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Factor in Masturbation--Other Physical Factors--Mental
Masturbation and Its Effects.
Masturbation or self-abuse is a term applied to a bad habit which
consists in handling and rubbing the genitals. It is a bad habit
because it is apt to injure the health and future development of the
girl. The more frequently it is practiced, the more injurious it is.
It is more injurious than when practiced by boys, because the effects
are usually more permanent. Girls who indulge in the habit of
masturbation to excess not only weaken themselves, become anemic and
get a dingy, pimply complexion, but they lose their desire for normal
sexual relations when they grow up, and are unable to derive any
pleasure from the sexual act when they get married. In fact, many
girls who masturbated excessively get a strong aversion to the normal
sexual act, and their married life is an unhappy one. Their husbands
often have to ask for a divorce. Fortunately, the habit is much less
widespread among girls than it is among boys. While about ninety per
cent. of all boys--nine out of every ten--masturbate more or less,
only about ten or at most twenty per cent. of girls are addicted to
this habit. But whatever the percentage may be, the habit is an
injurious one, and if you value your health, your beauty and proper
growth and mental development, you should not indulge in it. If you
are already indulging, if you are used to handling your genitals, if a
bad companion has initiated you into the habit, you should give it up.
And mothers should watch their children, guard them against developing
the habit, and do everything possible to cure them of it, if
prevention comes too late.
But while as you see I do not deny the evil effects of masturbation,
it is necessary to state that a great change has taken place in our
opinions on the subject, and it is but right that parents should know
of this change of opinion among the medical profession, particularly
among those who specialize in sexology.
=Wrong Behavior of Parents.= When parents make the "awful" discovery
that their child is fondling its genitals or is indulging in
masturbation, they feel as if a great calamity had befallen them.
They could not feel worse if they learned that the child was a thief
or a pyromaniac. Imbued with the medieval idea of the "sinfulness" of
the habit, as well as its injuriousness, they begin to scold the
child, to frighten it, to make it believe that it is doing something
terrible, that it has disgraced them and itself; and they try to
persuade it that, unless it stops immediately, the most direful
consequences are awaiting it. The results of this mode of procedure
are disastrous--much more so than is the masturbation itself.
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