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Title: Sex-education - A series of lectures concerning knowledge of sex in its relation to human life
Author: Bigelow, Maurice Alpheus, 1872-1955
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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   [Illustration: PRINCE A. MORROW
   Chief organizer of the American movement for sex-education.
   Physician, educator, author, social reformer. Born in Kentucky,
   December 19, 1864. Died in New York City, March 17, 1913.
   _Courtesy of Dr. A.S. Morrow._]






New York

_All rights reserved_



Set up and electrotyped. Published June, 1916.

Norwood Press
J.S. Cushing Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.






Many of the lectures printed in this volume have formed the basis of a
series given at Teachers College, Columbia University, during the
summer sessions of 1914 and 1915, and during the academic year
1914-1915. Others were addressed to parents, to groups of men, to
women's clubs, and to conferences on sex-education. In order to avoid
extensive repetition, there has been some combination and rearrangement
of lectures that originally were addressed to groups of people with
widely different outlooks on the sexual problems.

Several years ago the late Dr. Prince A. Morrow announced that a volume
dealing with many of the timely topics of sex-education was to be
prepared by the undersigned with the advice and criticism of a
committee of the American Federation for Sex-Hygiene; but even before
Dr. Morrow's death it became evident that this plan was impracticable.
Three members (Morrow, Balliet, Bigelow) of the original committee
collaborated in a report presented at the XV International Congress on
Hygiene and Demography. Since that time the writer, working
independently, has found it desirable to reorganize completely the
original outline announced by Dr. Morrow.

In accordance with a declaration made voluntarily in a conversation
with Dr. Morrow, the author considers himself pledged to devote all
royalties from this book to the movement for sex-education.

Among the many persons to whom is due acknowledgment of helpfulness in
the preparation of this book, the author is especially indebted for
suggestions to the late Dr. Prince A. Morrow, to Dr. William F. Snow,
Secretary of the American Social Hygiene Association, and to Dr. Edward
L. Keyes, Jr., President of the Society of Sanitary and Moral
Prophylaxis; for constructive criticism, to his colleagues, Professor
Jean Broadhurst and Miss Caroline E. Stackpole, of Teachers College,
who have read carefully both the original lectures and the completed
manuscript; and to Olive Crosby Whitin (Mrs. Frederick H. Whitin),
executive secretary of the Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis,
who has suggested and criticized helpfully both as a reader of the
manuscript and as an auditor of many of the lectures delivered at
Teachers College.


    December 28, 1915.




      § 1. Sex-education and its relation to sex-hygiene and
      social hygiene. § 2. The misunderstanding of sex. § 3. The
      need of sex-instruction. § 4. The scope of sex-education.

  II. THE PROBLEMS FOR SEX-EDUCATION                                28

      § 5. Sex problems and the need of special knowledge. § 6.
      First problem: Personal sex-hygiene. § 7. Second problem:
      Social diseases. § 8. Third problem: Social evil. § 9.
      Fourth problem: Illegitimacy. § 10. Fifth problem: Sexual
      morality. § 11. Sixth problem: Sexual vulgarity. § 12.
      Seventh problem: Marriage. § 13. Eighth Problem: Eugenics.
      § 14. Summary.


      § 15. The task of sex-education. § 16. The aims of
      sex-education. § 17. The aims as the basis of organized

  IV. THE TEACHER OF SEX-KNOWLEDGE                                 108

      § 18. Who should give sex-instruction? § 19. The child's
      first teachers of sex-knowledge. § 20. Selecting teachers
      for class instruction. § 21. Certain undesirable teachers
      for special hygienic and ethical instruction.


      § 22. Value and danger of special sex-books for young
      people. § 23. General literature and sex problems. § 24.
      Dangers in literature on sexual abnormality.


      § 25. Elementary instruction and influence. § 26. Hygienic
      and educational treatment of unhealthful habits.


      § 27. The biological foundations. § 28. Scientific facts
      for boys. § 29. Scientific facts for girls.


      § 30. Developing attitude towards womanhood. § 31.
      Developing ideals of love and marriage. § 32. Reasons for
      pre-marital continence. § 33. Essential knowledge
      concerning prostitution. § 34. Need of refinement of men.
      § 35. Dancing as a sex problem for men. § 36. Dress of women
      as a sex problem for men. § 37. The problem of self-control
      for young men. § 38. The mental side of a young man's
      sexual life.


      § 39. The young woman's attitude towards manhood. § 40. The
      young woman's attitude towards love and marriage. § 41.
      Reasons for pre-marital continence of young women. § 42.
      Need of optimistic and æsthetic views of sex by women.
      § 43. Other problems for young women.

   X. CRITICISMS OF SEX-EDUCATION                                  203

      § 44. A plea for reticence--Agnes Repplier. § 45. A plea
      for religious approach--Cosmo Hamilton. § 46. The conflict
      between sex-hygiene and sex-ethics--Richard Cabot § 47. The
      arrogance of the advocates of sex-education--William H.
      Maxwell. § 48. Lubricity in education--W.H. Taft. § 49.
      Conclusions from the criticisms of sex-education.


      § 50. The American movement. § 51. Important steps. § 52.
      The future of the larger sex-education.

 XII. SOME BOOKS FOR SEX-EDUCATION                                 238

      INDEX                                                        249



§ 1. _Sex-education and Its Relation to Sex-hygiene and Social Hygiene_

[Sidenote: Definition of sex-education.]

Sex-education in its largest sense includes all scientific, ethical,
social, and religious instruction and influence which directly and
indirectly may help young people prepare to solve for themselves the
problems of sex that inevitably come in some form into the life of
every normal human individual. Note the carefully guarded phrase "help
young people prepare to solve for themselves the problems of sex", for,
like education in general, special sex-education cannot possibly do
more than help the individual prepare to face the problems of life.

[Sidenote: More than sex-hygiene.]

Now, sex-education as thus defined is more extensive than sex-hygiene,
which term was originally applied to instruction concerning sex.
Sex-hygiene obviously refers to health as influenced by sexual
processes, and as such it is a convenient subdivision of the science of
health. It would be quite satisfactory as a name for popular
instruction concerning sex if that were strictly, or even primarily,
hygienic; but in a later lecture it will be shown that the most
desirable sex-instruction is only in a minor part a problem of hygiene.
I realize that this statement may be declared heretical by many of the
present-day advocates of sex-hygiene, because they have approached this
latest educational movement from the standpoint of physical health, and
especially because their attention has been drawn to the very common
occurrence of pathological conditions. Nevertheless, the sexual
problems of our times do not all affect physical health, which hygiene
aims to conserve; and the sex-educational movement will be quite
inadequate without great stress upon certain ethical, social, and other
aspects of sex. Young people need instruction that relates not only to
health but also to attitude and to morals as these three are influenced
by sexual instincts and relationships. This idea will be developed
later, but I anticipate here simply to suggest the point of view of the
statement that "sex-hygiene" is altogether too limited as a general
designation for the desirable instruction concerning sex. The continued
use of the term "sex-hygiene," now that the scope of the desirable
sex-instruction has been extended far beyond the accepted limits of the
science of health, is tending to cause confusion. The educational
problems will be more definite and the support of the intelligent
public more assured if we limit the use of "sex-hygiene" to the
specific problems of health as affected by sexual processes and cease
trying to make it include those phases of sex-instruction which have
nothing directly to do with health.

Two general terms, "sex-instruction" and "sex-education," are available
as all-inclusive designations of the desirable instruction concerning
any aspects of sex. They are quite free from the above objections to
"sex-hygiene," and it is highly desirable that they should be used in
all educational discussions where there is no specific reference to the
problems of health. Sex-hygiene will be used in these lectures only
when there is some direct reference to health as influenced by the
sexual functions.

[Sidenote: Social hygiene.]

Social hygiene in its complete sense means the great general movement
for the improvement of the conditions of life in all lines in which
there is social ill health or need of social reform; but it is often
limited to the sexual aspect of the unfortunate and unfavorable
conditions of life, and it has been proposed to adopt the term "social
hygiene" as a substitute that avoids the word "sex" in sex-hygiene. For
this reason it has been incorporated into the names of several
societies that are interested in sex-hygiene (_e.g._, the American
Social Hygiene Association). Probably the relation of sex-hygiene to
the so-called "social evil" has suggested the use of social hygiene in
its most limited sense. It will be unfortunate if this usage becomes so
prominent that we think of the health problems of society as chiefly
sexual, for the larger outlook of Ellis's "Task of Social Hygiene" is
desirable. Likewise, the phrase "social evil" in the sense of sexual
evil misleadingly suggests that the only evil of society is the sexual
one, but this evasive designation is being supplanted by the more
definite and franker word "prostitution."

It should be noted that "social hygiene" as a substitute for
"sex-hygiene" is narrower in that it does not include the personal
problems of health as affected by sexual processes. This is a serious
omission, for certainly all sex-hygiene taught before the later
adolescent years should be personal and not social.

[Sidenote: Phases of sex-education.]

The relation of sex-hygiene or social hygiene as a limited phase of
sex-education is shown by the following outline:

                       { sex-hygiene (personal, | for sexual health
                       { social)                |
                       {                        |
                       { biology (including     | for attitude
                       { physiology) of         | regarding sex,
                       { reproduction           | and for important
                       {                        | scientific facts
                       {                        |
In the broadest        { heredity and eugenics  | for sexual conduct
outlook, sex-education {                        | leading to race
(or sex-instruction)   {                        | improvement
includes:              {                        |
                       { ethics and sociology   | for sexual conduct
                       { of sex                 |
                       {                        |
                       { psychology of sex      | for sexual health
                       {                        | and conduct
                       {                        |
                       { æsthetics of sex       | for attitude

[Sidenote: Sex and reproduction.]

Since the original purpose of sex was perpetuation of plant and animal
species, and since in the study of biology the idea of sex is
illustrated and developed by examination of the reproductive processes
in various types, it has been customary for many writers on
sex-education to use the terms "sex" and "reproduction" as if they were
synonymous. This is no longer so in human life; for while reproduction
is a sexual process, sexual activities and influences are often quite
unrelated to reproduction. In fact, most of the big problems that have
made sex-education desirable, if not necessary, are problems of sex
apart from reproduction. It therefore seems clear that, while studies
of reproduction are prominent in sex-education, they should be regarded
as introductory to the problems of sex, especially for young people.

§ 2. _The Misunderstanding of Sex_

[Sidenote: Objection to word "sex."]

Some educators have expressed the wish that some one might suggest a
satisfactory substitute for the terms "sex-hygiene" and
"sex-education," omitting the word "sex." This word and its companion
"sexual" are objectionable because they are associated in the minds of
most people with vulgar interpretation of the physical aspects of the
beginning of individual life, and much of the opposition to the
proposed sex-instruction in home and schools is evidently based on the
feeling that the very word "sex" involves something inherently vulgar.

[Sidenote: Definite words necessary.]

It is probable that many decades will pass before the majority of
intelligent people cease to feel that the words "sex" and "sexual" have
had such vulgar associations that they should be kept out of our
everyday vocabulary, but I can see no hope of developing an improved
attitude towards the sexual aspect of human life if we continue to
admit that we are afraid of the necessary words. It seems to me that in
one decade there has been a great advance in that the scientific
writers and speakers on problems of sex have been using words which
definitely and directly express the desired meanings, and have avoided
the suggestive circumlocutions which characterize many modern realistic
novels. One who does not already appreciate the serious impressiveness
of cold scientific language in discussion of sexual problems should
take one of the indecently suggestive paragraphs from stories in the
most notoriously vulgar of the fifteen-cent magazines, and translate
the meaning of the paragraph into direct and definite words. The result
will be complete loss of the stealthy suggestiveness which has made
concealed sexuality so dangerously attractive to the type of mind that
revels in the modern sex-problem novels. We want no such suggestive
concealment in a scheme of sex-education, for it aims at a purer and
higher understanding of sex in human life. We must have direct and
definite and dignified scientific language, and among the necessary
words none are as essential as "sex" and "sexual." We must use them
freely if attitude towards sex is to be improved; and their dignified
and scientific usage will gradually dispel the embarrassment which many
unfortunate people now experience when these words remind them that the
perpetuation of life in all its higher forms has been intrusted to the
coöperation of two kinds, or sexes, of individuals.

Thus viewing the objections which have been raised against the use of
the word "sex" in the educational movement, I have shifted my first
stand with the opposition until now I favor the frank and dignified use
of this and similar words on appropriate occasions. I believe that
those interested in the search for solutions of the vital problems of
sex should quietly but systematically work to include the words "sex"
and "sexual" in the dignified and scientific vocabulary needed by all
people to express the newer and nobler interpretations of the
relationships between men and women.

[Sidenote: No "sex" studies.]

Of course, this does not mean that sex, either as a word or as a fact
of nature, should be over-emphasized with people who are too young to
appreciate the fundamental facts of life. As already suggested, it is
not desirable that any parts of the curricula for schools should be
known to the pupils as "sex" studies; but we need such terms as
"sex-hygiene" and "sex-instruction" to indicate to teachers and parents
that certain parts of the education of the children are being directed
towards a healthy, natural and wholesome relation to sex.

[Sidenote: "Sex" and "love."]

It is absurd to suppose that the free, dignified, and scientific use of
the word "sex" is going to make people more sensual, more uncontrolled,
and more immoral. There is much more reason for fearing the free use of
the word "love," which has both psychical and physical meanings so
confused that often only the context of sentences enables one to
determine which meaning is intended. In fact, many writers and speakers
seek to avoid all possible misunderstanding by using the word
"affection" for psychical love. Now, in spite of such confusion, and
the fact that to many people the word "love" in connection with sex
suggests only gross sensuality, we continue to use it freely and it is
one of the first words taught to children. Why then do we not hear
protests against using the word "love"? Simply because we have been
from childhood accustomed to the word, first in its psychical sense,
and it is only later that most of us have learned that it has a sensual
meaning to some people. In short, familiarity with the word "love" in
its psychical sense has bred in us a contempt for those who mistake the
physical basis of love for love in its combined physical and psychical

[Sidenote: Meaning of sex.]

To many it is surprising to find that the word "sex" has never been
used in such degraded connections as has the word "love," and that it
has not been half so much misunderstood. There is no obvious vulgarity
in the lexicographer's definitions of the word "sex." It simply means,
as the science of biology points out so clearly, that the perpetuation
of human life, and of most other species of life, has been intrusted to
pairs of individuals which are of the two kinds commonly called the
sexes, male and female. Why nature determined that each new life in the
vast majority of species should develop from two other lives has long
been a biological puzzle, and most satisfactory of the answers given is
that bi-parental origin of new individuals allows for new combinations
of heritable qualities from two lines of descent. However, such a
biological explanation of the relation of the two sexes to double
parentage is of relatively little practical significance in present-day
human life when compared with the fact that out of the necessity for
life's perpetuation by two coöperating individuals there has grown
psychical or spiritual love with all its splendid possibilities that
are evident in ideal family life. Moreover, the influence of sex in
human life has extended far beyond the family (that is, that group of
individuals who stand related to one another as husband, wife, parents,
and children), for it is a careless observer indeed who does not note
in our daily life many social and psychical relationships of men and
women who have no mutual interests relating to the biological processes
of race perpetuation. Of course, the psychologist recognizes that far
back of the platonic contact of the sexes on social and intellectual
lines is the suppressed and primal instinct that provides physical
unions for race perpetuation. However, this is of no practical
interest, for, as a matter of fact, the primal instincts are quite
subconscious in the usual social relations between the sexes.

[Sidenote: The larger view of sex.]

There is grandeur in this view of sex as originally a provision for
perpetuation of life by two coöperating individuals, later becoming the
basis of conjugal affection of the two individuals for each other and
of their parental affection for their offspring, and finally leading to
social and intellectual comradeship of men and women meeting on terms
which are practically free from the original and biological meaning of

Instead, then, of trying to keep sex, both word and fact, in the
background of the new educational movement, I believe it is best to
work definitely for a better understanding of the part which sex plays
in human life, as outlined in the preceding paragraph. Hence, in these
lectures I shall never go aside in order to avoid either the word or
the idea of sex; on the contrary, I shall attempt to direct the
discussion so as to emphasize the larger and very modern view of the
relationship of sex and human life.

[Sidenote: The many-sided bearings of sex.]

In this first lecture I want to make it clear that the rôle of sex in
human life is vastly greater than that directly involved in sexual
activity. I shall in several lectures touch the big problems from the
standpoint of the sexual instincts as these play an important part in
social, psychical, and æsthetic life even if they are rarely exercised,
physiologically, or if, as in millions of individuals, they never come
to mean more than possibilities of sexual activity for which
opportunities in marriage do not come. I am especially anxious to avoid
the narrow viewpoint of numerous writers on sex-hygiene who seem to
overlook the fact that sexual functioning is only a prominent incident
in the cycle of sexual influences in the lives of most people. Human
life, and especially marriage, should no longer be regarded from the
mere biological point of view as for the sole purpose of reproductive
activity. It is a far more uplifting view that the conscious or
unconscious existence of the sexual instincts, with or without
occasional activity, affords the fundamental physical basis for states
of mind that may profoundly affect the whole course of life in every
normal man and woman.

Supplementary to this section on the "Misunderstanding of Sex," I
suggest the reading of Chapters I-VI of "Sex" by Geddes and Thomson,
the "Problems of Sex" by the same authors, and Chapter VI in "The
Wonder of Life" by Thomson.

§ 3. _The Need of Sex-Instruction_

[Sidenote: The old silence and the new enlightenment.]

The time-honored policy has been one of silence and mystery concerning
all things sexual. Everything in that line has long been considered
impure and degraded and, therefore, the less said and the less known,
the better, especially for young people. Such has been the almost
universal attitude of parents until within the present century, when
many have awakened to the fact that the policy of silence has been a
gigantic failure, because it has not preserved purity and innocence and
because it has allowed grave evils, both hygienic and moral, to develop
under the cloak of secrecy.

[Sidenote: Children will not remain ignorant.]

"I don't believe in teaching my boys and girls any facts concerning
sex. I prefer to keep them innocent until they have grown up." In these
decisive words a prominent woman closed a statement of her firm
conviction that the world-wide movement for the sex-instruction of
young people is a stupendous mistake. Poor deluded mother! How does she
expect to keep her children ignorant of the world of life around them?
Is she planning to transplant them to a deserted island where they may
grow up innocently? Or is she going to keep the children in some
cloister within whose walls there will be immunity from the
contamination of the great busy world outside? Or is she going to have
them guarded like crown princes, and if so, where are absolutely safe
guards to be found? Such are the questions which rush into the minds of
those who have studied the problem of keeping children ignorant of the
most significant facts of life. It is usually an easy matter to protect
children against smallpox and typhoid and some other diseases, but no
parent or educator has yet found out how we may be sure to keep real
live children ignorant of sex knowledge. They seem to absorb such
forbidden facts as naturally and as freely as the air they breathe.
Ask any large group of representative men--ministers, or doctors, or
teachers, or men of business, or the world's toilers--whether any of
them knew the essential facts of sexual life before they were twelve
years of age, and ninety-seven in every hundred will answer quickly in
the affirmative. Ask any large group of women, excepting those whose
girlhood has been guarded with exceptional care, and the overwhelming
majority will acknowledge that they knew the essential facts before
they were fifteen years old. Once more, ask these same men and women
whether their early knowledge of sex came from pure and reliable
sources or from vulgar playmates and depraved servants; and with rare
exceptions it is found that vulgarity made the strongest impression in
the first lessons concerning the great facts of life. Such being the
truth, it is nonsense for parents to sit in complacency because they
feel sure that their children are safely protected against any vulgar
first lessons concerning sex; for no one can know that children are
safely guarded from others who may corrupt their innocent minds. As an
illustration, a few years ago the mothers of a group of little girls in
one of the best-managed private schools felt that with careful
supervision both in school and home there was no danger of forbidden
knowledge reaching the children. But one day a new pupil innocently
exhibited to her mother a miniature notebook with unprintable notes on
sexual topics. The resulting investigation revealed a secret club
organized by the pupils for the purpose of passing to each member
through notebooks all newly acquired information, which had a peculiar
value because it must be kept secret from teachers and parents. That
club had been in existence during two school years. This is only a
sample case of many which have proved that if children are allowed the
freedom that developing individuality demands, their mothers must not
feel too sure that their darlings are protected against knowledge of
life, and perhaps of life in its most degraded aspects.

[Sidenote: The vital question for parents.]

Here, then, is the fact that every parent should ponder seriously:
Normal children are almost certain to get sexual information not later
than the early adolescent years, and usually from unreliable and vulgar
sources. It is, therefore, not a question whether children of school
ages should be taught the important facts of sex, but whether parents
and trained teachers rather than playmates and other unreliable persons
should be the instructors. Which will parents choose for their own
children? Thousands of intelligent parents have already faced this
question, and have decided that their children shall have early
sex-instruction in home or school or both in order that there will be
little danger of vulgar impressions taking a deep hold on child minds.

Granted, then, that children should be given some reliable instruction
concerning things sexual, who should be the teacher, what should be
taught, and when should the instruction be given? These are the
fundamental questions now being considered by the parents and educators
who have accepted sex-education as necessary. Upon the final answers to
such questions the decision of many parents will depend. I shall
attempt to answer them in later lectures.

[Sidenote: Sex mystery has prevented progress.]

The policy of maintaining mystery and secrecy concerning sex has failed
with adults even more sadly than with children. Health and morals have
suffered incalculable injury. The sexual evils of our time are not as
bad as were those of the ancient civilizations, but we have little
reason to be proud of the slight progress made. But why should we
expect the human to make progress when sexual problems have been kept
in darkness? The wonder is that, with the prevailing dark outlook on
sexual life throughout the past nineteen centuries, the world has not
developed more sexual vice. Innate animalistic appetites have tended to
lead downward, and surely the policy of silence has offered no
counteracting influence towards higher living. While religion and
ethics, by means of certain rules of conduct, have maintained certain
sexual standards, they have not kept vast numbers of humans from
falling far below those standards into utter degradation. The modern
teachers of religion and ethics have prevented general sexual
degradation, but they have failed to give human sexuality any decided
uplift. The reason for this failure is the policy of mystery and
silence. The teachers of religion and ethics have preferred to let
general and more or less abstruse rules govern conduct in sexual lines.
Until recent years there have been few sermons in which common sexual
problems have been presented so that the preacher's meaning has been
clear to all. On the contrary, there has been universal mystery and
evasion concerning the greatest facts of life.

[Sidenote: Sexual instincts offer no guidance.]

Many people have justified the mystery thrown around sexual processes
on the theory that the reproductive instincts of mature people are
sufficient guides for conduct. This involves a misunderstanding of
sexual instincts of the higher mammals which are often unscientifically
cited as models for human imitation. In these animals sexual union is
instinctively determined, because normally the sexual hunger or
excitement of both sexes is stimulated and controlled by the
physiological condition of the female at the times favorable for
fertilization (_i.e._, at the oestrual periods). For example, a pair of
dogs living in close companionship show signs of mutual sexual desires
only for a few days at the semi-annual oestrual or fertile periods of
the female. It occasionally happens that the males of various wild and
domesticated mammals exhibit signs of automatic sexual excitement
(_i.e._, not caused by the stimulus arising from the physiological
condition of the female); but in such cases of male excitement outside
of the mating or oestrual periods, the normal females invariably offer
instinctive opposition to attempted union by abnormally or
automatically excited males. Thus, directly and indirectly, there is
instinctive control and limitation of sexual union among the animals
that are most closely related to the human race.

It is biologically possible that similar conditions may have existed in
the earliest human life, but that is pure speculation and has no
bearing on the practical problems of sex in human life to-day. The fact
is that the simple physiological stimuli which produce sexual
excitement in both sexes of animals have practically no influence in
determining human sexual union. On the contrary, memory associations
consciously connected with the opposite sex, especially those
associations that are centered in affection, may at any time in the
normal individual of either human sex afford the basis for a chain of
mental states leading to sexual excitement and union. There is not, as
in the animals, instinctive dependence on the physiological conditions
that are favorable for fertilization. In fact, spontaneous
physiological demands play in civilized human life a minor part in
initiating sexual excitement. The reason why some humans seem to have
unusual sexual intensity is not so much a matter of exceptionally
strong sexuality as of susceptibility to the numerous sexual stimuli
with which modern life abounds. For this reason, a man who has formed
lewd memory associations is more susceptible to sexual stimulations,
_e.g._, by obscene pictures, vulgar words, unusual dress or actions of
women, close physical association as in dancing, and certain forms of
music. It is not at all uncommon that individuals who are
hyper-sensitive to sexually suggestive stimuli are really functionally

[Sidenote: Intelligent control only.]

It follows from the facts outlined above that instinctive control of
sexual actions applies to animals but not to human life. On the
contrary, human control must be on the basis of intelligent choice.
This means the greatest task of human life, for it requires voluntary
control of instinctive demands which are intensified by numerous
stimuli or temptations that are exclusively human. No wonder that
natural sex hunger left uncontrolled leads human beings to excesses and
degradation that no species of animals with their guiding instincts
could possibly reach.

[Sidenote: Individual responsibility.]

The absence from human life of any instinctive control of sexual
actions leaves a great responsibility on each individual whose natural
desires lead impulsively and insistently towards sexual union and must
be restrained, controlled, and directed by voluntary choice. In short,
all individuals who are intelligent beings are personally responsible
for voluntary control of their sexual desires with reference to the
ethical, social, and eugenic interests and rights of all other
individuals now and in the future.

[Sidenote: Sexual knowledge necessary.]

With such an understanding of instincts in relation to human sexual
actions, we cannot wonder that the old policy of mystery has failed so
completely. Since human beings are left to control the most powerful
appetite by intelligence, it is evident that a policy based on silence,
ignorance, and mystery must fail. The only safe and sure road to the
needed control of sexual actions is to be found in knowledge, and the
widespread recognition of this fact has led to the new movement for
general enlightenment regarding sexual processes in their various
relations to human life.

[Sidenote: Education as a solution of sex problems.]

It is not surprising that we have turned to seek an educational
solution for the problems of sex. Education has become the modern
panacea for many of our ills--hygienic, industrial, political, and
social. We have found people losing health for various reasons and we
have proposed hygienic instruction as a prophylactic. We have analyzed
many problems of the industries, and now we are beginning to seek their
solution in industrial education. We have noted that numerous social
and political misunderstandings check progress of individuals and
nations, and we are coming to think the pathway upwards is to be found
in better knowledge of social and political science. And, in like
manner, in every phase of this modern life of ours we are looking to
knowledge as the key to all significant problems. It is truly the age
of education, not simply the education offered in schools and colleges,
but education in the larger sense, including the learning of useful
knowledge from all sources whatsoever.

With such unbounded confidence in the all-sufficiency of education, it
is most natural that we should turn to it in these times when we have
come to realize the existence of amazing sexual problems caused either
by ignorant misuse, or by deliberate abuse, of the sexual functions
which biologically are intrusted with the perpetuation of human life
and which psychologically are the source of human affection in its
supreme forms. If education is to solve the civic, hygienic, and
industrial problems of to-day and to-morrow, why should it not also
help with the age-old sexual evils? So reasoning, we have naturally
turned to education as one, but not the only, method of attack on the
sexual problems which have degraded and devitalized human life of all
past times, but which somehow have kept out of the limelight of
publicity until our own times.

§ 4. _The Scope of Sex-education_

[Sidenote: Sex-education is not primarily for schools.]

It is well to make clear in this first lecture that no one proposes to
limit sex-instruction to schools and colleges. We may safely leave
mathematics and writing and even reading to schools, but sex-education
will fail unless the schools can get the coöperation of the homes, the
churches, the Y.M.C.A., the Y.W.C.A., the W.C.T.U., the Boy Scouts, the
Camp Fire Girls, and other organizations which aim to reach young
people socially, religiously, and ethically. The part which these have
already taken in the sex-education movement is in the aggregate far
more important than what the schools have been able to accomplish.
Sex-education, then, should be understood as including all serious
instruction--no matter where or when or by whom given--which aims to
help young people face the problems that normal sexual processes bring
to every life.

[Sidenote: Sex-instruction impossible in most homes.]

In a later lecture I shall urge the importance of beginning
sex-instruction in the home. There are some parents who wish that it
were possible not only to begin but also to end it there, for they fear
that public instruction will lead to a weakening of a certain sense of
reserve and privacy that has long been considered sacred to the best
family life. Perhaps this has some truth, but we must remember that
only in rare homes are there such ideal relationships of parents to
each other and to their offspring that matters of sex are sacred to the
family circle. The fact which parents and educators must face is that
there are now relatively few homes in which there is one parent able to
begin the elementary instruction of young children; and, therefore, as
a practical matter for the best interests of the vast majority of young
people, we must consider ways and means for instruction outside of most
homes. This need not interfere in the least with the parents who are
able and willing to give sex-instruction to the children, for the home
instruction will naturally anticipate that which the schools must give
for the pupils who are not properly instructed at home. It seems to me
to be a situation like that of children learning to read at home and
later continuing reading at school. Sex-instruction begun at home will
form the child's attitude and give him some elementary information, and
later he may profitably learn more in the same lines in the class work
of school, especially in connection with science instruction for which
few homes have facilities. Moreover, it is quite possible that one
instructed at home in childhood may gain from later school instruction
something of great social value, for we must remember that the problems
of sex which most demand attention are not individual, but social.
Hence, it may be worth while for the home-instructed individual to
learn through class instruction that people outside the home look
seriously upon knowledge concerning sexual processes, and that every
individual's life must be adjusted to other lives, that is, to society.

Summarizing, it appears that however desirable home instruction
regarding sex may be, the majority of parents are not able and willing
to undertake the work, and so the public educational system and
organizations for social and religious work should provide a scheme of
instruction which will make sure that all young people will have an
opportunity to get the most helpful information for the guidance of
their lives.

[Sidenote: Caution in school instruction.]

[Sidenote: Parents' co-operation.]

In order to gain the serious attention of those who believe themselves
unalterably opposed to school instruction regarding things sexual, I
anticipate a later discussion and mention in this connection that
there must be great caution in all attempts at school teaching that
directly touches human sexual life. It would be a dangerous experiment
to introduce sex-instruction into all schools by sudden legislation.
There must be specially trained teachers of selected personality and
tact. No existing high school has enough such teachers, and in the
grammar schools where the pupils are at the age when proper instruction
would influence them most, the problem of general class instruction is
absolutely unsolved. Only here and there in schools below the high
school has a teacher or principal of rare quality made satisfactory
experimental teaching. So uncertain are we at present regarding how we
should approach the problem of teaching grammar-school children that
the only safe advice for general use is that teachers, or preferably
principals, should begin with parents' conferences led by one who is a
conservative expert on sex-instruction. Were I principal of a school
with pupils from, say, two hundred and fifty homes, I should begin at
once to organize conferences designed to awaken the parents to the need
of sex-instruction for their children, and to the importance of making
at least a beginning in the homes. I should expect, according to the
experience of others, that of the five hundred parents, two hundred
mothers and fifty fathers would take an interest in the conferences,
and that at least one hundred fathers too busy for meetings would
approve heartily after hearing reports from their wives. Thus, I
should try to reach the majority of homes represented in my school. I
should be in no hurry to introduce class instruction--I mean
instruction related directly to human life; but, of course, I should
encourage my teachers to emphasize the life-histories of animals and
plants in the nature-study, and so lay in the pupils' minds a firm
foundation for later connection between human life and all life. At the
same time, I should keep my teachers on the lookout for individual
pupils or groups that might need special attention and, if such be
found, I should seek the coöperation of their parents. And finally,
after a year or two of co-working with parents, I should hope to get
permission for special talks based on nature-study and hygiene. These
talks should first be given to limited groups of pupils, preferably in
the presence of some parents who are interested and who have given
their children some home instruction. Working along such conservative
lines, I believe a tactful principal of a grammar school might succeed
in developing much of the needed instruction for pre-adolescent pupils.

[Sidenote: Instruction in high schools.]

With regard to high-school pupils, we should remember that nine-tenths
of the desirable information is already included in the biology of our
best high schools. The remaining tenth is that which connects all life
with human life; and this requires tact and exceptional skill. However,
the high schools no longer offer an insoluble problem, for many
teachers have succeeded in giving the desirable instruction to the
satisfaction of critical principals and parents.

[Sidenote: Sex-education from early childhood to maturity.]

There is a widespread impression that sex-instruction should begin with
the approach of adolescence and soon be completed. This idea is often
expressed by parents and even by prominent educators who say that the
father or teacher ought "to take the boy of thirteen aside and tell him
some things he ought to know." Still others have the same point of view
when they advocate that a physician should be called for a lecture to
high-school boys. In fact, most people who have not seriously studied
the problems of sex-education seem to believe that one concentrated
dose of sex-instruction in adolescent years is sufficient guidance for
young people.

Such limited personal instruction might suffice if sex-education were
limited to sex-hygiene. A few hygienic commands in pre-adolescent years
and one impressive talk in early puberty might teach the boy or girl
how not to interfere with health; but it is improbable that such brief
instruction will make a permanent impression which will insure hygienic
practice of the precepts laid down. If we hold that sex-hygiene is
important, then it must be drilled into the learner from several points
of view. An isolated lesson on any topic of general hygiene is of very
doubtful efficiency.

[Sidenote: Brief instruction does not fix attitude.]

The most important reason why sex-instruction should not be
concentrated in a short period of youth is that it is impossible to
exert the most desirable influence upon health, attitude, and morals
except by instruction beginning in early childhood and graded for each
period of life up to maturity. Most young people who in early
adolescence receive their first lessons from parents and teachers have
already had their attitude formed by their playmates. Even their morals
may become corrupted and their health irreparably injured several years
before puberty. The only sure pathway to health, attitude, and morals
is in beginning with young children and instructing them as gradually
as the problems of sex come forward.

[Sidenote: Sex-instruction after youth.]

The greatest possible good of sex-education will not be secured if it
stops with early adolescent years. There are many problems of sex in
relation to society, particularly in relation to monogamic marriage,
that young people should be led to consider in the late teens and early
twenties. Our sex-education system will not be completely organized
until we find ways and means for carrying the instruction by lectures,
conferences, and books beyond the years commonly occupied by
public-school education. Colleges and other higher educational
institutions may contribute somewhat to this advanced sex-instruction;
but obviously the great majority of maturing young people cannot be
reached personally except by instruction arranged in churches, the
Y.M.C.A., and the Y.W.C.A., evening schools, and other such
institutions. In many respects this proposed instruction for maturing
young people is of very great importance and deserves encouragement
such as has not yet been given by those who have written and lectured
in favor of a movement for sex-education of young people.

[Sidenote: The larger sex-education.]

In conclusion of this introductory lecture, let me say that I have
tried to suggest in a general survey that sex-education in its largest
outlook touches great problems of life in very many ways. I have also
tried to convince that it is far more than merely a school subject,
limited entirely to a curriculum extended over a few years. This is the
common misunderstanding arising from the familiar use of the word
"education." As opposed to this narrow conception, I understand
sex-education, the larger sex-education, to be a collective term
designating all organized effort, both in and out of schools, toward
instructing and influencing young people with regard to the problems of
sex. Here we have returned to the central thought of the definition
with which this lecture opened, and which I emphasize because it is the
foundation of all future lectures: The larger sex-education includes
all scientific, ethical, social, and religious instruction and
influence which in any way may help young people prepare to meet the
problems of life in relation to sex.



§ 5. _Sex Problems and the Need of Special Knowledge_

[Sidenote: Arguments for sex-education.]

In these lectures I shall discuss the great sex problems towards the
solution of which knowledge conveyed by special education may help.
These problems offer reasons or arguments in favor of sex-education,
and I shall attempt to present them from this point of view. I shall at
the same time point out in preliminary outline how organized
instruction may apply more or less directly to the sex problems that
seem to show the need of educational attack, but in later lectures the
organization of instruction will be considered more specifically.

[Sidenote: Propagandism needed.]

In reviewing the literature that during the past decade has advocated
sex-education, it has seemed to me that there is left little
possibility of any decidedly new and important contribution to the
arguments favoring such instruction, for the whole case has been
splendidly presented by eminent writers in the fields of medicine,
biology, sociology, and ethics. It now appears that the great majority
of educators, scientists, and intelligent citizens in general have
accepted the arguments for sex-instruction, so far as they have been
informed concerning the meaning and need of the movement; and this
leads me to the belief that in the future we need not new arguments but
frequent restatements of the established facts which indicate the
importance of widespread knowledge regarding the function that is
inseparably connected with the perpetuation of life. In short, we now
need a propagandism for extending the sex-education movement among the
masses of people.

For those who have already accepted sex-education, a survey of the
facts that created a demand for sex-instruction will give a clearer
outlook on the movement. The rapid increase of interest in
sex-education has been the result of widespread dissemination of
convincing facts concerning some common disharmonies that grow out of
the sexual problems of the human race. These facts which have led to
sex-education should be kept in mind by all who wish to understand or
to play a part in the instruction of young people.

It is quite unnecessary, and still more undesirable, to recite at
length in these lectures the social, medical, and psycho-pathological
facts concerning abnormal or perverted sexual processes. Fortunately,
the educational ends may be gained by a general review that points out
the bearings of the main lines of the sexual problems, the
misunderstandings and mistakes that education may help prevent and

[Sidenote: Parents should know reasons for sex-instruction.]

It is important that the general public, especially the parents, should
understand the reasons which have induced numerous physicians,
ministers, and educators to become active advocates of systematic
sex-instruction for young people. Although the movement has made
extensive progress in the ten years of propagandic work, is probably
true that the majority of even intelligent parents are not yet
convinced that their children need sex-instruction. This is due largely
to the fact that the parents have not yet been shown the reasons why it
is now, and always has been, unsafe to allow children to gain more or
less sexual information from unreliable and vulgar sources. In fact, it
is surprising to find many parents, especially mothers, who seem unable
to grasp the idea that their "protected" children can possibly get
impure information.

There are other parents who know that their children are almost sure to
get vulgar information regarding sexual matters, and that some young
people are likely to make sexual mistakes; but they calmly look upon
such things as part of the established order of the world.

Still another type of parents who should know the reasons for
sex-instruction are those who accept the traditional idea that their
daughters must be kept "protected" and "innocent" while their sons are
free to sow a large field of "wild oats," concerning which society in
general, and such parents in particular, will care little as long as
social diseases, bastardy suits, or chronic alcoholism do not result
from the dissipations. These are the fathers and mothers who need the
most enlightenment concerning the importance of such sex-instruction as
will make clear the far-reaching consequences of "wild oat sowing."
Perhaps most such parents are ignorant, but some are simply
thoughtless. As an illustration of the latter, the editor of a
well-known magazine was recently talking with a prominent author and
made some reference to the immoral habits of young men. Their
conversation was essentially as follows: The author remarked, "I assume
that my boys will be boys and will have their fling before they settle
down and marry." The editor quickly replied, "Yes, and I presume that
you expect your boys to sow their wild oats with my daughters, and that
in return you will expect my sons to dissipate with your daughters. At
any rate, you have damnable designs on somebody's daughters." This put
on the wild-oat proposition a light which was apparently new to the
literary man, for he replied, "That is a phase of the young man's
problem which never occurred to me. It does sound startling when stated
in that personal way."

All these classes of parents who have not yet learned the facts which
point to ignorance as the cause of the abundant sexual errors of young
people and those who do not understand that sexual promiscuity or
immorality is an error of gravest significance both to the individual
and to society, should have set before them time and again some of the
startling facts which in the first five years of the American
sex-education movement were promulgated among physicians, ministers,
and educators. All such ignorant or indifferent parents will not take
an interest in the proposed sex-instruction unless they are convinced
by frank and forcible statements regarding the great need of special
safeguarding of young people.

[Sidenote: Special associations needed.]

Since there are so many people who still need the most elementary
knowledge concerning the sexual problems that demand educational
attack, it is important that there should be local associations which
can manage lectures, publications, conferences, and other means of
informing the public as to the gravity of the sexual problems of our
times, and as to the part which sex-instruction may play in the attempt
at finding a solution. Such work is now being done splendidly by the
societies named in § 51. The magnitude of the problem of reaching the
public is such that there is abundant work for numerous branches of
such societies or for local groups willing to take a part in the needed
work. As suggested elsewhere, the success of the movement for
sex-instruction of children of school ages will depend largely upon the
attitude and coöperation of parents; and hence it is important that
parents should be led to understand the reasons or arguments for
sex-instruction. In other words, they should know the problems that
indicate the importance of enlightening the rising generation
concerning the great facts of sex and life.

[Sidenote: Books for parents.]

Among the numerous publications that seem to me adapted for convincing
parents that their children need instruction, I commonly mention the
following: Lowry's "False Modesty" and "Teaching Sex Hygiene," Howard's
"Start your Child Right," Wile's "Sex Education," Galloway's "Biology
of Sex," March's "Towards Racial Health," Lyttleton's "Training of the
Young in Laws of Sex," and pamphlets by Dr. Prince Morrow. See also
pages 241-243.

[Sidenote: Knowledge needed concerning eight sex problems.]

There are eight important sex problems of our times that offer reasons
or arguments for sex-instruction, because ignorance plays a large part
in each problem. I shall state them briefly here and discuss each in
succeeding lectures: (1) Many people, especially in youth, need
hygienic knowledge concerning sexual processes as they affect personal
health. (2) There is an alarming amount of the dangerous social
diseases which are distributed chiefly by the sexual promiscuity or
immorality of many men. (3) The uncontrolled sexual passions of men
have led to enormous development of organized and commercialized
prostitution. (4) There are living to-day tens of thousands of
unmarried mothers and illegitimate children, the result of the common
sexual irresponsibility of men and the ignorance of women. (5) There is
need of more general following of a definite moral standard regarding
sexual relationships. (6) There is a prevailing unwholesome attitude of
mind concerning all sexual processes. (7) There is very general
misunderstanding of sexual life as related to healthy and happy
marriage. (8) There is need of eugenic responsibility for sexual
actions that concern future generations.

Here are the eight sexual problems of our times. Any one of them has
significance great enough to demand the attention of educators and
social reformers. One and all they point to the need of better
understanding regarding the sexual functions and their relation to
life. I shall now turn to outline the main facts concerning each of
these sexual problems so far as it seems likely that they will concern
educators and social workers. For convenience I shall use the following
brief headings: (1) Personal sex-hygiene, (2) social diseases, (3)
social evil, (4) illegitimacy, (5) sexual morality, (6) sexual
vulgarity, (7) sexual problems and marriage, (8) eugenics.

[Sidenote: Historical order.]

These sexual problems toward whose solution special instruction of
young people may help are stated here in the order in which they have
attracted attention as reasons for sex-education. Thus, for instance,
personal sex-hygiene was the chief reason recognized twenty years ago;
social diseases began to attract public attention ten years ago;
commercial prostitution has been especially prominent in the
discussions of the past five years; and only recently has there been
emphasis on sex-education with reference to eugenics.

The historical order which I follow in this lecture is not now the
order of greatest importance. For example, sexual morality (5) and
vulgarity (6) are probably of far greater significance than any of the
other sexual problems that offer arguments for sex-education.

[Sidenote: Not all sex problems concern youth.]

To avoid possible misunderstanding, let me repeat from the first
lecture the proposition that sex-education should extend in home and
school from childhood to maturity. It follows that these lectures
concerning the problems of sex that seriously affect the human race are
not all applicable as arguments for instruction in schools or for
children of school age. Some of the problems of sex point to the need
of special instruction in pre-adolescent or in adolescent years, but
some of them concern directly only those who are approaching maturity.

§ 6. _First Problem for Sex-instruction: Personal Sex-hygiene_

[Sidenote: Personal and social hygiene.]

It is convenient to group under personal sex-hygiene all hygienic
knowledge concerning sexual processes in their personal as
distinguished from their social aspects. The distinction between these
two aspects of sex-hygiene is essentially on the same basis as that
between personal and public hygiene. For example, indigestion and
overwork are matters of personal hygiene, while tuberculosis and
typhoid are problems of public hygiene because the individual case
leads through infection to disease of others. Similarly, such
individual disorders as masturbation and deranged menstruation concern
personal health directly, while venereal diseases are clearly included
in social sex-hygiene.

[Sidenote: Personal sex-hygiene needed.]

If there were no other reasons for sex-instruction, I believe that it
would be worth while to teach such hygienic knowledge of self and sex
as would guard young people against harmful habits and unhealthful care
of their sexual mechanisms; and which, moreover, would guide them
across the threshold of adolescence with some helpful understanding of
the significance of the metamorphosis. Many men and women suffer from
injured, if not ruined, health because they did not know, especially
between ten and fourteen years, the laws of personal sex-hygiene, which
concern health in ways not involving sexual relationship. Many boys and
some girls are injured both physically and mentally by the habit of
masturbation. Numerous girls are injured physically and many mentally
because they have not learned in advance the nature and hygiene of
menstruation. Many boys are injured both in mind and character because
they have no scientific guidance which helps them understand themselves
during the stormy transition from youth into manhood. Moreover, there
are certain simple hygienic commands that children under twelve should
receive from parents and teachers. In all these lines the bearings of
personal hygienic instruction are so obvious that we need not at this
time stop to consider in more detail this first reason or problem for
sex-instruction of young people.

§ 7. _Second Problem for Sex-instruction: Social Diseases_

[Sidenote: Recent publicity regarding vice and disease.]

During the past decade the general public has received some astounding
revelations concerning the enormous extent of illicit sexual
promiscuity, which is immorality according to our commonly accepted
code of morals. Along with the evidence as to the existence of
widespread promiscuity, has come the still more alarming information
from the medical profession that sexual promiscuity commonly
distributes the germs of the two highly infectious and exceedingly
destructive diseases, syphilis and gonorrhea, known in medical science
as venereal or social. When these are acquired by individuals guilty of
sexual promiscuity, they seriously and often fatally affect the victim;
but of far greater social-hygienic importance is the medical evidence
that they are very often transmitted to persons innocent of any
transgression of the moral law, especially to wives and children.

The medical revelations concerning the relation of sexual immorality to
the plague of social diseases, has come from certain eminent
physicians, notably the late Dr. Prince A. Morrow. His translation of
Fournier's "Syphilis and Marriage" (1881), his own "Social Diseases and
Marriage" (1904), and several of his pamphlets published by the
American Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, have been
authoritative statements of conditions as the medical world sees them.

[Sidenote: Social diseases and immorality.]

The extent of social diseases is a fairly accurate measure of the
minimum amount of immorality, for nothing is better established in
medical science than that promiscuity in sexual relations is directly
or indirectly responsible for spread of the microörganisms which cause
the diseases. If for several generations all men and women limited
their sexual relations to monogamic marriage, and the relatively rare
cases of non-sexual and prenatal infection were treated so as to render
them non-contagious, the social diseases would probably disappear from
the human family. Such a statement is significant only in showing the
relation of social diseases to sexual promiscuity, for of course, there
is no reasonable hope that the venereal germs will ever be annihilated
by universal monogamy.

[Sidenote: Attack by education and sanitation.]

Reduction of the amount of venereal disease must depend upon (1)
hygienic and moral education which will lead people to avoid the
sources of infection and (2) sanitary and medical science which works
either by applying antiseptic or other prophylactic methods for
preventing development of the causative microörganisms, or by using
germicides for destroying those germs which have already produced
disease. Thus the educational and the sanitary attack on the social
diseases lie parallel. Both are needed, for, even with all the possible
methods of attack, the progress against these diseases will be
exceedingly slow.

Those who are interested in the facts relating to social diseases which
point to the need of sex-education as one method of prevention, are
referred to the pamphlets published by the American Society of Sanitary
and Moral Prophylaxis; Morrow's "Social Diseases and Marriage";
Creighton's "The Social Disease and How to Fight It"; Dock's "Hygiene
and Morality"; Henderson's "Education with Reference to Sex"; and
certain chapters in Warbasse's "Medical Sociology."

[Sidenote: Estimated amount of disease.]

With regard to the accuracy of the commonly quoted statements
concerning the prevalence of social disease, and therefore of
immorality, it must be said in all fairness that there has been much
guesswork and some deliberate exaggeration. We learn from various books
and lectures that fifty, sixty-five, seventy-five and even ninety per
cent of the men in the United States over eighteen years of age are at
some time infected with at least one of the social diseases. The fact
is that there is no scientific way of getting accurate statistics, for
unlike other contagious diseases, the venereal ones are kept more or
less secret, and numerous cases cannot be discovered by health
officers. All the published figures regarding the prevalence of such
diseases are merely estimates based upon the experience of certain
physicians with special groups of men, especially in hospitals. There
is no reliable scientific evidence as to the prevalence of venereal
disease in the whole mass of our American population.

[Sidenote: Education not concerned with percentages.]

However, so far as education is concerned, there is nothing to be
gained by dispute as to the possible inaccuracy of the higher
percentages,[1] for it is generally admitted that probably over fifty
per cent of the men in America and Europe become infected with
gonorrhea or syphilis, or both, one or more times during their lives,
especially in early manhood. This conservative estimate is sufficient
to show that the sexual morals of probably the majority of men are at
some time in their lives loose. There is reason to believe that with
most such men the period of moral laxity is in early manhood before
marriage, which, though not excusable, is explainable on physiological
grounds. It is important to correct the wrong impression which is now
widespread, especially among women who have read the more or less
sensational statements in certain books and magazines, that the quoted
figures on social disease mean that from fifty to ninety per cent of
all men are immoral from time to time for many years. If that were
true, the situation represented by the highest estimates would be
hopeless, and we might as well start out to adjust society to a system
of recognized sexual promiscuity. Fortunately, it is far from true, for
a great many men included in even the conservative statistics of
social disease were infected because they strayed from the moral path
very few times and in many cases only once. This fact makes the outlook
for improved sexual morals and health more hopeful, for probably the
majority of young men need help in controlling themselves for a few
years only, especially between eighteen and twenty-five.[2]

[Sidenote: Established facts.]

The reports of medical men regarding the damage done by the social
diseases are inaccurate chiefly when they attempt to state percentages
of the whole population. They are reliable when they state observed
facts, such as the following: It is now established in medical science
that (1) gonorrheal infection results in tens of thousands of cases in
complications, such as heart disease, gonorrheal rheumatism, sterility
of both men and women, blindness of infants, inflammatory diseases of
female reproductive organs, and other well-marked sequelæ of the
disease; and (2) that syphilis is responsible for a large majority of
cases of locomotor ataxia, paresis and certain types of insanity, and
also for numerous aneurisms of arteries, many apoplexies, and much
disease of liver, kidneys, and other organs. Moreover, syphilis is
charged with being the greatest race destroyer. Fournier, the great
French specialist, noted that only two children survived from a series
of ninety pregnancies of syphilitic women of the well-to-do class. It
is probably true that much less than ten per cent of syphilitized
embryos ever grow into mature men and women, and even these few
survivors are likely to carry in their bodies the germs or the "virus"
of syphilis which may affect the next generation.

[Sidenote: Social diseases admittedly dangerous.]

Such direct statements as the above may be accepted as not exaggerated.
However, it little matters in sex-education, except for the purposes of
sensational writers, whether statistics regarding the damage done by
venereal diseases are more than estimates; for it is sufficient to
remember that every physician of large experience agrees that syphilis
and gonorrhea are so common and so destructive of health and life that
they must be classed among the most dangerous diseases that now
threaten the human race. This ought to be sufficient to attract the
serious attention of every thinking man and woman.

[Sidenote: Double standard of morality.]

Thus, in general survey, we see the great problems of social-sexual
hygiene caused by diseases that are widely distributed because sexual
instincts are uncontrolled. In short, the alarming problem of the
social diseases results from masculine promiscuity or the failure of
men to adhere to the monogamic standards of morality. In other and
familiar phrasing, there is widespread acceptance and practice of the
so-called "double standard of sexual morality," a monogamic one for
respectable women and promiscuity for many of their male relatives and
friends. (See writings of Morrow, especially "The Sex Problem"; also
Creighton's "The Social Disease.")

[Sidenote: One problem for sex-education.]

Our brief survey of the hygienic problems caused by sexual promiscuity
and its characteristic diseases is sufficient to indicate one great
problem for sex-education. Such social-hygiene problems have been most
responsible for the recent and rapid rise of the movement for
sex-education, and they must be recognized in any adequate scheme for
instruction of young people.

[Sidenote: Is sex-hygiene adequate?]

Can scientific education hope to solve the sexual problems of society
by inculcating such fear of venereal diseases that men will remain true
to the monogamic code of morality? Many cynical disbelievers in
sex-hygiene answer this question negatively by asking in biblical
phrase, "Can the leopard change his spots?" In other words, these
doubting ones believe that sexual instincts are so firmly fixed in the
nature of _many_ men and _some_ women that there is no hope of radical
change through education.[3] There is something in this point of view.
It is probably true that even the most radical advocates of
sex-education do not hope to secure universal monogamy and consequent
disappearance of social diseases. A conservative and rational answer to
the above question whether sex-education can solve the problem of
social diseases, is that a large percentage of even civilized people
are not yet ready to have their most powerful instincts controlled by
scientific knowledge. Hence, there is no hope that the hygienic task of
sex-education will be finished soon after instruction becomes an
established part of general education in homes and schools. At the very
best there will be incomplete returns for the social-hygienic aspect of
sex-instruction, but already we know for a certainty that enough young
men will be influenced to make the teaching justifiable. I feel sure of
this because I have met personally many such men and my friends know
many more.

According to the investigations made by Dr. Exner, the medical
secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association, a great reduction
of venereal disease has followed sex-hygienic campaigns in college

[Sidenote: Medical treatment.]

In another way hygienic teaching may reduce the amount of venereal
diseases, and that is by leading infected individuals to seek thorough
medical treatment without delay. This, of course, will render the
diseased person non-infectious to others. Physicians report that there
is now a marked movement in this direction and, moreover, that many
infected young men voluntarily seek medical examinations before

[Sidenote: Woman's need of information.]

Even if we refuse to believe that social-hygienic teaching will protect
many young men from sexual diseases, there is the woman's need of
information to be considered. As said before, women more than men
suffer the consequences of venereal infections. Therefore, every young
woman who considers marriage should know the possibility of danger to
herself and her children, and be able to decide accordingly. Of course,
even with much knowledge she may marry the wrong man, for correct
diagnosis of social disease is not always easy; but if her confidence
is betrayed and she becomes infected, she ought to know the importance
of immediate and radical medical treatment. Let me illustrate these
statements that women should know the danger of venereal disease. One
of my college friends neglected an important legal case to travel seven
hundred miles in order to tell face to face another college friend that
she was about to marry a dangerous man. Being utterly ignorant of the
existence of sexual diseases, the girl and her mother characterized my
friend's statement by a short and ugly word, and ordered him to leave
their home instantly. The marriage occurred and some months later the
young woman went to her grave, a victim of gonorrheal salpingitis and

Another case which illustrates the danger of a woman's ignorance: One
of my students of many years ago married a minister who infected her
with syphilis and kept her from medical attention until the disease
was in a highly developed stage, and even then conspired with an
inefficient doctor to keep her ignorant of the nature of the disease.

[Sidenote: The right to knowledge.]

These are not extreme cases, for any physician with large experience
knows that such things are common. Medical literature is full of such
painful recitals of venereal tragedies. It is not desirable that all
young women should know the details of such tragedies, but they should
know that dangers exist. Parents and educators will not have done their
duty until they coöperate to give all young women the protective
knowledge they have a right to demand.[4]

[Sidenote: Best people must lead.]

There is another way of looking at the possible effect of the social
side of sex-hygienic instruction. It is sure to make a decided
impression upon many young people of the type that we regard as the
best in every way. These will be the leaders of the future and they in
turn will help improve conditions. Perhaps it may all work out as the
drug problem is being solved. Widespread social and hygienic
information regarding the harmful effect of alcohol, cocaine, opium,
and other drugs has first of all impressed leading citizens; and these
are beginning to control by laws those who cannot be reached directly
by education. In some such ways those who are impressed by formal
sex-education may lend a hand in influencing many who could not be
touched directly by hygienic education.

[Sidenote: Legislation needed.]

There is no doubt that public enlightenment regarding the dangers of
social diseases will soon lead to legislation and public medical work
which will contribute greatly towards reduction of the diseases. For
example, legislation with reference to venereal disease should require
doctors to report cases to health officers, should forbid "quack"
advertising of fake "cures," should forbid sale by drug stores of
nostrums for personal treatment, should provide dispensaries and
hospitals for reliable treatment at reasonable cost, should require
medical examinations for marriage licenses and provide for such
examinations at moderate charges or at public expense, should require
certain sanitary precautions in care of eyes of new-born infants, and
should provide for discovery and treatment of congenital syphilis in
school children. These are lines in which good laws might help vastly
in the war against the social diseases. Moreover, it is obvious that
all laws which help control the social evil will work indirectly
against the social diseases.

[Sidenote: Probable results of instruction.]

In conclusion, it seems probable that popular knowledge of the social
side of sex-hygiene will reduce the amount of venereal disease (1) by
teaching some people the dangers of promiscuity, (2) by adoption of
certain sanitary precautions that lessen danger of infection, (3) by
leading people to seek competent medical aid which, while often
failing to restore the victim's health, will probably eliminate the
danger of contagion for others, and (4) by intelligent support of laws
that directly or indirectly affect the social diseases.

[Sidenote: Social diseases not most important.]

I have given great prominence to the social-sexual diseases in their
relation to sex-education because along this line there has been
developed the widespread interest in sex-instruction as _one_ method of
protecting young people against promiscuity. So far as the questions of
teaching are concerned, my personal view is that some of the other
reasons or problems for sex-instruction are more important, because I
believe that educational emphasis on them will give the greatest
results in improved sexual conditions of society.

§ 8. _Third Problem for Sex-instruction: the Social Evil_

So far as the problems of sex-education are concerned, there is nothing
to be gained by an extensive review of commercialized prostitution. It
is generally accepted that the social evil or prostitution is increased
by the common ignorance of young people of both sexes regarding the
physical and social relations of sex.

Of course, it is not true that all prostitution is due to ignorance,
for it often involves enlightened men and women. However, there seems
to be good reason for believing that large numbers of people of both
sexes might be kept out of prostitution by very simple sex-instruction.
Let us look for a moment at some facts concerning the relation of the
ignorance of the women to their entrance into the underworld, and later
consider certain reasons why many men patronize the social evil.

[Sidenote: Why women enter prostitution.]

With regard to the women victims of prostitution, it seems to be
generally accepted that economic pressure, feeble-mindedness, bad
social environment, and unguided instincts, independently or combined,
are the chief causes of their downfall. However, there is a deeper
reason why numerous women enter prostitution, for all of these factors
commonly operate because of inadequate sexual knowledge. In short,
ignorance is the fundamental cause of much prostitution on the part of
women. Many a girl with starvation wages, bad social surroundings,
sub-normal mentality, or even intense instincts is able to keep her
womanhood because she knows the awful dangers of sexual promiscuity.
For our present educational purposes, it is sufficient to point out the
opinion of competent social workers that knowledge might often
counteract the forces that lead women from virtue and down into

[Sidenote: Men also ignorant.]

A large number of men patronize prostitution because they are ignorant
in one or more of the following respects. Some of them have drifted
into abnormal sexual habits when they were boys, and later into illicit
relations. Some of them did not know the effect of alcoholic drinks in
leading many young men to their first immoral sexual acts. Some of them
have deliberately patronized prostitution because they have accepted as
truth the monstrous lie that sexual activity is necessary to preserve
the health of men.[5] Most of the men do not realize that prostitution
offers great danger to their own health, still greater danger to the
health of innocent wives and children, and a greatly shortened life for
many women who are the victims of sexual slavery. Most men do not know
that dark tragedies are often concealed beneath the apparent gay life
of the women who are victims of sexual degradation. These are some of
the things of which many young men I have known were very ignorant, and
it has been no difficult task to trace a close connection between their
ignorance and their vice.

[Sidenote: Ignorance the chief cause.]

Looking at the social evil from any point of view, it seems to me that
ignorance, dense ignorance, is largely responsible for the existence of
that darkest blot on our boasted civilization--the social-sexual evil.
No matter how we look at the established facts regarding prostitution,
they all point to the need of sexual instruction for the protection of
the youth of both sexes. The Chicago Vice Commission concluded that
"the lack of information, education and training with reference to the
function and control of the sexual instinct, and the consequences of
its abuse and perversion, appears at every point of our inquiry for
the sources of the supply of the victims of vice, either as the cause
of the perversion of children and youth or as a complication of all
other causes."[6] Of course, we dare not dream that any sex-instruction
that now seems possible will completely eradicate prostitution; but we
do know of thousands of boys and girls who have been directed to safety
by knowledge of some fundamental sexual facts.

[Sidenote: Sex plays and novels.]

Concerning presentation of the social evil by fiction and the drama,
there is much honest disagreement. My personal opinion is that little
good is done by the theater or by such publications as Reginald
Kaufmann's "House of Bondage," and Elizabeth Robin's "My Little
Sister." They all leave the unsophisticated reader with an exaggerated
and even hysterical notion that white slavery is exceedingly common and
the main cause of prostitution. Certainly the great majority of the
army of prostitutes, both public and clandestine, in America, and a
still higher percentage on the continent of Europe, did not become
novitiates of vice in prisons of prostitution.

[Sidenote: Limited reading desirable.]

It seems to me that a very limited reading regarding the social evil is
sufficient for one who is not engaged in medical or social work that
requires scientific knowledge of this darkest side of human life.
Certainly, the indiscriminate reading of vice investigations is
dangerous for many young people,--for young men because some of them
are allured into personal investigations, and for young women because
they get an exaggerated and pessimistic view of all sexual problems.
For the intelligent reader who wants the general information that every
public-spirited citizen should have, the well-known book by Jane Addams
will serve both as an outline and an encyclopedia of the social evil.
Social workers and some educators will find use for the other books
mentioned below.

  Jane Addams.--"A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil."

  Seligman, E.R.A. (Editor).--"The Social Evil." (Putnam.) Contains
    bibliography on the subject.

  Sumner, Dean W.T., and others.--"The Social Evil in Chicago."
    Vice-Commission Report, 1911. Now published by the American
    Social Hygiene Association. The "introduction and summary" (pp.
    25-47) deserves careful reading.

  Cocks, O.G.--"The Social Evil" (Association Press).

  "Vigilance," a journal devoted to attacking the social evil, has
    been discontinued and replaced by bulletins of the American
    Social Hygiene Association, 105 West 40th Street, New York City.

§ 9. _The Fourth Problem for Sex-education: Illegitimacy_

[Sidenote: Society condemns illegitimacy.]

Most awful of all the results of the sexual mistakes of men and women
are the unmarried mothers and their illegitimate children. Of course, I
know that there are well-meaning people who argue that motherhood is
the supreme fact and that the formality of a marriage ceremony is
merely a medievalism in our laws and customs; but the inexorable truth
remains that our modern social system is centered around the home which
is strictly regulated by church and state and public opinion.[7]
Whatever may be the philosophical rights and wrongs of individual
freedom in sexual relationship, the facts of practical life are that an
overwhelming majority of the most intelligent people are united in
support of our established laws and customs demanding legitimacy of
motherhood and birthright. As a result of this age-old stand for
legitimacy, illegitimate mothers and children do not have a square deal
at the bar of public opinion. Everybody knows that the vast majority of
illegitimate children do not have a fair chance in the world's work.
Professor Cattell, in _Science_, March, 1914, points out that since
illegitimates occur one in every twenty-five births in the United
States, and since they are on the whole equal to other children in
mentality, there ought to be forty of them among the thousand leading
men of science designated in the directory of the "American Men of
Science;" but none are known. The conclusion must be that illegitimate
children do not have an equal chance at education which leads to
prominence in science. But it is not simply a matter of limited
education, for in every way the fate of most illegitimate children is
usually pitiful. Only now and then one born under a lucky star is
adopted and educated by large-minded foster parents who recognize that
the illegitimate is not responsible for having come into this world
under conditions opposed to the best interests of society.

[Sidenote: Ignorance the cause.]

It seems to be generally accepted that in the vast majority of cases,
unmarried mothers and illegitimate children are due to ignorance of the
women. Women who are professionally immoral do not bear many
children.[8] In fact, excepting the feeble-minded prostitutes, the
general rule is that those who are mothers have only one child and that
one the result of the first sexual errors. It is a safe general
conclusion that ignorance of sexual laws is responsible for the great
majority of cases of illegitimacy.

Edith Livingston Smith, of Boston, in an article on "Unmarried Mothers"
in _Harper's Weekly_ for September 6, 1913, expressed views of the
causes of illegitimacy that many a social worker will indorse heartily:

    "I see shop girls and waitresses, factory girls and maids, chorus
    girls, stenographers, and governesses, each with a different
    story, each with the same terror of the consequences of their
    folly. 'I never knew,' they tell me, 'I never knew there were such

    "Let us go back to the question of sex-education of the public.
    Silence has been the policy in the past. We have taught our
    children biology and natural history, we have taught them
    physiology, carefully ignoring the organs of reproduction; we
    have warned the young to make use of their senses and their
    brains, but we have refused to recognize the very force that
    guides all these instincts, the vital power of sex. Yet, in the
    face of this stupidity, acknowledging the call of the age, girls
    are sent out into the industrial world, where they fight shoulder
    to shoulder with men. Here they find potential worth of their
    individualities; here they meet with the same--no
    greater--temptation than their brothers, but with no knowledge to
    guide them, no traditions to give them poise, no ameliorating
    factor of social tenderness or tolerance when inexperience fails
    to temper their emotions and their femininity....

    "A girl's protection must come from without, a boy's from within.
    Every boy who reaches the age of adolescence knows his nature. It
    asserts itself. His sex instincts are dominant, aggressive. He is
    man, the father of the race, and the laws of procreation are to
    him an open book. A girl stays innocent until she is awakened. It
    is the kiss, the touch, the senses stirred, that make her, in the
    glory of her womanhood or in her shame, acknowledge her sex.

    "The very frailty of such a girl, her dependence upon her
    intuitions and emotions, the triumph of feeling over intellect,
    place her in greater danger than her brothers, even were their
    responsibility to society the same. But, add to this the fact that
    in yielding to sexual temptation she has the burden of
    child-bearing--how much more necessary that she should have some
    knowledge of what she is to meet in the world, or what she must
    combat, lest her emotions forestall her intelligence as physical
    development precedes mental appreciation."

[Sidenote: Men also ignorant.]

Illegitimacy is often due to ignorance of men as well as of women.
Prominent physicians have cited from their notebooks cases of
"protected" children in early adolescence who instinctively entered
into sexual relationship in utter ignorance of the natural result. Such
cases where the boy is entirely ignorant must be very rare; but there
are probably many boys who do not really understand that the sexual act
is very likely to lead to a ruined life for the girl companion and her
offspring. Arthur Donnithorne, in "Adam Bede," did not forecast that
his act would lead to the ruin of Hetty Sorrel and her condemnation for

[Sidenote: More than biology needed.]

It is obvious that something more than the ordinary biological facts of
reproduction must be included in sex-instruction that tries to prevent
such tragedies. In another lecture we shall consider moral teaching,
but here let us look at the cold facts of life that ought to be taught
at some appropriate time to young people. Not only should they know the
simple biological probability that sexual relationship will lead to
reproduction, but they should be led to consider the relentless
consequences of illegitimate propagation. On this latter point general
literature, _e.g._, "Adam Bede" and "The Scarlet Letter," teaches some
impressive lessons.

Another point needs emphasis with the numerous young people, especially
men, who are not controlled by moral laws, who know the probabilities
of illegitimacy occurring, but who have acquired the popular
impression that the order of nature is easily changed. Many physicians
and social workers know girls who have gone down because they were
persuaded to trust the efficiency of popular ways and means of avoiding
the natural outcome of the sexual act. Hence, young people of both
sexes should somehow learn that under the conditions that usually
attend illicit union there is always a strong probability that the ways
of nature cannot be easily circumvented. It is unlawful to explain,
except to medical audiences, why this is so; but much illegitimacy will
be prevented if it can be made widely known among young men and women
that, according to reliable physicians, tragedies of illegitimacy are
often due to misplaced confidence in popular methods of contraception.

[Sidenote: Criminal operations.]

There is yet another line of information that if widely known might
have some bearing on the problem of illicit sexual relations:
Physicians and social workers report that many young men and some women
know the possibility of illegitimate pregnancy, but feel safe because
they know the addresses of doctors and midwives who will perform
criminal operations. The great danger of the operation, especially at
the hands of such third-class doctors as would attempt to terminate
pregnancy criminally, should be widely known by the general public,
which only now and then gets a hint in the newspaper reports of a
tragedy involving some unfortunate girl.

[Sidenote: Relative passion of men and women.]

There is the widespread misunderstanding among young men that sexual
hunger is as insistent in virtuous young women as in themselves and
that therefore illicit gratification is a mutual gain and
responsibility. Some young men may be guided by the information that
there is much reliable evidence indicating that, while an innate
tendency towards general emotions of affection is strong in the average
young woman, there is general absence of the localized passions that
naturally and automatically develop in young men. In other words, the
first definite sexual temptation is likely to come to a young woman
from outside herself, and young men should be impressed with their
responsibility for allowing even the beginning of situations that may
arouse dormant but dangerous instincts.

§ 10. _The Fifth Problem for Sex-education: Sexual Morality_

In this lecture I shall set forth the proposition that a definitely
organized scheme of education should aim directly at making young
people strict adherents of the established code of sexual morality. For
brevity, I shall occasionally speak of morality and immorality,
omitting the qualifying word "sexual."

[Sidenote: Definition of sexual morality.]

This lecture, in fact this entire series of lectures on sex-education,
is based on the fundamental proposition that sexual morality demands
that sexual union be restricted to monogamic marriage, and conversely,
that such sexual relation outside of marriage is immoral. Such a
definition of sexual morality is accepted by church and state and the
chief citizens in every civilized country. It is the only practical
definition which is satisfactory to the vast majority of educated
American men and women, even to those who believe in freedom of divorce
and in forgiveness for youthful transgressions of the accepted moral
code. Sexual morality has had changeable standards, and in other times
and countries custom has made polygamy and promiscuity acceptable as
moral; but the monogamic ideal of morality now prevails in the world's
best life.

[Sidenote: Morality in America and Europe.]

Monogamic morality as a protection for family life means much more in
America than in Europe. It is true that there is an astounding amount
of prostitution in America, but we should be grateful that our ideals
of the monogamic family have not been seriously influenced and seem to
be slowly but surely improving among our best people. As illustrations
of our adherence to monogamic law, let me give some facts for
comparison of America and continental Europe. In America, illegitimate
births are not accurately reported but are probably less than five per
cent of the total number for the whole country. Locally the proportion
is often very much higher. Thus in Washington, D.C., where (1914) over
ten thousand, chiefly negroes, live in alleys between the streets and
under extremely unhygienic and immoral conditions, fifty per cent of
the children are illegitimate, while but twenty per cent of the colored
children born of mothers living outside the alleys, and less than
eleven per cent of the total born of all races in the city are
illegitimate. In various small American regions with a white population
the proportion of illegitimacy is astoundingly high, but the average
for the entire country is hopefully low. In many German towns
statistics show above twenty-five per cent, and in the whole empire,
more than half the legitimate first-born children are conceived before
marriage. All writers, the German ones included, seem to agree that the
majority of Teutonic men and women enter into free unions before
marriage and public opinion does not severely condemn.

In many rural districts of England, France, and Sweden, and even in
London and Paris, a large percentage of the marriages are simply
legalization of free unions. In short, in all these countries the
monogamic ideal is not followed by a large percentage of people. It
must be remembered that the great majority of people involved in the
above figures are of the peasant and laboring classes; conditions are
quite different among women of the educated classes. These must
ultimately set the moral standards for the masses.

Our American conditions are quite different, especially outside of the
large cosmopolitan cities. It is impossible not to believe in the moral
integrity of the great majority of unmarried women in America.
Certainly even in our worst communities we have no such general
immorality of women as above European figures suggest. Perhaps
wholesale prostitution in which one public woman may be the mistress of
ten, twenty, or even fifty men, may tend to protect any equal number of
American women; whereas in Europe a peasant woman would probably be for
a time the paramour of one man, thus tending to make equal numbers of
immoral men and women.

However, it matters nothing for our present purposes what may be the
explanation of conditions of sexual promiscuity here or abroad. The one
great fact is that our national code of morality is a monogamic one,
approved as ideal even by many of those who fail to live strictly in
harmony with its dictates. Hence, all Americans who are prominently
interested in sex-education believe that it should aim to make our
young people more ready to accept and understand morality according to
the monogamic ideal.

Those who are interested in this problem of morality as related to
marriage should read Foerster's "Marriage and the Sex Problem."

[Sidenote: Relation of sex-hygiene and ethics.]

Among those who see the need of teaching sex-ethics as a part of the
larger outlook of sex-education, there are two points of view: (1)
those who favor the teaching of sex-ethics with the hope of preventing
the hygienic problems arising from immorality, and (2) those who
believe in sexual morality for its own sake or as an accepted code of

The founders of the American Society for Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis
placed sanitation first in the name and stated in the constitution that
"the object of this Society is to limit the spread of diseases which
have their origin in the Social Evil. It proposes to study every means,
sanitary, moral, and administrative, which promise to be most effective
for this purpose." Most of the papers that have been read at the
meetings of the Society have emphasized the sanitary aim as primary,
and the moral aim as a means to the hygienic end; but in the past three
years there has been a decided tendency towards placing emphasis upon
morality, and recently the executive committee of the Society voted to
propose the following revised statement: "The aim of this Society is to
promote the appreciation of the sacredness of human sexual relation,
and thereby to minimize the moral and physical evils resulting from
ignorance and vice." This change of emphasis is well expressed in
President Keyes's report to the Society (_Journal_, Vol. V, No. 1).

As to the relation between sex-hygiene and sex-ethics as phases of the
larger sex-education, there has been much discussion. Several writers
have contended that there is some conflict between sanitary and moral
ends, but have failed to convince most readers that hygiene and ethics
should not be associated in teaching. In fact, the most impressive
sex-hygiene is that relating to social disease, and its value is
chiefly in the ethical appeal for protection of innocent wives and

[Sidenote: Dr. Cabot's view.]

Most prominent of those who have declared that hygienic and moral
teaching should be dissociated is Dr. Richard C. Cabot, of Boston. I
shall discuss his point of view in connection with a later lecture on
"Criticisms of Sex-education" (§ 46). In the present discussion of
sexual morality as an important reason for sex-education, it is
sufficient to say that Dr. Cabot seems to disagree with other teachers
on the question of the influence of formal instruction on the morals of

[Sidenote: Moral and hygienic problems.]

Sex-education is now commonly understood to be attempting to solve the
moral as well as the hygienic problems of sex. As suggested before,
these two lines of problems are clearly related but not coincident; for
sexual health and morals are not entirely coördinated. We must not
overlook the possibility that the marvellous progress of
bacteriological and medical science may some day largely reduce the
health problems of sex without improving morality. In fact, sexual
immorality that is hygienic does actually exist to a limited extent.
Such facts indicate that while sex-education was first planned to solve
health problems, the ultimate sex-education must attempt to guide
sexual conduct by moral principles. This coming need of more emphasis
on the moral problems of sex should be clearly foreseen by those who
are interested in sex-education.

[Sidenote: Super-morality desirable.]

Now, while sexual morality as commonly understood is a direct aim of
sex-education, it is not, in the opinion of many people, the ideal and
ultimate goal of sex-education in its broadest outlook. There is
something higher than conventional morality for the reason that, while
natural sexual union in monogamic marriage is never legally or
ecclesiastically immoral, it is very often far from ideal. It is not
ideal if it is unethical, unhygienic, or unæsthetic. It is unethical,
if it is not a bi-personal desideratum (_i.e._, based on mutual
love[9]); it is unhygienic when not promotive and conservative of
health; and it is unæsthetic if the concomitant psychical reactions are
not in harmony with the beautiful in nature and life. In all these
ways, morality as commonly and legally and ecclesiastically understood
may fall very far short of the ideal sexual relationships. Such an
ideal is now held by many men and women who wish that morality might
mean to all the world not simply the limitation of sexual union to
monogamic marriage, but also that it might be made to mean an
all-satisfying monogamic affection and comradeship based on certain
physiological, psychical, æsthetic, and ethical laws that underlie
human sexual potentialities. Such would be a morality so far beyond
the accepted standards that for convenience we may call it
super-morality, or the new morality. This, I sincerely believe, is the
ultimate goal of sex-education in its largest outlook.

[Sidenote: Super-morality deserves emphasis.]

Among those who have contributed to the sex-education movement there
are none who have properly emphasized this super-morality, which, I
believe, is the ultimate goal of the larger sex-education for the most
enlightened people. The definition that sex-education means all
instruction which aims to help young people prepare to solve for
themselves the sexual problems that inevitably come to every normal
individual, is broad enough to include all questions of hygiene,
morality, and super-morality that may come into one's life. The third
aim of sex-education (§ 16) which refers to the "social, ethical, and
psychical aspects of sex as affecting the individual life in relation
to other individuals," should be understood as meaning first a stand
for morality and then, this having been attained, super-morality is an
easy stage forward. The same idea was touched by the writer in a paper
on "Biology in Sex-Instruction" (_Journal of Society of Sanitary and
Moral Prophylaxis_, October, 1911) in these words: "If the great
questions of sex relationship are ever satisfactorily solved, it must
be through the direct application of the four sciences which are
centered around human life, namely, psychology, ethics, sociology, and
last, but far from least, æsthetics. As we have seen, biology teaches
much directly bearing on the purely physical aspects of the
perpetuation of human life, and its study is absolutely necessary for
mental attitude and basal facts; but the keystone of the arch of
sex-education must be contributed by these four sciences which touch
human life much deeper than the merely physical, to which the science
of biology is limited. Above all we must look to these sciences for the
solution of the problems of sex in relation to society, which more than
any physical ills have led to our present problems concerning sexual

[Sidenote: Super-morality not for the masses.]

But while there is something attractive in this larger interpretation
of sex-education as looking forward to the highest adaptation of sex
and life, I realize that as a practical matter we must first of all
work with young people for sexual morality as defined by the accepted
code. We must remember that the vast majority of people are not yet
ready, and will not soon be ready, for a code of super-morality.
Confusion might result from an attempt at wholesale teaching of such
idealism of sex relationship. Certainly, so far as sex-education aims
to help immature young people, there is nothing to do but hold up
monogamic marriage as the basis of our accepted morality; but the
higher view of super-morality should be promulgated as rapidly as
possible among people who are advanced enough to understand that
morality as defined by church and state is not the best interpretation
of life's possibilities. To many it is a significant fact that we now
find numerous young men and women ready to stand for super-morality as
a foundation for monogamic marriage. Fortunately, such individuals need
not wait for the world to grasp the idea of super-morals; and already
there is many a home in which the higher view of life and sex prevails.

[Sidenote: Cautious teaching concerning immorality.]

Immorality in sexual lines should not be overstressed when teaching
young people. Rather should there be emphasis on the moral, the normal,
the healthful, the helpful, and the æsthetic processes in human life.
We should emphasize sexual health and morals, not disease and
immorality. Concerning immoral living in general, young people should
know only enough for necessary warning. Curiosity derived from
extensive knowledge of immorality has drawn many a young man into the
whirlpool of sexual depravity. It is beyond question that in sexual
lines there is the danger that Pope saw when he declared that vice is a
monster that seen too oft, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Sex-education should guard against such dangerous familiarity with

§ 11. _The Sixth Problem for Sex-education: Sexual Vulgarity_

[Sidenote: Present attitude.]

Even a limited study of the prevailing attitude towards sex and
reproduction convinces one that back of the greatest sexual problems of
our times is the almost universal secrecy, disrespect, vulgarity, and
irreverence concerning every aspect of sex and reproduction. Even
expectant motherhood is commonly concealed as long as possible, and all
reference to the developing new life is usually accompanied with
blushes and tones suggestive of some great shame. Nothing sexual is
commonly regarded as sacred. Love and marriage, motherhood and birth,
are all freely selected as themes for sexual jests, many of them so
vulgar that no printed dictionary supplies the necessary words. And I
am not simply referring to the great masses of uneducated people, for
the saddest fact is that a very large proportion of intelligent people
have not an open-minded and respectful attitude concerning sex and

[Sidenote: Vast change of attitude needed.]

Now, unless we can devise some way to counteract the prevailing narrow,
vulgar, disrespectful, and irreverent attitude towards all aspects of
sex and reproduction; unless we can make people see sexual processes in
all their normal aspects as noble, beautiful, and splendid steps in the
great plan of nature; unless we can substitute a philosophical and
æsthetic view of sex relationship for the time-worn interpretation of
everything sexual as inherently vulgar, base, ignoble, and demanding
asceticism for those who would reach the highest spiritual development;
unless we can begin to make these changes in the prevailing attitude
towards sex and reproduction, we cannot make any decided advance in the
attempt to help solve sexual problems by special instruction.

First of all, sex-education must work for a purified and dignified
attitude which sees vulgarity and impurity only when the functions of
sex have been voluntarily and knowingly misused and thereby debased.
Sex-education must work against the idea that sexual processes are
inherently vulgar, degraded, base, and impure. Such an interpretation
is correct only when sexual instincts are uncontrolled and thereby out
of harmony with the highest ideals of life. But control does not mean
asceticism which aims at complete subjugation of sexual instincts and
would annihilate them if that were biologically possible. The early
Christians, disgusted with the sexual degradation of the paganistic and
materialistic Romans, preached a doctrine of sexual asceticism as the
ideal for those who would rise to the heights of spiritual life. This
pessimistic interpretation of the relation of sex and life has
persisted even in some ecclesiastical teachings of the twentieth
century, and probably has had not a little responsibility for the
widely accepted and depressing view that sex is a necessary but
regrettable fact of human life.

[Sidenote: Attitude changing.]

Fortunately, the old ascetic point of view is passing rapidly.
Nineteenth-century science has given us a nobler view of the physical
world. Scientifically considered, matter is no longer base and
degraded. Especially has the biological science of the past fifty years
made _living_ matter and its activities profoundly impressive. And of
the life-activities none are so significant and so all-important as
those relating to the perpetuation of the human species. Biological
science has taught this emphatically, and the processes connected with
sex have been lifted to a place of dignity and purity.

[Sidenote: Æsthetic attitude desirable.]

The old asceticism, with its uniformly dark outlook on life, has no
lessons worth while in our modern problems relating to sex.[10] We need
severe control and not annihilation of our most powerful instincts. The
bright outlook of æsthetics rather than the dark one of asceticism
should prevail, for sex-instincts and processes are essentially pure
and beautiful phases of that wonderful something we call "life."
Sex-education should aim to give this attitude by presenting life as
fundamentally free from the degradation arising from misuse and
misunderstanding of sex.

[Sidenote: Not a new ideal.]

The æsthetic interpretation of sex is no new ideal. Canon Lyttleton,
formerly Head Master of Eton College and later Canon of Westminster,
believed that "viewed rightly, the subject of sex, the ever-recurring
miracle of generation and birth, is full of nobleness, purity, and
health." The late Dr. Prince A. Morrow wrote, "the sex function is
intimately connected with the physical, mental, and moral development.
Its right use is the surest basis of individual health, happiness and
usefulness in life, as well as of racial permanence and prosperity. Its
abuse and misuse is the cause of a vast deal of disease and misery."
And finally, we may quote President-Emeritus Eliot of Harvard
University: "Society must be relieved by sound instruction of the
horrible doctrine that the begetting and bearing of children are in the
slightest degree sinful or foul processes. That doctrine lies at the
root of the feeling of shame in connection with these processes and of
the desire for secrecy. The plain fact is that there is nothing so
sacred and propitious on earth as the bringing of another normal child
into the world in marriage. There is nothing staining or defiling about
it, and therefore there is no need for shame or secrecy, but only for
pride and joy. This doctrine should be part of the instruction given to
all young people."

[Sidenote: Attitude all-important in sex-education.]

If sex-education succeeds in giving young people this enlightened
attitude, there will be little difficulty in solving most of the
ethical and hygienic problems of sex. A young man who has caught a
glimpse of the highest interpretation of sex in its relation to human
life, in short a young man to whom all natural sexual processes are
essentially pure and noble and beautiful, is not one who will make
grave hygienic mistakes in his own life, and he will not be personally
connected with the social evil and its diseases, and he will avoid
almost intuitively the physiologic and psychologic mistakes that most
often cause matrimonial disaster. Everything, then, in successful
sex-education depends upon the attitude formed in the minds of
learners; and towards this our major efforts should be directed.

[Sidenote: Comparison with animals not helpful.]

The prevailing vulgar attitude towards sex will not be greatly improved
by repeated emphasis upon the animal nature of reproduction in attempts
at supporting the thesis that propagation is the sole function of
sexual processes in human life. Such an interpretation of human
sexuality as purely animalistic in function is implied, if not
expressed, by some workers for the "purity" movement. I sincerely
believe that such a view will inevitably tend to increase the feeling
that sexual processes are heritages from the beasts which unfortunately
must be tolerated because nature has provided no other way for
perpetuating human life.

[Sidenote: Sexual pessimism.]

An intelligent woman, a happy wife and mother, who had accepted this
ascetic and pessimistic view of sex, said the other day: "Oh, love and
marriage and motherhood would be so beautiful were it possible to
escape the unspeakably vulgar facts of physical life!" Poor woman! It
must have been some fiend incarnate who in the guise of a prophet of
purity preached to her the animalistic interpretation of sex, which
made her overlook the fact that the very beauty which she could not
quite grasp had its origin in her emotions arising from the despised
sexual nature.

This is not an isolated case. Several young women who have graduated
from college within ten years vouch for the statement that many
thoughtful students are strong in the belief that ideal marriage is
platonic friendship and that it is a sad fact of life that husband and
wife must lay aside their high ideals in order to become parents.

Such depressing interpretations of life are bound to come from the
radical type of "purity" preaching based on the sexual mistakes of the
past and on the lives of animals. A similar pessimistic view regarding
the function of eating might be based on mistakes of drunkards and
gluttons and on the habits of the porcine family. If these are to guide
our conduct, then food-taking is to be regarded as a necessary but
vulgar habit inherited from our animal ancestors; and if we are to be
logical and attempt to rise to ideal purity in eating, we must hasten
to dispense with the culinary science and all the æsthetics which have
made civilized eating a fine art. Of course, this is just what the
strict ascetic does; but such radical disbelievers in the pleasures
that we have associated with eating would be declared lunatics in any
civilized country.

[Sidenote: Two kinds of hunger.]

I have chosen eating for illustrating my point, for the demands for
food and for sexual activity are the two primal and necessary forms of
hunger. The hunger for food has led to the refinements of civilized
dining, but there has been great evolution. The animals feed (German,
fressen) in order to satisfy hunger only; civilized humans eat (essen)
not only to satisfy the hunger appetite inherited from the animals, but
also for the sake of the concomitant social æsthetic pleasures that add
much to the joy of living. Now, if we are logical, we must interpret on
parallel lines the sexual hunger that is necessary for the perpetuation
of human life. Like eating, it is a necessary function inherited from
the animals; but there has been an evolution of greater significance.
In the animal world, sexual activity has only one function,
reproduction; but human life at its highest has superadded psychical
and social meaning to sexual relationships, and the result has been
affection and the human family. If we reject this higher view of the
double significance of sexuality in human life, and insist that only
the necessary propagative function is worthy of recognition, it is
almost inevitable that most people will continue to accept the hopeless
view that human sexuality is on the same vulgar plane as that of the
animals; in short, that it is only an animal function. This, I insist,
is a depressing interpretation that will never help overcome the
prevailing vulgar attitude toward sex.

[Sidenote: Human sexuality more than animal.]

It is only by frankly recognizing and developing the psychical and
æsthetic meanings that are distinctly human and superadded to the
merely propagative function of the animals, that people can be led far
away from the vulgar outlook on sex and reproduction in human life.

[Sidenote: Relation of attitude and morality.]

There is no question that wholesome attitude towards sex and
reproduction is closely associated with the problems of sexual
morality, and especially so far as educational procedure is concerned.
It is true that large numbers of moral people hold the vulgar attitude
towards sex and reproduction; but for people who do not accept the
moral code without question there is probably no better way of teaching
sexual morality than by influencing the individual's attitude. There
are many people who stand for sexual morality for no other reason than
that they have a dignified and æsthetic attitude towards sex.

[Sidenote: Sexual vulgarity a stage in evolution.]

There is much evidence that the world is rapidly improving in this
respect. Sexual vulgarity seems to represent a stage in the evolution
of human life from the barbaric to the fully civilized. The sexual
vulgarity of primitive peoples, both ancient and modern, has been all
too frequently recalled by writers whose pseudo-scientific
superficiality leads them to believe that knowledge concerning barbaric
and ultra-bestial sensuality will help solve modern sex problems. In
the classical days when Venus and Bacchus and other deities of
sensuality were worshipped by their devotees, there was sexual
vulgarity in action and language such as now exists only among the most
ignorant or depraved people in civilized lands. The advent of Christian
civilization in Europe left no place for temples and worship of
sensuality, but still the age-old tendency towards a crude and
barbaric kind of sexual vulgarity and obscenity has continued in
folklore, in colloquial language, and in literature. However, there has
been a vast change in the attitude of the best people within the last
two centuries. Once many English writers, many of them now deservedly
obscure, published prose and poetry that would now be criminal. An
unexpurgated edition of Shakespeare's "Complete Works," or of
Boccaccio's "Decameron," could not be circulated through the United
States mails, and there are many good people who are asking how long we
shall continue to allow the unexpurgated "Old Testament" the privilege
of circulation. It is not simply prose and poetry that has been
purified. Scientific literature has shown the influence of the reaction
against obscenity. Linnæus and other naturalists of the past were fond
of giving scientific names that perpetuated vulgar comparisons with
sexual organs, but no naturalist of the present day would dare suggest
such designations for unnamed animals and plants. The older medical
literature contains abundant obscenities; but scientific dignity, as
well as the refinement of modern medical writers, has tended to compel
the elimination of vulgarity. However, there are still too many
physicians, especially those working with venereal and genito-urinary
diseases, who go out of their way to illuminate their conversations,
lectures, books, and magazine articles with veiled vulgarity. Even
high-class medical journals occasionally contain illustrations of this
tendency. However, the medical profession as a class stands for
dignified scientific presentation of facts, and obscenity will soon be
tabooed in medical and all other reputable literature. Save for
occasional emanations privately printed by and for degenerate persons,
public obscenity will soon be unknown. Its complete disappearance will
have a vast influence upon the problem of sexual attitude.

§ 12. _The Seventh Problem for Sex-instruction: Marriage_

[Sidenote: Physiology and psychology of marriage.]

It is the consensus of opinion of numerous physicians, ministers, and
lawyers that a very large proportion of matrimonial disharmonies have
their foundation in the common misunderstanding of the physiology and
especially of the psychology of sex. In the opinion of many students of
sexual problems, this is the strongest reason for sex-instruction. It
is certainly a line in which limited spread of information has already
given some definite and satisfactory results. Many of my friends and
former students have helped me accumulate a long list of cases in which
scientific knowledge regarding sex has prevented and corrected
matrimonial disagreements; and having easily found so much definite
influence of sex-science upon marriage, I am forced to believe that
sex-instruction specially organized for people of marriageable age is
already giving results of tremendous importance to very many
individuals. Large numbers of young people are already awake to the
need of scientific guidance in marriage, and there is a great demand
for helpful information.

Advanced sex-instruction with reference to the problems of marriage
need not wait for general establishment of elementary instruction for
children of school ages. Lectures and books are already reaching large
numbers of adults. Such enlightenment will help in two ways, by the
influence on marriage and by preparing adults to teach children.

[Sidenote: Other knowledge needed.]

There is another side to the problem of marriage that points to need of
the larger sex-education. Physiology and psychology of sex are
fundamental; but they alone are not sufficient to complete that mutual
adjustment and understanding which marriage at the full development of
its possibilities involves. Matrimonial harmony cannot be entirely a
problem of applied science, as some superficial devotees of science
seem to think; for science can never analyze those subtle and
ever-varying qualities that go to make up what we call personality, and
marriage in its largest outlook is the intimate blending of two
personalities. Psychological and physiological knowledge will
undoubtedly help the two married individuals in their progress towards
the harmonious adjustment of their individualities; but there are many
little, but often serious, problems that the physiology and psychology
of sex cannot solve. They are problems that involve mutual affection,
comradeship, sympathy, unselfishness, coöperation, kindliness, and
devotion of husband and wife. Obviously, these can never be developed
by any formal instruction.

[Sidenote: Helpful literature.]

Probably there is no better way to help young people realize the
possibilities of matrimonial harmony than by suggesting wholesome
literature. Some of this is a part of the world's general treasure of
books that in prose and poetry, in history and romance, hold up a high
ideal of love with marriage. There is much such literature that gives
young people inspiration, but too much of it, like college life, ends
with a commencement. "And then they were married and lived happily ever
after"--is the familiar closing as the novelist rings down the curtain
after reciting only the prologue in the life drama of his two lovers.
We need more literature that does not end with the wedding march, but
which gives young people the successful solution of the problems after
marriage. Some such is available in history and biography; some in
essays. As I write there come to my mind several books that have
impressed me: Professor Palmer's "Life of Alice Freeman Palmer";
Leonard Huxley's "Life and Letters of T.H. Huxley," which gives many
intimate glimpses of the ideal home life which the great biologist
centered around Mrs. Huxley; William George Jordan's "Little Problems
of Married Life"; Orrin Cock's "Engagement and Marriage"; and that much
misunderstood[11] but helpful book "Love and Marriage" by Ellen Key.
Many of the stories by Virginia Terhune Van de Water, published in the
magazines and collected in a book entitled "Why I Left my Husband"
(Moffatt, Yard), deal with real problems of married life.

[Sidenote: Similar education of the sexes.]

The problems of co-education and coördinate education have not a little
bearing on the adjustment of the two sexes in marriage. In these days
when vocational education is fashionable in theory and is attracting
attention in practice, we are told that co-education and coördinate
education are mistakes because they provide the same training for both
sexes. We are told that girls must be educated for their vocation of
home-making, while boys must be educated for business, trades, or
professions. Everywhere in this current movement for vocational
education we find the emphasis placed on making education for the two
sexes just as dissimilar as possible. Fortunately for the educational
adjustments of the two sexes to each other, much of the present-day
discussion that demands extensive sex specialization of education
cannot be made practical and the training of the two sexes will
inevitably continue to be quite similar, with at most a limited amount
of time spent on application of certain knowledge to practical ends
that are chiefly of interest to one sex only. By far the greater part
of education from kindergarten through the university is in the nature
of the fundamentals of knowledge and will continue to be essentially
similar for both sexes. For illustration, the writer happens to be
connected with a college which offers a four-year course and graduate
work specially arranged with reference to household arts. Surely here
is an opportunity for education far different from that of the typical
college for men. As a matter of fact, there is great similarity. The
greater part of the four years is filled with general courses in
English, modern languages, chemistry, biology, physics, sociology,
economics, and fine arts, while a minor part of the curriculum consists
of courses in cookery, clothing, and household administration. The
general courses are in essentials not different from courses in
colleges for men. Here and there instructors select materials and in
other ways relate the general courses to household arts, but after all
a girl who completes these courses has acquired the same educational
fundamentals that her brother gets in Columbia College or in any other
standard college for men. It is only, then, in the cookery, clothing,
and administration that there is sex-differentiated education, and even
in these the practice necessary to acquire proficiency in technique is
the chief peculiarity. So far as fundamental knowledge is concerned;
cookery is chiefly an application of chemistry, physics, and physiology
that could easily be made clear to one who had completed courses in
these sciences in a college for men; dress design is an application of
fine arts and its construction is a mechanical problem. The mental
problems involved in dress design and making cannot be far different
from house design and construction which are supposed to be primarily
adapted to men.

[Sidenote: Little differentiation.]

On the whole, then, there is really little possibility of
sex-differentiated education. This, I insist, is a fortunate fact of
vast importance in the mutual adjustment of the two sexes in marriage.
There could be no adjustment on an intelligent basis if education could
be utterly dissimilar. There can be perfect adjustment only when the
two individuals are adjusted harmoniously, and that means similar
outlooks on life's problems.

[Sidenote: Need of sex-education for feminism.]

Many of the problems of the modern feministic movement are such as to
demand rational education of both women and men with reference to sex
and marriage. Let me quote C. Gasquoine Hartley, whose suggestive
Chapters VIII and IX in her "Truth About Woman" (Dodd, Mead) deserve to
live long after the readable but unscientifically applied earlier
chapters are consigned to oblivion:

    "To hear many women talk it would appear that the new ideal is a
    one-sexed world. A great army of women have espoused the task of
    raising their sex out of subjection. For such a duty the strength
    and energy of passion is required. Can this task be performed if
    the woman to any extent indulges in sex--otherwise subjection to
    man? Sexuality debases, even reproduction and birth are regarded
    as 'nauseating.' Woman is not free, only because she has been the
    slave to the primitive cycle of emotions which belong to physical
    love. The renunciation, the conquest of sex--it is this that must
    be gained. As for man, he has been shown up, women have found him
    out; his long-worn garments of authority and his mystery and
    glamour have been torn into shreds--woman will have none of him.

    "Now obviously these are over-statements, yet they are the logical
    outcome of much of the talk that one hears. It is the visible sign
    of our incoherence and error, and in the measure of these follies
    we are sent back to seek the truth. Women need a robuster courage
    in the face of love, a greater faith in their womanhood, and in
    the scheme of Life. Nothing can be gained from the child's folly
    in breaking the toys that have momentarily ceased to please. The
    misogamist type of woman cannot fail to prove as futile as the
    misogamist man. Not 'Free _from_ man' is the watch-cry of women's
    emancipation that surely is to be, but 'Free _with_ man.'"

[Sidenote: Sex and intellectualism.]

And further on the same author, considering the problem of the women of
the common type that are classified as a "third sex," that of
temperamental neuter, says:

    "Economic conditions are compelling women to enter with men into
    the fierce competition of our disordered social state. Partly due
    to this reason, though much more, as I think, to the strong
    stirring in woman of her newly-discovered self, there has arisen
    what I should like to call an over-emphasized Intellectualism.
    Where sex is ignored there is bound to lurk danger. Every one
    recognizes the significance of the advance in particular cases of
    women towards a higher intellectual individuation, and the social
    utility of those women who have been truly the pioneers of the new
    freedom; but this does not lessen at all the disastrous influence
    of an ideal which holds up the renunciation of the natural rights
    of love and activities of women, and thus involves an irreparable
    loss to the race by the barrenness of many of its finest types.
    The significance of such Intellectuals must be limited, because
    for them the possibility of transmission by inheritance of their
    valuable qualities is cut off, and hence the way is closed to a
    further progress. And, thus, we are brought back to that simple
    truth from which we started; there are two sexes, the female and
    the male, on their specific differences and resemblances blended
    together in union every true advance in progress depends--on the
    perfected woman and the perfected man."

[Sidenote: Young women misled by sexual pessimists.]

One who studies carefully the various aspects of the extreme feministic
movement must admit that there are many signs of the dangers which the
above quotations point out so clearly. Of course, we cannot believe in
the sincerity of all of the numerous women of thirty-five to fifty
years who pretend to ignore sex completely. Probably most of them have
discovered that they have misunderstood themselves; but it is also
probable that they have discovered too late for making a readjustment
in their own lives. However, it matters little whether such women have
really succeeded in ignoring sex. The real problem for educational
attack lies in the fact that such women often succeed in proselyting
young women under twenty-five, and these in turn may not come to see
the real truth about sex and life until ten or fifteen years later.
Clearly, organized education must protect young women against such

[Sidenote: The greatest good in sex-education.]

The greatest good which may come from the sex-education movement is not
prevention or elimination of social diseases, it is not improved
health, it is not general acceptance of the moral law of sex, it is not
one or all these that are devoutly to be hoped for; but far greater
than such possible results from sex-education, it will bring to many a
man and woman a deeper, nobler, and purer knowledge of what sex means
for the coming race and of what it means now to each individual who
realizes life's fullest possibilities in conjugal affection which
culminates in new life and new motives for more affection. Such an
understanding of sex in relation to home life will help this old world
more than anything else which sex-education may accomplish.

[Sidenote: The greatest sex problem.]

The problems of sex and marriage deserve far more attention than can be
given in this lecture. I am convinced that knowledge of sex in its
physical, psychical, social, and æsthetic aspects is the only sure
foundation for harmonious marriage under modern conditions. Therefore,
I believe this to be the greatest sex problem open to educational

§ 13. _The Eighth Problem for Sex-instruction: Eugenics_

[Sidenote: Meaning of eugenics.]

Eugenics, or the science of human good breeding, is just now the most
popular of the problems concerning human sex and reproduction. In
recent years, the biological investigators of heredity have published
some startling facts which show that the human race must soon check its
reckless propagation of the unfit and encourage reproduction by the
best types of men and women. This is not the place for a review of the
eugenic propositions. Those interested will find them in non-technical
form in many books (see the bibliographical chapter of this book, page

[Sidenote: Eugenics in biology.]

Some of the chief facts of eugenics should be a part of every
well-organized scheme of sex-instruction, and taught through biology (§
17). Probably no other topic in biology is so likely to make an
ethical-social appeal, for the central point of eugenics is the
responsibility of the individual whose uncontrolled sexual actions may
transmit undesirable and heritable qualities and bring a train of
disaster to generations of descendants.

[Sidenote: Relation of eugenics and sex-hygiene.]

At this point we digress to correct the widespread error in confusing
sex-hygiene and eugenics. Many people who ought to know better use the
two terms synonymously, perhaps because they are afraid of that
comparatively novel but frank prefix in "sex-hygiene." The fact is that
eugenics and sex-hygiene have little in common. Eugenics is the
science of reproducing better humans by applying the established laws
of genetics or heredity. In brief, it means, on the positive side,
selecting desirable people as parents; and, negatively, preventing
propagation by the undesirables. This is the sum total of the task of
eugenics in the accurate sense of the term.

[Sidenote: Facts of heredity.]

So far as we know, each coming generation will inherit only qualities
that the parents inherited from their parents. It is a well-known
principle of biology that changes in the bodies of human beings during
their lifetime (dating from the fertilized egg that produces the
individual) are never in any noticeable degree inherited by
descendants. In short, acquired characteristics of the body tissues do
not influence the germ plasm, the living matter concerned with heredity
and reproduction, but the germ plasm that determines what the next
generation will inherit is fixed at birth. Thus tuberculosis,
alcoholism, gonorrhea, and syphilis may be acquired during the life of
an individual, but do not become fixed in the germ plasm. If the
infants show effects of any of these diseases, it is not because of
true heredity but because they were infected or influenced before
birth. Rarely does this happen to children of a tuberculous mother, but
often to those of a syphilitic mother. In a gonorrheal ophthalmia
neonatorum (specific inflammation of infants' eyes) it is a case of
infection _during_ birth.

[Sidenote: Sex-hygiene and eugenics parallel.]

Thus, it appears that sex-hygiene either personal or social (concerned
with venereal diseases) is not a part of eugenics. It is, however, a
phase of euthenics, which deals with the environmental factors that
affect the individual life. It is clear, then, that sex-hygiene (in the
strict medical sense) and eugenics are parallel and not conflicting.
Eugenics aims to select better parents who will transmit their own
qualities genetically. Sex-hygiene in its personal and social aspects
will make healthier parents able to give their offspring a healthier
start in life, especially because the offspring is free from the
prenatal effects of disease.

The teaching of heredity and eugenics is intended to develop a sense of
individual responsibility for the transmission of one's good or bad
inherited qualities to offspring. The teaching of sex-hygiene, either
personal or social, looks towards improving personal health and
preventing infection and injurious influence on the unborn next
generation. Obviously, we need both sex-hygiene and eugenics as part of
the larger sex-instruction.

§ 14. _Summary of Lectures on Sex Problems_

[Sidenote: Problems of health, attitude, and morals.]

We have made a general survey of the problems that offer reasons for
sex-instruction. We have noted that some of the problems are concerned
with health and, hence, lie within the scope of sex-hygiene in the
strict sense of that term; but some of them have only the remotest
relation to health and hygiene. On the contrary, they relate to the
ethical, social, and æsthetic attitude of individuals towards sex and
reproduction. Obviously, these touch problems not of sex health, but of
sex morality. In their educational importance I believe them as great,
perhaps even greater, than those of sex-hygiene. In fact, I have come
to believe that many individuals can best solve all their own sexual
problems on the basis of moral and æsthetic attitude.

[Sidenote: Many-sided instruction needed.]

Considering, as we have done, the sex problems in their many aspects,
we are forced to the conclusion that sex-education will prove adequate
only when it combines instruction from the several points of view. It
must be much more than the sex-hygiene with which the sex-instruction
movement started. We need sexual knowledge that will conserve health,
that will develop social and ethical and eugenic responsibility for
sexual actions, that will lead to increased happiness as well as to
improved health, and that will give a nobler and purer view of life's
possibilities. In all these lines in which sex influences human life
profoundly, sex-education holds out the hope of help towards a better
life for all who receive and apply its lessons.


[1] In the _American Journal of Public Health_ for July, 1913, Dr.
John S. Fulton, Director General of the XV International Congress on
Hygiene and Demography, criticized severely the extremely radical
statistics that were presented on charts at the sex-hygiene exhibit of
the Congress, and were later published in Wilson's "Education of the
Young in Sex-hygiene."

[2] There is danger in quoting to young men the estimates as to
prevalence of social diseases and, therefore, of promiscuity. Fear of
consequences will not control one who is led to believe that he is
doing what most men do. (See Parkinson in _Educational Review_, Jan.
1911, pp. 44-46.)

[3] Many writers have discounted the value of warnings involved in
sex-instruction concerning social disease (see especially Cabot's
papers referred to in § 46, and Parkinson in _Educational Review_,
January, 1911).

[4] Louise Creighton, in her excellent little book on "The Social
Disease and How to Fight It" (Longmans), has well presented the
problems of social impurity from woman's point of view.

Dr. W.S. Hall, in "Life's Problems," has given in a few pages the
necessary protective knowledge.

[5] See "The Sexual Necessity," by Drs. Howell and Keyes.

[6] See also, Henderson's "Education with Reference to Sex."

[7] See chapter on "Motherhood and Marriage" in Foerster's "Marriage
and the Sex Problem."

[8] As an illustration of this fact, out of 558 Pittsburgh
professional prostitutes, 406 had never had children. Of the 152 who
were mothers, only 24 had two or more children.

[9] Many thinking men and women now agree with Ellen Key that
"marriage is immoral without mutual love," that "love is the sole
decisive point of view in questions concerning this relationship,"
that "it will come to pass that no finely sensitive woman will become
a mother except through mutual love," that "everything which is
exchanged between husband and wife in their life together can only be
the free gift of love, can never be demanded by one or the other as a
right." (Key--"The Morality of Woman.")

[10] Foerster, in his "Marriage and the Sex Problem," urges that
self-control over sexual passions is the working of the old idea of
asceticism, which he believes "should be regarded, not as a negation
of nature nor as an attempt to extirpate natural forces, but as
practice in the art of self-discipline. Its object should be to show
humanity what the human will is capable of performing, to serve as an
encouraging example of the conquest of the spirit over the animal
self." My personal view is that nothing is gained by confusing
self-control and the old asceticism.

[11] Misunderstood, it seems to me, because her philosophy demanding
that marriage begin with, exist with, and end with love means freedom
in love, and this has been misinterpreted as "free love" in the sense
of promiscuity. I know of no writer who stands for marriage on a
higher plane than that advocated by Ellen Key. Her lecture on
"Morality of Woman" (Seymour Co., Chicago) is a good condensed
statement of her largest ideas and a helpful introduction to "Love and



§ 15. _The Task of Sex-education_

[Sidenote: Pragmatic solution of sex problems.]

In the preceding series of lectures we have surveyed eight important
sex problems that can never be solved, even in part, unless by
widespread information that specifically guides the individual and
organized society in the adjustment of sexual instincts to the peculiar
conditions that obtain in our modern civilized life. To spread the
knowledge that will help civilized humanity on towards the best
possible adjustment of sex and life, and therefore to a pragmatic
solution of sexual problems, is the task or the chief aim of

[Sidenote: No hope for complete solution.]

[Sidenote: Constant advance towards ideals.]

Of course, only the ultra-Utopian dreamer claims that sex-education can
solve all the sexual problems of civilized life, but even the most
pessimistic disbeliever in the new movement admits that knowledge of
sexual life will be helpful to the great majority of people. Hence, it
is worth while to organize the educational attack on the sex problems
which we have considered in the preceding lectures. It seems to me that
we may gain an advantage by frankly admitting that the educational
attack is not expected to solve all sex problems for all people, for by
such admission we put to flight those shallow cynics who have opposed
the sex-education movement because they think (and probably correctly)
that immorality and social diseases and all other sexual disharmonies
will continue to exist as long as the human species does. Likewise,
there will be dishonesty and murder and preventable diseases and all
other human troubles in spite of education; but the advancement of
learning has slowly and progressively reduced the sum total of all the
disharmonies of life until now civilized people are largely free from
many of the original or barbaric conditions. Along similar lines we may
confidently think of sex-education as making a constantly advancing and
victorious attack on the problems of life that have grown out of our
primitive sexual instincts. Sex-education, like all other education,
strives towards ideals that individuals and society may always approach
but may never reach. It is only another case of Emerson's advice,
"hitch your wagon to a star," which means the adoption of high ideals
that lead ever on and on towards better life.

With this understanding that _the task of sex-education is the
ever-advancing improvement of sexual conditions in individual as well
as in social life_, let us turn now to consider the possible lines for
definite educational attack on the chief problems of sex. It will be
most helpful if we first analyze the general task of sex-education into
some specific aims that may definitely guide instruction, and then in
later lectures consider the methods and detailed subject matter of

§ 16. _The Aims of Sex-education_

[Sidenote: Emphasis on social disease.]

Since the revelations concerning the disastrous physical effects of
sexual immorality, especially as it exists in the commercialized
conditions of the social evil, have had the chief influence in
awakening intelligent people from their age-long ignorance and
indifference concerning the great sex problems, it was natural that
those who first proposed special instruction should have emphasized the
social evil and its diseases so much as to create the widespread but
erroneous impression that the great aim of sex-education is to teach
the distressing facts concerning the pathological consequences of

[Sidenote: Other problems need emphasis.]

Now, without in the least underestimating the vast importance of the
emphasis placed on sexual immorality and social diseases in the
splendid pioneer work of the late Dr. Morrow and others for the
sex-education movement, and without suggesting that these topics should
be neglected while reorganizing the educational attack on sex problems,
I believe that so far as formal instruction in homes, schools, and
colleges is concerned, we may gain a decided advantage if we now
recognize and declare boldly that the physical effects of the diseases
arising from the social evil constitute _only one of several_ groups of
sex problems that organized education should attempt to solve.

Concerning the other problems that sex-education should touch with
great definiteness, it is my personal view that most of those outlined
in the preceding lectures will be affected by instruction along five
important lines, as follows:

[Sidenote: Five lines of instruction.]

(1) The scientific truths that lead to serious and respectful attitude
on all sex questions. (2) The personal sex-hygiene that independent of
social diseases conserves individual health directly or indirectly
through sexual normality. (3) The ethical responsibility of individuals
for the physical or social or psychical harm of their sexual actions
upon other individuals, _e.g._, in prostitution and illegitimacy. (4)
The hygienic, ethical, and psychical laws that promote physical and
mental health in monogamic marriage. (5) The established principles of
heredity and eugenics which foretell the possible coming of a better
race of humans. I believe that in these five lines there are
educational problems of present and future greater significance to
human health and happiness than are found in the social evil and its
diseases, commandingly important though these be. Therefore, in viewing
the field of sex-education with reference to the possible usefulness of
knowledge in helping individuals solve the vital problems that have
grown naturally out of the reproductive function, I believe that we are
logical only when we organize our educational aims so as to give
scientific instruction concerning the problems of sex in the several
lines in addition to the physical or hygienic aspects of the social
evil and its diseases.

[Sidenote: Four aims.]

As I now see in the large the sexual problems which scientifically
organized education should attack, the educational aims may be grouped
under four general headings as follows:

First and most important, sex-education should aim to develop an
open-minded, serious, scientific, and respectful attitude towards all
problems of human life which relate to sex and reproduction.

Second, sex-education should aim to give that knowledge of personal
hygiene of the sexual organs which is of direct value in making for the
most healthful and efficient life of the individual.

Third, sex-education should aim to develop personal responsibility
regarding the social, ethical, psychical, and eugenic aspects of sex as
affecting the individual life in its relation to other individuals of
the present and future generations; in short, sex-education should
consider the problems of sexual instincts and actions in relation to

Fourth, sex-education should aim to teach _briefly_ to young people,
during later adolescence, the essential hygienic, social, and eugenic
facts regarding the two destructive diseases which are chargeable to
sexual promiscuity or immorality.

[Sidenote: Order of importance of aims.]

For emphasis, let me briefly summarize these aims of sex-education: (1)
Serious, scientific, and respectful attitude of mind on sex questions;
(2) personal sex-hygiene; (3) social and ethical and eugenic
responsibility for sex actions; (4) relation of immorality and social
diseases. I have deliberately, placed these educational aims in this
order because it is the order of greatest permanent importance in the
sex-education movement; it represents the greatest value to the largest
number of individuals who may learn the scientific truth; and it is the
order most natural, most logical, and most effective in pedagogical
practice with young people.

[Sidenote: Relation of aims to problems of sex.]

Sex-education organized with regard to these four aims will touch
definitely all the eight problems of sex that have been discussed in
preceding lectures. The first aim will directly affect the problem of
vulgarity and indirectly touch those stated under the third aim. The
second aim is obviously directed to the problem of personal health as
it may be influenced by the sexual processes of one individual
independent of others. Of course, there is also the personal aspect of
social diseases, but it is clearer to consider both personal and social
aspects of these diseases as a unit in the fourth aim. The third aim is
based on five of the eight great problems which involve individual
responsibility for the social evil, for illegitimacy, for sexual
immorality, for matrimonial harmony, and for eugenics. The social
aspects of the venereal diseases obviously involve personal
responsibility of the individual in relation to society as well as a
personal hygienic problem. Thus, six of the eight great sex problems
are essentially social and only those relating to personal hygiene and
individual attitude are so distinctly personal as to have only an
indirect relation to other individuals, as might be true in case of
unharmonious marriage of individuals who are vulgar minded or who have
been injured by unhygienic personal habits. Finally, the fourth aim
provides for teaching the _essential_ facts that may help individuals
protect themselves directly, and society indirectly, against the
diseases that awakened the world to the need of sex-education.

Let us turn now to analyze the aims of sex-education and consider how
they may be connected with a definite scheme for sex-instruction.

§ 17. _The Aims as the Basis of Organized Sex-instruction_

I have placed first the aim to develop a serious and respectful
attitude toward sex and reproduction because at the root of the sexual
problems of our times is the prevailing vulgar interpretation of sex
and life discussed in a preceding lecture (§ 11).

[Sidenote: Biology and attitude.]

Recognizing the great importance of attitude, how may it be influenced
by instruction in home or school? The most widely accepted answer is
that the best beginning may be made through study of biology (including
botany, zoölogy, and physiology) and through nature-study and hygiene
taught on a biologic basis. No other method of introduction to
sex-instruction is so natural and so likely to lead to a serious,
scientific, and open-minded attitude concerning sex. In fact, a large
part of the study of reproduction of plants and animals in courses of
biology in schools and colleges has its value chiefly in the
overwhelming evidence that problems of sex and reproduction are natural
and dignified aspects of life. Such biological study determines
attitude in no small degree. This is the chief justification for study
of the reproductive processes in a series of animals and plants
representing stages between the complex development of the highest
animals which parallel human life and the lowest forms which the
microscope reveals. In all my classes of twenty years in high school
and college I have noted a marked development of serious, scientific,
and open-minded attitude in response to natural and frank presentation
of animal and plant life-histories. Moreover, I have many times
requested large groups of students to write freely and frankly
concerning the influence of biological courses upon their own attitude;
and their papers have strongly supported my observation that study of
animal and plant life-histories exerts a profound influence upon the
attitude of students towards the human problems of sex and
reproduction. If I were stating a defense for biology as one of three
or four essential science courses for general education, I should place
the greatest emphasis upon the study of animals and plants as a
foundation for sex-instruction. Certain critics would reply that all
the biological facts that are actually used in the direct human
application of sex-instruction could be taught in a few lectures
without a year's course in biology; but it is a demonstrated fact that
a few isolated lessons do not give the attitude that comes from a good
course of biology taught with the view to culminating in special

[Sidenote: Literature and attitude.]

Only recently has it been pointed out that one's attitude towards sex
may be profoundly influenced by reading certain general literature that
holds up high ideals of love and sex and life. It will be most
convenient to consider the influence of literature on sex-instruction
in another lecture (§ 23).

[Sidenote: Teaching personal sex-hygiene.]

Now let us consider the general bearings of the personal sex-hygiene
demanded by the second aim. For children under ten and twelve the
necessary hygiene should be presented personally (see § 25). For young
people of adolescent years there are four possible ways of instruction
in personal sex-hygiene: (1) It may be added naturally to a course or
series of lessons in general hygiene including the problems of health
for all systems of organs. (2) It may be included in a study of
vertebrate and human reproduction in a course of biology or zoölogy.
(3) It may be presented by a special lecture that is independent of all
regular courses of study. (4) Special booklets may be put into the
hands of young people. Let us now examine each of these ways:

[Sidenote: Sex-hygiene in general hygiene.]

(1) Sex-hygiene as a natural part of a series of lessons in general
hygiene is most satisfactory when preceded by biological nature-study
or high-school biology in which life-histories of organisms have been
studied for the sake of attitude. At present we lack satisfactory
textbooks for this kind of correlation. There is a strong reaction
against independent courses of hygiene in high schools, and the next
plan is becoming more common.

[Sidenote: Hygiene in biology.]

(2) The inclusion of the necessary hygiene of all organs in courses of
biology or zoölogy that have emphasized physiology and its bearings on
health is the best arrangement so far proposed and tested in practice.
It has been tried with success by Dr. W.H. Eddy in the High School of
Commerce, New York City, and by other high-school teachers working
along the same lines. The arguments for teaching general hygiene on a
biological basis have been presented in the last chapter of "The
Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools" by Lloyd and Bigelow, and put
in textbook form in the "Applied Biology" and "Introduction to Biology"
by M.A. and Anna N. Bigelow. However, personal sex-hygiene is not
included in these textbooks, because educational and public opinion do
not yet stand for such radical lessons in books for schools.

[Sidenote: Special lectures on hygiene.]

(3) Special lectures on sex-hygiene independent of biology or general
hygiene are at best makeshifts, and not without dangers. I fear the
effect of the abrupt introduction to sex problems by special lectures,
especially for girls who may be shocked much more than the average boys
can be. I heartily sympathize with parents and school officials who
object to special lectures that suddenly focus attention on problems of
sexual health. It seems to me that special lectures should be given
only when no other method of teaching is possible. This applies
especially to young people who are not in schools. While I have
stressed biological nature-study as offering the ideal basis for the
broadest kind of sex-education, I realize that there are cases where
such study cannot be held prerequisite to some aspects of sex-hygiene
that young people should know. However, we should aim to make such
cases the exceptions and not the rule. Some good may be accomplished by
teaching certain facts of sex-hygiene frankly and directly to those who
have absolutely no knowledge of nature-study and biology; but after
watching the reactions of groups of boys who were receiving such
information, I have been convinced that even with a limit of one hour
for instruction a biological setting is decidedly important in that it
gives an indirect approach.

(4) Special books and pamphlets are useful when, and only when, the
above methods are impossible, but certain cautions are desirable (see §

[Sidenote: Difficulty in ethical-social teaching.]

The third aim involves some difficult educational problems. Since we
confess that we know so little concerning efficient methods for
ethical, moral, or social teaching, it is evident that we must be far
from a satisfactory plan for dealing with instruction which is intended
to oppose most powerful instinctive tendencies and long-established
habits of sensuality. Clearly the third aim sets no easy task for the
educator; but since the possible solution of sex problems must turn on
the sex actions of the individual in relation to society, the
ethical-social aspects of sex-education must not be evaded because the
way is not yet entirely clear. The fact is that a good beginning has
been made, especially in teaching concerning social diseases, heredity,
and eugenics.

[Sidenote: Social hygiene and ethics.]

The value of all the proposed teaching concerning the relation of
immorality and social diseases is more ethical than hygienic. Read any
of the standard literature on the social side of venereal diseases,
especially the masterly writings of the eminent physician and chief
organizer of the American movement for sex-education, the late Dr.
Prince A. Morrow, of New York City; and one notes that the medical
facts have bearings in two directions. First, they indicate the
desirability of morality as a protection of personal health; and
second, they teach that the pathological results of the individual's
immoral living may be passed on later to innocent wives and children.
The first is as clearly personal hygiene as teaching that impure water
may cause typhoid; but the second is social hygiene and ethics. The
second is more impressive to all but the most selfish people.

There is good reason for believing that information concerning the
social diseases is more likely to impress the average young man through
the social-ethical appeal much more than as a matter of personal
health. Therefore, a biological lesson on social diseases, which may be
presented most logically in connection with other germ diseases, may
have its chief value in that its meaning is social and ethical.

[Sidenote: Biology and ethics.]

As another illustration of biology touching ethics, I have recently
come to believe that the teaching concerning heredity and eugenics,
which should be a standard part of the best sex-instruction, has its
greatest value in the ethical appeal, and not in the direct biological
application of the laws of heredity which underlie eugenics. I realize
that this statement is likely to be disputed by those biologists who
see in eugenics only the possibility of controlling heredity so as to
propagate better strains of humans, just as breeders of plants and
animals have produced better domesticated varieties. A biologist
naturally believes that the ultimate aim of eugenics is improvement
of physical and psychical qualities; but considering the
ethical-social-biological complications of human sex-problems, it seems
improbable that any decided and extensive improvement is likely to
come if we continue to limit our interpretation of the principles of
eugenics to the purely biological standpoint of the breeder of plants
and animals. Let me illustrate by some concrete facts from eugenics:

There is a widespread opinion among science teachers that high-school
biology should present some of the best established facts of heredity;
and that these should be eugenically applied to human life by means of
such illustrations as those afforded by the histories of certain
degenerate families, such as the well-known Jukes and Kallikaks. A
brief sketch of the history of the latter family, as described in Dr.
Goddard's interesting book, "The Kallikak Family" (Macmillan), will
make clear my point as to the ethical appeal of eugenics.

[Sidenote: Eugenics and ethical teaching.]

A young man of good ancestry broke the moral law about one hundred and
forty years ago and became the father of an illegitimate son by a
feeble-minded mother. Of 480 descendants of this son, there have been
46 normal, many immoral, many alcoholic and 143 feeble-minded. The same
man who back in the revolutionary days made a moral mistake which led
to such awful consequences, later married a woman of good family and
became the progenitor of a second line of 496 descendants of whom 494
have been normal mentally, while two were affected by alliance with
another family; and all have been first-class citizens, many of them
prominent in business, professions, etc.

Even making due allowance for the depressing influence of the
environment in which most of the down-and-out descendants in the
degenerate line lived, the comparison between the normal and the
abnormal lines from the same ancestor gives the most convincing eugenic
evidence that has been discovered in the human race. Doubtless it will
long be used as a basis for attempted biological control of the
propagation of the unfit. Many similar cases of hereditary degeneracy
are recorded in books on eugenics.

Such a eugenic record as that of this Kallikak family should be
reviewed in every high school and college in connection with the topic
"heredity" in a course of biology, for it will teach two important
lessons: (1) The biological principle that defects, both physical and
mental, are highly heritable, even for many generations; and (2) the
ethical responsibility for the sex actions of the individual who may
start a long train of human disaster that may visit the children unto
even later than the third and fourth generations. The first lesson is a
purely biological one which suggests the eugenic argument that
defective humans, like undesirable animals and plants, should not take
part in the perpetuation of the species. The second lesson is not
biological but ethical, suggesting individual responsibility for
conduct which may disastrously affect other individuals' lives. It
seems to me that so far as general education is concerned, the ethical
lesson is the more impressive and more likely to lead to voluntary
eugenic practice by individuals. It is my observation that even many
intelligent people are not seriously impressed by the biological
evidences for eugenics considered as a general problem, but their
reaction is one of interest when one begins to present the question of
ethical responsibility for the transmission of physical and mental
defects to future generations. Such considerations have led me to the
view, already suggested, that eugenic studies in courses of biology
have their greatest practical value in their ethical implications,
which, of course, by influencing individual responsibility for
reproduction may lead to the desirable biological improvement of the
human race. Teachers of biology should present, as an economic problem,
the facts which will make better breeds of plants and animals by direct
application of the biological laws of heredity; but they should present
and apply parallel facts to human life in order to influence first of
all individual responsibility for ethical control of reproductive
activity, and thus indirectly work eugenically for an improved human

[Sidenote: Aim of eugenics.]

Thus the aim of eugenics is most likely to be attained through ethical
rather than biological application of the teaching which our schools
can give. The men and women who view life selfishly with no feelings of
ethical responsibility towards others of the present or future will
take no practical interest in the biological problems of human
eugenics, although the economic problems of plant and animal breeding
may interest some of these same people.

[Sidenote: Education and other aspects of sex problems.]

In addition to the ethical-social bearings of biological teaching, our
sex-education will be incomplete until we learn how to attack the sex
problems directly and effectively with reference to the ethical,
social, psychical, and æsthetic aspects. Perhaps we may be able to do
this only with mature people; probably it is too much to hope that even
a serious impression will be made on all intelligent people; but
somehow sex-education must be completed by adequate presentation of
these aspects, for the problems of sex are satisfactorily solved only
in the lives of those fortunate individuals whose vision of the
relation of sex and life combines the viewpoints of biology, hygiene,
psychology, ethics, religion, and last--but far from least--æsthetics.

[Sidenote: Only essential knowledge of social diseases.]

Finally, the educational application of the fourth aim demands some
explanation. Sometime in the adolescent period all young people should
learn the essential facts regarding the two social diseases and their
relation to immoral living. There is the widespread impression that
those advocating sex-education believe in giving great prominence to
the social diseases; but in opposition to this I cite the report of a
committee of the American Federation for Sex Hygiene, published in the
_Journal of the Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis_, January,
1913, and later reprinted as a pamphlet by the American Social Hygiene
Association. In that report there are _twenty-three_ recommendations
concerning sex-instruction; but _only_ one mentions social diseases
and in these words: "During the later period of adolescence ... there
should be given ... special instruction as to the character and dangers
of the venereal diseases." That seems sufficient. It is not desirable
that young people should review the horrible facts relating to
perverted sexuality. Ten or twenty brief and authoritative statements
quoted impressively from medical and social literature ought to give
fair warning of lurking dangers in immoral living. More extensive
information has often proved dangerous. I would gladly advocate that
this dark side of life be kept in sealed books if I did not know that
so many young people need forewarning and definite guidance. Our
educational system will not do its full duty if it fails to offer the
needed help so that it may be obtained by all adolescent young people
who are not so fortunate as to be guided by parents and other personal


[12] To avoid misunderstanding, let me repeat from the first lecture
that I am constantly thinking of sex-education in the larger sense;
and instruction in schools can be, at best, only a part.



§ 18. _Who Should Give Sex-instruction?_

A large number of people have been convinced that young people need
knowledge which will help them face the great problems of sex; but they
withhold their approval of the sex-education movement because they are
not satisfied that proper teachers exist. It is, therefore, evident
that we cannot make permanent progress by emphasizing the need of
sex-education unless we can give assurance that qualified teachers are

[Sidenote: The teacher most important.]

The situation as regards teachers of sex-instruction is very different
from that of all other subjects concerning which young people should be
taught. We cannot safely plan the teaching regarding sex until we know
the teacher. This will be evident, I think, after some general
considerations concerning selection of teachers and some discussion of
problems such as the first teacher, teachers for classes, and some
undesirable teachers. The general rule should be, first, find the safe
and sure teacher and, second, select the facts and plan the lessons
that the chosen teacher may give effectively.

[Sidenote: Teachers of same sex for children.]

So far as young children are concerned, the needed instruction is so
general in character that the sex of the competent teacher is of little
importance, but the information that ought to prepare for and guide
through the mazes of adolescent youth should come to young people from
teachers of the same sex. If exceptions must be made rather than omit
instruction altogether, some very mature women may safely guide both
boys and girls through adolescence; but men, even physicians, should
not undertake instruction of adolescent young women, unless parents and
other mature people are present to help with attitude. That women may
well instruct boys I know, because the most impressive sex lecture I
ever heard was given by the late Dr. Mary Wood-Allen to the boys of the
freshman class when I was a college student. But note that I have said
"some very mature women." The fact is that I fear danger for some boys
if they are frankly instructed by attractive young women who are only
ten to fifteen years older than their pupils. Hence, I urge great
caution if there must be any exceptions to the general rule that
teachers and pupils should be of the same sex.

[Sidenote: Coeducational classes.]

I realize the difficulty of applying this rule in many high schools
where the foundations of sex-education are well laid on the biological
basis. There is no reason why the biological studies should not be
coeducational through nature-study and biology as far as the
development of frogs and birds and, in a general way, of mammals. In
fact, both of my textbooks, the "Applied Biology" and the "Introduction
to Biology," which emphasize reproduction of organisms more than other
high-school books, have been used throughout in coeducational classes.
However, these books stop where the problems of human life begin and
should be supplemented by lessons for sex-limited classes. There are
writers who suggest that segregation of the sexes for teaching
concerning human life may be at present a necessity because complete
frankness on sexual questions is certainly obstructed by tradition; but
we must not ignore the deep social reasons why, in general, there must
be maintained a certain amount of reserve between the sexes in the
consideration of some important problems of life. No educational theory
or practice can possibly alter the fundamental physical or psychical
relations of the sexes which nature seems to have fixed immutably.

[Sidenote: Married women as teachers.]

One other point that deserves attention in this connection is the
common statement that only married women, preferably mothers, can be
competent instructors of young women. This strikes me as more than
absurd. Personal experience is not always necessary for teaching in any
line. The greatest medical teachers have not had the diseases they
describe so clearly. The best elementary teachers and specialists on
the care of children are not always mothers; on the contrary, some of
these are men. The fact is that these teachers have learned, not from
personal experience, but from the great accumulations of scientific
knowledge of medicine, hygiene, and education. There is an abundance of
such knowledge relating to sex that may be clearly understood by bright
women who have no bi-personal knowledge of sex. Therefore, I believe
that it is nonsense to insist that only women with complete sexual
experiences can be efficient guides for other women.

§ 19. _The Child's First Teachers of Sex-knowledge_

[Sidenote: Mothers and other first teachers.]

The first instruction which may begin to lay the foundation for the
individual's sex-education should be given in early childhood by
parents, or by other adults, who happen to be on the most intimate
personal terms with the child. Usually this means the mother; but there
are numerous cases of teachers, governesses, grandmothers, and even
fathers who have greater personal influence with certain children than
their mothers have. The essential point is that the child should be
instructed only by an adult who can exert the greatest personal

[Sidenote: Mothers and adolescent boys.]

Many parents who believe in sex-education for their children hold that
the mothers should give all necessary hygienic guidance and teach the
elementary facts of life to the children of both sexes in the
pre-adolescent years, but that with the dawn of adolescence the girls
should continue to be instructed by their mothers, while the boys
should be guided by their fathers. So far as girls are concerned, this
seems to be a fairly good plan; but nine times out of ten it is not
best for the boys for several reasons: First, the sudden change of
attitude on the part of the mother will surely impress upon the boy
that there is something about sex in boys that even his mother dares
not talk over with him. At about this same time when the mother begins
to avoid the sex question with her boy, he will surely begin to get
vulgar information and impressions from his boy companions. He will in
all probability begin to hear the impure and obscene stories and vulgar
language that are so common among many men and boys, and he will be
sure to learn that the vulgarity which he hears must not be repeated in
the presence of his mother and sisters. It is a most critical time in
the mental attitude of the boy. His mother has so far been directing
him towards purity and then suddenly sets him adrift. If there is ever
a time in a boy's life when he needs intimacy with his mother, it is in
the early adolescent years of twelve to fourteen. A strong mother's
heart to heart guidance at that time will influence the boy more than
all the sex-education which the schools and colleges combined can ever
hope to offer. Such is the problem of home teaching for adolescent
boys. I emphatically protest against the foolish and even dangerous
idea that because a boy is beginning to metamorphose into a man his
mother should cease to help him with the problems of sex. Lucky is that
adolescent boy whose mother realizes her duty and her opportunity and
holds him as intimately as if he were a girl of corresponding age.

§ 20. _Selecting Teachers for Class Instruction_

The references to "the teacher" in the following are primarily
applicable to those who may be called upon to give sex-instruction as
class work in schools, colleges, churches, the Y.M.C.A., the Y.W.C.A.,
and other educational organizations.

The chief question for discussion in this lecture is that of selecting
the teacher of those phases of sex-instruction that are directly
related to human life, that is, personal sex-hygiene and sex-ethics. So
far as biological facts of sex are concerned, there are no special
problems such as may not be handled by teachers of biology in general
according to the accepted methods (see Lloyd and Bigelow, "Teaching of
Biology in the Secondary School" and Bigelow, "Teacher's Manual of

[Sidenote: Regular teachers if possible.]

As already suggested, a large part of the sex-instruction is simply an
extension of biological science, hygiene, and ethics; and in secondary
schools and colleges should be given by selected teachers of the
regular staff and whenever possible as a part of regular courses. There
may be some necessary modifications to this plan; for example, in
Teachers College the course on sex-education and another series of
lectures on sex-physiology and hygiene for women are open to students
who do not take the biology courses in which the sex-instruction
logically belongs.

[Sidenote: Sex-hygiene and ethics.]

The culminating stages of any complete scheme for formal sex-education
of young people will be sex-hygiene considered in its strict sense as
that special phase of sex-education which deals with problems of
health, and sex-ethics which determines the responsibility of
individuals for control of sexual instincts. While nature-study and
biology and general hygiene may be organized so as to present the major
portion of the facts which should be included in a complete scheme of
sex-instruction in schools and colleges, the application of these facts
to personal life is the most difficult problem of sex-education. In
fact, it is the only real problem, for long before sex-education became
a definite movement the most efficient science teachers were presenting
the fundamental facts on which we now propose to build with certain
hygienic and ethic instruction which directly touches the personal life
of the student. As already said, the human application will require
only a few lessons, preferably in connection with nature-study,
biology, ethics, or hygiene. But although brief, such instruction is
the keystone in the arch of sex-education, and it is very important
that there be no serious mistakes in selecting the teachers.

[Sidenote: Sex specialists not desirable.]

I have mentioned special teachers as necessary for instruction with
direct reference to specialists human life. I hasten to add that I
still agree with the report of the special committee (Morrow, _et al._)
of the American Federation for Sex Hygiene that it is not desirable
that any teacher should make a specialty of this type of instruction
and of no other. We do not want "sex specialists" in the schools (see
pp. 10 and 20-23 of the Report of the Committee). It is important that
all teachers should have general information regarding the sex problems
of young people in order to be able to help individual pupils.

§ 21. _Certain Undesirable Teachers for Special Hygienic and Ethical

It will be most helpful if we consider the problem of selecting
teachers with a view to rejecting those who certainly should not
undertake the special hygienic and ethical teaching, for teachers who
are good in other subjects and who are fortunately free from certain
disqualifications discussed in the following, may by means of study
adapt themselves for the final and most important stages of

There are five types of teachers who should be regarded as disqualified
for teaching personal sex-hygiene and sex-ethics.

[Sidenote: Embarrassed teachers.]

First, those men and women who are unable to speak of sex-hygiene as
calmly and seriously as they do of any other phase of hygiene had
better not undertake the instruction of young people. There are many
such men and women among teachers who, so far as scientific training is
concerned, ought to be good teachers of sex-hygiene. As an illustration
of this attitude that leaves the wrong impression with students, it is
reported that a good teacher of hygiene recently prefaced a brief talk
to college girls as follows: "I shall now consider a process that no
cultured woman ever mentions except with bated breath. I refer to

[Sidenote: Abnormal teachers.]

The second kind of people who should not teach sex-hygiene are the men
and women who are the unfortunate victims of sexual abnormality, either
physical or psychical, that more or less influences their outlook on
life. Certain neurotic and hysterical men or women who lack thorough
physiological training and whose own sexual disturbances have led them
to devour omnivorously and unscientifically the psychopathological
literature of sex by such authors as Havelock Ellis, Krafft-Ebing, and
Freud, are probably unsafe teachers of sex-hygiene. Especially is this
true of the women of this type whose introspective morbidity has led
them to diagnose their own functional disturbances as the direct result
of "over-sexuality" and restraint from normal sexual expression--a
diagnosis that is probably wrong nine times in ten cases. Such a woman
is a very dangerous teacher of sex-hygiene for adolescent girls; and a
positive menace to older unmarried women who, if free from absorbing
work, may spend their leisure in becoming more or less restless under
the unsocial, if not unphysiologic, conditions of unwelcome celibacy.
This is no imaginary danger. The reader of this will not be interested
in details, but the author has received from physicians and others
reliable information concerning several extremely abnormal women of the
above-described type who are taking an active interest in the
sex-instruction of young people and are actually suggesting to their
friends among young women the dangerous and untrue doctrine that
prolonged celibacy for women results in repressed sexuality that surely
leads to ill health. Such ideas, it is true, are traceable to certain
well-known radical writers on the psychopathology of sex; but we must
remember that the great majority of physicians and other scientific
investigators who have studied such problems refuse to believe that
repressed sex instincts in either men or women do the harm that a few
extremists have claimed. But even if it were known beyond the shadow of
a doubt that repressed sex instincts may injure people, it would be
unwise to intrust young people to instruction by teachers who have a
hypochondriacal interest in such a doctrine of repression. Such
suggestions can do only harm to the vast majority of persons who
receive them. To say the least, it is unfortunate that the
psychopathology of sex has become so widely circulated among those who
are not well trained in physiology and psychiatry.

[Sidenote: Teachers who emphasize sexual abnormality.]

The third kind of people who should not be intrusted with teaching
sex-hygiene are the men and women who, without a scientific
perspective, have plunged into the literature of sexual abnormality
until they have come to think that knowledge concerning perverted life
is an important part of sex-education for young people, especially for
those of post-adolescent years. I know of teachers and physicians who
advise young people not much over twenty years of age to read such
psychopathological works as those of Krafft-Ebing, Ellis, and Freud,
and various works dealing with commercialized vice. Here is a grave
danger. The less that people without professional use for knowledge of
sexual pathology know concerning it, the better it will be for their
peace of mind and possibly for their morals. Therefore, I urge that he
who enthusiastically studies the abnormalities of sex life without
reference to scientific research or professional demands, is not likely
to be the kind of teacher who will present abnormal life only so far as
is necessary to an understanding of the perfectly normal.

[Sidenote: Pessimistic teachers.]

The fourth kind of people who ought not to instruct the young in
personal problems of sex-hygiene are the men and women whose own
unhappy romances or married life, or whose knowledge of vice
conditions, have made them pessimistic concerning sex-problems. There
are in our schools and colleges to-day some such men and many such
women, and there will be danger for young people when the growing
freedom of expression allows these sexual pessimists to impress their
own hopeless philosophy of sex upon students. The educational world
does not need such teachers, but rather those who can follow the late
Dr. Morrow in seeing a bright side of life that almost dispels the
darkness of sexual errors.

[Sidenote: Teachers not respected by pupils.]

The fifth kind of persons who ought not to teach the personal side of
sex-hygiene are those who cannot command the most serious respect of
their pupils. This applies especially to many men teachers whose
flippant attitude and even questionable living are not likely to help
their pupils, especially boys, towards a satisfactory interpretation of
sex problems. Of course, such teachers ought not be in schools at all,
but the fact is that for various reasons they sometimes get there and
stay there; and so they must be weighed by the school official who
selects the teachers to be intrusted with special problems of

[Sidenote: No instruction without satisfactory teachers.]

Summarizing, I have in this lecture aimed to warn the school
administrator, and others who must select teachers of classes, against
the kinds of teachers who ought not be chosen for presenting the
special problems of sex-education, especially those of sex-hygiene and
sex-ethics. I have pointed out that there are five serious
disqualifications; and it is probable that if strictly applied when
choosing teachers for special sex-instruction, there will be
elimination of three or four in every ten of those whose training in
science might be expected to qualify them as teachers of this special
line. It is a fair question as to what a school or other institution
should do if it has no teachers who are free from the above
disqualifications. My own belief is that it is better to get an
outsider for the handling of the special problems. If this is
impracticable, then suggest to the students that they read certain
books such as are recommended in the last sections of this book. Even
entire omission of the study of the personal and social aspects of
sex-hygiene and sex-ethics is far wiser than intrusting a class to a
teacher with one or more of the negative qualifications that we have
been considering in this lecture. The effect of sex-education upon
individual lives will in no small degree depend upon the impression
made by the living teacher who deals with the difficult problems of sex
in relation to hygiene and ethics. Hence, the greatest care should be
taken when selecting the teacher for this all-important part of the
student's sex-education.



§ 22. _Value and Danger of Special Sex Books for Young People_

[Sidenote: Books for private reading.]

There are many parents and teachers who believe that young people
should get their sexual information by private reading, and numerous
books for boys and girls have been prepared to meet such a demand. The
desire for such "private" reading undoubtedly exists, especially in
boys; but this is part of the general air of secrecy and vulgarity that
has enshrouded the truth about sexual matters. Many eminent physicians
agree that there are elements of physical and perhaps moral danger when
a boy reads a sex-science book secretly, but that there are few such
possibilities in frank and scientific teaching by a competent
instructor. This is recognized by leaders in the Y.M.C.A., and they
prefer to read books with the boys in study classes. Many scientific
women think there is no such danger for average girls, but agree that
girls as well as boys will gain in respect for the subject of sex if
the atmosphere of secrecy can be avoided. Hence, while books for
private reading are better than ignorance, they alone will not solve
many of the problems at which sex-education is directed. We must cease
to foster the secrecy created by an atmosphere of obscenity, and the
study of sex must be brought into the light of day. Let good books be
recommended through parents and with their approval be issued freely by
libraries and without restrictions which suggest something dark and
wrong. Let parents and teachers encourage such reading, but not as
something requiring secrecy. Rather let such books be read as freely as
any other good books, and let parents and competent teachers follow the
young readers closely so as to explain facts and help develop the
desirable attitude of mind. Especially let parents encourage the idea
that approved sex-science books may be read at the family fireside as
properly as any other books. Above all, let parents and teachers work
in every possible way against the time-worn idea that problems of sex
are essentially vulgar and demand secrecy even in scientific study. We
must have a nobler and healthier outlook on human life than that which
so commonly prevails, and we can never get it by secret study of
sex-science by young people. Such study may do some good by warning
against unhygienic habits and social diseases; but it is certainly
inadequate to give the open-minded attitude needed so much for
appreciating the ethical, social, and æsthetic bearings of human life
as it is influenced by normal sexual functions.

[Sidenote: Pamphlets _vs._ books.]

It has been urged by well-known teachers that, for sex-instruction,
pamphlets are better than books in that they do not hold the attention
too long on topics that may be exciting to some young people. On the
other hand, books usually make a stronger appeal, while pamphlets are
likely to be regarded lightly, as are magazines and newspapers. There
is no doubt that most sex books for young people are too extended, and
there is need of condensed forty-and fifty-cent booklets in place of
the books commonly sold at one dollar. Three or four small booklets by
different authors read at widely separated intervals will interest and
influence a young man more than one large and comprehensive book. There
is besides great value in the points of view of various authors.

[Sidenote: Better books needed.]

At present there are no thoroughly satisfactory books for adolescent
boys and girls. In my opinion, W.S. Hall's books for boys are the most
reliable, and his "Life Problems" is the best selection of facts for
girls; but some mature readers criticize the style of presentation.
Some other books for adolescent young people are mentioned with
critical notes in the bibliography at the end of this book. There is
still plenty of chance for authors to experiment in writing books of
this class.

§ 23. _General Literature and Sex Problems_

[Sidenote: Sex in literature.]

In the world's best literature there is much that teaches important
lessons in the field of the larger sex-education. In the guise of love,
sex problems have always held the prominent place in all literature.
Many a great book teaches direct or positive lessons by holding up high
ideals for inspiration and imitation; but some of the most impressive
lessons are in negative form, especially in fiction that deals with the
tragedies of life.

[Sidenote: Religious books.]

As examples of literature of direct influence in helping many young
people solve the problems of sex, we think first of that which holds up
high ideals of personal purity, such as the Bible and other religious
books. There is no doubt that such literature has a tremendous
influence on many young people; but it has little influence on others,
probably in part because the somewhat mystical style of most religious
writings is meaningless to many people.

[Sidenote: Appeal of poetry.]

It is a fact that many young people who refuse to be interested in
religious literature may be influenced for sexual purity by the
emotional appeal of some general literature. This is especially true of
romantic poetry. I believe that the high "idealism" of love inspired by
Tennyson's "The Princess" and "Idylls of the King," by Longfellow's
"Evangeline" and "The Hanging of the Crane," by some of Shakespeare's
plays, and by other great poetry with similar themes has had and will
continue to have greater influence on the attitude and ethics of many
young people than all the formal sex-teaching that can be organized.
Hence, I believe that teachers of literature should be led to take
interest in the larger sex-education to the end that by selection and
interpretation of great masterpieces they may contribute in a valuable
way to the solution of some of the problems that have their center in
the deeper nature of sex.

[Sidenote: Importance of interpretation.]

Interpretation of literature by teachers is very important for the
purposes of sex-education of young people. As an example, take
Tennyson's "Idylls of the King," whose movement centers in the life
problems that turn around love. The average reader is likely to miss
the great lessons if the poem is not critically interpreted either by
living teachers or by such critical essays as those by Henry van Dyke
in his "Poetry of Tennyson" and Newell Dwight Hillis in his "Great
Books as Life-Teachers." Without interpretation "The Idylls" may teach
false as well as true lessons of life. Some of the Knights of the Round
Table (Galahad and Percivale) were worthy followers of the good and
pure King Arthur, and some of them (like Lancelot and Tristram and
Merlin) proved unable to live up to the vow of chastity to which Arthur
swore all his knights. And on the part of the ladies of Arthur's court,
there was purity and devotion and true womanhood in Elaine and Enid,
while Guinevere and Ettarre and Vivien were unchaste and faithless. In
fact, all phases of the relations of men and women in the struggles and
perplexities of life are pictured; and therefore it is important that a
well-trained teacher should be the guide and interpreter if the "Idylls
of the King" are to be read with the idea of understanding their true
bearings on life, which includes their contribution to the larger

I have used "The Idylls of the King" as an illustration because they
are so many-sided in sex problems; but much other great literature may
be made to help young people to high ideals of relationships between
men and women. I have emphasized the place of such literature in the
larger sex-education because I have come to believe that interpretation
of life either real or in great literature may have profound influence
in the development of one's philosophy of life. As a matter of
educational procedure insuring that young people will learn to
interpret life, especially those aspects that the larger sex-education
touches so definitely, there appears to be no more natural and
unobtrusive way of approach than that offered by the study of
literature. I am convinced that many teachers of literature may be
efficient workers in the cause of the larger sex-education,
supplementing the scientific teaching in the ethical lines where
science is admittedly weak, if not helpless. It is to be hoped that
numerous teachers will soon grasp this opportunity. If they will study
the sex-education movement in order to get its general bearings and
will teach the sex aspect of literature on a basis of high ideals of
life and love, we need have no fear as to the culmination of the
instruction which properly begins with study of the biological facts of
life in its sexual aspects and leads on and on to its climax in the
ethical aspects of the individual's sex life in relation to other
individuals, that is, to society.

[Sidenote: Not to be labeled "sex-education."]

I take it for granted that no teacher of literature who contributes to
sex-instruction will let the students know that the emphasis placed on
great life problems is part of a conspiracy of parents and educators to
give in the name of sex-education instruction that will help prepare
the individual for facing the problems. Here, as elsewhere, the young
people had better be left unaware that their elders are so interested
in giving them instruction regarding sex problems that they have
organized, for study of ways and means, a movement known as

[Sidenote: Sex tragedies of fiction.]

The abundant literature that points to the moral to be drawn from
sexual tragedies has doubtless influenced thousands of young people. I
have talked with many educated people who confessed to having been
profoundly influenced by such books as Eliot's "Adam Bede," Hawthorne's
"Scarlet Letter," Goethe's "Faust," Hardy's "Tess of the
d'Urbervilles." One might go on and compile an extensive bibliography,
for fiction of all languages of all times is full of the errors into
which insistent sex instincts have drawn men and women who were not
masters of themselves. All standard fiction in which sexual errors and
their penalties are associated may do good as a part of the larger
sex-education, but the teacher should make sure that the young readers
arrive at the correct interpretation.

[Sidenote: Fiction without a moral.]

Against that type of fiction which presents sex problems that do not
clearly "point a moral," the average so-called "problem novel" of
recent time, there should be general opposition by workers for the
larger sex-education. Many of the modern novels and magazine stories
seem to introduce sexual situations for the same reason that Boccaccio
did in some of his tales, namely, the attractiveness of lasciviousness.
Unlike the commendable novels, it is characteristic of the equivocal
ones that no penalty is demanded or paid and no moral conclusion is
suggested. In fact, the way is very often left open to an immoral
interpretation. All such literature certainly tends to work against the
aims of sex-education. Perhaps parents and teachers may coöperate to
keep much of this kind of literature out of the hands of young people,
but the safest procedure is in cultivating taste for literature that
does teach helpful lessons of life. If young people do read books and
magazines that seem to stand for uncertain morals, it is best that
parents and teachers should point out the moral interpretations.

§ 24. _Dangers in Literature on Abnormal Sexuality_

[Sidenote: Danger in present interests in the abnormal.]

The opinion is spreading among those who are studying the educational
problems relating to sex that there is great danger, even for many
adults, in much of the literature describing psychopathological and
abnormal social-sexual facts. There are enormous quantities of such
literature, particularly concerning the social evil. It is extremely
doubtful whether the reader who is not directly engaged in medicine,
psychiatry, or social reform will profit by filling his mind with facts
from the darkest side of life. No doubt it is important that all
intelligent men and women should know enough about sexual immorality
and the life of the underworld so that they will realize the necessity
of protecting young people from vice in all its forms; but this does
not mean that everybody should read extensively in the mass of printed
matter that sets forth the most awful details concerning human
depravity. There is a real danger in this line. The sex-education
movement has already brought the problems of sex out of the old-time
secrecy, and no other topics of the times are so freely read and
discussed. This might be well if the reading and discussion always took
constructive lines leading towards improvement of sexual relationships;
but unfortunately, much of the present popular interest in sexual
problems seems to be a morbid craving for the abnormal. We find this
tendency in the demand for a certain type of sex-problem novels, we
see it frequently on the stage and in motion pictures, and we hear it
in general conversation. The advertised suggestion of sexual immorality
in a forthcoming serial novel often raises surprisingly the circulation
of certain magazines. A few hints of sexual irregularity in certain
plays have brought crowded audiences. A scandalous divorce case,
reported as freely as the law allows, is a choice morsel for average
readers of newspapers. Everywhere it is the sexual abnormality,
perversity, and even bestial vulgarity, that seems to attract the most
attention. Books and magazines and theaters and preachers who extol the
normal and bright side of sex-life are not now extremely popular with
the masses of people. As a well-known magazine recently summarized the
present situation, "it has struck sex o'clock in America." There is no
denying the fact that in recent years the popular interest in sex
problems has taken a dangerous turn. It is time for those who are
active in the sex-education movement to note the signs of the times,
for an effective educational scheme for young people must take into
account the present tendency towards a dangerous interest in literature
relating to sexual abnormality, especially immorality. All this
tendency towards interest in the abnormal or irregular sexual problems
must cause not a little worry to those whose interest is primarily in
securing widespread recognition of the advantages of normal and moral

[Sidenote: Need of interest in normal sex life.]

Perhaps those who are seriously interested in sex-education may help
stem the tide towards interest in sexual abnormality by using greater
care in the selection of literature, both for young people and for
their elders. I recently met a superintendent of schools who had
carefully read certain large volumes on the medical, psychical, and
social abnormalities of sex, and many books and pamphlets on the social
evil. Altogether he had read more than five thousand pages on the
immoral and abnormal aspects of sex. He wanted to know where he might
find a book on the normal side of sex in its physiological,
psychological, and ethical aspects. Unfortunately, there is no such
treatise by an author whose scientific standing equals that of several
of those who have written extensively on the abnormal side; and
probably this is in part the reason why so many young men and women are
now molding their ideas of sexual life according to the patterns
described by the authors of works on social and sexual pathology. Not a
month passes in which I am not astounded to find men and women who have
plunged deeply into studies of sexual vice and pathology and who know
less of the normal biology of sex than is contained in such books as
W.S. Hall's "Sexual Knowledge" or the last chapter of Martin's "Human
Body, Advanced Course." This is indeed a strange situation, and we
might compare it with reading extensive works on insanity before
learning the elements of normal psychology. It is certainly a useless,
if not a dangerous line of approach to the information concerning sex
which intelligent people need. The leaders in the sex-education
movement will do well to promote the circulation of some brief and
authoritative statement of the chief facts relating to the problems of
abnormal sexual life and then to discourage the popular circulation of
the extensive works which only certain physicians and social reformers
need. I know that there is some difference of opinion as to the effect
of such literature. I know many prominent educators and physicians who
would keep the extensive works on the psychopathology of sex out of the
hands of all general readers; but I also know a few who see no
possibility of danger in widespread circulation of such books.

[Sidenote: Limited knowledge of the abnormal.]

Looking at all sides of the present situation, it is my personal
conclusion that every one should learn first the scientific facts
regarding normal processes connected with the sexual system; and then
for the general reader there should be only a limited amount of warning
knowledge regarding the dangers of sexual abnormalities.



[Sidenote: Periods of early life.]

In § 8 of the Report of the Committee of Three of the American
Federation for Sex-hygiene, by Morrow and others, the life of the child
was divided into four periods, namely,--under six years, from six to
twelve, twelve to sixteen, sixteen to maturity. This division now seems
to me to be too arbitrary, and I have come to believe that it is more
helpful to consider sex-instruction for three periods as follows:
pre-adolescence (ending at eleven to fourteen years); early adolescence
(twelve to sixteen years for girls, thirteen to seventeen for boys);
later adolescence (sixteen to twenty-one for girls, eighteen to
twenty-five for boys).

§ 25. _Elementary Instruction and Influence_

[Sidenote: Nature-study.]

The life-histories of plants and animals as taught in the best
nature-study[13] are important in forming attitude towards reproduction
and giving a basis for simple and truthful answers to the child's
questions as to the origin of the individual human life. The
publications listed in the last section of this book under the headings
"For Girls" and "For Boys" will help parents and teachers.

There is need of little private hygienic instruction, but of much
guidance away from harmful habits. This will be indicated in the next
section which considers masturbation as it concerns children of both
sexes and all ages.

[Sidenote: Protection.]

The protection of children from corrupting influences is an important
work of sex-education in pre-adolescent years. Probably the greatest
safety lies in parents giving simple facts regarding reproduction and
in cultivating confidence so that any accidental contact of their
children with vulgarity will be counteracted in advance. Many parents,
especially mothers, have found this possible.

[Sidenote: Girls' preparation for puberty.]

In the years between ten and twelve every child should learn from a
parent or other adult confidant some general facts regarding their
approaching puberty. This is especially important in the case of girls,
for many a girl has been physically and mentally injured because a
prudish mother has procrastinated too long the giving of information
regarding the first menstrual period. The facts in the first thirty
pages of W.S. Hall's "Life Problems" should be known by many girls of
eleven and by the great majority before thirteen. Some books for young
girls are defective in that they avoid reference to the coming
changes. I see no excuse for a sex-hygiene book for girls who are too
young to be trusted with the simplest knowledge regarding menstruation.
Such children should be interested in nature studies and perhaps the
elements of general hygiene, but certainly not in books with
curiosity-stimulating titles.

[Sidenote: Special needs of boys.]

Since boys entering puberty pass through no such sharply defined
beginning as girls do, the information they need in advance is not so
specific. At the same time, we must recognize that the average boy
under twelve years picks up more information regarding sexual life than
a girl does, and so the problem of teaching self-control comes earlier,
although the average girl enters puberty a year or two before the boy.
Parents and teachers must recognize the fact that sexual tendencies
come to many boys several years before puberty, and masturbation and
even premature sexual intercourse are possible problems with many boys
long before the twelfth year. The boy's early gathering of sexual
information is not without advantage, for it becomes possible for
parents and other adult confidants to explain many important truths as
to the proper use of his sex organs and as to his conduct towards
girls. All this can be done with the average boy of eleven or twelve
and with hundreds of even nine and ten without any fear of giving
information that is startlingly new and without any danger of giving a
nervous shock.

[Sidenote: Cautious teaching of girls.]

It is not so with average girls of equal ages, if we may accept the
opinion of many women who are trained in science and medicine. Specific
information as to the functional relationships of the two sexes is said
by many educated women to have been absolutely new and startling to
them at twenty and twenty-five years. Evidently there is a special
reason for gradual and cautious teaching of girls, and so it is
probably best, as many parents urge, that in pre-adolescent years the
girl's instruction in social-sexual lines be training in modest
deportment and a proper reserve towards boys. This ought to be
sufficient for the girl's protection until gradually in adolescent
years she learns the whole story of life, probably several years later
than her boy friends whose natural leadership in sexual activity makes
their early information desirable as a protection to both sexes.

[Sidenote: Children's friendships.]

In the pre-adolescent years parents and teachers should coöperate in
developing a spirit of group fellowship between boys and girls and at
the same time instill into the boys something of that chivalrous and
protective attitude of boys towards girls such as one finds in the
families of the highest culture. I emphatically mean "group
fellowship," for it is certainly undesirable to encourage in
pre-adolescents any tendency towards paired comradeship. It is
certainly best that boys and girls should have many good friends of
both sexes. The real truth back of the old adage "two is company and
three is a crowd" makes the "crowd" highly desirable for both
pre-adolescence and early adolescence, for in these years it is
friendship and not romantic love that will be most helpful in the later
life. As one step in this direction, all sensible adults should show
their disfavor to the abominable habit of teasing small children
concerning their best friends of the other sex. Parents and teachers
will do some of the best work in the larger sex-education if they begin
in pre-adolescent years to develop the social life of the children
along lines similar to those suggested above.

[Sidenote: Summary.]

Summarizing, it is evident that there is very little direct
sex-instruction suitable for pre-adolescent years. So far as the
child's own life is concerned, it now seems clear that parents or other
adult confidants must instruct individuals, or possibly small uniformly
selected groups. Class instruction seems out of the question except for
life-history studies of animals and plants. On the whole, then, there
is nothing radical or impossible in the proposition that there should
be a beginning of sex-education before the advent of adolescence.

§ 26. _Hygienic and Educational Treatment of Unhealthful Habits_

[Sidenote: Problems of children.]

All adults should take a sane and scientific view of the sex problems
that are likely to come even to normal children. We must remember that
they are born with sexual mechanisms that may easily and automatically
lead into harmful habits unless parents and teachers guide
hygienically and mentally along the lines that are known to offer

[Sidenote: Masturbation.]

Concerning habitual manipulation of the sexual organs of either sex,
known in medical literature as masturbation or self-abuse (often
erroneously called "onanism"), there are certain facts that are
important for the guidance of all parents and teachers. I discuss it in
this connection since the problem often arises in the later years of
the pre-adolescent period.

[Sidenote: Does not indicate degeneracy.]

It is absurd to suppose that the tendency towards the habit means
degeneracy or innate viciousness of children. Young horses, dogs,
monkeys, and other animals sometimes form a similar habit, the stimulus
being some irritation of the sexual organs. Hence, it is not at all
unnatural when children attempt to relieve their irritated organs by
friction, and then it is inevitable that the sensitive nerve endings
will give sensations that are more or less pleasurable and satisfying,
depending upon the sex, age, and emotional peculiarity of the
individual child. This fact suggests to parents and teachers the
methods of prophylaxis; namely, avoid (1) irritation of sexual organs
and (2) opportunity for manipulation.

[Sidenote: Irritation.]

[Sidenote: Circumcision.]

With regard to irritation, the first sign of such disturbance may
appear in babyhood. In the case of boys, whose structure renders them
vastly more liable than girls to external irritation, the family
physician should make sure during infancy whether circumcision or a
stretching of the prepuce (foreskin) may be desirable. According to Dr.
Emmet Holt, the eminent pediatrician, about one male baby in four or
five is born with an elongated or tight prepuce that needs surgical
attention. A corresponding abnormality of the clitoris is sometimes
found in baby girls. Some radical surgeons advocate universal
circumcision of boys because they believe that it reduces local
irritation, favors cleanliness, tends to prevent masturbation, and
reduces susceptibility to the venereal diseases. There is certainly
some truth in these claims; but some conservative surgeons point out
that for the great majority of boys all these advantages may be
obtained by reasonable attention to hygienic habits, that orthodox
Jewish and other circumcised boys are by no means free from harmful
habits, that some boys are more irritable after circumcision, that
preputial stretching is often a good substitute for circumcision, and
that the taunts of other boys often make circumcised boys too conscious
of their own mutilation. A scientific doctor who has no special
financial interest in the increase of surgical operations and who
carefully reviews both the radical and conservative literature relating
to circumcision, will not hasten to submit boys to this operation until
it is certain that their sexual organs happen to have congenital
deformity that only radical surgical treatment can correct.

[Sidenote: Hygienic rules.]

In addition to making sure that uncleanliness or structural abnormality
are not responsible for irritation of sex organs, there are some
special hygienic rules useful for parents and teachers who have charge
of children. Most important is avoidance of habit formation. Clothing
should be well adjusted to avoid pressure and friction of the sexual
organs, and so constructed (especially night clothing) that it is not
convenient for the hands to reach the organs. Normal boys require
pockets, but they should open at the waist-band and not at the side of
the hips. The reason for these suggestions is evident. When we recall
that little children naturally tend to explore themselves, such as by
putting fingers into the mouth, feeling their toes, inserting foreign
objects into nose and ears, and when we also recall how quickly a child
may learn the habit of sucking its thumb, we must realize the
importance of guarding the child from extending such activities to its
sexual organs, which, because they possess the most sensitive nerve
endings in the body, are most liable to lead to habitual manipulation.
In the light of such facts, it is nonsense to assume, as so many good
mothers have done, that only innately vicious children learn
masturbation. The truth is that in the case of most children under
twelve this habit has an origin no more vicious than such habits as
thumb-sucking; and in all cases of habits, parents and others
responsible for the children should be given the blame.

[Sidenote: Other suggestions for parents.]

The following suggestions in addition to those above are likely to help
parents do much towards avoiding or solving the early sex problems of
their children. These facts apply also to later years.

Have children sleep on a hard mattress. The old-time feather bed was
dangerous. There should be light-weight covers, and the room cool.
Children should sleep on either side, _rarely_ in the unnatural back
position. Aim to have regular sleeping hours; but do not send children
to bed unsupervised when they are excited and not tired enough for
immediate sleep. Have them arise as soon as wide awake in the morning.
Never punish children by sending them to bed.

[Sidenote: Dangers of privacy.]

Do not leave children to their own devices; they may naturally fall
into dangerous play. Privacy is often demanded by the moods of adults,
but it is dangerous for children. A certain camp for boys has the
commendable rule that the boys have no privacy during the entire
summer. Many educators and physicians condemn private bedrooms or
cubicles in schools for boys.

[Sidenote: Athletics.]

A strenuous life of physical and mental activity is the best solution
of personal control of sexual instincts. Reasonable athletics and study
make an ideal combination for both boys and girls. And yet we must not
trust absolutely to athletics or other physical work, for there are
certainly many individuals whose sexual desires are not controlled by
muscular exercise. Much of the formal athletic training may have no
more influence on sexual control than dogmatic creeds.

[Sidenote: Drugs.]

Strong condiments and alcoholic drinks are known to be sexual excitants
for many people, and for this and other hygienic reasons should be
forbidden to children. There is a widespread, but still undemonstrated
opinion that tea, coffee, tobacco, and strong condiments have an
exciting effect. However, there is plenty of scientific authority,
based on other hygienic grounds, for avoiding these at least during the
years of growth.

[Sidenote: Constipation.]

Constipation is likely to cause sexual irritation, and hence this is an
additional reason for submitting children to competent doctors for
treatment of this disturbance which so seriously affects general
health, especially by auto-intoxication.

[Sidenote: Bathing.]

Cool bathing in the morning, especially of the sexual organs, is
hygienic, except for girls during the monthly periods (including two
days before the expected menstrual onset). For various reasons, bathing
in very warm water should be very limited, and then only for cleansing.

[Sidenote: Form of instruction.]

In hygienic instructions to children, avoid giving them any ideas
concerning the supposed prevalence of the habit of masturbation. There
is a dangerous tendency to follow the crowd. Also, the habit should
never be described to children except as "unnecessary handling of the
sex organs." It is dangerous to suggest to children, as certain books
do, that there is any pleasurable sensation resulting from manual
manipulation of the organs, for the force of suggestion or curiosity
has led some children to experiment with themselves until they formed
the habit.

[Sidenote: Symptoms.]

There are no absolutely certain signs or symptoms, and those suggested
by certain authors, especially by quack doctors, make young people and
even parents and teachers judge some individuals in an unfortunate way.
Especially should parents and teachers remember that there is
absolutely no scientific basis for supposing that great diffidence,
indigestion, pimples on the face, boys' lack of interest in girls, and
numerous other popular "signs," are indications of the masturbation
habit. Like the symptoms in patent-medicine advertising, the above
"signs" are so general that they are sure to fit some cases.

[Sidenote: Insanity.]

Do not tell children the ancient falsehood that insanity will surely
result from handling the sexual organs. It is true that masturbation is
a common habit of certain types of insane people and of some neurotics;
but it is probable that the habit is more often one of several factors
rather than the direct cause of the nervous breakdown. However, it is
scientific to say that the habit may weaken the nervous system and
indirectly affect general health, especially in pre-adolescent and
early adolescent years. Probably the greatest nervous damage comes
because there is often greater excess than is possible in natural
sexual relations; the strain of all sexual excess is more in loss of
nervous energy than of secretions. The safest advice one can give
children is that the doctors agree that unnecessary touching of sexual
organs has interfered with the health of many children and that those
who avoid this are most likely to grow up strong in body and mind. This
is the truth and practically the whole of the known truth that might
have influence with young people.

[Sidenote: Mental habit.]

Mental masturbation or "day dreaming" concerning sexual functions is
probably more harmful than mechanical manipulation. It is believed to
be more common in young women than in men. However, there is little
reliable evidence as to the prevalence of the habit. As an educational
problem, there is nothing to be done beyond informing all adolescent
young people that allowing their minds to dwell on sexual affairs may
interfere with nervous health, scholarship, and future efficiency in
life. Hard mental and physical work and strenuous play as a daily
routine will avoid or solve most such difficulties of young people.

[Sidenote: Not hopeless.]

In all dealing with this problem of young people, we must beware of
overemphasis or exaggeration. Parents and teachers should do all
possible to prevent and cure the habit; but there is still hope for
most young people who, in spite of warning, occasionally lapse into
their old habits. Both men and women of this type have led their
classes through college and won success afterwards. Probably they would
have done still better if entirely free from the habit. On the other
hand, men and women of neurotic inheritance combined with the habit
have suffered nervous collapse during college years; and it is
scientific to assume that the additional nervous strain produced by
masturbation was a contributing factor. Evidently, we dare make no
definite prophecy as to what will happen to one who in early life forms
the habit of masturbation. There is no excuse for excessive alarm in
any ordinary case; but, as we have seen, there are good reasons why
parents and teachers should calmly and yet firmly help young people
avoid unnatural sexual activity.

To those who must consider the problem of masturbation in boarding
schools, I recommend Hime's "Schoolboys' Special Immorality."


[13] See books on nature-study, _e.g._, Holtz's "Nature-Study,"
Hodge's "Nature-Study and Life," Comstock's "Handbook of
Nature-Study." Morley's "Renewal of Life," March's "Towards Racial
Health," and Hall's "The Doctor's Daughter" suggest the main lines of
the nature-study approach to sex-education.



§ 27. _The Biological Foundations_

In discussing instruction for the pre-adolescent years I have stressed
biological nature-study as important for the purpose of giving general
knowledge of how new living things come into the world. This will
develop a good attitude concerning the origin of the individual human
life. In this lecture I wish to direct attention to the scientific
facts which are foundations for the sexual knowledge that is important
for other phases of sex-instruction during early or late adolescence.

[Sidenote: Biological foundations.]

I believe that the best introduction to advanced sex-instruction is
through biological ideas which may be presented in popular lectures and
books; but, of course, will be best taught in courses of biological
science. My own view as to the selection of materials for such
biological studies is expressed in the sections on reproduction
connected with the account of each animal or plant type in the "Applied
Biology" and in the last chapter of the "Introduction to Biology."[14]
In these books the study of life-histories of plants and animals leads
up through vertebrates to mammals, and there are a few remarks
suggesting that human development is like the mammals.[15] At this
point these books should be supplemented by a brief survey of the
essential structure, physiology, and embryology of human reproduction.

[Sidenote: Mixed classes.]

Biological studies of human reproduction should not be coeducational in
high schools or the early years of college. Mature college students who
have passed through extensive biological studies, may, without apparent
embarrassment, study human embryology in mixed classes; but after
experience with many such groups I have begun to think that separate
classes are desirable if the course is made to include all the
important facts that college graduates should know concerning human
reproduction. At any rate, there should be special lessons or reading
dealing with detailed information that directly concerns one sex only.

[Sidenote: Impersonal approach of biology.]

I certainly do not believe in completely revamping biological science
for the purposes of sex-education. It is better not to "spoil" a course
by overemphasis on sex, for much of the value of biology as a basis for
sex-education is the fact that sex appears gradually and naturally and
far away from human relations. This impersonal approach will be lost if
the course in biology seems to revolve around sex-education, for that
will make sex too prominent.

It is still debatable as to how much should be taught in high schools
or in public lectures concerning the biological facts of human
reproduction. I think that I can make my own views clearer if I discuss
this first for boys, then for girls.

§ 28. _Scientific Facts for Boys_

First, it is generally agreed that boys of high-school age may profit
by learning their own sexual structure by means of diagrams such as the
one in Hall's "Sexual Hygiene." There is no harm, and also no gain, in
minute description, especially histological.

[Sidenote: Scientific names.]

The chief technical names of the parts of the male organs--testicle
(spermary or testes), sperm duct (vas deferens), scrotum, prostate,
seminal vesicles, penis, glans, prepuce (foreskin), urethra--should be
taught; and the scientific dignity of these words as substitutes for
vulgar words should be emphasized. In dealing with boys and young men I
have noticed that these and other scientific words have a great
influence on their attitude. The scientific names of the sex organs
should be made part of popular vocabulary for the reason that there are
no established common names corresponding to lungs, liver, stomach,
arm, leg, brain, and so on for all prominent organs except the sexual.
These have been left without authoritative names except in scientific
language, and as a result dozens of ordinary words have been vulgarly
applied and unprintable ones invented by uneducated people. Such usage
of vulgar terminology is widespread, especially among men and boys. An
editor of schoolbooks recently called my attention to the necessity of
changing some ordinary words in certain books because in some
localities the boys applied the words to sexual organs. Even the little
words "nuts," "stones," "balls" accompanied by the adjective "two" mean
testicles in the widespread vulgar language; and a physician told me
that a college graduate used one of these words the other day when
seeking medical advice concerning her baby. Here is an intolerable
situation that must be improved by establishing in popular usage the
dignified scientific words for the chief sexual organs. We must begin
to do so by teaching the words frankly to boys of adolescent years, and
by persuading parents to teach their children correctly.

[Sidenote: Sex-physiology.]

Having learned the structure and names of their sexual organs, boys may
easily understand the function of each part if explained in simple
language. Ten or twenty minutes ought to be enough time for stating the
important facts. One printed page could state them clearly. Here is the
time for personal hygienic advice, especially such topics as: rules for
self-control; harmful habits (see discussion of masturbation in § 26);
sexual activity not necessary for health; occasional nocturnal
emissions not pathological.[16]

[Sidenote: Female organs.]

I believe it is well for boys of adolescent years to know a few leading
facts regarding female structure and function, but such knowledge is
best learned from oral description by a well-balanced teacher. Diagrams
and (in some schools) a demonstrated dissection of a cat or other
animal will be helpful. The meaning of the ovaries as sources of the
egg-cells and of the uterus as the place for development of the
fertilized egg-cell should be explained in a serious way that will help
boys get some fundamental ideas as to what motherhood means Boys,
moreover, should be informed concerning the existence of the periodic
disturbance in the other sex, for unless they know they are sure at
times to misunderstand their sisters and other girls. Professor W.S.
Hall has stated the essential information in "Chums" (for boys twelve
to sixteen), but his comparison of periodicity in the two sexes is not
strictly accurate, for there are not in men any sexual cycles that are
strictly comparable with the menstrual cycles of women.

[Sidenote: No pictures.]

It is probably best, as urged by several writers, that the life-like
illustrations, some of them photographic, in books of human anatomy be
kept away from boys of early adolescent age. Diagrams can be made to
explain all that is necessary, and without the danger of stimulation
that might come from the illustrated medical books.

[Sidenote: Embryology.]

The embryological facts of human biology are very impressive to boys
and young men who know little of science. I believe that no other line
of scientific facts is so likely to claim a serious and respectful
attitude. The ideal way for giving a popular glimpse at human
development is with a small series of lantern slides or photographs
from embryological works. Unfortunately, there is no available popular
treatment of the main facts of human development, but teachers trained
in biology can easily glean the facts for the preparation of a short

[Sidenote: Social diseases.]

Since the venereal diseases are due to micro-organisms, I believe that
they should be introduced in connection with the study of bacteria and
other germs, either in school courses or in popular lectures. Such
instruction should be very brief.

§ 29. _Scientific Facts for Girls_

[Sidenote: Girls more innocent.]

I discussed first the problem of selecting scientific facts for boys
because there is little dispute as to the advisability of giving them
as much scientific information as may possibly replace the vulgar
knowledge that the average boy is likely to possess. I know that there
are a few men and many women who will disagree with this because they
believe in the absolute ignorance of their boys; but I doubt whether
one healthy adolescent boy in a hundred belongs in the "innocent"
class. So we need not worry much concerning any supposed danger of
treating facts too frankly, provided that they are given a dignified,
scientific setting. In the case of numerous adolescent girls there is
certainly dense ignorance, and so there must be more difficulty in
getting approval of parents and teachers concerning facts proposed for
girls. Often when talking with groups of parents I have heard them say
that they would like to have their boys learn the scientific truth
regarding certain facts, but they feel that it would be too startling
and unnecessary for their daughters. Such is the widespread feeling
which must be seriously considered in all planning of advanced
sex-instruction for girls. No doubt there will be much honest
disagreement with the suggestions here offered.

The biological introduction based on plants and animals should be the
same as for boys (§ 27).

[Sidenote: Structure and names.]

An adolescent girl of fourteen to sixteen should know the general plan
of her own sexual structure. She should know the scientific names of
her organs, not because there are many vulgar names as in the case of
boys, but because dignified names help attitude. Ovaries, uterus
(womb), vagina, Fallopian tubes, and vulva will be sufficient. Detailed
description of the external organs (vulva) might arouse curiosity that
leads to exploration and irritation, and hence many women physicians
think that a girl under sixteen or possibly eighteen needs only the
name vulva for the external parts surrounding the entrance to the

[Sidenote: An ancient belief.]

Some books for girls perpetuate the ancient but absurd emphasis on the
virginal significance of the hymen; and a recent book from a prominent
publisher goes so far as to try to frighten girls into remaining chaste
by stating that a physician could discover if they have been unchaste.
This is far from being always true, for the structure may be
congenitally absent, may sometimes remain after sexual union, or may be
accidentally destroyed in childhood; and reliable physicians have
stated that proving unchastity by the hymen is by no means easy. Hence,
the less said about the ancient belief, the better for young women. The
truth is that the hymen is a worse-than-useless relic of embryological
development, and it is neither an indicator nor a dictator of morality.

[Sidenote: Physiology of women.]

With regard to the physiology of the female organs, the following
topics should be considered: The meaning of puberty as the beginning of
a long fertile period of about thirty years; the nature of menstruation
as a periodical process preparing the lining of the uterus for
reception and attachment of an embryo if a sperm-cell meets a liberated
egg-cell near an ovary, and not as a season of illness invented by the
powers of darkness; the possibility of fertilization following sexual
relations at any time during the fertile life of a woman; the essential
facts of sexual relation as a method of depositing sperm-cells so that
they can swim on the way to meet an egg-cell; and the nature of the
close blood relationship of mother and embryo. These are physiological
topics which many parents would like to have taught to their daughters
of fourteen to eighteen by some careful woman or by some good book.

[Sidenote: Social ills.]

With regard to the social diseases and the social evil, I have long
sympathized with the conservatives who hold that extremely limited
knowledge is sufficient for the average girl under eighteen or twenty.
No doubt that many working girls in cities need more protective
knowledge than do school girls of the same age. Hall's "Life Problems"
seems to me to give the important facts.

[Sidenote: Habits.]

As in the case of boys of adolescent years, there should be enough
teaching to warn against harmful habits. Such knowledge may possibly be
of personal application to a few girls and it will be of use to many
girls who will later as mothers or teachers have the care of small

[Sidenote: Knowledge concerning men.]

I find that many thoughtful mothers and women physicians think that
girls in late adolescent years should learn from some reliable source
the most general facts regarding male structure and function. Here
again the strong argument is that the majority will have the care of
small children. Such instruction has often been given as part of
courses in biology and physiology and also in special lectures. It is
certain that some parents will favor such instruction, and others will
regard it as indecent to suggest that girls should have any such
knowledge. There will always be some parents who will let their
daughters face life-problems blindly.

[Sidenote: Mothercraft.]

Sometime in adolescent years girls should learn the scientific facts
regarding mothercraft or the care of small children. This phase of the
sex-education is rapidly attracting attention from those who are
interested in practical arts education, and before many years pass it
will probably be treated adequately in connection with household arts
in schools and colleges. I have already referred to household arts in
general as making a decided contribution to the larger sex-education
which works for harmonious adjustment of the sexes in the home.


[14] Both books by M.A. and Anna N. Bigelow.

[15] Sets of drawings and lantern slides for the biological
introduction to sex may be obtained from the American Social Hygiene
Association, 105 W. 40th St., New York City.

[16] The instructor of young men should not allow confusion to arise
from the recent contention of some medical men that emissions are
abnormal or unnatural because they are not known to occur in animals.
Certain it is that they are adaptations to changes caused by enforced
sexual restraint after the seminal secretions begin with puberty. Such
restraint is, of course, abnormal or unnatural if we compare with
animals; but many of our acts are unnatural and not necessarily
unhealthful. For instance, the sedentary life of the student or
professional worker is abnormal or unnatural, but it need not be
unhealthful, if hygienic adaptations are made. Likewise, seminal
emissions are unnatural for primitive men or animals without sexual
restraint, but this does not mean that they are unhealthful for
self-controlled men. Here, as in many other cases, comparison with
animals is misleading and does not teach us useful facts concerning
human sexual functioning. The truth is that physicians have no
evidence of harm from emissions that are not caused by voluntary



[Sidenote: Methods and teachers.]

In this lecture I shall discuss a number of problems in the relations
of men to women which ought somehow to be made clear to boys who are in
transition to manhood. I can do little more than point out the lines
along which it is desirable that young men should be informed and
influenced; for I confess that I do not know any guaranteed pedagogical
method for teaching along these lines. So far as I can now see, it
seems to me that a good beginning would consist in getting the best
ideas before young men by lectures, books, and personal conversations.
Here more than in any other phase of sex-education the influence of
personality is of great importance. Many an ordinary teacher or
lecturer may well present the cold facts of biological science that
help interpret sex, but one who does not by his personal qualities
command the entire confidence of his hearers is worse than useless in
presenting to young men such problems as those outlined in this lecture
under the following subheadings: Developing young men's attitude
towards womanhood; developing ideals of love and marriage; reasons for
pre-marital continence; essential knowledge concerning prostitution;
need of more refinement in men; dancing as a sex problem for men; dress
as a sexual appeal; the problem of self-control; the mental side of a
young man's sex life.

§ 30. _Developing Attitude towards Womanhood_

[Sidenote: Influence of ideals.]

Many there are among the believers in the larger sex-education who feel
sure that a young man's greatest safety lies in having high ideals of
womanhood. I have known a number of men who passed unscathed through
the storm and stress of early manhood because each of them could say,
as Tennyson makes the lover confess to Princess Ida, "from earlier than
I know, immersed in rich foreshadowings of the world, I loved the
woman." Some of these men learned to love "the woman" in the abstract,
in the dream world, perhaps as the "brushwood girl" of Kipling. Others
first loved "the woman" through boyhood sweethearts. Still others came
to love her through mothers who inspired them with reverence for
womanhood and motherhood.

    ..."Happy he
    With such a mother! faith in womankind
      Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high comes easy
        to him."

But it matters little for the future purity of the boy on the threshold
of manhood whether he has learned to love "the woman" in the dreamland
of youth or in the very real world of life. It is simply a question of
the intensity of the devotion and of the loftiness of the ideals which
She has aroused within him.

[Sidenote: Who may influence boys.]

Now, we of the older generation, who as parents and teachers are
largely the makers of the boy's view of life, may play a very important
part in developing in him a love for "the woman," a reverence for
womanhood. The greatest opportunity falls to the lot of that mother
whose natural gifts and education adapt her for impressing her son
profoundly with appreciation of womanhood. The next greatest
opportunity comes to the woman who as an instructor in school, church,
or other institution comes into intimate relations that sometimes give
the teacher greater influence than the mother is able or willing to
exert. Finally, we must not discount the value of men's coöperation in
this problem, for many a boy's attitude towards women is largely the
reflection of what he has seen in his father and in other men,
particularly in his teachers both secular and religious.

Now, while the direct influence of personality is most important in
this problem of developing a young man's attitude towards women,
organized educational effort should not be neglected. It is important
that both men and women help by encouraging young men to read good
literature that unobtrusively tends to introduce them to the best in
womanhood (see § 23); and by discussing with them, as opportunity
offers, the higher ideals of the relationships between men and women.

§ 31. _Developing Ideals of Love and Marriage_

Closely associated with high ideals of womanhood is necessarily a pure
understanding of love, even in its physical basis. While preparing this
lecture I discovered that James Oliphant (in the _International Journal
of Ethics_, Vol. 9, pp. 288-289, 1898) has well expressed some of the
views that in a more or less unformulated shape have been in my mind
for years.

[Sidenote: Ideals of love in art.]

    "If the true preparation for love and marriage is, as I hold it to
    be, to learn to associate physical passion with the higher
    emotions developed by social sympathy--with a single-hearted
    devotion that demands courage, and self-sacrifice and considerate
    forethought and tenderness; if we wish to bind all these qualities
    together in the imagination of the young and clothe the conception
    with every attribute of beauty that fancy can devise, how can we
    forego the precious opportunities that lie to our hand in the
    persuasive witchery of art? The power that may be exercised in the
    formation of character by the presentment of ideal types is as yet
    very imperfectly utilized. Love is _par excellence_ the theme of
    the artist, and young people will soon find this out for
    themselves; but there is a wide difference in the degrees of
    idealization, and, while we concern ourselves to exclude the
    grosser forms, we neglect the only effective means of
    accomplishing this, namely, the persistent presentation of the
    sentiment in its noblest examples. It is the prevalent idea that
    the longer we can keep all notions of love, even in its romantic
    guise, out of children's heads, the better it will be for them.
    Surely it would be a wiser policy to fill their minds as soon as
    they are able to receive them, with the creations of art in which
    love is represented in its sublimest aspects. The youth who is
    familiar with the love-stories of Shakespeare, and George Eliot,
    and Meredith, will suffer little harm from the gilded sensualism
    of the Restoration drama. Let us hasten to implant the images of
    beauty that will keep the soul sweet and wholesome, and free from
    the taint of any later influences, however sordid these may be."

In the lecture on marriage as offering one of the problems for the
larger sex-education (§ 12) and in the reference to general literature
in § 23, I have called attention to literature which will be suggestive
and useful to those who are considering the young man's attitude
towards love and marriage.

§ 32. _Reasons for Pre-marital Continence of Men_

Recognizing the fact that moral considerations fail to reach many
people, the following points should be emphasized in trying to show
young men practical reasons why they should avoid pre-marital sexual

[Sidenote: Continence and health.]

(1) Young men ought to know that many eminent physicians and
physiologists agree that it has not been proved that continence injures
the health of men who make an effort to avoid sexual temptations.
Physicians of the highest standing never advise extra-marital or
immoral relations, for they are far more likely to injure health than
to improve it, and they surely injure character and reputation. On
this question of continence young men should read such pamphlets as
"Sexual Necessity" by Howell and Keyes; "The Young Man's Problem" and
"Health and Hygiene of Sex" by Morrow; "The Physician's Answer" and
"The Rational Sex Life for Men" by Exner.[17] Also, see pp. 183-190 in
Geddes and Thomson's "Sex."

Dr. Exner's "Physician's Answer" is based on the following declaration
which was signed by about three hundred of the foremost physicians of

    "In view of the individual and social dangers which spring from
    the widespread belief that continence may be detrimental to
    health, and of the fact that municipal toleration of prostitution
    is sometimes defended on the ground that sexual indulgence is
    necessary, we, the undersigned, members of the medical profession,
    testify to our belief that continence has not been shown to be
    detrimental to health or virility; that there is no evidence of
    its being inconsistent with the highest physical, mental, and
    moral efficiency; and that it offers the only sure reliance for
    sexual health outside of marriage."

[Sidenote: Psychical results of incontinence.]

(2) It ought to be significant to young men that many men who are now
in the thirties or forties look back upon their youthful errors with
profound regret. Many such men testify that unforgettable immoral
experiences keep them from reaching the heights of love with their
wives. One of my friends, a well-known physician, recently met in his
office within two or three months seven men of high standing who are
now happily married, but who feel that conjugal life is short of its
full æsthetic possibilities because of the ever-present remembrance of
early sexual mistakes.

[Sidenote: Physical results.]

(3) While the above refers to the psychical effect of youthful errors,
young men should learn that there is also a physical side to the same
problem. Eminent physicians assert that many men have completely and
permanently destroyed their sexual functions by extensive dissipations,
either by masturbation or by natural relations; and that very many more
have injured themselves so that perfection of the physical basis of
love and marriage is impossible.

[Sidenote: Possible diseases.]

(4) The probability of venereal infection by pre-marital relations and
the danger of transmission to innocent wives and children should be
presented to all young men as a strong ethical appeal for continence
(see § 7).

[Sidenote: Purity for purity.]

(5) The "fair play" or "square deal" appeal to young men should be
based on the fact that most for young men who are unchaste demand
purity of the girls they claim as sisters, friends, or sweethearts; and
yet they help drag down other women. An honorable man should be willing
to play fairly and give purity for purity.

[Sidenote: Responsibility.]

(6) The grave responsibility of young men whose unchastity is connected
with illegitimacy or with the organized social evil should be made a
strong point in appeals for pre-marital abstinence.

[Sidenote: Sexuality and affection.]

(7) Young men should be impressed with the idea that their sexual
functions should be held sacred to affection; in other words, that
sexual union is moral only as love interchange. In so far as young men
may be led to this interpretation of the relation of sexuality to the
best conceptions of life, there will be no danger of prostitution and
there will be a guarantee of marriages that give completeness to
affection. The men who are safeguarded against unchastity are those who
have learned to think of love and marriage and sexual functioning as
interdependent and coincident elements in the great drama of life and
who feel the impossibility of their personal interest in marriage
without love or in sexual union except as expression of deep affection.
Such men are by no means as rare as the sensational reports of the
social evil lead many people to believe.

[Sidenote: Some men beyond appeal.]

I realize that all these seven reasons for continence will fail with
that large group of young men who have persuaded themselves that they
will never marry and thus they shake off all responsibility such as
appeals to the man who looks forward to love that culminates in
marriage. No one has yet suggested any line of appeal to the men who
are physically or psychically or morally so abnormal that they have no
interest in the possibility of marriage; but fortunately such
individuals constitute an insignificant minority.

§ 33. _Essential Knowledge Concerning Prostitution_

[Sidenote: Safeguarding boys.]

(1) The adolescent boy should be safeguarded by the knowledge that in
every city and in most towns there are women who for financial gain are
constantly seeking to entice young men into immoral sexual relations;
and that many unwary men are involuntarily entrapped, especially when
influenced by alcohol.

[Sidenote: Prostitution a business.]

(2) The young man should know that the selling of woman's virtue is an
organized business known as "prostitution" or "the social evil," words
which stand for indescribable degradation and degeneracy that no beast
could possibly imitate. Moreover, the young man should be informed that
all immorality is not prostitution, but that most of the immoral
relations of men are purchased directly or indirectly by money or its

[Sidenote: Some causes of prostitution.]

(3) The young man should know that the great majority of prostitutes do
not willingly undertake the shameful business of selling their virtue.
He should know that the majority have gone downward for such reasons as
follows: Many a woman has been betrayed by some detestable man who
pretended to love her. Poverty has forced many other women to the
first downward step. Many are easy victims because they belong to the
feeble-minded class. Others have been driven into immoral life by
parents and even husbands. Still others have been drugged, and raped
while insensible. A limited number have begun prostitution as "white
slaves" kept as prisoners until all hope of a better life has vanished.
A few have deliberately begun to accept the attentions of lewd men in
order to get money for luxurious dress and finery. And relatively very
few have started downward because of sexual passion such as commonly
influences men. In short, every young man should be informed that most
women living by prostitution have begun innocently or unwillingly; but
having made one false step, society has shunned them, even near
relatives have cast them off, and a career of prostitution has appeared
the only way of making a living, vulgar and unspeakably sordid though
it be. It is evident that the responsibility for prostitution rests
almost entirely upon men. Unfortunately, society does not recognize
this fact and has no way of dealing legally with both men and women
found associated in houses of prostitution. At present the women
arrested for prostitution are treated as criminals, while their male
associates in vice are allowed to depart as if they were respectable

[Sidenote: Appeal to men.]

Tell young men these facts as to why women become prostitutes. Help
them to realize that most of these women are pitiful victims of man's
worse than brutal sexual passions. Then add the astounding fact that
very many of the women of the underworld have short lives, their health
being undermined rapidly by dissipation, by alcohol used to bury their
shame or to stimulate their flagging energies, and by the two loathsome
diseases, gonorrhea and syphilis, which relatively few prostitutes
escape--tell young men such facts which eminent physicians and
sociologists have often verified, and there are good chances of
striking sympathetic notes in their young manhood.

[Sidenote: Danger of social disease.]

(4) And there is one other line of facts concerning prostitution that
the developing young man should know well, namely, that every
prostitute is likely at any time to be infected with the social
diseases, and that no ordinary medical examination can prove that she
will not transmit these awful diseases to men who consort with her. In
fact, within an hour after most careful medical examination she may
become infected by some diseased man, and then she is capable of
inoculating other men. Such facts, for which the greatest of special
physicians vouch, will eradicate from the young man's mind the
widespread notions that prostitutes are safe if they carry a
physician's certificate, or one of the official cards given in some
European cities. Many a young man of sixteen to twenty has not heard
that prostitutes as a class are universally dangerous as distributors
of the most terrible diseases, and his education is incomplete until he
knows the exact truth from reliable sources.

[Sidenote: Limited reading.]

(5) It is not desirable that the young man should be set to read the
numerous books packed with more or less sensational reports on the
social evil, for these may sometimes tend toward morbidity. Any young
man who is not effectively appealed to by the above facts will not be
influenced by the most voluminous reports on prostitution ever
published. Such reports are not useful for young men. They serve a good
purpose by informing mature men and women and awakening them to the
necessity of legislation, education, and other weapons with which we
may fight the great black plague of social vice. For the average young
man the books recommended in § 8 will give sufficient information and

[Sidenote: Liaisons.]

(6) Finally, the young man of adolescent years should be made to
understand his responsibility for immorality that is not prostitution,
that is, extra-marital relations with his girl friends and without
pecuniary considerations. He should know the probability that he will
ruin a girl's life, either because illegitimacy occurs or because her
reputation suffers. Even if such immoral liaisons are kept private,
both persons concerned are likely in after years to regret their
illicit intimacy, especially if either marries another person.

§ 34. _Need of More Refinement in Men_

While refinement is a part of general culture, it is beyond doubt an
important phase of the problems for the larger sex-education.
Elsewhere I have referred to the need of better understanding and
better adjustment between men and women, especially in marriage.
Towards such a desideratum refinement of men will contribute immensely.
Many cultured women avoid marriage and many are unhappy in marriage
because men, sometimes even educated men, lack refinement in manners,
language, and personal habits. In fact, "lack of refinement" is
altogether too mild an expression, for many men are positively crude in
manners, coarse and vulgar in language, and disgusting in personal

[Sidenote: Manners and chivalry.]

In referring to manners, I am including not only the thousand and one
little customs of everyday life among refined people, but also
chivalric attitude towards all women. The world has changed vastly
since knighthood was in flower, but many men of to-day might well take
lessons in the art of courtesy to women as practiced by the famous
knights of the age of chivalry. This problem of manners will be an
increasingly important one, for here in America there is growing up a
generation of boys who are far from chivalrous even to their mothers
and sisters; and at the same time, the industrial competition and daily
association of the two sexes is making young men realize that women are
simply human beings and not super beings.

[Sidenote: Language.]

With regard to language, I am thinking not so much of the general need
of speech that is grammatically, rhetorically, and vocally polished,
which no doubt determines many a woman's estimate of a man, as I have
in mind the repelling effect upon sensitive women of language that is
coarse, vulgar, and profane. Hence, quite apart from the effect of low
language on character, I believe it worth while to work for refinement
of language of young men.

[Sidenote: Personal habits.]

And now with reference to personal habits, including cleanliness and
refinement of actions, the average women of all classes set splendid
examples for men of the same groups. It seems scarcely necessary to
explain in detail concerning unclean personal habits and vulgar
actions. It requires no keen observer to find plenty of examples. Those
who have the training of boys should lose no opportunity to impress
them with the importance of refinement, and especially in all phases of
their home life. It is in the most intimate life of the home that
refinement of personal habits of husbands may mean much to sensitive

§ 35. _Dancing as a Sex Problem for Young Men_

[Sidenote: Dancing not to be eliminated.]

It is more than useless to discuss the question whether dancing ought
to be eliminated from the social life of young people, for it has
physical, social, and æsthetic or dramatic values which will make
dancing in some form or other coextensive with human life.

[Sidenote: Young people and dancing.]

Those who deal with adolescent boys and girls ought to have some
understanding of the facts for and against dancing as it may influence
the sexual control of young people, men especially. It is no longer
sufficient to say, even to the young members of certain religious
denominations, that "good people must not dance because it is wicked,"
for in this doubting age young people will ask first what we mean by
the word "wicked" and then for proof that dancing is wicked. The time
has come when young people must be shown the scientific reasons if we
want them to avoid dancing or to dance with certain approved movements.

[Sidenote: Dancing a sexual stimulant.]

It seems to be an accepted opinion among physiologists that dancing of
any of the types that involve more or less closeness of contact between
men and women in pairs is likely to lead to sexual stimulation that at
times may be consciously recognized by normal men, but probably is not
identified other than as general excitement by most women.

[Sidenote: Danger no reason for condemning dancing.]

The frank admission that dancing may sometimes stimulate sexual
emotions is no condemnation of dancing, as many writers seem to think.
We must know first whether such emotions lead to good or harm. Sexual
emotions are not in themselves wrong from any except a strictly æscetic
point of view. The fact that most intelligent men who in general are
frankly truthful confess that dancing may sometimes arouse sexual
emotion simply raises the question whether such emotions lead directly
to immoral relations with women or whether they lead, as does the best
social life of men and women together, to a higher æsthetic
appreciation of life as it involves the relations of the two sexes.
After discussing this with many--yes, with more than a hundred--men and
women, I am now convinced that dancing may have both results, depending
upon the individuals. Dancing, then, has its dangers, but so have many
other things that go to make up the most complete life. Eating may lead
to gluttony, mountain-climbing may lead to a broken neck, swimming to
drowning, music and art to sensuality, and even love is not without
danger of bestial degradation. Life is full of dangers and we are
constantly striving to reduce them to a minimum. So we must refuse to
condemn dancing because of its admitted sexual dangers for young
people, unless it can be shown that the danger is so great and so
unconquerable as to outweigh all the physical, social, and æsthetic
considerations in favor of the pastime.

[Sidenote: Dancing and immorality.]

That dancing is a strong incentive to immorality is contended by many
writers. A prominent physiologist has said that "the dance is the
devil's procession so far as the young man is concerned." Others have
pointed to the immorality that is connected with the dance halls, and
to the fact that waves of immorality of young men have often followed
the annual balls given in some high schools and colleges. Contrary to
the view which I formerly held, I am now inclined to think that it is
not fair to charge such immoral tendencies entirely to dancing, and
therefore condemn all dancing as immoral. It is no secret of sociology
that similar epidemics of immorality have been known to occur in
connection with Sunday-school picnics, camp meetings, expositions,
political and other conventions, and religious revivals. Shall we
condemn all these along with dancing on the ground that they lead to
immorality? We say "no" because immorality is only an incident, not a
result in these cases. Likewise, I believe that dancing is but one of
several factors that have led to immorality at the time of annual balls
in high school and college. These are times of general tendency towards
dissipation. Regular duties are cast aside, all the hygienic rules for
eating and sleeping are broken, there is unusual freedom of speech and
manners, available alcohol is freely used, emotions and not reason
rules--these are characteristic of the college festivals that center
around grand balls. In short, at such times there is a general let-down
of usual standards and a swing back towards the barbaric festival of
the ancients. It is not surprising, then, that pent-up sexual instincts
assert their force at such times, and dancing, if it occurs under such
conditions is, of course, likely to increase the danger of moral
collapse because it incites sexual emotions.

[Sidenote: Regulation of dancing needed.]

Our conclusion, then, is that it is unscientific to charge dancing with
being the direct cause of immorality, when it has been only one in a
series of events. The facts warrant not condemnation of dancing as
something utterly bad, but rather of allowing dancing to be associated
with conditions that are likely to lead to dissipation and immorality.
Unless some argument other than that arising from the coincidence of
dancing with dissipation and immorality is brought forward, we must
conclude that dancing should be regulated and associated so that the
admitted dangers will be reduced to a minimum. Recognition of the
dangers will lead mature people to see the importance of supervising
and regulating dancing as a phase of the social life of young people.
It will lead to dancing that is improved along social and æsthetic

[Sidenote: Self-control necessary.]

While improvement of dancing will reduce its dangers, it will not
eliminate the problem of self-control for normal young men. They must
learn to understand their own emotions. They should be forewarned that
others have found danger in dancing. They should know that some
strong-willed men have given up dancing when they found that it made
more intense the problem of sexual self-control, both mentally and
physically. They should know the increased danger if dancing is
associated with alcohol, vicious women, immodest dress, extreme freedom
of conduct, and other morally depressing influences. Such knowledge
along with general sex-education will do much to make dancing not only
safe for average young men, but also helpful along social and æsthetic

[Sidenote: Extreme dances.]

With regard to the extreme dances of the past five years, those who are
well informed concerning sexual problems know that many of these dances
which polite society has copied from the dens of the underworld are
vastly more dangerous than the standard dances.

§ 36. _Dress of Women as a Sex Problem for Men_

[Sidenote: Dress and immorality.]

Some of the students of sex problems assert with great emphasis that
dress is the responsible factor in the sexual immorality of many men.
Accepting the probability that there is some truth in the assertion,
what is the solution of the problem? Should women in general adopt a
style of dress which in lines and color is as repellently ugly as the
official garb of women devotees of certain religious organizations? In
short, should women make their dress decidedly unobtrusive and
unattractive in order that the sexual temptations of _some_ men may be
reduced? The answer must be an emphatic negative. We need more beauty
in this life of ours, and we cannot afford to omit any beauty which
women express in dress. The pity is that economic conditions so often
set a limit to such expression. We must believe in making every
possible application of the beauty of nature and art to human life; and
beautiful dress on all women, and especially beautiful dress on
attractive women, is the most important of such relations of beauty and

[Sidenote: Dress and sexual appeal.]

Accepting, then, beauty of dress as worthy of encouragement, what
shall be done about its sexual attractiveness? This is a difficult
question in these days with ever-changing fashions whose novelty makes
extreme modes more dangerously attractive than they would be if
universally adopted for a long term of years. But permanency of extreme
styles or general adaptation of modest ones are absolutely impossible
for the average woman of to-day. Hence, we must look forward to one
extreme style following another. Young men must face the problem and
fight their own battles. Like certain widespread diseases, there is
constant danger of infection, and the only hope for young men is in
special education as a kind of protective inoculation against
temptation. This means that young men should be taught to see beauty in
woman's form, face, and dress without allowing themselves to get into
habits of sensual or physical emotions. Of course, for the normal young
man there is sure to be more or less consciousness of emotions
stimulated by the beautiful associated with women, but the individual
man may train himself to turn such emotions into æsthetic or psychical
lines instead of into those which are sensual, animalistic, or
physical. In this connection, I have long been of the opinion that
training in art appreciation, especially of sculpture, may help many
men to an æsthetic attitude towards the human form.

It is well known that beauty of woman's face or form or dress has
sometimes led men into immorality; but I often wonder whether such men
of weak control would not have fallen sooner or later at the command
of some other form of stimulation. At any rate, such men do not lead us
to general conclusions, for there are many more men who have been led
upward and not downward by the combined beauty of form, face, and dress
of women.

[Sidenote: Duty of women.]

While we refuse to excuse men who allow the sexual suggestiveness of
women's dress to overcome their self-control, we should at the same
time recognize that women have themselves to blame for much of the
existing situation. I believe it is true that the average woman does
not understand how dress that makes unusual exposure of the body may
make a sexual appeal to men; but there is no such innocence on the part
of the demi-mondes by whom many of the most dangerous styles are
introduced. Perhaps women of intelligence and good standing may some
day come to realize their responsibility for wearing clothing that
means unusual temptation for men. However, this seems Utopian in these
years when even women of the best groups are wearing equivocal dress;
and so men must learn to fight their own battles against natural
instincts stirred to greater intensity by dress invented to increase
the trade of the women of the underworld.

§ 37. _The Problem of Self-control for Young Men_

[Sidenote: Difference between sexes.]

[Sidenote: Automatic arousing of boys' instincts.]

The problem of control of the insistent passions of normal young men
has been unscientifically minimized by numerous writers and lecturers.
It should be noted that many of these are men who have long since
forgotten the storms and stresses of their early manhood, and others
are women who do not know the facts indicating that the sexual
instincts young men are characteristically active, aggressive,
spontaneous, and automatic, while those of women _as a rule_ are
passive and subject to awakening by external stimuli, especially in
connection with affection. Such forgetful men and uninformed women are
prone to regard the lack of control of many young men as simply due to
"original sin," "innate viciousness," "bad companions," or
"irresistible temptations"; and they overlook the great fact that
maintaining perfect sexual control in his pre-marital years is for the
average healthy young man a problem compared with which all others,
including the alcoholic temptation, are of little significance. Such
being the truth about young men, nothing is to be gained and much is to
be lost if older people fail to take an understanding and sympathetic
attitude. I question whether any young man has ever been helped through
his adolescent crises by such oft-repeated assertions as that "there is
no more reason that a young man should go astray than that his sister
should," or, in other words, that "continence is as easy for a young
man as for a girl of similar age." An observing young man will doubt
such statements, and if he has had access to scientific information, he
will feel sure that there has been an attempt to influence him by the
kind of exaggeration commonly adopted by specialists in moral
preachments. The plain truth is that there is a physiological "reason"
or explanation, although not a justification for failure of
self-control. Even if we accept the improbable statement of some
writers that boys and girls are in early adolescence potentially equal
in sexual instincts and assuming that they may be protected equally
against vicious habits, we must not forget that every normal boy passes
in early puberty through peculiar physiological changes that arouse his
deepest instincts. I refer especially to the frequent occurrence of
involuntary sexual tumescence and to the occasional nocturnal
emissions, which processes leave the boy in no doubt whatever as to the
nature, source, and desirability of sexual pleasure. Especially is this
true of the automatic emissions that usually follow continence of
healthy young men, for in connection with such relief of seminal
pressure every nerve center of the sexual mechanism seems to be
involved in the culminating nerve storm of which the awakening
individual is often quite pleasurably conscious. In short, as men
looking backward to their early manhood well understand, the physical
sensations that come into the normal sexual experience of the
adolescent boy are different only in degree of intensity from those
which later are concomitants of sexual union. Such, in brief, is the
physiological history of the normal adolescent boy, and one who has
fallen into even most limited masturbation will probably be still more
conscious of the fact that the ordinary sequence of events in the
activity of the sexual organs leads to intense excitement that has
almost irresistible attractiveness.

[Sidenote: Average young women different.]

Now, most scientifically-trained women seem to agree that there are no
corresponding phenomena in the early pubertal life of the normal young
woman who has good health. A limited number of mature women, some of
them physicians, report having experienced in the pubertal years
localized tumescence and other disturbances which made them definitely
conscious of sexual instincts. However, it should be noted that most of
these are known to have had a personal history including one or more
such abnormalities as dysmenorrhea, uterine displacement, pathological
ovaries, leucorrhea, tuberculosis, masturbation, neurasthenia,
nymphomania, or other disturbances which are sufficient to account for
local sexual stimulation. In short, such women are not normal. Such
facts have led many physicians to the generalization that the average
healthy adolescent girl does not undergo normal spontaneous changes
which make her definitely conscious of the nature, source, and
desirability of localized sexual pleasure. On the contrary, such
consciousness commonly comes to many only as the result of stimuli
arising in connection with affection.[18] Clearly it is nonsense to
claim that the sexual temptations arising within the individual are
equal for the two sexes. Potentially, girls may have passions as strong
as boys, but they do not become so definitely and spontaneously
conscious of their latent instincts.

[Sidenote: Helping the young man.]

Thus considering the available facts regarding the physiological
reasons for the sexual tendencies of men, it seems to me that we gain
nothing in trying to minimize the young man's sexual problems, for he
is quite conscious that they are insistent. Far better it is that
mature men who know life in its completeness should make the young man
feel that his problems are not new, not insignificant, and that many
another man has met and solved them in such a way as to make life more
full of real happiness. Such sympathetic helpfulness will mean
something to a young man, but he cannot be led far by one who in his
own early experience has not learned both the strength and the mastery
of the sexual instincts.

[Sidenote: Women should know.]

In another lecture I have discussed the proposition that it would be
better for all concerned if women could have scientific understanding
of the physiological facts concerning the sexual tendencies of men, not
to make women more lenient or forgiving towards the mistakes of men,
but rather to enable women to play an important part in the necessary
adjustments through helpful comradeship. This last phrase will mean
nothing to many people, but in many a modern home a well-informed wife
has been able to lead the way to the satisfactory solution of the
fundamental problems of life.

[Sidenote: Self-control in marriage.]

There is another and an all-important phase of the problem of teaching
self-control which is commonly overlooked by those who are trying to
help young men solve their greatest problems. I have in mind the need
of self-control in marriage. Most writers and lecturers who emphasize
the arguments for absolute self-control or continence before marriage,
omit all reference to marital life. The natural inference, and one
widely followed, is that the only moral duty of a young man is to
control his intense desires and avoid illicit relations until sexual
abandon is permitted under the license of the law and the benediction
of the church. Such, I submit, is a fair conclusion for young men to
draw from at least ninety per cent of the sex-education literature that
is current to-day.

Now, I believe this is all wrong. In fact, I am so radical as to
believe that the intelligent women of the world would gain more from
temperance and unselfishness and delicacy of men in sexual functioning
in marriage than from sexual continence before marriage. Of course, I
do not propose that ideal sexual conditions in marriage may justify
pre-marital incontinence, but I make this sharp contrast simply to
emphasize the belief that sexual intemperance and selfishness of men in
marriage causes more mental and physical suffering of women than does
sexual incontinence of men before marriage, and I am not forgetting the
vast problem of social diseases and prostitution.

I urge, then, that those who attempt to direct young men through the
mazes of sexual life should hold up ideals not only of pre-marital
continence, but also of post-nuptial temperance and harmonious
adjustment between husband and wife. This post-nuptial problem is far
more difficult to solve, for the intimacy of married life, especially
in the earlier years, is sure to offer stimuli that are likely to make
sexual instincts more insistent than those that come from celibate
repression. However, self-control and temperance in marriage is no new
and unattainable ideal, and harmonious adjustment of men and women in
marriage is far more common than the pessimists would have us believe.

§ 38. _The Mental Side of the Young Man's Sexual Life_

[Sidenote: Effect of mental imagery.]

Most of the discussions of the education of young men for moral living
have centered around the problem of keeping him from physical sexual
activity. So far as society is concerned, this is the great
desideratum. So far as the individual life is concerned, it is
important that self-control should extend to mental imagery. Professors
Geddes and Thomson have well said, in "Sex," that "while anatomical
chastity is a moral achievement, it is not the deepest virtue. The
incisive declaration: 'Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her
hath committed adultery with her already in his heart' expresses an
even more searching standard, and modern science brings home to us the
radical importance of our reflex thought and deep-down impulses, which
appear to bulk largely in molding our lives and the lives of those who
may spring from us." In language adapted to the understanding of
average young men, this idea should be emphasized.

In the opinion of some physiologists the greatest harm done to the
individual who has long been a victim of masturbation is in the
centering of the attention on imaginary sexual situations. This is
especially true of mental masturbation. Hence, the relation of
masturbation to the possible establishment of a disordered mental state
should be known by adolescent boys and young men.

[Sidenote: Control of thoughts.]

It appears from the experience of many men that strenuous work and play
are the only efficient weapons for driving sexual images into the
background of the mind. This applies not only to sordid and lewd
thoughts of unchaste sexual situations, but also to the mental images
that are inevitably associated with the purest affection and which
should be trained to obey when calm reason so orders.

The following literature will be especially helpful to young men: W.S.
Hall's "Sexual Hygiene for Men," or his "Sexual Knowledge"; Exner's
"The Rational Sex Life for Men"; Morrow's "The Young Man's Problem,"
and "Health and Hygiene of Sex for College Students"; King's "Fight for
Character" (Y.M.C.A.); and the chapter on Ethics of Sex in "Sex" by
Geddes and Thomson.


[17] The first three pamphlets are published by the Society of
Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis (New York); the Exner pamphlets by the
Association Press (New York).

[18] This is really not surprising if we remember the peculiarities of
human instincts mentioned in an earlier lecture (§ 3).



[Sidenote: Parents would limit knowledge of daughters.]

It was my original plan to make this lecture parallel with the
preceding one for young men, but much discussion with parents and with
scientifically trained women whose suggestions and criticisms I value
has shown me that there is no consensus of opinion as to what should be
taught to young women between eighteen and twenty-two years of age. I
have found many fathers and mothers who think that their boys of
fourteen or fifteen should be informed as suggested in the preceding
lecture; but concerning some of the facts for boys these same parents
were doubtful whether their daughters ought to know before twenty, and
some of them have said twenty-five and even thirty. Some of them have
said that they see no reason why an unmarried young woman of the
protected group should know much more than a very limited amount of
personal hygiene; but most of these people were decidedly hazy as to
how the young woman about to marry may be sure of getting belated
knowledge. In short, all along the line I have found intelligent
parents and others who believe in very thorough sex-instruction for
boys, but that "nice" girls should be kept as ignorant and innocent as
possible. With such disagreement existing, it is evidently not possible
to make such specific recommendations as have been made for boys.

§ 39. _The Young Woman's Attitude towards Manhood_

[Sidenote: Women should have ideals.]

Among those who agree heartily with the proposition that by education
the young man's attitude towards womanhood (§ 30) should be cultivated
I find, to my surprise, many who object to any parallel attempt to
influence young woman's ideals of manhood. I say that I am surprised
because it has long seemed to me that many of the faults of men are
largely traceable to the fact that women as a sex have not been able to
hold a high standard for manhood; and, therefore, I wonder when some
thinking women question the desirability of trying to influence young
women by organized instruction. Of course, we must not forget that
before the coming of the economic and social freedom of women there
were very few of them who were able to maintain a stand for their
ideals of manhood; but this is no longer true in a great and rapidly
increasing group of the individualized and educated classes. Therefore,
it seems clear that if the better groups of women want a higher type of
manhood capable of better adjustment in marriage, it is important that
they consider ways and means of molding the minds of young women with
reference to ideal manhood.

[Sidenote: Ideals and disappointment.]

Occasionally I have met a strange view of life in some men and women
who have grown pessimistic from revelations concerning the
sexual-social problems and who think that true manhood is so rare that
emphasizing it with young women will lead to ideals that can rarely be
realized in actual life; and therefore, for women so influenced there
will be increasing discontent and disappointment in marriage or
deliberate celibacy. No doubt this is in part true, as witness the many
highly educated women who have written or said that there seem to be
few attractive marriageable men of their own age. However, it is rare
indeed that such women say that life would have meant more without the
higher education and its resulting ideals that have stood in the way of
marriage such as might be happy for uneducated women. This is in line
with the fact that many cultivated men and women find that education
has given unattained ideals and unsatisfied ambitions and strenuous
life and disappointments, but it is rare that they long for the
care-free and animal-like happiness of the tropical savage. We must
remember that education gives us keener feeling for life's pains, but
it also compensates by giving soul-satisfying appreciation of its joys.
So it seems reasonable to believe that while educating young women to
believe in and demand a higher ideal of manhood in its natural
relations to womanhood will certainly make disappointments more
heart-pressing for some, it will just as surely make realization the
supreme happiness of others. And as adjustment of manhood and womanhood
through the larger sex-education becomes more and more abundant and
more and more perfected, the sum total of human happiness will

Looking thus towards the ultimate good, I must refuse to accept the
hopeless and depressing view that all young women should be kept
ignorant of their relation to men and life in order that the absence of
ideals of manhood may protect some women against possible
disappointment by men.

§ 40. _The Young Woman's Attitude towards Love and Marriage_

[Sidenote: Reasons not same as for men.]

In the preceding lecture to the parents and teachers of young men I
emphasized the importance of developing the young man's ideals of love
and marriage primarily because such ideals have so often helped men
morally in character-formation and character-protection. I feel sure
that this is not the chief reason why the ideals of young women should
be developed along parallel lines. On the contrary, it seems to me that
those representative women are right who think that the first reason
why ideals of young women should be influenced is that there is need of
a radical change in the attitude of a very common type of young women
who are flippant and disrespectful concerning love and marriage, and
whose influence on the morals of men is decidedly bad because they
often give unguided young men their first and strongest impressions
concerning women. A second reason, which is equally applicable to both
sexes, is that advance understanding of the relations of love and
marriage is likely to lead to happy and satisfactory adjustment in

[Sidenote: Men naturally lead in love.]

Perhaps the flippant and disrespectful attitude concerning affairs of
the heart develops in many young women because they do not consciously
feel in advance of experience the demand for affection which comes so
naturally and spontaneously to many, possibly to all, normal young men
whose views of life have not been artificially twisted. I fully realize
the treacherous nature of the ground on which walks one who tries to
compare the two sexes concerning their relative attitudes towards love,
but certain it is that the novelist's descriptions of men as the
leaders and aggressors in love is not fiction but the common fact of
real life. Man's tendency towards leadership in love is not
scientifically explained by any superficial assumption that established
social conventions have repressed an original spontaneity of women. On
the contrary, there are the best of physiological and psychological
reasons for believing that the social conventions have arisen as an
expression of masculine aggressiveness and natural tendency towards
leadership in affairs of the heart. The accepted fact is that many
young women have no understanding of or demand for affection until
experience has taught them its place in life. In the records of real
life, as well as in fiction, many a young woman's possibilities of
happiness have been lost because she did not understand herself when
love came into her experience.

[Sidenote: Affection in marriage.]

Another side to the problem of the young woman's relation to love and
marriage is brought to our attention by the lamentable fact that many
wives lose interest in devoted husbands when the children come. This is
probably true in at least half the families; and many matrimonial
disharmonies are the result. This is really one of the greatest
problems of marriage which cultured women should consider seriously;
for even more than in most other sex problems, it is one for the
solution of which women are in a position to take the leading part.
This problem is especially important in these days when the household
inefficiency, personal extravagance, and desire for social position of
numerous young women of eighteen to thirty are having an enormous
influence in advancing the age of marriage because many of the best
types of young men pause and consider seriously the impossibility of
adjusting a small salary to the ideas of their women friends as to what
is the minimum of a family budget. Add to such facts a growing
pessimism of young men regarding inconstant affections of wives with
children, and the need of special educational attack is evident.

[Sidenote: The duty of parents.]

From whatever side we look at the question whether the larger
sex-education should somehow try to mold the ideals of young women
with regard to love and marriage, we see reasons why parents should
encourage their maturing daughters to get some advance understanding of
such relation. If parents are themselves unable to help their daughters
to this understanding, they can at least exert great influence by their
own attitude, and they can approve the reading of books, and perhaps
there may be opportunity for hearing lectures by women who understand

[Sidenote: Books.]

With regard to good literature that will help in this line, there are
chapters in many of the books mentioned at the end of this lecture, and
in more or less indirect form in the general literature suggested in
the preceding lectures concerning young men, and in § 12 which deals
with the general educational problem of marriage.

§ 41. _Reasons for Pre-marital Continence of Women_

[Sidenote: Many women do not need reasons.]

Many women who have lived protected lives have declared themselves
unable to understand why a young woman should need reasons for
pre-marital continence; and these women are probably right so far as
the great majority of the daughters of families in good social
conditions are concerned. As pointed out in earlier lectures, there is
abundant evidence that the average adolescent girl who is protected
against external sexual stimuli and influenced constantly by the
prevailing ideals which demand chastity of women, is not likely to need
any arguments why she should avoid pre-marital incontinence. Moreover,
there seems to be little danger that the average girl with good social
environment will ever question her ideals of chastity unless under the
stress of overwhelming affection; in other words, there is little
possibility that such women will be interested in the strictly
mechanical, non-affectionate, and unsentimental sexual relations which
must inevitably characterize the common prostitution of men.

[Sidenote: Unprotected girls.]

Note that I am referring to the average young woman in good social
environment, and for the moment omitting the vast class of so-called
"unprotected" girls. Moreover, I am speaking of the "average," and I am
not forgetting that medical journals and books record many exceptions.
Nevertheless, we must not be misled by medical literature, for
naturally the physician sees the women whose lack of health leads them
to seek professional advice, and it is well known that in sexual lines
women commonly become decidedly unhealthy before they consult
physicians. As testimony concerning the average normal women, I have
the greatest confidence in the statements of thoughtful women with
sound scientific attitude; and such are my authority for the view that
maintaining pre-marital continence is not one of the serious problems
for the average young woman with good domestic and social environment.

Now, while I admit in advance that the problem of pre-marital
continence is not of great significance in the personal lives of the
great majority of the type of women who are likely to hear or read this
lecture, I do believe that this is the type of women who ought to think
over the problem as it concerns the atypical girl of good social groups
and the "unprotected" girl of more unfortunate groups. I cannot see,
therefore, why it is not best and safest that all girls should learn
from parents or reliable books or teachers the main reasons for
pre-marital chastity.

[Sidenote: The girl who needs help.]

The atypical girls of good social groups who need guidance regarding
pre-marital continence are of two types: either one with intensive
sexuality which is often modifiable by medical or surgical treatment;
or one of probably normal instincts but with radical sexual philosophy.
The first type needs not only emphatic instruction regarding
continence, but more often medical help, either for general health or
for correction of localized sexual disturbance. The second type must be
treated exactly as suggested for young men, because they are the women
whose anarchistic repudiation of laws and convention in general has led
to their acceptance of a _single_ standard of morality for men and
women, but one of freedom from monogamic ideals. This type of women,
long well known in the student groups of Paris and in Russian
universities, is becoming more and more evident in America, especially
among some well-educated young women who have dropped their ideals of
chastity because they have found attractiveness in more or less
superficial studies of radical socialism. Many of these radical women
frankly say that they would like to marry the "right man," but failing
to find that rare species, they claim their right to sexual freedom in
more or less capricious liaisons. Others of these women are so highly
individualized that marriage is beneath their contempt, either because
it will "interfere with a career" or because the legal aspects and
ecclesiastical ceremonies still suggest the old-time subjection of the
wife to the husband. Women who are in a position to know from personal
knowledge of radical people declare that there are still relatively few
educated women who deliberately cut loose from monogamic standards; and
that they are most commonly found among certain intimate and
unconventional groups of students and professional workers, especially
those who are united in "Bohemian life" by artistic or literary
interests. But while such sexually anarchistic women are not common in
America, there is reason for fearing that, unless some unexpected check
comes to this undercurrent towards sexual freedom, it may be found ten
or twenty years hence that a surprisingly large number, but _never a
majority_, of unmarried young women have fallen into the sexual
promiscuity that is so common among unmarried men of the same ages.

[Sidenote: Radical sex literature.]

Chief of the influences that lead a certain number of well-educated
young women towards sexual freedom is radical printed matter. We are
now getting in America a wide distribution of bold literature of the
"free love" type, some of it with a scientific superficiality that
will convince many beginners in the study of sexual problems. Much of
this literature is translation or adaptation of books and articles by
European authors; and I have previously remarked that abroad the ideals
of sexual morality--and judging from the Great War, of morality in
other lines--is frankly quite different from that upheld here. But some
of this radical literature is American in origin. In addition to
certain books and pamphlets, which might be advertised by giving names,
I think of two New York medical journals, with a popular circulation,
edited by a successful but much criticized physician, which rarely
publish an issue without frank approval and even arguments for
extra-marital relations other than prostitution, particularly for those
who for one reason or another, unwelcome or voluntary, are leading
celibate lives. The influence of such writings on young women who are
inclined towards radicalism in all things is probably enormous, and it
is unfortunate that vigorous opposition literature is not published and
widely circulated.

[Sidenote: Same instruction as for men.]

In conclusion, it is clear that the problem of pre-marital continence
is not limited to young men, for the "unprotected" girl from a
low-grade home and environment, and the uninformed girl from the best
of homes, and the radical girl from the most educated circles may,
innocently or deliberately, select the pathway to unchastity. For these
kinds of young women the educational problem is the same as for young
men. They should have essentially the same instruction. And, in the
case of both sexes, it is only by contrasting the good and evil that
education can point out the worth-whileness of chastity.

[Sidenote: Indirect responsibility.]

There is a special aspect of the problem of pre-marital chastity of men
that young women should understand, and that is their indirect
responsibility for the unchastity of many men. In discussing dancing
(§ 35) and extreme dress (§ 36), it has been indicated that women as a
sex have a tremendous responsibility for the temptations of men. The
same is true in the case of flirting or more extreme familiarities with
men. However sure a young woman may feel of her own power of
self-control, she should not consider lightly her possible part in a
chain of events which may lead men to unchastity with other women. Many
a man driven into the white heat of passion by thoughtless or
deliberate acts of a pure girl has gone direct to seek relief of
tension in the underworld. Of course, the girl in this case is not
directly responsible for the downfall of the man; but I wonder if there
is not moral, if not legal, responsibility for one who knowingly leads
or helps another to the brink of a precipice from which he voluntarily

I am perfectly well aware that many good people will be horrified by
the very suggestion that young women should be taught their
responsibility for their men associates. Some will declare that the
advocates of sex-education propose to destroy the innocence and romance
in young women's lives. Others of the horrified ones will remain
complacent because they believe that unchastity is caused by "innate
depravity" of men. I am sorry to disagree with such people who are
sincere, but the established facts point clearly to the conclusion that
it is the duty of the mothers and teachers of girls to make them
understand their relations to men and their responsibility for helping
young men avoid sexual temptations. This is necessary when innocence
stands in the way of the maximum safety and happiness of young people.

§ 42. _Need of Optimistic and Æsthetic Views of Sex by Women_

[Sidenote: Many women pessimistic concerning sexuality.]

The most significant point in the sex-education movement at present is
the fact that numerous women of the most intelligent groups are tending
rapidly towards accepting an optimistic and æsthetic view of sexual
relationships so far as these are normal and ethical and guided by
affection. However, this higher philosophy of sexual life is still very
far from being universal among educated women, and it is probably true
that to the great majority of them sexuality has no æsthetic meaning
but is simply a very troublesome physical function and an animal method
for perpetuating the human species. That such an attitude should be
common is not surprising, for in recent years numerous educated women
have gained abundant information concerning abnormal sexuality, while
very few have caught glimpses of the higher possibilities of the
sexual functions. The truth is that it has been and still is difficult
for most women to get well-balanced knowledge of sexual normality.
There are hundreds of books and pamphlets that deal with amazing
boldness with the sexual mistakes of human life, but there is not in
general circulation to-day any printed matter which deals with normal
sexual life with anything like the frankness and directness that is
common in widely circulated literature on social vice and its
concomitant diseases. Likewise, it is difficult for women to get the
true view of sexual life from personal sources, for the vulgar side of
sexuality is the one usually discussed by most people, some of whom
revel in obscenity, some have had personal experiences that have caused
ineradicable bitterness, and some more or less sincerely believe that
knowledge of vice is of value as a safeguard or an antidote. The bright
side of the sexual story is rarely told in conversation, either because
it is unfamiliar or because it is the sacred secret between pairs of
individuals who together have found life in all its completeness.

[Sidenote: Æsthetic outlook.]

Fortunately, this depressing emphasis on sexual abnormality is
beginning to disappear, and we see sure signs of coming attention to
sexual health rather than to disease and to purity rather than to vice.
Leading women are beginning to give, through the impersonal medium of
science and general literature, some definite and helpful testimony
concerning the pathway to the essential good that is bound up in
sexuality. It is especially important that young women of culture
should be helped to this point of view, and as far as possible before
they learn much concerning the dark problems that have originated from
failure to keep sexual functions sacred to affection and possible
parenthood. The educated women of to-day who have acquired and retained
faith in the essential goodness of human sexual possibilities, and who
at the same time have an understanding of the mistakes that weak humans
are wont to make, are sure to play a most important part as teachers
and mothers and leaders in the movement which is already guiding
numerous intelligent men and women to a purified and noble view of the
sexual relationships. As I see the big problems that demand
sex-education, the future will depend largely upon the attitude of
women. It is an essential part of the feministic movement. In the past
there have been many alarming signs of a destructive sex antagonism
that charged men with full responsibility for existing sex problems.
But the advance guards of feminism are beginning to recognize that
there are all-essential relationships between the sexes, and that only
in sex coöperation can there be any permanent solution of the great
questions. It is a great advance from the sex hostility of Christabel
Pankhurst's "Plain Facts on a Great Evil" to the co-working attitude of
Louise Creighton's "Social Disease and How to Fight It," of Olive
Schreiner's "Woman and Labor," of Ellen Key's "Love and Marriage," and
of Gascoigne Hartley's "Truth About Woman," all of which give us hope
that women with optimistic and æsthetic interpretation of sex are
coming to take the lead towards a better understanding of the relations
of sex and life.

§ 43. _Other Problems for Young Women_

Concerning several other problems that have been discussed with special
reference to young men, it seems best that all young women should be
informed sometime between sixteen and twenty-two, the age limit
depending upon maturity of the individual, home life, and social

[Sidenote: Prostitution.]

With regard to prostitution, it seems important that girls should know
the essential facts recommended in the lecture concerning boys. The
"unprotected" girl of low-grade environment will often need some of
this knowledge before she is fourteen (and in some cases, even twelve)
years old. On the other hand, the average "protected" girl need not
know until several years later. It seems possible that too early
familiarity with the existence of sexual vice might tend to make some
young women accept it as part of the established order of things; and,
hence, the girl whose environment is protective and whose moral
training has been complete will be perfectly safe without knowledge of
vice and will be more likely to take an opposition attitude if she
learns the facts concerning prostitution when she is approaching
maturity. Even then the essential information should be given in such
a way that the young woman will see the gravity of the social situation
and, at the same time, not develop a spirit of sex hostility. Here,
again, I must recommend Louise Creighton's "Social Disease and How to
Fight It" as not only pointing out the nature of the great evil, but
also recognizing that the existing situation can never be improved
except by the sympathetic coöperation of the best men and women.

[Sidenote: Dancing.]

With regard to dancing, young girls should be taught that certain forms
of this exercise are not approved by the most refined people. Before
maturity, they should not know the physiological reason for this
disapproval. In fact, I know many men and women who think it best that
most women, even mature, should not have their attention called to the
sexual dangers of dancing. For my part, I cannot see how women with
such ignorance can coöperate with the best men in reducing the admitted
dangers to a minimum.

[Sidenote: Dress.]

With regard to dress as a sexual problem, some mothers think they can
handle the problem with their young daughters by emphasizing modesty
and without further explanation; but the drawing power of fashions is
so great that most young women are quick to revise their ideas of
modesty to suit the latest style. Is it too much to hope that large
numbers of young women would accept such facts as were stated in the
lecture for young men (§ 36), and would be sincere enough to dress so
that their attractiveness may appeal more to the æsthetic and less to
the physical natures of men?

[Sidenote: Merely a man's views.]

In this lecture concerning the special teaching of young women, I have
attempted nothing more than an outline of the impressions that I have
gained from books and from representative women who are interested in
the larger sex-education. I have not tried to make the discussion as
extensive as that for young men, first, because I cannot believe that
young women in general need so much special instruction; and, second,
because only women can adequately advise concerning the sex-educational
problems of young women. However, since the women who might be expected
to know the truth about women have failed to agree on so many points,
it may be worth while for a man to contribute some suggestions based on
the most scientific information offered by some very reliable women.

[Sidenote: Books.]

Among the books which touch the special problems for young women, I am
most favorably impressed by the following: Hall's "Life Problems" in
the first thirty-two pages is adapted for girls of twelve to fourteen,
and the remainder for older girls. Some parents are not enthusiastic
about the story form, but the facts are well selected and presented.
The last chapter of Smith's "Three Gifts of Life" is worth reading, but
the first chapters are unscientific. For almost mature young women,
there are chapters of Rummel's "Womanhood and Its Development," of
Wood-Allen's "What a Young Woman Should Know," of Lowry's "Herself,"
and of Galbraith's "Four Epochs of a Woman's Life." The last two are
decidedly medical in point of view. The part for girls in Scharlieb and
Sibley's "Youth and Sex," and some chapters of March's "Towards Racial
Health," are good. The last two chapters of Geddes and Thomson's "Sex"
will be appreciated by many intellectual young women. Hepburn's
sentimental little story "The Perfect Gift" (Crist Co., 3¢) has helped
many young people improve their æsthetic outlook. There are some
helpful ideas in Henderson's "What It Is To Be Educated" (Houghton
Mifflin Co.). While disagreeing (§ 46) with Dr. Richard Cabot's extreme
emphasis on a mystical religious solution for problems of sex, I
recognize that many young women have been helped by his "The Christian
Approach to Social Morality" (Y.W.C.A.), and by his "What Men Live



In the preceding lectures we have considered the arguments for
sex-instruction. It will now be helpful to review some of the writings
of those who oppose or at least point out the defects of the commonly
accepted plan of sex-instruction. None of those writers whom I shall
quote is known to be absolutely opposed to all sex-instruction, but
some of them would limit the instruction so much that there would be
little hope of the general movement having an important influence.

§ 44. _A Plea for Reticence Concerning Sex_

[Sidenote: Agnes Repplier.]

Miss Agnes Repplier, the distinguished essayist, discusses in the
_Atlantic Monthly_ (March, 1914) the plain speech on sex topics that
are before the public to-day. While she holds no brief for "the
conspiracy of silence," which she admits was "a menace in its day," she
maintains that "the breaking of silence need not imply the opening of
the flood-gates of speech." She goes on to say:

[Sidenote: Present frankness.]

    "It was never meant by those who first cautiously advised a
    clearer understanding of sexual relations and hygienic rules that
    everybody should chatter freely respecting these grave issues;
    that teachers, lecturers, novelists, story-writers, militants,
    dramatists, social workers, and magazine editors should copiously
    impart all they know, or assume they know, to the world. The lack
    of restraint, the lack of balance, the lack of soberness and
    common sense were never more apparent than in the obsession of sex
    which has set us all ababbling about matters once excluded from
    the amenities of conversation.

    "Knowledge is the cry. Crude, undigested knowledge, without limit
    and without reserve. Give it to boys, give it to girls, give it to
    children. No other force is taken account of by the visionaries
    who--in defiance, or in ignorance of history--believe that evil
    understood is evil conquered.

    "We hear too much about the thirst for knowledge from people keen
    to quench it. Dr. Edward L. Keyes, president of the Society of
    Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, advocates the teaching of
    sex-hygiene to children, because he thinks that it is the kind of
    information that children are eagerly seeking. 'What is this
    topic,' he asks, 'that all these little ones are questioning over,
    mulling over, fidgeting over, worrying over? Ask your own

    [Sidenote: One child's life.]

    "I do ask my memory in vain for the answer Dr. Keyes anticipates.
    A child's life is so full, and everything that enters it seems of
    supreme importance. I fidgeted over my hair which would not curl.
    I worried over my examples which never came out right. I mulled
    (though unacquainted with the word) over every piece of sewing put
    into my incapable fingers, which could not be trained to hold a
    needle. I imagined I was stolen by brigands, and became--by virtue
    and intelligence--spouse of a patriotic outlaw in a frontierless
    land. I asked artless questions which brought me into discredit
    with my teachers, as, for example, who 'massacred' St.
    Bartholomew. But vital facts, the great laws of propagation, were
    matters of but casual concern crowded out of my life and out of my
    companions' lives (in a convent boarding-school) by the more
    stirring happenings of every day. How could we fidget over
    obstetrics when we were learning to skate, and our very dreams
    were a medley of ice and bumps? How could we worry over 'natural
    laws' in the face of a tyrannical interdict which lessened our
    chances of breaking our necks by forbidding us to coast down a
    hill covered with trees? The children to be pitied, the children
    whose minds become infected with unwholesome curiosity are those
    who lack cheerful recreation, religious teaching, and the fine
    corrective of work. A playground or a swimming pool will do more
    to keep them mentally and morally sound than scores of lectures on

    [Sidenote: Personal teaching approved.]

    "The world is wide, and a great deal is happening in it. I do not
    plead for ignorance, but for the gradual and harmonious broadening
    of the field of knowledge, and for a more careful consideration of
    ways and means. There are subjects which may be taught in class,
    and subjects which commend themselves to individual teaching.
    There are topics which admit of _plein-air_ handling, and topics
    which civilized man, as apart from his artless brother of the
    jungles, has veiled with reticence. There are truths which may be,
    and should be, privately imparted by a father, a mother, family
    doctor, or an experienced teacher; but which young people cannot
    advantageously acquire from the platform, the stage, the moving
    picture gallery, the novel or the ubiquitous monthly magazine."

There is much in Miss Repplier's paragraphs which will win hearty
approval from those who have come to believe, as advocated throughout
this series of lectures, in conservative teaching of sex-hygiene and a
larger outlook for sex-education.

[Sidenote: Current frankness not due to sex-education.]

No doubt there has been too great a loss of a certain kind of reticence
and a substitution of crude frankness, but it has not been caused by
the sex-education movement. On the contrary, there are two evident
sources of the plain speech of which Miss Repplier and others have
complained: First, the commercializing of sex by novelists, dramatists,
theater managers, and publishers--many of whom are reaping a golden
harvest and few of whom have any sincere interest in promulgating
sexual information to any end except their own pocketbooks. Second, the
development of the feminist movement which has its deepest foundation
in the age-old sexual misunderstandings of women by men, and which has
led on and on into social and political complications of gravest
significance. The very nature of the feminist revolt from masculine
domination made plain speaking on sex matters inevitable.

[Sidenote: Reaction against sensational frankness.]

Neither of these sources of plain speech need give us cause for alarm,
for a great reaction is already coming. The sensationalism of sexual
revelations has had its day, and the intelligent public is recovering
its balance. A lurid novel or play resembling "Damaged Goods" or "The
House of Bondage" or certain vice-commission reports would not now be
accepted by some prominent publishers who recently would not have
hesitated to seize a first-class commercial opportunity in this line.
The fact is that sexual sensationalism has ceased to pay because the
intelligent public knows the main facts and has become disgusted with
crude frankness that amounts to lasciviousness. On the side of feminism
there is hope in the widespread disgust with Cristabel Pankhurst's
"Plain Facts on a Great Evil" as compared with the very general
approval of Louise Creighton's polished masterpiece, "The Social Evil
and How to Fight It." This represents exactly the present attitude of
numerous men and women who calmly discuss together the great problems
of life fearlessly and without any elements of lasciviousness such as
some people seem to think is necessarily associated with either
unsexual or bisexual discussion of sex problems.

[Sidenote: Not a typical case.]

Miss Repplier's description of her own lack of youthful interest in
things sexual is of value simply as applied to a limited number of
extra-protected girls. Her experience teaches us nothing regarding boys
or even girls under average conditions. We know beyond any doubt that
average children in or near adolescence do seek the kind of information
that Miss Repplier denies having thought about. It is not "pressed
relentlessly upon their attention" by teachers, but by instinct and by
environment. Playground and swimming pools and religious influence and
work are all helpful in our dealings with young people, but all
together they are inadequate without some information concerning sex.

[Sidenote: Conclusion.]

Finally, Miss Repplier, like so many other critics of sex-instruction,
has in mind only the physical consequences of wrong-doing. Here again
is the influence of the pioneer sex-hygiene. However, she pleads for
the "gradual and harmonious broadening of the field of knowledge and
for a more careful consideration of ways and means" for
sex-instruction. This makes us believe that she will favor the larger
sex-education which gives a place to "the cheerful recreation, the
religious teaching, the childish virtues, the youthful virtues, the
wholesome preoccupation," as well as essential knowledge of physical
facts; and all as factors in preparing young people consciously and
unconsciously to face the inevitable problems of sex. On the whole, we
must regard Miss Repplier's discussion as a helpful contribution to the
saner aspects of sex-education.

§ 45. _A Plea for Religious Approach to Sex-instruction_

[Sidenote: Cosmo Hamilton.]

Another prominent author who does not agree with the current tendencies
of sex-instruction is Cosmo Hamilton in his little book entitled "A
Plea for the Younger Generation" (Doran Co.). He agrees with the
sex-education writers that children should be instructed early, and as
far as possible by their parents; but he wholly disagrees with the
method of biological introduction. He would have parents go straight to
the heart of the matter and tell the child, as simply and truly as can
be, just how he came into the world. And he would fill the teaching
with reverence by using as an illustration the birth of the babe of
Bethlehem. Referring to those who in recent years have been working for
a scientific introduction to sex-education, Mr. Hamilton says:

[Sidenote: Religious appeal.]

    "I think that these professors and scientists are wasting their
    time, and I have written this small volume not only in order to
    make a plea for the younger generation as to the way in which they
    shall be taught sex truths, but also in order, if possible, to
    prove to the advanced thinkers of the day that it is not
    old-fashioned to beg that God may be put back into the lives of
    His children, but a thing of urgent and vital importance. Without
    faith the new generation is like a city built on sand. Without the
    discipline and the inspiration of God the young boys and girls who
    will all too soon be standing in our shoes will go through life
    with hungry souls, with nothing to live up to, and very little to
    live for."

[Sidenote: Many not reached by religious appeal.]

All this is very good so far as it appeals to the religious type of
mind, but Mr. Hamilton seems to forget that vast numbers of people
cannot be approached from this point of view. How can the illustration
of the Christ-child help those who do not accept certain orthodox
religious beliefs?

§ 46. _The Conflict between Sex-hygiene and Sex-ethics_

[Sidenote: Richard Cabot.]

It has been said in an earlier lecture that several writers have
declared that sex-ethics and sex-hygiene are essentially conflicting
and should not be associated in teaching; that is to say, that hygienic
facts should not be taught with the hope of improving morals. Most
prominent of those who have declared that hygienic and moral teaching
should be dissociated is Dr. Richard C. Cabot, of Boston. I shall give
in this lecture attention to his writings because they have tended to
introduce confusion by critical attention to certain weak details and
unessentials in the original suggestions for sex-education, and by
wrongly assuming that the original "sex-hygiene" was aimed at improved
morals, whereas it was aimed directly at health. In a paper entitled
"Consecration of the Affections (often misnamed 'Sex-hygiene')," read
at the fifth (1911) Congress of the American School Hygiene
Association, Dr. Cabot attacked the kind of sex-instruction that is
limited to sex-hygiene. He has later returned to the attack on many
occasions. I shall quote a number of his paragraphs and follow each
with a discussion of its contents.

[Sidenote: Hygiene and conduct.]

    (1) "The straight, right action in matters of human affection has
    nothing to do with hygiene. For hygiene has no words to proclaim
    as to why you and I should behave ourselves. Hygiene has the right
    and the duty to make clear the perverted and the diseased
    consequences of certain errors. But these consequences are far
    from constant.... Let us disabuse our minds, then, of the idea
    that there are always bad physical consequences of mistake, error,
    or sin in this [sex] field, and that those consequences are
    reasons for behaving ourselves. But even if there were such
    consequences, I think it even more mischievous for us to preach a
    morality based upon them."

That hygienic knowledge makes many people control their sexual selves
is beyond dispute. Because the consequences of sexual error are far
from constant is a weak argument against pointing out possible results.
The consequences from pistols are far from constant, and yet I have no
doubt that Dr. Cabot would teach small boys the danger of shooting
themselves and other people.

[Sidenote: Hygiene and ethics for health.]

The last quoted sentence suggests Dr. Cabot's whole basis of contention
against sex-hygiene. He seems to have inferred from the earlier papers,
especially those by Dr. Morrow, that the hygiene of sex is to be taught
as an approach to morality. On the contrary, the truth is that the aim
of most of the first leaders in sex-instruction was to teach hygiene
and ethics primarily in order to improve health. Dr. Morrow and others
believed that hygienic teaching would secondarily react on sexual
morality; but the original aim of the Society of Sanitary and Moral
Prophylaxis was to limit the spread of venereal disease by sanitary,
moral, and legal means. In other words, moral appeals were to aid in
checking disease, and knowledge of disease was not claimed to improve
morality, although such knowledge might react against immorality. It is
this misunderstanding or overlooking of the real reasons for teaching
concerning sex health that seems to have led Dr. Cabot into apparent
opposition to the general movement for sex-instruction. One infers from
all his lectures that he believes it good to teach hygiene for health,
ethics for morality, and biology for science; but that these should not
be correlated because to him they are unrelated. It seems to me that he
has simply been misled by the overenthusiasm of some of the first
writers on sex-hygiene and by the widespread use of that limited term
instead of sex-education.

[Sidenote: Is sex-hygiene immoral?]

    (2) "Now I say that the preaching about sex-hygiene that is going
    on in recent books and in the periodical press is immoral in its
    tendency. It is like saying, 'Don't lie, for if you do, you won't
    sleep at night, and insomnia is bad for the health.'"

If insomnia often follows lying, then it should be taught as _one_
reason why falsehoods should be avoided. This is not opposed to ethical
teaching, for at the same time we can teach the other reasons for not
telling lies. Likewise, sex-hygiene offers certain reasons for conduct
and may be supplemented by sex-ethics.

[Sidenote: Information and morality.]

    (3) "The attempts to consecrate affection and to safeguard
    morality by teaching in public or private schools what is called
    'sex-hygiene' will, I believe, prove a failure. I have very
    little confidence in the restraining or inspiring value of
    information, as such. I have seen too much of its powerlessness in
    medical men and students. No one knows so much of the harm of
    morphine as the physicians do, yet there are more cases of
    morphine habit among physicians than among any less informed
    profession. It is, of course, easy to make young children familiar
    with the facts of maternity and birth. Compared to the ordinary
    methods of concealment and lying by parents to children about
    these matters this is doubtless an improvement, but it does almost
    nothing to meet the moral problems of sex which come up later in
    the child's life. One may know all about maternity, without
    knowing anything of the difficulties and dangers of sex. Many have
    thought that by thorough teaching of the physiology of
    reproduction in plants and animals we can anticipate and to a
    considerable extent prevent the dangers and temptations referred
    to above."

It is not proposed "to consecrate affection" or "to safeguard morality"
by hygienic knowledge; but simply to protect health. Of course,
information will not restrain everybody; but if physicians did not know
the dangers of morphine many more would be victims of the drug. Dr.
Cabot overlooks the fact that physicians know how to use and obtain
morphine, while other professional men do not. Teaching concerning
maternity and birth will not directly meet the moral problems of sex,
but it will help develop an attitude, "a consecration of the
affections," that will guard against the dangers of sex. Such teaching
to children is only one of many steps in the scheme of sex-education.
No responsible advocate of sex-instruction claims that teaching
children concerning the reproduction of animals and plants does
anticipate and prevent sexual temptations; but it is a foundation for
practical knowledge of human sex problems. I have elsewhere referred to
the effect of such studies on attitude.

[Sidenote: Contagion of personality.]

    (4) "The positive moral qualities which make us immune to the
    dangers of sex are obtainable not through warnings as to dangers,
    but through the more positive activities just alluded to. All that
    is most practical and successful in this field of endeavor may be
    summarized as the _contagion of personality, human or divine_.
    What is it that keeps any of us straight unless it is the
    contagion of the highest personalities whom we have known, in man
    and God?"

We must admit that, perhaps, "positive moral qualities" are not
obtainable through warnings, but in this pragmatic age we must have
good social results gained by any honorable means. Many people are kept
from crime by warnings of the law. Of course, this is not a "positive
moral" result for the unethical individual who must be restrained by
fear of legal consequences, but we do not worry about the individual
when society gains. Likewise, a man kept from sexual promiscuity by
fear of disease is not more positively moral, but he is a better member
of society. No one will deny the importance of personality in its
influence on positive moral qualities; but there are many people who
are not influenced by personality, either human or divine. Other kinds
of control, such as hygienic and legal, are necessary for such people.

[Sidenote: Good and evil.]

    (5) "A positive evil can be driven out only by a much more
    positive good. The lower passion can be conquered only by a higher

Here, again, Dr. Cabot seems to misunderstand the aim of hygienic
teaching regarding sex. It is not expected "to conquer the lower
passion" by hygiene, but to help keep it under control to the end that
personal and social health will be improved. The opium evil (certainly
a _positive_ one) is being driven out of China by military methods that
are good only in their results in suppressing the drug. Likewise,
hygiene of sex will be a practical good in so far as it may reduce the
venereal curse. "Positive good" in Dr. Cabot's moral sense is only of
limited application so far as the majority of people are concerned. In
fact, the whole idea of solving the sexual problems by "consecration of
the affections" makes its strong appeal only to those who have already
grasped the higher view of sex and do not need sex-instruction. Other
people cannot understand the phrase. We must find some more direct and
practical attack on the sex problems for the masses; and I believe that
this means scientific teaching which improves attitude, and hygienic
teaching which protects personal and social health. It is worth while
to get these results even if we do not succeed in improving morals.
That, I believe, is another and quite independent problem.

[Sidenote: Dissociation of hygienic and moral teaching.]

In an address published in the _Journal of the Society of Sanitary and
Moral Prophylaxis_, Vol. V, No. 1, January 1914, Dr. Cabot contended
that the hygienic and moral aspects of sex-education should not be
associated. It is possible that the following review and criticisms may
be based upon a misinterpretation; but if so, I shall not feel lonely,
for at the close of the discussion, Dr. Cabot said to his audience, "it
is evident that I have not succeeded in touching even the surfaces of
your minds, and have not made an atom of impression in making the
distinction which I desired to make."

Dr. Cabot's main points are quoted below, and my comments follow each

    (1) "Sanitation can often be conveyed effectively by information,
    but morality cannot be conveyed by telling things."

[Sidenote: Teaching morals.]

It is certainly true that sanitation can be taught by words. That words
concerning moral things have no value is a proposition which Dr. Cabot
did not clearly and convincingly support.

    (2) "People often make sanitary mistakes from ignorance. So far as
    you are ignorant you cannot be immoral. Morality is conditioned
    upon knowledge of the right and wrong in question."

[Sidenote: Immoral or unmoral.]

Of course, one who is ignorant is unmoral and not immoral, but this
does not divorce sanitary and moral problems of social disease. An
ignorant and unmoral man may have unsanitary sexual habits, but
enlighten him regarding venereal disease and his habits make him

    (3) "I cannot see that biology has moral value."

[Sidenote: Moral value of biology.]

But it may have moral influence just as literature and history and
biography may have. Of course, pure biology alone will not make people
more sexually moral, but no responsible biologist has ever claimed that
it will.

    (4) "In morals, we are dealing with the will, and if we believe
    that the will is guided by intelligence, we must believe that all
    people who _know_ what is right will _do_ what is right."

[Sidenote: Knowledge and will.]

It does not follow that to know what is right is to do what is right.
All depends upon the relative weight of opposing factors. A medical
student may _know_ the facts regarding venereal disease; but he also
knows the fact that his sexual instincts are insistent. The fact of his
passion may be more weighty than his scientific knowledge; and his will
may be guided by intelligent choice based on comparison of the two
opposing facts. Hence, it is illogical to contend that knowledge may
not influence moral conduct and that the will is not guided by

[Sidenote: Cultivation of morality.]

    (5) "Any good achieved in any branch of morality helps all
    morality. A person who learns any kind of self control is helped
    toward all kinds. Anything that helps self control in one field
    will help in all fields, the field of sex as well as others.
    Whatever makes a person more obedient to conscience in matters of
    truth or courage will help him in matters of chastity. We get
    morality not by consciously cultivating particular virtues, but by
    making ourselves useful men and women, by practice and by the love
    and imitation of our betters. Thus, morality is cultivated in
    hundreds of ways all at once."

This is sound, but it is in no logical way opposed to any other aspect
of sex-instruction discussed in this series of lectures.

    (6) "Wherever the conditions of intimacy and interest
    exist,--intimacy with the right person and interest in the right
    thing,--moral training is going on."

[Sidenote: Influence of individuals.]

This is Dr. Cabot's strongest point. He believes in the moral influence
of individuals. So do all leading advocates of sex-instruction or of
any other form of moral education. This is in no sense opposed to any
accepted proposition of sex-education.

    (7) "Sanitation may increase immorality.... I do care more for
    morality than for sanitation. Where the two conflict I want
    morality to lead and to govern."

[Sidenote: Morals rather than health.]

Right here is the basis for Dr. Cabot's repeated attacks on the
sex-education movement. He believes that morality and sanitation are
decidedly conflicting. His address fails to support this idea with
regard to a single point concerned with the proposed sex-education. He
mentioned only two points wherein there is apparent conflict, namely,
prophylaxis that allows immorality while avoiding venereal disease, and
prevention of conception. Neither of these is directly involved in the
sex-education movement, and their immoral bearings are highly

[Sidenote: Ethics of venereal antisepsis.]

Venereal prophylactics may increase promiscuity of some unmoral and
immoral men, but if universally and scientifically used by such men,
there would be little or no infection of innocent women and children.
Therefore, I assert that the good that would come from the use of
prophylactics by those who do not recognize moral control would be far
more significant than the fact that venereal prophylactics might
encourage immorality. Those who would use prophylactics would be no
worse morally than they were before, but society would gain

[Sidenote: Ethics of contraception.]

Regarding the morality of prevention of fertilization, the best of
people hold opposing views. A great specialist in tuberculosis who
entered the discussion of Dr. Cabot's paper convinced most of his
hearers that hygienic prevention of fertilization of tubercular women
is a very moral act for a physician to advise. The real question of
morality involved in the problem of contraconception is not whether it
is immoral that sperm-cells should be prevented from swimming on
towards an egg-cell, but whether there is morality in a sexual union
that has its meaning only in affection and is not definitely intended
for propagation. It is obviously a complicated problem of hygiene,
psychology, ethics, æsthetics, religious beliefs, social traditions,
and personal prejudice; and it is absurd to allow it to become
entangled in the general propositions of sex-education. As I have often
said in this series of lectures, the larger sex-education aims at
making the best possible adjustments of sex and life. If the æsthetic
demands of affection are in real conflict with the animal function of
propagation, then a pragmatically ethical solution is found in
intelligent control of the original function. Ideally, the animal
function of propagation should be associated with the possibilities of
affection that have developed in the highest human life; but there are
numerous cases in which there must be dissociation of the functions of
affection and propagation, or the alternative is sexual asceticism.
Which is moral? This is a question concerning which the individual must
weigh his personal views and decide. Only the bigoted victims of
arrogance will see immorality in the one who disagrees with him on this
question. I insist, then, that even if advanced sex-education for
adults should some day come to involve the problem of contraconception,
there will be no conflict between hygienic knowledge and ethics, if the
teaching leads to more perfect adjustment of sex and life.

[Sidenote: Dr. Neumann's view.]

Probably the great majority of workers in the sex-education movement do
not in the least agree with Dr. Cabot's attempts to dissociate hygienic
and moral problems. A far more helpful view is that expressed by Dr.
Henry Neumann, leader of the Brooklyn Ethical Culture Society:

    "Problems of hygiene, whether of sex, or nutrition, or temperance
    and the like, are no less moral problems. They are problems of
    habit; and habits are impossible without strong incentives to
    start them and keep them going.... Ethical instruction is often
    misunderstood to be barren preaching. It is nothing of the sort.
    It consists in clarifying views of life. It begins with the fact
    that there are certain tendencies in our nature which may work ill
    or good. Then it tries to show to what these lead. It uses what is
    best in us to make over what is worst. That is why problems of
    sex-hygiene should be regarded as at bottom problems of

§ 47. _The Arrogance of the Advocates of Sex-education_

In an article in the _Educational Review_, February, 1914,
Superintendent Maxwell, of New York City, writes concerning what he
calls "the teaching of child hygiene" as follows:

[Sidenote: Dr. Maxwell's criticisms.]

    "There are those to-day who claim that sexual information and
    problems should be thrust upon the attention of boys and girls by
    the teachers in the public schools, that this teaching is
    necessary for the protection of virtue and the prevention of
    disease, and that, if anyone hesitates to encourage the spread of
    such literature and the teaching of such knowledge, he is an
    arrant and presumptuous blockhead. The arrogance of the extreme
    advocates of child hygiene blinds them to certain all-important
    truths. The first is that our teachers are not prepared, and, in
    too many cases, are not the most suitable persons to teach the
    subject. The second is that to bring the adolescent mind face to
    face with sexual matters engenders the habit of dwelling upon the
    sexual passion, and in that may lie spiritual havoc and physical
    ruin. A premature interest in the sexual passion debases the mind
    and unsettles the will. The third is that parents have no right to
    ask the teacher to do the work that is peculiarly theirs.

    "And yet some good may emerge from this discussion. Parents may be
    incited to do their duty in placing sex information before their
    children whenever conditions demand such knowledge. And principals
    and teachers, particularly principals, whenever they have the
    acuteness to detect the tendency to wrong-doing, will no longer
    hesitate to utter the word of warning in season. As for the
    extravagant claims made for the teaching of sex-hygiene, I have
    too much faith in the good sense of the American people to believe
    that it will ever be generally and regularly taught in American
    schools. Surely, we have learned something since the law compelled
    us to teach the untruths regarding the effects of stimulants and
    narcotics that were published in the early school manuals of
    physiology and hygiene."

[Sidenote: Reply to Dr. Maxwell.]

I comment as follows: (1) Dr. Maxwell refers only to the "extreme
advocates." They did exist in abundance a few years ago, but are
already rare in the group of well-known educators. (2) Most teachers
are not prepared and never can be prepared to teach the human aspect of
sex problems, especially the hygienic in the strict sense. (3)
Conservative sex-instruction such as was advocated by the advisers of
the American Federation for Sex-hygiene (see "Report" by Morrow and
others, 1913) aims to guard against "premature interest in the sexual
passion." (4) While I sympathize with Dr. Maxwell's view that teaching
the elementary hygiene of sex is the parent's duty, I am forced to
recognize the futility of advocating that all or even a respectable
minority of parents should undertake their duty (see § 4). The truth is
that most of them will not, and cannot if they will, try to do so. (5)
Dr. Maxwell's idea that sex-hygiene should be taught only when an
astute principal or parent "detects wrong-doing" is, to say the least,
an educational theory that will astonish one who knows even the
elementary facts regarding the secrecy of the sexual life of young
people in general. Will he next be logically consistent and advocate
that all moral education should be given only after children show signs
of wrong-doing? (6) Sex-hygiene, as Dr. Maxwell understands it to be
concerned directly and solely with human sexual problems, will never be
taught in American schools controlled by people of good sense; but
sex-instruction from the larger viewpoint is taught in some of the best
of Dr. Maxwell's high schools. (7) All advocates of sex-instruction who
have a national reputation for educational sanity agree that
legislation is most undesirable. (8) It is obvious that like so many
others who have become confused regarding the sex-education movement,
Dr. Maxwell has been impressed chiefly by the pioneer work that
emphasized only hygienic teaching regarding sex.

§ 48. _Lubricity in Education_

Ex-President Taft has expressed his views against the sex-education
movement. The newspapers quote as follows from an address delivered in
Philadelphia in 1914:

    "There is another danger in our educational influences and
    environment. I refer to the spread of lubricity in literature, on
    the stage and indirectly in education, under the plea that vice
    may be avoided by teaching the awful consequences. By dwelling on
    its details and explaining its penalties, sexual subjects are
    obtruded into discussion between the sexes, lectures are delivered
    on them, textbooks are written, and former restraints of modesty
    are abandoned.

    [Sidenote: Mr. Taft's alarm.]

    "The pursuit of education in sex-hygiene is full of danger if
    carried on in general public schools. The sharp, pointed and
    summary advice of mothers to daughters, of fathers to sons, of a
    medical professor to students in a college upon such a subject is,
    of course, wise, but any benefit that may be derived from
    frightening students by dwelling upon the details of the dreadful
    punishment of vice is too often offset by awakening a curiosity
    and interest that might not be developed so early and is likely to
    set the thoughts of those whose benefit is at stake in a direction
    that will neither elevate their conversations with their fellows
    nor make more clean their mental habit.

    "I deny that the so-called prudishness and the avoidance of nasty
    subjects in the last generation has ever blinded any substantial
    number of girls or boys to the wickedness of vice or made them
    easier victims of temptations."

[Sidenote: Evident misunderstanding.]

The above requires little comment, for its misunderstandings are
obvious to one who has followed the sex-education movement. Clearly Mr.
Taft has been impressed by the social-hygiene side of the problems and
does not realize the existence of a larger outlook for sex-education.
Like so many other writers who seem to know little concerning the
sexual life of children, especially of boys, Mr. Taft fears "the
awakening of curiosity and interest"! This, of course, depends upon the
facts taught and the age of the learner, but it hardly applies to
children in or near adolescence who are taught along the lines
suggested by the committee of the American Federation for Sex-Hygiene
(1913). The last paragraph quoted from Mr. Taft will be denied
completely by all who are familiar with the problems of adolescent
education. To say the least, it is unfortunate that a man prominent in
law and statesmanship should have lent the weight of his name to such
superficial conclusions that are so obviously based on exceedingly
limited information regarding both the established facts of sex and the
most approved methods of sex-instruction.

§ 49. _Conclusions from the Criticisms of Sex-education_

I have selected for discussion the criticisms of several of the most
prominent people who have expressed opposition to the sex-education
movement. I think that all the important lines of arguments against the
movement are represented in the extracts that I have quoted. We have
seen that all of the criticisms have decidedly vulnerable points. Most
of them refer to the discarded sex-hygiene of ten years ago; but some
of them prove that the authors are quite ignorant of the sex problems
that must be faced by numerous young people.

[Sidenote: Criticisms important.]

With the hope of locating the weaknesses of sex-education, I have for
years examined carefully every criticism published, and it seems to me
thoroughly scientific to conclude that all the important criticisms
have not harmed the essentials of the sex-education movement; but, on
the contrary, have been helpful in forcing reconstruction. In fact, the
present-day conception of the larger sex-education must be credited to
the severe critics more than to the friends of the original narrow
movement for reducing venereal disease by hygienic instruction.



§ 50. _The American Movement_

[Sidenote: Dr. Morrow leader in America.]

In America the movement for sex-education began with the organization
of the American Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis on February
9, 1905, under the leadership of Dr. Prince A. Morrow. It is true that
before this time there were various local and sporadic attempts at
instruction concerning sexual processes, but such teaching was chiefly
personal and there was no concerted movement looking towards making
sex-instruction an integral part of general education. In 1892,
thirteen years before the organization of the Society of Sanitary and
Moral Prophylaxis, a group of members of the National Education
Association considered briefly the importance of instructing young
people. However, this meeting was of ephemeral significance and had no
genetic relation to the present-day movement. Other early interest in
sex-instruction is indicated in Professor Earl Barnes's bibliography
which was published in his "Studies in Education," Vol. I, p. 301,

The educational activities, especially the publications of the American
Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, soon attracted the serious
attention of numerous physicians, ministers, and educators in various
parts of the United States; and about twenty other societies for study
and improvement of the sex problems were organized within a few years
after the original society.

[Sidenote: Original aim for sanitary ends.]

The sex-education movement both in Europe and America had its origin as
an attempt to check the spread of the venereal or social diseases. The
idea that education should work for sexual morality for its own sake
and not simply for protection against venereal diseases has only
recently begun to appear in the literature of sex-education, and so far
it seems to have made only a limited impression on many of those who
have been active in the prophylactic campaign against social disease.
In fact, the tardy recognition of the moral aim of sex-education makes
it seem probable that very little interest would have been aroused in
the movement if it had been organized on purely ethical grounds and
without any reference to the sanitary problems of social diseases. To
one who looks at sexual morality as a question of right conduct which
brings its own rewards, it is a shock to find so many thinking people
who accept calmly the traditional views of the relation of the sexes
and seem to take no interest in the immorality of men except as it is
likely to lead to venereal disease or to illegitimacy which demands
forced marriage or monetary payments. The truth is that the civilized
world at large is very far from a working code of sexual morals which
will be practiced because of promised rewards rather than because of
probable punishments. It is natural, then, that the sex-education
movement should have started with a proclamation of physical
punishments for immorality rather than an offer of ethical and
psychical rewards for morality.

[Sidenote: Both sanitary and moral.]

However, the fact that sex-education, under the name of "sex-hygiene,"
was at first a sanitary propagandism need not interfere with the larger
development of sex-education. It now seems probable that before many
years pass we shall learn how to make a satisfactory combination of
both the sanitary and moral sides of sex-education, and so it is best
that the educational movement started on the foundation of the
undisputed facts of sanitary science which have made a powerful
impression on the people who do and who do not recognize a code of
sexual morals.

[Sidenote: Medical interest.]

The deep interest of the medical profession is directly responsible for
the close association between the beginning of the sex-education
movement and the diseases of immorality. At the organization meeting of
the American Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, Dr. Prince
Morrow in the opening paragraph of his address said: "We have met for
the purpose of discussing the wisdom and the expediency of forming a
society of sanitary and moral prophylaxis. The object is to organize a
social defense against a class of diseases which are most injurious to
the highest interests of human society." Thus, the American Society of
Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis started as an avowed enemy of the social
diseases and so it has continued to the present. The very name of its
official journal, _Social Diseases_,[19] indicated the central idea of
the Society. Likewise, most of the local American societies for
sex-hygiene have names including such phrases as "social hygiene,"
"prevention of social diseases," "sanitary prophylaxis"; and only one,
the Massachusetts Society for Sex Education, has a name which does not
directly suggest the medical problems of sex.

[Sidenote: In Europe.]

In Europe, the sex-instruction movement has been concerned chiefly with
spreading information concerning the social diseases. In 1902 an
international congress for consideration of the venereal diseases was
held in Brussels, and this congress recommended that in all countries
there should be organized sanitary, social, moral, and legal societies
for the prophylaxis of these diseases. As a result of this
recommendation, prophylactic societies were formed in France, Germany,
Italy, Holland, the United States, and other countries. Of these, the
German society for the prevention of venereal disease became the
strongest, with over five thousand members and twenty branch

[Sidenote: National societies.]

The fact that the American Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis
was organized by a group of people in New York City tended from the
beginning to make it a local society. While for several years it took
the lead in sex-hygiene and enrolled members residing in many parts of
the United States, it was never a national organization. In recent
years the word "American" has been omitted from its name, and its work
has been limited to New York City and vicinity.[20] Many independent
state and city societies were organized within a few years after the
original sex-hygiene society in New York. This multiplication of
societies called attention to the need of a national organization, and
in 1910 the various societies were affiliated in the American
Federation for Sex-Hygiene. Dr. Morrow was the leading spirit in the
Federation until his death. In 1913, the Federation and the American
Vigilance Association (a society especially concerned with the social
evil) were united in the American Social Hygiene Association. Its
offices are at 105 West 40th Street, New York City.

§ 51. _Important Steps in the Sex-education Movement in America_

    May 23, 1904. Dr. Prince Morrow's plea for the organization of a
    society of sanitary and moral prophylaxis, read before the Medical
    Society of the County of New York.

    February 9, 1905. Organization meeting of the American Society of
    Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, in New York.

    March, 1906. Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Social
    Diseases organized.

    October, 1906. Chicago Society of Social Hygiene organized.

    December, 1907. Portland (Ore.) Social Hygiene Society organized.

    October, 1908. Spokane Society of Social and Moral Prophylaxis

    June, 1910. American Federation for Sex-Hygiene organized.

    1911. Oregon Social Hygiene Society organized.

    July 20, 1912. Resolution of the National Education Association
    favoring training of teachers with the view, ultimately, of
    sex-instruction in schools.

    September 23-28, 1912. Meeting of subsection on sex-hygiene,
    Fifteenth International Congress on Hygiene and Demography.
    Washington, D.C.

    February, 1912. Organization of American Vigilance Association.

    October, 1913. Merging of the American Federation for Sex-Hygiene
    and the American Vigilance Association into the new American
    Social Hygiene Association.

    1913. Organization of Pacific Coast Federation for Sex-Hygiene,
    changed to Pacific Coast Social Hygiene Association in June, 1914.

    July, 1914. The National Education Association, at Minneapolis,
    adopted the following resolutions in line with the latest
    principles of the Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis and
    the American Social Hygiene Association:

      "The Association, re-affirming its belief in the constructive
      value of education in sex-hygiene, directs attention to the
      grave dangers, ethical and social, arising out of a sex
      consciousness stimulated by undue emphasis upon sex problems
      and relations. The situation is so serious as to render
      neglect hazardous. The Association urges upon all parents the
      obvious duty of parental care and instruction in such matters
      and directs attention to the mistake of leaving such problems
      exclusively to the school. The Association believes that
      sex-hygiene should be approached in the public schools
      conservatively under the direction of persons qualified by
      scientific training and teaching experience in order to
      assure a safe moral point of view. The Association,
      therefore, recommends that institutions preparing teachers
      give attention to such subjects as would qualify for
      instruction in the general field of morals as well as in the
      particular field of sex-hygiene."

§ 52. _The Future of the Larger Sex-education_

[Sidenote: Public has lost interest in sensationalism.]

I hear many questions as to the probable future of sex-education. I am
asked: "Is it moribund?" "Is it a disappearing fad?" "Has not the high
tide of interest passed?" No doubt such questions are inspired by the
oft-repeated statement that public interest in sexual questions has
waned decidedly in the last few years. This is true, and it is a most
fortunate indication of approaching sanity. The public interest in the
last decade has been most deplorable, because it has centered in the
abnormal and sensational aspects of sex. Authors have vied with each
other in presenting the most lurid cases of social diseases, white
slavery, sexual perversions, and every other available aspect of sexual
degeneracy. Of course, the reading public was bound to grow tired of
this, just as it wearies of a horrible murder trial or of a
sensational divorce case. It is certainly true that there is a marked
decline of general interest in sexual abnormality and sensationalism;
but that does not mean that the sex-education movement is moribund.

[Sidenote: Sex-education permanent.]

The wave of sensational revelation has passed; but the intelligent
public is no longer ignorant of the nature and causes of the great
problems of sex, and is well aware that young people need definite
guidance for facing the facts of life. It is unthinkable that
intelligent parents who are now well informed concerning sex will ever
again stand for the old policy of mystery and silence. It is,
therefore, impossible to believe that there is any danger of
sex-education disappearing. Of course, we have not reached a permanent
system of sex-education. There certainly will be vast changes in our
approved subject matter and methods of teaching; but the main idea of
the sex-education movement is gaining support every day.

[Sidenote: Sex-education fundamental.]

There is another reason why sex-education will be permanent. In
addition to the great need of educational help with information and
influence which will mold the individual life with regard to the
problems of sex, it must be evident to all that even the legislative,
sanitary, social administrative, religious, ethical, and other attacks
upon the problems depend upon knowledge and attitude, at least of the
leaders. Look at the problems of sex outlined in the earlier lectures
from whatever angle we will, and it appears that, in the final
analysis, education offers the only key to a possible solution.
Therefore, I assert that sex-education--the larger sex-education--is an
absolutely fundamental factor in every phase of the social-hygiene and
sex-ethical movement.

[Sidenote: Ultimate effect of sex-education.]

In closing the last lecture of this series, let me state my confession
of faith in sex-education: It is certainly only _one of several_
possible lines of attack on the alarming sex problems of our time; but
it offers the most hopeful outlook towards improved sexual morals and
health, both physical and psychical. However, we shall gain nothing of
permanent value by extravagant claims or hopes as to the ultimate
effect of sex-education. We must expect incomplete results. It will not
entirely solve the sex problems for all individuals who receive
instruction; but it will solve all of the problems of many individuals
and help many others. It will not eradicate the social evil and its
characteristic diseases, but it will protect many young people and so
reduce the sum total of awful consequences. It will not prevent all
divorces and matrimonial disharmonies, but already the biological
teaching is helping and some day the social-ethical problems will be
understood and then most intelligent men and women will understand the
fundamental principles for permanent and harmonious monogamic marriage.
Finally, sex-education will not enforce universal sexual morality in
conformity with our accepted code, but it will help many individuals
through decisive battles with sex-instincts.

[Sidenote: Sex-Education and general education.]

Such are some of the lines along which extreme claims and hopes for
sex-education have been and are still being made. There is some truth
in each; in fact, there is more than enough to justify the present
movement for sex-education. To all those who see nothing in the
movement because it will not solve all the sex problems which have
created a demand for special instruction, we may reply by simply
pointing to the fact that general education makes some better and more
efficient citizens, but many times it fails to give desirable results.
We believe in general education because it aims to offer all
individuals help in preparation for more efficient life, although it
succeeds only in part. Likewise, we should stand for the instruction of
all young people in matters concerning sex because it is certain that
such knowledge will function completely in many lives and will work
appreciable good in many others.

[Sidenote: A permanent and essential part of education.]

I cannot believe that sex-education is one of the long line of modern
educational fads which quickly pass their day, for no other phase of
education so closely touches life. History and geography and even a
large part of the "three Rs" may be of little use in the lives of
numerous people, but sex-education deals with problems which the normal
human life cannot possibly avoid and which each individual must be
prepared to solve for himself. Therefore, we may confidently assert
that instruction concerning the most important aspects of sex processes
and relationships will soon be recognized as an absolutely necessary
part of a rational and efficient scheme for the education of young

[Sidenote: The never-ending problem of good and evil.]

The larger sex-education is sure to have a permanent place in the
never-ending work of preparing coming generations for the highest
development of life's possibilities. Each succeeding generation of
young people must be prepared by educational processes to face
intelligently and bravely the problems of sex that are sure to come
into every normal life. Of course, sex-education at its best
development can do no more than give the individual a basis for
intelligent choice between good and evil; but here, as in all other
upward movements of human life, the decision must depend upon a clear
and positive recognition of the advantages of the good as contrasted
with the evil. Hence, the one essential task of sex-education in its
broadest outlook is to guide natural human beings to recognition and
choice of the best in the sexual sphere of life. And in so far as each
coming generation of individuals may be thus guided by the larger
sex-education, the problems of sex will be pragmatically solved, for
the social aggregate of human life will become better, happier, nobler,
truer, more in harmony with the highest ideals of life, more like our
vision of perfected humanity.


[19] The name was changed in 1913 to _Journal of the Society of
Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis_.

[20] While this book was in press, the name was changed to New York
Social Hygiene Society.



I have decided to publish only the names of selected books which seem
to me to be the best for teachers, parents, and young people. In making
the selection, I have considered several hundred books which bear on
the sex problems in an educational way, and have decided to reject the
majority of them. While there might be some value in a long list with
critical notes on books that I cannot recommend, it would be a worse
than thankless task to compile such an annotated bibliography; for the
compiler would surely add to his collection of enemies many authors
whose books deserve severe criticism. The sudden and sensational
publicity concerning matters of sex and the possibility of commercial
exploitation has produced an avalanche of sex books, some good, many
bad, and the majority ordinary. Evidently, most of the authors,
including numerous physicians, have written to order and without
special preparation.

The books of the following lists are not all deserving of unqualified
recommendation. In fact, some of them are included because they are the
least objectionable of their much-needed kind, and others because they
have some good grains that the reader will find worth picking from a
mass of non-nutritious but, fortunately, non-poisonous chaff.

I have not included many books which I recognize as important for
readers thoroughly trained in science, but which are dangerous for the
average reader of literature on sex.

It is possible that I may have overlooked some very good books that I
have not intended to ignore; and I shall be glad to have my attention
called to books which deserve recognition.

Special bibliographies have been published in Wile's "Sex-Education,"
March's "Towards Racial Health," Geddes and Thomson's "Sex," and
Foster's "Social Emergency."

Publishers.--In most cases the first part of the names of well-known
publishers has been given. Unless otherwise mentioned, they have
offices in New York City. In addition, the following abbreviations have
been used:

A.M.A. = American Medical Association, Chicago.

A.S.H.A. = American Social Hygiene Association, 105 West 40th St., New
York City.

S.S.M.P. = Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, 105 West 40th
Street, New York City.

Association Press = press of the National Board of the Y.M.C.A., New
York City.


  ADDAMS, JANE. "A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil."
    Macmillan. $1.00. (Contains all the average reader needs to
    know concerning prostitution.)

  BOK, EDWARD, Editor. "Books of Self-Knowledge for Young
    People and Parents." Revell. $.25 each.

  BIGELOW, M.A. "Relation of Biology to Sex-Instruction in
    Schools and Colleges." Journal of Social Diseases, II, 4,
    October, 1911.

  CABOT, RICHARD C. "The Christian Approach to Social
    Morality." National Y.W.C.A., New York. $.50.

  CABOT, RICHARD C. "What Men Live By." Houghton Mifflin.
    $1.50. (A book that has helped many people.)

  CABOT, R.C. "Consecration of the Affections." Proceedings
    of Fifth Cong. Amer. School Hygiene Assoc., III, 1911, p. 114.
    Also in Amer. Phy. Ed. Rev., XVI, 1911, pp. 247-253. (See
    "Criticisms of Sex-Education" in § 46 of this book.)

  COCKS, ORRIN G. "The Social Evil and Methods of
    Treatment." Association Press. $.25.

  CREIGHTON, LOUISE. "The Social Disease and How to Fight
    It." Longmans. $.35. (A splendid essay on social impurity from a
    modern woman's viewpoint. Constructive and optimistic.)

  ELIOT, C.W. "Public Opinion and Sex-Hygiene." A.S.H.A.

  ELIOT, C.W. "School Instruction in Sex Hygiene."
    Proceedings of Fifth Cong. Amer. School Hygiene Assoc., 1911.

  ELLIS, HAVELOCK. "The Task of Social Hygiene." Houghton.
    $2.50. (Certain chapters concern sex-education.)

  GALLOWAY, T.W. "Biology of Sex." Heath. $.75.

    Holt. $.50. (Excellent.)

  GEDDES and THOMSON. "The Problems of Sex."
    Moffat. $.50.

  FOSTER, W.T. "The Social Emergency." Houghton. $1.35.
    (Twelve excellent essays by President Foster, Reed College, and
    nine others, on social hygiene and education.)

  HALL, G. STANLEY. "Adolescence." Appleton. 2 vols.

  HALL, G.S. "Youth: Its Education, Regimen and Hygiene."
    Appleton. $1.50.

  HALL, G.S. "Needs and Methods of Educating Young People
    in Hygiene of Sex." Pedagogical Seminary, XV, March, 1908.

  HALL, G.S. "Teaching of Sex in Schools and Colleges."
    Journal of Social Diseases, II, 4, October, 1911.

  HALL, WINFIELD S. "Sex Training in the Home." Richardson,
    Chicago. $1.10.

  HENDERSON, CHAS. R. "Education with Reference to Sex."
    University of Chicago Press. Part I, 78 cts.; II, 80 cts. (Part
    I demonstrates need of sex-education; II, the educational

  HERTER, C.A. "Biological Aspects of Human Problems."
    Macmillan. $1.50. (Sexual instincts, pp. 182-252; sex-education,

  HIME, MAURICE C. "Schoolboys' Special Immorality."
    Churchill, London. $.40. (For masters of boarding schools.)

  HODGE, C.F. "Social Hygiene in Public Schools." School
    Science and Mathematics, April, 1911.

  HOWARD, W.L. "Start Your Child Right." Revell. $.75.
    (Readable, sensible, helpful to parents.)

  LOWRY, EDITH B. "False Modesty: That Protects Vice by
    Ignorance." Forbes. $.50. (Arguments for sex-instruction in home
    and school.)

  LOWRY, E.B. "Teaching Sex-Hygiene in the Public Schools."
    Forbes. $.50. (Useful for parents and teachers.)

  LYTTLETON, E. "Training the Young in the Laws of Sex."
    Longmans, Green. $1.00. (Heartily approved by many educators.)

  MARCH, NORAH H. "Towards Racial Health." Routledge,
    London. $1.00. (Very helpful book for parents and teachers.)

  MORLEY, MARGARET W. "Renewal of Life." McClurg. $1.10.
    (Nature-study basis for teaching children.)

    of Special Committee on Matters and Methods of Sex-Education."
    A.S.H.A. $.05.

  MORROW, PRINCE A. "Teaching of Sex-Hygiene." A.S.H.A.
    $.03. (A splendid address.)

  MORROW, P.A. "The Boy Problem." S.S.M.P. $.05. (Helpful
    to parents.)

  MORROW, P.A. "The Sex Problem." S.S.M.P. $.03. (A fair
    statement of the double morality problem.)

  PARKINSON, WILLIAM D. "Sex and Education." Educational
    Review, January, 1911. (Stands for ethical and æsthetic teaching

  SCHARLIEB and SIBLY. "Youth and Sex." Dodge.

  SELIGMAN, E.R.A. "The Social Evil." Putnam. $1.50. (A
    good survey of the evil, based on the work of the Committee of
    Fourteen in New York.)

  WILE, IRA S. "Sex Education." Duffield. $1.00. (A very
    useful book for parents.)

  WOOD-ALLEN, MARY. "Teaching Truth." Crist Co. $.50.
    (Suggestions for mothers' talks to young children.)

  "Social Hygiene." A quarterly journal of the A.S.H.A. $2.00 per
    year, free to members.


  ADDAMS, JANE. "Spirit of Youth and the City Streets."
    Macmillan. $1.25.

  CHAPMAN, ROSE WOODALLEN. "How Shall I Tell My Child?"
    Revell. $.25.

  DODGE, GRACE H. "A Bundle of Letters to Busy Girls."
    Funk. $.50.

  HALL, JEANNETTE W. "Life's Story." Steadwell, La Crosse,
    Wis. $.25. (Biological facts for girls of 10 to 16.)

  HALL, W.S. "Life Problems: A Story for Girls." A.M.A.
    $.10. (A good pamphlet for girls of 12 to 18 years.)

  HALL, W.S. "The Doctor's Daughter: Studies about Life."
    A.M.A. $.10. (On nature-study basis, for girls under 12 years.)

  HOOD, MARY G. "For Girls and the Mothers of Girls."
    Bobbs-Merrill. $1.00.

  HOWARD, W.L. "Confidential Chats with Girls." Clode.

  SMITH, NELLIE M. "The Three Gifts of Life." Dodd, Mead.
    $.50. (A girl's responsibility. For girls 15 to 18, who have no
    more than grammar-school education. In general, sentimental and
    unscientific; but Chapter IV, "Gift of Choice," is excellent.)

  TORELLE, ELLEN. "Plant and Animal Children: How they
    Grow." Heath. $1.00. (Useful as a nature-study reader concerning
    reproduction of animals and plants.)

  WOOD-ALLEN, MARY. "Almost a Woman." Crist Co. $.50. (A
    story for girls of 12 years.)

  WOOD-ALLEN, MARY. "What a Young Girl Should Know." Vir
    Co., Philadelphia. $1.00. (For girls under 12 or 14.)


  HALL, W.S. "John's Vacation." A.M.A. $.10. (On
    nature-study basis, for pre-adolescent boys.)

  HALL, W.S. "Chums." A.M.A. $.10. (For adolescent boys.)

  HALL, W.S. "Developing into Manhood." Association Press.
    $.25. (Biological basis, for boys of 15 to 18 years.)

  HALL, W.S. "Life's Beginnings." Association Press. $.25.

  HALL, W.S. "Youth." Association Press. $.25. (For boys 10
    to 12.)

  HOWARD, W.L. "Confidential Chats with Boys." Clode.

  JENKS, J.W. "Life Questions of School Boys." Association
    Press. $.25.

  JEWETT. "The Next Generation." Ginn. $.75. (Elementary

  TORELLE, ELLEN. "Plant and Animal Children." (See under
    books for girls.)

  TREWBY, ARTHUR. "Healthy Boyhood." Longmans. $.40.

  WOOD-ALLEN, MARY. "Almost a Man." Crist Co. $.50.
    (Similar to "Almost a Woman." For pre-adolescent boys.)


  DRAKE, E.F.A. "What a Young Wife Ought to Know." Vir
    Co., Philadelphia. $1.00.

  GALBRAITH, ANNA. "Four Epochs of a Woman's Life."
    Saunders, Philadelphia. $1.50. (Medical in style. Certain
    sections relating to heredity are not satisfactory.)

  HALL, W.S. "Sexual Knowledge." Intern. Bible House,
    Philadelphia. $1.00.

  KEY, ELLEN. "Morality of Woman and other Essays."
    Seymour, Chicago. $1.00. (Ideal morality as a basis for
    marriage. Good introduction to author's "Love and Marriage.")

  LOWRY, E.B. "Herself." Forbes. $1.10. (In general,
    accurate. Medical style.)

  MARTIN, H.N. "Human Body--Advanced Course." Holt. $2.50.
    (Last chapter, on reproduction, excellent.)

  RUMMEL, LUELLA Z. "Womanhood and Its Development." Burton
    Co., Kansas City. $1.50. (One of the best books for mature
    women. Poorly printed.)

  SCHREINER, OLIVE. "Woman and Labor." Stokes. $1.25.
    (Important for the feminist movement.)

  WEST, MRS. MAX. "Prenatal Care." Bulletin of Children's
    Bureau, U.S. Dept. of Labor. (A very practical pamphlet.)

  WOOD-ALLEN, MARY. "What a Young Woman Should Know." Vir
    Co., Philadelphia. $1.00. (The best-known book, preferred by the
    majority of mothers.)


  EXNER, M.J. "Problems and Principles of Sex-Education."
    Association Press. $.10. (Study of college men, and an essay on

  EXNER, M.J. "The Physician's Answer." Association Press.
    $.15. (Summary of opinions of numerous physicians concerning the
    problems of young men.)

  EXNER, M.J. "The Rational Sex Life for Men." Association
    Press. $.15. (Good, and helpful to many young men.)

  HALL, W.S. "From Youth into Manhood." Association Press.
    $.50. (Highly approved and widely used.)

  HALL, W.S. "Instead of Wild Oats." Revell. $.25. (Bok
    Series, Biological and Sociological basis.)

  HALL, W.S. "Reproduction and Sexual Hygiene." Wynnewood,
    Chicago. $.90. (Very useful book, but criticized by many who
    disagree with the hygienic part.)

  HALL, W.S. "Sexual Knowledge." Intern. Bible House.
    Philadelphia. $1.00. (Useful for both men and women. Includes
    the best of the above book.)

  HOWARD, WILLIAM LEE. "Plain Facts on Sex Hygiene." Clode.
    $1.00. (Sensational and exaggerated statements concerning social
    diseases; language unnecessarily offensive in places; but
    discussion of "continence" is good.)

  HOWELL and KEYES. "The Sexual Necessity."
    S.S.M.P. $.03.

  LOWRY, E.B., and LAMBERT, R.J. "Himself: Talks
    with Men concerning Themselves." Forbes. $1.00. (Accurate in
    facts; not well arranged; not "the best book," as the publishers

  LYDSTON, G. FRANK. "Sex Hygiene for the Male." Riverton,
    Chicago. $2.25. (Readable, fairly reliable, but not worth the

  MARTIN, H.N. "Human Body--Advanced Course." Holt. $2.50.
    (Last chapter, especially in 1910 edition.)

  MOORE, H.H. "Keeping in Condition." Macmillan. $1.00. (A
    physical training book.)

  MORROW, PRINCE A. "Health and Hygiene of Sex." S.S.M.P.
    $.05. (The best-known pamphlet for college men.)

  SPEER, ROBERT E. "A Young Man's Questions." Revell. $.80.

  SPERRY, LYMAN B. "Confidential Talks with Young Men."
    Revell. $.75.

  STALL, SYLVANUS. "What a Young Husband Ought to Know."
    Vir Co., Philadelphia. $1.00. (This and the next are useful to
    men who prefer a religious approach to sexual information.)

  STALL, SYLVANUS. "What a Young Man Ought to Know." Vir
    Co., Philadelphia. $1.00.

  WILSON, ROBERT N. "American Boy and the Social Evil."
    Winston. $1.00.


  COCKS, ORRIN G. "Engagement and Marriage." Association
    Press. $.25. (Talks to young men, but young women should be

  COWAN, JOHN. "Science of a New Life." 1869. $3.00.
    (Obsolete, unreliable, unscientific; but widely sold by magazine

  DAVIDSON, HUGH S. "Marriage and Motherhood." Dodge. $.25.

  DAVIS, E.P. "Mother and Child." Lippincott. $1.50.

  FOERSTER, F.W. "Marriage and the Sex Problem." Stokes.
    $1.35. (An important book.)

  HOLT, L.E. "Care and Feeding of Children." Appleton.
    $.75. (The well-known nursery guide by the famous pediatrician.)

  HOWARD, W.L. "Facts for the Married." Clode. $1.00.
    (Good, from a physician's standpoint.)

  JORDAN, W.J. "Little Problems of Married Life." Revell.
    $1.00. (Essays which touch many problems of home life.)

  KEY, ELLEN. "Love and Marriage." Putnam. $1.50. (The
    greatest work of this famous Swedish author.)

  SALEEBY, C.W. "Parenthood and Race Culture." Moffat,
    Yard. $2.50. (Popular eugenics.)

  SPERRY, LYMAN B. "Confidential Talks with Husband and
    Wife." Revell. $1.00.

  WOOD-ALLEN, MARY. "Ideal Married Life." Revell. $1.25.
    (Best book by this well-known physician and author.)


  CASTLE, W.E. "Heredity in Relation to Evolution and
    Animal Breeding." Appleton. $1.50.

  CONKLIN, F.G. "Heredity and Environment in the
    Development of Men." Princeton University Press. $2.00.

  DAVENPORT, C.B. "Heredity in Relation to Eugenics." Holt.

  DAWSON, G.E. "Right of the Child to be Well Born." Funk.

  DONCASTER, L. "Heredity in the Light of Recent Research."
    Putnam. $.40.

  GEDDES, P., and THOMSON, J.A. "Evolution." Holt.

  GUYER, M.F. "Being Well Born." Bobbs-Merrill. $1.00.

  KELLICOTT, W.E. "The Social Direction of Human
    Evolution." Appleton. $1.50.

  PUNNETT, R.C. "Mendelism." Macmillan. $.50.

  SALEEBY, C.W. "Parenthood and Race Culture." Moffat,
    Yard. $2.50.

  THOMSON, J.A. "Heredity." Putnam. $3.50.

  WALTER, H.E. "Genetics." Macmillan. $1.50.


Abnormality, in literature, 129 ff.

Adolescence, and sex-instruction, 146 ff.

Adults, and special sex-instruction, 26.

Æsthetics of sex, 4, 74, 197.

Affection, 163;
  "consecration of," 210;
  in marriage, 189.

Aims, of sex-education, 92, 94;
  of sex-education societies, 228.

Animals, and human sexuality, 72.

Arguments, for sex-instruction, 28 ff.

Asceticism, 69.

Athletics, and sex, 141.

Attitude, towards sex, 26, 67 ff.;
  and morals, 75.

Bibliography, 238 ff.

Biology, 56, 65;
  and ethics, 102 ff.;
  and sex-instruction, 147;
  moral value, 217.

Books, as teachers, 121 ff., 241 ff.;
  _see also_ literature.

Boys, influence on, 158;
  special instruction, 148-250.

Cabot, R.C., 63, 210 ff.

Childhood, 25.

Children, ignorant of sex, 204.

Circumcision, 139.

Coeducation, in sex-instruction, 109;
  and sex adjustment, 80.

Continence, 160 ff., 176 ff.;
  of women, 190 ff.

Contraception, and ethics, 219.

Control, of sex instincts, 18.

Criticisms, of sex-education, 203 ff.;
  conclusions regarding, 226.

Curiosity, denied by Repplier and Taft, _q.v._

Dancing, 169 ff., 200.

Diseases, social or venereal, 37 ff.

Dress, of women, 174 ff., 200.

Education, as a solution, 19, 88;
  coeducation, 80;
  sex-differentiated, 82.

Eliot, C.W., 71.

Emissions, 149.

Ethics, and biology, 102;
  and sex-hygiene, 61 ff;
  of sex, 4.

Eugenics, 86 ff.;
  aim of, 105;
  and ethics, 103.

Europe, and sex problems, 59 ff.;
  morality in, 59;
  sex-hygiene in, 230.

Evolution, and vulgarity, 75.

Fiction, and sex tragedies, 127.

Foerster, 70.

Frankness, 206.

Friendships, of children, 136.

Fulton, J.S., 40.

Future, of sex-education, 234-237.

Genetics, 87.

Girls, special instruction, 151;
  unprotected, 191.

Gonorrhea, _see_ Diseases.

Good, and evil, 215.

Hamilton, Cosmo, 208.

Hartley, C. Gasquoine, 82 ff.

Heredity, 87;
  and sex-education, 104.

History, of sex-education, 227 ff.

Homes, and sex-instruction, 21.

Hunger, two kinds, 73.

Hygiene, and ethics, 210 ff.;
  of sex, 1-4, 25.

Ideals, of manhood, 185;
  of womanhood, 157;
  of love and marriage, 159, 187.

Ignorance, 45, 50, 54;
  of children, 12-14.

Illegitimacy, 52 ff., 59.

Immorality, 38;
  danger in teaching, 67.

Instincts, sexual, 16-18.

Intellectualism, and sex, 83.

Kallikak family, 103.

Key, Ellen, 64, 79.

Knowledge, and will, 217.

Lectures, on sex-hygiene, 100.

Legislation, and social diseases, 47.

Literature, general list, 241 ff.;
  for parents, 33;
  on marriage, 79;
  on diseases, 39;
  on sex, 11;
  on social evil, 52;
  general and sex, 124 ff.;
  general references, 238 ff.;
  for young men, 161, 183;
  for young women, 201;
  radical sex, 193.

Marriage, 159, 187;
  a sex problem, 71 ff.

Masturbation, 137 ff.

Maxwell, W.H., 221.

Men, as leaders in love, 188;
  instruction for, 156 ff.

Misunderstanding, of sex, 5.

Monogamy, 59.

Morality, 58 ff.;
  double standard, 42.

Morrow, P.A., 37, 70;
  leader, 227.

Mothercraft, 155.

Mothers, and boys, 111;
  first teachers, 111.

Mystery, and sex, 15.

Names, of sex organs, 148 ff.

National Education Association, resolution on sex-instruction, 232.

Nature-study, 133.

Need, of sex-instruction, 11, 19.

Neumann, H., 221.

Oliphant, James, 159.

Optimism, sex, 196.

Organization, of sex-education, 96 ff.

Parents, and daughters, 184, 190;
  coöperation of, 23;
  responsibility, 14;
  attitude, 30.

Parkinson, W.D., 41.

Passion, 58.

Pessimism, sex, 72, 84, 196.

Poetry, 124 ff.

Pre-adolescence, 25, 133 ff.

Problems of sex, 28 ff., 92, 95.

Promiscuity, 38.

Propagandism, needed, 28 ff.

Prophylactics, venereal, 219.

Prostitution, 48 ff., 164;
  protective knowledge for women, 199.

Reading, concerning perversion and vice, 51.

Refinement, of men, 167.

Religion, approach to sex-instruction, 209.

Repplier, Agnes, 203.

Reproduction, and sex, 5.

Responsibility, indirect of women, 195;
  individual, 18;
  of parents, 30.

Sanitation, and morals, 229;
  _see also_ hygiene and ethics.

Self-abuse, 137 ff.

Self-control, 70, 173, 176-182;
  of women, 190 ff.

Sensationalism, 233.

Sex-education, definition, 1;
  larger view of, 27;
  need of, 11;
  problems of, 28 ff.;
  relations, 4.

Sex-hygiene, 1-5;
  adequacy, 43;
  personal, 35 ff.;
  social, 3;
  and eugenics, 86;
  and ethics, 114, 212 ff.;
  personal, 98 ff.

Sex-instruction, in schools, 20, 23;
  in homes, 21;
  in high schools, 24;
  many-sided, 89.

Sex, meaning of the word, 6-10.

Social diseases, 166;
  essential knowledge to be taught, 107.

Social evil, 4, 48 ff.

Social hygiene, 3;
  and ethics, 101.

Societies, for sex problems, 231, 232.

Society for Prophylaxis, 62.

Super-morality, 64 ff.

Syphilis, _see_ Diseases.

Taft, W.H., 224.

Task, of sex-education, 90.

Teachers, of sex facts, 108;
  for classes, 113;
  married women, 110;
  same sex as pupils, 109;
  undesirable, 115.

Teaching, morals, 216 ff.;
  personal, 205, 214.

Tennyson, and sex lessons, 125.

Vulgarity, 67 ff.

Women, and diseases, 45;
  instruction for, 184 ff.

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