Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 345



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 345

There are distinct indications that the time has come once more to scan the patent-medicine horizon carefully, but the conditions existing in 1920 are radically different from those prevailing in 1904.

One day when Bok was at luncheon with Doctor Lyman Abbott, the latter expressed the wish that Bok would take up the subject of venereal disease as he had the patent-medicine question.

“Not our question,” answered Bok.

“It is most decidedly your question,” was the reply.

Bok cherished the highest regard for Doctor Abbott’s opinion and judgment, and this positive declaration amazed him.

“Read up on the subject,” counselled Doctor Abbott, “and you will find that the evil has its direct roots in the home with the parents. You will agree with me before you go very far that it is your question.”

Bok began to read on the unsavory subject. It was exceedingly unpleasant reading, but for two years Bok persisted, only to find that Doctor Abbott was right. The root of the evil lay in the reticence of parents with children as to the mystery of life; boys and girls were going out into the world blind-folded as to any knowledge of their physical selves; “the bloom must not be rubbed off the peach,” was the belief of thousands of parents, and the results were appalling. Bok pursued his investigations from books direct into the “Homes of Refuge,” “Doors of Hope,” and similar institutions, and unearthed a condition, the direct results of the false modesty of parents, that was almost unbelievable.

Bok had now all his facts, but realized that for his



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