Lots of people that write about sex seem to want to give advice to the young. For example, the Boy Scouts, who, in 1965, were advising --"At times the glands discharge part of their secretions through the sex organ during sleep. This process is called a nocturnal emission or a 'wet dream.' It is perfectly natural and healthy and a sign that nature has taken care of the situation in its own manner. There are boys who do not let nature have its own way with them but cause emissions themselves. This may do no physical harm, but may cause them to worry. Any real boy knows that anything that causes him to worry should be avoided or overcome." Boy Scout Handbook, Seventh Edition, First Printing (1965).

Similar advice was given in a book sponsored by the Young Men's Christian Association about the same time. While recognizing that "the tendency to relieve sexual tension by rubbing the genital area to the point of release is a very common practice," and that the greatest danger in masturbation is that of feeling guilty or ashamed, they suggest that the practice of masturbation could exaggerate the tendency of some teenagers to withdraw from others, and also that a history of masturbation "makes more difficult the adjustments to the marriage partner later. Some girls who have stimulated themselves to the point of release for years before marriage may require exactly the same type of frictional excitation from their husbands after marriage in order to achieve full release from sexual tension." Thus they recommend staying physically active and mentally occupied so as to keep those thoughts about sex at bay. Love and the Facts of Life, Evelyn Millis Duvall, Associated Press, New York (1963).

The YMCA book has some other kind of odd ideas about girls, considering that it was written by a woman. For example, their theory about what a teenage girl thinks about when she is kissed runs along the lines of fancy weddings and white picket fences, while a teenage boy, oddly enough, is thinking about exactly what you would expect any sane person to be thinking about. And after explaining that having a baby before you are married is known as "getting into trouble," and that getting into trouble is not a pleasant experience, they conclude that is why all these rules governing the conduct of women have been designed - to protect them. "Better by far is willing conformity to the standards of one's culture."

Other advisors aren't so worried about things like masturbation, prefering more serious ills. In 1917 the Army advised "When a young man is 'sowing his wild oats' he is really planting in his own body the syphilis and clap plants, and the harvest will be greater than any other crop. He wll reap in days of bed-ridden misery, and possible sudden death. He will reap it in bitter hours by the bedside through the illness and death of his wife or in her long years of ill health. He will reap it in little white coffins, idiot babies; blind, deaf and dumb, sickly and stunted children. And it will cost him lost wages and hospital and doctor fees." (And here I thought condoms had been invented by then). Private's Manual (1916).

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