Sexual Teachings of Abraham and Hannah Stone Part 1

About the husband and wife team Abraham and Hannah Stone, biography and history of their sexual teachings and book A Marriage Manual.


ABRAHAM STONE (1890-1959), Russia and the U.S., and HANNAH STONE (1894-1941), U.S.

Abraham and Hannah Stone were a husband-wife team, pioneering in sex research, marriage counseling, and birth control. Their book, A Marriage Manual, lauded by critics, was so popular that it was reprinted 22 times between its publication in 1935 and 1952.

Born in Russia, Abraham was sent to live with an uncle in the U.S. when he was 12 years old. He attended New York University and served his medical internship at Bellevue; in 1912, he received his M.D. At Bellevue he met Hannah Meyer, a bacteriologist and serologist, and they fell in love. They postponed marriage during W.W. I, while Abraham went overseas with the medical corps and Hannah completed work for her M.D. On Abraham's return, they married and set up practice together.

In 1921, at the first international birth-control conference, the Stones met Margaret Sanger. Four years later, Hannah became medical director of the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau, a post she held for the rest of her life. When she died in 1941, Abraham took her place.

In 1929 American educator and author Will Durant, then director in charge of educational services at the Labor Temple, asked the pair to give a series of lectures on marriage and the family. They agreed. This led them to set up a marriage consultation service, the first of its kind.

After Hannah died, Abraham continued to be a marriage counselor, developing methods of working with groups of husbands and wives to alleviate the vast number of post-W.W. II marital problems which had cropped up. In 1947 he was a delegate to the first world conference on family and population, from which emerged the International Union of Family Organizations. He became the new organization's vice-chairman. He was also vice-president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The World Health Organization, a branch of the U.N., sent Dr. Stone to India for two months in 1951 to give advice on birth control. Time said he "probably knows more about family planning than any other scientist."

A short, dark man with a mustache, he spent his last years raising cows and chickens on a farm in New Jersey, reading, going to plays, and ice-skating.

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