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Why a Woman Does not Breathe Like a Man.--It is undoubtedly true that
most women do breathe almost exclusively with the upper part of the
chest; but whether this is a _natural_ peculiarity, or an acquired,
unnatural, and depraved one, is a question which we are decidedly
inclined to answer in harmony with the latter supposition, basing our
conclusion on the following undeniable facts:--
1. In childhood, and until about the age of puberty, respiration in
the boy and the girl is exactly the same.
2. Although there is a change in the mode of respiration in most females,
usually soon after the period of puberty, marked by increased
intercostal respiration and diminished abdominal or deep respiration,
this change can be accounted for on other than physiological grounds.
3. We believe the cause of this modification of respiration is the
change in dress which is usually made about that time. The young girl
is now becoming a woman, and must acquire the art of lacing, wearing
a corset, "stays," and sundry other contrivances by means of which to
produce a "fine form" by distorting and destroying all natural grace
and beauty in the "form divine."
4. We have met a number of ladies whose good fortune and good sense
had delivered them from the distorting influence of corset-wearing and
tight-lacing, and we have invariably observed that they are as capable
of deep respiration as men, and practice it as naturally.
We are thoroughly convinced that this so-called physiological
difference between man and woman is really a pathological rather than
a natural difference, and is due to the evils of fashionable dress,
which we have exposed at some length in another work exclusively devoted
to that subject. In short, we believe that the only reason why women
do not, under ordinary circumstances, breathe as do men, is simply
_because they can not_ breathe naturally.
[Footnote 2: "Evils of Fashionable Dress, and How to Dress
The Reproductive Elements.--As has been previously observed, in all
except the very lowest forms of life, two elements are necessary to
the production of a new individual, or a reproduction of the species--a
male element and a female element. The special organs by means of which
these elements are produced, brought together, and developed into the
new individual in a more or less perfect state, are termed _sexual
organs_, as we have already seen. As an introduction to the specific
study of the sexual organs in the human species, let us briefly consider
Sexual Organs of Plants.--As already remarked, flowers are the sexual
organs of plants. Nothing is more interesting in the natural world than
the wonderful beauty, diversity, and perfect adaptability to various
conditions and functions, which we see in the sexual parts of plants.
An exceedingly interesting line of study, which has occupied the
attention of many naturalists, is the wonderful perfection displayed
in the adaptability of the male and female parts of plants to each other.
Without burdening the reader with unnecessary technicalities of detail,
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