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Book Reviews
November 1929


Am J Dis Child. 1929;38(5):1120. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1929.01930110219026

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The author endeavors to present a book which will harmonize the claims of objective observation with those of traditional ethics. It is perhaps this conflict which makes the presentation of the subject somewhat faltering and indecisive. Meagher is convinced that the older writers who ascribed serious physical and mental ailments to the influence of masturbation were either ignoring the almost universal addiction of the human being to this habit at some time in life, or they were interpreting the cause as the effect. Yet he cannot free himself from the conception that this habit must of necessity have some baneful influence. Hence he comes to the conclusion that "when certain writers say that moderate masturbation in youth is harmless, they are without doubt thinking chiefly of the physical effects, for such a conclusion could not hold true in regard to the mental and moral spheres in ethical individuals." It does

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