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

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the commingling and joining of her contribution to
creation with that of the male, can it become a being
of life and energy.

The ovaries, therefore, are both factories and
storehouses. In them certain substances are devel-
oped, many at a time, into ova or eggs. During the
process of ripening, these ova or human seeds are
contained in separate compartments or sacs, in which
each matures. The doctor's name for these little
sacs is Graafian follicles. As each little sac loses
its contents it gradually becomes obliterated, and it
does lose its contents as soon as the ovum* is ripe or
mature. As maturity becomes a fact, the ovimi
ruptures the siu*face of the Graafian follicle, and
also that of the ovary, and is discharged into the
pelvic cavity, as we call this lower part of the abdom-
inal cavity, a fact that I have already stated. You
can get some idea of the small size of this human



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S4 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

seed when I tell you that each ovary is estimated to
contain from thirty-two to thirty-six thousand ova
or eggs in process of growth. Expressing their size
in figures, one would say that they are about 0.20 to
0.30 mnt in diameter.

So carefully balanced are Nature's works that,
so far as we can ascertain, only one ovum matures
and is discharged at a time, despite the fact that
there are, as already stated, some sixty to seventy
thousand human seedlings in process of ripening at
the same time. Is this not a wonderful example of
Nature's care? For you must know that in the
human race it is usual for only one offspring to be
bom at a time. Perhaps the reason why twins are
sometimes bom to mothers is that something has
gone wrong, and prevented this particular rule of
Dame Nature's from being followed.

I have merely given you a bare outline of what
goes on in the ovaries. The details of the growth
of the ovum or human seed in the ovary, even before
the female child is actually bom, are most interest-
ing, but would be out of place in our lesson, as I
am not endeavoring to make you finished students
of medicine but merely to give you some idea of
yoiu*selves, so that you may look after your health
and happiness in an intelligent way.

When the mature ovum has been discharged
from the ovary, it is attracted to and taken up by the



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 25

Fallopian tube of the particular side on which the
ovum has been discharged, and the open free end of
which is, as I have already told you, larger than the
end that is attached to the womb. When the ovum
enters the tube at the larger end, the little whip-like
processes which line its interior surface, of which
we have spoken in our anatomy lesson, gently propel
it through the tube toward the smaller end where
the tube joins the womb, and thence it enters the
womb. Dtu-ing this time, certain changes are taking
place in the ovum, so that Nature allows it about
one week in which to travel the four inches from the
ovarian or outer end of the tube to and into the
womb.

You note, therefore, it is the function of the
tubes to convey the ovum, or human seedling from
the ovary to the womb, and that any disease or in-
jury which would close the tubes or prevent the
ovum from making this little journey would prevent
childbirth, since, under such conditions, the ovum
could not meet the male contribution to creation.
Disease of the tubes ^n extend to them from three
sources: (a) from the womb to which they are
attached and into which their inner ends open; (6)
from the pelvic cavity itself, because their outer or
free ends open into this cavity; (c) from the ovaries,
because of their close proximity. Once again you



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26 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

see how necessary is good health for all parts of the
body in order to benefit and protect all other ports.

The womb, next in order in our study trip, is,
under certain conditions, not unlike the ovary — ^both
a place of development and a storehouse. In it the
human seedling from the female, properly fertilized
by the male contribution, begins its growth, ulti-
mately to blossom into a baby — ^that pure and sweet
triumph of himian love — ^and, when complete, it is
retained in the womb imtil the physiological moment
for its birth arrives. While the imborn baby re-
mains in the womb, it is protected by it from various
injurious conditions which would soon kill the little
growing human plant, and through the medium of
the blood-vessels of the womb it also receives proper
nourishment for its growth.

The womb has certain functions to perform at
the time of the menstrual period, or, as many of you
call it, the monthly period. Once again I will say
a few words about health, for an unhealthy womb
cannot properly perform its functions, and, when it
does not, child-bearing is impossible, of course.
Likewise, any disease of the womb is very liable to
spread to other parts of the body, not only by exten-
sion through the tubes, but also, on account of its
great blood supply, by means of the blood-vessels.
Other things beside disease, such as various injuries,
lack of proper development, displacements, etc., may



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS £7

prevent the womb from properly performing its
functions.

The vagina has certain secretions which come
from the many glands in the mucous membrane
which lines its inner surface, and it is the duty of
these to destroy anything foreign that enters, and
which might get within the womb unless destroyed.
The vagina also plays an important part in the sexual
relation, as it is within it that the male fertilizing
fluid containing spermatozoa, the essential part or
element for the growth of the ovum, is deposited,
to favor the development of the aforesaid ovum into
a human being.

Here also disease may be very serious in its re-
stdts. It may destroy the protective secretions of
the vagina, it may set up various kinds of inflamma-
tions and produce unpleasant discharges, it may
cause the male contribution to creation to be de-
stroyed before it can perform its duties to the ovum,
and last but not least, it may cause diseases of the
secreting glands with abscess formation, or its germs
may lurk there for years and at any future time cause
trouble for both mother and baby ; how, will be dis-
cussed later.

The other parts of the genital tract mentioned in
our anatomy lesson also have certain minor func-
tions to perform in the organism, but these are not
important enough for you to burden your minds



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28 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

with them. The chief parts and their fimctions we
have now discussed in a general way, and, I believe,
in sufficient detail, to enable you the better to under-
stand what is to follow. Do not, however, get the
idea that you know all that is to be known of the
physiology and anatomy of the parts we have trav-
elled over together, for you do not. I have only
"just skimmed over the stu-face," as it were, my
idea being that you should know yourselves only in
a general way, leaving it to text-books on anatomy
and physiology to give you more detailed informa-
tion if this, for any reason, be necessary.

I have not discussed the breasts particularly,
because you already know that their function is to
furnish nourishment in the shape of milk to infants
from birth up to nine or ten months of age. How
this milk is formed within the breasts is not essential
to our talks nor to an understanding of them, there-
fore I omit this detail. Suffice it to say that from
the anatomy of the breasts, already briefly described
to you, you know them to be made up of a number
of small reservoirs, from each of which comes a
little pipe or duct, and this carries the milk into a still
larger reservoir from which other and larger pipes
or ducts finally convey it to the nipples. It hardly
seems necessary to state that each breast has but one
nipple or outlet for the ntu*sing baby to suck. Only
at certain times *do the breasts perform their physio-



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 29

logical function: i,e,, when a baby is to be fed.
There is a very definite but poorly understood rela-
tion between the breasts and the female sexual or-
gans below, by which various messages, let us call
them, are transmitted between the two parts of the
body: for instance, when the breasts are advised
that at a certain time they should be ready to feed a
baby. Unfortunately, this latter message is not
always responded to by the breasts for various rea-
sons, some of which will be spoken of later.

One thing more and we will close our talk on
the anatomy and physiology of yotu* special organs
of generation. That one thing is the significance of
the hymen at the entrance to the vagina. You will
recall that I told you the dividing line between the
vestibule and the vagina is a piece of skin which
partly occludes the vagina from view. Its presence,
unmutilated, usually indicates that the woman is a
virgin — in other words, a girl who has not associated
in a sexual way with a man. Its construction and
position is such that the sexual act will destroy its
integrity. When destrov&d during the sexual act
the remnants of it asstmiAa certain peculiar appear-
ance that is l^lf-lmlaMt^g ^d, to the trained eye,
imdeniable eridagt^ has happened. It is

rarely if even aestroyed in any other way but by an
attempt to introduce something into the vagina.

Hymens are variously shaped. I have already



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mentioned the most common shape, the semicir-
cular. Some resemble a sieve, whereas others may
be circular with just a single opening in the centre.
Some are so delicate that even a fine surgical instru-
ment could not be passed through the opening with-
out injuring the hymen. Of course, if there is no
opening at all in the hymen, it is an abnormal one,
and needs surgical treatment, an opening being
necessary for the passing out of the menstrual blood
and any other secretions which may be present

REVIEW

I. Why should matters pertaining to sex and sexual re-
lations be part of the home training?
II. In which part of the body are the female gen
organs located?

III. How do we divide this part for our purposes of study?

IV. Locate and describe the ovaries.

V. How are the Fallopian tubes placed? Describe their
inner surfaces and functions.
VI. Describe the womb, its location, size, shape, inner sur-
face, and importance.

VII. Why is disease here so apt to spread to other parts

of the body?

VIII. Beginning externally, describe the vagina.

IX. In what sense are the ovaries factories? Describe fully.
X. Where is the hymen? State its significance.



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II

During our first talk you formed some idea of
the internal female sexual organs, and of the parts
leading to them. You were told briefly the normal
fimction of each. You were also told that, while
certain low forms of animal life are so constituted
that they contain all essentials for creation within
themselves, in the higher forms of life the elements
necessary for creation are in separate bodies, and
these separate bodies are designated male and
female.

To the female is given the very high honor and
privilege of growing the human seedling which
later, after fertilization, develops into a human
being. To the female is also given the great privi-
lege of sheltering within her, while it is developing,
the human plant which comes forth in full bloom at
birth as a beautiful baby. And yet some women are
so indifferent to this great tribute from Mother
Nature to their good sense and ability, their kind-
liness and gentleness, and their carefulness, that
they seek to avoid this greatest blessing and honor
to their sex — ^motherhood. It is hard to believe that
such a thing can be, but it is a fact nevertheless.

What is finer, grander, or more lovely in this

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world than a fine baby? I know of nothing, and I
think you do not. Truly has the well-born baby been
called the " triumph of love," the expression of love
at its highest and best. Note that I say a well-bom
baby, and here the word is not used to designate
riches in a monetary or worldly sense, but the rich-
ness of love and affection of the highest kind in the
holy bonds of matrimony.

In order to accomplish this great mission, a
healthy body is necessary, and especially healthy
genital parts. This boon Nature grants to prac-
tically all, for nearly all of you at birth have such
parts; but through ignorance and neglect, or want
of the care and attention which these parts should
at various times and imder certain conditions receive,
unhealthy changes may take place as you grow older,
and these, while easily rectified if taken in time, cause
vain regrets, unnecessary and avoidable pain, sorrow
and trouble if allowed to become chronic. These
changes may even be so serious as to prevent the
sexual organs from performing their normal duties.
Therefore, the avoidance of these pitfalls shall be
our topic, and the time will be well spent for those
of you who profit by what I am going to say.

All of you remember that, as little girls, your
breasts were but tiny, spotlike protuberances on the
chest wall, and that your bodies were free from any
growth of hair. You could rim and jump like the



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SEX TALKS TO GDRLS 83

boys, and join in all their games with the greatest
zest. In fact, perhaps you prided yourselves on your
ability to equal if not excel many of your boy friends
at their own games and pastimes.

As you grew older, however, a certain inborn
consciousness came to you that in some way or other
boys were different from girls, and their games
began to lose their attraction for you, as being too
rough and boisterous and no longer to your liking.
You felt that little acts of comradeship that you
formerly allowed without a second thought did not
now seem just right, and could not be allowed. You
did not know wherein they were wrong, yet some-
thing within you made you feel that you were no
longer a little girl, and that such acts were not proper
in a " big " girl. You felt as if your little boy
friends were to be kept at a distance, in a way, and
that old familiarities were things of the past.

Perhaps you became aware about this time that
your breasts were growing larger and more notice-
able : a matter which gave you no small concern, for
in your imagination everyone whom you met was
looking at you because of this, and you wished that
your dresses in this region were not so tight as to
make this increase in size conspicuous. You perhaps
even wondered why these little protuberances on
your body should begin to grow at this time, and
when you asked you were given a vague, unsatis-
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34 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

factory answer that told you nothing; whereas you
should have been told that you were passing from
little girlhood into the first stages of womanhood,
and that the breasts were developing within so that
they would be ready at the proper time to assume
their normal duties. Not only must the special tissue
of the breasts — i,e,_, that in which later milk is
formed and secreted — develop, but likewise the
muscular tissue; if the latter is allowed to develop
normally — ^that is, unhampered by corsets or other
tight apparel— it will become strong enough in the
future to properly support the breasts and do away
with a favorite excuse as to the necessity for corsets.

Another thing of which you became aware was
the fact that, in what we have called the genital re-
gion, a few coarse hairs were making their appear-
ance. These processes continued until the breasts
had reached such a size as to be really noticeable,
and the coarse hair, known as " the pubic hair,*' had
increased, and that hair was appearing also on other
parts of the body.

Suddenly, one day, with or without unusual sen-
sations, you discovered you were losing some blood,
and that the place from which it was coming was
that mysterious region about which no one at home
would talk to you, except to tell you to keep it always
covered, and about which you did not like to ask
anybody away from home, for fear you would be



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 85

doing wrong or asking something that you should
not. You had heard in the street, perhaps, some
coarse remarks about certain things, but in your
girlish ignorance and innocaice you did not under-
stand them, except to know by a sense of inborn
modesty that they were indecent remarks, not fit to
be made by anyone modest or right-minded, and not
to be listened to voluntarily by any clean-minded
person.

This bleeding annoyed you very much. In fact
it may have frightened you, and you may have tried
to stop it in various ways that you had heard of for
checking a hemorrhage. Many girls, remembering
that cold water is said to be good for stopping a
hemorrhage, have gotten into a cold bath — ^about the
worst thing they could have done imder these cir-
cumstances. At last, in despair and terror, you told
some one of the terrible accident that was happening
to you, after first making the confidante give the
most sacred promise never to reveal your most sacred
confidence, only to be told that all your terror and
mental agony were unnecessary, as this happens to
girls every month, and that you must wear a napkin
or some sort of bandage for several days, so that the
blood will not stain your wearing apparel.

This is probably the extent of the knowledge
most of you have even now of the menstrual or
monthly periods. A few of you may have vague



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86 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

ideas of what you should or should not do at this
time. I will try to enlighten you further regarding
this period of your lives. Of course the first ques-
tion which comes to mind is. Why, and what, is the
menstrual period? The question so simple to ask
is not so easily answered ; in fact cannot be answered
imless the statement " we do not know " can be con-
sidered as such. Theories are many, but it would be
of no practical use to you to give them here, so I
will omit all. It might be interesting, however, for
you to know that besides the female human being
only the females of a few of the highest types of apes
have this monthly function. This fact makes scien-
tific and accurate investigation very difficult, and is
probably the reason why no more has been added to
otu- present store of knowledge.

Ignorance of the nature of this function and how
to take proper care of yourselves during the periods
is inexcusable and harmful, and in some cases the
results in the present are very serious, with conse-
quences extending into the future. Perhaps you
have wondered that this function should be estab-
lished only after a certain age. The reason is very
simple. You had not yet reached that period of
complete development in which your organs were
ready to fimction. And by functioning I do not
mean the menstrual period only, but their main f unc-



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 37

tion — ^the act of assisting in creating another human
being.

Nature gives warning of the ripening of these
organs, and sensible and observant mothers will then
have a serious talk on sexual matters with their
daughters. It is the foolish modesty or gross igno-
rance of mothers in this regard that make my talks
necessary and cause you to seek outside of your
home circle the knowledge that your best friend^-
i,e., your mother — ^should give you. This self-sanie
false modesty or real ignorance has cost many a girl
her life happiness, and started her on the downward
road to shame and the vilest degradation, whereas
a knowledge of her sexual f imctions imparted at the
proper time would have resulted in the development
of one more happy woman instead of an addition to
the already large number of human female derelicts.

This arrival at the age of puberty, as it is called,
is at different times in various parts of the world.
For instance, in India, the average age at which a
girl shows by internal and external signs that she has
arrived at this stage of life is about nine years. In
certain parts of that coimtry a young woman of six-
teen or seventeen years of age who is not married is
considered an *' old maid." In Iceland, on the other
hand, the average age at which a young woman ar-
rives at the age of puberty is between sixteen and
seventeen years. In our own country this phenom-



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38 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

enon usually manifests itself between the thirteenth
and fifteenth years, being somewhat dependent upon
the nationality of the mother and the time that the
mother herself had come to "the threshold of
womanhood." Heredity plays quite a part in fore-
casting when a girl is about to approach mature life.
In some girls the time may come a little earlier, in
others a little later.

Among the more important external signs of
puberty are the growth of the pubic hair and of hair
on other parts of the body, the enlargement of the
breasts, and a rounding out, as it were, of the gen-
eral body contour. Internally, the ova are arriving
at the stage of ripening, and the pelvic organs are
developing so as to be ready for the first of their
fimctions, that of menstruation. Mentally, the
sexual sense has developed, and the girl becomes
more self-conscious and retiring. Very soon after
this she may menstruate for the first time.

But before this really occurs, there may be
months when, even though there is no show of
blood, she has all the symptoms and sensations of
an approaching menstrual period. She complains
of vague pains everywhere or anywhere, often most
severe in the back. She may have headaches, with
dark rings imder her eyes. The breasts seem sud-
denly to have filled out ; there may be a sense of ful-
ness in them, or they may be painftd. The girl feels



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SEX TALKS TO GIRLS 89

depressed, languid, and drowsy. She complains of
"a tired feeling," and prefers to lounge around
rather than to be active. Mentally, also, she is in-
clined to be sluggish, her lessons or other duties,
perhaps, being attended to with but little interest.

The young girl is inclined at this time to be very
irritable, supersensitive, unreasonable, and easily
moved to tears. Her appetite may or may not be
affected. Some girls have a tendency to diarrhoea,
whereas others become constipated. There may be a
sense of fulness and weight in the pelvis and its con-
tained contents.

The first time a girl menstruates, the flow may
be chiefly of mucus tinged with blood; later, how-
ever, as the function becomes established, blood will
predominate. After menstruating the first time,
several months may elapse before there is another
period, or menstruation may thereafter rectu" regu-
larly every twenty-eight days. As a rule, every girl
who has arrived at the age when the monthly periods
are established has one every twenty-eight days, or,
putting it another way, has practically thirteen
periods of menstruation* in a year. There are ex-
ceptions to this rule; some girls have more than this
number, as they menstruate regularly — ^notice, I
say regularly— every twenty-one days ; others, every
twenty-two days, and so on up to the regular inter-
val of twenty-eight days.



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40 SEX TALKS TO GIRLS

Where this interval is regularly other than
twenty-eight days it is not to be considered as an
irregular menstrual epoch. It is only when the time
between a girl's periods varies that it can really be
called irregular. Therefore, we can say that men-
struation occurring more often than every four
weeks, imless a shorter interval of time is a regular
and fixed habit, is an irregular menstruation, and
the doctor should be consulted regarding it.

The periods usually last from f oiu* to six days,
with the greatest loss of blood on the second and
third days. When a girl first menstruates, the loss
of blood is apt to be greater than when the periods
have become established. But, even in the early
days of the menstrual habit, menstruation should
not last longer than the normal number of days, nor
should the girl be permitted to lose an excessive
amount of blood. Of course, even in those in whom
the habit is well established, a physician should be
consulted to correct what is wrong if the period con-
tinues after the normal six days, or if there is an


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Online LibraryIrving David SteinhardtTen sex talks to girls (14 years and older) → online text (page 2 of 11)