Unmarried Girls Die Younger: 7 Crazy Beliefs About Women from the 1800s

Photo by: iStock
On puberty
At a certain period in the life of the female, she ceases to be a girl, and becomes a woman. Its sign is a flow of blood recurring every month; its meaning, that the female ... more 
Photo by: iStock
On puberty
At a certain period in the life of the female, she ceases to be a girl, and becomes a woman. Its sign is a flow of blood recurring every month; its meaning, that the female has entered upon that portion of her life whose peculiar obligations are to the whole race - no longer to herself alone.
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Wed, Apr 24, 2013 2:30 PM EDT

While reading this article in The Atlantic about parenting advice as it has changed over the centuries, I stumbled across a curious tome from 1870 entitled The Physical Life of Woman: Advice to the Maiden, Wife and Mother. It was written by a man named Dr. George H. Napheys, who published a second edition in 1878. After fighting in the Civil War, Dr. Napheys received his medical degree and began to practice in Philadelphia, where in 1869 he started his tome on the health and well-being of the fairer sex. Although the The Physical Life of Woman is laughably outdated and anti-feminist, much of the advice Dr. Napheys gives still holds up today. Take a tour through his thoughts on love, dating, marriage and divorce and see for yourself how much yet how little has changed in 143 years. Click through for 7 crazy beliefs about women from 1870! -By Carolyn Castiglia

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