An experiment in teaching sex hygiene
Journal of Educational Psychology
In 1908 I first became interested in the problem of presenting to boys of 13 to 35 years of age the essentials of sex hygiene. Feeling that progress could come only by experimentation, I began in that year the experiments which have resulted in the following method. The method is pursued in connection with our first year course in "Civic Biology." This course is required of all our first year hoys and continues for forty weeks, four periods per week. As it differs from the ordinary course in
... dinary course in general biology only in the stress it lays on biological processes which are of economic importance, the method developed for the presentation of sex hygiene could be introduced with equal success into any course in general biology. The biological course is the ideal medium for this work for many reasons. Biological functions are two in the main-Nutrition and Reproduction-and while in most courses more stress is laid upon the explanation of nutrition, it is a simple and natural matter to restore the balance by a little more attention to the other phase. Again, the best method of treating ignorance in sex matters is, to borrow a medical figure, gradual inoculation to the attainment of immunity rather than attempted condensation into one or two talks of the essentials of the process with the attendant danger of stimulating morbid curiosity or inducing mental indigestion. The subject matter, the method of presentation, and the wide opportunity for comparative treatment make a course in biology ideal for securing gradual acquaintance with the desired facts, and the very naturalness of their introduction into such a course removes the feature of self consciousness.