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this artful vice. If he attempts to argue, his points are not clearly
made. He may be superficially quick and cute, but is incapable of deep
thought, or abstruse reasoning; is often very dull of apprehension.
Ideas are not presented in logical order, but seem to fall out
promiscuously, and fairly represent the condition of a disordered brain.
Attempts at joking are generally failures, as the jest is sure to be
inappropriate or vulgar, and no one but himself sees any occasion for
laughter except at his stupidity. Such individuals are not scarce.
17. Boys in whom the habit has become well developed sometimes manifest
a decided aversion to the society of girls; but this is not nearly so
often the case as some authors seem to indicate. It would rather appear
that the opposite is more often true. Girls usually show an increasing
fondness for the society of boys, and are very prone to exhibit marked
evidences of real wantonness.
18. _Round shoulders_ and a stooping posture in sitting are
characteristics of young masturbators of both sexes. Whenever a child
seats himself, the head and shoulders droop forward, giving to the spine
a curved appearance.
19. _Weak backs, pains in the limbs, and stiffness of the joints_, in
children, are familiar signs of the habit. To the first of these
conditions is due the habitual stooping posture assumed by these
children. The habit referred to is not the only cause of these
conditions, but its causative occurrence is sufficiently frequent to
give it no small importance as a suspicious indication.
20. _Paralysis_ of the lower extremities, coming on without apparent
cause, is not infrequently the result of solitary indulgence, even in
very small children. We have seen several cases in which this condition
was traced to the habit of masturbation, in children under six years
21. The _gait_ of a person addicted to this vice will usually betray
him to one who has learned to distinguish the peculiarities which almost
always mark the walk of such persons. In a child, a dragging, shuffling
walk is to be suspected. Boys, in walking rapidly, show none of that
elasticity which characterizes a natural gait, but walk as if they had
been stiffened in the hips, and as though their legs were pegs attached
to the body by hinges. The girl wriggles along in a style quite as
characteristic, though more difficult to detect with certainty, as
females are often so "affected" in their walk. Unsteadiness of gait
is an evidence seen in both sexes, especially in advanced cases.
22. _Bad positions_ in bed are evidences which should be noticed. If
a child lies constantly upon its abdomen, or is often found with its
hands about the genitals, it may be at least considered in a fair way
to acquire the habit if it has not already done so.
23. _Lack of development of the breasts_ in females, after puberty,
is a common result of self-pollution. Still it would be entirely unsafe
to say that every female with small mammary glands had been addicted
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