Mental And Spiritual Significance Of Sex
( Originally Published 1918 )
MEN have always taken pride in their virile powers. To be virile means to be strongly sexed, and that does not mean simply to have well-developed sex organs. It means that every particle of the body feels strongly the impulse of masculinity. Women should learn to rejoice also in being strongly sexed, which means that every particle of their bodies feels the characteristic impulse of femininity.
The masculine impulse is positive, active, destructive. The feminine impulse is passive, negative and constructive. These two, therefore, supplement each other, and both are essential to a fully developed, well balanced racial life. Here is found the strongest possible reason for joint responsibilities between man and woman in the government of a community or a nation. Neither one of these two beings can fill the place of the other, and both are equally essential to a well-rounded, perfectly balanced national life.
Thus we see that sex holds a more important place in life than has been imagined. We know today, also, that the sex organs fulfill a much more important function in the life of the individual than has hitherto been supposed. Indications of the importance of these organs have not been lacking. Take, for instance, the fact that if the sex organs of animals are removed at an early age, the animal will not develop the qualities which belong distinctively to its sex. The patient horse lacks the fire and energy of the proud stallion. The plodding ox forms a marked contrast to the fiery bull. Similar examples have not been lacking in human life, for in earlier ages boys were sometimes deprived of these organs and grew up into effeminate creatures, lacking all manly qualities, both physical and mental. Elsewhere I have described the condition of such an unfortunate individual in the following words: "His high-pitched, chilish voice, undeveloped body, physical weakness, lack of vital resistance and short life, all indicate clearly the importance of the glands of which he has been deprived. The beard does not grow, as in the case of the virile man. The voice does not change. The muscles lack tenacity and firmness and the nerves are weak—all of these conditions indicating a lack of general constitutional vigor due to the loss of the internal secretion, the substance normally supplied to the living fabric by the testicles. And what is perhaps of even greater importance, the effect upon the mind is just as serious as upon the body. He lacks courage, he Iacks ambition, he lacks every mental quality that distinguishes men of great virility."
Without any doubt, the removal of the sex organs in early youth would have a corresponding effect upon the development of the young girl. She would lack those qualities which are essentially womanly, and would therefore lose that which makes her of greatest value to the community.
The importance of the sex organs in the development of the individual has been scientific-ally explained only within comparatively recent times. It is now known that as early as at ten years of age, these organs begin to secrete a fluid which is taken up by the blood and carried to every part of the organism. This wonderful internal secretion then begins its marvelous work of making over the entire body. Every bone, muscle, nerve and organ feels the effect of the magical fluid, and it is not long before we see the external manifestation of what has been going on within the organism. It is this internal secretion which causes the young girl to lose all her angularities and to take on the soft and gracious curves of womanhood. It is this which gives an added lustre to her hair, a clearer color to her cheek, and a brighter light to her eye. Thus we see that the beauty which forms so large a part of woman's charm is directly due to the activity of these creative organs in their process of development, and we begin to realize that woman, as an individual, owes a debt of gratitude to these racial powers.
With the development of the body comes also an unfoldment of the mind. New emotions be-gin to make themselves felt, and impulses toward self-sacrifice in the service of others may be observed. All these are expressions of sex. The beautiful maternal instinct which causes women to mother all with whom they come in contact gains an added impetus at this time. Think what it would mean to the girl and to others if she were to be deprived in any way of this life-giving impulse.
It is not alone through the physical operation which has been suggested that such a catastrophe may come about. There are wrong habits which a girl may acquire through ignorance which may bring about a somewhat similar condition. Any abuse of the sex organs will tend to impair their power. It is in order to prevent such catastrophes that instruction in these matters should be given to girls and young women. This subject of abuses will be considered more fully later on.
By teaching our girls to be ashamed of their womanliness and to suppress their higher sex impulses, we may be crushing out the most admirable qualities which have been bestowed upon them. Rather should we teach them the true meaning of the racial impulse, that they may be awakened to equip themselves to be true mothers of the race, spiritually as well as physically.
In order to develop to the highest degree the physical and mental powers it is necessary to live a normal life, and that includes the sex life. This is especially important in youth, for it is in this early period of life that we are laying the foundation, not only of our own future life, but of the lives of those who shall come after us. The development of the highest qualities of soul, mind and body depends in very large degree upon the normal unfoldment of the sex powers.
It is especially important that young women should cast aside the reluctance which they may have felt for a study of this subject, and come into a full comprehension of what sex normally means in human life. They have gone so far, many of them, in their dislike for everything connected with sex, that they have even succeeded in suppressing many of the natural instincts and impulses of their own hearts. They have for this reason cut themselves off from much that would give them happiness and pleasure throughout their whole lives, and would enable them to be of infinitely greater service to the community in which they live.
Women must learn to rejoice in their womanhood and to make the most of it, in order that they may make their especial contribution to the life of the world. If they do not bring to the community that which belongs distinctively to them as woman, it will suffer for lack of that which no one else can give.