Address to Physicians, ca. January 1920 (excerpts)


MISS JANE ADDAMS recently startled an audience of physicians by announcing that despite the well-known sayings, “Satan finds work for idle hands to do” and “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” that work and hard labor are tending to make Jill a bad girl. Miss Addams explained that while labor and its consequent fatigue rids a person of the physical inclination toward lewd or immoral diversion that, psychologically, the reverse is often the case. The connection between fatigue and the lowering of moral resistance has not yet been fully worked out, but there is an appalling connection between them, is the verdict of Miss Addams, who is always a careful and dependable observer of industrial conditions.

[Image] Miss Jane Addams.

Discussing fatigue and its moral dangers, American Medicine says:

“Miss Adams brings to light a situation of momentous importance: the unprecedented number of women who have entered the industrial world permanently as a consequence of the demand for labor during the war, and the danger of lowered moral resistance accompanying the increased demand on their energies.

“Hard work, though it may exhaust the body, often acts as a stimulant to the senses, and if these senses are not properly directed, havoc is bound to result. In this country, unless proper measures are taken, the same problem will confront us as it did in England. Countless women are still occupied in factories and the various industries. For these women there must be found an outlet which will direct their natural desire for relaxation and recreation into approved channels.”

Item Relations


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>