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BIRTH CONTROL METHODS
The general subject of Birth Control necessarily includes the special
subject of Birth Control Methods, viz., of the methods of association
between husband and wife under which offspring is conceived only at such
times as desired, and consequently only in the number desired.
These methods may be grouped into three general classes, as follows:
I. METHODS OF CONTINENCE (TOTAL OR TEMPORARY). In the practice of the
methods under this class, there is an avoidance of sexual relations
between husband and wife, either continuously or for certain periods
during which the liability to conception is great.
II. METHODS OF SEMI-CONTINENCE. In the practice of the methods under
this class, there is a partial manifestation of the sexual relation
accompanied by an absence of the manifestation of the procreative
III. METHODS OF CONTRACEPTION. In the practice of the methods under this
class, the usual manifestations of the sexual relation are observed,
accompanied by an avoidance of the union of the male and female elements
of reproduction which result in conception.
The student of the subject of Birth Control, of course, familiarizes
himself or herself with each of the several classes of methods above
noted, for the purpose of understanding the characteristic distinctions
between them, and the respective advantages and disadvantages of each
class. In the following pages each class will be briefly considered,
that the student may acquire a general understanding thereof, and may be
enabled to reason intelligently concerning them. In this presentation
there will be sought a fair statement of each class, without any desire
to influence the student for or against either of them.
Continence (which in this special sense means the avoidance of sexual
relations between husband and wife), in the strict sense, is based upon
the idea that the sexual relation should not be exercised except for the
purpose and intent of procreation. In the restricted usage of the term,
it refers to the abstinence from sexual intercourse during stated
periods in which the liability to conception is greatest.
Rev. Sylvanus Stall, the author of several widely-read works on the
subject of Sex, says of strict continence: "One theory is that the
reproductive function is not to be exercised except for the purpose of
procreation. * * * There are some married people, more numerous than
some suppose, who have adopted the idea of uniform continence, and who
call the reproductive nature into exercise for the purpose of
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