Youth and Sex eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 86 pages of information about Youth and Sex.

The girls of the richer classes have not the same difficulties as their poorer sisters.  They generally remain at school until a much later age, and subsequently have the joy and stimulus of college life, of foreign travel, of social engagements, or of philanthropic enterprise.  Still, a residue remains even of girls of this class whose own inclinations, or whose family circumstances, lead to an aimless, purposeless existence, productive of much injury to both body and mind, and only too likely to end in hopeless ennui and nervous troubles.  It should be thoroughly understood by parents and guardians that no matter what the girl’s circumstances may be, she ought always to have an abundance of employment.  The ideas of obligation and of duty should not be discarded when school and college life cease.  The well-to-do girl should be encouraged to take up some definite employment which would fill her life and provide her with interests and duties.  Any other arrangement tends to make the time between leaving school or college and a possible marriage not only a wasted time but also a seed-time during which a crop is sown of bad habits, laziness of body, and slackness of mind, that subsequently bear bitter fruit.  It is quite time for us to recognise that unemployment and absence of duties is as great a disadvantage to the rich as it is to the poor; the sort of employment must necessarily differ, but the spirit in which it is to be done is the same.

One point that one would wish to emphasise with regard to all adolescents is that although occupation for the whole day is most desirable, hard work should occupy but a certain proportion of the waking hours.  For any adolescent, or indeed for any of us to attempt to work hard for twelve or fourteen hours out of the twenty-four is to store up trouble.  It is not possible to lay down any hard and fast rule as to the length of hours of work, because the other factors in the problem vary so greatly.  One person may be exhausted by four hours of intellectual effort, whereas another is less fatigued by eight; and further, the daily occupations vary greatly in the demand that they make on attention and on such qualities as reason, judgment, and power of initiation.  Those who teach or learn such subjects as mathematics, or those who are engaged in such occupations as portrait-painting and the higher forms of musical effort, must necessarily take more out of themselves than those who are employed in feeding a machine, in nursing a baby, or in gardening operations.

CHAPTER V.

The final aim of education.

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Youth and Sex from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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