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October 25, 1913

Comment on Sex Hygiene

JAMA. 1913;61(17):1556. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350180056022

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To the Editor:  —Your summary of newspaper comments on the problem of instruction in sex hygiene (Medical Economics, The Journal, Oct. 18, 1913, p. 1477), shows that we are one step ahead of the former generation—we recognize generally that it is a problem. It would be well, however, for the reformer, physician or layman, to recognize several other facts. In the first place, the greatest obstacle to the proper handling of the subject lies in the home. From my experience with large numbers of boys in private schools I know that the average boy of this type has, up to the age of 14 at least, no correct idea of sexual anatomy or physiology, while the public-school boy, though usually more wise, obtains his wisdom from a dangerous source. I have known many boys to whom another boy naked is a pleasing curiosity, while but very few know how animals

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