This section is from the book "The Transmission Of Life. Counsels On The Nature And Hygiene Of The Masculine Function", by George H. Napheys. Also available from Amazon: The Transmission of Life.
While this precocious knowledge was at one time not con-demned as it deserved to be, and as it now is, proper informa-tion on the subject is still singularly lacking. As Mr. Acton correctly remarks: " It is but seldom, and then incidentally, that these matters are treated of in books. Nevertheless ignorance, or false ideas respecting them, has caused much evil, and much domestic misery. It is generally assumed that instinct teaches adults how these functions should be exercised. But from several cases that have come under my notice, I should say that many would be entirely ignorant but for previously incontinent habits, or from such notions as they pick up from watching animals." He gives as an instance one of his patients, a member of the Society of Friends, who had been married for some years, and who, out of mere ignorance, had never consummated the ceremony.
Parallel examples come to the knowledge of most physi cians who have long been members of the profession. It is no very extraordinary experience to be called to a case of confinement, and to discover that the woman is, strictly speaking, still a virgin. The celebrated accoucheur, Professor Meigs, of Philadelphia, used to relate in his lectures several instances of the kind from his own practice. And so recently as last year (1869), we find a communication by Dr. H. L. Horton, of Poughkeepsie, New York, in the Medical and .Surqical Reporter, describing a similar case in which he was attending physician. The husband, when questioned, stated that his wife had always found the act painful, and expressed his disappointment, while in fact, although she was at term and was shortly delivered of a healthy child, an examination showed she never had actually yielded.
The same Journal, in a later number, contains an article by Dr. Quimby, of Jersey City, where after several years of marriage, under like circumstances, a coldness and ultimate separation arose. Indeed, nearly always, domestic disappointment is the consequence of this ignorance.
We had one instance brought to our notice where, through ignorance and timidity, nearly a year had elapsed after the persons had married, and yet it had not been consummated. The husband knew something was wrong, and it led to a separation which came near being final.
As when nature is balked in this manner, there must be a hindrance to normal domestic relations, it is proper that parents should see that young persons of both sexes who are about to enter matrimony have a proper understanding of its duties.