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Feelings Associated With Sex Should Be Diffused

( Originally Published 1923 )

Feelings Associated with Sex Should be Diffused. —The first information which the child gets concerning sex differences and facts of reproduction is normally connected with his own person and the persons of the immediate members of the home. To prevent the fixation of feelings about his own person and the others around him, his information should be gradually ex-tended to include the parallel facts in other animals and in plants, as suggested on page 21. All babies come from mothers. What is true of him is true of all little boys or girls. The facts which he has concerning male and female, parent and offspring, apply to all animals, to all living things. This generalization of the facts should carry with it a dilution or diffusion of the feelings. There is no longer, then, anything peculiar about him and his feelings.

On the one hand, the first impressions having been associated with his intimates, with those he loves, his ideas carry a certain fringe of sacredness, or at least respect and affection. On the other hand, by emphasizing the elements of structure, constitution, habits, and impulses, which he has in common with other living things, there is avoided the danger of excessive introspection.

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