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The Sex Side of Life An Explanation for Young People   By:

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THE SEX SIDE OF LIFE

An Explanation for Young People

BY MARY WARE DENNETT

COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY MARY WARE DENNETT

SIXTH PRINTING

Extra copies of this booklet may be had at the following rates from the author

MRS. MARY WARE DENNETT 81 Singer Street Astoria. Long Island, New York

Single copies $0.25 each Orders of five .20 " " " ten .18 " " " fifty .16 2/3 " " " one hundred .15 "

THE SEX SIDE OF LIFE FIRST APPEARED IN THE Medical Review of Reviews FOR FEBRUARY, 1918. THE FOLLOWING IS QUOTED FROM THE EDITOR'S FOREWORD.

We have come across so much rubbish on this subject that we drifted into the conclusion that an honest sex essay for young folks would not be produced by this generation.

Recently there came to this desk a manuscript bearing the title The Sex Side of Life and the sub title An Explanation for Young People , written by Mary Ware Dennett. No editor ever confesses that he reads an article with prejudice, but we will admit that we expected this MS would be "returned with thanks." It was reasonable to suppose that a laywoman would not succeed where physicians had failed. Even after we had read the introduction we were not convinced, for we have met several books whose texts do not fulfill the promises made by the preface. But after reading a few pages of the essay itself, we realized we were listening to the music of a different drummer. Instead of the familiar notes of fear and pretense, we were surprised to hear the clarion call of truth.

Mary Ware Dennett's Sex Side of Life is "on the level." In the pages of the Medical Review of Reviews , her essay will reach only the profession, but we sincerely hope that this splendid contribution will be reprinted in pamphlet form and distributed by thousands to the general public. We are tolerably familiar with Anglo American writings on sexology, but we know nothing that equals Mrs. Dennett's brochure. Physicians and social workers are frequently asked: "What shall I say to my growing child?" Mary Ware Dennett, in her rational sex primer, at last furnishes a satisfactory answer.

V. R.

THE SEX SIDE OF LIFE

INTRODUCTION FOR ELDERS

In reading several dozen books on sex matters for the young with a view to selecting the best for my own children, I found none that I was willing to put into their hands, without first guarding them against what I considered very misleading and harmful impressions, which they would otherwise be sure to acquire in reading them. That is the excuse for this article.

It is far more specific than most sex information written for young people. I believe we owe it to children to be specific if we talk about the subject at all.

From a careful observation of youthful curiosity and a very vivid recollection of my own childhood, I have tried to explain frankly the points about which there is the greatest inquiry. These points are not frankly or clearly explained in most sex literature. They are avoided, partly from embarrassment, but more, apparently, because those who have undertaken to instruct the children are not really clear in their own minds as to the proper status of the sex relation.

I found that from the physiological point of view, the question was handled with limitations and reservations. From the point of natural science it was often handled with sentimentality, the child being led from a semi esthetic study of the reproduction of flowers and animals to the acceptance of a similar idea for human beings. From the moral point of view it was handled least satisfactorily of all, the child being given a jumble of conflicting ideas, with no means of correlating them, fear of venereal disease, one's duty to suppress "animal passion," the sacredness of marriage, and so forth. And from the emotional point of view, the subject was not handled at all... Continue reading book >>




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