A fun little history lesson from Cracked.com. Alas, much of which is absolutely true. - Dallas
5 Insane Ways Fear of Masturbation Shaped the Modern World
The Middle Ages had the Black Death, 1918 had the influenza epidemic. But the scourge sweeping the land at the end of the 19th century? Masturbation.
We're not exaggerating. According to the medical minds of the time, "No single vice causes so much mental and physical debility ... It impairs the intellect, weakens the memory, debases the mind, ruins the nervous system, exhausts the vital power and destroys body, mind and soul." They thought masturbation could result in insanity, impotence, epilepsy and "puny offspring."
Fortunately for sufferers, doctors back then had almost as many cures as there were symptoms ... cures that helped shape the world you live in. Like ...
# 5. Circumcision
The process of taking a male baby and cutting off the skin around the head of the penis is common in the U.S. now (about 75 percent of American males are circumcised), but that wasn't always the case. So why did it become standard? Partly to keep American boys from touching their wieners.
It's fairly recent, too. As recently as the 1860s, circumcision was still primarily thought of as a "Jewish rite," something that for non-Jews would be done as a last resort in response to infections around the foreskin and other medical problems. But in the late 1800s and early 1900s, America wound up in a frenzy over the problem of masturbation that sounds suspiciously similar to the fears about recreational drugs a half century later -- masturbation was spoken of as a new, addictive fad among our children that doctors said could cause everything from psychosis to epilepsy.
Read the rest here. The remaining four are: # 4. Corn Flakes, Grape-Nuts and Graham Crackers, # 3. Your Daily Shower, # 2. The Boy Scouts and YMCA, and # 1. Vibrators.