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Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!

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Posts Tagged ‘immorality’

Influences Which Incite to Sexual Immorality

Monday, July 19th, 2010

something good and something evilI find this excerpt quite amusing, for some reason. It’s from The Sexual Instinct: Its Use and Dangers as Affecting Heredity and Morals, which has a subtitle that drags on: “Essentials to the Welfare of the Individual and the Future of the Race of the Individual.”

Author James Foster Scott writes in the preface: “This book (indended primarily and mainly for laymen ~ not for women or boys) contains much plain talking, for which I offer no defence.” Since Scott doesn’t say anything about girls, I guess its OK for them to read it (with a man’s approval, of course) to the women and boys, so they benefit from the wisdom of his advice. Whew. I think that should cover just about everyone, including those dangerous, morally rotten city-bred folks.

1899: Influences Which Incite to Sexual Immorality

A thoughtful person cannot help observing that these times are characterized by the reckless abuse of stimulants, material and mental, to which we are fast becoming slavishly addicted. Besides alcoholic stimulants, we are presented at every turn with literary, dramatic, political, artistic and other excitants which the general public seems to demand for its mental, moral and physical nourishment. The battle against impurity cannot prevail unless at least the decent members of the community shall have high standards which discountenance sensuality, and unless they demand equal rights for both sexes, and cease to heap up all the degredation on the weaker sex. Virtue in a nation will decline unless its citizens exhibit a zeal for what is pure and good; and no nation can be truly great which does not represent in the aggregate those qualities which are great in the individual.

America, being related to every nation, has derived something good and something evil from all of them; and unless we court a national tragedy, such as those which have blotted out whole empires in the past, we must be awake and active, and demand a due reverence for the family life, while at the same time vigorously opposing every influence which in any way tends to degrade it. Otherwise we cannot be ascendant and predominant in history. National decay will surely follow if we submit to the seductive influences of the times; and unless we effectively combat the enemies of purity and decency, there is danger that those at least who are city bred will become morally rotten.

Source: Scott, James Foster. The Sexual Instinct: Its Use and Dangers As Affecting Heredity and Morals. New York: E. B. Treat & Company, 1899.
~ p. 168 ~