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The Task of Social Hygiene
written by "Ellis, Havelock, 1859-1939"
...rio; the teacher thus appointed goes from school to school and teaches the elements of sexual physiology and anatomy, and the duty of treating sexual matters with reverence, to classes of boys and of girls from the age of ten. The course is not compulsory, but any School Board may call upon the special teacher to deliver the lectures. This appointment has met with so much approval that it is proposed to appoint further teachers on the same lines, women as well as men. It is not necessary that the school teacher of sex should be a physician. For personal and particular advice on the concrete difficulties of sex, however, as well as for the more special and detailed hygiene of the sexual relationship and the precautions demanded by eugenics, we must call in the physician. Yet none of these things so far enter the curriculum through which the physician [254] passes to reach his profession; he is often only a layman in relation to them. Even if we are assured that these subjects form part of his scientific equipment, that fact by no means guarantees his tact, sympathy, and insight in addressing the young, whether by general lectures or individual interviews, both these being forms of imparting sexual hygiene for which we may properly call upon the physician, especially towards the end of the school or college course, and at the outset of any career in the world. [188] Undoubtedly we have amongst us many mothers, teachers, and physicians who are admirably equipped to fulfil their respective parts—elementary, secondary, and advanced—in the work of sexual hygiene. But so long as they are few and far apart their influence is negatived, if it is not even rendered harmful. It must often be useless for a mother to instil into her little boy respect for his own body, reverence for the channel of motherhood through which he entered the world, any sense of the purity of natural functions or the beauty of natural organs, if ...

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