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very quickly quiet after retiring, and when looked at appears to be
asleep, the bedclothes should be quickly thrown off under some pretense.
If, in the case of a boy, the penis is found in a state of erection,
with the hands near the genitals, he may certainly be treated as a
masturbator without any error. If he is found in a state of excitement,
in connection with the other evidences, with a quickened circulation
as indicated by the pulse, or in a state of perspiration, his guilt
is certain, even though he may pretend to be asleep; no doubt he has
been addicted to the vice for a considerable time to have acquired so
much cunning. If the same course is pursued with girls, under the same
circumstances, the clitoris will be found congested, with the other
genital organs, which will also be moist from increased secretion.
Other conditions will be as nearly as possible the same as those in
Stains upon the night shirt or sheets, occurring before puberty, are
certain evidences of the vice in boys, as they are subject, before that
time, to no discharge which will leave a stain resembling that from
the seminal fluid, except the rare one from piles. In the very young,
these stains do not occur; but when the habit is acquired before puberty,
a discharge resembling semen takes place before the ordinary period.
Of course, the stains from urine will be easily distinguished from
others. The frequent occurrence of such stains after puberty is a
suspicious circumstance. A discharge in some respects similar may occur
Before puberty, the effect of the vice upon the genital organs is to
cause an unnatural development, in both sexes, of the sensitive
portions. When this is marked, it is pretty conclusive evidence of the
vice. In girls, the vagina often becomes unnaturally enlarged, and
leucorrhoea is often present. After puberty, the organs usually
diminish in size, and become unnaturally lax and shrunken.
All of these signs should be thoroughly mastered by those who have
children under their care, and if not continually watching for them,
which would be an unpleasant task, such should be on the alert to detect
the signs at once when they appear, and then carefully seek for others
until there is no longer any doubt about the case.
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