon one another. They hear of love- making, engagements and marriages. But the little girl, especially, is silenced or reproved when she seeks to appease her curiosity, and gradually and surely she absorbs, in the innermost parts of her mind, the idea that this or that is a " rude " topic, or a " naughty " one.

This method of suppression is maintained in the nursery and elaborated when the girl approaches puberty. She is tutored in the belief that the things she longs most to know are "unmentionable," "improper," "not nice." A whole vocabulary of argot-terms is invented in many house- holds to describe necessary physical needs and acts. Direct speech, even if necessary, is interdicted. The awful topics must be broached in shameful whispers, and new words coined to express natural functions. Certain books are

E laced on the parental index. There is a constant, almost jverish anxiety lest the girl of fourteen should know " those things that no nice girl should know." There is a strict code of modest posture, demeanour, reticence and thought, which intensely accentuates the girl's reserve, but by no means diminishes her inquisitiveness.

This " education " is often carried to incredibly ridiculous lengths. The girl is told practically that virtue and attrac- tiveness are synonymous with a colossal ignorance of life, until she may cherish an ideal that dullness and stupidity are the greatest of feminine charms. The censorship upon the acquisition of knowledge of the fundamental matters of human existence fosters an apathy towards, or a recoil from, learning in general. The curiosity, which is the hopeful germ of an inquiring spirit and habit, is starved, or destroyed, or diverted from the subjects that matter to idle inquisition about the petty doings of neighbours and trivial gossip and scandal-spreading.


When the ill-educated young woman reaches the age of marriage, her mind is a mass of misconceptions, pruderies, prejudices, disgusts and monstrous errors in all that relates to sex love. From sheer ignorance, she may have formed habits that will mar or ruin conjugal harmony. Her up- bringing may become the direct cause of recoil from normal married love, or of erotic hysterical or neurasthenic symptoms that will bring misery to herself and her husband.

These instances of the detrimental effects upon the character and mind of women, when reasonable knowledge is withheld or discountenanced, are not hypothetical, but typical of average homes in societies described as " cultured." We may note numerous families among our acquaintances wherein the young men are more or less promiscuous in their sex relations, scornful of chastity, and entirely dis- regardful of their responsibility to the race ; while the young women are scrupulously shielded from vital know- ledge, generally stunted in intelligence, and warped in judgment upon the conduct of the sex life in relation to morality, hygiene and maternity. It cannot be said that youth brought up with these pernicious falsities of a vary- ing standard of sex morality for men and women, without scientific knowledge, and without reverence for love and parentage, are likely to hand on a finer tradition to their descendants.

It is extremely doubtful whether the prudish opposition to sexual enlightenment is mainly feminine. I am inclined to the opinion that the resistance is stronger in men, and that the legitimate desire of woman to learn has been immensely inhibited by masculine objection. There is every possible evidence that men have stubbornly resisted women's demands for a broader education. This hostility to the cultivation of the mind of woman is powerfully instanced in the matter of sex education. We know fathers of families who think that boys may be allowed to learn a few physiological facts, but that girls should be kept in the darkest possible ignorance until marriage. The main desire of the austerely conservative conventional man has been to preserve the patriarchal tradition of the "protection " of women through ignorance.

Although an intelligent, inquiring adolescent girl may


desire an ^-vntial understanding of life, she is rarely able

.press this longing frankly. She is forced to conceal 1 curiosity. This concealment is necessary in the environ- ment in \vluYh she is reared and educated. Candid inquiry would be clremed unwomanly or improper; therefore the girl is forced to assume an attitude of incuriosity and of ignorance. She must cherish at all costs a reputation for extreme delicacy and reserve. Now this self-protecting pose often engenders dissimulation, pretence and even hypocrisy.

Usually a woman dare not be truthful, if she desires to maintain the esteem of her associates, and especially of her men associates. Men say that women tend to be un- truthful, deceptive, and secretive, forgetting that women are in the main as men wish them to be. If truth and frankness are condemned as unfeminine, what course is open to women in the mass save pretence and unveracity ? We say that women are notoriously inaccurate, that they have no apperception of scientific precision, and that they are more emotional than reflective. But how much of this apparent dislike of the truth is inherent and how much is attributable to nurture, custom and social in- fluences ? I believe that nine-tenths of woman's tendency to intellectual timidity is due simply to her faulty education and her compliance with masculine standards of feminine conduct.

The natural spirit of inquiry in women concerning the greatest of the human emotions is demonstrated by the fact that many of the earliest writers on questions of sex were women. It is shown by the avidity with which novels and love tales are read by women. This desire for knowledge is, above all, evidenced by the intellectual zeal with which educated women of to-day respond to the request of the scientific investigators of sex problems for assistance in collecting data and forming clear opinions. There is prob- ably not a single volume of such research which has been written without the co-operation of earnest and thoughtful women. Furthermore, some of the most valuable and practical modern volumes upon sex hygiene are the work of women.

Whenever intelligent women free their minds from the


impedimenta of their early nurture and the resistances fostered by the vulgar, social view of sex, they tend to excel men in truth-telling, in fine intuition and in courage. They realise acutely the absolute need for plain discussion of subjects that deeply concern woman's racial obligations, her relation to man, her social status, her most sacred emotions, her physical well-being and the culture of her mind.

In this great reform I look confidently for the help of earnest-minded women. It is they who can aid most efficiently in producing " that social state of mind in which the whole question of sex will be lifted from the filth of the street to its proper spiritual setting." *


The preoccupation of women with the profound emotion that unites the sexes is unquestionably normal. It is true that obsessions occasionally arise and lead to erotomania, or an excessive yearning for love. But the natural craving for man's ardour and affection should never be confused with abnormality. This desire should be made one of the great uplifting and spiritual influences of young woman- hood. The girl who with sweet candour admits a longing for love to her mother should not be foolishly reproved or idly bantered ; but the aspiration should be welcomed as an indication of a capacity for fulfilling a supreme duty and a natural destiny.

There are persons who affect that an interest in love is a sort of perversion, and who class as " cranks " all those who evince a desire to understand this passion. It is just this disesteem of healthy impulse which induces self-deception in women, and renders them morbidly reserved concerning their strongest emotions. The dread of contempt or deri- sion drives the perfectly sane desires into the darkest corners of the mind, where they are apt to become transformed into "submerged complexes."

We must destroy the falsehood that it is unseemly or im- modest for an adolescent girl, or for any woman, to confess a longing for love and marriage. It should be known that 1 Havelock Ellis in New Statesman, 25th May 1918.


sexual precocity in childhood is more fivqurnt among girls than boys, and that girls air muir susceptible than their brothers to an early development of sentimental love. We should recognise also that the deprivation of love has more injurious physical and mental results upon women than men. Furthermore, the craving for motherhood is, in a vast number of women, the profoundest of all human long- ings. These are facts that should convince us of the immense sway of love in woman's life. The dominance of the reproductive impulse is more diffused and more im- portant in the female than in the male. l

It is therefore apparent that rational sex education is of extreme importance for women, not only for their personal well-being, but in the interest of their children and the com- munity at large. The whole social attitude to the sexual relationship could be raised if women were more solicitous in this matter. As it is, the sex question is not seriously considered by the bulk of the mothers of the race. This apathy has lamentable results upon the young, who should look to the mother for the natural appeasing of childish curiosity. 1

Beginning with prudent and sympathetic enlightenment in the home, the training of girls in this sphere of racial and civic science should be continued in the schools in graduated biological class teaching, in private and personal conversa- tion with capable instructors, and in the direction of a choice of suitable reading. The time may not be far off when we shall institute schools for preparing young men and women for marriage and parentage. We shall probably recognise that a training for conjugality is quite as important as a training for business.

In these colleges students would be taught, as a part of general culture, that it is the first duty of men and women to understand the nature of the fundamental physiological and psychic differences between the sexes. Race improve- ment would be elevated to the status of religion or ethics. The care of motherhood would be respected as an impera- tive social duty. Child nurture would be based upon sound psychology and scientific hygiene.

We may already see portents of a new estimate of sexual 1 See The Psychology of Marriage, chapter iv.


love as a prime moralising and socialising influence. The war has deepened some of the problems of sex, and aroused a spirit of inquiry and a widespread solicitude for the diffu- sion of knowledge, which will aid us in forming a practical morality and a protective hygiene.



I HAVE invited the opinions of several English educationists upon the scope and methods of sex teaching in schools and colleges. In a fair number of instances I have received replies to my letters and some of the communications have proved very helpful. But there are still many teachers who have not reached any definite conclusions and many more who, while they have a general approval of this scholastic reform, have no concrete plan and no tenta- tive suggestions to offer. Many headmasters and head- mistresses seem to be solicitous in the matter and to desire the aid of full discussion of the question as a part of pedagogics. Some teachers still shirk the question.

The Headmaster of Rugby School, Mr DAVID, refers to a pamphlet by Mr Gary Gilson, M.A., King Edward's School, Birmingham, which he strongly recommends. This is A Letter to Parents.** Mr David states that he " agrees entirely with Mr Gilson," who thinks that children's questions should be answered, and that en- lightenment should be gradual. The Letter states that " no reliance can be placed on the ascetic ideal as a motive for chastity and self-control to be put before boys, but immense confidence in the ideal of happy marriage to which such self- control is an indispensable preliminary." Mr Gilson is of the opinion that " the advice should be given viva voce in quiet and entirely private conversation, not necessarily or even desirably restricted to these particular subjects. Instruction must be graduated: (i) in the nursery ; (2) in the school ; (3) in the middle stage of the school course at puberty ; (4) upon leaving school at eighteen to nineteen."

Mr T. H. BADLEY, Headmaster of Bedales School, Peters-

1 Parents and teachers can obtain copies of the pamphlet for sixpence from the Secretary, King Edward's School, Birmingham.

o 209


field, issues a sensible pamphlet, which he sends to the parents of his pupils. It contains an outline of his own views and practice in the matter of sex education. Mr Badley writes in a letter :

" I feel most strongly that the beginning should be made by the mother, in order that the subject may always, if the foundation is laid in this way, be associated with her in the child's mind. The more definite instruction is best given, as a rule, I believe, by someone, either the schoolmaster or medical man, who can put the thing on a quite scientific and matter-of-fact basis ; but only if he knows the boy well enough to have his confidence.

" Something, no doubt, can be done in class in the course of lessons on plant or animal physiology or hygiene, but I doubt myself whether the most valuable teaching can be given in this way, for the reason that boys, as a rule, are not able to treat the thing so simply or to talk of their own ideas and puzzles in one another's presence ; and a mere lecture is not all that is wanted, but help in meeting the boys' individual difficulties.

" At the same time some mention of the subject in the course of the ordinary class work is of real help in making it a matter of scientific interest and putting it on the same footing as other kinds of knowledge, and so helping to remove the feeling of ' stolen waters ' and ' bread eaten in secret,' which is too apt to be the result of speaking of it only in private and with any air of mystery and hesitation. What, above all, one wants to avoid is the idea on the child's part that there is anything to cause shame in the facts or the knowledge of them, so long as they are honestly come by and thought of cleanly, and associated with our best feelings instead of our meanest.

" It needs, I think, a feeling of freedom and confidence on both sides, and must be varied to suit the individual child ; for this reason I have not much belief in putting books on the subject into the hands of the child and expect- ing them to do all that is required. They may be easily misunderstood or misused. Nor, for the same reason, would I trust to sermons or to general talks to several at once. I attach far more value to a good talk with the boy, alone, at the age of fourteen or fifteen (I assume that this is


not the first time he has been talked with, but I should wish it to be by his parents his mother especially beforr- ho comes to school and in the earlier years there) a talk which will make it easy for him to come and talk again if he wants to, and another before he leaves school on the new condi- tions and dangers he will then meet. This seems to me to be required whether there is any class teaching or not.

" I am afraid that these rather disconnected notes will not be of much use to you, but perhaps from these and the Note JOY Parents you will at least be able to see along what lines I feel that the problem is best approached."

The Rev. W. T. A. BARBER, The Leys School, Cambridge, thinks that all children should have guidance and a certain amount of information. This should be given in the early stage by the mother. It should not be too detailed, but it should be frank, and it should be always associated with mother love. One mother told the Rev. W. T. A. Barber that when she informed her little son that he came from her body he said : " That must be the reason why I love you so."

" When the boy grows his father should give him some information about his physical nature and some warning as to the possibility of abuse of that nature. This should be done in a friendly and non-alarmist way. My custom at a good-sized boarding-school is to send a carefully written booklet, originally made for the boys of this school, under the imprimatur of the Association of School Medical Officers, to the father, with a covering letter. I ask him to let his boy read it as sent by his headmaster and to make sure that it is understood.

" It is important that this knowledge and warning should come with the united force of the authority of home and school. The boy gives up the book and is advised not to talk about it. On the whole this is as good a plan as I know. I certainly do not advise class instruction ; and occasional reference to the principles of purity in sermons and Scripture lessons is quite easy, but detailed instruction s pupils far too self-conscious, and self-consciousness is to be avoided at all costs.

" Even in religion, which is the supreme power to ncoquer wrong of this, as of every type, much thinking


about it is mischievous. The only way is to claim divine help and then vigorously turn attention to something else."

Mr LOWERISON, Ruskin House School, Heacham, Norfolk, believes that in a co-education school, such as his, repro- duction may be taught by simple botanical lessons and not much beyond this in class teaching. He illustrates sym- bolically adolescent restraint by the pinching of buds of an immature fruit tree, which must not be allowed to bear so young. Mr Lowerison, in dealing directly with sex questions, makes use of the tenth Law of the Scouts. All his pupils are Scouts and Girl Guides.

He knows of no book or pamphlet that is of any good. "The individual must be appealed to. The bairns love and reverence their mothers and fathers, and all the more the mother when they feel how much she has borne for them. Still, very much can be done in class, but such lessons have to be gone over word by word almost beforehand/'

IRA S. WILE, M.D., Lecturer in the New York University School of Pedagogy and Editor Medical Review of Reviews, states that "Sex education merits careful consideration because it is an essential feature of the implied educational value of education itself. . . . The church, the home, and the school have uniformly and consciously avoided giving the essential information for proper sex conduct, despite the fact that such neglect has brought untold suffering to humanity." Dr Wile holds that fundamental facts should be taught in the home. After the seventh grade is reached in the schools, teaching should be given in a specific form by well-informed sympathetic instructors. " In the high schools it is possible to give a few definite lectures." The teaching must be " upon a high biological, ethical and social plane." Individualised sex instruction is not practi- cal in a Public School, save in special cases, and such means tend to " accentuate the peculiar qualities of the instruction given ... of primal importance in the education of the public." 1

1 Teachers may be advised to read Dr Wile's book on Sex Educa- tion, and also a very instructive chapter "Sex Hygiene and Sex Education," in Educational Hygiene, an excellent work. Edited by L. W. Rapeer, Professor of Education, Pennsylvania State College (Scribner, New York and Boston).


Principal STANLEY HALL writes : "At Williams College, Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Clark, I have made it a duty in my departmental teaching to speak very briefly but plainly to young men under my instruction, personally if I deemed it wise, and often, though here only in general terms, before student bodies, and I believe I have nowhere done more good, but it is a painful duty. It requires tact and some degree of hard and strenuous common-sense rather than technical knowledge " (Adolescence, vol. i.).

Miss L. M. FAITHFULL, Principal of the Ladies' College, Cheltenham, embodies her views in a printed Address to the Headmistresses of Elementary Schools in the Diocese of Canterbury. The Address contains several valuable sugges- tions. Miss Faithfull thinks that school instruction may lessen the parents' sense of responsibility, and she holds that the parent is the proper teacher. Much discretion must be used in imparting knowledge to girls. " Some girls have a natural dislike to, and a shrinking from, all physical details, whereas others have a spirit of curiosity which insists on being satisfied. A wise mother realising this difference in temperament between her two daughters, yet at the same time aware of the necessity of safeguarding each by an adequate knowledge of the facts of life, dealt with the difficulty in this way. She told one that in so far as she has a disinclination for such knowledge, she would only tell her what was absolutely necessary, while she made the other feel that her curiosity was natural, not in any way a thing to be ashamed of."

Miss Faithfull suggests that the lady doctor may be called in to make up for the deficiencies of the parents. When opportunity occurs, as in " reading Shakespeare, in the physiology or history lesson, or the discussion of social or economic problems, the matter must not be shirked." The aspects of the "physical side of life" must be taught when necessary, but there need not be specific lessons for introducing the subject.

Mrs S. PLATT, The Home School, Grindleford, Sheffield, who has a hundred pupils of both sexes, writes :

"The knowledge should never be forced upon children. Therefore all class teaching on the subject seems to me totally wrong, as some of the class might be ready for the knowledge, and to others it would either be meaningless or would come as a shock. But class teaching on any subject is doomed to die a natural death sooner or later, and to be replaced by individual teaching. The teacher must guide and direct the child but must not force him along lines arbitrarily laid down.

" It follows from the above that all teaching of botany or zoology which has sex teaching as a definite aim, or even as a side issue, is psychologically wrong. The pupil will learn a great deal about sex in both subjects, but the knowledge must come naturally through the study of the plant or animal by the pupil, under the guidance of the teacher.

"Children should be brought up in the country, where they can study plants and animals in their natural habitat.

"Boys and girls should be educated together, work together, play together, swim together. Unwholesome curiosity in either sex arises when the sexes are separate. The facts connected with birth are of extreme interest, though not to every child. Some children show no interest whatever in the matter. Where the ideal environ- ment is lacking (an environment in which boys and girls would naturally arrive at the truth for themselves) the parent and not the teacher should tell children the facts when they wish to know. ,

" But as, unfortunately, the beautiful facts of life are still regarded as impure by some, it is well to warn the child that the knowledge is not common property, and must not be talked about amongst one's companions.

"It is my firm belief that if the natural questions of children were answered by their parents fully and directly, all ' nasty ' talk and ' nasty ' habits in school would be unheard of. It is the duty of teachers to urge the parents to answer the questions of their children ; I do not consider it to be the duty of any teacher or lecturer to give this knowledge himself. The child would rarely ask the teacher, and it does not come into the province of the lecturer, as a student is quite able to get the knowledge for himself, and has probably got it in some way or other long ago.

"Finally, there is far too much teaching and talk. The


to aim at in all schools is : (r) The best environment possible country life pure air co-education natural and healthful surroundings. (2) In the school a high ideal of life and conduct on the part of teacher and pupil.

" In other words, ' atmosphere ' is everything. One can never get perfection, but one can aim at it."

Miss MARION WHITE, Principal, Wilton House School, Reading, considers it of vital consequence to girls that they should be instructed in the knowledge of sex conduct and hygiene before they leave the shelter of school life. This knowledge should be givem by the mothers ; but if the mothers evade this responsibility, they should authorise the school- mistress to give the necessary instruction and counsel. Miss White recognises that the position of the teacher is made extremely difficult unless she is entirely assured that the parents approve of this teaching. Many school- mistresses who recognise the necessity for this guidance are afraid of giving offence to the parents of their pupils. This is the difficulty with which many earnest-minded teachers are faced.

Miss MARGARET G. BONDFIELD, Secretary Women's Labour League, speaking at the Public Morals Conference, London, 1910, said :

" I wonder if you can realise what it means to a girl in an elementary school of, say, twelve years of age to be introduced to a knowledge of the relation of the other sex by means of information, startling, vulgar, crudely expressed, and communicated to her by some other girl as ill-informed as herself. ... I have a vivid recollection, when I attended a Board School, that the facts of sex were broken to me in the crudest, rudest and most vulgar way. I remember that for years and years the horror remained with me, and it was only many years after that I met with a good woman who had the knowledge, the tact and the necessary influence to be able to wipe out the nasty impression that had been made on my mind about the facts connected with the sacred transmission of life from one generation to another. And so I make an appeal to you who have had the advantage of cultured training, who have had yie privilege of being initiated into the mysteries of sex by people who could carefully choose their words, who have been taught the dignity and reverence of parenthood, to remember that the working-class woman, much as she desires to safeguard her child, much as she desires to send her into the world with a knowledge that will guide her, does not know how to impart that knowledge. . . . We want the pure and noble-minded people to see to this matter" (The Nation's Morals).


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.

The author died in 1946, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.