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Henry Stanton’s 1922 book Sex – Avoided Subjects Discussed in Plain English is intended as a frank (although consevative and moralistic) guide to human sexual behaviour and relationships. It is partly a self-help book, partly an attempt to relay the scientific knowledge of the day in relation to sex and reproduction in a way suitable for popular consumption. It Has 10 Chapters- This is Chapter III - SEX IN YOUNG MALES
Should anyone doubt that previous generations entertained odd, unusual, misinformed, even outright bizarre notions about what constituted a healthy mind, a healthy body and a healthy, rational attitude about matters sexual, look no farther than Henry Stanton's treatise Sex Avoided Subjects Discussed in Plain English. Often hilarious with it's excessive Victorian prudity, the medical and psychological advice given is sometimes downright alarming. Going blind is the least of your worries. It's safe to say that a couple completely ignorant of the intricacies of sex and marriage would fare better than young newlyweds schooled by Stanton. children and adolescents are still taught to look on all that pertains to sex as something shameful and immodest, something not to be discussed. Sex is an “Avoided Subject.”

This is a timeless classic for those who can appreciate the knowledge and wisdom in this precious book. Henry Stanton's 1922 book Sex - Avoided Subjects Discussed in Plain English is intended as a frank (although consevative and moralistic) guide to human sexual behaviour and relationships. It is partly a self-help book, partly an attempt to relay the scientific knowledge of the day in relation to sex and reproduction in a way suitable for popular consumption.

This is fundamentally wrong. Sex affects the very root of all human life. Its activities are not obscene, but Nature’s own means to certain legitimate ends. The sex functions, when properly controlled and led into the proper channels, are a most essential and legitimate form of physical self-expression. The veil of secrecy with which they are so often shrouded tends to create an altogether false impression regarding them. This discussion of these “Avoided Subjects,” in “Plain English,” is intended to give the salient facts regarding sex in a direct, straightforward manner, bearing in mind the true purpose of normal sex activities.

Henry Stanton's 1922 classic SEX, Avoided Subjects in Plain English takes us back to a day when sex and sexual content was simply not discussed with children, teens, and young adults except with an indecent back room palor or a religious thrust of "thou shalt nots". Although Stanton was writing in an era where sexual research and medical knowledge were still rather antiquated, he attempts to give light to a subject which is rife with a Victorian sort of taboo. In an era where a person is punished for an act so natural and common as masturbation, where little ones are taught that babies are the gifts of benevolent storks, and where religious superstition sways the imagination far more than science and research, this book opened the doors for an enlightenment in sexual discussion. The reader should be warned that, in spite of Stanton's attempt at opening doors on the subject, that sex and sexual hygene were then still in its infancy, and that the cautions and suggestions offered here are still quite ancient to our modern philosophy.


Sex - Avoided Subjects Discussed in Plain English - chapter-3


Sex in male

Every organ of the body should be carefully protected, even atyoung age. The genital organs, especially, should not be rubbed or handled under any pretext, beyond what is absolutely necessary for cleanliness.

Sex precautions

The diaper should fit easily about the organs which it covers , so as not to give rise to undue friction or heating of the parts. And for the same reason it should always be changed immediately after urination or a movement of the bowels. No material which prevents the escape of perspiration, urine or fecal matter should be employed for a diaper. The use of a chair-commode is highly commended, as being more comfortable for the sex organs and healthier. .

Young sex impressions

Boy should be encouraged to take his sex questions and sex problems to his parents (in his case preferably the father) for explanation. Thus they may be made clear to him naturally and logically. He should not be told what he soon discovers is not true: that babies are "dug up with a silver spade," or make their appearances in the family thanks to the kind offices of storks or angels. Instead, by analogy with the reproductive processes of all nature, the true facts of sex may be explained to him in a soothing and normal way.

Evil communications

Too often, a boy receives his first lessons regarding sex from ignorant and vicious associates. Curiosity is one of the greatest natural factors in the prpoer development, if rightly directed. When wrongly led, however, it may have the worst consequences. Even before puberty occurs, a boy's attention may be quite naturally drawn to his own sex organs.

Natural causes of sexual precocity

Sexual precocity in boys may be natural or it may be artificially called forth. Among natural causes which develop sex precocity is promiscuous playing with other boys and girls for hours without supervision. It may also be produced by playful repose on the stomach, sliding down banisters, going too long without urinating, by constipation or straining at stool, irritant cutaneous affections, and rectal worms. Sliding down banisters, for instance, produces a titillation. The act may be repeated until inveterate masturbation results, . Needless laving, handling and rubbing of the private parts is another natural incitement to sexual precocity.


Priapism is a disease which boys often develop. It may be either a result or a cause of sexual precocity, and may come from undue handling of the genital parts or from a morbid state of health. It takes the form of paroxysms, more or less frequent, and of violent and often painful erection, calling for a physician's attention. If the result of a functional disorder, and not arrested, it is in danger of giving rise to masturbation. This morbid condition sometimes seriously impairs the health.


Masturbation, the habit of self-abuse, often formed before puberty, is an artificial development of sexual precocity. Most boys, interest themselves in sex questions and matters, but these are usually presented to them in a lewd and improper manner, by improperly informed companions. Dwelling upon these thoughts the boy is led to play with his sex organs in secret and masturbation results. A secret vice of the most dangerous kind, masturbation or self-pollution is often taught by older boys and takes place, to quote an authority "in many of our colleges, boarding, public and private schools," and is also indulged in by companions beneath the home roof. If it becomes habitual, generally impaired health, and often epilepsy, and total moral and physical degradation results. Stains on the nightshirt or sheet occurring before puberty are absolute evidence of the vice in boys.

What fathers should do for their boys

Make sex facts clear to your young boy as interesting, matter-of-fact developments of general natural laws. Ungratified or improperly gratified curiosity is what leads to a boy's overemphasizing the facts of sex as they apply to him. Make him your confidant. Teach him to think cleanly and to act cleanly, neither to ignore nor to exalt the sexual. Especially, when he himself is directly disturbed sexually, either in a mental or physical way, let him feel that he can apply to you naturally for relief and explanation. If this be done, your boy's sex development will be natural and normal, and when the more serious and difficult problems of adolescence present themselves, he will be prepared to handle them on the basis of right thinking and right living. Natural and healthy sport in the open air, and the avoidance of foul language and indecency should be stressed. The use of alcohol, coffee and tea tends to weaken their sexual organs. Every boy should know that chastity means continence. He should know that lascivious thoughts lead to lascivious actions, and that these are a drain on his system which may spoil his life in later years.

In the education of his boys the average man is only too apt to repeat the same mistake of unconsciously crediting the boy with the possession of his own feelings and his own outlook, that is the feelings and outlook of the adult. In general, things which may make an impression in a sex way on the adult are a matter of indifference to the sexually unripe boy. Hence it is quite possible for a father to discuss sex matters with his young son and inform him constructively, without in any undue way rousing his sex curiosity or awakening desire. Such talks, of course, should be in accordance with the principles already laid down in the section on "Reproduction."

If a boy is accustomed and taught to regard sex conditions and matters in a proper and innocent manner, as something perfectly natural, improper curiosity and eroticism are far less likely to be aroused than when this is not the case. For the whole subject will have lost the dangerous attraction of novelty. On the other hand, we find boys who have been brought up with great prudery and in complete ignorance of sex matters (save that which may come to them from impure sources) greatly excited and ashamed by the first appearance of the indications of puberty. Secrecy is the enemy of a clean, normal conception on the part of the boy as to the right place sex and the sex function play in life and in the world. It stands to reason, of course, that every least detail of the sex question cannot be intelligently made clear to boys. But his questions should all be answered, honestly, and considering his capacity to understand what is explained to him.

One very great advantage of an early paternal explanation of sex matters to the boy is its beneficial effect on the mind and the nerves. Many boys brood or grow melancholy when confronted with sex riddles and problems for which they are unable to find a solution; and as the result of totally erroneous ideas they may have formed with regard to sex matters. At the same time too much attention should not be paid the discussion of sex questions between father and son. A father should, so far as possible, endeavor to develop other interests and preoccupations in his boy, and turn his mind as much as may be away from matters sexual, until the age when the youth is ripe for marriage is reached.

This Article is based on works of Henry Stanton’s 1922 book Sex – Avoided Subjects Discussed in Plain English and shall be continued based on feedback

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