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girls unhappy, sowing in them the seeds of suspicion and cynicism,
tends to make them antagonistic to the entire male sex, and inoculates
them with a senseless fear of marriage. A study made by Miriam C.
Gould, of the department of psychology and philosophy in the
University of Pittsburg (_Social Hygiene_, April, 1916), corroborates
our remarks in a striking manner.
She has had confidential chats with 50 young girls, with whom she has
had some acquaintance; of these 50, 25 were college students and 25
were not. She asked them a number of questions, the purpose of which
was to find out what psychologic effect, if any, their knowledge of
prostitution and of venereal disease has had on them. She states in
her conclusions that "the histories reveal a large percentage of
harmful results, such as conditions bordering upon neurasthenia,
melancholia, pessimism and _sex antagonism_ (italics mine), directly
traceable to this knowledge. Eleven of the girls interviewed developed
a pronounced repulsion for men, although prior to their 'knowledge'
they had enjoyed men's company. They now avoid association with them,
and six have declared that they have totally lost faith in the moral
cleanness of men. Eight have already refused to marry, or intend to do
so, because of their belief that the risk of infection was too great.
If it were not for the existence of these diseases, they say they
would be glad to marry. All of these say their decision has rendered
them more or less unhappy."
In the laudable desire to keep our young women pure and to protect
them from infection, in the endeavor to make them demand one moral
standard for both sexes, our exaggerating reformers are condemning
them to lifelong celibacy, which in the case of women often means
lifelong neurasthenia and hypochondria.
=The Truth of the Matter.= Here is the Truth about venereal
disease--the truth as I know it, without concealment on the one hand
and without exaggeration on the other. Exact figures are, of course,
unobtainable anywhere; but results obtained from unbiased
investigations of _different_ classes of society, from hospital
reports, from questionnaires among students, etc., tell us that
probably about twenty per cent. of the adult male population are the
victims of gonorrhea at one time or another; that probably eight or
ten per cent. are not entirely cured when they enter matrimony; and
four or five per cent. (some would say two per cent.) of wives become
infected with gonorrhea. This, I say, is terrible enough, and makes
the greatest care and caution imperative; for, if you should be one of
the victims of the two or five per cent., it would be little
consolation to you that the other ninety-eight or ninety-five per
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