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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