Let’s follow the Science….
Once-upon-a-time, Scientists and Physicians believed masturbation was a “heinous sin” of “self-pollution” which led to madness, disease, and an early death. In 1716, Doctor Balthazar Bekker published a medical pamphlet entitled Onania which warned the reader masturbation caused:
Disturbances of the stomach and digestion, loss of appetite or ravenous hunger, vomiting, nausea, weakening of the organs of breathing, coughing, hoarseness, paralysis, weakening of the organ of generation to the point of impotence, lack of libido, back pain, disorders of the eye and ear, total diminution of bodily powers, paleness, thinness, pimples on the face, decline of intellectual powers, loss of memory, attacks of rage, madness, idiocy, epilepsy, fever and finally suicide.
In 1745, Doctor Robert James a noted and respectable physician claimed in A Medicinal Dictionary onanism was responsible for “the most deplorable and generally incurable disorders.”
While in France, physician Samuel-Auguste Tissot was of the belief semen was an essential body oil. In his book L’Onanisme Tissot wrote masturbation was responsible for:
….a perceptible reduction of strength, of memory and even of reason; blurred vision, all the nervous disorders, all types of gout and rheumatism, weakening of the organs of generation, blood in the urine, disturbance of the appetite, headaches and a great number of other disorders.
So now we know!
These doctors and scientists weren’t quacks but were respected and trusted like today’s esteemed medical authorities Anthony Fauci and Chris Whitty….ahem!
In 1830, another medical book Le livre sans titre (The Book With No Title or The Book With No Name) detailed in gory colour illustrations the horrors awaiting the self-polluter. Here was the story of young boy (his Mother’s pride and joy, no less…) who fell in the thrall of self-abuse and died a hideous death at the age of seventeen.
I wonder if this book was left casually about the house as a warning to the curious? Or perhaps read as a book at bedtime to terrify the children? Alas, despite the good intentions it appears to have had little effect as the World seems over-populated by wankers…
H/T Dittrick Museum.
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