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that parents seldom perform even when they are not unaware of the danger.
They in some way convince themselves that their children are pure, at
least, even if others are corrupt. It is often the most difficult thing
in the world for parents to comprehend the fact that _their_ children
are not the best children in the world, perfect paragons of purity and
innocence. There is an unaccountable and unreasonable delicacy on the
part of parents about speaking of sexual subjects to their children.
In consequence, their young, inquisitive minds are left wholly in
ignorance unless, perchance, they gain information from some vile
Objections are raised against talking to children or young persons
about matters in any degree pertaining to the sexual organs or functions.
Some of the more important of them are considered in the introduction
to this work, and we need not repeat here.
The little one should be taught from earliest infancy to abstain from
handling the genitals, being made to regard it as a very improper act.
When the child becomes old enough to understand and reason, he may be
further informed of the evil consequences; then, as he becomes older,
the functions of the organs may be explained with sufficient fullness
to satisfy his natural craving for knowledge.
If this course were pursued, how many might be saved from ruin! It is,
of course, necessary that the parents shall themselves be acquainted
with the true functions of the organs before they attempt to teach any
one else, especially children. Many parents might receive benefit from
being obliged to "study up;" for it is a lamentable fact, the ill effects
of which are every day seen, that a great many people have spent a very
large portion of their lives without ever ascertaining the true
function of the reproductive organs, though living in matrimony for
many years. Some of the consequences of this ignorance have been
portrayed in previous pages.
"Oh! why did not some kind friend tell me of the harm I was doing myself?"
has been the exclamation of many an unfortunate sufferer from this vice.
A warning voice should be raised to save those who are ignorantly
working their own destruction. Parents, teachers, ministers, all who
have access to the youth, should sound the note of alarm in their ears,
that if possible they may be saved from the terrible thralldom pictured
by a writer in the following lines:--
"The waters have gone over me. But out of the black depths, could I
be heard, I would cry to all those who have set a foot in the perilous
flood. Could the youth look into my desolation, and be made to
understand what a dreary thing it is when a man shall feel himself going
down a precipice with open eyes and passive will--to see his destruction
and have no power to stop it, and yet to feel it all the way emanating
from himself; to perceive all goodness emptied out of him, and yet not
be able to forget a time when it was otherwise; to bear about with him
the spectacle of his own self-ruin; could he feel the body of death
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