Friday, July 10, 2009

Quote of the day

"Dr. Edward L. Keyes advocates the teaching of sex-hygiene to children, because he thinks it is the kind of information that children are eagerly seeking. 'What is this topic,' he asks, that all these little ones are questioning over, mulling over, fidgeting over, imagining over, worrying over? Ask your own memories.'

"I do ask my memory in vain for the answer Dr. Keyes anticipates. A child's life is so full, and everything that enters it seems of supreme importance. I fidgeted over my hair, which would not curl. I worried over my examples, which never came out right. I mulled (though unacquainted with the word) over every piece of sewing put into my incapable fingers, which could not be trained to hold a needle. I imagined I was stolen by brigands, and became by virtue of beauty and intelligence spouse of a patriotic outlaw in a frontierless land. I asked artless questions which brought me into discredit with my teachers, as, for example, who 'massacred' St. Bartholomew. But vital facts, the great laws of propagation, were matters of but casual concern, crowded out of my life, and out of my companions lives (in a convent boarding-school) by the more stirring happenings of every day. How could we fidget over obstetrics when we were learning to skate, and our very dreams were a medley of ice and bumps? How could we worry over 'natural laws' in the face of a tyrannical interdict which lessened our chances of breaking our necks by forbidding us to coast down a hill covered with trees? The children to be pitied, the children whose minds become infected with unwholesome curiosity, are those who lack cheerful recreation, religious teaching, and the fine corrective of work. A playground or a swimming-pool will do more to keep them mentally and morally sound than scores of lectures upon sex-hygiene."

— Agnes Repplier"The Repeal of Reticence" (1913)