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Ten sex talks to girls (14 years and older) online

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putting their hands in and about the genital organs,
especially when they are having their diapers
changed, or are exposed for any other reason. Re-
moval of the hands at once, time and time again,
teaches even the youngest infant to stop this practice.



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184 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

Sometimes, as you remove the hands from these
parts or stop them on their way there, you can say,
" No ! No ! '* and that will perhaps help the little one
to understand sooner what you mean. It is much
easier to stop this practice in infancy than later in
life, and the continuance of this unconscious habit of
infant masturbation tends to favor the subsequent
formation of the habit of real masturbation in either
sex. While speaking of the changing of young
children, or of other occasions when their sexual
parts are exposed, I wish to say that I think it a
grave error to permit other children to be around at
these times.

Keep a young baby neat and clean both as to body
and clothes. It need not be dressed in the finest of
materials, but you can teach it from the very begin-
ning that " Cleanliness is next to godliness," and to
take a pride in its personal appearance, so far as neat-
ness goes.

The time to wean a breast baby is from the ninth
to the tenth month, by which time the baby should
have discontinued breast feedings entirely. During
the nursing period it seems almost unnecessary to
say that, at each feeding, the baby uses one breast
only, alternating from one to the other. The wean-
ing of a breast-fed baby is a very simple affair, if
the baby has been having a single bottle feeding
every day from birth, as every breast-fed baby



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SEX TALKS TO GIKLS 185

should. This plan has the advantage of making
weaning easy when the time arrives, and it also
enables the mother to transfer the baby to part or all
bottle feedings at any time, should occasion arise.
If a breast-fed baby ever misses a feeding from a
breast, this breast should be carefully watched to
see if it need be emptied artificially in order to avoid
" cake " breast which might go on to abscess, and
breast abscesses are extremely painful.

To a baby who has never been bottle-fed at all,
the weaning process may be troublesome. You can-
not g^ve to this baby the same food that a baby
brought up entirely or partly on the bottle will take
and digest properly, at the same age and develop-
ment. You must start with milk much more diluted,
and work up as fast as the baby's digestion will per-
mit ; for, if you increase the strength too fast, or do
too much, you will give the baby indigestion. Baby
will not like the rubber nipple at first, but there must
be no compromise, even if the baby absolutely re-
fuses a feeding or two. If a feeding is refused, how-
ever, baby must not, under any circumstances, be
fed before the usual hour of the next feeding. By
this time, and with a good appetite, he may not care
whence or how the food is coming, so long as it
comes to satisfy the awful emptiness inside.

Soon after weaning, I let the babies who are
under my care, drink from a perfectly clean glass



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186 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

or cup, so that, as a rule, soon after and often before
its first birthday baby has no further use for the
bottle. This change from bottle to cup is not at all
to the liking of the baby, but the same firmness that
convinces it you are determined to have your way
wins in the end.

The question of giving the baby solid food is an
import;^t one, and depends more upon development
than actual age. Food that requires more or less
chewing demands also teeth to chew with. It would
be foolish, therefore, to give a baby this kind of food
before it has the necessary teeth to chew it. Yet
many attempts are made, with disastrous results, to
feed babies according to age alone, and without
regard to development. It cannot be done success-
fully; indigestion or worse conditions are bound to
result. Between six and eighteen months of age, a
child usually cuts twelve teeth, six of which appear
during the first year. We are talking now of the
average child, for some will be quicker, and some
slower, in the matter of dentition. After the addi-
tion of beef juice, mutton broth, and strained cereals
— the cereals must be cooked for three hours — ^to the
baby's diet, we let it rest so far as new things to eat
are concerned.

At about the twelfth month, if the child has
several teeth, I permit zweiback once or twice a
day. A little later, a soft-boiled egg is added to the



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SEX TALKS TO GIBLS 187

mid-day feeding to take the place of either the mut-
ton broth or the beef juice. It is best, however, not
to give eggs oftener than every other day. All this
time the orange juice is given daily, as before.

At about sixteen to eighteen months of age, pro-
vided most of the teeth are cut, I introduce baby to
rare scraped beef or mutton-chop, to such vegetables
as spinach and green peas, the latter of which are
mashed and strained to get rid of the skins, boiled
young onions, and asparagus tips. I also allow
stewed prunes which have been pressed through a
strainer, and a little later baked apples.

No one, whether child or adult, should ever eat
fried food if he has any respect for his digestion, and
food cooked in this manner should never be given to
young children.

Baby's heaviest meal should be at mid-day, and
the meal just before retiring for the night should be
light. Food between meals should never be per-
mitted, and by ** food " I mean all eatables, includ-
ing sweets; the only exception is the orange juice
already spoken of.

Before two years of age, no cakes, candies, or
desserts of any kind should be given the child. When
this age is reached, however, I think a piece of good
chocolate, as a dessert after the mid-day meal, is
certainly allowable. Not even in summer time is
iCe cream soda permissible for babies or children,



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188 SEX TALKS TO GIBLS

and even grown-ups who have reached old age are
better off without it. Under no circumstances should
a child be given liquor in any form except during an
illness and then only by order of the doctor.

The example you set the growing child is what
the child is going to copy; so in word and action
within and without the home, see that the example
you set is always fit to be copied. Do not expect
the child to be better than the pattern set before him.
Do not delude yourselves with the idea that small
children do not see, hear, notice, or remember; be-
cause, if you do, you are building upon false hopes,
and your awakening is liable to be most rude and
unpleasant.

As a rule, I do not believe in corporal punishment
for children. Solomon's alleged saying, " Spare the
rod and spoil the child," is applicable in very few
cases, it seems to me. There may be exceptions, of
course, but these should be looked into most care-
fully to see in how far the parents are to blame.
Most children are punished, not so much because
they have been naughty and need correction, as be-
cause the punishing parent has lost his or her tem-
per. A spanking is given, therefore, not for its
corrective effect, as is asserted, but merely to let the
parent " work off " this anger. Do not try to control
your children through fear, but through love and



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S^ TALKS TO GntLS 189

care. Be firm and just. Even children can appre-
ciate these qualities.

I have given you these simple, plain, non-scien-
tific talks about yourselves and about babies so that
you can act as missionaries in the latter field and
spread a knowledge of the care of babies, as well as
sex knowledge, and thereby do your little part to-
ward reducing the mortality of young infants
through the ignorance of present-day mothers. I
hope that some day you will all be mothers, and when
you attain that blessed state you must remember
these two last talks, and put into practice with your
children the advice I have given you. Your hus-
bands, your children, and you yourselves will be
better and happier if you do.

I want you to be missionaries also as regards
what I have told you about sex and sexual hygiene.
I hope you have read these through, and most care-
fully weighed in your minds the facts offered for
your assimilation. It is my hope that they may
prove profitable to you, and that after reading you
will feel convinced that a pure life is the only one
for you and yours. I have stated only plain facts to
you, without entering into the religious aspect of the
question. Each of you has a conscience to guide
you as to right or wrong, so it seemed to me not my
place to add religious views to my purely medical
talks. I ask you, however, to go forth as advocates



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190 SEX TALKS TO GIBLS

of social purity in both sexes, and to preadi it both
by word and deed throughout your whole lives.
Join this movement to improve and better our race
and the world we live in, and help to promote the
well-being, health, and happiness of all. Social
purity is a step in the right direction.
I A word to the girl who goes out to her daily
work, and, in fact, even to the girl who attends
school or college. Do not go attired as if for a
ball or party. Dress neatly and plainly, as if you
really meant to do something, and do not look as
though you had come to pose or to show off your
clothes. Either study or work is easier in work-a-
day clothes, and these enable you to accomplish
more. At the same time, those around will not think
you dressed up for a discreditable purpose.

In closing my talks, I feel that they will not be
complete unless I add to them a few words about
that period of a woman's life that many of you have
heard called " the change of life,'* and which is so
dreaded by many of your sex. The advice I give
you now will not be of use to you, personally, for
some years to come; but repeated by you, perhaps,
!to older women, might convey to them valuable in-
formation, which would be instrumental in saving
their lives.

The change of life is that time when the men-
strual periods cease, and the woman's sexual sys-



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 191

tern undergoes certain changes concerning which we
need not here go into detail. The age at which
these phenomena occur is usually between forty and
forty-five years — in some women later, in a few
earlier.

It is a popular belief that, at this time, cancer
of the womb is liable to occur and that a woman may
lose her reason. Needless to say that both of these
beliefs are practically unfotmded, the main ground
for the former being the fact that, owing to certain
symptoms which arise at this time, a woman may go
to her physician, and upon examination he may find
a cancerous growth. Immediately the report will be
spread that it came with change of life. As this
period approaches a woman will notice certain things
which are signs of what is coming. Before enum-
erating them, I want to say that every woman should
visit her doctor at this time, and undergo a most
thorough examination, of the sexual parts partic-
ularly.

The appearance of a lump in either of the breasts,
no matter at what age, should mean an immediate
visit to the doctor. It makes no difference whether
the limip be painful or not; often the least painful
are the most serious. Do not waste time wondering
what it is, but go to the doctor and let him find out.
Prompt action on your part may save your life. Any
disturbance of the usual menstrual period, whether



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192 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

it be in the amount of blood lost, or the number of
the periods, should be reported to your physician.
Any imusual pain or feeling of soreness in these
parts should be brought at once to his attention. I
emphasize this because many serious conditions may,
and do, arise from neglecting seeming trifles. Many
a grave has been filled unnecessarily early for no
other reason but neglect in the beginning of what
later proved a fatal condition.

The menopause, or " change of life," is usually
ushered in by a change in the menstruation. It be-
comes more or less irregular in occurrence, the quan-
tity of blood lost sometimes decreases, although in
many cases it increases for a while before it dimin-
ishes, then finally it stops altogether. There is a com-
plaint of hot and cold flashes, of palpitations of the
heart, of increased nervousness, of diminution of
appetite or a marked increase of the same, of steady
increase in weight, and flushing of the face. There are
also more or less vague s3rmptoms of all kinds, refer-
able to various parts of the body, but not definitely
located. Any vaginal discharge of blood or of any
other kind, after the menopause is complete, should
immediately be reported to the family physician for
his investigation, for here delay is dangerous.

This ends the last talk of our series, and nothing
remains but again to say that I hope I have served
you well, and to express the wish that my talks will



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 193

prove profitable to you both in the present and in the
future. They are not as perfect as they might be;
but if you have followed them attentively, I think
you will have derived from them some knowledge
of yourselves, your functions, of what to look for
and what to avoid in your sexual life ; also, how to
take care of your offspring when you attain the
blessed dignity of motherhood. If I have imparted
this knowledge, I have been of real service to you ;
therefore my efforts have not been in vain.

REVIEW

I. What IS necessary concerning baby's sleeping quarters

and bed?
II. What are the dangers of pacifiers and of soothing
syrups ?

III. Discuss teething and the care of baby's teeth.

IV. State what care is necessary in clothing and feeding the

baby, particularly in summer.
V. Tell how to protect the baby when crawling, and what

care is necessary while genital parts are exposed.
VI. When and how should baby be weaned?

VII. How should additions be made to the baby's food as it

grows older?

VIII. In what ways can you make these talks of value?

IX. What signs indicate the approach of "the change of

life"?
X. What precautions are necessary at this time ?



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Online LibraryIrving David SteinhardtTen sex talks to girls (14 years and older) → online text (page 11 of 11)