SEXUAL INSTRUCTION FOR THE YOUNG
[continued from yesterday]
...The question has been asked:
Who is to instruct those children who have no parents, or whose parents are unfitted for the task? For those who have no parents the duty devolves upon the guardian. For those whose parents are unfitted, the task may be undertaken by the schoolmaster or the priest. But generally speaking it is not advisable that children should associate such instruction with the priest.
In the confessional he never speaks of it unless he is asked or unless he has reason to suppose that there is something wrong. It is not right, therefore, for parents or guardians to relegate instruction to the confessional, for it is their duty to anticipate the wrong by giving instruction before the wrong has been done.
With regard to children at boarding schools, there should be some arrangement between parent and teacher. The parent will endeavor to take the lead either before the child is sent to school or during the holidays, and then communicate with the head teacher accordingly. The time of going out from home to earn a living is an occasion for special warning. Again, there is no need to go into all the details of the dangers of the streets. It will be sufficient to say that grave dangers do exist and that the chief occasion of these dangers is the accepting of acquaintance with unknown men or women. If good relationships have already been established between mother and daughter, then the girl will willingly tell her mother of any new friendship she may have made.
Whenever there is a question of a girl leaving home for a distant town, and more especially for a foreign country, the mother may well inform her child of the existence of the White Slave Traffic. There are, though, I believe, large numbers of mothers even who do not know of its existence. Let it be said here then that this terrible business is spread all over the world. It consists of tricking young women into houses of ill fame under pretense of finding them situations. The two chief means of enticing girls away are chance acquaintanceships whilst traveling, and advertisements in the newspapers.
Provision has been made for the protection of Catholic girls by an international Catholic society. Whenever, therefore, a girl thinks of taking a situation away from home, and especially if she be going to a foreign country, she should first put herself In communication with this society.
The address for the United States is: Secretary, St. Joseph's Home, 47 East 8ist Street (between Park and Madison Avenues), New York City.
The address for England Is: Hon. Secretary,
S. B. G., 304 Vauxhall Bridge Road, Westminster....
[Note: I'm not certain if this organization still exists or is operational]
[End of Chapter XI]
From Marriage and Parenthood, The Catholic Ideal
By the Rev. Thomas J. Gerrard
Author of "Cords of Adam," "The Wayfarer's Vision," ETC.
Copyright, 1911, by Joseph F. Wagner, New York.