Masturbation by Jean Stengers
The History of a Great Terror

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Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror is a funny and frightening look at the attitudes towards masturbation throughout history and how they have affected the sex lives of anyone living and breathing today. The French biologist, Tissot, was the original spoil-sport who turned masturbation into the scourge of young men everywhere. Saying that a little self-induced pleasure caused wasting, insanity, and finally death, Tissot put the clamps (literally, in some cases) on the greatest relaxation inducer known to humankind. From Tissot's work to the punitive postures of the German courts to the surgical preventatives of continental Europe and England to the handbook of the Boy Scouts of America, spanking/wanking, yanking/choking, and other assorted diddling became the big no-no. Stengers and Van Neck give us the whole story and it isn't pretty, but it will fascinate everyone who agrees with Woody Allen when he said "Hey, don't knock masturbation! It's sex with someone I love."

About Jean Stengers

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Jean Stengers is Professor of History at the University of Brussels.The late Anne Van Neck was a Master of Research at the University's Institute of History.Kathryn Hoffmann, University of Hawaii, is the author of Society of Pleasures.
Published July 6, 2001 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade. 240 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Self Help, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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""The victims of genital ardor,"" that is, people who masturbate, are subject to tuberculosis, consumption, loss of sight and hearing, lesions of the heart, melancholia, hysteria, death and numerous other dangers, according to texts from various ages.

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Project MUSE

In Masturbation, Stengers and Van Neck document the fears about masturbation that reached crisis proportions during the nineteenth century.

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Project MUSE

Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror is one of a number of books devoted to masturbation and to the history of discourse on masturbation that have been published in France during the past decade or so, including a welcome republication of the most famous anti-masturbation tract, Tissot's 1...

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Project MUSE

Although the authors' analysis of how masturbation became a harbinger of disease in French medical literature is interesting, they fail to prove their thesis.

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