A Random SOTI Quote For December 1

In which Wertham mentions Krafft-Ebing and Havelock Ellis.


Pre-adolescence and adolescence are manifestly the most difficult periods in children’s sexual development. This is so not only on account of the maturing of the sexual instinct, as is commonly supposed, but also because of the awakening of social feelings at that time. All human beings have to learn a rationale of controlling, discipling and, if you will, subliminating sexual impulses. Only a decent social orientation can lead to a decent sex life, for practically all psychological sex problems are ethical problems. In sexual education as in other other education, one should also not forget that we are bringing children up not to be children, but to be adults.

Contrary to the opinion of unprogressive progressive educationalists, children like [italics original to the author] to be guided. When we adults disappoint them by not giving them any worthy models to follow, we theorize that children resent authority. They do not. Actually they have a natural need to be led and directed.

With the progress of scientific research , a road on which the names of Krafft-Ebing, Havelock Ellis, Freud, Stekel, and Kinsey are signposts, we have learned more and more that sexual behavior varies widely and than many patterns which used to be regarded as serious crimes, extremely immoral conduct or severe abnormalities do not deserve to be so seriously regarded. And yet education for a happy life must take into account that secual irregularities in one way or another may spell great unhappiness and sufffering. A liberal-minded attitude appropriate in dealing with fully grown adults is unfair when used as excuse for not warding off harmful influences from children.

Comic books stimulate children sexually. That is an elementary fact of my research. In comic books over and over again, in pictures and text, and in the advertisements as well, attention is drawn to sexual characteristics and to sexual actions. As one boy expressed it to mewhen I was discussing with a group what is good and bad in comics, “The sexism is bad, but to tell you the truth, I like that the most!” There are children – and very young ones, too, according to our researces – who get stirred up by this “sexism.” That is not the free development of children, that is a sexual arousal that amounts to seduction.

December 1, 2018
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