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Inhaltsangabe: INNOCENCE AND IGNORANCE-the combination may be tragic. Some months ago there came to my attention a striking illustration of how pitiable may be the consequences of this unfortunate union. A young woman of eighteen or so, educated in a convent, was persuaded by her mother to marry a certain man who was considered in society to be in every way a desirable "catch." What was her horror to find what marriage really meant -the essence of the contract she had made as an act of filial piety! After months of bitter degradation with a diseased brute, she left the man and is now supporting herself by hard work. Had she not been ignorant as well as innocent, she would never have entered into any such agreement with any man, much less with this particular one. She would have consecrated herself to God in some religious community. Now she cannot. Her life is ruined. Convents are closed to her, and she must even bear the stigma of being a divorcee. This is an unusual case. But it is not as unusual as many will suppose. And because it is not as unusual as it should be, and for other reasons, we have thought it wise to give to the American public this work by an eminent French Dominican on a topic of the greatest importance-education to purity. Young women have a right to be protected against any such false step as was forced upon this innocent girl through her ignorance. It was not the less false that it was sanctioned by society's laws. For it is a crime, comparable, perhaps, only to actual seduction, to allow our young girls to enter into such an intimate and wide-reaching relationship with a man without knowing exactly what they are doing. The consequences are too grave for themselves, for their husbands, and for the possible children. Love may be blind, but he should not be blindfolded in this way. And men, too, have a right to be protected against the ignorance of women in such matters. More matrimonial infelicity than we shall ever know is caused by uncongeniality in this regard, which might have been avoided had the woman understood beforehand what would be expected of her. She may resign herself after she is once in this position, but she cannot completely hide her disgust, and men of a certain temperament will be unsatisfied, if not suspicious and jealous. On the other hand, young men or young women should know, to some extent, what they are giving up if they become priests or religious. Consecration to God should be full and knowing. There should be no vain regrets aroused by knowledge after it is too late honorably to change. These considerations argue in favor of telling all children about the facts of life. It might be wiser, had we the disposition of affairs, to arrange some other way of perpetuating the human race. But as God designed this particular and only method, we think that young people growing up have a right to know of it, and that those to whom they are entrusted have the duty of enlightening them in a frank, pure, intelligent way. This duty binds even in the case of those who might be kept in ignorance. All children should be told, for the reasons that we have stated. But in case these reasons should not appear convincing to some persons, Abbe Gillet goes in detail into another and clinching argument. It is not, he shows, a question of keeping children in ignorance of sexual facts or of telling them everything. Rather it is a question of who shall tell them-vicious companions or pure, truth-loving lips of parents or educators. He effectually punctures the theory, hugged so tightly by some credulous parents, that the average child can for very long in these days be kept in ignorance on this point. Between the street, the newspaper, magazines, the theatre, the movies, companions, picture galleries, museums, and dozens of other avenues that arouse and satisfy his curiosity, it is quixotic to imagine that any but an unusual child will long remain without some knowledge on these dangerous and inflammatory subjects.
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