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Modern Sexual Cultures: Early 20th-Century Pamphlets

An annotated guide focusing on early 20th-century memoirs, marriage and hygiene manuals, and other sexological texts.

Facts About Marriage Every Young Man and Woman Should Know (1922)

This pamphlet  discusses how parents should talk to their children about sex, suggesting they start informing their children before puberty, when they start asking questions about where they came from and how they were born. Parents are encouraged to let their children take up extra-curricular activities to avoid masturbation, thinking if they fill their day with school, clubs, or sports, they won’t have the energy to masturbate. This pamphlet also includes suggestions for including sex education in school curricula. The logistics of this are considered, such as designing separate education for boys and girls, whether to add sex knowledge to textbooks or confine it in a separate pamphlet, and determining who would teach such courses. The author ends with reminding parents they are in charge of their children, and this hierarchy will result in a happy home.  Like many pamphlets of the time, marriage is thought of in terms of procreation, with the conceiving and bearing of children at the center of heterosexual relationships.

Keywords: Marriage, Religion, Education, Masturbation

Facts About Marriage Every Young Man & Woman Should Know