This Is What Teenage Girls Were Taught About Masturbation In 1918


In 1918, she wrote the book, which contained advice for young women about relationships, diet, and beauty.

The book was part of the “Self and Sex” series, but never shall the twain meet.

Here’s a chapter of the book titled, uh, “Solitary Vice” (emphasis ours):

As the reproductive system awakens to activity it naturally attracts the attention of the girl, and an effort should be made to call her thoughts to other themes.

As I have said before, the reading of sensational love stories is most detrimental. The descriptions of passionate love scenes arouse in the reader a thrill through her own sexual organism that tends to increase its activity and derange its normal state. Girls often mature into women earlier than they should, because through romances, through jests of associates in regard to beaus and lovers, and through indulgence in sentimental fancies their sexual systems are unduly stimulated and aroused. This stimulation sometimes leads to the formation of an evil habit, known as self-abuse. The stimulation of the sex organs is accompanied with a pleasurable sensation, and this excitement may be created by mechanical means, or even by thought. Many girls who are victims of this most injurious habit are unaware of its dangers, although they instinctively feel that they do not want it known. Others who would not stoop to a mechanical exciting of themselves do so through thoughts, and do not know that they are just as truly guilty of self-abuse as the girl who uses the hand or other mechanical means.

The results of self-abuse are most disastrous. It destroys mental power and memory, it blotches the complexion, dulls the eye, takes away the strength, and may even cause insanity. It is a habit most difficult to overcome, and may not only last for years, but in its tendency be transmitted to one’s children.

If you have from the first thought nobly of yourself, you will have fallen into no such debasing habit. But if, through ignorance, you have acquired it, how shall you overcome it?

I should hesitate to write more on this subject did I not know that many girls fall victims to this evil through ignorance, and many who thus fall could and would have been saved had they been rightly instructed. I therefore desire that you shall be wise.

Every normal function of the body is attended with a pleasurable sensation. We enjoy eating, seeing, walking. Odors bring sensations which are agreeable, the sense of touch may give pleasure, and as we enjoy these sensations in fact, so we may enjoy them in memory or in imagination. We can recall the beauty of the rose, the perfume of the mignonette, the flavor of the orange, or we can imagine new combinations of these delights. We feel joy or grief through reading vivid descriptions, or we can ourselves create imaginary scenes in which we are actors, who suffer or enjoy.

The reproductive system is the seat of great nervous susceptibility, and the excitation of these nerves gives a pleasurable sensation. This excitation may be thought a local mechanical irritation or it may be mental. In little children it may be caused by lack of cleanliness of the external organs. An irritation is produced, and an attempt to allay this by rubbing produces an agreeable feeling, which may be repeated until the evil habit of self-abuse is formed.

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Categories: Sex

2 Comments on “This Is What Teenage Girls Were Taught About Masturbation In 1918”

  1. bwglynn
    October 1, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    Very little has changed I see 🙂 Now bring me my broth, some mead and my slippers and pipe, and darn my darned socks!

    • October 1, 2013 at 1:52 am #

      Ahhh, the good ole days. Where has darning of socks gone? And why doesn’t someone bring it back?. I blame the internet. 🙂 x

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