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.
Foreign writers have spoken much of the means for the personal prevention of diseases of this character. Very minute directions are given, and certain chemical preservatives recommended, by the application of which immediately after exposure, the virus which conveys the disease is neutralized, and deprived of its poisonous properties. Certain mechanical appliances have been brought before the professional public by American surgeons for the same purpose, and their use has been defended by the well-known surgeon, Dr. Bum-stead, of New York, on the ground that " the passions always will control, as they always have controlled, the moral sense of the greater part of man and womankind, and as the effects of vice are by no means confined to the guilty, their prevention is no unworthy subject of consideration." While con-reding the force of this expression of so eminent a teacher, we still fear that such information, if given publicly and promiscuously, might tend to remove one of the barriers which now keep men in the path of rectitude. We therefore believe such instructions should be kept for individual instances, and reserved for those cases, in married life, where, on the one hand, an abstinence on the part of the husband might lead to bitter feeling, or destruction of domestic ties from suspicion and jealousy; and on the other, should he not abstain, he might involve her in his own misfortune.
They are also justifiable when a wife has a discharge of the character we have mentioned, which is liable to produce a disease apparently specific in character, in her husband. Some men are extremely sensitive to any exposure of this kind, while others suffer it with impunity.
Instances may also occur, and, to our knowledge, do occur, where men engaged to be married, and the day fixed, contract shortly before their wedding one of these diseases. A thousand social reasons combine to prevent them obtaining a delay; they are often not aware of the full extent of the danger to which they will expose their bride and their children; they are not very conscientious; such marriages are often for policy or convenience, and they marry. If they could save their wives' health, they would. They generally can, and it is the least that can be asked of them to do so.
Yet as we have said, with these contingencies in our mind, we have not felt it would be right to detail the means recommended, lest we should in some degree shear of its proper terrors illicit intercourse.
[Authors and Works referred to on these topics. - Dr. Wm. A. Hammond, On Venereal Diseases ; Wm. Acton, On Prostitution; Durkee, On Gonorrhoea and Syphilis; Dr. Berkeley Hill, On Venereal Diseases; Barton, Nature and Treatment of Syphilis; Colles, On Syphilis; Cullerier, Atlas of Venereal Diseases ; Dr. J. F. Bumstead, On Venereal Diseases; Lancereaux, Traite de la Syphilis, Dr. P. Diday, Nouvelles Doctrines sur la Syphilis, and Infantile Syphilis ; Ricord, Lettres sur la Syphilis ; The Westmin-ster Review for July, 1869, January and April, 1870; Stein, in New York Medical Journal; and numerous monographs, reports, discussions, and articles in the recent medical periodicals.]