A Solemn Appeal



“The father was, perhaps, born with strong sexual passions which have never been controlled, and the mother may have inherited similar conditions. They have married without any appreciation of what true marriage is, and too often solely, or principally, for the gratification of the animal passions; for SOAP 94.1

lust, and not for love. The child is begotten in mere passion! The father transmits his propensities to indulgence, along with the excitement of irritation of the sexual organs arising from those propensities; and not only this, but the sexual passion is indulged during pregnancy, which causes the mother to transmit doubly of the direful ill to the offspring within her womb, while at the same time the nervous force expended detracts just so much from the rights of the child to inherit a strong, well-balanced, and healthy organization. SOAP 95.1

“Every orgasm expends of the mother’s vitality a portion that should go to nourish and develop her babe. Very much of the weakness and lassitude experienced during pregnancy is due to the exhaustion consequent upon the sexual embrace, and the forming child must suffer from its effects; for the mother cannot impart what she does not herself possess, health and strength, with elasticity of mind and earnestness of purpose.” SOAP 95.2

“The manner in which children are reared and educated has also much to do in developing an irritability of the sexual organs, and is a predisposing cause of self-abuse; the food and drink, habits of cleanliness, or its opposite - dress, associations, etc., all have their influence upon the child, and tend either to develop or overcome the inherited tendencies of the sexual organization. SOAP 95.3

“Feeding children upon pork, gravies, eggs, pastry made of lard, salt meats, with mustard and pepper, rich pies and cakes, spices, cloves, and other excitants; candies and sweetmeats, vinegar, pickles, tea and coffee, and every thing of this description, eaten at all hours of day and late at night, tend to fire the blood, derange the functions of the system, excite the nerves and bring on a precocious development of the sexual passion. SOAP 96.1

“The skin, too, with its millions of little sewers, by which God intended the purification of the system to be carried on, must be kept clean, or the impurities are dammed back, and the internal organs become deranged in consequence; and, wherever a predisposition to excitability of the sexual organs exists, those organs must suffer and become more irritable still, from habits of uncleanliness. Weakness of the sexual organs is often induced and increased by the inattention of mothers and nurses with regard to changing the clothing of infants; they are allowed to go wet and soiled, thus irritating and chafing the tender parts, until this becomes a strong excitant to self-abuse. SOAP 96.2

“Sleeping on feather-beds and feather-pillows, in close, unventilated rooms, is another cause of weakness, and therefore aids in inducing this vile practice. Children are often initiated into the habit of self-abuse by sleeping with libidinous servants; and many a man and woman might say, as a patient writes to me: ‘I curse the time when I slept with a servant of impure mind, who led me to habits of vice from which I have suffered ever since.’ Little babes acquire the habit of masturbation from nursery-maids, who frequently play with the genital organs to keep the child quiet. SOAP 96.3

“Confining children in-doors; compelling them to sit on hard benches, with their toes scarcely reaching the floor, in ill-ventilated school-rooms; low, vulgar stories upon subjects relating to the sexual function, which many young men and boys, yes, and old men too! are so fond of relating to excite the imagination and arouse the curiosity of all who listen to them; giving children false impressions as to how they were born - and this is as often done by parents as by others - and of the nature and use of the sexual function; reading low novels and obscene stories; looking at obscene pictures - all tend to excite the imagination, and arouse and pervert the sexual instinct.” SOAP 97.1

“Talking to children about ‘sweethearts’ and ‘lovers’ is a fruitful cause of premature excitement of the sexual system, and often leads to self-abuse, as well as to promiscuous sexual indulgence. I am often horror-stricken at the lightness and levity with which these seeds of damnation are sown in the minds of children. Parents and others who sow such seed may thank themselves for the fruit thereof. SOAP 97.2