A Columbus of Space by Garrett P. (Putman) Serviss

By Garrett P. (Putman) Serviss

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I t is only essential that she should have the most absolute faith in the purity and dignity of her physical relationship to her child, and be able tô speak of it with frankness and tenderness. When that essential condition is fulfilled every mother has all the knowledge that her young child needs. Among the best authorities, both men and women, in all the countries where this matter is attracting attention, there seems now to be unanimity of opinion in favour of the elementary facts of the baby's relationship to its mother being explained to the child by the mother as soon as the child begins to ask questions.

It used to be said that at this early age children should not be told, even in a simple and elementary form, the real facts of their origin but should, instead, hear a fairy-tale having in it perhaps some kind of symbolic truth. To reject this contention is not to deny the important place which fairy-tales hold in the imagination of young children. Fairy-tales have a real value to the child, they are a mental food he needs if, he is not to be spiritually starved. But not only are sex matters too vital even in childhood to be safely made matter for a fairy-tale, but the real facts are themselves as wonderful as any fairy-tale, and appeal to the child's imagination with as much force as a fairy-tale.

But, as Moll, insisted, the real problem of chastity lies, not in the multiplication of laws and policemen, but largely in women's knowledge gf the dangers of sex and in the cultivation of their sense of responsibility. We are always making laws for the protection of children and setting the police on guard. But laws and the police, whether their activities are good or bad, are in either case alike ineffectual. They can for the most part only be invoked when the damage is already done. We have to learn to go to the root of the matter.

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