Evidences of Motherhood
If you are confused about where chapter 2 went, it’s because I didn’t feel a need to do a separate post. Chapter 2 of this book is identical, word for word, to Chapter 2 of On Becoming A Woman. I therefore direct you to this link, if you happen to not be reading OBAW simultaneously.
My darling cat, highlighting the next passage she thinks I should focus on. When they made touch screens, they didn’t think about differentiating between human fingers and animal paws.
Disclaimer: I have not studied the male reproductive system nearly as extensively as the female one, for obvious reasons, I won’t necessarily know if Shryock is giving us correct information, be it deliberate misinformation or merely out of date information. This post will probably be less scientific than I would like, but that’s life I suppose.
Chapter 3, for some reason, is titled “evidences of motherhood.” I can’t figure out why, because nothing in this chapter has anything at all to do with mothers.
Even when a small boy, there was one thing you desired above all else, and that was to become a man.
Actually what I desired was to remain a child for the rest of my life. If that couldn’t be accomplished, I wanted Jesus to come and take me to heaven before I reached adulthood. If that wasn’t going to happen, it was my goal in life to kill myself before I reached that scary age. If all that couldn’t be accomplished, and I had to grow up, then yes, it was my desire to be a man.
One of the reasons you admired your father was that he typified manhood, and stood as a symbol of those accomplishments that you hoped someday to realize.
I…. did admire my father as a child, but, I never thought to admire him for his, um, manhood. That’s a new one for me, I’ve never heard this before.
During your childhood the evidences of your development accumulated so slowly that many times you became impatient and wished you could skip over the remaining years of your childhood and become a man promptly.
Eh, not really, I rather enjoyed my childhood, and clung to it as long as possible. Too long, probably. Now I enjoy adulthood, though I have not, sadly, become a man.
Next, Shryock talks about some of the changes a boy’s body goes through at puberty; exponential growth, shoulders getting wider, acne, shoe size.*
He talks about teenage boys being clumsy, and says that the reason for this is that teenage boys are growing faster than their minds can keep up with. Their arms are longer than they were just a few months ago, and they don’t know their own strength.
As a teenager, you must be patient with yourself. In due course you will reach your complete growth and will have the opportunity to learn how far your arms can reach and how strong you really are.
Next the author talks about boys who grow facial hair, and I hate him, because women grow facial hair too dammit. Ask me how I know.
You have found, however, that your father really does not object to your borrowing his razor,just so you don’t leave it too dull.
Possibly you have found occasion to buy a razor of your own, or it may be that father has reassuringly made you a present of one–probably one that he had discarded.
This must be a 1960s thing. I can’t think of why anybody would give someone a discarded razor. I’m going to chalk this up to cultural differences I don’t know about and move on.
Shryock talks about pimples and the science behind them for a paragraph, then goes right back to hair growth. I feel like some editing would have moved the pimple discussion to after the hair discussion, instead of splitting up the hair discussion, but never mind.
Members of your family…advise you that you have been eating too much candy, or that you have not kept the skin of your face perfectly clean. These are probably factors…. but another factor is that the tiny glands in your skin have increased their function in response to the stimulus of new manhood. As these overactive glands discharge their secretion onto the surface of the skin, some of their tiny ducts become obstructed, with resulting mild infections and pimples.
OBAW was published later than this book, so, by then maybe Shryock had found out that candy contributes nothing at all to the development of pimples? I mean, I wasn’t really a huge fan of candy, and I had terrible acne.
I am also sitting here giggling at the phrase “stimulus of new manhood” because I am still 12.
Shryock tells us that hair may develop in the pits and pubic area and why does he not tell females this? We get hair there too, you know. Actually, I’ve always been curious as to why, from a creationist perspective, we even have hair there at all. I’ve heard some evolutionists say that we have hair there because it is leftover from when we used to have hair all over, but creationists believe God put that hair there on purpose. Why?** No one ever gave me an answer, and I’m an atheist now so I’m not going to try and come up with one either.
Shryock talks about the Adams apple, moving from there to a talk about something he really should have included also in the female book.
You have been accustomed, throughout the years of your childhood, to pitching your voice within the range that is typical of a child. but now that your voice box is larger and your vocal cords are longer, it is only natural that your voice should be deeper, as is typical of a man.
Granted a woman’s voice will not deepen, but it will change. Female voices, like male ones, also change when they transition from their child to their adult forms, and it would have been nice if someone had told me about it before it happened.
Shyrock reassures us some squeaking is normal as your voice box adjusts, and then we move on further down the body.
The changes that occur in a boy’s body at the time of his transition from boyhood to manhood are brought about and controlled by the testes.
I thought it was the pituitary gland, but whatever.
In any case, like the ovaries, the testes don’t do anything in childhood.
In occasional cases where the testes have been removed before adulthood (as in the eunuchs of historical times) masculine characteristics do not develop.
Fascinating. That I did not know. Of course, the eunuchs I see on TV are probably not played by actual eunuchs, so this could be why I never noticed that they have child-like voices and no facial hair.
Even though 30 or 40 years of age, such an individual is not a man; he is a eunuch.
I have a problem with this. I know gender identity wasn’t really acknowledged much in the 1960s, but even without considering the fact that Gender Identity doesn’t always match up with a person’s genitals, I still have a problem with this.
An adult male is called a man. Even if he doesn’t go through puberty, he is still a man. To call him anything but a man is, or at least, would be in 1960s, dehumanizing.***
What causes the testes to start secreting chemicals that allow puberty to start? Why, the pituitary gland, of course. At least, that is what we think “in light of present knowledge of the various glands within the body.”
Did they really not know, for sure, the function of the pituitary gland in the 1960s, or is this just more misinformation? I have no idea.
Really, I have not answered the question completely, because you might next ask, “what is it that causes the pituitary gland to signal the testes?” I cannot answer this latter question except to say that the power of the creator, as manifested through nature’s laws, is responsible for causing such things to occur at just the right time.
The enemy of scientific though everywhere: Goddidit. How sad. In this case, a simple “we don’t know” would suffice.
The creator has made provision by which the testes are protected from injury. The scrotum is designed in such a way that the testes can glide easily from place to place within it. Also, they are abundantly supplied with delicate nerves, which produce a danger signal of excruciating pain whenever the testes are struck or compressed.
Yes, the lord made such excellent provision for the testes! He put them outside the body where they could be kicked, hit, or otherwise injured!
I can’t remember if it was Richard Dawkins of Jerry Coyne who was talking about this. I’ve searched their books for it but can’t find the quote. In any case, Dawkins or Coyne was talking about what a terrible designer God apparently is, if he were to exist. One of their reasons is that the testes are outside the body. If God were so great, he would have put them inside the body.
Creationist: but Mr. Dawkins/Coyne, god couldn’t do that! If the testes were inside the body, the temperature would be too hot for sperm to live!
Ok Mr. Creationist, but you also tell me God can do anything he wants and is a God of the impossible. So, why didn’t he just make it so that the sperm could survive in the higher temperatures? Then the gonads could be inside the body where an angry female couldn’t kick them.
Creationist: You’re just don’t like God because you don’t want to submit to him!
Shryock then talks about the penis, which is “a finger shaped organ attached in the mid-line and ordinarily hanging loosely downward.”
Pretty sure everyone reading this knows what a penis is. Adventist parents don’t tend to be that obnoxious.
We get a paragraph of explanation about the urine system, and how the penis expels waste, and then Shryock talks about “spermatozoa.”
Spermatozoa is the male germ cell, which combines with the female germ cell to form a pregnancy.
But an infant must have both a mother and a father. The creator has therefore arranged it so that the life of an infant begins only when the male germ cell (spermato-zoan) produced by the father’s testes unites with a female germ cell (ovum) produced in the mother’s body.
No gay sex for you! You must reproduce, and you can only do that when you, uh, marry, a woman.
The only function of a male germ cell is to unite with a female germ cell as a means of initiating the development of an infant. Since in the course of a lifetime only a very few of these germ cells ever serve this purpose, the large numbers of germ cells the testes produce are, unused.(sic)
Seems like a lot of waste. Wouldn’t a Creator have designed the male reproductive system so they didn’t waste so much sperm?
Set that aside. What I want to talk about is that, in the next paragraph, we are told the penis is an outlet for the sperm.
In chapter 2 we were told that the male germ cell enters the woman by way of the vagina. In this chapter, we are told that the “male germ cells,” aka sperm, comes out of the penis. Therefore, the male reader is able to put two and two together and realize that in order to reproduce, a man must shove his penis up a woman’s vagina.
Chapter 3 of OBAW does not have this information. The female reader is not able to put two and two together because Shyrock does not give her 2 and 2.
I want to bring attention to this: the male gets more information about sex than the female.
And that’s disturbing.
Shryock, seeming unaware that he has given the teenage male the tools to put 2 and 2 together, goes on to discuss that it would be awful, if males were releasing sperm continuously, so there are ways to deal with this.
There are tiny reservoirs that have been arranged in connection with the small tubes just mentioned. these are called the seminal vesicles. They are located near the base of the bladder. The spermatozoa, which are produced more or less constantly, are stores in the seminal vesicles….
When the seminal vesicles become filled to capacity with seminal fluid, they overflow, discharging the seminal fluid into the urethra and thus to the outside. These occasions…occur once every few days, beginning during the early teens. These occasions are known as seminal emissions, or night losses.
These people think we were designed perfectly by a creator. Yet they are now also telling me that males produce sperm constantly, whereas women only produce one egg a month? This does not seem like a perfect system, for a huge number of reasons. It also seems incredibly wasteful.
Actually, as a child, I think I just found this explanation confusing. I kind of had an idea of what a scrotum was (my mom wasn’t really shy about matters of anatomy, and allowed me to help change my little brother’s diapers) but I hadn’t seen any tiny pools full of sperm, and I was confused.
Shryock tells us that these nocturnal emissions leave boys covered in semen, and I think it sounded to 12 year old me like the boy had just wet the bed. Which sounded really terrible.
Unfortunately, some persons take delight in trying to terrorize the uninformed teenager about the meaning of his seminal emissions.
Yeah, I remember wondering whether or not it was ok to have wet dreams, because it all sounded very sinful to me and I think I may have overheard someone saying as much when I tried to sneak into the all boys meetings at camp (It didn’t work, for the record, but I overheard some stuff.)
The healthy attitude for you to take toward the evidences of manhood…is to recognize that these are perfectly proper and normal, and that they should not attract any undue attention.
Even a stopped clock…
Seminal emissions will scarcely awaken you from sleep, and even though they do rouse you momentarily, you will be able to return to sleep promptly without any significant interruption of your rest.
Talk to me, males: is this true? I feel like if I had just squirted semen all over myself, I would wake up fully, and feel a need to change my clothes.
So basically, the penis does two things: expels urine, expels semen. There’s apparently a little valve that makes it impossible to pee and eject semen at the same time, which is something I always wondered about. What if, when I grew up and had sex, I got peed on? Yuck.
This valve is turned on, apparently, by the penis becoming engorged with blood. This is known as an erection. I did read this as a child, so I must have known about erections at least in theory, but I must have forgotten all about them because I don’t remember learning about boners until I was 19. That is not a typo.
It is the process of erection that transforms the penis into an organ of shape, size, and position suitable to be introduced into the wife’s body.
Hang on, what? I’m supposed to put my penis where? I mean, I wondered if that’s what you meant before, but you seriously mean that? Why is this the first time I’m hearing about this?
This information is absolutely missing from chapter 3 of OBAW. So we have a situation where the male is told, in this book, where to put his penis, but the woman is not told in OBAW where the male is going to put it. If these teenagers don’t go off right now to find better information, their wedding night is going to be the worst night of their lives.
As you come to understand the various functions of your body, you will be profoundly impressed with the Creator’s kindness to his human children in making provisions for their various needs.
Ha. Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA. No. I’m not. Sorry.
It makes us realize that the form and functions of the body have been designed for proper purposes and with the best interests of mankind in view.
I… what? No, they haven’t. These systems work, but they are far from perfect, and if they had been designed by a designer, I would say that he or she needed to be fired.
I have a hard time accepting evolution, but at least it makes some sense to me because evolution doesn’t always get things perfect. Evolution makes things functional.
Tell me that all of this was designed by a creator, and I have to go through some mental gymnastics. Thank God I was finally able to stop. That was exhausting.
*That’s not a metaphor, Shryock really is talking about boys who need new shoes every 5 minutes in their teens.
**Especially since God knew that women were going to be expected to shave it off, he could have just designed us without that hair.
*** I’m aware that there are individuals who don’t fit binary genders who wouldn’t want to be called a man or a woman. I have no issues with this, I have an issue with calling a grown ass male “not a man” just because he doesn’t have hair around his naughty parts.