This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
Conscience, that secret monitor which decides the righteousness or sinfulness of our actions, is the result of education, and has a tremendous influence upon the guidance of the sexual instinct. Most children either have no instruction in regard to the sexual function or they have been wrongly taught.
To send children to church, and leave all moral guidance to its influence, is not sufficient. It is idle to promulgate lofty theories and sentiments when we are brought face to face with conditions that should be handled practically. It may appear beautiful to teach a boy to sing, "There is sunshine in my soul today," but we who have seen the miserable mental depression and physical suffering resulting from gonorrhea and syphilis contracted by unthinking youths, or the despondency with which they suffer later on in life as the result of masturbation, know that it is far wiser to talk to them plainly about the sexual functions and give them that knowledge that all boys are eager to receive, and thus save them from the pitfalls that lurk in their pathway by an earnest appeal to their reasoning faculties.
Many people look with disapproval upon any effort to solve the problem of social vice. They pride themselves in their ignorance and call this purity, but violations of natural laws in innocence and ignorance are attended with the same penalty as other crimes of misconduct.
To teach children to sing, "We will walk in the light," and not forewarn them of the consequences of physical degradation and vice, is mockery and deceit.
It is in early childhood that we can plant sense impressions or suggestions upon the soft tablets of their brain plasm, and so form habits of thought and action that will make them conquerors in life. The consequences of vice as a hindrance to their development should be explained to children, and constantly iterated and repeated by those responsible for their training. They should be made to feel that every part of their body was created for a purpose, and that function should be carefully explained to them. They should not be allowed to become ashamed of their procrea-tive organs, but should be taught to regard their care and preservation as a sacred trust, and that upon that care and preservation their future happiness, health, and success in life will largely depend.
Children should be taught that every living thing, from man down to the lowest insect, comes into the world as the result of the union between the sexes by coaptation of the sexual organs, and that, instead of regarding sexual cohabitation as low and degraded, it is nature's method of procreating the species, and therefore the most sacred of all relations. As a means of self-preservation, they should be taught the harmful effects of self-pollution, or pollution by others, and wisely trained to bring their bodies, minds, and characters into perfect manhood and womanhood, so that they can be prepared to enter the marriage relation well qualified for man's and woman's greatest usefulness to the world - that of populating it with children well endowed with all the physical and psychical attributes to make the highest type of the species.
There is a time in the life of every boy and girl, just as they enter the age of puberty, when they feel the thrill of the sexual impulse, and, witnessing the rapid development of the organs of generation, they seek from every available source information upon this most vital subject, and in the majority of instances are falsely educated by those who are thrown in their environment, without the slightest warning of the danger that comes from the abuse of these most beautiful emotions and most worthy aspirations. Children should know that such passions are but an evidence of energy that seeks to find expression in their lives and conduct, and that such energies can, by the guidance of reason, be turned into intellectual and physical development. They should be so trained that their habits of thought and action during the first twenty years of life will produce strong bodies, clear minds, and buoyant, happy spirits. The best development comes in the unconscious exercise of a child's faculties in wholesome endeavor and useful employment, such as will call both mind and body into action.
Children should be taught to know that their bodily passions are but the indications of awakening and developing capabilities of mind and body, and that these they can restrain, control, direct, and govern. They should be taught how to divert their surplus energy into channels of useful work and achievement - such as will result in mental development and muscular strength, and that will qualify them to make the fight against environment for all that constitutes success, happiness, and usefulness in the world. The results of masturbation should be carefully explained to them, and the possibility of disease and pregnancy resulting from an effort to gratify their passions in an illegitimate way should be pointed out.
Children have a right to know the truth about all these questions of life which most concern their future welfare. We warn them against the danger of firearms and deep water, and of the risk they take in exposure to ferocious beasts, but the care and protection of their minds and bodies we leave too often to the guidance of utterly unreliable sources.
The meaning of kissing, hugging, fondling, and caressing between the sexes should be taught, and the utility of these love manifestations in the marriage relation emphasized, both for their future happiness as well as a means of self-protection from the standpoint of virtue and as a safeguard from disease.
The moral cowardice of men and women in regard to these matters is worthy of deepest contempt. Even some physicians, who reap a reward of thousands of dollars yearly on account of the indiscretions of ignorance and youth, vigorously protest against any movement to educate and enlighten those who are surrounded by a thousand pitfalls.