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This question group is public and is used in 11 tests.

Author: szeiger
No. Questions: 10
Created: Jul 11, 2014
Last Modified: 8 years ago

The Sex Side of Life

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When boys and girls get into their “teens,” a side of them begins to wake up which has been asleep or only partly developed ever since they were born, that is, the sex side of them. It is the most wonderful and interesting part of growing up. This waking is partly of the mind, partly of the body and partly of the feelings or emotions.

You can't help wanting to understand all about it, but somehow you find yourself a little embarrassed in asking all the questions that come into your mind, and often you don't feel quite like talking about it freely, even to your father and mother. Sometimes it is easier to talk with your best friends, because they are your own age, and are beginning to have these new feelings too.

But remember that young people don't know nearly so much about it as older people do, and that the older ones really want to help you with their experience and advice; and yet, they, like you, often feel rather embarrassed themselves and don't know how to go about it I suppose it is because it is all so very personal and still remains somewhat mysterious, in spite of all that people know about it.

If our bodies were just like machines, then we could learn about them and manage them quite scientifically as we do automobiles, but they are not like that. They are more than machines that have to be supplied with fuel (food) and kept clean and oiled (by bathing, exercise and sleep). They are the homes of our souls and our feelings, and that makes all the difference in the world in the way we act, and it makes what we have to learn, not limited to science only, but it has to include more difficult and complicated things like psychology and morality.

Maybe I can't make this article help you, but I remember so well what I wanted to know and how I felt when I was young that I am now going to try. And I will tell you to start out with that there is a great deal that nobody knows yet, in spite of the fact that the human race has been struggling thousands of years to learn.

Life itself is still a mystery, especially human life. Human life, in many respects, is like plant and animal life, but in many ways it is entirely different, and the ways in which it is different are almost more important for us to think about than the ways in which it is similar. In all life, except in the very lowest forms, new life is created by the coming together, in a very close and special way, of the male and female elements. You have studied at school about the plants and you probably have observed certain of the animals, so you know something about what this means if you do not understand it thoroughly.

But what you want to know most of all is just how it is with human beings. You want to know just what this coming together is, how it is done, how it starts the new life, the baby, and how the baby is born. You want to understand the wonderful sex organs, that are different in men and women, what each part is for and how it works.

If you feel very curious and excited and shy about it, don't let yourself be a bit worried or ashamed. Your feelings are quite natural, and most everybody else has felt just the same way at your age. Remember that strong feelings are immensely valuable to us. All we need to do is to steer them in the right direction and keep them well balanced and proportioned.

Now in order to understand something of why this subject stirs us so, we must notice in what ways we human beings are different from the plants and animals. About the lowest form of life is the amoeba. It looks like a little lump of jelly, and it produces its young by merely separating itself in two. One part drifts off from the other part and each becomes a separate live being. There is no male and no female and they didn't know they were doing it. In the plants a higher stage of development is reached: there is the male and the female and they join together, not by coming to each other, or because they know they belong together, but quite unconsciously, with the aid of the bees and other insects and the wind, the male part is carried to the female part—they mix, and at once the seed of a new plant begins to grow.

Then come to the animals. In all higher forms of animal life, the male creature comes to the female creature and himself places within her body the germ which, when it meets the egg which is waiting for it, immediately makes a new life begin to grow. But the animals come together without knowing why. They do it from instinct only, and they do it in what is called the mating season, which is usually in the spring. The mating season happens once a year among most of the higher animals, like birds and wild cattle, but to some animals it comes several times a year like the rabbits, for instance. You doubtless know already that the more highly developed the animal, the longer it takes the young one to grow before it is born, and the longer the period when it is helpless to provide its own food and care.

Now we come to human beings, and see how different they are! They have no regular mating season, and while there is a certain amount of instinct in men and women which tends to bring them together, the sex impulse among highly developed people is far more the result of their feeling of love for each other than mere animal instinct alone. Many of the animals make no choice at all in their mating. Any near-by female will do for the male. But among some of the higher animals the male has a special instinct for a certain female, and the female will not tolerate any but a certain male. Most of the animals have different mates every season, though there are a few kinds where the male and female, once having mated, remain mates for years, sometimes even for life. But it is only human beings whose mating is what we call “falling in love,” and that is an experience far beyond anything that the animals know.
Grade 11 Supporting Details CCSS: CCRA.R.3, RI.11-12.3
What makes human development so awkward?
  1. Humans are just like animals.
  2. Humans are just like machines.
  3. Humans have feelings and emotions.
  4. Humans go through a teenage stage.
Grade 11 Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions CCSS: CCRA.R.1, RI.11-12.1
Grade 11 Simile
How do humans differ from machines?
  1. They have to be fed.
  2. They have to be bathed.
  3. They operate mechanically.
  4. They have to deal with psychology and morality.
Grade 11 Author's Purpose CCSS: CCRA.R.6, RI.11-12.6
Grade 11 Supporting Details CCSS: CCRA.R.3, RI.11-12.3
What largely brings humans together?
  1. Animal instinct
  2. Natural beauty
  3. Feeling of love
  4. Moral obligation