The Sexual Education Series, David H. Keller, Roman Publishing Company, 1910..
This series is made up of six tiny little books chock full of made up facts, bizarre statements about life and relationships, and just plain ignorance, about people and their lives. The Volumes are I. Mother and Baby; II. Sex and Family throughout the ages; III. Sexual Life of Men and Women After Forty; IV. Sexual Education of the Young Woman; V. Companionate Marriage, Birth Control, Divorce, Modern Home Life; and VI. Diseases and Problems of Old Age. (Numbers are mine).
First let it be said that it is possible that this man simply never met a woman. For example, he believes that "women are always happiest when they are cleaning something." (I. 102). He believes that women wanted to become priests "probably for no other reason than to see what was in the little bags" kept by the priests. (II. 32). And he believes that "Life, to the middle aged woman, is a constant fight to reduce her weight and retain her beauty." (III. 12).
Needless to say, having never met one, he can have fairly limited views of what women want, or should have. At birth, while boys cry in protest against the harsh treatment, while in a girl, that cry is "probably a sign of delight at the newly gained power of making herself heard in the world, a power that she will use frequently up to the day of her death." (I. 89-90). Sexual education for a girl entering puberty should be that necessary to make her understand that there is "nothing finer than the life of a married woman in a home." (I. 153-154). "The primary object of this education is not teach anatomy or physiology or hygiene, but to help the children retain the love for home and babies which they have naturally as little girls; for only by retaining these two important longings, for home and children, can they grew (sic) to be happy women." (IV. 25). Perhaps this would explain why a man marries to take pleasure in her bodily charms, while a woman marries because she longs to be "conquered," and to become a mother. (II. 62). Women who do not marry, "as a rule ... simply [buy themselves] a few more dresses, [go] to a few more parties, [act] like a silly child for a little while and then [pass] rapidly into permanent old maidism." (III. 70). And married women who choose not to have children "are to be classed with some lesser from of creation. They are certainly not the women God created." (V. 81).
His beliefs about women are simply a lead in to the list of rather bizarre beliefs that Dr. Keller feels free to inflict on the world. Among the others are that developing ova are neither male nor female, but that the sex will be determined by the richness and abundance of the food supply, with females more likely where food is rich and abundant. (II. 51). Thus, colder countries have an even ratio between the sexes, while tropical countries have more females, giving rise to polygamy. (II. 52). That "sometimes the uterus does not bleed, but the hemorrage come from the nose or the ear or under the skin of the body, and in these cases it is called vicarious (substituted) menstruation." (IV. 64). That a young girl must never allow her bladder to become distended with urine as this displaces the uterus, and may end in a permanent change of position, which can cause many of the symptoms of abnormal menstruation. (IV. 86-87). That a woman menstruates when the egg is produced. (I. 19-20). That use of brassieres have harmed the breasts, leading to atrophy, and that has made the "proper use of the breasts after childbirth almost impossible. (I. 49). That babies are toilet trained at 9 months and dry all night by one year. (I. 110). That hot flashes and other discomforts of menopause are psychosomatic, and that women would not have them if they were not told that they would. (III. 31). And that a man named Thomas Parr lived to the age of 152 and retained his sexual potency until the age of 120. (VI. 49).
He is a great believer in rest. Upon starting her first period, a girl should return home at once and spend the entire time of the first period either on the bed or couch, "warm, lazy, and quiet." Moreover, the entire month after the first period "should be one in which all bodily and mental activities are slackened and the body be given an opportunity to adjust itself to the new life that has started within it." (IV. 88). A pregnant woman should maintain a mental attitude of "quiet happiness," and should "not worry over anything." (I. 22). She should have frequent rest periods, but should have sufficient work to give her muscles exercise and to keep her mind active and her body alert. Dr. Keller recommends a dozen chickens, a flower garden or a small vegetable plot. (I. 45). Having had the child the new mother should spend the next two weeks in bed, though she may move around in bed, she need not stay perfectly still. (I. 95, 97) (Sorry, expecting moms, I'm pretty sure it is out of print). Women over the age of 40 should take an afternoon nap, with clothing loosened and body relaxed, before bathing and dressing to greet their husband on his homecoming. (III. 15). By the time a man is older, golf may be far too strenuous, requiring that croquet be substituted, or even a ride in a car, though not at high speeds or in the back. (VI. 86).
He is also a great believer in rest when it comes to sex, with frequent sex presenting special risks for men. He says "The secret of happiness in sexual life is to use this same principle of conservation. There is just so much nervous force and sexual energy formed every day and every month. If the amount expended is less than that formed, then that man will constantly have at his command a reserve, and if this reserve is accumulated during the early years of manhood, there will be no danger of early impotency or premature sexual decay. On the other hand, the conserved vitality will be reflected in every part of the body and the man will not only remain potent but also young. The celibate, or the married man who has long periods of continence enforced upon him, enters the middle period of life far better preserved than the man who has constantly exhausted himself in his efforts to attain happiness through repeated an frequent love affairs. (III. 135). But he also seems to argue that frequent sex is generally evil. In fact, the ability to have regular sex is one of his arguments against "companionate marriage." According to him, a normal marriage for a man is "one of short periods of sexual pleasure and long periods of celibacy. He has to work hard." (V. 84-87). While in a companionate marriage there is nothing to interfere with sexual enjoyment but menstruation. "After some years of such a life, what kind of father will he make?" (V. 84-87). He notes that desire in women increases after 40, and states that a husband is "responsive and anxious to please his wife, her demands may be the cause of injuring his health and even shortening his life." (III. 24). This is because, while the sexual act for the woman is "a purely mechanical and muscular function," for the man "every sexual act is accompanied by an explosion of nervous energy that taxes his respiratory and circulatory systems to the uttermost." (III. 60-61). And of course, by the time you are old, you might as well give up. "While some men are able to remarry at an advanced old age and keep on living, it is fatal for most men to do so." (VI. 50). that's okay, since once you guys turn 50, any excitement you are feeling is the product of an enlarged prostate anyway. (VI. 46).
His advice on home birth is interesting. After complete antisepsis of the room where the baby is to be born, it can simply be closed until it is needed. (I. 78). The necessary supplies are "hand towels, one-half pound of ether, two ounces of brandy or whiskey, bichloride tablets, a skein of braided silk, fountain syringe, bedpan, carbolized gauze, a can of powdered boracic acid, a piece of unbleached muslin, two yards by eighteen inches, carbolized vaseline, safety pins, and a small bottle of fluid extract of ergot." (I. 81). Not clear what any of these are for, exactly.
As for young girls, they should be taught that nothing ruins her soul, mind and body as does sexual immorality. And while a young man may be immoral and still make a partial success of his future life, a young girl who does this is irretrievably doomed. (IV. 92). He also says that a girl who yields to the embraces of a young man, even once, is a prostitute, even if she receives no pay except the "supposed pleasure." She has "lost her chance for a happy womanhood. ... The rememberance will haunt her to her death bed." (IV. 110).
Of companionate marriage and birth control, it must be said that he is against it. Hard work, toil and lack of sex due to continual childbirth are, in his view, what marriage is all about, and if you aren't doing it that way, you are not doing your duty to your race or to mankind. (V. 81). Without the possibility of children and sacrifice, in his view it is not love, but the rutting of animals. (I. 22; V. 67, 71). He also opposes easily available divorce, saying "The Spanish captain landing on the shores of America burned all his ships, thus telling his army that there was no retreat and that the only possible hope lay in a continued advance. That is the spirit in which the youth should face marriage." (V. 70)
Finally, he casts aspersions on various religions. He says that "Mohammed taught a religion of sensuality." (II. 100) And goes on to complain about Joseph Smith. (II. 101-102). He claims, on the other hand that the teachings of Jesus lead the female race to be recognized as the equal of the male race, (IV. 26). And that the United States is a Christian nation since its "laws provide for the sacredness of the home and the purity of womanhood." (II. 102). Interesting theory, especially considering the laws at the time, and of course, his own views on women and men.