Self Abuse and the Single Fella (SFW)

“This… substance, the spermin, is carried to his central nerve system, to his spinal cord, his medulla oblongata, and his brain, and hammered into these by his strong young heart… He begins to act like a man; he begins to think like a man; he begins to do big things in a man’s way; he begins to make ambitious plans in a man’s way; and he is a man, every inch of him a man… there is a new light in his eye. This light is nothing more nor less than light from the kindling fire of manhood…

In this connection, it must be noted that some boys and young man seriously interfere with this natural process of developing from youth into manhood by the act of masturbation or self-abuse. If this act is begun before puberty, and continued at comparatively frequent intervals, say, three or four times a week, or daily, the youth might almost as well have no testicles during such period of self-abuse; and if persisted in during the years of puberty, he will, instead of developing into the hard-muscled, fiery-eyed, ambitious young man described above, develop into a flabby-muscled, namby-pamby, cowardly molly-coddle, lacking in initiative and will power.”

Dr. Hall’s Sexual Knowledge

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Ah! This is a return of my beloved scientific terms “namby-pamby” and “molly-coddle.And as we’ve seen in the past, Dr. Hall has quite the fixation on what defines manhood and virility in all its sweaty-chested, broad-shouldered, heavy-breathing glory. Read into that what you will.

Move Over, Toxic Shock Syndrome

“At this critical period [puberty], the seeds of hereditary and constitutional diseases manifest themselves. They draw fresh malignancy from the new activity of the system. The first symptoms of tubercular consumption, of scrofula, of obstinate and disfiguring skin diseases, of hereditary insanity, of congenital epilepsy, of a hundred terrible maladies, from which have lurked in the child, biding the opportunity of attack, suddenly spring from their lairs, and hurry her to the grave or the madhouse. If we ask why so many fair girls of eighteen or twenty are followed by weeping friends to an early tomb, the answer is, chiefly from diseases which had their origin at the period of puberty.”

–The Physical Life of Woman

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Goodness! Those “It happened to me!” sections in YM and Seventeen never prepared me for an onset of madness or scrofula!

The Indolent Don’t Have It So Easy After All

“In relation to the amount of the [menstrual] discharge, every woman is a law unto herself. Usually, it is four or five ounces in all. Habits of life are apt to modify it materially. Here, again, those exposed to prolonged cold and inured to severe labor escape more easily than their sisters petted in the lap of luxury. Delicate, feeble, nervous women — those, in other words, who can least afford the loss of blood — are precisely those who lose the most. Nature, who is no tender mother, but a stern step-mother, thus punishes them for disregarding her laws. Soft couches, indolent ease, highly spiced food, warm rooms, weak muscles — these are the infractions of her rules which she revenges with vigorous, ay, merciless severity.”

–The Physical Life of Woman

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You lazy, lazy women need to get off of your chaise lounges and quit bleeding so goddamn much.

Puberty: You Better Not Screw It Up

“The foundation of old age, says a distinguished author, is laid in childhood; but the health of middle-life depends upon puberty. Never was there a truer maxim. The two years which change the girl to the woman often seal for ever the happiness or the hopeless misery of her whole life. They decide whether she is to become a healthy, helpful, cheerful wife and mother, or a languid, complaining invalid, to whom marriage is a curse, children an affliction, and life itself a burden.”

–The Physical Life of Woman

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That’s weird — I always thought Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret was more about boys and bras ‘n stuff.

Kids Are Stimulated by the Darndest Things

“Whatever stimulates the emotions leads to an unnaturally early sexual life. Late hours, children’s parties, sensational novels, ‘flashy’ papers, love stories, the drama, the ball-room, talk of beaux, love and marriage, –that atmosphere of riper years which is so often and so injudiciously thrown around childhood, –all hasten the event which transforms the girl into the woman.”

–The Physical Life of Woman

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My goodness! Apparently children’s parties and “flashy papers” were a lot more interesting in the 1890s.