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Ten sex talks to girls



rving David Steinhardt



LIBRARY OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA



BEQUEATHED BY
LAWRENCE T. ROYSTER, M. D.



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THIS LITTLE BOOK IS DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR

To

OUR GRANDMOTHERS, OUR MOTHERS, OUR WIVES,
OUR SISTERS, AND OUR DAUGHTERS, IN THE HOPE
THAT ALL OF THEM WILL FIND BOTH PROFIT AND
PLEASURE IN THE KNOWLEDGE ITS PAGES IMPART



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TEN SEX TALKS
TO GIRLS

(14 years and older)



BY

IRVING DAVID STEINHARDT, M.D.

AUTHOR OF " TEN SEX TALKS TO BOYS " (14 YEARS AND OLDER)
INSTRUCTOR IN CLINICAL SURGERY AND ASSISTANT SURGEON, CORNELL UNI-
VERSITY MEDICAL school; ASSISTANT PEDIATRIST, MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL,
O.P.D.. NEW YORK CITY; ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON. NEW YORK HOSPITAL.
O.P.D.. AND BRONX HOSPITAL AND DISPENSARY; FIRST LIEUTEN-
ANT. MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS. U.S. A.; BCEMBER OF AMERICAN
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION; THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MORAL
AND SANITARY PROPHYLAXIS; AND THE AMERICAN
ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE.



WITH SIX ILLUSTRATIONS



PHILADELPHIA & LONDON
J. B. LIPPINCOtT. COMPANY

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COFTRIGBT, I914
BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COICPANT



PUBLISHED FBBKUAKT, I9I4



EUctrotyped and Printed by J, B» Lippincott Company
The Washington Square Preu^ Philadelphia^ U» S, A,



Mi.



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PREFACE

The originals of these lectures or talks to girls
were delivered at the Hebrew Educational So-
ciety of Brooklyn, before the Florence Memorial
Aid Society, the "Evergreens," the Emanu-El
Brotherhood, the Bronx Hospital Assembly, and
elsewhere. The fact that whenever the author de-
livered them the assembly rooms proved too small
to accommodate the would-be audiences shows the
need for simple instructive talks on sex. Hoping
that others would help in this work, the author
offered the lectures for publication to the New York
Medical Journal. This journal accepted and pub-
lished them, and the author was subsequently ad-
vised by its business manager that the demand for
the numbers of the journal in which the talks
appeared by far exceeded the supply. The author
was himself amazed at the large number of re-
quests he received for copies of the series, and the
expressed hopes that he would issue the lectures in
book form for the education of the female public in
general, and in response to these expressions of
approval he respectfully offers this little volume of
the original lectures, revised and somewhat enlarged.
To others interested in this subject, he offers the

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4 PREFACE

use of all or any part of them for lectures or instruc-
tion. To my audiences I gave the privilege of ask-
ing questions. To my readers I extend the same
courtesy, but request that postage be forwarded for
replies.

I wish to extend my thanks to Mr. Charles S.
Bemheimer, of the Hebrew Educational Institute
of Brooklyn, N. Y., to Mrs. Sarah L. S. Spector,
of the Florence Memorial Aid Society of this In-
stitute, to Mr. and Mrs. Tobias Roth, of the Emanu-
El Brotherhood of New York City, to Miss Molly
Cohen, of the " Evergreens," and to my numerous
correspondents who encouraged me in, and were
kind enough to praise, my little series of talks to
girls. I also wish to thank those who assisted me
in the preparation of the manuscript, but who are
too modest to allow me to mention them by name.
It is the hope of the author that this little book will
do something toward saving our girls, little and
big, from wrong-doing and disgrace, and make of
them better daughters, wives, and mothers.
" Forewarned is forearmed."

Irving David Steinhardt, M.D.,
310 West 99th Street,

New York City.
November, 1913.



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INTRODUCTION

In heartily recommending this book to young
people for its sincerity, simplicity, directness, as well
as its scientific accuracy, I take the opportunity af-
forded me by the publishers to present a short state-
ment of my reasons why girls should be deeply in-
terested in these talks on sex hygiene. No one who
stops to think will fail to see that it is radically
wrong to remain ignorant on matters that concern
us vitally and involve our physical and moral de-
velojMiient. The idea that ignorance is essential to
innocence is happily being exploded, and we phy-
sicians are in a better position than the laity to speak
of the wreckage and disaster that result from igno-
rance and neglect of proper instruction on sex
hygiene. The human machine is a very wonderful
and complex kind of mechanism, and, as we know,
the more complicated and delicate a mechanism is,
the more easily it gets out of order. The disturb-
ance of any part of it might prove disastrous to the
entire mechanism. The life of this most complex
human machine depends on the proper adjustment
of the parts of our body to one another as well as to
the outside world (which is our environment). Man
is superior to all other creatures because of his

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6 INTRODUCTION

superior intelligence, which he uses constantly to
change and modify the outside world so as to make
adjustment easier and more sure. The same effort
of human intelligence ought to be applied to the
internal adjustment of our organs to their functions
and needs. This automatic internal adjustment
goes on from the day of our birth to that of our
death. However, the most strenuous period of our
adjustment is the period that we call adolescence
(special growth), during the ages of twelve to
eighteen or twenty. During this period every organ
practically is competing for its fullest development
During this period we are particularly sensitive and
susceptible to impressions good or bad. During this
period we form good or bad habits. During this
period the sex instinct begins to assert itself con-
sciously. Therefore it is in this period of all in life
that understanding and guidance are most necessary.
And in no direction are intelligent guidance and
understanding more essential than with reference to
the preparation for the normal and wholesome dis-
charge of our bodily functions, particularly the func-
tion of parenthood. The teaching of anatomy and
physiology in school and at home has been sadly
neglected in the past, while any teaching upon mat-
ters of reproduction and sex hygiene has been
frowned on in the name of modesty and morality.
But we are beginning to see at last that it is an



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INTRODUCTION 7

insult to commonsense and to real morality to assume
that there is anything shameful or indecent in learn-
ing to understand our instincts and the functions of
our bodies. The immodesty and immorality lie in
the old-fashioned attitude toward it. The study of
physiology and hygiene of sex is bound to have the
same effect on character that the study of natural
science, psychology, and philosophy have, namely,
to deepen our reverence for the wonderful processes
of nature and to intensify our desire to make the best
of our faculties and carefully fit ourselves for our
noblest part in life.

Rachelle S. Yarros, M.D.,

Chairman of Social Hygiene of General

Federation of Women's Clubs.



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TEN SEX TALKS TO
GIRLS



In discussing matters pertaining to sex and the
sexual relations, one is usually handicapped by the
wide-spread, prevailing, but absolutely wrong idea
that such things should not be spoken of plainly,
and especially to the very young. If mentioned at
all, they are referred to in a vague and mysterious
manner, which, instead of enlightening and instruct-
ing in a proper way, merely arouses a deep and most
dangerous curiosity. This curiosity demands a com-
plete and plain understanding; but unfortunately for
the benefit and the future well-being of our growing
population, both male and female, this understand-
ing is usually obtained elsewhere rather than at
home — owing to a false idea of modesty or to igno-
rance on the part of parents, who are the proper
persons to instruct their offspring.

There is no such false idea of modesty on the part
of those who prey upon the ignorance of the inno-
cent and virtuous. The truth of this assertion is so
well established that not even the most conservative

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10 SEX TALKS TO GIBLS

person will attempt to deny it. It seems to me that
it is our sacred duty to impart this knowledge of
sex and sexual matters in a simple manner, so that
it can be fully imderstood by our audiences, whether
we address them through the medium of books or
in person. What we tell them must be thoroughly
imderstood, so that they can profit by our teachings
and be prepared for their future duties. Such an
education will enable oiu* sisters and daughters to
protect their health and virtue. Those who refuse
to profit by the proper knowledge which will be
offered them in the pages to follow must expect to
reap a harvest that is not pleasant to think about —
consequences which are likely to cause both mental
anguish and severe physical pain.

In my talks on this subject, I shall speak in the
same simple, straightforward way as* though a cook-
ing lesson, let us say, was under discussion. So far
as possible I shall avoid the use of medical terms.
If, at the end of any of my talks, I have not made
myself perfectly plain, please ask questions. (See
Preface.) I shall be as thorough as I can up to
what I deem necessary to your needs. It is not my
intention to try' to make you finished students of med-
icine, but when I am through you will be, I feel sure,
better fitted for your life-woric. The prudish may
find fault with my frankness; the very radical will



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 11

perhaps complain that I do not go far enough. My
aim will be to go far enough for your good, and to
instruct you properly, without putting too " grown-
up " thoughts into your heads.

So that you may understand that which is to
come later in my talks, and because I believe that
you should have such a knowledge of your body, I
will first describe those special organs which are
peculiar to the female members of the human race.
Among these organs we must include the breasts,
which, although present in the male, usually develop
and function only in the female.

Now, the human body consists of the head, the
neck, the chest, the abdomen, the legs, and the arms.
The part of the body which concerns us now is the
abdomen, for it is in this that the organs of the
female, with the exception of the breasts, are
located.

The abdomen might be divided into an upper
and a lower division or compartment. The lower
we will call the pelvic compartment. There is no
actual separation, as in the case of the chest and
upper abdomen, where the diaphragm forms a real
dividing wall. For our purposes we will say that
all of the abdomen lying above an imaginary line
drawn between the two upper tips of the hip bones
is the upper compartment, and all lying below this



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12 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

IS the lower. It is this lower or pelvic compartment
with which we have to deal, as it is within it that the
female sexual organs are contained To make the
location of this imaginary line easier for you, I
might say that in its " make believe '' coiu^e across
the body its mid-point is usually situated about two
inches below the navel, or " button " as some of you
call it

Now, this pelvic portion of the body is a bony
framework consisting of that portion of the spine
known as the sacrum, and a few of the lumbar ver-
tebrae, in the back part, its sides and front consisting
of the two hip bones known in technical terms as
the OS innominati (Fig. i). The pictures you will
'See later will show you the shapes of those bones,
and how they are held together to form this " basin,"
in which the genital or sexual organs are contained.
These bones are lined with muscular tissue.

We will now proceed to a study of the female
organs. We shall begin our study from within and
gradually travel outward, as does the ovum, which
I will tell you about later. The ovaries are the
deepest in of the female sexual organs, and, in fact,
the beginning of the female genital or sexual tract
within the body, so we will start with them.

The ovaries are two in number, one on the right
side of the pelvic compartment and the other on the



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 18



The pelvic cavi-
ty in which are
contained the fe-
male genital or-
gans



Fig. X. — ^The human skeleton.



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14 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

left side ( Fig. 2 ) . A gcxxi way to locate them would
be to say that they are, on their respective sides,
midway between the centre line of the body and the
upper tips of the hip bones, but slightly below the
imaginary line before referred to as the dividing
line between the upper and the lower compartments
of the abdomen. What do they look like? Just

Tube
Ovary



id of

lening

na



Pig. a. — ^This picture shows the internal female organs of generation as a
whole— front view.

draw this mind picture, and you will get an idea.
Imagine two little, somewhat oval-shaped bodies,
each about an inch and a half in length, three-quar-
ters of an inch in width, and about a third of an
inch in thickness. These most important organs —
important because on the good health of them
depends future child-bearing — ^weigh each about a
quarter of an ounce, which is about as heavy as the
contents of two ordinary teaspoonfuls of water.
Having an important function to perform, they are
well supplied with blood-vessels, so that they receive
plenty of nourishment to enable them to carry out



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 15

their work. They are also very well supplied with
nerves, and these are of the highest order and most
sensitive, as many of you who have received a blow
in this region can testify. The ovaries are held in
their respective places by being attached to a fold of
tissue known as the broad ligament (Fig. 3). The



Ovum

Fig. 3. — Section of ovary showing female contribution to creation.

ova, leaving the ovaries, come to the Fallopian tubes,
SO we shall discuss them next. These are just exactly
what their name signifies to you — ^tubes. Like the
ovaries, they are two in number, a right and a left,
and each is about four inches in length. Being tubes,
they are hollow inside, and this opening is just about
large enough to allow a very, very thin bristle to pass
through. The ends of the tubes nearest the ovaries



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16 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

are not joined to or connected with these latter
organs, but these ends spread out into very large
openings. To explain a little better, I might call
the tubes flower-stems and the openings nearest the
ovaries the flowers in full bloom. Picture to your-
self, for instance, a chrysanthemum and its stem.

The inner end of the tube is attached to the uterus
or womb, as that likewise important organ is com-
monly called. This would indicate to you that the
inner ends of the tubes open into the womb. Another
interesting point in the anatomy of the tubes is the
fact that their inner surfaces are lined with a skin
which we call a mucous membrane, from which are
given off little whip^like processes which by their
motion propel toward the womb anything which
may get into the tubes.

From the tubes we pass on to the uterus or womb,
by which latter name I shall call this organ from
now on. This important organ, the home of the
growing unborn child at certain times, lies usually
in about the median line of the body, tilted slightly
forward toward the front wall of the abdomen at
its upper part. In the virgin girl and in the woman
who has never been in a child-bearing state, the
shape may be compared to a pear turned upside
down. Before it has taken part in the activity of
child-bearing, it is about three inches long, two
inches wide at its widest part, and about one inch



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SEX TALKS.TO GIRLS 17

thick. The womb is hollow, and in its normal virgin
state (Fig. 4) weighs about an ounce to an ounce
and a half. After it has once been started on its nor-



FlG. 4. — ^This picture represents a view of some of the internal female
genital organs. It is a side view as if the body had been divided from above
downward, and half of it removed. The ovaries and tubes are not shown
in this picture.

mal physiological function, it never again becomes
quite as small as it was before these activities began.
The top of the womb usually extends an inch or
slightly more above the level of the ovaries, its apex
or lower end (remember its shape — a pear turned up-
2
1



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18 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

side down) about two inches below the ovaries, and
into the vagina (Fig. 5).

We usually speak of the womb as consisting of
two parts, the body and the neck, a slight constriction
on the external coat of the womb marking off this
division. The womb contains a great deal of mus-
cular tissue, the use of which we will discuss later.

Tube
Tttbc with wall

cut away
showixig
the inside
of it
Lcf* Right

ovary ovary

Womb wi • down

cut awa>
ing insi(

Pig. 5* — Same as Fig. 2, but shows interior of womb and tubes, front wall
of each having been removed.

Its internal surface is lined with a mucous mem-
brane which contains numerous glands. This will
later enable you to imderstand why certain diseases
are hard to cure when the womb has become con-
taminated by them.

I said that the lower end of the womb extended
downward into the vagina, so next in order in our
anatomy lesson is the vagina ( Fig. 6) . This is really
a part of a tube or passageway which extends from
behind the two folds of skin which, in the female,
conceal from external view the real genital organs
up to, around, and above the lower portion of the



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

middle line of the body as eflfectually to shield from
view that which lies behind them. We call these
folds the labia majora, or greater lips. Gently sepa-
rating them and drawing each to its respective side,
we come to another, similar but smaller, pair of cur-
tains, if I may use this simile, and it is only on sepa-
rating this second pair of lips, known as the labia
minora, or lesser lips, that the entrance to the vagina
is revealed. This entrance to the vagina is, as a
rule, partly closed by a semicircular piece of skin
known as the hymen, although this shape often
varies. The significance of the hymen and the
reason for its shape will be discussed later.

I believe that the descriptions to which you have
just listened, with the accompanying diagrams and
actual drawings from life that are here for you to see
and study, will give you a sufficient knowledge of
these particular parts of your anatomy for all the
purposes of our talks yet to come.

Of the anatomy of the breasts, it is unnecessary
to say much. As you know, they are two in number,
one on the right, the other on the left side of the
median line of the body. They are attached to the
wall of the chest anteriorly, and consist principally
of muscular and glandular or secreting tissue, from
which little pipes or ducts lead outward to the
nipples.

If the wonders of your anatomy have surprised



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yJi, SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

and interested you, still greater astonishment and
interest await you, for if Dame Nature is a wonder-
ful builder, she is still more wonderful in the
mechanism of what she constructs, and we shall see
that everything moves in a perfect cycle toward a
certain end. When this end is achieved, another
cycle of events is started toward another goal, and
so on, imtil a point is reached from which there can
be no further advance.

Once again in our studies we shall start on the
inside of the body and, as in our anatomy lesson,
the ovary will be the first organ discussed. Let us
consider somewhat its physiology and its fimction.

In the ovaries are developed the contribution
of the f emalp to the human race. This statement in
itself reveals to you the great importance of these
organs, and how necessary it is that they be guarded
from disease or injury. No matter how healthy or
normal the rest of the sexual tract may be, failure
on the part of an ovary to put forth in a healthy
condition its contribution to the human creation
means that there can be from this ovary no creation.
In medical circles investigations and discussions are
constantly going on as to the why and wherefore of
the birth of imperfect children, either in a mental or
physical sense. I am rather inclined to think that
the answer can be found in the condition of the male
or female contribution to the birth of that child. It



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 23

does not seem possible that unhealthy seeds can pro-
duce as good plants as healthy ones; nor can even
good seeds, fertilized by a poor fertilizer, be ex-
pected to do as well, or vice versa. The ideal baby
would seem, therefore, to be the result of both
healthy male and female contributions to creation.

I speak of male- and female contributions to
creation; for, unlike some of the lower forms of
life, the human female alone cannot produce a
human being of even an imperfect sort, but only by


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