Masturbation (self abuse) 8o is a vicious habit. It is often learned while the child is young. Sometimes the one who is caring for a baby boy will amuse the child by handling his external genital organ. Later the child himself will learn to handle this part of his body, and he will thus become a masturbator.
The custom of carrying children astride the hip produces a constant rubbing of the child’s genital organs, and by keeping these organs constantly irritated, the child may be led to masturbate. Boys often learn this habit from their playmates at school. In other cases, there may be a long or adherent foreskin. This irritates the end of the penis, and causes it to itch. The child rubs the organ, and in this way may learn to be a masturbator.
For this reason, whenever a child is noticed rubbing or scratching about the region of the external genitals, it will generally be found that he should be circumcised. If the habit of masturbation is carried on into young manhood the young man becomes debased morally. He does not respect himself and will never become a useful man, unless he ceases to masturbate. Every effort should be made to prevent and check the habit in childhood 8) .
There is nothing more distressing to a man who has been promiscuous or has practiced masturbation than to find upon marrying that his sexual powers are worn out and unable to function. He comes to the doctor and begs him to do something about it. But the damage has been done and if the powers return at all, it will be after a long period of chastity. Remember, the powers of reproduction in both the male and female are Limited to a few years and if they are worn out they do not recuperate readily.
Furthermore, if youth indulge in sexual intimacies before marriage, they are laying the foundation for future unhappiness. When united later on with a life partner in marriage, they will in one way or another have cause to regret such moral lapses. The most common sequel is impotence.