30 Elementary Morality Abnormal Developments If a man can get no other food it is more natural for him to kill another man and eat him than to starve. Our horror is rather at the circumstances that make it natural for the man to do this than at the man himself. So with other things the desire for which is inherited through countless ancestors, it is more natural for men to obtain the nearest thing they can to these, even by the most abnormal means if the ordinary channels are closed, than to forego them altogether. The abnormal growth should be regarded as disease but, never- theless, as showing more health and vigour than no growth at all would do. I said this in Life and Habit (ch. iii. p. 52) when I wrote " it is more righteous in a man that he should eat strange food and that his cheek so much as lank not, than that he should starve if the strange food be at his com- mand." * Young People With regard to sexual matters, the best opinion of our best medical men, the practice of those nations which have proved most vigorous and comely, the evils that have followed this or that, the good that has attended upon the other should be ascertained by men who, being neither moral nor immoral and not caring two straws what the conclusion arrived at might be, should desire only to get hold of the best available information. The result should be written down with some fulness and put before the young of both sexes as soon as they are old enough to understand such matters at all. There should be no mystery or reserve. None but the corrupt will wish to corrupt facts; honest people will accept them eagerly, whatever they may prove to be, and will convey them to others as accurately as they can. On what pretext therefore can it be well that knowledge should be withheld from the universal gaze upon a matter * On the Alps It is reported thou didst eat strange flesh, Which some did die to look on: and all this— It wounds thine honour that I speak it now— Was borne so like a soldier, that thy cheek So much as lank'd not.—Ant. <& Cleop., I. iv 66-71.