Why Are Females More Sickly Than Males?


August 1860


by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Why are females more sickly than males? This question is often asked. The answer comes, “They have nothing to employ themselves about, so they sit down and talk over their aches and pains, and in this way they make themselves sick.” Now if sickness is a thing independent of talk, why should talking about it make it? Suppose a farmer sits down and talks about commencing haying, would the grass be mowed by talking about it? There is more in talking than people think, for if disease is independent of the mind, then talking can't affect anything. Now everyone knows and acknowledges that by talking or thinking about a disease, they can make it, or at least aggravate it; and to aggravate a disease, it must be something connected with the mind, or the mind cannot make it.

Everyone knows that females have more inquisitiveness than men. They want to see more. They have more curiosity than men. If you do not believe it, go with an intelligent female into a carpet factory or any manufactory. Or go to Saratoga or any other place, and if you do not find that you cannot gratify all their inquiries, then I will give it up. I know from experience that females think and bring more to pass in one week than men do in four. There is a difference in the word “thinking,” but no difference in the acts. If I think of a horse, that is all. So it is all, if it is not accompanied with some knowledge of this world or science.

Here is the difference between the male and the female. Not one man in ten thinks mechanically. To think mechanically is to analyze the thing thought of. To hear a thing named and not investigate it is the wisdom of this world; but to think from the wisdom of science is to investigate and understand. A person cannot think, without having some curiosity to be gratified. Thinking mechanically, so that the world can be put in possession of something new, requires labor; and the person who puts another's thought into practice is an operator; but to repeat another's thought requires no thought, but memory. The mocking bird or parrot can do that. But to build a belief from another's thought requires as much labor as to discover a science.

So you see, man never has, as yet, been able to establish Jesus' science. In Jesus' day, he never got anyone to teach it. False Christs have appeared and have deceived many, as he foretold that they should, and we see it fulfilled to the letter. Now Jesus warned the people against these false guides, for they contract the understanding and imprison the senses or knowledge in theories and beliefs, which are of their own invention.

In regard to disease, the wisdom of these guides accounts for all bodily aches and pains as arising from some local disease. So when women feel badly, they have a curiosity to analyze their sufferings for themselves, and they have a fear of coming under the law of disease. Between both of these feelings, they are much excited and disturbed. If they are unfortunate enough to make a disease, then they have proved man's theory of disease and are delivered up to man to be cured. If they do not succeed in making any local disease, they must be encouraged that they can or will be called nervous, spleeny or hypochrondriacal and receive no sympathy from anyone. If they had less intelligence, they would follow in the wake of public opinion and make a disease, accordingly. But having some knowledge that they have nothing to thank the men for, they hold on to it; sometimes with great tenacity, even when the law of disease threatens them on every hand.

Now when some person comes to them and attempts to claim this intelligence and release it from its imprisonment, where man's wisdom has enclosed it, sometimes they recognize it as a superior wisdom and receive it with joy and thanksgiving. And sometimes they are so wedded to their opinions of disease that they will not recognize any intelligence, or even virtue, except as coming through some advocate of disease. In such a case, the disease is long and intricate. The little wisdom that has fought against the various approaches of disease has been overcome and fails to recognize its true friend, at first.

— August, 1860

P. P. Quimby

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