Editors 22th.September.2005.- The fears and doubts about masturbation and its exceeding proportions during the nineteenth century is the theme approached by jean Stengers and Ann Van Neck in their book called Masturbation: The History of the Great Terror. Stengers and Van Neck demonstrate by facts that the church and its religious authorities condemned the practice of masturbation in the Middle Ages despite all medical denial about some kind of side effect or debilitating result.
In the eighteen century with the publication and popularization
of the anonymous "Onania" an anti-masturbation sense permeated the society, and writers and even doctors started to see this practice as causal
in illness. Spread ideas that masturbation use to cause gonorrhea, exhaustion
enervation and death, were pretty normal. By the nineteenth century the terror
became so brutal that in cases where children continued to masturbate, it was
necessary to tie their hands down at night, and in extreme cases, brutalities
like clitoridectomy, penis piercing and spikes penis sheaths became warranted.
All the evolution of theories about the practice of masturbation is quoted by Stengers and Van Neck in this book, until today and today's ideas of horrific behaviors. However, the book can be useful to scholars of sexuality and medicine, social history, and the history of sexuality.