On the psychic side of the question, it must be seen at a glance that the higher emotional sexual impulse, being divorced from the physical, is dwarfed, and vitiated by the habit to such a degree as to forever prevent that sympathy between the sexes which must underlie every permanent, agreeable and healthful union. I-f a mas-turbator marry, therefore, either male or female, the chances of domestic happiness are slight, for two causes. He, or she, is apt to undervalue the importance of the sexual act, in the first place; and in the second the divorcement of the sensuous and psychical elements, already referred to, prevents that symmetrical development of moral and physical characters which unifies the contending impulses, and evokes sexual happiness from connubial discord.1
If ninety-nine per cent, of young men and women masturbate, and the hundredth conceal the truth, as Vorslungen states;* if the practice be fraught with evil, physically, mentally and morally, which no reasonable mind can doubt; if its indulgence lead, even more than any other of the sexual vices already noticed, and by reason of the facility with which it may be practised, to insanity, neurasthenia and ultimate physical impotence; surely it is not a matter in which a physician, as conservator of the public health, as well as in a sense the guardian of physical morals, should long hesitate in voicing his views.
And mine are these: Masturbation destroys the very foundations of manhood and womanhood, replaces the healthy moral consciousness, which properly belongs to both, with a miserable sense of shrinking, vacillating shyness and moral inferiority; with a morbid idealism, wholly at variance with every practical pursuit and vital principle of life; and is well alluded to by Rousseau as " that dangerous supplement which deceives nature."'