When you sit down to your daily bowl of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, matters of masturbation are not the first thing that come to mind, but John Kellogg was staunchly, adamantly and absolutely against it, and he spent a lot of time and effort to let everyone know about it.
In the early part of this century, John Harvey Kellogg gained a reputation both as a nutritionist and a sexual advisor. The foods that JHK created (including the now-famous corn flakes) were designed to promote health and decrease interest in sex.
Dr. Kellogg thought sex was the ultimate abomination and remained celibate even in marriage. To him, masturbation was the worst sin imaginable. He believed it led to leprosy, tuberculosis, heart disease, epilepsy, dimness of vision, insanity, idiocy, and death. He also preached that masturbation led to bashfulness in some people, unnatural boldness in others, a fondness for spicy foods, round shoulders, and acne.
Here are some of his writings upon the subject – which were widely believed and adhered to at the time of their writing in the late 19th century.
“Self-pollution, or masturbation, is a crime doubly abominable. As a sin against nature, it has no parallel except in sodomy (see Gen. 19:5, Judges 19:22). It is the most dangerous of all sexual abuses, because it is the most extensively practiced. The vice consists in any excitement of the genital organs produced otherwise than in the natural way. It is known by the terms, self-pollution, self-abuse, masturbation, onanism, manustupration, voluntary pollution, solitary or secret vice, and other names sufficiently explanatory. The vice is the more extensive because there are no bounds to its indulgence. Its frequent repetition fastens it upon the victim with a fascination almost irresistible. It may be begun in earliest infancy, and may continue through life.”
He goes on to say:
“The habit is by no means confined to boys; girls also indulge in it, though, it is to be hoped, to a less fearful extent than boys, at least in this country. A Russian physician, quoted by an eminent medical professor in New York, states that the habit is universal among girls in Russia. It seems impossible that such a statement should be credible; and yet we have not seen it contradicted. It is more than probable that the practice is far more nearly universal everywhere than even medical men are willing to admit. Many young men who have been addicted to the vice, have, in their confessions, declared that they found it universal in the schools in which they learned the practice.
In the next article we will look at the many incredible, and now utterly debunked, signs that used to say – you’re a wanker!