The doctor states that "in girls the occurrence of puberty is earlier in brunettes than in blondes"—a fact that the Clairol people have obviously failed to take into account, with their presumptuous advertising claim that blondes have more fun. The doctor adds: "In Jews the change is commonly a year or two in advance of other nationalities in this country. It also occurs somewhat sooner in Negroes and Creoles than in white persons...."
Dr. Kellogg dramatizes the importance of putting off puberty just as long as possible with this topper: "A fact which is of too great importance to allow to pass unnoticed is that whatever occasions early or premature sexual development also occasions premature decay. Females in whom puberty occurs at the age of ten or 12, by the time the age is doubled, are shriveled and wrinkled with age. At the time when they should be in their prime of health and beauty, they are prematurely old and broken. Those women who mature late retain their beauty and their strength many years after their precocious sister have become old, decrepit and broken down." How's that to scare the bejesus out of a youngster just entering into adolescence—a little item to make any boy or girl fear the arrival of the first signs of sexual maturity?!
And just where did kindly Doc Kellogg get this fascinating hypothesis, that he offers to "old and young" as statement of undisputed fact? Why, he made it up, of course. In actual fact, whatever correlation there may be between sexual precocity and the aging process operates as just the reverse of what Kellogg suggests. And in its extensive study of the sexual patterns of American males and females, the Institute for Sex Research of Indiana University found that those who are sexually precocious are also more inclined than the average to remain sexually active in the latter years of life. There is a considerable difference in the innate sex drives of various individuals, and it is the person with the weakest drive who is apt to reach sexual maturity latest and become sexually impotent earliest, as well as being less inclined to overall physical vigor and, therefore, more likely to succumb to the ravages of old age and senility.
Dr. Kellogg says, regarding sexual interests prior to puberty: "If raised strictly in accordance with natural law, children would have no sexual notions or feelings before the occurrence of puberty. No prurient speculation about sexual matters would enter their heads. Until that period, the reproductive system would lie dormant in its undeveloped state. No other feeling should be exhibited between the sexes than that brotherly and sisterly affection which is so admirable and becoming." When sexual interests were observed in the young, Kellogg explained them as unnatural perversions caused by improper upbringing.
At the very same time that the doctor of Battle Creek, Michigan, was expounding these views, another doctor in Vienna named Sigmund Freud was beginning his study of human behavior that established the existence of natural sexuality in the youngest infants.
Chastity and Continence
Dr. Kellogg devotes a chapter apiece to chastity and continence and makes clear his conviction that all manner of ills will befall those of either sex, whose surrender to the desires of the flesh, who even think about surrendering.
"Mental unchastity" is, according to Kellogg, as serious as the act itself: "Though [a man] may never have committed an overt act of unchastity, if he cannot pass a handsome female in the street without, in imagination, approaching the secrets of her person, he is but one grade above the open libertine, and is truly unchaste as the veriest debauchee.
"Man may not see these mental adulteries, he may not perceive these filthy imaginings; but One sees and notes them. They leave their hideous scars upon the soul. They soil and mar the mind; and as the record of each day of life is photographed upon the books in Heaven, they each appear in bold relief, in all their innate hideousness.
"O purity! How rare a virtue! How rare to find a face which shows no trace of sensuality!
"Foul thoughts, once allowed to enter the mind, stick like the leprosy. They corrode, contaminate, and infect like the pestilence; naught but Almighty power can deliver from the bondage of concupiscence a soul once infected by this foul blight, this moral contagium."
Kellogg warns his readers of the outcome of improper daydreams: "Those lascivious daydreams and amorous reveries, in which young people—and especially the voluptuous, and the sedentary and the nervous—are exceedingly apt to indulge, are often the sources of general debility, effeminacy, disordered functions, premature disease, and even premature death, without the actual exercise of the genital organs!"
The author discusses, in some detail, the causes of unchastity in modern civilization, which include:
Hereditary Predisposition—"A child conceived in lust can no more be chaste by nature than a Negro can be a Caucasian."
Improper Upbringing—"The sexes should be carefully separated from each other at least as early as four or five years of age, under all circumstances which could afford opportunity for observing the physical differences of the sexes, or in any way to serve to excite those passions which at this tender age should be wholly dormant."
Improper Diet—"Flesh, condiments, eggs, tea, coffee, chocolate, and all stimulants have a powerful influence directly upon the reproductive organs. They increase the local supply of blood, and through nervous sympathy with the brain, the passions are aroused. Overeating, eating between meals, hasty eating, eating indigestible articles of food, late suppers, react upon the sexual organs with the utmost certainty."
Clerical Impropriety—"Our most profound disgust is justly excited when we hear of laxity of morals in a clergyman.... But when we consider how these ministers are fed, we cannot suppress a momentary disposition to excuse, in some degree, their fault. When the minister goes out to tea, he is served with the richest cake, the choicest jellies, the most pungent sauces, and the finest of fine-flour bread-stuffs. Little does the indulgent hostess dream that she is ministering to the inflammation of passions which may peril the virtue of her daughter, or even her own. Salacity once aroused, even in a minister, allows no room for reason or for conscience."
Tobacco—"Few are aware of the influence upon morals exerted by that filthy habit, tobacco-using. When acquired early, it excites the underdeveloped organs, arouses the passions, and in a few years converts the once chaste and pure youth into a veritable volcano of lust, belching out from its inner fires of passion torrents of obscenity and the sulphurous fumes of lasciviousness. If long-continued, the final effect of tobacco is emasculine; but this is only the necessary consequence of previous super-excitation."
Bad Books—"Another potent enemy of virtue is the obscene literature which has flooded the land for many years. Circulated by secret agencies, these books have found their way into the most secluded districts. Nearly every large school contains one of these emissaries of evil men and their Satanic master. Largely through the influence of Mr. [Anthony] Comstock, laws have been enacted which promise to do much toward checking this extensive evil, or at least causing it to make itself less prominent.... It is a painful fact however, that the total annihilation of every foul book which the law can reach will not affect the cure of this evil, for our modern literature is full of the same virus. It is necessarily presented in less grossly revolting forms, half concealed by beautiful imagery, or embellished by wit; but yet, there it is, and no law can reach it. The works of our standard authors in literature abound in lubricity. Popular novels have doubtless done more to arouse a prurient curiosity in the young, and to excite and foster passion and immorality, than even the obscene literature for the suppression of which such active measures have recently been taken. The more exquisitely painted the scenes of vice, the more dangerously enticing. Novel-reading has led thousands to lives of dissoluteness."
Idleness—"To maintain purity, the mind must be occupied. If left without occupation, the vacuity is quickly filled with unchaste thoughts."
Fashion—The fashionable dress of the women of the day leads to unchastity in two ways, according to Dr. Kellogg: "1. By its extravagance; 2. By its abuse of the body." The latter, he notes, may "produce permanent local congestions, with ovarian and uterine derangements. These affections have long been recognized as the chief pathological condition in hysteria, and especially in that peculiar form of disease known as nymphomania, under the excitement of which a young woman, naturally chaste and modest, may be impelled to the commission of the most wanton acts. The pernicious influence of fashionable dress in occasioning this disorder cannot be doubted."
Dancing - "In addition to the associated dissipation, late hours, fashionable dressing, midnight feasting, exposure through excessive exertions and improper dress, etc., it can be shown most clearly that dancing has a direct influence in stimulating the passions and provoking unchaste acts, and are in themselves violations of the requirements of strict morality, and productive of injury to both mind and body."
Modern Modes of Life—"Superheated rooms, sedentary employments, the development of the mental and nervous organizations at the expense of the muscular, the cramming system in schools, too long confinement of schoolchildren in a sitting position, the allowance of too great freedom between the sexes in the young, the demoralizing influence of most varieties of public amusement, balls, church fairs, and other like influences too numerous to mention, all tend to lead in one direction, that of abnormal excitation and precocious development of sexual functions."