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Sexual Neuroses

Anything that disturbs the sexual sphere in either sex, no matter how
trivial it may be, becomes a source of worry and depression quite
beyond its real importance. It is not unusual for men and women to
become so worried over some trifling affection of their sexual organs
that they become convinced that serious pathological conditions are
developing and that there is little hope of anything like a complete
cure. This is particularly true of young patients, but holds also for
those of older years. Slight discomforts are exaggerated into nagging
aches and pains which produce extreme depression of spirits.

It is important, then, for the physician to recognize this and to
treat the patient's mind by reassurance while conducting whatever
other therapeutics may be required. There is danger always in these
cases of either making too little or too much of the affection. If too
much is made of it, an unfavorable influence is produced in the
patient's mind and the discouragement leads to so much inhibition or
even actual physical disturbance that the affection will not improve.
If too little is made of it, patients get discouraged and are prone to
think that the physician does not understand their cases. Then they go
to the advertising specialist in men's diseases who works upon their
fears and makes them feel much worse than before, though in the end he
may lift the cloud of anxiety from their minds and pretend to have
cured them. He always leaves them, however, with the impression that
something serious has been the matter, and this acts as a nightmare
and a source of dread in after time.

In men the unfavorable suggestions occur particularly as a consequence
of affections of the external organs. In women the same suggestions
are likely to make themselves felt with regard to the internal genital
organs. We all recognize the exaggeration of feeling and even physical
reaction that takes place with regard to slight sexual ailments in the
male, because it is easy to recognize just exactly what pathological
conditions are present and how trivial they may be and yet produce
serious depression and all kinds of symptoms, reflexly referred to
many other organs. There is a tendency to listen to the complaints
from women more seriously because the actual pathological condition
cannot be determined and there is always the fear that some serious
affection may be at work. It must not be forgotten, however, that the
complaints of pains and aches, the disturbance of sleep, of digestion
and of the intestinal function, the mental and physical lassitude and
the over-reaction to irritation which occur in both sexes as a
consequence of sexual affections may be due entirely to mental
solicitude and not to any real pathological change.

Trivial Afflictions--Varicocele.--It is curious what a little thing
will sometimes set off the explosion of a train of sexual symptoms.
Every physician has probably had some young man come to him with the
look and the tone that there was something the matter that he knew was
serious and would affect all his after life. The patient then goes on
to say that he wants to know all and is brave enough to face it, and,
though he has lost sleep for two or three nights and is not looking
well for the present moment because his health has been disturbed by
the loss of sleep, still he has the strength to know the worst and it
is to be told him and he will bravely battle on in spite of the
suffering that must come. Or he will submit to a serious operation if
it is necessary for his relief. With a prelude like this, the
inexperienced physician might expect strangulated hernia or some
preliminary symptoms of brain tumor, but what he usually finds is a
varicocele, and a small one at that. By chance the patient has
discovered it and slept none the following night, went round in an
agony of dread next day meaning to go to a physician, but too fearful
to be told the worst, losing another night's sleep and then finally
coming to a friend to be told all the ill that is in store for him.

There is no need for alarm in these cases; they merely illustrate the
role of the mind disturbing the body. Nearly one-fourth of the male
world carries its varicocele around with it and never bothers
about it. A few sensitive individuals are annoyed by a sense of weight
and a feeling of distention from congestion in connection with it. In
a few, because of special pathological conditions or congenital
defects, the varicocele becomes so large that it has to be supported
by a special bandage. In people who ride horseback, in athletes, and
those who indulge in severe exercise, this sort of a bandage may be
necessary or at least may make the wearer more comfortable even in
slighter forms of the affection. Severe cases may be much relieved by

On first discovery of his varicocele nearly every young man, because
of concentration of attention on it, is so much annoyed that he thinks
he must wear a bandage. After a time, however, he often finds that the
bandage itself is a source of more annoyance than the varicocele, and
then he learns to forget it and its feelings--and that is all about

I have dwelt on this succession of events that takes place so often
with regard to varicocele, because it is typical of the effect that an
affection of the sexual organs has upon the mind. It exerts an
unfavorable influence entirely disproportionate to the physical cause
that is at work. If, as sometimes happens, a young man hesitates to
confide in some one capable of undeceiving him with regard to the
supposed significance of his affection, he may work himself into a
decided nervous condition and lose much weight before he discovers his
mistake. This physical running down confirms his exaggerated notion of
the significance of the affection. He is sure that it constitutes the
reason why he is losing weight and declining in health and he rather
congratulates himself on the fact that he discovered the cause so
shortly before the serious effects began.

If under these conditions he places himself in the hands of any of the
men who advertise themselves as curing "men's diseases," or as
relieving the "awful" symptoms that are likely to follow varicocele,
instead of being reassured he will be told that he has come just in
time and that while his cure will require a long time and will cost a
great deal of money, yet it can surely be effected. In nothing can men
or women be more easily imposed upon than with regard to affections
involving their sex organs. They lose their power of judgment and
their control over their feelings and so plunge sometimes into
profound depression. Every year we have a number of suicides among
young men, the most important element in whose depression is due to
unrelieved occupation of mind with the thought that they are suffering
from some incurable sexual disease which will unsex them, and that
even death is to be preferred to the alternative of being recognized
generally--as they are sure they will be--as sexual defectives.

As a rule, these young men are suffering from only some slight ailment
that could be easily cured if they were frank about their state of
mind and described their symptoms to a reputable physician. Oftener
than not their supposed ailment is something so common as to be of no
significance, so far as any serious results may possibly be
anticipated, and their only real ailment is the mental condition which
has developed because of concentration of mind on this one phase of
organic life and the consequent inevitable exaggeration of symptoms
and feelings. It is sometimes not easy to disabuse them of their
unfortunate notions, but there is probably no set of cases in medicine
where psychotherapeutics means more than it does with regard to the
curious neurotic and psychic conditions which develop in those
who are suffering from any sexual ailment, real or imaginary.

Long Prepuce.--Much has been said in recent years about the influence
of a long prepuce in the male in producing various reflexes the
effects of which may be seen in serious disturbance of even distant
organs. The kidneys are sometimes said to be thus reflexly affected,
and occasionally the digestion and the bowels--even, sometimes, mental
processes are said to be influenced unfavorably by the diffusion of
reflexes from the irritation consequent upon this sensitive structure
being too long. A whole system of nosology exists in some minds due to
an over-long prepuce. There are, of course, cases in which
circumcision should be performed. There is a larger number of others,
however, in which the redundant prepuce is neither adherent nor
constricted and is only slightly longer than it should be.
Occasionally something arouses the attention of the possessor of the
redundant tissue and he gets the idea that it is the source of reflex
irritation even for distant parts of his organism. It is an
interesting study in suggestion to see how symptoms develop in various
organs as a consequence of the cultivation of this thought. Urination
becomes frequent, the patient even wakes at night to urinate and the
urine, as in many neuroses, becomes more abundant and of lower
specific gravity--the typical nervous urine of the hysterical, and
there may be much worry and emotional disturbance.

These symptoms, however, are not effects of the long prepuce, but are
results of the neurotic influence of concentration of mind on it. It
will often be advisable, in young men particularly, to have
circumcision performed, but in most cases this is unnecessary, and if
the patient can be made to understand how the symptoms have developed
he will learn a precious lesson in not interfering with his functions
by over-attention to them. Of course, there are many surgeons who will
continue to hold, as they seem to now, that nature was quite at fault
in the production of this organ and that it should be removed in
nearly every human being. The majority of men, however, have lived
their lives quite well and happily without such intervention and there
are certain inconveniences attached to the condition which remains
after operation that may in their way be quite as bothersome as the
symptoms due to the long foreskin.

Psychic Impotence.--An important sexual neurosis, at least in the eyes
of sufferers from it, is what physicians have come to know as psychic
impotence. Young married men, because of over-anxiety with regard to
themselves for a number of reasons, but without any physical factor to
disturb them, find it impossible to complete the sexual act. Naturally
this creates a serious disturbance of mind. The patient will either
hurry to a physician at some place on his wedding tour, or his wedding
tour will be shortened and he will return to consult a friend. He
presents a lively picture of despair. He has not been sleeping, his
appetite is disturbed, he feels lassitude and weakness, and if he has
a lively imagination he is inclined to think that the fatal
termination of some serious nervous disease of which he has heard, and
which is accompanied by the symptom of sexual impotence, is impending
over him. His condition is quite pitiable, though largely imaginary.

Reassurance.--The treatment of the condition is not so difficult as
it might seem if the patient has a reasonable confidence in his
physician. If he goes to an advertising "specialist," as
occasionally happens, because he concludes that the ordinary physician
cannot know all the details of these intricately complex nervous
diseases, he is sure to suffer severely in general health before cure
is obtained. His morbid ideas will be fostered because he is ready to
pay any amount of money in order to stop the progress of the presumed
serious disease. An investigation of these "specialists" in New York,
made a few years ago by a committee of the New York County Medical
Society, showed to what an extent the terrors of these unfortunate
patients are exploited for monetary reasons.

A physician of even a little experience in these matters, however,
recognizes at once the entirely neurotic character of the case and by
reassurance soon enables the young man to dispel many of his worst
terrors. His general health can be regulated, his constipation, which
so frequently exists, is relieved, and he can be told, what is very
true, that the excitement consequent upon the preparations for his
wedding and the exhaustion due to the overwork so frequently necessary
in order to enable him to take the time off for his wedding journey,
have made him so nervously irritable that the ordinary mechanism of
the sexual act, which is extremely delicate and requires nice
co-ordination for proper function, has been disturbed. Just as soon as
this fatigue and the over-excitement of mind consequent upon the
unfortunate experience are mitigated his potency will return. This
assurance can be given almost at once.

His fears, however, will delay his recovery. His dread of incapacity
will become an obsession. Probably the most effective means of
treating this is to forbid him to attempt the sexual act for a
definite length of time, say two or three weeks. This must be
impressed upon him. There is a good reason for insisting that he shall
not irritate his already excited sexual system by such attempts.
Usually at the end of a week or ten days he will come back with a
smiling look of confidence in himself and his physician, to confess
that he has violated the injunction, but that he was not disappointed
as before.

Subconscious Obsession.--In most of these cases the young men have
been victims of sex habits of some kind or of drug addictions, and
they have heard that occasionally individuals who have had such
experiences may suffer from sexual impotence later in life. This is a
strong suggestion to them and in some cases becomes a haunting
obsession, and produces the unfavorable effect upon the organism. It
is necessary to remove this obsession before a cure can be effected.
The patient's confidence must be obtained and the physician's
personality and persuasive powers used to change his point of view.
Occasionally I have seen cases in which the patients themselves seem
to be scarcely aware of this strong suggestion or obsession at work in
them. It seemed to be more or less subconscious. An idea with regard
to the evil effects of the old habit had been implanted and remained
in their minds, occasionally making itself felt but more often
apparently lying dormant. In these cases it is important that the
physician should make this underlying factor clear to the patient. In
some of these cases hypnosis is necessary. Usually the hypnoidal
condition, with suggestions in the waking state, is all that is
necessary and ordinary suggestions will often effect the purpose

Organic Impotence.--Certain forms of sexual impotence are really
preliminary signs of serious organic nervous disease. Sometimes it is
the first symptom of paresis or of locomotor ataxia. Oftener it
is a very early symptom of syphilitic spinal myelitis. In practically
all of these cases, however, there is a history of syphilis and the
presence of this should always be a warning not to think of functional
or psychic impotence until the possible influence of the syphilis
itself or of some of the parasyphilitic diseases is thoroughly
excluded. Unfortunately, not a few people who have had syphilis are
nervous and anxious about themselves and by their very anticipation of
possible developments may auto-suggest themselves into a state in
which these symptoms will develop. It is cases of neurasthenia that
develop after secondary syphilis in persons who have been studying
syphilis and its possible effects, which present the most difficult
problems in diagnosis that come to the nerve specialist. Many
simulated symptoms are unconsciously developed and this makes
differential diagnosis extremely hard. As a rule, the psychic
impotence is merely functional and patients need reassurance more than
anything else.

Nocturnal Emissions.--One of the sexual neuroses that gives rise to a
high degree of solicitude centers around the question of involuntary
seminal emissions. Young men who are living normal healthy lives and
who are in robust health with no indulgence of sexuality are likely to
experience more or less regular involuntary emissions. If for any
reason they become nervous or anxious about their sexual functions,
especially at times when they are under much mental strain, these
phenomena of emptying the seminal vesicles may occur rather
frequently. If they have been reading some of the literature, or
hearing some of the exaggerated notions that are often expressed with
regard to the evil effects that may come from this, they are likely to
suffer much mental anxiety over it. Occasionally they lose sleep,
frequently they feel so wearied and worried the day after the
occurrence as to be disturbed at their work, sometimes they are sure
they are so tired that they are unable to fulfill their ordinary
duties, and I suppose every physician has known young men who were
even sure that the loss of the seminal fluid was seriously interfering
with health, hampering many physical functions and bringing them to an
untimely grave. They had no appetite and in consequence of not eating
enough they were constipated and then a whole round of physical
troubles, headache, lassitude, over-fatigue, to which they are almost
sure to add loss or disturbance of memory, began to annoy them.

In those cases it is not the physical effect of any loss of seminal
fluid that is the disturbing factor of their health, but their worry
over the losses. Just as soon as their minds can be taken off the
subject, the supposed physical effects begin to disappear. So long as
the solicitude continues the emissions themselves increase in number
and the condition is made worse. These patients must be taught that in
every normal healthy man in whom there is no regular occasion for the
emptying of the seminal vesicles, nature provides for an evacuation
about every ten days or two weeks. In some it is more frequent than
this. In those who are much indoors and in whom oxidation processes
are low this emptying takes place more frequently. In those who lead a
sedentary life with the consumption of much proteid food the same
thing seems to be true. Any anxiety about it is sure to cause frequent
repetition of the evacuation processes. Over-solicitude about the
bladder will have just the same effect. If the patient will take his
mind off the subject, will eat normally, will get out in the air more
than before, tiring himself thoroughly if he is young and
vigorous, and will not allow the sexual side of his being to be
excited by stories or pictures, plays or voluntary thoughts, his
affliction will soon disappear.

Prophylaxis.--Certain directions are helpful and by occupying the
patient's mind will overcome certain physical factors that underlie
the affection. It is important that the bladder should not be allowed
to be full, above all, not to be over-distended at night. Some care
should be exercised in not taking too much to drink shortly before
going to bed and the bladder should be faithfully emptied before
retiring. The weight of a large amount of urine in the bladder
pressing down upon the seminal vesicles situated below and behind it
causes them to contract rather easily. This is particularly true if
the patient sleeps on his back and occasionally in certain
over-irritable patients for a time at least an arrangement may have to
be made by means of small pillows that will prevent him from sleeping
on his back. On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that too
great abstinence from fluid will cause the urine to be more
concentrated and this will irritate the bladder and either wake the
patient up at night, which of itself is undesirable, or else will
cause congestion in the prostatic region which will irritate the
seminal vesicles to the point of evacuation. While five or six glasses
of water a day should be taken besides the ordinary fluid taken at
meals, the only regulation necessary is of the amount of fluid taken
in the evening after the last meal, that is, if more than three hours
intervene before retiring for the night.

Besides the physical conditions in the bladder, an accumulation of
fecal material in the rectum may cause irritation of the seminal
vesicles. It is important, moreover, to remember that thoroughly free
movements of the bowels, by preventing to a great extent the
reabsorption of material from the intestines which may prove irritant
when excreted through the kidneys and when present in the bladder, is
of itself an excellent therapeutic measure in cases of irritability of
the genital organs. The setting of the patient's mind to thinking
about his rectum, his bowels, and his bladder instead of his genital
tract is an excellent psychotherapeutic measure that will soon bear

The consumption of various foods, condiments and drinks enters into
the underlying condition which produces frequent emissions. We have
already suggested that the use of a large amount of proteid materials,
especially in people who live a sedentary life, often predisposes to
this condition. An abundance of the carbohydrates, however, by
supplying more heat than is necessary may have a like effect. Certain
spices seem to predispose to irritability of the sexual system. Red
pepper has always seemed to those who saw much of these cases to be
particularly at fault. Mustard, curries, peppers generally, however,
and even other spices seem to have a corresponding effect. As a rule,
young folks suffering from this disturbance or from the tendency to
eroticism in other ways should be warned about this irritation of
spices. In neurotic individuals tea and especially coffee has the same
effect. Probably this is only an indirect influence of tea upon the
nerve centers, making them more irritable, but coffee, by raising the
blood pressure, seems to have a direct unfavorable effect.

All alcoholic drinks are contraindicated in these cases and must be
forbidden. Certain of them seem to be more harmful than others.
According to French tradition warm wine or mulled ale as it is used in
England is especially likely to excite sexuality. Warm alcoholic
drinks of any kind are absorbed more rapidly than are cool drinks,
which is the main reason in modern times for having these liquids
cooled so that they will not be absorbed too rapidly and disturb the
equilibrium. Champagne also has, by tradition, a special effect,
sometimes said to be due to the increased hyperemia of the stomach
induced by the carbonic acid gas and the consequent more rapid

The prohibition of spices and alcoholic drinks has a good effect in
itself. It acts constantly as a suggestion to the necessity for care
and guard over one's self. Besides the exercise of self-denial
necessary to keep away from the use of such substances, especially
under present social conditions, is of itself a good training that
strengthens the will against certain tendencies to indulgence in
sexual thoughts which predispose to the frequent emptying of the
seminal vesicles.

Erotic Dreams.--Very often these nocturnal seminal emissions are
associated with erotic dreams. Patients are inclined to attribute the
occurrence of these dreams to some fault of their own or to consider
that they are at least in some way responsible for them. This thought
often becomes a source of serious worry, making their condition worse.
A study of this question has convinced me that in most cases there is
practically no responsibility in the matter. Pressure on the seminal
vesicles by an over-full bladder, or a distended rectum, leads to the
production of nervous stimuli around which the erotic dream-ideas
gather. A straightforward explanation of this will relieve many
patients' minds, and keep them from bothering about the subject in
such a way as to make their genital tract even more sensitive than it
is because of their concentration of attention on it.

Sexual Mental Troubles.--In our generation sex occupies a great deal
of attention. Sexual tendencies are emphasized by suggestive reading
of all kinds and by forced attention to sex matters. Most of the
successful novels deal with the so-called sex problem, our plays are
to a great extent sex problem plays and our newspapers are full of sex
crimes and sexual divagations of many kinds. This acts as a strong
incitement to sexuality and represents exactly the opposite of what
nature intended in the matter. As a consequence, all the tendencies to
over-solicitude with regard to sexual affections and all that
instability of mind and over-reaction to all forms of irritation that
comes in the midst of sexual excitation are noted. This seriously
disturbs the minds of many patients and makes their health as well as
their morals worse than they should be. The neurotic conditions seen
in those who occupy their leisure with erotic subjects are fostered by
this unfortunate over-attention to sexual matters. For general
prophylaxis the physician needs to throw all the weight of his
influence toward the correction of unfortunate tendencies in our
present-day life and healthier subjects of thought should be

We often hear it said in our time that the great fact of life is sex.
Indeed, this has been insisted on ad nauseam in recent years. There
is no doubt that without the sex element the race would not continue
under the present dispensation. If sexual feelings did not mean so
much to the generality of men and women it is doubtful whether
marriage would be the success that it is, though so much is said
nowadays about its failure. The analogy with all the beings lower in
the scale than man shows how imperative and prominent in life
this instinct is and how much it signifies. Those who insist so much,
however, on sex as the one great fact of life seem to forget that
there are many other natural functions of quite as much importance to
the individual at least, if not to the race. Without eating neither
the individual nor the race could go on. Neither would the race go on
without eliminating waste products. If there is one thing that our
consideration of the problems of psychotherapy has made clear it is
that whenever any of these animal facts of life is made much of and
occupies attention to the exclusion of higher ideas, there is sure to
be trouble. It matters not how apparently automatic and completely
spontaneous a function may be, if exaggerated attention is given to
it, it is sure to be disturbed in its functions and cause serious
troubles in the organism.

There is no need further to illustrate this with regard to such
physiological necessities as feeding and excretion. At present the
world is much occupied with sex problems because, unfortunately, its
attention has been focused on this subject. Physicians, particularly
if they are paying attention to nervous patients, are likely to know
many individuals who have food problems, diet problems, digestion
problems, bowel problems, and many others of similar nature because
they have been focusing their attention on these functions of their

The most distinguished psychiatrist of our generation, certainly the
man whose works have done most to open up new vistas for us in mental
diseases and who has added not only new knowledge but new
possibilities of development, visited this country not long since and
said, "Oh! here in America you are sex mad." He added, "I knew that we
were madly following sex problems in Europe, but I thought that in
this country, with so many other things to occupy the minds of men and
women, you were not bothered so much with sex problems." What he said
represents the impression of nearly every thoughtful foreigner who is
surprised to find that wealth and luxury have brought to us this same
degenerate interest in things sexual that occupies the so-called upper
classes and their imitators in Europe.

Livy, the Roman historian, said long ago, "Whenever women become
ashamed of the things they should not be ashamed of, it will not be
long before they will begin not to be ashamed of the things they
should be ashamed of." Whenever in history men and women have occupied
themselves, not with the rearing of families, but with the suppression
of families to as great an extent as possible, sex problems have
always become emphasized. The woman who is a mother, and especially
many times a mother, usually has no trouble at all about sex problems
and no tendency to have "affinities." With her there is usually no
question of sex as the central factor of life nor of any other of the
curious nonsense that has been talked about this matter as the result
of giving sex a place of importance that it does not deserve. Until
there is a reform in this matter we can look for many "neurotic,
erotic and tommy-rotic" tendencies, as they have been called, due to
over-attention to one set of organs. Any organic system in the body
would be disturbed by such attention, but the sexual system is
particularly susceptible to suggestion.

The state of affairs thus emphasized is the result of interfering with
an animal instinct. It will make itself felt properly and secure the
due exercises of function if allowed to pursue the even tenor of its
way under reasonable control, but if it is fostered, thought
about, discussed, excited in various ways, pampered by indulgence and
perversion, it runs away with nature. The gourmet who constantly
thinks about food, plans new modes of exciting the appetite, studies
savors and odors in order to satisfy a palate that has been
artificially stimulated, gets a certain animal enjoyment out of his
food that other people do not; but he usually overeats, loses his
appetite, and with it any real satisfaction in eating, and suffers
from indigestion as a consequence of indulgence, so that the suffering
much more than compensates for any slight additional pleasure that he
has enjoyed. Besides, man is an essentially intellectual being, and
occupation with the things of sense, that will manage themselves very
well if let alone, takes up just so much of the precious time that
should be devoted to other things to attain that satisfaction that
makes life well worth living. Sexuality cultivated with the degree of
attention that certain people devote to feeding, becomes a pest, ruins
intellectual effort, hurts initiative, leads to the most serious
disappointments in life and is the most fruitful cause of despondency
and suicide that we have besides being the origin of many social evils
that still further complicate life.

One great modern nation has debauched its literature to such an extent
that probably the major portion of its books treat of sex and sex
problems. Practically all of its esthetic expression has been
seriously hurt by the same fault. Its painting, its sculpture, its
dramatics, its art of all kinds, have all gone the same road. The
result is seen in the lowered moral fiber of its people. A recent
census report showed that the nation has reduced some 20,000 in
numbers and that this was only the beginning of the race suicide. They
have been thinking, talking, writing, painting, chiseling, acting sex
problems, but in the only phase of life in which sex really counts it
has been so pushed into the background or perverted that there it is
failing utterly to accomplish its one legitimate purpose. The younger
generation as they grow up are given the idea that they are missing
the most wonderful thing in life unless they have memorable sex
experiences. These experiences must be varied in order to satisfy the
artificial appetite that has been created. As a consequence, family
life and the real meaning of love and the affection of man for woman
rooted in the depths of their nature is spoiled by mere animal passion
and its passing expression.

Nature's own attitude with regard to over-attention to sex matters
must not be forgotten. The purely sexual organs have been pushed into
the background to as great an extent as possible and are intimately
associated in both sexes with one of the two ugly excretory functions,
urination, and placed in close relationship with the structures which
subtend the other--defecation. Evidently nature intended that they
should be the subject of as little attention as possible.
Unfortunately, the paying of attention to them to any great extent
lessens somewhat of the disgust naturally aroused by the excretory
functions with which they are associated. Nature has provided as far
as possible for deterrence from over-interest. One might expect that
cleanliness and the cultivation of the feelings of refinement would
serve as auxiliaries in the repression of sex indulgence. The lessons
of history are that usually the great bathing nations have been most
sexually divagant. Among the Greeks and the Romans the ugliest sex
habits and proclivities found a place--among peoples who devoted
themselves to the cleanliness of the body. The classes who bathe
most are often those with the strongest tendency to sexuality.
Refinement instead of lessening the tendency to sexual indulgence
rather increases it.

Education and the development of intellectuality, far from being a
barrier to sexual divagations, seem to predispose to the exaggeration
of the significance of sex in life, unless the individual has a
well-balanced character or has been thoroughly grounded in ethical
principles. The ugly stories of Greek love at a time when the Greeks
were at the climax of culture, as well as what we know about the
relations of the freedmen to their masters among the Romans during the
classical period, is all confirmed by the revelations of corresponding
tendencies in recent generations among the intellectual classes even
at the universities. Development of mind apparently does not
neutralize to any extent these sexual tendencies. Evidently the rule
of life for health's sake must be to push sexuality as much into the
background of the mind as nature has put the sex organs in the human
body. Reason does not protect knowledge but increases suggestion. Only
absorbing occupation of mind with other subjects that will bring about
neglect of these functions, as of all other physiological functions,
leaving them to nature, serves to keep them in their proper place and

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