Monthly Archives: February 2011

What a Young Boy Ought to Know, by Sylvanus Stall (Part Five)

Cylinder 11. And now we have Part III, wherein Sylvanus speaks to young Harry about the consequences of physical pollution. Seeking to be solitary is first, and then you become more and more like Satan and less and less like Jesus, as you lose your faith in the Almighty God and your palm gains the “upper hand,” in a manner of speaking.

Cylinder 12. More effects of masturbation are examined. We have seen all of these before: irritability, languor, nervous system damage, insanity, et cetera. Under means of preventing those who manhandle themselves, however, he mentions straitjackets. This is new! Did Dr. Howe fail to mention this to his medical students? Intriguing. And sad, of course.

Cylinder 13. Masturbation does not only affect your self, but also your parents. Think of all they have done for you throughout your young life! Nothing would bring them greater pain than to see you, heading down the road to solitary vice in a laggardly fashion. No more skipping for you, young man, oh no! You are in no condition to move at a brisk pace, now that you have been working up a foamy lather . . . Even your sister won’t be able to look you in the eye, or “crown and bless your manhood,” as Stall says, and if that doesn’t sound like a sexual thing, I don’t rightly know what does!

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What a Young Boy Ought to Know, by Sylvanus Stall (Part Four)

Cylinder 8. Man has similarities to other animals, Stall tells us; the one difference is that only to humans did God give a perfect hand. These hands are to be used to create and build, not to spank your monkey.

Cylinder 9. As this is a book for boys, I suppose it is perfectly okay for Stall to tell us the real word, “masturbation.” He reiterates that God gave man hands to be used for higher purposes, not such debasing activities as self-pollution.

Man is one of the few animals with a member that permanently resides on the outside of his person; this means that God has put great confidence and trust in man’s moral sense and intelligence. But remember, boys, a wicked heart and the temptation of Satan can lead you down that road to solitary vice.

He allows that knowledge of masturbation, for many young boys, comes about from very innocent-seeming activities, such as sliding down bannisters or riding horses. Even constipation might lead to a sensitiveness in the local area and lead to masturbatory habits. I don’t fully comprehend how that might happen, and even Dr. Howe didn’t mention this one. Hmm. However, just like Dr. Howe, he does blame nurses for influencing young boys, as they will inflict such a measure on a child in order to quiet them or distract them.

I have to give Sylvanus some credit here; he’s pretty straightforward, thus far at least, and is not given to scaremongering. Given the other media we have seen from this time period, this is surprising. And unfortunately, rather boring from my perspective and for the scope of this blog.

Cylinder 10. The only thing of note here is he quotes I Corinthians 6: 18-19 (I think I cited that correctly; it’s been a long time since my Catholic-school education) on (he says) the subject of self-abuse: “he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?” Firstly, “fornication” does not specifically mean masturbation. Secondly, having a spirit inside you seems to make MORE of a case for jackin’ it; perhaps that’s the only exit!

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What a Young Boy Ought to Know, by Sylvanus Stall (Part Three)

Cylinder 3. Plant reproduction. He actually gets all scientific, talking about corn sex. No mention of the sleepy little seed-children, however. Only women are interested in such poetry, of course.

Cylinder 4. Cold-blooded creatures of the sea. Stall is only slightly more direct when he mentions semen. Dr. Wood-Allen delicately referred to it as the “product of life,” and he gets a bit more descriptive when he calls it a “slimy substance which also resembles the white portion of a raw hen’s egg.” Yeah, that’s about right. He tells “Harry” of the way baby oysters are produced, some of the lowest organisms on the planet. Oh, they don’t know about amoebas yet. And then the fish, of course, who are also orphans from the day they are born. And isn’t that sad? *sniffle*

Cylinder 5. Where birdies come from! I suppose as this is written for boy’s eyes, it’s perfectly okay for him to own that sometimes the baby birds will not be able to reproduce, because they are SHOT, right down in their prime! He admits that it is a bit heartless and cruel, so I would wager that he was not a hunter, or a very reluctant one.

Now, we are speshul higher life forms, so we are nurtured within the mother’s body, and we take a very long time to grow and develop into maturity, the fullness of which is reached, Stall says, at 25 years of age (!) But, this is ordained by God, so that we can be lord and master over everything. By the power of Greyskull.

Cylinder 6. Wherein actual, technical terms for human fertilization are mentioned. And he not only name-checks Dr. Wood-Allen, he quotes liberally from a booklet of hers on how babies are born. The apple dumpling reference is once again made, and here, Wood-Allen’s mother figure is having a conversation with her young son, so I find it even weirder than the first time it was mentioned; would the “son” really know about how a pastry is made, or even really care? Men didn’t cook in those days. Methinks she’s reaching a bit for the sake of clarity. Or something.

Cylinder 7. “Harry’s” dad writes to Stall and asks him to please continue the talks. He natters on a bit about heredity, what little he knows of it, and cautions the young man that he should not abuse his body. More on that in part 2. I await it gleefully.

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