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tell them that it is bad and injurious to handle one's genitals, and
we must warn them to shun any companions who wish to initiate them
into any manipulations of these parts or who show an inclination to
talk about the sexual organs and sex matters.
Hot baths are very injurious for young children in their influence in
this direction. There is no question that a hot bath has a very
decided stimulating effect upon the sexual desire of adults as well as
of children, both male and female; in fact, I have had several
patients of either sex tell me that their first masturbatory act was
committed while they were in a hot bath. Of course, the sensation
having been pleasurable, they kept on repeating the experience.
Every factor liable to give rise to the habit should be removed. Thus,
for instance, eczema about the genitals, strongly acid urine,
seatworms, and the like, should be treated until cured. That anything
having a tendency prematurely to awaken the sexual instinct should be
rigorously avoided, goes without saying.
=Mental or Psychic Masturbation.= Some girls and women will abstain
from handling themselves with their hands (manual masturbation), but
will practice what we call mental masturbation. That is, they will
concentrate their minds on the opposite sex, will picture to
themselves various lascivious scenes, until they feel "satisfied."
This method is extremely injurious and exhausting and is very likely
to lead to neurasthenia and a nervous breakdown. You should break
yourself of it, by all means, if you can. For it is even more
injurious than the regular habit.
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