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in finer terms the same foul thoughts, and hide in loose insinuations
more smut than words could well express. Women who think themselves
rare paragons of virtue can find no greater pleasure than in the
discussion of the latest scandal, speculations about the chastity of
Mrs. A. or Mr. B., and gossip about the "fall" of this man's daughter
or the amorous adventures of that woman's son.
Masculine purity loves to regard woman as chaste in mind as well as
in body, to surround her with conceptions of purity and impregnable
virtue; but the conclusion is irresistible that those who can gloat
over others' lapses from virtue, and find delight in such questionable
entertainments as the most recent case of seduction, or the newest
scandal, have need to purify their hearts and re-enforce their waning
chastity. Nevertheless, a writer says, and perhaps truly, that "the
women comprise about all the real virtue there is in the world."
Certainly if they were one-half as bad as the masculine portion of
humanity, the world would be vastly worse than it is.
Causes of Unchastity.--Travelers among the North American Indians have
been struck with the almost entire absence of that abandonment to vice
which might be expected in a race uninfluenced by the moral restraints
of Christianity. When first discovered in their native wilds, they were
free from both the vices and the consequent diseases of civilization.
This fact points unmistakably to the conclusion that there must be
something in the refinements and perversions of civilized life which
is unfavorable to chastity, notwithstanding all the restraints which
religion and the conventionalisms of society impose. Can we find such
influences? Yes; they abound on every hand and leave their blight in
most unwelcome places, oft unsuspected, even, till the work of ruin
Early Causes.--The earliest of all causes is hereditary predisposition.
As we have shown, a child conceived in lust can no more be chaste by
nature than a negro can be a Caucasian. But back of this there is a
deeper cause, as we shall see, one that affects parents as well as
offspring. Between infancy and puberty, are in operation, all those
influences mentioned under "Sexual Precocity."
The frequent custom of allowing children of the opposite sex to sleep
together, even until eight or ten years of age, or longer, is a dangerous
one. We have known of instances in which little boys of seven or eight
have been allowed to sleep with girls of fourteen or sixteen, in some
of which most shameful lessons were taught, and by persons who would
not be suspected of such an impropriety. In one instance a little boy
of eight, occupying the same bed with three girls several years older,
was used for illustration by the older girl in instructing the younger
ones in the _modus operandi_ of reproduction. The sexes should be
carefully separated from each other at least as early as four or five
years of age, under all circumstances which could afford opportunity
for observing the physical differences of the sexes, or in any way serve
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