Conceiving a “Babe”
There is little doubt why there were very large families at the beginning of the 20th Century. The Complete Guide to Prevention and Cure of Disease, which was no doubt the prevalent thinking of the time, provided a very long and detailed chart outlining fertile and barren periods in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, it was dead wrong. The chart lists the days at the beginning and end of the cycle as “probable fertile” and the middle of the cycle which is we now know when ovulation occurs as “probable barren.” By accident, a couple of the “probable fertile” days may have been in fact fertile.
Birth control is not a subject of these chapters on Sexology and I am glad. No way would I care to describe here the method most common at that time. We’ll just move on to determining whether the “babe” will be a boy or a girl. This book seems very confident in opinions regarding choosing the sex of a child.
Will the “Babe” be a boy or a girl?
We know today that the male sperm determines the sex of a baby. We’ve had more than a century to study and learn, so it is unfair, I suppose, to make fun of the 1910 thinking. But hey, that’s up to you. Here’s what the manuscript says in direct quote or paraphrase:
- “The ovary is undoubtedly the predominant factor.”
- “Nutritional disturbances” such as diabetes are more likely to lead to the birth of a girl.
- “Emotion” is a factor in sex determination and the soul pervades every element of our bodies with either pleasure or pain.
- To conceive the desired sex, during intercourse (or coitus as Sheldon of “Big Band Theory” would say) ones’ mental recollections should be pleasant and calm.
- Experiments were made using cows and horses resulting in eight (8) different conditions that influenced the sex of a calf or colt, including the age, strength, health and work history of each animal parent.
- These animal observations were then applied to human parents.
Want a Boy?
The husband must partake of “substantial food, exercise in open air and indulge in light literature.” He should also not “indulge” himself for a few days prior to intercourse. The wife should eat a vegetarian diet, exercise daily to almost fatigue and spend some time with older women. She should also take certain extracts which are listed.
Want a Girl?
Do the opposite! The wife should eat animal food, not “indulge her passions” and keep all her “vigor for the desired time.” The husband should do “exercise to fatigue,” and take a “sitz bath of cold rock-salt water” morning and night.
Final Sexology Warning
Above all take “Care of the Passions.” The book cautions that those who are reckless in this respect will “Produce disorders of the nervous system. Messengers of evil or of good are ever passing” through the reflex centers of the brain, stomach, and genitals and “to touch one is to touch all.”
Part 3 of 4