Margaret Sanger, "Facts of Sex," early 1920s.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections S73:77."

No final version was found. This may be part of a longer article. This draft was likely written in the early 1920s.


Experience is the sculptor which chisels away the surplus desires of the material man enfolding his nakedness in all its pristine beauty.

The fact now reveals itself that this very silence & has defeated its purpose for instead of safeguarding the purest minded it has kept from our youth the plain facts of nature which they should possess in order to live clean high lives--

The real fact of the matter was that no one knew how to tell or present the facts of Sex for the best way to clean the mind of the prurient is to remove the prurience by light of knowledge. The majority of people have in the past considered that woman had no sex desires--and that only “bad” women exhibited any such feelings. This has been so prevalent & wide spread a vein in Christianity & held for so long--that women of the past generations would rather die than admit that they do at times have a yearning a desire for sex expression--Only during the past few years have women come boldly forward & acknowledge to physician & those who make a study of these intimate subjects that their desires are intense at times & that they are seldom satisfied.

There is no doubt that Economic conditions & the single standard of morale have had much to do with woman’s inhibited sex impulse--

She has been ashamed of desire--& flattened out curves--

Wives submit yourselves to your husbands has been the cursed edict to all womankind.

Man When a woman is [claimed?] at times when she has no natural desire for the union--the act is injurious as it reduces her vitality--& tends to lessen her power to enjoy it when her natural desire returns--

Period of desire in women--explain period--

It means that a greater happiness & enjoyment is to be derived for love lives if the woman is never falsely stimulated into passion unless she desires the union.

Carlyle when he says the marks of a noble & original temperament are wild strong emotions that must be controlled by a discipline as hard as steel.

People strive to root out passions instead of helping to get them under control.

Great pain as well as great happiness is part of the great fullness of the great Love.

There are the noble young men & women who desire to know the responsibilities of life--of marriage & love--and how to best conduct their lives to meet these responsibilities.

Few of them leave more than the vaguest ideas on the subject. Nor do they know where to turn to seek the help they desire.

There is need of frank honest discussion and I am glad that the Sex Education Movement is at last taking its place in the world of Science.

In Germany there is now a college for the Study of Sexual Science--

In England there is a Society for the Study of Sex Psychology. A frank treatment of the sex subject is & has been regarded as dangerous because many sincere & earnest people feel that the effect on prurient minds will be to give them food for their morbid fancies.

This together with the attitude of the Church (which I claim has always feared losing its hold over people when they shall know the power of the sex principle & understand its higher uses) has been largely the cause of the fear & ignorance mapped around the subject of mating.

Power of Church & State shall fall away when individuals shall cultivate their own inner natures & control their destinies.


Subject Terms:

Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


valid