The history of sexuality and its attendant myths is rife with moral tales of chastity culminating in joy and promiscuity ending in retribution. Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror is a frequently frightening and, sometimes, unintentionally, hilarious look at the "official" attitudes toward masturbation throughout history and how they have affected the sex lives of anyone living and breathing today. The French biologist Tissot was the original adversary who turned masturbation into the scourge of young men everywhere. Tissot hypothesized that it was a practice that sapped the strength from strong young men, ultimately turning them into drooling idiots fit only to be hidden away in attics by their families. From Tissot's original work, the idea of masturbation as sinful and biologically degenerating informed the punitive sexual attitudes of the German courts and helped to develop the anti-masturbation surgical procedures and mechanical devices of continental Europe and England. Tissot's influence did not, however, end at Europe's shores. His anti-masturbation stance traveled across the Atlantic to play a major part in the early versions of the Boy Scouts of America Hand-book, the ultimate guide for young Amercian boys wishing to live a moral life. In Kathryn Hoffmann's sparkling translation, Stengers and Van Neck trace the complexities of the anti-masturbation discourses's progress, first through the lives of young men and then, later, young women. "Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror" is a fascinating, multi-faceted look at one of the world's most common sexual practice and how it was turned into the most shameful scourge of society.