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September 19, 1885


JAMA. 1885;V(12):328. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02391110020006

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A correspondent in our valued contemporary Babyhood, of September, 1885, justly condemns the custom, quite usual with some mothers, of compelling children to kiss people promiscuously. The sensibilities of children are very acute, and it is not surprising that they should often strenuously object to promiscuous osculatory exercises. It is enough to make even a young child lose all faith in human nature to be compelled to kiss some people. And apart from the physical objections to the habit there are moral objections to it. If the child objects it is a species of cruelty to compel it to kiss; and if it does not object, it may become so wedded to the habit as possibly to entail serious, moral or physical consequences in after life.

We say "physical consequences" with good reason; for besides such a sore accident as rupture of the membrana tympani, which has resulted from a

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