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Full text of "Sex in relation to society"

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STUDIES 



Psychology of Sex 



HAVKLOCK ELLIS 



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STUDIES IN THE 
PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 



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Each volume is sold wparately, and ii 

complete in itself. 

This is (he only edition in English pub- 
lished by the author's permissioa. 



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STUDIES 

PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX 



VOLUME VI 



SEX IN RELATION TO SOQETY 



HAVELOCK ELLIS 



F. A. DAVJ8 COMPAMY, PUBUSHEKS 
1913 



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BOSTON MEDICAL LIBRARV 

FRANCIS A. COUmWAY 

uBftwnorMEOicnE 



COPYRICHT, 1910 
V. A- DAV13 COMPANY 



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Is the previous five volumes of these Studies, I have dealt 
mainly with the sexual impulse in relation to its object, leaving 
out of account the external persons and tlie environmental 
influences which yet may powerfully affect that impulse and its 
gratification. We cannot afford, however, to pnes unnoticed this 
relationship of the sexual impuli=e to third persons and to the 
community at large with all its anciently established traditions. 
We have to consider sex in relation to society. 

In so doing, it will be po^ible to discusB more summarily 
than in preceding volumes the manifold and important problems 
that are presented to us. In considering the more special ques- 
tions of sexual psycliology we entered a neglected field and it 
was necessary to expend an analytic care and precii^ion which at 
many points had never been expended before on these questions. 
But when we reach the relationships of sex to so(ict\ we have for 
tlie most part no such ueglcLt to encounter. The subject of every 
chapter in the present volume could easily form, and often has 
formed, the topic of a volume, and the literature of many of 
these subjects is already extremely voluminous. It must there- 
fore be our main object here not to accumulate details but to 
place each subject by tiirn, as clearly and succinctly as may be, 
In relation to tliose fundamental principles of sexual psychology 
which — BO far as the data at present admit — have been set forth 
in the preceding volumes. 

It may seem to some, indeed, that in this expt}^itiun I should 
have confined myself to the present, and not included so wide a 
sweep of the course of human ]ii?tory und the traditions of the 
race. It may especially seem that I have laid too great a stress 
on th'e influence of Christianity in moulding sexual ideals and 
establishing sexual institutions. That, I am convinced, is an 

(V) 



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error. It is because it ib so frequently made that the movements 
of progress among ua — movements that can never at any period 
of social history cease — are by many so seriously misunderstood. 
We cannot escape from our traditions. There never has been, 
and never can be, any "age of reason." The most ardent co-called 
"free-thinker," who casts aside as lie imagines the authority of 
the Christian past, is still held by that past. If its traditions are 
not absolutely in his blood, they are ingrained in the texture of 
all the social institutions into which he was bom and they affect 
even his modes of thinking. The latest modifications of our 
institutions are inevitably influenced by the past form of those 
institutions. We cannot realize where we are, nor whither we are 
moving, unless we know whence we came. We cannot under- 
stand the significance of the changes around us, nor face them 
with cheerful confidence, unless we are acquainted with the drift 
of the great movements that stir all civilization in never-ending 
cycles. 

In discussing sexual questions which are very largely matters 
of social hygiene we shall thus still be preserving tiie psycho- 
logical point of view. Such a point of view in relation to these 
matters is not only legitimate but necessary. Discussions of 
social hygiene that are purely medical or purely juridical or 
purely moral or purely theological not only lead to conclusions 
that are often entirely opposed to each other but they obviously 
fail to possess complete applicability to the complex human per- 
sonality. The main task before us must he to ascertain what best 
expresses, and what best satisfies, the totality of the impulses and 
ideas of civilized men and women. So that while wo must con- 
stantly bear in mind medical, legal, and moral demands — which 
all correspond in some respects to some individual or social need 
— the main thing is to satisfy the demands of the whole human 
person. 

It is necessary to emphasize this point of view because it 



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would aeenf that no error is more common among writers on 
the hygienic and moral problems of sex than the neglect of 
the psychological standpoint. They may take, for instance, the 
side of sexual restraint, or the side of sexual unrestraint, but 
they fail to realize that so narrow a basis is inadequate for the 
needs of complex human beings. From the wider paychological 
standpoint we recognize that we have to conciliate opposing 
impulses that are both alike founded on the human psychic 
organism. 

In the preceding volumes of these Studies I have sought to 
refrain from the expression of any personal opinion and to main- 
tain, 80 far as possible, a strictly objective attitude. In this 
endeavor, I trust, I have been successful if I may judge from 
the fact that I have received the sympathy and approval of all 
kinds of people, not less of the rationalistic free-tliinker than of 
the orthodox believer, of those who accept, as well as of those 
who reject, our most current standards of morality. This is as 
it should be, for whatever our criteria of the worth of feelings 
and of conduct, it must always be of use to us to know what 
exactly are the feelings of people and how those feelings tend to 
affect their conduct. In the present volume, however, where 
social traditions necessarily come in for consideration and where 
we have to discuss the growth of those traditions in the past and 
their probable evolution in the future, I am not sanguine that 
the objectivity of my attitude will be equally clear to the reader. 
I liave here to set down not only what people actually feel and 
do but what I think they are tending to feel and do. That is a 
matter of estimation only, however widely and however cautiously 
it is approached ; it cannot be a matter of absolute demonstration. 
I trust that those who have followed me in the past will bear with 
me still, even if it is impossible for them always to accept the 
conclusions I have myself reached. 

Havelock Ellis. 

Carbis Bay, Coniwall, England. 



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The Motkeb and Her Chiij>. 

Tlie Child'H Right to Choose Ita Ancestry— How This Is Effected— 
The Mother the Child's Supreme Psrent — Motherhood nnd tlic 
Woman Movement — The Immense Importance at Motherhood — 
Infant Mortality and Ita Causes — The Chief Cause in tiie 
Mother — The Need of Rest During Pregnancy — Frequency of 
I>reniBture Birth — The Function of the State — Recent Advance 
in Puericulture — Ttie Question of Coitus During Pr^nancy — 
The Need of Rest During Lactation — The Mother's Duly to 
Suckle Her Child— The Economic Question — The Duty of the 
State — Recent Progress in the Protection of the Mother — Tlie 
Fallacy o( State Nurseries 1 

CHAPTER II. 

Sezcu. Education. 

Nurture Necessary as Well as Breed — Precocious Manifestations of 
the Sexual Impulse — Are they to be Regarded as Normal t — The 
Sexual Play of Children— The Emotion of Love in Childhood- 
Are Torni Children More Precocious Sexually Than Country 
Children! — Children's Ideas Concerning the Origin of Babies — 
Need for Beginning the Sexual Education uf Children in Early 
Years — The Importance of Early Training in Responsibility — 
Evil of the Old Doctrine of Silence in Matters of Sex—The Evil 
^lagniflcd ^^'hen Applied to Girls— The Jlother the Natural and 
Best Teacher— The Morbid Influence of Artificial Mystery in Si-x 
Matters — Books on Kexual Enlightenment of the Young — Nature 
of the Mother's Task— Sexual Education in the School— The 
Value of Botany — ZoJilDBy— Sewial Educalion After Puberty — 
The Necessity of CoimteractinR Quack Literature — Danger of 
Neglecting to Prepare for the First Onset of Menstruation — The 
Right Attitude Towards Woman's Sexual Life— The Vital Neoes- 
si^ of the Hygiene of Menstruation During Adolescence — Such 
Hygiene Compatible with the Educational and Social Equality 
of the Sexes — The Invalidism of Women Mainly Due to Hygienic 



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NrglMt — Good IndanMe of Pbi^k*] TrauuMg on noom aiid Bad 
InflupiKv of AthlMics — Tbe Eiib of EmmmmJ SapprMsion — 
Knd of Tvaching xke Dignily of Sex — Indivw of TIkm Factors 
on a Wonun's Fate in Uania^v — Lrclum and Addrcaaw od 
Sexoal Hvginw — Tb« Donor's Part ia Senal Education — 
Pubertal InitiatioB Into the Idnl World — Tttt Plw of the Re- 
ligious and Etliital Ttaettpr — Tlw Initiation Rites of Savages Into 
Manhood and Womanhood — The Sexual ItUhwarc of Litermtai* — 
The Sexual InflueiM* of Art 

CHAPTER III. 
Sesc&l EorcAtios ASB N'AKDTisa. 
The .Greek Attitude Tfward^ N'aLedne^si — How the Romans Modi- 
fied That Attitude — The Inauenre of Ch riiitian) I v— Nakedness in 
^[ediKval Times — Evolution of the Horror of Nakedness — Con- 
comitant Change in the Conception of Nakedness — Pniderj- — The 
Romantic Movement — Rise of a New Feeling in Regard to Naked- 
ness — The Urgienic Aspect of Nakedness — How Children May Be 
Arcustomed to Nakedness — N'akedness Not Inimical to Modesty— 
The Instinct of Physical Pride — The Value of Nakedness in Edu- 
cation — The .^Tsthetic Value of Nakedness — The Human Body as 
One of (be Prime Tonics of Life — Bow Nakedness May Be Culti- 
vated — The Moral \'alue of Nakedness 

CHAPTER IV. 
The ViLCATtos or SEXuii. Lots. 
The Conception of Sexual Love— The Attitude of Medieval As«eti- 
cism — St, Bernard and St. Odo of Cluny— The Ascetic Insistence 
on the Proiimity of the Sexual and Eicretory Centres — Love 
as a Sacrament of Nature — The Idea of the Impurity of Sex In 
Primitive Religions Generally — Theories of the Origin of This 
Idea — The An ti-Ancetic Element in the Bible and Early Chris- 
tianity — Clement of Alexandria — St. Augustine's Attitude — The 
Recognition of the Racredness of the Body by Tertutllan, Ruflnus 
and Atbanasius — The Reformation — The Sexual Instinct Re- 
garded as Beastly — The Human Sexual Instinct Not Animal-like 
^Lust and I^ve~The Definition of Love — I»ve and Names for 
I^ve I'nknown in Some Parts of the World — Romantic Love of 
Late Development In the White Race — The Mystery of Sexual De- 
sire — Whether Love is a Delusion— The Spiritual as Well as the 
Physical Structure of the World in Part Built up on Sexual Love 
The Testimony of Men of Intellect to the Supremacy ot Love. ... I 



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CONTENTS. XI 

CHAPTER V. 
Thk Function op Chabtitt. pxaa 

Chastity EBSvntinl to the Dignity of Love— The Fighteenth Century 
Revolt Against the Ideal of Chastity ^Unnatural Forms of 
Chastity — The Psychological Basis of Asceticism — Asceticism and 
Chastity as Savage Virtues— The Significance of Tahiti — Chastity 
Among Barbarous Peoples — Chastity Among the Early Christians 
— Struggles of the Saints with the Flesh — The Romance of 
Christian Chastity — Its Decay in Mediaval Times — Auoaaain et 
JiicoUtle-anA the New Romance of Chaste I-ove— The I'nchastity 
of the Northern Barbarians — The Penitentials — Influence of the 
Renaissance and the Reformation — The Revolt Against Virginity 
as a Virtue — The Modem Conception of Chastity as a Virtue — 
The Influences That Favor the Virtue of Chastity — Chastity as 
a Discipline — The Value of Chftstity for the Artist — Potency and 
Impotence in Popular Estimation — The Correct Definitions of 
Asceticism and Chastity 143 

CHAPTER VI. 
The PnoBiixic of Sexual ABSriRKncE. 
The Influence of Tradition— The Theological Conception of Lust — 
Tendency of These Influences to Degrade Sexual Morality — ^Their 
Result in Creating the Problem of Sexual Abstinence — The Pro- 
tests Against Sexual Abstinence — Sexual Abstinence and Genius — 
Sexual Abstinence in Women — The Advocates of Sexual Absti- 
nence — Intermediate Attitude — Unsatisfactory Nature of the 
Whole Discunsion — Criticism of the Conception of Sexual AE>st{- 
ncnce — Sexual Abstinence aa Compared to Abstinence from Food — 
No Complete Anali^[y — The Morality of Sexual Abstinence En- 
tirely Negative — Is It the Physician's Duty to Advise Extra- 
Conjugal Sexual IntercoursG? — Opinions of Those Who AfQrm 
or Deny This Duty— The Conclusion Against Such Advice— The 
Physician Bound by the Social and Moral Ideas of His Age — 
The Physician as Reformer — Sexual Abstinence and Sexual Hy- 
giene — Alcohol — The Influence of Physical and Mental Exer- 
dse— The Inadequacy of Sexual Hygiene in Tliis Field- The 
Unreal Nature of the Conception of Sexual Abstinence — The 
Necessity o( Replacing It by a More Positive Ideal ITS 

CHAPTER VII. 
Pbosttfution. 
I. The Orgy: — The Religious Origin of the Orgy— The Feast of 
Fools — Recognition of the Orgy by the Greeks and Romans — 



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The Orgy An»>ng Savage*— The Drama— The Object Subserved 

by the Orgj- 21» 

II. The Origin and Dfvelopment of Prostitution: — The Deftaition of 
Prostitution — I'Tostitution Among Savagen — -The Condi tions Un- 
der Which ProfeBsionnl Prostitution ArJHos — Sacred Prostitu- 
tion—The Rite of Mylitta— Tiie I'raptiee of Prostitution to 
Obtain a Marriage Portion — The Bi"e of Secular Prostitution in 
(Ireece — Prostitution in the E«it — India. Ohina, Japan, etc, — 
Proftitiition in Rome — The Influence of Cliristianity on Prosti- 
tution—The EfTort to Combat PrOHtitution— The Medieval 
Brothel — The Appearance of the Courtesan — Tullia D'Aragona 
— Veronica Franco — Ninon de I^neloR — Ijitj-r Attempts to Emdi- 
Hite Prostitution- The Regulation of I'rontitution- Its Futility 
Becoming Recagnized 224 

III. The Causes of Prosfitulion : — Prostiliition as a Part of the 
Marriage .System — The Complex Causation of Prostitution— Tlie 
Motives Assigned by Prostitutes — (1| I-k'ononiic Factor of Prosti- 
tution — Poverty Seldom the Chief Motive for Proirtitution — 
But Economic Pressure Exerts a Real Influence — The Large Pro- 
portion of Prostitutes Recruited from Domestic Service— Signifi- 
cance of This Fact — (2) The Biological Factor of Prostitution — 
The So-ealle<l Bom- Prostitute — Alleged Identity with the Born- 
Criminal— The Sexual Instinct in Prostitutes— Tile Physical ami 
Psychic Characters of Prostitutes — (.1) Moral Necessity as a 
Factor in the Existence of Proilitutiou—The Moral Advocates 
of Prostitution- The Moral Attitude of Christianity Towards 
Prostitution — The Attitude of Protestantism — Recent Advocates 
of the Moral Necessity of Prostitution — (4) Civiliiational Value 
as a Factor of Prostitution— The Influence of I'rban Life — The 
Craving for Kvcitement — Why .''erv nut -girls so Often Turn to 
Prostitution- The Small Part Played hy Seduction- Prostitutes 
Come largely from the Country — The Appeal of Civilization 
Attracts Women to Prostitution — The Torres landing Attraction 
Felt by Men — Tlie Prostitute n« Arll-t and Losder of Fasliion— 
The Charm of Vulgarity 2o4 

IV. The Preaent Social AitUndc Toitarih /'roi^ifHlwit.— Tlie Decay 
of the Brothel— The Tendency to the niimnniaitinn of Prostitii- 
tion— The Monetary Aspects of Prnslitution— The f!ei»ha~Tbe 
Hetaira — The Moral Revolt Against Prostitution- Squalid Vice 
Based on Luxurious Virtue — The Ordlnori' Attitude Towards 
Prosfitules- Its Cruelty Absurd — Tlie Need of Reforming Pros- 
titntion— Tlie Need of Reforming Ma iriagc— These Two Needs 
Closely Correlated — The Dynamic Relationships Invoh-ed 302 



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CHAITKH VIII. 

The Cosquest of tub Venebeal Diseasrs. 

lie Significance ot the V^nerenl Di^asni — The Histoiy of SypliHis 
The Problem of Its OriKir— The Social Gravity of Syphilia— Tlie 
Social Dangers of Gonorrhoeu— The Modern Change in the Meth- 
ods of Combating Venereal Diseaiwa — Causes of the Decay of tlip 
iSyatem of Police Regulation — Necessity ot Facing the Facta — 
The Innocent Victitns of Venereal Diseases — Diseases Not 
Crimea — The Principle of Notilicatian — The Scandinavian System 
— Gratuitous Treatment — Punishment For Transmitting Vene- 
real Diseases — Sexual Education in Relation to Venereal DiaeaseA 
^I^clures, Etc. — Discussion in Novels and on the Stage — The 
"Disgusting" Not the "Immornl" 319 

CHAPTER IX. 

Sexuai. Mobautt. 

'rostitution iu Relation to Our Marriage System — Marriage and 
Morality— The Definition of tJie Term "Morality"— Theoretical 
Afnrality — Its Division Into Traditional Morality and Ideal 
Morally — Practical Slorality — Practical Morality Based on 
Custom— The Only Subject of Scientific Ethics — Tlie Reaction 
Between Theoretical and Practical Morality — Se\ual Morality 
in the Past an Application of Economic Moralit.v— The Com- 
bined Rigidity and I-axity of This Morality— The Growth 
of a Specific Sexual Morality and the Evolution ot Moral 
Ideals — ManifeHtatluns of Si'xual Moralit.v— Disregard of the 
Forms ot Kfarriage — Trial Miarriage — Marriage After Con- 
ception ot Child — Phenomena in Germany. Anglo-Saxon Coun- 
tries, Russia, etc. — The Status of Woman — The Historical Tend- 
ency Favoring Moral Equality i)f Women with Men — The Theory 
of the Matriarclmte — Mother- Descent^ — Women in Babylonia — 
Egypt — Rome — The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries — The 
Historical Tendency Favoring Moral Inequality ot Woman — The 
.Ambiguous Influence of Christianity — Influence of Teutonic Cus- 
tom and Feudalism — Chivalry — Woman in England— The Sale of 
Wives- The Vanishing Subjection of Woman— Inaptitude of the 
Modem Man to Domineer — The Growth of Moral Responsibility 
in Women — The Concomitant Development of Economic Indepen- 
dence — Tlie Increase of Women Who Work— Invasion of the 
Modem Industrial Field by Women — In Hoiv Far Tliis Is Socially 
JustifUble— The Sexual Responsibility of Women tind Its Con!ie- 
quences— Tlie AJleged Moral Inferiority of Women— Tlie "Selt- 



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Sacrifice" of Women — Socielr Xot CoDCemcd with Sexual Rela- 
lionships — Procreation the Sole Sexual Oonccm of the St»te^ 
Tbc Supreme Importance of Matemit; 3 

CHAPTER S. 



The Definition of Marriaee — Marringe AmoDg Animals — The Pre- 
dominanre of Monogamy — The Question of Group Mairiige — 
IMonogamj a Natural Fact, Sot Based on Human Law— The Tend- 
encj to Ptafv the Form of Marriage Aboi~e the Fact of Marriage 
— The History of Marriage — Marriage in Ancient Rome — Ger- 
manic Infliii'Hce on ) I arri age— Bride-Sale — The King — The Influ- 
ence of Christianity on Marriage — The Great Estent of this 
Influence — The Sacrament of Matrimony — Origin and Growth 
o( the Sacramental Conception — The Church Made Marriage a 
Puhlic Act — Canon Law — Its Sound Core — Its Development — Its 
Confusions and Ahsiirdilics — Prrnliarities of English Marriage 
Law— Influence of the Reformation on Marriage — The Protestant 
Conception of ilarriagc as a Secular Contract — The Puritan Re- 
form of Marringe — Milton fts the Pioneer of Marriage Reform — 
His \'iews on Di»orc(--The B;ick\vard Position of England in 
Marriage Reform — Criticism of the Engli'^li Divorce Law— Tradi- 
tions of the Canon Iji«- Still Persiitenl— The Question of Damagia 
for Adulteij' — Collusion as a Bar to Divorce — Divorce in France, 
(Jcrmany. Austria, Russia, etc. — The I'nited States — Impossihit- 
ity of IXtiding by Statute the Causes for Divorce — Divorce by 
JIutnal Consent — Its Origin and Development — Impeded by the 
Traditions of Canon Ijiu— Wilhelm von Humboldt— Modern 
Pioneer Advocates of Divorce by Mutual ConflenU-Tlie Argu- 
ments Against Facility of Divorce— The Interests of the Cbil- 
dren— The I'rotection of Women — The Present Tendency of the 
Diiorce Movement — Marriage Xot a Contract — Tlic Proposal of 
Marriage for a Term of Years— Legal Disabilities and Disad- 
advantnges in the Position of the Husband and the Wife — Mar- 
riage Xot a Contract But a Fact— tlnly the Xon-Kssentials of 
Marriage. Xot the Kssentials, a Proper Matter for Contract — 
The Legal Reeognition of Marriage as a Fact Without Any Cere- 
mony — Contracts of the Person Opposed to Modern Tendencies — 
The Factor of 5loral Rcsponsiliilifv — Marriage as on Ethical 
Sacrament — Personal Responsibility Involves Freedom — Freedom 
the Best Guarantee of Stability- False Ideas of Individualism— 
Alodem Tendency of JIarri age— With the Birth of a Child Mar- 



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riage Ceasefl to be a Private Concern — Every Child Must Have 
a Legal Father and Mother— How This Can be Effected — Tlie 
Finn Baaia of Monogamy — The Question of Marriage Varia- 
tiona — Such Variationa Not Inimical to Mont^my — The Most 
Common Variationa — The Flexibility of Marriage Holds Varia- 
tions in Check — Marriage Variations versus Prostitution — Mar- 
riage on a Reasonable and Humane Basis — Summary and Con- 
clusion 420 

CHAFfER XI. 

The Abt of Lovk. 

Marriage Not Only for Procreation — Theologians on the Sacra- 
mentum BoUttionit — Importance of the Art of Love — The Basis 
of Stability in Marriage and th? Condition for Right Procrea- 
tion — The Art of Love the Bulwark Against Divorce — The Unity 
of Love and Marriage a Principle of Modern Morality — Christian- 
ity and the Art of Love — Oiid — The Art of Love Among Primi- 
tive Peoples — Sexual Initiation in Africa and Elsewhere — The 
Tendency to Spontaneous Development of the Art of Love in 
Early Life — Flirtation — Sexual Ignorance in Women— The Hus- 
band's Place in Sexual Initiation — Sexual Ignorance in Men— 
The Husband's Education for Marriage — The Injury Done by the 
Ignorance of Husbands — The Physical and Mental Results of 
Unskilful Coitus — Women Understand the Art of Love Better 
Than Men — Ancient and Modem Opinions Concerning Frequency 
of Coitus — Variation in Sexual Capacity — The Sexual Appetite — 
The Art of Love Based on the Biological Facta of Courtship — 
The Art of Pleasing Women^The Lover Compared to the Mu- 
sician—The Proposal as a Part of Courtship— Divination in the 
Art of Love — The Importance of the Preliminaries in Courtship — 
The Unskilful Husband Frequently the Cause of the Frigid Wife 
— The Difficulty of Courtship — Simultaneous Orgasm — The Evils 
of Incomplete Gratification In Women — Coitus Intcrruptus — 
Coitus Rescn-atUH— The Human Method of Coitus — Variations 
in Coitus — Posture in Coitus — The Best Time for Coitus — The 
Influence of Coitus in Marriage — The Advantages of Absence in 
Marriage — The Risks of Absence — Jealnusy — The Primitive Func- 
tion of Jealousy — Its Predominance Among Animals, Savages, 
etc, and in Pathological Stntcs — An Anti-Swial Emotion — 
Jealousy Incompatible Wilh the Progress of Civilization — The 
Possibility of T^iving More Than One Person at n Tim* — Platonic 
Friendship — The Conditions Which Make It Possible— The ila- 



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lernal ElemeDt in Woman's Love — The Final Development of 
Conjugal Love — The Problem of Imvu One of tlie (irentest of 
Social Questions 507 

CHAPTER XII. 

The Science of PaocEEATtoK, 

Tlie RelatiSuahip of the Science of Procreation to tlip Art of Love — 
Sexual Desire and Sexual Pleasure as tlie Conditions of Con- 
ception — Reproduction Formerly Left to Caprice and Lust — The 
Question of Procreation as a Religious Question — The Creed of 
Eugenics — Ellen Kev and Sir Francis Galton — Our E)ebt to Poh- 
teritj— The Problem of Replacing Natural Selection— The Origin 
and Development of Kugenics — The General Acceptance of Eu- 
genical Principles To-day — The Two Channels by Which Eugenical 
Principles are Becoming Embodied in Practice — The Sense of 
Sexual Responsibility in Women — The Rejection of Compulsory 
Motherhood — The Privilege of Voluntary Motherhood — Causes of 
the Degradation of Motherhood — The Control of Conception — Now- 
Practiced by the Majority of the Population in C'ivilixed Coun- 
tries — The Fallaej- of "Racial Suicide" — Are Large Families a 
Stigma of Degeneration ?—Procreative Control the Outcome of 
Natural and Civili7-ed Progress— The Crowth of NeoMalthusian 
Beliefs and Practices — Facultative Sterility as Distinct from 
Neo-Malthusianism — The Medical and Hygienic .Necessity of 
Control of Conception — Preventive Methods — Abortion— The 
New Doctrine of the Duty to Practice Abortion — How Far is this 
JustiflableT — Castration as a Method of Controlling Procreation 
— Negative Eugenics and Positive Eugenics — The Question of Cer- 
tificates for Marriage — Tlie Inadequacy of Eugenics by Act of 
Parliament — The Quickening of the Social Conscience in Regard 
to Heredity — Limitations to the Endowment of Motherhood — 
The Conditions Favorable to Procreation — Sterility — The Ques* 
tion of Artificial Fecundation — The Best Age of Procreation — 
The Question of Early Motherhood— The Best Time for Pro- 
«reation — The Completion of the Divine Cycle of Life 5TS 



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CHAPTER I. 

THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD. 

The Child's Right to Choose lU AncesUy— How This ia Effected— 
The MoUier the Child's Supreme Parent — Motherhood and the Woman 
Horement— The Immense Importance of Motherhood — Tofaiit Mortality 
and Its Causes— The Chief Cause in the Mother— The Need of Rest 
During Pregnancy — Frequency of Premature Birth — The Function of 
the State — Recent Advance in Puericulture — The Question of Coitus 
During Pregnancy — The Need of Rest During Lactation — The Mother's 
Duty to Suckle Her Child— The Economic Question— The Duty of the 
State — Recent Progress in the Protection of the Motlier — The Fallacy 
of State Nurseries. 

A man's sexual nature, liiie all else that is most essential 
in hitn, is rooted in a soil that was formed very long before his 
birth. In this, as in every other respect, he draws tiie elements 
of his life from his ancestors, however new the recombination 
may be and however greatly it may be modified by subsequent 
conditions. A man's destiny stands not in the future but in the 
past. That, rightly considered, is the most vital of all vital 
facts. Every child thus has a right to choose his own ancestors. 
Naturally he can only do. this vicariously, through his parents. 
It is the most seriouB and sacred duty of the future father to 
choose one half of the ancestral and hereditary character of his 
future child ; it is the most serious and sacred duty of the 
future mother to make a similar choice.^ In choosing each 
other they have between them chosen the whole ancestry of their 
child. They have determined the stars that will rale his fate. 

In the past that fateful determination has usually been 
made helplessly, ignorantly, almost imconseiously. It has either 

1 It is not, of course, always literally true that each parent sup- 
plies exactly half the heredity, for, as ve see among animals generally, 
the ofTspring may sometimes approach more nearly to one parent, some- 
times to the other, while among plants, as De Vries and others have 
«hown, the heredity may be still more unequally divided. 

(1) 



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X PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

been guided by an instinct which, on the whole, has worked out 
fairly wel!, or controlled by economic interests of the results of 
which so much cannot be said, or left to the risks of lower than 
bestial chances which can produce nothing but evil. In the 
future we cannot but have faith — for all the hope of humanity 
must rest on that faith — that a new guiding impulse, reinforcing 
natural instinct and becoming in time an inseparable accom- 
paniment of it, will lead civilized man on his racial course. Just 
as in the past the race has, on the whole, been moulded by a 
natural, and in part sexual, selection, that was unconscious of 
itself and ignorant of the ends it made towards, so in the future 
the race will be moulded by deliberate selection, the creative 
energy of Nature becoming self-conscious in the civilized brain 
of man. This is not a faith which has its source in a vague 
hope. The problems of the individual life are linked on to the 
fate of the racial life, and again and again we shall find ae we 
ponder the individual questions we are here concerned with, that 
at all points they ultimately converge towards this same racial 
end. 

Since we have here, therefore, to follow out the sexual 
relationships of the individual as they bear on society, it will 
be convenient at this point to put aside the questions of ancestry 
and to accept the individual as, with hereditary constitution 
already determined, he lies in his mother's womb. 

It is the mother who is the child's supreme parent. At 
various points in zoological evolution it has seemed possible that 
the functions that we now know as those of maternity would be 
largely and even equally shared by the male parent. Nature has 
tried various experiments in this direction, among the fishes, for 
instance, and even among birds. But reasonable and excellent 
as these experiments were, and though they were sufficiently sound 
to secure their perpetuation unto this day, it remains true that it 
was not along these lines that Man was destined to emerge. 
Among all the mammal predecessors of Man, the male is an 
imposing and important figure in the early days of courtship, 
but after conception has once been secured the mother plays the 
chief part in the racial life. The male must be content to forage 



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TEE MOTHEB AND HBB CHILD. 3 

abroad and stand on guard whea at home in the ante-chamber of 
the family. When she has once been impregnated the female 
animal angrily rejects the careseeB she had welcomed so coquet- 
tishly before, and even in Man the place of the father at the birth 
of hig child is not a notably dignified or comfortable one. 
Nature accords the male but a secondary and comparatively 
humble place in tlie home, the breeding-place of the race ; he may 
, compensate himself if he will, by seeking adventure and renown 
in the world outside. The mother is the child's supreme parent, 
and during the period from conception to birth the hygiene 
of the future man can only be affected by influences which wDrk 
through her, 

Fundamental and elementary as is the fact of the pre- 
dominant position of the mother in relation to the life of the 
race, incontestable as it must seem to all those who have 
traversed the volumes of these Studies up to the present point, 
it must be admitted that it has sometimes been forgotten or 
ignored. In the great ages of humanity it has indeed been 
accepted as a central and sacred fact. In classic Rome at one 
period the house of the pregnant woman was adorned with 
garlands, and in Athens it was an inviolable sanctuary where 
even the criminal might find shelter. Even amid, the mized 
iafiuences of the exuberantly vital times which preceded the 
outburst of the Itenaiseance, the fdeally beautiful woman, as 
pictures still show, was the pregnant woman. But it has not 
always been so. At the present time, for instance, there can be 
no doubt that we are but beginning to emerge from a period 
during which this fact was often disputed and denied, both in 
theory and in practice, even by women themselves. This was 
notably the case both in England and America, and it is probably 
owing in large part to the unfortunate infatuation which led 
women in these lands to follow after masculine ideals that at the 
present moment the inspirations of progress in women's move- 
ments come mainly to-day from the women of other lands. 
Motherhood and the future of the race were systematically 
belittled. Paternity is but a mere incident, it was argued, in 
man's life; why should maternity be more than a mere incident 



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4 PSYCHOLOGY OP BEX, 

in woman's life ? In England, by a curiously perverted form of 
sexual attraction, women were bo fascinated by the glamour that 
surrounded men that they desired to suppress or forget all the 
facts of organic canstitution which made them unlike men, 
counting tlieir glory aa their ehame, and sought the same educa- 
tion as men, the same occupations as men, even the same sports. 
As we know, there was at the origin an element of Tightness in 
this impulse. 1 It was absolutely right in so far as it was a claim 
for freedom from artificial restriction, and a demand for 
economic independence. But it became mischievous and absurd 
wlien it developed into a passion for doing, in all respects, the 
same things as men do; how mischievous and how absurd we may 
realize if we imagine men developing a passion to imitate the 
ways and avocations of women. Freedom ig only good when it 
is a freedom to follow the laws of one's own nature; it ceases 
to be freedom when it becomes a slavish attempt to imitate 
others, and would be disastrous if it could be successful.^ 

At the present day this movement on the theoretical side has 
ceased to possess any representatives who exert serious influence. 
Yet its practical results are still prominently exhibited in Eng- 
land and the other countries in which it lias been felt. Infantile 
mortality is enormous, and in England at all events is only 
beginning to show a tendency to diminish ; motherhood is with- 
■out dignity, and the vitality of mothers is speedily crushed, so 



1 It should Hoarcely be necessary to say that to assert that mother- 
liood IB a woman's supreme function is by no means to assert that ber 
activities should be confined to the home. That is an opinion whlcb 
.may now be regarded as almost extinct even among those who most 
;glorify the function of woman as mother. As Friedrich Naumann and 
■others have very truly pointrai out, a woman is not adequately equipped 
to fulfil her functions as mother and trainer of children unless she lias 
lived in the world and exercised a vocation. 

3 "Were the capacities of the brain and the heart equal in tha 
Bexes," Lily Braun [Die Fravmfrage, page 207 1 well says, "the entry 
of women into public life would be of no value to humanity, and would 
even lead to a still wilder competition. Only the recognition that the 
entire nature of woman is different from that of men. that it signifies 
a new vivifying principle in human life, makes the women's movement, 
in Hpito of the misconception of its enemies and its friends, a social 
TCvoIution" (see also Havelock Ellis, Man and Woman, fourth edition, 
1904, especiallr Cb. XVIU). 



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TBB HOTHBB AND HEB CHILD. 6 

that often they cannot bo much as suckle their infants; ignorant 
girl-mothers give their infants potatoes and gin; on every hand 
ve are told of the evidence of degeneracy in the race, or if not in 
the race, at all events, in the young individuals of to-day. 

It iTould be out of place, and would le&d ua too far, to discuM 
here these various practical outcomes of the fooliah attempt to belittle 
the immcnge r&cial importance of motherhood. It It enough here to 
touch on the one point of the excess of infantile mortality. 

Id England — which is not from the social point of view in a very 
much worse condition than most countries, for in Austria and Russia 
the infant mortalilj' Is higher still, though in Australia and New Zea- 
land much lower, but still excessive — more than one-fourth of the total 
number of deaths every year is of infanta under one year oE age. In 
the opinion of medical officers of health who are in the beat position to 
form an opinion, about one-half of thia mortality, roughly speaking, ia 
absolutely preventable. Moreover, it is doubtful Nthether there ia any 
real movement of decrease in this mortality; during the pnat half cen- 
tury it has sometimes slightly risen and sometimes slightly fallen, and 
though during the past few years the general movement of morlality for 
children under five in England and Wales has shown a tendency to 
decrease, in London (according to J. F. J. -Sykes, although Sir Shirley 
Murphy haa attempted to minimize the significunce of thcHe figures) 
the infantile mortality rat« for the Grst three months of life ai'luatly 
rose from 69 per 1,000 in the period 1888-1802 to 75 per 1,000 in the 
period 1898-1001. (This refers, it must be remembered, to the period 
before the introduction of the Notification of Births Act.) In any caae, 
although the general mortality shows a marked tendency to improve- 
ment there ia certainly no adequately corresponding improvement in the 
Infantile mortali^. This is acarcely aurprising, when we realize that 
there haa been no change for the better, but rather for the worse, in the 
conditions under which our infants are born and reared. Tliua ^Mlliam 
Hall, who has had an Intimate knowledge extending over fifty-six years 
of the slums of Leeds, and has weighed and measured mnny tliou-tands 
of slum children, besides examining over 120,000'boys and girls as to 
their fitness for factory labor, states {British Medical Journal, October 
14, 1005) that "fifty yeara ago the slum mother was much more sober, 
cleanly, domestic, and motherly than she is to-day; she waa herself 
better nourished and she almost always suckled her children, and after 
weaning they received more nutritiou.i bone-making food, and she was 
able to prepare more wholesome food at home." The nystem of com- 
pulsory education has had an unfortunate influence in exerting a strain 
on the parents and worsening the condjtiona of the home. For, excellent 



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6 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

BS education is in itself, it is not the primary need of life, and hai been 
made compulsorj' before the more essential things of life have been made 
equally compulsory. How absolutely unnecessary this great mortality 
is may be shown, without evoking the good example of Australia and 
New Zealand, by merely comparing small English towns; thus while 
in Guildford the infantile death rate is 65 per thousand, in Burslera it 
is 205 per thousand. 

It is sometimes said that infantile mortality is an economic ques- 
tion, and that with improvement in wages it would cease. This is only 
true to a limited extent and under certain conditions. In Australia 
there is no grinding poverty, but the deaths of infants under one year 
of age are still between 80 and 90 per thousand, and one-third of this 
mortality, according to Hooper {BHtith Medical Journal. 1908, vol. ii, 
p. 2S9),* being due to the ignorance of mothers and the dislike to suck- 
ling, is easily preventable. The employment of married women greatly 
diminiehes the poverty of a family, but nothing can be worse for the 
welfare of the woman as mother, or for the welfare of her child. Eeid, 
the medical officer of health for StalTordshire, where there are tn/i large 
centres of artisan population with identical health conditions, has shown 
that in the northern centre, where a very large number of women are 
engaged in factories, still-births are three times as frequent as in the 
southern centre, where there ate practically no trade employments for 
women; the frequency of abnormalities is also in the same ratio. The 
superiority of Jewish over Christian children, again, and their lower 
Infantile mortality, seem to be entirely due to the fact that Jewesses 
are better mothers, "The Jewish children in the slums." says William 
Hall {British Medical Journal, October H, 19051, speaking from wide 
and accurate knowledge, "were superior in weight, in teeth, and in gen- 
eral bodily development, and they seemed less susceptible to infectious 
disease. Yet these Jews were overcrowded, they took little exercise, and 
their unsanitary environment was obvious. The tact was, their chil- 
dren were much better nourished. The pregnant Jewess was more cared 
for, and no doubt supplied better nutriment to the fcetus. After the 
children were born 90 per cent, received breast-milk, and during later 
childhood they were abundantly fed on bone-making material ; eggs and 
oil, fish, fresh vegetables, and fruit entered largely into their diet." 
G. Newman, in his important and comprehensive book on Infant Mor- 
tality, emphasizes the conclusion that "firBt of all we need a higher 
standard of physical motherhood." The problem of infantile mortality, 
he declares (page 2.59), is not one of sanitation alone, or housing, or 
indeed of poverty as such, "6ii( I'a mainly a question of motherhood." 

The fundamental need of tlie pre^ant woman is resl. 
Without a large degree of maternal rest there can be no ptieri- 



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THE UOTHER AND HEB CHILD. 7 

culture.^ The task of creating a man needs the whole of a 
woman's best energies, more especially during the three months 
before birth. It cannot be subordinated to the tax on strength 
involved by manual or mental labor, or even strenuous social 
duties and amusements. The numerous experiments and obser- 
vations which have been made during recent years in Maternity 
Hospitals, more especially in France, have shown conclusively 
that not only the present and future well-being of the mother and 
the ease of her confinement, but the fate of the child, are 
immensely influenced by rest during the last month of preg- 
nancy. "Every working woman is entitled to rest during the last 
three months of her pregnancy," This formula was adopted by 
the International Congress of Hygiene in 1900, but it cannot be 
practically carried out except by the cooperation of the whole 
community. For it is not enough to say that a woman ought 
to rest during pregnancy; it is the business of the community to 
ensure that that rest la duly secured. The womaq Iierself, and 
her employer, we may be certain, will do their best to cheat the 
community, but it is the community which suffers, both 
economically and morally, when a woman casts her inferior 
childroi into the world, and in its own interests the community 
is forced to control both employer and employed. We can no 
longer allow it to be said, in Bouchacourt'a words, that "to-day 
the dregs of the human species — the blind, the deaf-mute, the 
degenerate, the nervous, the vicious, the idiotic, the imbecile, the 
cretins and epileptics — are better protected than pregnant 
worn en, "2 

PiDard, who must always be honored as one of the founders of 
eugenicH. has, together with his pupils, doae nmcb to prepare the way 

1 The word "puerieulture" was invented by Dr. Caron in 1866 to 
signify the culture of children after birth. It was Pinard. the distin- 
guished French obiitetrician. who. in 1895, gave it a liirgeT and truer 
significance by applying it to include the culture of children before birth. 
It is now defined as "the science which has for ite end the search for 
the knowledge relative to the reproduction, the preservation, and the 
amelioration of the human race" (P*ehin, La Pitiricvlture avant la 
Kaittance. Th^se de Paris, 1908). 

I In La Orossesse (pp. 450 et Keq.) Bouchacourt has discussed the 
problems of puerieulture at some length. 



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e P9YCHOLOGT OF 8BX, 

for tlie acceptance of this simple but important priDciple by m&king clear 
the grounda on which it ia baaed. Frotu prolonged obKervationa on the 
pregnant women of all olaiuies I'inard has shown conclitsivel; that women 
who rest during pregnancj' have finer children tlian women who do not 
rest. Apart from the more genpral pvIIb of work during pregnancy, 
Pinard found that during Uie later mouths it had a tendency to preaa 
the uterus down into the pelvia, and so cause the premature birth of 
undeveloped children, while labor was rendered more difficult and dan- 
geroua (see, e.g., Pinard, Oatetle de» H6pilaiix, Nov. ZS, 1S95, Id., 
Annitles de Oynfcologie, Aug., 18B8f. 

Letourneux has studied the question whether repose during preg- 
nancy ia neeesaarj- for women whose professionft! work is only alight!}' 
fatiguing. He investigated 732 successive confinements at the CHniquo 
Baudelocqiie in Paris. He found that l.t? women engaged in fatiguing 
occupations (servants, cooks, etc.) and not resting during pregnancy, 
produced children uith an average weight of 3,0S1 grammes; 115 women 
engaged in only slightly fatiguing occupations (dressmakers, milliners, 
etc.) and also not resting during pregnancy, had children with an aver- 
age wei^t of .1,130 grammes, a sliglit but aignificant difference, in view 
of the fact that the women of the first group were large and robust, 
while those of the second group were of slight and elegant build. Again, 
comparing groups of women who rested during pregnane}', it was found 
that the women accustomed to fatiguing work had children with an 
average weight of 3.319 grammes, while those accustomed to leas 
fatiguing work had children with an average weight of 3,318 grammes. 
The difference between repose and non-repose is thus considerable, while 
it also enables robust women exercising a fatiguing occupation to catch 
up, though not to surpass, the frailer women exercising a less fatiguing 
occupation. We see, too, that even in the comparatively unfatiguing 
occupations of milliners, etc., rest during pregnancy still remains 
important, and cannot safely be dispensed with. "Society," Letourneux 
concludes, "must guarantee rest to women not well off during a part 
of pregnancy. It will be repaid tJie cost of doing so by the increased 
vigor of the children thus produced" (Letourneux, Dc Vliifluence de la 
Profeagion de la Mfre «ur le Poida de VF.nfanl, Tlitae de Paris, 1897). 

Dr. Dweira^Bernson (fictue Pratique d'Obsfeti igue el de Pidiatrie, 
1003, p. 370), compared four groups of pregnant women (servants with 
light work, servants with heavy work, farm girls, dressmakers) who 
rested for three months Ijetore confinement wjtii four groups similarly 
composed who took no rest before confinement. In every group he founil 
that the difference in the average weiglit of the child was markedly in 
favor of the women who rested, and it was notable tliat tlic greatest 
difference was found in the case of the farm girls who were probably the 
moat robust and also the hardest worked. 



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THE UOTHEB AND HEB CHILD. 9 

The UHnal time of gestation ranges between 274 and 280 days (or 
280 to 290 days from the last menstrual period), and on^iBionally a few 
daya longer, though there is dispute as to the lengtli of the extreme 
limit, which some authorities would extend to 3(M> days, or even to 320 
days (Pinard, in Richet'a Dietiotinatre de Phi/aiologie, vol. vit, pp. 160- 
162; Taylor, Medical Jurisprudence, fifth edition, pp. 44, 93 et »eq.; 
L. M, Allen, "Prolonged Gestation," American Journal Obttetriea, April, 
1907). It ia poaaible, aa MUUer auggc^sted in 189» in a Th«ae de Nanc},. 
that civilization tends to aborten the period of gRstation, and thtit in 
earlier ages it was longer than it is now. Such a tendency to prema' 
tare birth under the exciting nervous influences of eiviiizntion would 
thus correspond, as Boucliacourt has pointed out ( La OrotteaMc, p. 113), 
to the similar effect of domestication in animals. The Tobuat country- 
woman becomes transformed into the more graceful, but alao more fragile^ 
town woman who needs a degree of care and hygiene which the eountry- 
woman with her more resistant nervous system can to some extent dis- 
pense with, although even she, as we see, suffers in the person of her 
child, and probably in her own person, from the elTecta of work during 
pregnancy. The serious nature of this civilized tendency to premature 
birth — of which lack of rest in pregnancy is, however, only one of sev- 
eral important causes — is shotvn by the fact that SCropian (Friquettee 
Comparie des Causes de I'Acrouckement Prfmaturi, Tb^se de Paris, 
1007) found that about one-third of French births {33.2S per cent.) are 
to a greater or lesa extent premature. Pregnancy is not a morbid con- 
dition; on the contrary, a pregnant woman is at the climax of her moat 
normal physiological life, but owing to the tension thus involved she is 
specially liable to suffer from any slight shock or strain. 

It must be remarked that the incrca'^ed tendency to premature 
birth, while in part it may be due to general tendencies of civilization, 
is alao in part due to vert' definite and preventable causes. Syphilis, 
alcoholism, and attempts to produce abortion are among the not uncom- 
moD causes of premature birth (see, e.g., G. F. McCleary, "The Influ- 
ence of Antenatal Conditions on Infantile Mortality," British Medical 
Journal, Aug. 13, 1904). 

Premature birth ought to be avoided, because the child bom too 
early is insufficiently equipped for the task before him. Astengo, deal- 
ing with nearly 19,000 cases at the Lariboiaifrc Hospital in Paris and 
the Maternity, found, that reckoning from the date of the last menstrua- 
tion, there is a direct relation between the weight of the infant at birth 
and the length of the pregnancy. The longer the pregnancy, the finer 
the child (Astengo, Rapport da Poids des Enfants A la Ditrie de la 
Qrossesse, ThSse de Paris, 1906). 

The frequency of premature birth ia probably as great In England 
as in France. Ballantyne states {Manual of Antenatal Pathology; The 



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10 PBYCHOLOQY OF SEX. 

Fcelug, p, 456) tbat for practical purpOBea Uie frequency of premature 
labors in maternity bospitale may be put at 20 per ceot, but that if 
all infants weighing less than 3,000 grammes are to be regarded as 
premature, it rises to 41.5 per cent. That premature birth is increasing 
in England seems to be indicated b; the fact that during the past 
twenty-five years there has been a steady rise in tlie mortality rat« from 
premature birth. McCleary, wlio diacussea this point and considers tiio 
increase real, concludes that "it would appear that there has been a 
diminution in the quality as well as in the quantity of our output of 
babies" {see also a discuBsion, introduced by Dawson WilliamB, on 
"Physical Deterioration," Briliah Sledical Journal, Oct. 14, 1605). 

It need scarcely be pointed out that not only is immaturity a 
cause of deterioration in tlje infants tbat survive, but that it alone 
serves enormously to decrease the number of infants that are able to 
survive. Thus G. Kewman states {loo. cil.) that In most large English 
urban districts immaturity is the chief cause of infant mortality, fur- 
nishing about 30 per cent, of the infant deaths; even in London (Isling- 
ton) Alfred Harris {British Medical Journal, Dec. 14, 1607) finds that 
it is responsible for nearly 17 per cent, of the infantile deaths. It is 
estimated by Newman that about half of the mothers of infants dying 
of immaturity suffer from marked ill-health and poor physique; tbey 
are not, therefore, fitted to be mothers. 

Rest during pregnancy is a very powerful ag.'ut in preventing pre- 
mature birth. Thus Dr. Sarraute-Louri^ has compared 1,550 pregnant 
women at the Asile Michelet wlio rested before confinement with 1,550 
w-omen confined at the ROpital Lariboisi^re who had enjoyed no such 
period of rest. She found that the sjrerage duration of pregnancy was 
at least twenty days shorter in the latter group (Mme. Sarraute-Lourifi, 
De llnfiueHce du Repos sur la Durie de la Gestation, Th^se de Paris, 
1800). 

Leyboff has insisted on the absolute necessity of rest during preg- 
nancy, as well for the sake of the woman herself as the burden she 
carries, and shows the evil results which follow when rest is neglected. 
Railway traveling, horse-riding, bicyeling, and sea-voyages are also, Ley- 
boff believes, liable to be Injurious to the course of pregnancy. LeybofF 
recognises the difficulties which procreating women are placed under by 
present industrial conditions, and concludes that "it is urgently neces- 
sary to prevent women, by law, from working during the last three 
months of pregnancy; that in every district there should be a maternity 
fund; that during this enforced rest a woman should receive the same 
salary as during work." He adds that the children of unmarried 
mothers should be cared for by the State, that there should be an eight- 
hours' day for all workers, and thut no children under sixteen should be 
allowed to work (E, Leyboff, L'SygOne de la QroMesae, These de Paris, 
1905). 



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THE MOTHER AND HEB CHILD. 11 

Perrac states that at least two months' rest before conAnemeDt 
should be made compulsoiy, and that during this period the woman 
should receive an indemnity regulated by the State. He ia of opinion 
Uiat it should take the form of compulaory assurance, to which 'be 
worker, the employer, and the State alike contributed (Perruc, Aa»iat- 
once aua Femmet ETteetntei, Tb^se de Paris, 190E). 

It 18 probable that during the earlier months of pregnancy, work, 
if not excessively heavy and exhausting, has little or no bad effect; thus 
Bacchimont ^I>ocumen^s pour aervir d I'Bisloire de la Pu4riculture 
Intra-utiHne, ThSse de Paris, 1898) foimd that, while there was a great 
gain in the weight of children of mothers who had rested for three 
months, there was no corresponding gain in the children of those 
mothers who had rested for longer petiods. It is during the last three 
months that freedom, repose, the cessation of the obligatory routine of 
employment become necessary. This is the opinion of Pinard, the chief 
authority on this matter. Many, however, fearing that economic and 
industrial conditions render so long a period of rest too difficult of prac- 
tical attainment, are, with Clappier and G, Newman, content to demand 
two months as a miaimum ; Salrat only asks for one month's rest 
before confinement, tiie woman, whether married or not. receiving a 
pecuniary indemnity during this period, with medical care and drugs 
bee. Ballontyne (Manual of Antenatal Pathology: The Fa-tva, p. 475), 
as well aa Niven, also asks only for one month's compulsory rest during 
pregnancy, with indemnity. Arthur Helme, however, taking a more com- 
prehensive view of all the factors involved, concludes in a valuable paper 
on "The Unborn Child: Ita Care and Its Rights" {British Medieal 
Journal, Aug. 24, 1907), "The important thing -would be to prohibit 
pregnant women from going to work at all, and it is as important from 
the standpoint of the child that this prohibition should include the early 
as the late months of pregnancy." 

In England little progress has jet been made as regards this ques- 
tion of rest during pregnancy, even as regards the education of public 
opinion. Sir William Sinclair, Professor of Obstetrics at the Victoria 
University of Manchester, has published (1907) A Plea for Eatabliah- 
ing Mvnicipal Maternity Somea. Baltant.vne, a great British authority 
on the embryology of the child, has published a "Plea for a Pre-Mat^'m- 
Ity Hospital" {Britiah Medical Journal, April S. 1901). has since given 
an important lecture on the subject [BHtiah Medical Journal, Jan. 11, 
I90S), and has further discussed the matter in his Mamiat of Ante-yatal 
Pathology: The Fcelua (Ch. XXVTI) ; he is, however, more interested in 
the establishment of hospitals for the diseases of pregnancy than in the 
wider and more fundamental question of rest for all pregnant women. 
In England there are, indeed, a few institutions which receive unmar- 
ried women, with a record of good conduct, who are pregnant for the 



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12 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, 

flrst time, for, as Bouchacourt remarks, ancient Britieli prejudices ara 
opposed to any mercy being ebown to women who are recidivists id 
committing tbe crime of conception. 

At present, indeed, it is only in France that the urgent need of 
rest during the latter months of pregnancy haa been clearly realized, and 
any serious and official attempts made to provide for it. In an interest- 
ing Paris thesis (ZJe la I'uiriculture avant ie -Vaissonce, 1907) Clappier 
has brought together much information bearing on the eflbrts now being 
made to deal practically with liiia question. Thpre are many Aetles in 
Paris tor pregnant women. One of the beat is the Asile Michelet, 
founded in 18B3 by tbe Assistance Publique de Paris. This is a sana- 
torium for pregnant women who liave reached a period of seven and a. 
half raontba. It is nominally restricted to the admission of French 
women who have been domiciled for a year in Paris, but, in practice, it 
appears that women from all pat'ta of France are received. They are 
employed in light and occasional work for the institution, being paid 
for this work, and are also occupied in making clothes for the expected 
baby. Married and unmarried women are admitted alike, all women 
being equal from the point of view of motherhood, and indeed tha 
majority of the women who come to the Asile Michelet are unmarried, 
some being girls who have even trndged on foot from Brittany and other 
remote parts of France, to seek concealment from their friends in the 
hospitable seclusion of these refuges in the great city. It is not the 
least advantage of these institutions that they shield unmarried mothers 
and their olTspring fronT the manifold evils to which they are exposed, 
and thus tend to decrease crime and suHering. In addition to the 
maternity refuges, there are institutions in France for assisting with 
help and advice those pregnant women who prefer to remain at home, 
but are thus enabled to avoid the necessity for undue domestic labor. 

There ought to he no manner of doubt that when, as is the case 
to-day in our own and some other supposedly civilized countries, mother- 
hood outside marriage is accounted as almost a crime, there is the veiy 
greatest need for adequate provision for unmarried women who are 
about to become mothers, enabling them to receive shelter and care in 
secrecy, and to presen'e their self-respect and social position. This is 
necessary not only in the interests of humanity and public economy, but 
also, as is too oft*n forgotten, in the interests of morality, for it is 
certain that by the neglect to furnish adequate provision of this nature 
women are driven to infanticide and prostitution. In earlier, more 
humane days, the general proinsion for the secret reception and care of 
illegitimate infants was undoubtedly most beneficial. The suppreaaion 
of the mediierat method, which in France took place gradually between 
Itt.^3 and 18Q2, led to a great increase in infanticide and abortion, and 
was a direct encouragement to crime and immorality. In 1887 tlie 



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THE HOTHER AND HEB CHILD. 13 

Conseil GSnfiral of the Seine sought to replace the prerailing n^Iect of 
this matter by the adoption of more enlightened ideas and founded a 
bureau tecret d'admitaion for pregnant women. Since then both the 
abaDdoDment of infanta and infanticide have greatl}' diminished, though 
they are increasing in those parte of France which posseaa no facilities 
of this kind. It ia widely held that the State should unify the arrange- 
menta for assuring secret maternity, and should, in its own interests. 
undertake the expense. In 1004 French law ensured the protection of 
unmarried mothers by guaranteeing their cecret, but it failed to organize 
the general establishment of secret maternities, and has left to doctors 
the pioneering part in this great and humane public work (A. Maillard- 
Brune, Refuget, Maternitit, Bureaux d'Admiasion Secrets, comme Moyena 
Priservativea dot Infanticide, ThSse de Paris, 1908). It is not among 
the least benefits of the falling birth rate that it has helped to stimulate 
this beneficent movement. 



The development of an induatrial system which subordinates 
the htunan body and the human soul to the thirst for gold, has, for 
a time, dismissed from social consideration the interests of the 
race and even of the individual, but it must be remiembered that 
this has not been always and everywhere bo. Although in some 
parts of the world the women of savage peoples work up to the 
time of confinement, it must be remarked that the conditions of 
vork in savage life do not resemble the strenuous and continuous 
labor of modem factories. In many parts of the world, how- 
ever, women are not allowed to work hard during pregnancy and 
every consideration is shown to them. This is so, for instance, 
among the Pueblo Indians, and among the Indians of Mexico. 
Similar care is taken in the Carolines and the Gilbert Islands 
and in many other regions all over the world. In some places, 
women are secluded during pregnancy, and in others are com- 
pelled to observe many more or less excellent rules. It is true 
that the assigned, cause for these rules is frequently the fear of 
evil spirits, but they nevertheless often preserve a hygienic value. 
In many parts of the world the discovery of pregnancy is the sign 
for a festival of more or less ritual character, and much good 
advice is given to the expectant mother. The modem Mussel- 
mans are careful to guard the h^lth of their women when preg- 



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14 PSYCHOLOGY OP SEX. 

nant, and so are the Chinese.^ Even in Europe, in the tliirteenth 
century, as Clappier notes, industrial corporations sometimes had 
regard to this matter, and would not allow women to work during 
pregnancy. In Iceland, where much of the primitive life of 
Scandinavian Europe is still preserved, great precautions are 
taken with pregnant women. They must lead a quiet life, avoid 
tight gannents, be moderate in eating and drinking, take no 
alcohol, be safeguarded from all shocks, while their husbands and 
all others who surround them must treat them with consideration, 
aave them from worry and always bear with them patiently.^ 

It is neceEsary to emphasize this point because we have to 
realize that the modem movement for surrounding the pregnant 
woman with tenderness and care, so far from being the mere 
outcome of civilized softness and degeneracy, is, in all probability, 
the return on a higher plane to the sane practice of those races 
which laid the foundations of human greatness. 

While rest is the cardinal virtue imposed on a woman 
during the later months of pregnancy, there are other points in 
her regimen that are far from unimportant in their bearing on 
the fate of the child. One of these is the question of the 
mother's use of alcohol. Undoubtedly alcohol has been a cause 
of much fanaticism. But the declamatory extravagance of anti- 
alcoholists must not blind us to the fact that the evils of alcohol 



1 The importaace of anU<natal puericulture was fully recognized 
in China a thoUBaod fears ago. Thus Madame Cheng wrot« at that time 
concerning the education of the child: "Even before birth hia education 
may begin; and. therefore, the prospective mother of old, when lying 
down, lay straight; when sitting down, sat upright; and when stanif 
in^, stool erect. She would not taate xtrange flavors, nor have any- 
thing to do with spiritualism; if her food were not cut straight she 
would not eat it, and if her mat were not set straight, she would not 
iit upon it She would not look at any objectionable sight, nor listen 
to any objectionable sound, nor utter any nide word, nor handle any 
impure thing. At night she studied some canonical work, by day aha 
occupied herself with ceremonies and music. Therefore, her sons were 
upright and eminent for their talents and virtues; such was the result 
of antenatal traimnit" (H. A. Giles, "Woman in Chinese Literature." 
Xinefeenth Century, Nov., 1904). 

SMait Bartels, "Islandischer Brauch," etc., Zeitichrift fur Etknol- 
ogip. 1900, p. 69. A summari' of the customs of various peoples in 
reiicard to preenancv Is (tiTeu by Ploss and Bartels, Das Weib, Sect. 
XXIX. 



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TEE MOTHER AND HEB CHILD. IS 

are real. On the reproductive proccBs especially, on the mam- 
mary glandB, and on the child, alcohol has an arreeting and 
degenerative influence without any compensatory advantagea. 
It has been proved by experiments on animals and observations 
on the human subject that alcohol taken by the pregnant woman 
passes freely from the maternal circulation to the foetal circula- 
tion. F4r6 has further shown that, by injecting alcohol and 
aldehydes into hen's eggs during incubation, it is possible to 
cause arrest of development and malformation in the chick.^ 
The woman who is bearing her child in her womb or suckling it 
at her breast would do well to remember that the alcohol which 
may be harmless to herself is little better than poison to the 
immature being who derives nourishment from her blood. She 
should confine herself to the very lightest of alcoholic beverages 
in very moderate amounts and would do better still to abandon 
these entirely and drink milk instead. She is now the sole 
source of the child's life and she cannot be too scrupulous in 
creating around it an atmosphere of purity and health. No 
after-influence can ever compensate for mistakes made at this 
time.* 

What is true of alcohol is equally true of other potent drugs 
and poisons, which should all be avoided so far as passible during 
pregnancy because of the harmful influence they may directly 
exert on the embryo. Hygiene is better than drugs, and care 
should be exercised in diet, which should by no means be exces- 
sive. It is a mistake to suppose that the pregnant woman needs 
considerably more food than usual, and there is much reason to 

1 On the influence of alcohol during pregnancy on the embrfo, see, 
e.g., G. Newman, Infant Hortalitij, pp. 72-TT. W. C. Sullivan (Alcohol- 
ism, 1906, Ch. XI). sumraarizes tbe evidence showing that alcohol is a 
factor in human degeneration. 

2 There is even reason to believe that the nleoholism of the mother's 
father may impair her ability aa a mother. Bunge (Die Zunfkmende 
Vnfahigkeit der Frauen ikre Kinder zu Stillen, fifth edition, 1007), from 
an investigation extending over 2,000 families, finds that chronic alco- 
bolic poisoning in the father is the chief cause of the daughter's inability 
to suckle, this inability not usually being recovered in subsequent gen- 
erations. Bunge has, however, been opposed by Dr. Agnes Bluhm, 'THe 
Stlllongsnot," Zeitgckrift fUr BoxiaU Medizin, 1908 (fully summarized 
by herself in Sewual-Prohleme, Jan., lOOB). 



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16 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, 

believe not only that a rich meat diet tends to cause sterility but 
tliat it IB also unfavorable to the deTelopment of the child in 
the womb.l 

How far, if at all, it is often asked, should sesual intercourse 
be continued after fecundation has been clearly ascertained? 
This has not always been found an easy question to answer, for 
in the human couple many considerations combine to complicate 
the answer. Even the Catholic theologians have not been entirely 
in agreement on this point. Clement of Alexandria said that 
when the seed had been Bown the field must be left till harvest. 
But it may be concluded that, a3 a rule, the Church was inclmed 
to regard intercourse during pregnancy as at most a venial sin, 
provided there was no danger of abortion. Augustine, Gregory 
the Great, Aquinas, Dens, for instance, seem to be of this mind; 
for a few, indeed, it is no sin at all,^ Among animals the rule is 
■simple and uniform; as soon as the female is impregnated at 
the period of oestrus she absolutely rejects all advance of the 
male until, after birth and lactation are over, another period of 
ccstrus occurs. Among savages the tendency is less uniform, 
and sexual abstinence, when it occurs during pregnancy, tends to 
become less a natural instinct than a ritual observance, or a 
custom now chiefly supported by superstitions. Among many 
primitive peoples abstinence during the whole of pregnancy is 
enjoined because it is believed that the semen would kill the 
foetus.-' 

The Talmud is unfavorable to coltna during pTEgnancy, and the 
Koran prohibits it during the whole of the period, as well as during 
suckling. Among the Hindus, on the other hand, intercourse is con- 
tinued up to the last fortuight of pregnancy, and it is even believed that 
the injected semen helps to nourish the embryo (W. D. Sutherland, 

1 See, e.g., T. Arthur Helme, "The Unborn Child,"" British Medical 
Journal, Aug. 24, ISO". Nutrition should, of course, be ndequat*. 
Noel Paton has shown (Lancet. July 4, 1B03) that dpfective nutritioa 
of the pregnant woman diminishes the weight of the offspring. 

2 Debroyne, ilax'hialogie, p. 277. And from the Protestant side 
see Northcote iCkristiavily and Hex Frohletna, Ch, IX), who permits 
sexual intercourse during pregnancy. 

S See Appendix A to the third volume of these Studies; also Plosa 
.and Bartels, loc. oit. 



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THE UOTHEK AMD HEB CHILD. 17 

"Ueber das Alltagsleben und die VoUutuedizin uiit«T d«n BAueni Briti- 
BchoBlindienB," Muttckener Meditinttcke Woaheitaohrift, Nob. 12 and 13, 
190S). The great Indian pbysiciaD Susruta, however, was opposed to 
coitus during pregnancy, and the Chinese are emphatically on the aame 

Ab men hare emerged from barbarism in the direction of 
civilization, the animal inetinct of refusal after impregnation 
has been completely lost in vomen, while at the same time both 
sexes tend to become indifferent to those ritual restraints which 
at an earlier period were almost as binding as instinct. Sexual 
intercourse thus came to be practiced after impregnation, much 
the same as before, as part of ordinary "marital rights," though 
sometimes there has remained a faint suspicion, reflected in the 
hesitating attitude of the Catholic Church already alluded to, 
that such intercourse may be a sinful indulgence. Morality is, 
however, called in to fortify this^ indulgence. If the husband is 
shut out from marital intercourse at this time, it is argued, he 
will seek extra-marital intercourse, as indeed in some parts of 
the world it is recognized that he legitimately may; therefore 
the interests of the wife, anxious to retain her husband's fidelity, 
and the interests of Christian morality, anxious to uphold the 
institution of monogamy, combine to permit the continuation of 
coitus during pregnancy. The custom has been furthered by the 
fact that, in civilized women at all events, coitus during preg- 
nancy is usually not less agreeable than at other times and by 
some women is felt indeed to be even more agreeable.* There is 
also the further consideration, for those couples who have sought 
to prevent conception, that now intercourse may be enjoyed with 
impunity. From a higher point of view such intercourse may 
also be justitied, for if, as all the finer moralists of the sexual 
impulse now believe, love has its value not only in so far as it 
induces procreation but also in so far as it aids individual 



J Thus one lady writes: "I have only had one child, but I may 
Bay that during pregnancy the desire for union was much stronger, for 
the whole time, than at any other period." Bouchacourt (La QroatetM, 
pp. 180-193) ntates that, as a rule, sexual desire is not diminished by 
pregnancy, and is occasionally increaaed. 



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18 PBTCHOLOOT OF SEX. 

development and the mutual good and barmoDy of the united 
couple, it becomes morally right during pregnancy. 

From an early period, however, great authorities have 
declared themselves in opposition to the custom of practicing 
coitus during pregnancy. At the end of the firat century, 
SoranuB, the first of great gynaecologists, stated, in his treatise 
on the diseases of vomen, that eexual intercourse is injurious 
throughout pregnancy, because of the movement imparted to the 
uterus, and especially injurious during the latter months. For 
more than sixteen hundred years the question, having fallen into 
the bands of the theologians, seems to have been neglected on 
the medical side until in 1731 a distinguished French obstet- 
rician, Mauriceau, stated that no pregnant woman should have 
intercourse during the last two months and that no woman sub- 
ject to miscarriage should have intercourse at all during 
pregnancy. For more than a century, however, Mauriceau 
remained a pioneer with few or no followers. It would be 
inconvenient, the opinion went, even if it were necessary, to 
forbid intercourse during pregnancy.^ 

During recent years, nevertheless, there has been an 
increasingly strong tendency among obstetricians to speak 
decisively concerning intercourse during pregnancy, either by 
condemning it altogether or by enjoining great prudence. It is 
highly probable that, in accordance with the classical experiments 
of Dareste on chicken emhryos, shocks and disturbances to the 
human embryo may also produce injurious effects on growth. 
The disturbance due to coitus in the early stages of pregnancy 
may thus tend to produce malformation. When such conditions 
are found in the children of perfectly healthy, vigorous, and gen- 
erally temperate parents who have indulged recklessly in coitus 



1 This "inconvenience" remains to-day a stumbling-block irith man; 
exeellent authorities. "Kxccpt when there is a tendency to miscar- 
riage," says KoBsmann (Senator and Kaminer, Health and Disease in 
Relation to Marriage, vol. J. p. 257), "we must be very guarded in 
ordering abstinence from intercourse during pregnancy," and Ballantyne 
{The Fwtaa, p. 475} cautiously remarks that the question is difficult 
to decide. Forel also (Die Sexuelle Frage. fourth edition, p. 81), who 
is not prepared to advocate complete sexual abetinence during a normal 
pregnancy, admits that it is a rather difficult question. 



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IBB JIOTHER AND H£B GUILD. 19 

during the early stages of pregnancy it ia possible that euch 
coitne has acted on the emhr}'o in the same way as shocks and 
intoxications are known to act on the embryo of lower organisms. 
However this may be, it is quite certain that in predisposed 
women, coitus during pregnancy causes premature birth; it 
sometimes happens that labor pains begin a few minutes after 
the act.l The natural instinct of animals refuses to allow 
intercourse during pregnancy ; the ritual observance of primitive 
peoples very frequently points in the same direction; the voice 
of medical science, so far as it speaks at all, is beginning to 
utter the same warning, and before long will probably be in a 
position to do so on the basis of more solid and coherent evidence. 

FInard, the greatest of authoritiea on puericulture, aseerts that 
there must be complete ceesatioD of sexual intercourse during the whole 
of pregnancy, and in his consulting room at the Ginique Baudelocque 
he has placed a large placard with an "Important Notice" to this effect. 
F^re was strongly of opinion that sexual relations during pregnancy, 
especially when recklessly carried out, play an important part in the 
causation of nervous troubles in children who are of sound heredity and 
otherwiae free from all morbid infection during gestation and develop- 
ment; he recorded in detail a case which he considered conclusive 
("L'Influence de 1' Incontinence Sexuelle pendant la Gestation sur la 
Deflcendance," Archives de f/etirologie, April, 1005). Bouchacourt dis- 
enages the subject fully {La OroMesge, pp. 177-214), and thinks that 
sexual intercourse during pregnaney should be avoided as much as pos- 
sible. Fdrbringer (Senator and Kaminer, Health and Diseate in Rela- 
tion to Marriage, vol. i, p. 226) recommends abstinence from the sixth 
or seventh month, and throughout the whole of pregnancy where there 
is any tendency to miscarriage, while in all cases much care and gentle- 
ness should be exercised. 

The whole subject has been investigated in a Paris Thesis by H. 
Br^not (De llnfltienee de la Copulation pendant la Groaaesse, 1903) ; he 
concludes that sexual relations are dangerous throughout pregnancy, 
frequently provoking premature confinement or abortion, and that thiy 
are more dangerous in primipane than in multiparce. 



1 This point is discussed, for instance, by SSropian in a Paris 
Thesis {Friquence comparie dea Causes de I' Accouchement Prematurt, 
1907); he concludes that coitus during pregnancy Is a more frequent 
cause of premature confinement than is commonly supposed, especially 
in primipane, and markedly so by the ninth month. 



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20 PSYCHOLOGT OF SEX. 

Nearly ererjrthing that has been said of the hygiene of preg- 
nancy, an^ the need for rest, applies also to the period 
immediately following the birth of the child. Rest and hygiene 
on the mother's part continue to be necesaar}' alike in her own 
interests and in the child's. This need has indeed been more 
generally and more practically recognized than the need for rest 
during pregnancy. The laws of several countries make compul- 
sory a period of reat from employment after confinement, and in 
some countries they seek to provide for the remuneration of the 
mother during this enforced rest. In no country, indeed, is the 
principle carried out bo thoroughly and for so long a period as 
is desirable. But it is the right principle, and embodies the 
germ which, in the future, will be developed. There can be 
little doubt that whatever are the matters, and they are certainly 
many, which may be safely left to the discretion of the individual, 
the care of the mother and her child is not among them. That is 
a matter which, more than any other, concerns the community as 
a whole, and the community cannot afford to be slack in asserting 
its authority over it. The State needs liealthy men and women, 
and by any negligence in attending to this need it inflicts serious 
charges of all sorts upon itself, and at the same time dangerously 
impairs its ePBciency in the world, Nations have begun to recog- 
nize the desirability of education, but they have scarcely yet 
begun to realize that the nationalization of health Is even more 
important than the nationalization of education. If it were 
necessary to choose between the task of getting children educated 
and the task of getting them well-born and healthy it would be 
better to abandon education. There have been many great 
peoples who never dreamed of national systems of education; 
there has been no great people without the art of producing 
healthy and vigorous children. 

This matter becomes of peculiar importance in great 
industrial states like England, the United States, and Ger- 
many, because in_such states a tacit conspiracy tends to grow up 
to subordinate national ends to individual ends, and practically 
to work for the deterioration of the race. In England, for 
instance, this tendency has become peculiarly well marked with 



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1BE MOTHER AND HEB CHILD. 21 

disaEtrons results. The intereat of the employed woman tends to 
bttxime one with that of her employer; between them they com- 
bine to crush the interests of the child who representa the race, 
and to defeat the laws made in the interests of the race which are 
those of the community as a whole. The employed woman wishes 
to earn as much wages as she can and with as littlefinterniption 
as she can; in gratifying that wish she is, at the same time, 
acting in the interests of the employer, who carefully avoids 
thwarting her. 

Tliia impulse on the employed woman's part is by no means 
always and entirely the result of poverty, and would not, tliere- 
fore, be removed by raising lier wages. Long before marriage, 
when little more than a child, she has usually gone out to work, 
and work has become a second nature. She has mastered her 
work, she enjoys a certain position and what to her are high 
wages; she is among her friends and companions; the noise 
and bustle and excitement of the work-room or the factory have 
become an agreeable stimulant which she can no longer do with- 
out. On the other hand, her home means nothing to her ; she 
only returns there to sleep, leaving it next morning at day- 
break or earlier; she is ignorant even of the simplest domestic 
arts; she moves about in her own home like a strange and 
awkward child. The mere act of marriage cannot change tliis 
state of things; however willing she may be at marriage to 
become a domesticated wife, she is destitute alike of the inclina- 
tion or the skill for domesticity. Even in spite of herself she is 
driven back to the work-shop, to the one place where she feels 
really at home. 

In Gennaoy women are not allowed ti> work for four weeks after 
eoninement, nor duriog the following two weeke except bj medical 
certificate. The obligator)' insurance against disease which covers 
women at confinement assurea them an indemnity at this tipie egiiivalent 
to a. Urge part of their wages. Married and unmarried mothers benefit 
alike. The Austrian law is founded on the same model. This measure 
has led to a very great decrease in infantile mortality, and, therefore, 
a great increase in health among those who survive. It is, however, 
regarded as very inadequate, and there is a movement in Germany for 
extending the time, for applying the system to a. Uirger number of women, 
and for making it still more definitely compulsory. 



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22 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

In SvitzerUad it. has be«D illegal since 1877 for any woman to be 
received into a factory aft«r conAnement, uulesa she has rested in all 
for eight weeks, six weeks at least of this period being after confine- 
ment Since 1898 Swiss working women have been protected by law 
from exercising hard work during pregnancy, and from various other 
in&uences likely to be injurious. But this law ia evaded in practice, 
because it provides no compensatory indemnity for the woman. An 
attempt, in 181HI, to amend the law by providing for such indemnity 
was rejected by the people. 

In Belgium and Holland there are lawa agsinat women working 
immediately after conUnement, but no indemnity is provided, so that 
employers and employed combine to evade the law. In France there is 
no such law, although its necessity has often been emphatically asserted 
<aee, e.g., Salvat, La Depopulation de la France, ThDae de Lyon, 1&03). 

In England it is illegal to employ a woman "knowingly" in a 
workshop within four weeka of the birth of her child, but no provision 
is made by the law for the compensation of the woman who is thus 
required to sacrifice herself to the interests of the State. The woman 
evades the law in tacit collusion with her employers, who can always 
aToid "knowing" that a birth has taken place, and so escape all respon- 
sibility for the mother's employment. Thus the factory inspectors are 
unable to take action, and the law becomes a dead letter; in 1906 only 
one prosecution for this offense could be brought into court. By the 
insertion of this "knowingly" a premium is placed on ignorance. The 
unwisdom of thus beforehand placing a premium on ignorance has 
always been more or less clearly recognized by the framers of legal codes 
«ven as far back as the days of the Ten Commandments and the laws of 
'Hamurabi. It is the business of the Conrt, of those who administer the 
law, to make allowance for ignorance where such allowance is fairly 
-called for; it is not for the law-maker to make smooth the path of the 
law-breaker. There are evidently law-makers nowadays so scrupulous, 
or BO simple-minded, that they would be prepared to exact that no pick- 
pocket should be prosecuted if he was able to declare on oath that he 
had no "knowledge" that the purse he had token belonged to the person 
■h« extracted it from. 

The annual reports of the English factory inspectors serve to 
bring ridicule on this law, which looks so wisely humane and yet means 
nothing, but have so far been powerless to effect any change. These 
reports show, moreover, that the difficulty is increasing in magnitude. 
Thus Miss Martindale, a factory inspector, states that in all the towns 
she visits, from a quiet cathedral city to a large manufacturing town, 
the employment of married women is rapidly increasing; they have 
worked in mills or factories all their lives and are quite unaccustomed 
to cooking, housework and the rearing of children, bo that after nur- 



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THE HOTHER AND HEB CHILD. 23 

riftge, even when not compelled by poverty, they prefer to go on working 
as before. Misa Vines, another factory inspector, repeats the remark of 
a woman worker in a factory. "I do not need to work, but I do not like 
staying at bome," wlille another woman said, "I would rather be at 
work a hundred times than at home. I get lost at home" {Ataiual 
Report Chief Intpector of FactoHea and Workahopa for 1906, pp. 326, 
etc.). 

It may be added that not only is the English law enjoining four 
weeks' rest on the mother aft«r childbirth practically inoperative, but 
the period itself ia absurdly inadequate. As a reat for the mother it is 
indeed sufGcient, but the State is still more intere8t«d in the child than 
in its mother, and the child needs tlie mother's chief care tor a much 
longer period than four weeks. Helme advocates the State prohibition 
of women's work for at least six months after confinement. Where mil- 
series are attached to factories, enabling the mother to suckle her infant 
In intervals of work, the period may doubtless be shortened. 

It is important to remember ttiat it is by no means only the women 
in factories who are induced to work as usual during the whole period 
of pregnancy, and to return to work immediately after the brief rest of 
tonfinement. The Kesearch Committee of the Christian Social Union 
(London Branch) undertook, in 1906, an inquiry into the employment 
of women after childbirth. Women in factories and workshops were 
excluded from the inquiry which only had reference to women engaged 
in houBehoId duties, in home industries, and in casual work. It was 
found that the majority carry on their employment right up t« the time 
of confinement and resume it from ten to fourteen days later. The 
infantile death rate for the children of women engaged only in household 
duties was greatly lower than that for the children of the other women, 
while, as ever, the hand-fed infants had a vastly higher death rate than 
the breast-fed infants {BHIish Medical Journal, Oct. 24, lOOS, p. 1297) , 

In the great French gun and annour-pIat« works at Creuzot (SaOne 
et Loire) the salaries of expectant mothers among the employees are 
raised; arrangements are made for giving them proper advice and med- 
ical attendance; they are not allowed to work after the middle of 
pregnancy or to return to work after confinement without a medical 
certificate of dtneBs, The results are said to be excellent, not only on 
the health of the mothers, but in the diminution of premature births, 
the decrease of infantile deaths, and the genera) prevalence of breast- 
feeding. It would probably be hopeless to expect many employers in 
Anglo-Saxon lands to adopt this policy. They are ton "practical," they 
Icnow how small is the money-value of human lives. With ua it is neces- 
sary for the State to intervene. 

There can be no doubt that, on the whole, modem civilized com- 
munities are beginning to realize that under the social and economic 



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24 PBYCHOLOOT OF SEX, 

conditions now tending mOTC and more to prevail, they miut in that 
own interests insure that the mother's best energj' and vitaliirr are 
devoted to the child, both before and after iU birth, tbtiy ere also 
realizing that thef cannot cnrrj out their duty in thin respect onless 
they make adequate provision for the mothers who are thus compelled 
to renounce their employment in order to devote themselves to their 
children. We here reach a point at which Individualism ia at one wiUi 
Socialism. The individual int cannot fail to see that it is at all cost 
necessary to remove social conditions which crush out all individuality; 
the Socialist cannot fail to see that a society which neglects to intro- 
duce order at this central and vital point, the production of the individ- 
ual, must speedily perish. 

It is involved in the proper fulfilment of a mother's 
relationship to her infant child that, provided she is healthy, she 
sliould suckle it. Of recent years this question has become a 
matter of serious gravity. In the middle of the eighteenth 
century, when the upper-class women of France had grown 
disinclined to suckle their own children, Bousseau raised so loud 
and eloquent a protest that it became once more the fashion for 
a woman to fulfil her natural duties. At the present time, when 
the same evil is found once more, and in a far more serious form, 
for now it is not the small upper-class but the great lower- 
clasB that is concerned, the eloquence of a Bousseau would be 
powerless, for it is not fashion so much as convenience, and 
especially an intractable economic factor, that ia chiefly con- 
cerned. Not the least urgent reason for putting women, and 
especially mothers, upon a sounder economic basis, ia the 
necessity of enabling them to suckle their children. 

No woman is sound, healthy, and complete unless sha pouesses 
breasts that are beautiful enough to hold the promise of being functional 
when the time for their exercise arrives, and nipples that can give suck. 
The gravity of this question to-day is shown by the frequency with 
which women are lacking in this essential element of womanhood, and 
the young man of to-day. it has been said, often in taking a wife^ 
"actually marries but part of a woman, the other part being exhibited 
in the chemist's shop window, in the shape of a glass feeding-bottle." 
Blacker found among a thousand patients from the maternity depart- 
ment of University Collegt- Hospital that thirty-nine had never suckled 
at alt, seven hundred and forty-seven had suckled all tbeir children, and 



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THE MOTHEB AND HEB CHILD. 25 

two hundred and fourteen bad Buckled only Bome. The chief reason 
given [or not Buckling woa absence or insufficiencj of millc; oUier rea- 
sons being inability or dia inclination to suckle, and refuaal of the child 
to take the breast (Blacker, Medioal Chronicle, Feb., 1900). These 
results among the London poor are certainly very much better than 
could be found in many manufacturing towns where women work after 
m&rriage. In the other large countries of Europe equally unsatiafac- 
tory results are found. In Paris Madame Dluska baa shown that of 
Z09 women who came for their confinement to the Clinique Baudelocque, 
only 74 suckled tbeir childreni of the 13S who did not suckle, 35 were 
prevented by pathological causes or absence of milk, 100 by the necessi- 
ties of their work. Even those who suckled could seldom continue more 
than seven months on account' of the physiological strain of work 
(DIuska, Contribution A I'Elade de I'AlIaitement Maternel, These de 
Paris, 1804). Many statistics have been gathered in the German coun- 
triee. Thus Wiedow {Centralblatt fiir OynakoUigie, No. 20, 1895) 
found that of 625 women at the Freiburg Maternity only half could 
snckle thoroughly during the first two weeks; imperfect nipples were 
noted in 40 cases, and it was found that the development of the nipple 
bore a direct relation to the value of the breast as a secretory organ. 
At Munich Escherich and BUller found that nearly 80 per cent, of women 
of the lower class were unable to suckle their children, and at Stuttgart 
three-quarters of the chi Id-bearing *wom en were in this condition. 

The reasons why children should be sackled at their 
motherg' breasts are larger than some may be inclined to believe. 
In the first place the psychological reason is one of no mean 
importance. The breast with its exquisitely s^isitive nipple, 
vibrating in harmony with the sexual organs, furnishes the 
normal mechanism by which maternal love is developed. No 
doubt the woman who never suckles her child may love it, but 
ench love is liable to remain defective on the fundamental and 
instinctive side. In some women, indeed, whom we may 
hesitate to call abnormal, maternal love fails to awaken at all 
until brought into action through this mechanism by the act of 
suckling. 

A more generally recognized and certainly fundamental 
reason for suckling the child is that the milk of the mother, 
provided she is reasonably healthy, is the infant's only ideally fit 
food. There are some people whose confidence in science leads 
them to believe that it is possible to manufacture foods that are 



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26 PSTCHOLOOT OF BEX. 

ag good or better thao mother's milk ; they fancy that the milk 
which is best for the calf is equally best for so dilfereut an 
aaimal as the baby. These are delusions. The infant's best 
food is that elaborated in his own mother's body. All other 
foods are more or less possible substitutes, which require trouble 
to prepare properly and are, moreover, exposed to various risks 
from which the mother's milk is free. 

A further reason, especially among the poor, against the use 
of any artificial foods is that it accustoms those around the 
child to try experiments with its feeding and to fancy that 
any kind of food they eat themselves may be good for the infant. 
It thus happens that bread and potatoes, brandy and gin, are 
thrust into infants' mouths. With the infant that is given the 
.breast it is easier to make plain that, except by the doctor's 
orders, nothing else must be given. 

An additional reason why the mother should suckle her child 
is the close and frequent association with the child thus involved. 
Not only is the child better cared for in all respects, but the 
mother is not deprived of the discipline of such care, and is also 
enabled from the outset to learn and to understand the child's 
nature. 

The inability to auckle acquires great significance if ve realiie 
that it is associated, probably in a large msasure as a direct cause, with 
infantile mortality. The mortality of artificially- fed infanta during the 
first year of life is seldom less than double tJiat of the breast-fed, some- 
times it is as much as three times that of the breast-fed, or even more; 
thus at Derby 61.7 per cent, of hand-fed infants die under the age of 
twelve months, but only 8.6 per cent, of breast-fed infants. Those who 
survive are by no means free from suffering. At the end of the first 
j'ear they are found to weigh about 25 per cent, less than the breast- 
fed, and to be much shorter; tbey are more liable to tuberculosis and 
rickets, with all the evil results that flow from these disea.ie3; and 
there is some reason to believe that the development of their teeth is 
injuriously afTected. The degenerate character of the artificially- fed is 
well indicated by the tact that of 40,000 children who were brought for 
treatment to the Children's Hospital in Munich, 86 per cent had been 
brought up by hand, and the few who had been suckled had usually only 
had the breast for a short time. The evil infiuence persists even up to 
adult life. In some parts of France where the wet-nurse industry 



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THE MOTnEH AND HEE CHrLD, 27 

flouriBhes so greatly that nearly all the cbiidren are brought up by band, 
ft has been found that the perceutage of rejected conscripts is nearly 
double tbat for France generally. Corresponding results have been 
found by Friedjung in a large German athletic association. Among 
155 members, 65 per cent, were found on inquiry to have been breast- 
fed as infanta (for an average of six months); but among the best 
athletes the percentage of breast-fed rose to 72 per cent (for an average 
period of nine or ten months), while for the group of 56 who stood 
lowest in athletic power the percentage of breast-fed fell to 57 (for an 
ftverage of only three months). 

The advantages for an infant of being suckled by its mother are 
greater than can be accounted tor by the mere fact of being suckled 
rather than hand-fed. This has been ehon-n by VHrey {De to Mortality 
Infantile, Thl>se de Lyon, 1907), who found from the statistics of the 
Hfltel-Dieu at Lyons, that infanta suckled by their mothers have a mor- 
tality of only 12 per cent, but it suckled by strangers, the mortality 
rises to 33 per cent. It may be added that, while suckling is essential 
to the complete well-being of the child, it is highly desirable for the 
■ake of the mother's health also. (Some important statistics are sum- 
marized in a paper on "Infantile Mortality" in British Medical Journal, 
Nov. 2, 1907, while the various aspects of suckling have been thoroughly 
discussed by Bollinger, "Ueber SSuglings-SterbHchkeit und die Erblicbe 
functionelle Atrophie der menschlichen HilchdrOse" (Correapondenz- 
bUtlt Deutachen Oeiellgchaft Anthropologie, Oct., 1890). 

It appears that in Sweden, in the middle of the eighteenth century, 
it was a punishable offense for a woman to give her baby the bottle 
when she was able to suckle it In recent years Prof. Anton von Men- 
ger, of Vienna, has argued (in his Bargerliche Recht und die Beaitzloscn 
Klaasen) that the future generation has the right to make this claim, 
and be proposes tbat every mother shall be legally bound to suckle her 
diild unless her inability to do so has been certified by a physician. 
E. A, Schroeder (Dm Reoht in der Oeachlechilichen Ordnung, 1893, p. 
346) also argued that a mother should be legally boimd to suckle her 
infant for at least nine months, unless solid grounds could be shown to 
the contrary, and this demand, which seems reasonable and natural, 
since it is a mother's privilege as well its her duty to suckle her infant 
when able to do so, has been insistently made by others also. It 
has been supported from the legal aide by Weinberg fMutterchutz, Sept., 
1907). In France the Loi Roussel forbids a woman to act as n wet- 
nurse until her child is seven months old, and this has had an excellent 
effect in lowering infantile mortality (A. Allfe, PuiriciiUare ci la Loi 
Roussel, These de Paris, ISOS). In some parts of Germany mnnufact- 
nrers are compelled to set up a suckling-room in the factory, where 
mothers can give the breast to the child in the intervals of work. The 



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28 PSTCHOLOQT OP SEX. 

control and upkeep ot these rooms, with provision of doctors and nurses, 
is undertaken by the municipalitir (Semial-Proileme, Sept, 160S, p. 
573). 

As things are to-day in modern induBtrial countries the 
righting of these wrongs cannot be left to Nature, that is, to the 
ignorant and untrained impulses of persons who live in a whirl 
of artificial life where the voice of instinct is drowned. The 
mother, we are accustomed to think, may be trusted to see to 
the welfare of her child, and it is unnecessary, or even "immoral," 
to come to her assistance. Yet there are few things, I think, 
more pathetic than the sight of a young Lancashire mother who 
works in the mills, when she has to stay at home to nurse her 
sick child. She is used to rise before day-break to go to the 
mill ; she has scarcely seen her child by the light of the sun, she 
knows nothing of its necessities, the hands that are so skilful to 
catch the loom cannot soothe the child. The mother gazes down 
at it in vague, awkward, speechless misery. It is not a sight one 
can ever forget. 

It is France that is taking the lead in the initiation of the 
scientific and practical movements for the care of the young child 
before and after birth, and it is in France that we may find the 
germs of nearly all the methods now becoming adopted for 
arresting infantile mortality. The village system of Villiers-le- 
Duc, near Dijon in the Cote d'Or, has proved a germ of this 
fruitful kind. Here every pregnant woman not able to secure the 
right conditions for her own life and that of the child she is bear- 
ing, is able to claim the assistance of the village authorities; she 
is entitled, without payment, to the attendance of a doctor and 
midwife and to one franc a day during her confinement. The 
measures adopted in this village have practically abolished both 
maternal and infantile mortality. A few years ago Dr. Samson 
Moore, the medical ofiicer of health for Huddersfield, heard of 
this village, and Mr. Benjamin Broadbent, the Mayor of Hud- 
dersfield, visited Villiers-le-Duc. It was resolved to initiate in 
Huddersfield a movement for combating infant mortality. 
Henceforth arose what is known as the Huddersfield scheme, a 
scheme which has been fruitful in splendid results. The points 



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THE UOTHER AND HER CHILD. 29 

of the Huddersfield scheme are ; (1) compulBory notification of 
birthe within forty-eight hours; (2) the appointment of lady 
aseiatant medical officers of help to visit the home, inquire, advise, 
and assist; (3) the organized aid of voluntary lady workers in 
subordination to the municipal part of the scheme; (4) appeal 
to the medical officer of help when the baby, not being under 
medical care, fails to thriTe. The infantile mortality of 
Huddersfield has been very greatly reduced by this scheme.^ 

The Huddersfield scheme may be said to be the origin of the Eng- 
lish Notification of Births Act, which came into operation in 1908. This 
Act represents, in Kngland, the national inauguration of a. scheme (or 
the betterment of the race, the ultimate results of which it is impossible 
to foresee. When this Act comes into universal action every baby of 
the land will be entitled — -legally and not by individual caprice or phil- 
anthropic condescension — to medical attention from the day of birth, and 
every mother will have at hand the counsel of an educated woman in 
touch with the municipal authorities. There could be no greater 
triumph for medical science, for national efficiency, and the cause of 
humanity generally. Even on the lower financial plane, it is easy to see 
that an enormous saving of public and private money will thua be 
effected. Tho Act is adoptive, and not compulsory. This was a wise 
precaution, for an Act of this kind cannot be effectual unless it ia 
carried out thoroughly by the community adopting it, and it will not 
be adopted until a community has clearly realized its advantages and 
the methods ot attaining them. 

An important adjunct of this organization is the School for 
Ifothera. Such schools, which are now beginning to spring up every- 
where, may be said to have their origins in the CongvUaU<ms de Tfour- 
riMons (with their offshoot the Qoutte de Lail), established by Professor 
Budin in 1S02, which have spread all over France and been widely 
influential for good. At the Con«ultatioti9 infants are examined and 
weighed weekly, and the mothers advised and encouraged to suckle their 
children. The Oouttet are practically milk dispensaries where infants 
for whom breast-feeding is impossible are fed with milk under medical 
supervision. Schools for Mothers represent an enlargement of tlie same 
scheme, covering a variety of subjects which it is necessary for a mother 
to know. Some of the first of these schools were established at Bonn, 
at the Bavarian town of Weissenberg, and In Ghent At some of the 

1 "Infantile Mortality: The Huddersfield Scheme," British Medical 
Journal, Deo., 1907; Samson Moore, "Infant Mortalify," ib., August 
80, I90S. 



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80 P8TCH0L00Y OF BEX. 

Schools for Mothers, and notabl; at Ghent (described by Mrs. Bertrand 
RusBell in the yinetcenth Century, 1906), the important step has been 
taken of giving training to young girls from fourteen to eighteen; they 
receive instruction in infant anatomy and physiology, in the prepara- 
tion of sterilized mill;, in weighing children, in taking temperatuiea and 
making charts, in managing cr&cbes, and after two years are able to 
earn a salary. In various parts of England, schools for young mothers 
and pris on these lines are now being eatabliahed, flrat in London, under 
the auspices of Dr. F. J. Sykes, Medical Officer of Health for St Pan- 
creas (see, e.g., A School For Mothers. 1908, describing an establishment 
of this kind at Soraers Town, M'ith a preface by Sir Thomas Barlow; an 
account of recent attempts to improve the care of infants in London will 
also be found in the Lancet, Sept. 26, 1906). It may be added that some 
English municipalities have established depOtS for supplying mothers 
cheaply with good milk. Such depots are, however, likely to be mora 
mischievous than beneficial if they promote the substitution of hand-feed- 
ing for suckling. They should never be established except in connection 
with Schools for Mothers, where an educational influence may be 
exerted, and no mother should be supplied with milk unless she presents 
a medical certificate showing that she is unable to nourish her child 
(Byers, "Medical Women and Public Health Questions," British Uedical 
Journal, Oct. 6, 1906). It is noteworthy that in England the local 
authorities will shortly be empowered by law to establish Schools for 
Mothers. 

The great benefits produced by these institutions in France, both in 
diminishing the infant mortality and in promoting the education of 
mothers and their pride and interest in their children, have been set 
forth in two Paris theses by G. Chaignon [Organisalicn de$ Conaulla- 
iioM de XourrittOTts A la Campagne, I90S), and Alcide Alexandre {Con- 
suliation de Xourrttsons el Oouile de Lait iTArqiiea, 1908). 

Tlie movement ia now spreading throughout Europe, and an Inter- 
national Union has been formed, including all the institutions specialty 
founded tor the protection of child lite and the promotion of puericul- 
ture. The permanent committee is in Brussels, and a Congress of Infant 
Protection IQouttc de Lait] is held every two years. 

It will be Been that all the movements now being set in 
action for the improvement of the race through the child and 
the child's mother, recognize the intimacy of the relation between 
the mother and her child and are designed to aid her, even if 
necessary by the exercise of some pressure, in performing her 
natural functions in relation to her child. To the theoretical 
philanthropist, eager to reform the world on paper, nothing seems 



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THE MOTHEE AND HBE CHILD. 31 

eiinpler than to cure the preeeot evils of child-rearing by Betting 
up State nurBeries which are at once to relieve tnothera of every- 
thing connected with the production of the men of the future 
beyond the pleasure — if such it happens to be— of conceiving 
them and the trouble of bearing them, and at the same time to 
rear them up independently of the home, in a wholesome, 
economical, and scientific manner.^ Nothing seems simpler, but 
from the fundamental psychological standpoint nothing is falser. 
The idea of a State which is outaide the community is but a 
survival in another form of that antiquated notion which com- 
pelled Louis XIV to declare "L'Etat c'est moi !" A State 
which admits that the individuals composing it are incompetent 
to perform their own most sacred and intimate functions, and 
takes upon itself to perform tiiem instead, attempts a task which 
would be undesirable, even if it were possible of achievement. It 
must always be remembered that a State which proposes to 
relieve its constituent members of their natural functions and 
responsibilities attempts something quite different from the 
State which seeks to aid its members to fulfil their own 
biological and social functions more adequately. A State which 
enables its mothers to rest when they are child-bearing is 
engaged in a reasonable task ; a State which takes over its 
mothers' children ia reducing philanthropy to absurdity. It is 
easy to realize this if we consider the inevitable course of cir- 
cumstances under a system of "State-nuraeries." The child 
would be removed from its natural mother at tlie earliest age, 
but some one has to perform the mother's duties; the substitute 
must therefore be properly trained for auch duties; and in 
ezerciaing them under favorable circumstances a maternal rela- 
tionship is developed between the child and the "mother," who 
doubtless possesses natural maternal instincts but baa no natural 

1 Ellen Key has admirably dealt with proposals of this kind (as 
put forth by C, P. Stetson) in her Essays "On Love and itfarriage." In 
opposition to such proposals Ellen Key su^^sts that sueh women as 
have been properly trained for maternal duties and are unable entirely 
to support themselvefl while exeretsing them should be subsidized by the 
State diirinf; the child's first throe years of lite. It may he added that 
in Leipzig the plan of subsidizing mothers who (under proper medical 
•Dd otJier supervision) auckle their infants has already been introduced. 



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32 PSYCHOLOGY OF BEX. 

maternal bond to the child she is mothering. Such a relation- 
ship tends to become on both aides practically and emotionally the 

real relationship. We very often have opportunity of seeing how 
unsatisfactory such a relationship becomes. The artificial mother 
is deprived of a child she had begun to feel her own; the 
child's emotional relationehipe are upset, split and distorted; 
the real mother has the bitterness of feeling that for her 
child she is not the real mother. Would it not have been much 
better for all if the State had encouraged the vast army of 
women it had trained for the position of mothering other 
women's children, to have, instead, children of their own? The 
women who are incapable of mothering their own children could 
then be trained to refrain from bearing them, 

Ellen Key (in her Ceniury of the Child, and elsewhere) has hdn- 
cated for all young women a year of compulsory "service." analogous to 
the compulsory military service imposed in most countries on young 
men. During this period the girl would be trained in rational house- 
keeping, in the principles of hygiene, in the care of the aick, and eap«- 
-cialty in the care of infants and all that concerns the physical and 
psychic development of children. The principle of this propoMil hu 
since heen widely accepted. Marie von Schmid (in her Mvtterdiemt, 
1907) goes so far as to advocate a general training of young women In 
such duties, carried on in a kind of enlarged and improved midwifery 
school. The service would last a year, and the young woman would then 
be for three years in the reserves, and liable to be called up for duty. 
There is certainly much to be said for such a proposal, considerably 
more than is to he said for compulsory military service. For while it 
is very doubtful whether a man will ever be called on to fight, moat 
women are liable to be called on to exereise household duties or to look 
after children, whether for tfaemaelvea or for other people. 



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CHAPTER II. 

SEXUAL EDUCATION. 

Nurture Necessary as Well as Breed — Precocious Manifeatatious 
of the 8«zual Impulse — Are Thej to be Regarded as Normal r — The 
Sanial Play of Children — ^The Emotion of Love in Childhood — Are Town 
Children More PrecociouB Sexunllj Than Country Children! — Children's 
Ideas Concerning the Origin of Bnbies — Need for Beginning the Sexual 
Education of Children in Early Years — The Importance of Early Train- 
ing in Reaponsibility — Evil of the Old Doctrine of Silence in Matters of 
Sex— The Evil Magnified When Applied to Girls— The Mother the 
Natural and Best Teacher — The Morbid Influence of Artificial Mystery 
in Sex Matters — Books on Sexual Enli^tenment of the Young — Nature 
of the Mother's Task — Sexual Education in the School — The Value of 
Botany — ZoSlogy — Sexual Education After Puberty — The Necessity of 
Counteracting Quack Literature — Danger of Neglecting to Prepare for 
tlie First Onset of Menstruation — The Right Attitude Towards Woman's 
Sexual Life — The Vital Necessity of the Hygiene of Menstruation Dur- 
ing Adolescence — Such Hygiene Compatible with the Educational and 
Social Equality of the Sexes — The Invalidism of Women Mainly Due to 
Hygienic Neglect — Good Influence of Physical Training on Women and 
Bad Influence of Athletics — The Evils of Emotional Suppression — Need 
of Teaching the Dignity of Sex — Influence of These Factors on a 
Woman's Fate in Marriage — Lectures and Addresses on Sexual Hygiene 
— The Doctor's Part in Sexual Education — Pubertal Initiation Into the 
Ideal World— The Place of the Religious and Ethical Teacher—The 
Initiation Rites of Savages Into Manhood and Womanhood — The Sexual 
Influence of Literature — The Sexual Influence of Art. 

It may seem to some that in attaching weight to the ancestry, 
the parentage, the conception, the gestation, even tlie first 
infancy, of the child we are wandering away from the spliere of 
the psychology of bc-x. That is far from being the case. We are, 
on the contrary, going to the root of sex. All our growing 
knowledge tends to show that, equally with his physical nature, 
the child's psychic nature is based on breed and nurture, on the 
quality of the stocks he belongs to, and on the care taken at the 
» (33) 



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34 PSYCHOLOGY OF BEX. 

early moments when care counts for moBt, to preeerre the fine 
quality of those stocks. 

It must, of course, be remembered that the influenceB of both breed 
■nd nurture are alike influential on the fate of the individual. The 
inSuence of nurture is bo obvious that few are likely to under-rate it. 
The influence of breed, however, is less obvious, end we may atill meet 
with persona so ill informed, and perhaps so prejudiced, as to deny it 
altogether. The growth of our knowledge in this matter, by showing 
how subtle and penetrative is the influence of lieredity, cannot fail to 
diapel thia mischievoua notion. No aound eivilization is posaible except 
in a community which in the mass ia not only well-nurtured but well- 
bred. And in no part of life so much aa in the aexual relationshipa ia 
the influence of good breeding more decisive. An instructive illuatra- 
tioD may be gleaned from the minute and preciae hialory of hia early 
life furniahed to me by a highly cultured Kusaian gentleman. He wtia 
brought up in childhood with hia own brothers and siaters and a little 
girl of the aarae age who had been adopted from infancy, the child of a 
prostitute who bad died soon after the infant's birth. The adopted child 
waa treated as one of the family, and all the children supposed that she 
was a real aiater. Yet from early yeara she developed inatincts unlike 
those of the children with whom she wad nurtured; she lied, she was 
cruel, ahe loved to make miachiet, and she developed precociously vicious 
sexual impulaea; though carefully educated, she adopted the occupation 
of her mother, and at the age of twenty-two waa exiled to Siberia for 
robbery and attempt to murder. The child of a chance father and a 
prostitute mother is not fatally devoted to ruin; but such a child is 
ill-bred, and that fact, in aome casea, may neutralize all the influences 
of good nurture. 

When we reach the period of infancy we have already passed 
heyond the foundations and potentialities of the sexual life ; we 
are in some eases witnessing its actual beginnings. It is a 
well-established fact that auto-erotic manifestations may some- 
times be observed even in infants of less than twelve months. 
We are not now called upon to discuss the disputable point as to 
how far such manifestations at this age can be called normal.' 
A slight degree of menstrual and mammary activity sometimes 

1 These manifeatationa have been dealt with in the study of Auto- 
erotism in vol. i of the present StiuHrn. It may be added that the sexual 
life of the child has been exhaustively investigated by Moll, Das Seauol- 
Uhen dea Kindes, 1009. 



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SEXUAL EDUCATION. 35 

occurs ac birth. ^ It seems clear that nervous and psychic sexual 
activity has its first spriDgs at this early period, and as the years 
go by an increasing number of individuals join the stream until 
at puberty practically all are carried along in the great current. 

While, therefore, it is possibly, even probably, true that the 
soundest and healthiest individuals show no definite signs of 
nervous and psychic sexuality in childhood, such manifestations 
are still sufficiently frequent to make it impossible to say that 
aeiual hygiene may be completely ignored until puberty is 
approaching. 

Precocious physical developrnfnt oppura ns a somewhat rare varia- 
tion. W. Kog«r Williams ("Precocious Sexual Development with 
Abstracts o( over One Hundred Coses," ItriiUh Qyniecological Journal, 
&Iay, 1902) has furnished an Important contribution to the knowledge 
of this anomaly which is much commoner in girls thnn in boys. Roger 
Williams's cases include only twenty boys to eighty ^rls, and precocity 
is not only more frequent but more pronounced in girls, who have been 
known to conceive at eight, while thirteen ia stated to be the earliest 
age at which boys liave proved able to beget children. Tliis, it may be 
remarked, is also the earliest age at which spermatozoa are found in the 
seminal Suid of boys; before that age the ejaculations contain no aper- 
matoToa, and, aa FUrbringer and Moll have found, they may even be 
absent at ei.\tcen, or later. In female children precocious sexual devel- 
opment is 1^(9 commonly associated with general increase of bodily 
development than in boys. I An individual case of early sexual develop- 
ment in a girl of five has been completely described and figured in the 
Zeittchrift fur EtknoJogie, 1S06, Heft 4, p. 282.) 

Precocious sexual impulses are generally vague, occasional, and 
more or less innocent. A case of rare and pronounced character, in 
which a child, a boy, from the age of two had been sexually attracted 
to girls and women, and directed all bis thoughts and HRtiona to sexual 
attempts on them, has been described by Herbert Rich, of Detroit 
(AiienitI end fleurologUl, Kov., 1905). General evidence from the 
literature of the subject as to sexual precocity, its frequency and signifi- 
cance, haa been brought together by L. M. Terman ("A Study in Pre- 
cocity," American Journal Psychology, April, IB05). 



1 This genital efflorescence tn the sexual glanda and breaata at 
birth or in early infancy has been discussed in a Paris thesis, by Camilla 
Renouf [La Criiie Ofnital et lea Manifettiilionit CannfMs chex le Fwttta 
et le Jiouveau-ni, 190S) ; ba ia unable to offer a satisfactory explanation 
of theae phen 



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36 PBTCHOLOQT OP SEX. 

The erections that are liable to occur in male infants have usuallf 
no sexual significance, though, as Moll remarks, they maj acquire it bj 
attracting the child's attention; they are merely reflex. It is believed 
by some, however, and notably by Freud, that certain manifestations of 
infant activity, espertally thunib*«ucking, are of sexual causation, and 
that the sexual impulse constantly manifests itself at a. very early age. 
The belief that the sexual instinct is absent in childhood, Freud regards 
as a serious error, so easy to correct by observation that he wonders 
how it can have arisen. "In reality." he remarks, "the new-bom infant 
brings sexuality with it into the world, sexual sensattonB accompany it 
through the days of lactation and childhood, and very few children can 
fail to e.tperienee sexual activities and feelings before the period of , 
puberty" (Freud, "Zur Sexuellen Aufkliirung der Kinder," Satiate 
Medizin and Hygitne, Bd. ,ii, 1907 ; cf., for details, the same author's 
Drei Abhandltingen zur Scmialtheorie, 1905). Moll, on the other hand, 
considers that Freud's views on sexuality in infancy are exaggerations 
which must be decisively rejected, thongh be admits that it is difficult, 
if not impossible, to differentiate the feelings in childhood (Moll, Dot 
Bexuallehen dea Kindes, p. 154). Moll believes also that psycho-sexual 
manifestations appearing after tlie age of eight are not pathological ; 
children who are weakly or of bod heredity are not seldom sexually pre- 
<M>cious, but, on the other hand, Moll has known children of eight or 
nine with strongly developed sexual impulses, who yet become finely 
developed men. 

Rudimentary sexual activities in childhood, accompanied by sexual 
feelings, must indeed — when they are not too pronounced or too prema- 
ture — be regarded as coming within the normal sphere, though when 
they occur in children of bad heredity they are not without serious 
risks. But in healthy children, after the age of seven or eight, they 
"t^nd to produce no evil results, and are strictly of the nature of play. 
Play, both in animals and men, ns Groos has shown with marvelous 
' wealth of illustration, is a beneficent process of education; the young 
■creature is thereby preparing itself for the exercise of those functions 
which in later life it must carry out more completely and more seri- 
•ously. In his Spiele der Menschen, Groos applies this idea to the sexual 
play of children, and brings forward quotations from literature in evi- 
dence. Keller, in his "Romeo und Juliet au( dem Dorte," has given an 
admirably truthful picture of these childish love-relationahips. Emit 
SchuItze-MalkoHsky {GeschleKht und Genell&chaft, Bd. ii, p. 370) repro- 
duces some scenes from the life of n little girl of seven clearly illustrat- 
ing the exact nature of the sexual manifestation at this age. 

A kind of rudimentary sexual intercourse between children, as 
"Bloch has remarked (Brifro-je, etc.. Rd. ii, p. 2.54), occurs in many parts 
of the world, and is recognized by their elders as play. This is, for 



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SEXUAL EDUCATION. 87 

instance, tlie case among the Bawenda of the Transvkal {Zciiachrift fur 
Etlntol09i«, 1896, Ueft 4, p. 304), and among the Papuans of Kaiser- 
Wilhelms-Land, with the approval of the parents, although much 
reticence it observed {id., 1880, Heft 1, p. 10). Godard [Egypte el 
Palestine, 1807, p. 105) noted the sexuul plaj of the hoys and girla in 
Cairo. In New Mexico W. A. Hammond {fiexuol Impotence, p. 107) 
haa seen boya and girls attempting a ptajful se\ua1 eonjunction with 
the encouragement of men and women, and in New York he has seen 
boj'B and girla of three and four doing the same in the presence of their 
parents, with only a laughing rebuke. "Playing at pa and ma" is 
indeed extremely common among children in genuine innocence, and with 
a complete absence of vieiouHnesB; and is by no means confined to chil- 
dren of low Eocial class. Moll remarks on its frequency {Libido 
Semialia, Bd, i, p. 277), and tbe committee of e\-angplical pastors, in 
their investigation of German rural morality ( Dia Geachtechtliche- 
aillliehe Verhdltnigse, Bd. i, p. 102) found that children who are not 
yet of school age make attempts at coitus. The sexual play of children 
is by no means confined to father and mother games; frequently there 
are games of school with the clima.^ in exposure and smackings, and 
occasionally there are games of being doctors and making examinations. 
Thus a young English woman says: "Of course, when we were at school 
[at the age of twelve and earlier] we used to play with one another, 
several of us girls; we used to go into a field and pretend we were 
doctors and had to examine one another, and then we used to pull up 
one another's clothes and feel each other." 

These games do not necessarily involve the co{''peration of the 
sexual impulse, and still less have they any element of love. But emo- 
tions of love, scarcely if at all distinguishable from adult sexual love, 
frequently appear at equally early ages. They are ot the nature of play, 
in so far as play la a preparation for the activities of later life, though, 
unlike the games, they are not felt as play. Ramdohr, more than a 
century ago {Penu* Vrania, 1708), referred to the frequent love of little 
boys for women. More usually the love is felt towards individuals of 
the opposite or the same sex who are not widely different in age, though 
usually older. The most comprehensive study of the matter has been 
made by Sanford Bell in America on n basis of as many as 2,300 cases 
(S. Bell, "A Preliminary Study of the Emotion of Love Between the 
Sexes," American Jovmal Psychology, July. 1902). Bpll finds that the 
presence of the emotion between three and eight years of age is shown 
by such actions as hugging, kissing. lifting each other, scuffling, sitting 
close to each other, confessions to each other and to others, talking about 
each other when apart, seeking each other and excluding the rest, grief 
at separation, giving gifts, showing special courtesies to each other, mak- 
ing sacrifices for each other, exhibiting jealousy. The girls are, on the 



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38 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

whole, more aggressive than the bofs, and less anxioua to keep the mat- 
ter secret. After the age of eight, the girls increase in modesty and 
the boys become still more secretive. 'Die physical setiBations are not 
usiiailj' located in the sexual organs; erection of the penis and hjper- 
temia of the female sexual parts Bell regards as marking undue pre- 
cocity. But there is diffused vascular and nervous tumeHcence and a 
state of exaltation comparable, thougli not equal, to that experienced In 
adolescent and adult age. On the whole, as Bell soundly concludes, 
"love between children of opposite aex bears much the same relation to 
that between adults as the flower does to the fruit, and has about aa 
little of physical sexuality in it as an apple-blossom has of the apple 
that develops from it." Moll also {op. cil., p. 76) considers that kissing 
and other similar superficial contacts, which he denominates the phe- 
nomena of contrectation, constitute most frequently the first and sola 
manifestation of the sexual impulse in childhood. 

It is often stated tliat it is easier for children to preserve their 
sexual innocence in the country than in the town, and that only In cities 
is sexuality rampant and conspicuous. This is by no means true, and 
in some respects it is the reverse of the truth. Certainly, hard work, a 
natural and simple life, and a lack of alert intelligence often combine 
to keep the rural lad chaste in tliought and act until the period of 
adolescence is completed. Aniinon, for instance, states, though without 
giving definite evidence, that this is common among the Baden con- 
scripts. Certainly, also, all the multiple sensory excitements of urban 
life tend to arouse the nervous and cerebral excitability of the young at 
a comparatively early age in the sexual as in other fields, and promote 
premature desires and curiosities. But, on the other hand, urban life 
offers the young no gratification for their desires and ouriosities. The 
publicity of a city, the universal sun'oillance, the studied decorum of a 
population conscious that it is continually exposed to the gaze of 
strangers, combine to spread a veil over the esoteric side of life, which, 
even when at last it fails to conceal from the young the urban stimuli 
of that lite, efTectually conceals, tor the most part, the gratiflcationa of 
those stimuli. In the country, however, these restraints do not exist in 
any corresponding degree: animals render the elemental facts of sexual 
life clear to all; there is tees need or regard for decorum; speech is 
plainer; supervi^'ion is impossible, and the amplest opportunities for 
sexual intimacy are at hand. If the city may perhaps be said to favor 
unchastity of thought in the young, the country may certainly be eaid 
to favor unchastity of act 

The elaborate investigations of the Committee of T.utheran pastors 
into sexual morality (Die Oeachlrcbttich-sillliche Vtrhaltniage m 
Deutschen Reiche), published a few years ago. demonstrate amply the 
sexual freedom io rural Oennany, and Moll, who is decidedly of opinion 



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SEXUAL EDDCATION. 39 

thst the countrf enjoys no relative freedom from BOzuality, slates {op. 
eit., pp. I37'13B, 239) that even the circulation of obscena books and 
pictures among school'children seems to be more frequent in small towni 
aod the countrr than io large cities. In Russia, where it might be 
thought that urban and rural conditions offered less contrast than in 
many countries, tlie same difference lias been observed. "I do not 
know," a Russian correspondent writes, "whether Zola in La Terre cor- 
rectly describes the life of French villages. But the ways of a Russian 
village, where I passed part uf my childhood, fairly resemble those 
described by Zola. In the life of the rural population into which I was 
plunged everything was impregnated with erotiam. One was surrounded 
by animal lubricity in all its immodesty. Contrary to the generally 
received opinion, I believe tliat a child may preserve his sexual innocence 
more easily in a town than in the country. There are, no doubt, many 
exceptions to tliis rule. But the functions of the sexual life are gen. 
erally more concealed in the towns than in the flelds. Modesty (whether 
or not of the merely superflcial and exterior kind) is more developed 
among urban populations. In speaking of sexual things in the towns 
people veil their thought more; even the lower class in towns employ 
more restraint, more euphemisms, than peasants. Thus in the towns a 
child may easily fail to comprehend when risky subjects are talked of 
In his presence. It may be said that the corruption of towns, tliou(^ 
more concealed, is all the deeper. Maybe, but that concealment pre- 
serves children from it. The town child sees prostitutes in the street 
every day without distinguishing them from other people. In the coun- 
try he would every day hear it stated in the crudest terms that such 
and such a girl has been found at night in a barn or a ditch making 
lore with such and such a youth, or that the servant girl slips every 
night into tlie coachman's bed, the facts of sexual intercourse, pregnancy, 
and childbirth being spoken of in the plainest terms. In towns the 
child's attention is solicited by a thousand different objects; in the 
country, except fieldwork, which fails to interest him, he hears only of 
the reproduction of animals and the erotic exploits of girls and youths. 
When we say that the urban environment is more exciting we are think- 
ing of adults, but the things which excite the adult have usually no 
erotic effect on the child, who cannot, however, long remain asexual when 
he sees the great peasant girls, as ardent as mares in heat, abandoning 
themselves to the arms of robust youths. He cannot fail to remark 
these frank manifestations of sexuality, though the subtle and perverse 
refinements of the town would escape his notice. I know that in the 
countries of exaggerated prudery there ia much hidden corruption, more, 
one is sometimes inclined to think, than in less hypocritical countries. 
But I believe that that is a false impression, and am persuaded that 
precisely because of all these little concealments which excite the mali- 



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■40 PBTCHOLOGt OF SEX. 

eiona amusement of foreigners, there are really maiiT' IDore Toung 
people in EngUnd who remain chaste than in the countries which 
treat sesual relationa more frankly. At all events. If I have known 
En^iahmen who were very debauched and very refined in vice, I have 
also known young men of the same nation, over twenty, who were as 
innocent as children, but never a young Frenchman, Italian, ot 
Spaniard of whom this could be said." There is undoubtedly truth 
In thia statement, though it must be remembered that, excellent as 
chastity is, if it is based on mere ignorance, its possessor is exposed 
to terrible dangers. 

The question of sexual hygiene, more especially in its special 
aspect of sexual enlightenment, is not, however, dependent on the 
fact that in some children the psychic and nervous manifestation 
of sex appears at an earlier age than in others. It rests upon the 
larger general fact that in all children the activity of intelligence 
begins to work at a very early age, and that this activity tends to 
manifest itself in an inquisitive desire to know many elementary 
facts of life which are really dependent on sex. The primary 
end most universal of these desires is the desire to know whei'C 
children come from. No question could be more natural ; the 
question of origins is necessarily a fundamental one in childish 
philosophies as, in more ultimate shapes, it is in adult philoso- 
phies. Most children, either guided by the statements, usually 
the mlBstatements, of their elders, or by their own intelligence 
working amid such indications as are open to them, are in 
possession of a theory of the origin of babies, 

Stanley Hall ("Contents of Children's Minds on Entering School," 
Pedagogical Beminari/, June, 1801) has coHeoted some of the beliefs of 
young children as to the origin of babies. "God makes babies in heaven, 
though the Holy Mother and even Santa Claua make some. He lets 
them down and drops them, and the women or doctors catch them, or 
He leaves them on the sidewalk, or btingn them down a wooden ladder 
backwards and pulls it up again, or mamma or the doctor or the nurse 
go up and fetch them, sometimes in a ballot.n, or they (\y down and lose 
off their wings In some place or other and forget it, and jump down to 
Jesus, who gives them around. They were also often said to be found 
in flour-barrels, and the flour sticks ever so long, you know, or they 
grew in cabbages, or God puts them in water, perhaps in the sewer, and 
the doctor gets them out and takes them to sick folks that want them. 



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SEXUAL EDOCATIOtf. 42 

or the miUmuin brings them early in the morning; they are dug out of 
the ground, or bought at the haby store." 

In England and America the iuquiBltive child is oft«n told that the 
baby was found in the garden, under a gooseberry busti or elsewhere; or 
ntare commonly it is said, with what ia doubtless felt to be a nearer 
approach to the truth, that the doctor brought it. In Germany the com- 
mon story told to children is that the stork brings the baby. Various 
theories, mostly based on folk-lore, have be^n put forward to explain 
this story, but none of them seem quite convincing (see, e.g., G. Herman, 
"Seiual-Mythen," Oeschlecht and QeaelUchaft, vol. i. Heft 6, 1906, p. 
176, and P. N&cke, Vevrologiache Gentralblait, No. 17, 1907). NScke 
thinks there is some plausibility in Professor Petermann's sugges- 
tion that a frog writhing in a stork's bill rcBembles a tiny human 



In Iceland, according to Max Bartels ("Isllindischer Brauch und 
Volksglaube," etc., Zeitschrift fiir Ethnologic, 1900, Heft 2 and 3) we 
And a transition between the natural and the fanciful in the stories told 
to children of the origin of babies {the stork ia here precluded, for it 
only extends to the southern border of Scandinavian lands). In North 
Iceland it is said tbat God made the baby and the mother bore it, and 
on that account is now ill. In the northwest it is said that God made 
the baby and gave it to the mother. Elsewhere it is said that God sent 
the bal^ and the midwife brought it, the mother only being in bed to 
be near the baby (which is seldom placed in a cradle). It is also some- 
times said that a lamb or a bird brought the baby. Again it is said to 
have entered during the night through the window. Sometimes, how- 
ever, the child is told that the baby came out of tbe mother's breasts, 
or from below her breasts, and that is why she is not well. 

Even when children learn that babies come out of the mother's 
body this knowledge often remains very vague and inaccurate. It very 
commonly happens, for instance. In all civilized countries that the navel 
is regarded as the baby's point of exit from the body. This is a natural 
conclusion, since tbe navel is seemingly a channel into the body, and a 
channel for which there is no obvious use, while the pudendal cleft 
would not suggest itself to girls (and still less to boys) aa the gate of 
birth, since it already appears to be monopolized by the urinary excre- 
tion. Tbis belief concerning the navel is sametimes preserved through 
the whole period of adolescence, especially in girls of the so-called edu- 
cated class, who are too well-bred to discuss tbe matter with their 
married friends, and believe indeed that they are already sufficiently 
well informed. At this age the belief may not be altogether harmless, 
in BO far as it leads to the real gate of sex being left unguarded. In 
Elsass where girls commonly believe, and are taught, that babies come 
throngfa the navel, popular folk-tales are current {Anthropopkyteia, vol. 



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42 PBYCHOLOQT OF SEX. 

iii, p. S9) which repreaeDt the mistakeB resulting from this belief at 
leading to the loaa of virginity. 

Freud, who believes that children give little credit to the etork 
fable and eimilar ataries invented for their mystification, has made an 
interesting psychological investigation into the real theories which chil- 
dren themselves, as the result of observation and thought, reach con- 
cerning the sesual facts of life (S. Freud, "Ueber Tnfantile Sexual- 
theorien," Sexval-ProbJeme, Dee., 1908). Such theoriea, he remarks, 
correspond to the brilliant, but defective hypotheses which primitive 
peoples Qrri\'e at concerning the nature and origin of the world. There 
are three theoriea, which, aa Freud quite truly concludes, are very com- 
monly formed by children. The first, and the most widely disseminated, 
is that there is no real anatomical dilTerence between boys and 
girl.s; if the boy notices that his little sister has no obvious penia he 
even concludes that it is because she is too young, and the little girl 
herself takes the aame view. The fact that in early life the clitoris is 
relatively larger and more pejiia-like lielps to confirm this view which 
Freud connects with the tendency in later life to erotic dream of women 
furnished with a penis. This theory, as Freud also remarks, favors the 
growth of homosexuality when its germs are present. The second 
theory is the ftecal. theory of the origin of babies. The child, who per- 
haps thinks his mother has a penis, and is in any case ignorant of the 
vagina, concludes that the baby is brought into the world by an action 
analogous to the action of the bowels. The third theory, which is per- 
haps less prevalent than the others, Freud terms the sadistic theory of 
coitus. The child realizes that his father must have taken some sort 
of part in his production. The theory that sexual intercourse eonsista 
in violence has in it a trace of truth, but seems to be arrived at rather 
obscurely. The child's own sexual feelings are often aroused for th» 
first time when wrestling or struggling with a companion; he may see 
his mother, also, resisting more or less playfully a sudden eareas from 
his father, and if a real quarrel takes place, the impression may be 
fortified. As to what the state of marriage consists in, Freud flnds that 
it is usually regarded as a state which abolishes modesty; the most 
prevalent theory being that marriage means that people can make watet 
before each other, while another common childish theory is that mar- 
riage ia when people can show each other their private parts. 

Thus it 19 that at a very early atage of the child's life we are 
brought face to face with the question how we may most wisely 
begin his initiation into tho knowledge of the great central facts 
of sex. It is perhaps a little late in the day to regard it aa a 
question, but so it is among ua, although three thousand five 



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SEXUAL EDDOATION. 43 

hnndred years ago, the Egyptian father spoke to his child : "I 
have given yon a mother who hag carried you within her, a heavy 
burden, for your saiie, and without leating on me. When at last 
you were bom, she indeed submitted herself to the yoke, for 
during three years were her nipples in your mouth. Your 
eierements never turned her stomach, nor made her say, 'What 
am I doing?' When you were sent to school she went regularly 
every day to carry the household bread and beer to your master. 
When in your turn you marry and have a child, bring up your 
child as your mother brought you up."' 

I take it for granted, however, that — whatever doubt there 
may be as to the bow or the when — no doubt is any longer 
possible as to the absolute necessity of taking deliberate and 
active part in this sexual initiation, instead of leaving it to the 
chance revelation of ignorant and perhaps vicious companions or 
servants. It is becoming more and more widely felt that the 
risks of ignorant innocence are too great. 

"All the love and solicitude parental yearning can bestow," writes 
Dr. G. F. Butler, of Chicago (Love and its A/pnitie$, 1896, p. S3), "all 
thai the most refined religious influence can offer, nil that the most 
cultivated aaaoeiationa can accomplish, in one fatal moment maj he 
obliterated. There is no room for ethical reasoning, indeed oftentimes 
BO consciousneas of wrong, but only Margaret's 'Es war so hHhs'." The 
same writer adds (as had been previouHly remarked by Mra, Craik and 
others) that among church members it is the finer and more sensitive 
organizations that are the most susceptible to sexual emotions. So far 
as boys are concerned, we leave instruction in matters of Be\, the most 
sacred and central fact in the world, as Canon Lyttelton remarks, to 
"dirfy-minded school-boys, grooms, garden*boys, anyone, in short, who at 
an early ago may be sufficiently defiled and sufficiently reckless to talk 
of them." And, so tar as girls are concerned, as Balzac long ago 
remarked, "a mother may bring up her daughter severely, and cover 
her beneath her wings for seventeen years; but a servant-girl can 
destroy that long work by a word, even by a gesture." 

The great part played by servant-girls of the lower class in the 
aezual initiation of the children of the middle class has been illustrated 
in dealing with "The Sexual Impulse in Women" in vol. iii, of these 



I Am£1ineau, La Morale dea Egyptiens, p. 64. 



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44 P8TCH0L0OT OF SEX. 

etudiea, and need not now b« further diacussed. I would only here say 
a word, in passing, on the other side. Often as servant-girU take Uiis 
part, we must not go so fat as to eay that it ia the case with the 
niajorit;. As regards Oermany, Dr. Alfred Kind has lately put on 
record his experience; "I have nei.-er, in youth, heard a bad or improper 
word on Bex- relationships from a eervaot-girl, although serraDt-girla 
followed one another in our house like sunshine and showera in April, 
and there was always a relation of comradeship between iis children aitd 
the servants." Aa regards England, I can add that my own youthful 
experiences correspond to Dr. Kind's. This is not surprising, for one 
may say that in the ordinary well-c«iiditioned girl, though her virtue 
may not be developed to heroic proportions, there is yet usually a 
natural respaet for the innocence of children, a natural sexual indiffer- 
ence to them, and a natural expectation that the male should take the 
active part when a sexual situation arises. 

It Je also beginning to be felt that, especially as regards 
women, ignorant innocence is not' merely too fragile a possession 
to be worth preservation, but that it is positively mischievous, 
since it involves the lack of necessary knowledge. "It is little 
short of criminal," writes Dr. F. II. Goodchild,^ "to send our 
young people into the midst of the excitements and temptations 
of a great city with no more preparation than if they were going 
to live in Paradise." In the case of women, ignorance has the' 
further disadvantage that it deprives them of the knowledge 
necessary for intelligent aj^npathy with other women. The 
unsympathetic attitude of women towards women is often largely 
due to sheer ignorance of the facts of life. "Why," writes in a 
private letter a married lady who keenly realizes this, "are 
women brought up with such a profound ignorance of their 
own and especially other women's natures? They do not know 
half as much about other women as a man of the most average 
capacity learns in his da}''B march," We try to make up for our 
failure to educate women in the essential matters of sex by 
imposing upon the police and other guardians of public order the 
duty of protecting women and morals. But, as Moll insists, the 
real problem of chastity lies, not in the multiplication of laws 

I "The Soeia) Evil in Philadelphia," Arena, March, 1896. 



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BBSOAL EDUCATION. 45 

ftod policemen, but largely in women's knowledge of the dangers 
of sex and in the cultivation of their sense of responsibility.' 
We are always making laws for the protection of children and 
setting the police on guard. But laws and the police, whether 
their activities are good or bad, are in either case alike ineffectual. 
They can for the most part only be invoked when the damage is 
already done. We have to learn to go to the toot of the matter. 
We have to teach children to be a law to themselves. We have to 
give them that knowledge which will enable them to guard their 
own personalities. 2 There is an authentic story of a lady who 
had learned to swim, much to the horror of her clergyman, who 
thought that swimming was un feminine. "But," she said, 
"suppose I was drowning." "In lliat case," he replied, "you 
ought to wait until a man comes along and saves you." There 
we have the two methods of salvation which have been preached 
to women, the old method and the new. In no sea have women 
been more often in danger of drowning than that of sex. There 
ought to be no question as to which is the better method of 
salvation. 

It is diRicult nowadays to And an; serious arguinentB against tlia 
desirabilitT' of earlj eezual enlightenment, and it ia almost with amuBC' 
ment that we read how t^e novelist Alphonse Daudet, when asked his 
opinion of aueh enlightenment, protested — in a spirit certainly common 
atDong the men of his time — that it was unnecessary, because boys could 
leant everything from the streets and the newspapers, while "as to 
young girls — no! I would teach tliem none of the truths of physiology. 
I can only see disadvantages in such a proceeding. These truths are 
ugly, disillusioning, sure to shock, to frighten, to disgust the mind, the 
nature, of a girl." It is as niiich as (o say that there is no need to 
supply aources of pure water when there are puddles in the street tliat 
anyone can drink of. A contemporary of Daudet's, who possessed a far 
finer spiritual insight, Coventry Patmore, the poet, in the essay on 
"Ancient and Modem Ideas of Purity" in his beautiful book, Religio 
Poeta, had already finely protested against that "disease of impurity" 

1 Moll, fonlrare Semudempfindung, third edition, p. 692. 

i This poverleasness of the law and the police is well recognized 
hy lawyers familiar with the matter. Thus F. Werthauer {Sittlick- 
keitadeUkle der Orotatadl, 1007) insists throughout on the importanao 
of parents and t^hera imparting to children from their early years a 
progressively increasing knowledge of sexual matters. 



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46 PBTOHOLOQT OP BEX. 

which comes of "our modem undivine silencM" for which Dandet 
pleaded. And MetchnikotT, more recently, from the scientific aide, speak- 
ing especially as regards women, declares that knowledge is so indispen- 
sable for moral conduct that "ignorance must be counted the most 
Immoral of acts" (Esaaia OpHmislet, p. 420). 

The distinguished Belgian novelist, Camille Lemonnier, in his 
L'Bomme en Amour, deals with the question of the sexual education of 
the ^ung bj presenting the history of a young man, brought up under 
the influence of the conventional and hypocritical views which teach 
that nudity and sex are shameful and disgusting things. In this way 
he passes by the opportunities of innocent and natural love, to become 
hopelessly enslaved at last to a sensual woman who treats him merely 
as the instrument of her pleasure, the last of a long succession of lovers. 
Hie book is a powerful plea for a sane, wholesome, and natural educa- 
tion in matters of sex. It was, however, prosecuted at Bruges, in 1901. 
ttHnigh the trial finally ended in acquittal. Such a verdict is in bar- 
niCHiy with the general tendency of feeling at the present time. 

The old ideas, expressed by Daudet, that the facta of sex are ugly 
and disillusioning, and that they shock the mind of the young, are both 
alike entirely false. As Canon Lyttelton remarks, in urging that the 
laws of the transmission of life should be taught to children by the 
mother: "The way they receive it with native reverence, truthfulness 
of understanding and guileless delicacy, is nothing short of a revelation 
of the never-ceasing beauty of nature. People sometimes speak of the 
indescribable beauty of children's innocence. But I venture to nay that 
no one quite knows what it is who has foref^ne the privilege of being 
the first to set before them the true meaning of life and birth and the 
mystery of their own being. Not only do we fail to build up sound 
knowledge in them, but we put away from ourselves the chance of learn- 
ing something that must be divine." In the same way, Edward Car- 
penter, stating that it ii easy and natural for the child to learn from 
the first its physical relation to its mother, remarks (Lorf'* Coming of 
Age, p. B) : "A child at the age of puberty, with the unfolding of its 
far-down emotional and sexual natnre, is eminently capable of the most 
sensitive, aO'ectional and serene appreciation of what arm means (gen- 
erally more so ae thing? are to-day, than i(p worldling parent or 
guardian) ; and can absorb the teaching, if Hympathetically given, with- 
out any shock or disturbance to its sense of shame — that sense which ia 
BO natural and valuable a safeguard of early youth." 

How widespread, even some years ago, had become the conviction 
that tie sexual facts of lite should be taught to girls as well as boys, 
was shown when the opinions of a very miscellaneous assortment of 
more or less prominent persons were sought on the question ("The Tree 
of Knowledge," A'etc Bevietp, June, 1894), A small minority of two only 



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SEXUAL EDUCAtlON. 47 

(Rabbi Adler and Mrs. Lj^n I^nton) were againet auch knowledge, 
while among the majority in favor of it were Mme. Adapi, Thomaa 
Bardj, Sir Walter Besant, Bjtlrnsoii, Hall Caine, Sarah Grand, Nordau, 
ladj Henry Somerset, BaroneeB von Suttner, and Mias Willard. The 
leaders of the woman's movement are, of course, in favor of such knowl- 
edge. Thus a meeting of the Bund tUr Mutterecliuti at Berlin, in 190S, 
aJmoat unanimously passed a resolution declaring that the early sexual 
enlightenment of children in the facta of the sexual life is urgently 
necessary IMutterschuIz, 190o, Heft 2, p. 01). It may be added that 
medical opinion has long approved of this enlightenment. Thus in Eng- 
land it was editorially stated in the BritUh Medical Journal some years 
ago (June 9, 1804) : "Moat medical men of an age to beget confidence 
in aneh affairs will be able to recall instances in which an ignorance, 
which would have been ludicrous if It had not been so sad, has been 
displayed on mBttcrs regarding which every woman entering on married 
life ought to have been accurately informed. There can, we think, be 
little doubt that much unhappiness and a great deal of illness would be 
prevented if young people of both sexes possessed a little accurate knowl- 
edge regarding the sexual relations, and were well impressed with the 
^profound importance of selecting healthy mates. Knowledge need not 
necessarily be nasty, but even if it were, it certainly is not comparable 
In that respect with the imaginings of ignorance." Tn America, also, 
vrhere at an annual meeting of the American Medical Association, Dr. 
Dcnalow Lewis, of Chicago, eloquently urged the nerd of teaching sexual 
hygiene to youths and girls, all the subsequent nine speskers, some of 
them physicians of worldwide fame, expressed their essential agreement 
{Hedieo-Legal Journal, June-Sept., 1903). Howard, again, at the end 
of his elaborate Histort/ of Matrimonial Inslitulions (vol. iii, p. 257) 
asserts the necessity for education in matters of sex, as going to the 
root of the marriage problem. "In the future educational programme," 
he remarks, "sex questions must bold an honorable place." 

While, however, it is now widely recognized that children 
are entitled to sexual enlightenment, it cannot be Bald that tbiB 
belief is widely put into practice. Many persons, who are fully 
persuaded that children Bhould aooner or later be enlightened 
concerning the aexual aourcea of life, are somewhat nervously 
anxious ae to the precise age at which this enlightenment Bhould 
begin. Their latent feeling Beems to be that sex is an evil, and 
enlightenment concerning sex also an evil, however neceaaary, 
and that the chief point is to ascertain the latest moment to 
which we can safely postpone this necessary evil. Such an 



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48 FSYCHOLoay op sex. 

attitude ib, however, altogether wrong-headed. The child's 
desire for knowledge concerning the origin of himself is a per- 
fectly natural, honest, and harmless desire, so long as it is not 
perverted by being thwarted. A child of four may ask questions 
on this matter, simply and spontaneously. As soon as tlie 
questions are put, certainly as soon as they become at ail 
insistent, they should be answered, in the same simple and 
spontaneous spirit, truthfully, though according to the measure 
of the child's intelligence and his capacity and desire for knowl- 
edge. This period should not, and, if these indications are 
followed, naturally would not, in any case, be delayed beyond 
the sixth year. After that age even the most carefully guarded 
child is liable to contaminating communications from outside. 
Moll points out that the sexual enlightenment of girls in its 
various stages ought to be always a little ahead of that of boys, 
and as the development of girls up to the pubertal age is more 
precocious than that of boys, this demand is reasonable. 

If the elements of sexual education are to be imparted in 
early childhood, it is quite clear who ought to be the teacher. 
There should be no question that this privilege belongs by every 
right to the mother. Except where a child is artificially 
separated from his chief parent it is indeed only the mother 
who has any natural opportunity of receiving and responding to 
these questions. It is unnecessary for her to take any initiative 
in the matter. The inevitable awakening of the child's intelli- 
gence and the evolution of his boundless curiosity furnish her 
love and skill with all opportunities for guiding her child's 
thoughts and knowledge, Nor is it necessary for her to possess 
the slightest technical information at this stage. It is only 
essential that she should have the most absolute faith in the 
purity and dignity of her physical relationship to her child, and 
be able to speak of it with frankness and tenderness. When 
that essential condition is fulfilled every mother has all the 
knowledge that her young child needs. 

Among the best authorttieB, both men and women, in all the coun- 
tries where this matter is attracting attention, there seema now to be 
unanimity of opinion in favor of the elementary facta of the bab^'a rela- 



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SEXOAL EDUCATION. 49 

tioiLihip to its mother being explained to tlie child by the mother aa 
soon aa the child begins to ask questions. Thus in Germany Moll has 
repeatedlj argued in this sense; he insists that sexual enlightenment 
^ould be mainly a private and individual matter; that in schools there 
should be no general and personal warnings about masturbatiSn, etc 
(though at a later age he approves of instruction in regard to venereal 
diseases), but that the mother is the proper peraon to impart Intimatfl 
knowledge to the child, and that any age is suitable for the commence- 
ment of such enlightenment, provided it is put into a, form fitted for the 
age (Moll, op. cit., p. 2M). 

At the Mannheim meeting of the Congress of the German Society 
for Combsting Venereal Disease, when the question of seiual enlighten- 
ment formed the sole subject of discussion, the opinion in favor of early 
teaching by the mother prevailed. "It is the mother who must, in the 
first place, be made responsible for the child's clear understanding of 
sexual things, bo often lacliiug," said Frau Krukenberg ("Die Aufgabe 
der Mutter," Bexualpddagogik, p. IS), while Mas Enderlin, a teacher, 
said on the same occasion ("Die Sexuelle Frage in die Votksschule," id., 
p. 35) : "It is the mother who has to give the child his first explana- 
tions, for it is to his mother that he first naturally comes with his 
questions.." Id England, Canon Lyttelton, who is distinguished among 
the heads of public schools not least by bis clear and admirable state- 
ments on these questions, states {Molhert Ofld Sons, p. 99) tiiat the 
mother's part in the sexual enlightenment and sexual guardianship of 
her son is of paramount importance, and should b^n at the earliest 
years. J. H. Badley, another schoolmaster ("The Sex: Difficulty," Broad 
Tieiot, June, 1904), also states that the mother's part comes first. 
Northcote [ChrUtianily and 8fie Problems, p. 26) believes that the duty 
of the parents is primary in this matter, the family doctor and the 
schoolmaster coming in at a later stage. In America, Dr. Mary Wood 
Allen, who occupies a prominent and influential position in women's 
social movements, urges (in Child-Confidence Reicarded, and other 
pamphlets) that a mother should begin to tell her child these things as 
soon as he begins to ask questions, the age of four not being too young, 
and explains how this may be done, giving examples of its happy results 
in promoting a sweet conRdence between the child and his mother. 

If, as a few believe should be the case, the first initiation is 
delayed to the tenth year or even later, there is the difficulty that 
it IB no longer so easy to talk simply and naturally about such 
things; the mother is beginning to feel too shy to speak for the 
first time about these difficult subjecta to a son or a daughter 
who is nearly as big aa herself. She feela that she can only do it 



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60 PSTCHOLOQT OP SEX. 

awkwardly and ineffectively, and she probably decides not to do it 
at all. TliTiB an atmosphere of mystery is created with all the 
embarrassing and perverting influences which mystery encouragea. 

There can be no doubt that, more especially in hightj intelligent 
children wiUt vague and unapecialiEed yet insistent sexual impulses, tbe 
artificial mystery with which sex ia too often clothed not only accen- 
tuates the natural curiosity but also tends to faror the morbid intensity 
and even prurience of the sexual impulse. This has long been recog- 
niHd. Dr. Beddoes wrot« at the beginning of the nineteenth century; 
"It is in vain that we dissemble to ourselves the eagerness with which 
children of either sei seek to satisfy themselves concerning the confor- 
mation of the other. No degree of reserve in the heads of families, no 
contrivances, no care to put books of one description out of sight and to 
garble others, has perhaps, with any one set of children, succeeded in 
preventing or stifling this kind of curiosity. No part of tlie history of 
human thought would perhaps be more singular than t^e stratagems 
devised by young people in dilTereat situations to make themselves mas- 
ters or witnesses of the secret. And every discovery, due to their own 
inquiries, can but be so much oil poured upon an imagination in flames" 
(T. Beddoes, Hygria, 1S02, vol. iii, p. 50). Kaan, again, in one of the 
earliest boobs on morbid sexuality, sets down mystery as one of the 
causes of ptychopathia texualis, 'Marro {La PubertA, p. 209) points 
out how the veil of mystery thrown over sexual matters merely servea 
U> concentrate attention on theai. The distinguished Dutch wriUr Mul- 
tatuli, in one of his letters (quoted with approval by Freud), remarks 
on the dangers of hiding things from boys and girls in a veil of mystery, 
pointing out that this must only heighten the curiosity of children, and 
so far from keeping them pure, which mere ignomnce can never do, 
heats and perverts their imaginations. Mrs. Mary Wood Allen, also, 
warns the mother (op. cil., p. 5) against the danger of allowing any 
air of embarrassing mystery to creep over these things. ""If the instruc- 
tor feels any embarrassment in answering the queries of the child, he is 
not fitted ta be the teacher, tor the feeling of embarrassment will, in 
some subtle way, communicate itself to the child, and he will experience 
an indefluable sense of olTended delicacy which is both unecessary and 
undesirable. Purification of one's own thought is, then, the first step 
towards teaching the truth purely, ^¥hy," she adds, "is death, the 
gateway out of life, any more dignified or pathetic than birth, the gate- 
way into lifeT Or why is the taking of earthly life a more awful fact 
than the giving of life!" Mrs. Ennis Richmond, in a book of advice to 
mothers which contains many wise and true things, says; "I want to 
insist, more strongly than upon anything else, that it is the aeerecy that 



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SKXLAL EDLCATION. 51 

BUTTOundti certain partn of thu body and their functions tliat gives tli^m 
their danger in the child's thought. Uttte children, from earliest years, 
are taught to think of these parts uf their body as mysterious, and not 
only 80, but that they are mysti-rioua because they are unclean. , Chil- 
dren have not even a name for tliom. If yo\i have to speak to your 
child, you allude fo them mysteriously and in a half-whisper as 'that 
little part of you that you don't speak of,' or words to that effect. 
Before everything it is important that your child should have a good 
vorking name for these parts of his body, and for their functions, anil 
that be should be taught to U8e and to hear the names, and that as 
naturally and openly as though he or you ivere speaking of his head or 
his foot. Convention has, for various reasons, made it impossible to 
speak in this vay in public. But you can, at any rate, break through 
this in the nursery. There this rule of convention has no advantage, 
and many a serious disadvantage. It is easy to say to a child, the first 
time he makes an 'awkward' remark in public: 'Txiok here, laddie, you 
may say what you like to me or to daddy, but, (or some reason or other, 
one does not talk about these' (only say tchat things) 'in public' Only 
let your child make the remark in public before you speak (never mind 
the shoclf to your caller's feelings), don't warn him against doing so" 
(Ennia Richmond, Boyhood, p. 60). Sex must always be a mystery, but, 
aa Mrs. Richmond rightly aaya, "the real and true mysteries of genera- 
tion and birth are very different from the vulgar secretiveness with 
which custom surrounds them." 

The question aa to the precise names to be given to the more pri- 
vate bodily parts and functions is sometimes a little diflicult to solve. 
Every mother will naturally follow her own inatinefs, and probably her 
own traditions, in this matter. I have elsewhere pointed out (in the 
study of "The Evolution of Modesty") how widespread and instinctive 
is the tendency to adopt constantly new euphemisms in this field. The 
ancient and simple words, which in England a great poet like Chaucer 
could still use rightly and nnturally, are so often dropped in the mud 
by the vulgar that there is an instinctive hesitation nowadays in apply- 
ing them to beautiful uses. They are, however, unquestionably the best, 
and, in their origin, the most dif^iified and expressive words. Many 
persons are of opinion that on this account they should be rescued from 
the mud, and their sacredness ta\ight to children. A medical friend 
writes that he always tauRlit hU son that the vulgar MX names are 
really beautiful words of ancient origin, and (hat when we understand 
them aright we cannot possibly see in them any motive for low jesting. 
They are simple, serious and solemn words, connoting the most central 
facts of life, and only to ignorant and plebeian vulgarity can they cause 
obscene mirth. An American man of science, who has privntely and 
anonymously printed some pamphlets on aex questions, also takes this 



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52 PSTCHOLOQT OF SEX. 

view, and coDsistentlj and methodically usee the ancient and simple 
wordB. 1 am of opinion that this is the ideal to be sought, but tliat 
there are obvious dilhculties at present in the way of attaining it. In 
any case, however, tlie mother should be in posBesaion of a very precise 
vocabulary for all the bodily parts and aets which it concerns her chil- 
dren to know. 

It is sometimes said that at tliia early age children should 
not be told, even in a simple and elementary form, the real facts 
of their origin but should, instead, hear a fairy-tale having in it 
perhaps some kind of symbolic truth. This contention may be 
absolutely rejected, without thereby, in any degree, denying the 
important place which fairy-tales hold in the imagination of 
young children. Fairy-tales have a real value to the child ; they 
are a mental food he needs, if he ia not to be spiritually starved ; 
to deprive him of fairy-tales at this age is to do him a wrong 
which can never be made up at any subsequent age. But not 
only are sex matters too vital even in childhood to be safely 
made matter for a fairy-tale, but the real facta are themselves 
as wonderful as any fairy-tale, and appeal to the child's imagina- 
tion with as much force as a fairy-tale. 

Even, iiowever, if there were no other reasons against telling 
children fairj'-talea of sex instead of the real facts, there is one 
reason which ought to be decisive with every mother who values 
her influence over her child. He will very quickly discover, 
either by information from others or by his own natural intelli- 
gence, that the fairy-tale, that was told him in reply to a question 
about a simple matter of fact, was a lie. With that discovery 
his mother's influence over him Jn all such matters vanishes for 
ever, for not only has a child a horror of being duped, but he is 
extremely sensitive about any rebuff of this kind, and never 
repeats what he has been made to feel was a mistake to be 
ashamed of. He will not trouble his mother with any more 
questiona on this matter; he will not confide in her; he will 
himself learn the art of telling "fairy-tales" about sex matters. 
He had turned to his mother in trust; she had not responded 
with equal trust, and she must suffer the punishment, as 
Henriette Furth puts it, of seeing "the love and trust of her son 



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BEXUAL EDUCATION. 58 

stolen from her by the first boy he makes friends with in the 
street'' When, as sometimes happens (Moll mentions a case), 
a mother goes on repeating these silly stories to a girl or boy of 
seven who is secretly well-informed, she only degrades herself 
in her child's eyes. It Is this fatal mistake, ao often made by 
mothers, which at first leads them to imagine that tlieir children 
are so innocent, and in later years causes them many hours of 
bitterness because they realize they do not possess their children's 
trust. In the matter of trust it is for the mother to take the 
first step; the chUdren who do not trust their mothers are, for 
the most part, merely remembering the lesson they learned at 
their mother's knee. 

The number of little books and pamphlets dealing n-ith the ques- 
tion or the sexual enlightenment of the young — whether intended to bo 
read b^ the j'oiing or offering guidance to mothers and teaehers in the 
task of imparting knowledge — has become very large indeed during 
recent years in America, England, and eapecinlly Germany, where there 
has been of late an enormous production of such literature. The late 
Ben Elmy, writing under the pxeudonym of "Ellis Ethelmer," published 
two booklets. Baby Bu<U, and The Human Flower (issued by Mrs. Wol- 
fltenholme Elmy, Buxton House, Oongleton), which state the facts in a 
simple and delicate manner, though the author was not a notably 
Tellable guide on the scientific aspects of these qucstioni^. A charming 
conrersation between a mother and child, from a French source, is 
reprinted hy Edward Carpenter at the end of his Loir's Coming of Age. 
Brno We Are Born, by Mrs. N. J. (apparently a Russian lady writing 
in English), prefaced by Jl H, Badtey, is satis/actory. Mention may 
also be made of The Wonder of Life, by Mary Tudor Pole. Margaret 
Morley's Bong of Life, an American book, which I have not seen, has 
been hi^ly praised. Most ot these books are intended for quite young 
children, and while they explain more or less clearly the origin of babies, 
nearly aln-ays starting with the facts of plant life, they touch very 
slightly, if at all, on the relations of the sexes. 

Mrs. Bnnis Richmond's books, largely addressed to mothers, deal 
with these queatioos in a very sane, direct, and admiralde manner, and 
C'KDon Lyttellon's books, discussing such questions gcneraUy, are also 
excellent. Most of the books now to be mentioned are intended to be 
read by hoyt and girls who have reached the age ot puberty. They refer 
more or less precisely to sexual relationships, and they usually touch 
on mastorbatjon. The Btory of lAff. written by a very ai-compli»hed 
woman, the late Elliee Hopkins, Is somewhat vague, and introduces too 



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54 PSTCnOLOQT OF SEX. 

many exaited religious ideaa. Arthur Trewbj's Healthy Boyhood is a 
little book of wholesome tendency; it deala specially with raasturbation, 
A. Talk vAth Boyt About Themselves and A Talk tcith QirU About 
Themselves, both by Edward Bruce Kirk (the latter book written in 
conjunction with a lady) deal with geoerul as well an sexual hygiene. 
There could be no better book to put into the hands of a boy or girl at 
puberty than M. A. Warren'a Almost Fourteen, written by an Americaa 
school teacher In IS92. It was a most charming and delicately- written 
book, which could not have offended the innocence of the most sensitive 
maiden. Nothing, however, ia sacred to prurience, and it was easy for 
the prurient to captnre the law and obtain (in 1S9T) legal condemna- 
tion of this book as "obscene." Anything which sexually exci^s a 
prurient mind is, it is true, "obscene" for that mind, for, as Mr. Theo- 
dore Schroeder remarks, obscenity is "the contribution of the reading 
mind," but we need such books as this in order to diminish the number 
of prurient minds, and the condemnation of so entirely admirable a book 
makes, not for morality, but for immorality. I am told that the book 
was subsequently issued anew with most of its best portions omitted, 
and it is stated by Schroeder (Liberty of Bpeech and Frets Euential to 
Purity Propaganda, p. 34) that the author was compelled to resign his 
position as a public school principal. Maria Lischnewska's Oeachlecht- 
tirhe Bekhrung der Kinder (reprinted from MulleTschuts, 1605, Heft 
4 and 6) is a most admirable and thorough discussion of the whole 
question of sexual education, though the writer is more interested in 
the teacher's share in this question than ia the mother's. Suggestions 
to mothers are contained in Hugo Salus, TFo kommen die Kinder herf, 
E. Stiehl, Eine .Vulterp/ficht, and many other hooka. Dr. Alfred Kind 
strongly recommends Ludwig Gurlitt's Der Verkehr mil metnem Kin- 
dern, more especially in ita combination of sexual education with artistic 
education. Many similar books are referred to by Bloch, in his Sfwuttl 
lAfe of Our Time, Ch. xxvi. 

I have enumerated the names of these little hooka becauae tliey are 
■frequently issued in a acrai-private manner, and are seldom easy to pro- 
cure or to hear of. T)i^ propagation of such books seems to be felt to 
be almost a disgraceful action, only to be performed by stealth. And 
such a feeling seems not unnatural when we see, as in the case of the 
author of Almost Fourteen, that a nominally civilized country, instead 
of loading with honors a man who has worked for its moral and physical 
welfare, seeks so far as it can to ruin him. 

I may add that while it would usually be very helpful to a mother 
to be acquainted with a few of the booklets I have named, she would do 
well, in actually talking to her children, to rely mainly on her own 
knowledge and inspiration. 



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BBZDAL EDDCATION. 55 

The aesiial education which it is the mother's duty and 
privilege to initiate during her child's early yeare cannot and 
ought not to be technical. It Ib not of the nature of formal 
instruction but is a private and intimate initiation. No doubt 
the mother must herself be taught.' But the education she 
needs is mainly an education in love and insight. The actual 
facts which she requites to use at thb early stage are very simple. 
Het main task is to make clear the child's own intimate relations 
to herself and to show that all young things have a similar 
intimate relation to their mothers; in generalizing on this point 
the egg is the simplest and most fundamental type to explain the 
origin of the individual life, for tlie idea of the egg — in its widest 
sense as the seed — not only has its truth for the human creature 
but may be applied throughout the animal and vegetable world. 
In this explanation the child's physical relationship to his father 
is not necessarily at first involved; it may be left to a further 
stage or until the child's questions lead up to it. 

Apart from his interest in his origin, the child is also 
interested in his seicual, or as they seem to him exclusively, his 
excretory organs, and in those of other people, his sisters and 
parents. On these points, at this age, his mother may simply 
and naturally satisfy his simple and natural curiosity, calling 
things by precise names, whether the names used are common or 
nncommon being a matter in regard to which she may exercise 
her judgment and taste. In this manner the mother will, 
indirectly, be able to safeguard her child at the outset against the 
prudish .and prurient notions alike which he will encounter later. 
She will also without unnatural stress he able to lead the child 
into a reverential attitude towards his own organs and so exert 
an influence against any undesirable tampering with them. In 
talking with him about the origin of life and about his own body 
and functions, in however elementary a fashion, she will hare 
initiated him both in sexual knowledge and in sexual hygiene. 

1 "Parenta must be taught how to impart information." remarks 
E. L, Knrea ("Education upon Sexual Matters." New York Medical 
Journal, Feb. 10, 1906), "and thia teaching of the parent should begin 
when he ia himself a child." 



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66 PBTCHOLOaT OF SEX. 

The mother who establishes a relationship of confidence with 
her child during these first years will probably, if she possesses 
any measure of wisdom and tact, be able to preserve it even aft«r 
the epoch of puberty into the difficult years of adolescence. But 
as an educator in the narrower sense her functions will, in most 
cases, end at or before puberty. A somewhat more technical and 
complet«ly impersonal acquaintance with the essential facts of sex 
then becomes desirable, and this would usually be supplied by 
the school. 

The great though capricious educator, Basedow, to Bonie extent a 
pupil of, Rousseau, was an early pioneer in both the theory and the 
practice of giving acbool children inBtructlou in tbe facta of the sexual 
life, from the age of ten onwards. He insists much on this subject in 
hla great treatise, the Elementaneerk (17701774), The questions of 
children are to be answered 'cTuthfiilly, he states, and tiiej must be 
taught never to jest at anything bo sacred and serious as the sexual 
relations. They are to be shown pictures of childbirth, and the dangers 
of sexual irregularities are to be clearly expounded to them at the outset. 
Boy((, are to be taken to liospitals to see the results of venereal disease. 
Basedow is aware that many parents and teachers will be shocked at 
his insistence on these things in his books and in his practical peda- 
gogic work, but such people, he declares, ought to be shocked at the 
Bible (see, e.g., Pinloche. La Riforme de I'Educalion en Allemagne au 
di^hvitiime giicle: Basedow et le Philantkropinitme, pp. 125, 266, 260, 
272). Basedow was too far ahead of his own time, and even of ours, 
to exert much influence in this matter, and he had few immediate 
imitalora. 

Somewhat later than Basedow, a distinguished English physician, 
Thomas Beddoes, worked on somewhat the same lines, seeking to promote 
sexual knowledge by lectures and demonstrations. In his remarkable 
book, Eygeia, published hi 1802 (vol. i, Essay IV) he sets forth the 
absurdity of the conventional requirement that "discretion and ignorance 
should lodge In the same bosom," and deals at length with the question 
of masturbation and the need of sexual education. He insists on the 
great importance of lectures on natural history which, be had found, 
could be given with perfect propriety to a mixed audience. His experi- 
ences had shown that botany, the amphibia, the hen and her eggs, human 
anatomy, even disease and sometimes the sight of it, are salutary from 
this point of view. He thinks it is a happy thing for a child to gain 
hie first knowledge of sexual difTerence from anatomical subjects, the 
dignify of death being a noble prelude to the knowledge of sex and 



byGoogIc 



8EK0AL EDUCATION. bl 

depriving it forever of morbid prurience. It is Boarcely necefwary to 
reinaTk that this method of teaching children the elementa of aexual 
ftnatomf in the post-mortem room has not found many advocates or 
followera; it is undesirable, for it fails to take into account the sensi- 
tiveneas of children to such impreieione, and it is unnecessary, for it is 
just aa easy to teach the dignity of life as the digni^ of death. 

The duty of the school to impart education in matters of sex to 
children hafl in recent years been vigorously and ably advocated by 
Haria Lischnewska (op. cif.), who speaks with thirty years' experience 
as a teacher and an intimate acquaintance with children and their home 
life. She ai^es that among the mnss of the population to-day, white 
in the home-life there "is every opportunity for coarse familiarly with 
sexual matters, there is no opportunity for a pure and enlightened intro- 
duction to them, parents being for the most part both morally and 
Intellectually incapable of aiding their children here. That the school 
should assume the leading part in this task is, she believes, in accord- 
ance with the whole tendeni^ of modern civilized life. She would have 
the instruction graduated in such a manner that during the fifth or 
sixth year of school life the pupil would receive instruction, with the 
aid of diagrams, concerning the sexual organs and functions of the 
hi^er mammals, the bull and cow being selected by preference. The 
facts of gestation would ol course be included. When this stage was 
reached it would be easy to pass on to the human species with the state- 
ment: "Just in the same way as the calf develops in the cow so the 
child develops in the mother's body." 

It Is difficult not to recognixe the force of Bfaria Lisehnewska's 
argument, and it seems highly probable that, as she asserts, the instruc- 
tion proposed lies in the course of our present path of progress. Such 
instruction would be formal, unemotional, and impersonal; it would be 
given not as speciflc instruction in matters of sex.but simply as a part 
of natural history. It would suppleroent, so far as mere knowledge is 
concerned, the information the child had already received from its 
mother. But it would by no means supplant or replace the personal 
and intimate relationship of confidence between mother and child. That 
is always to be aimed at, and though it may not be possible among the 
ill-educated masses of to-day, nothing else will adequately take its nlace. 

There can be no donbt, however, that while in the future 
the school will most probably be regarded as the proper place in 
which to teach the elements of physiology — and not as at present 
a merely emasculated and etTeminated physiology — the intro- 
duction of sndi reformed teaching is as yet impracticable in many 
commnnities. A coarse and ill-bred community moves in a 



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68 FSYCHOLOGT OF SBX. 

vicious circle. Ite members are brought up to believe that aex 
matters are filthy, and when they become adults they protest 
violently against their children being taught this filthy tnowl- 
dcdge. The teacher's task is thus rendered at the best difficult, 
and under democratic conditions imposaible. We cannot, there- 
fore, hope for any immediate introduction of eesnal physiology 
into schools, even in the unobtrusive form in which alone it 
could properly be introduced, that is to say aa a natural and 
inevitable part o( general physiology. 

This objection to animal physiology by no means applies, 
however, to botany. There can be little doubt that botany ia of 
all the natural sciences that which best admits of this incidental 
instruction in the fundamental facta of sex, when we are con- 
zeroed with children below the age of puberty. There are at least 
two reasons why this should be so. In the first place botany 
really presents the beginnings of sex, in their most naked and 
essential forms; it makes clear the nature, origin, and sig- 
nificance of eex. In the second place, in dealing with plants the 
facts of sex can he stated to children of either sex or any age 
quite plainly and nakedly without any reserve, for no one now- 
adays regards the botanical facts of sex as in any way offensive. 
The expounder of sex in plants also has on his side the advantage 
of being able to assert, without question, the entire beauty of the 
sexual process. He is not confronted by the ignorance, had 
education, and fal^ associations which have made it so diihcult 
either to see or to show the beauty of sex in animala. From 
the se.x-life of plants to the sex-life of the lower animals there 
is, however, but a step which the teacher, according to his dis- 
cretion, may take. 

An early educational authority, Salzmann, in 1T8S advocated the 

scxQuI enlightenment of children by firat teaching them botany, to be 
foTloH-ed by zoClogy. In modem times the metJiod of imparting aex 
knowledge to eliildrcn by means, in the firat place, of botany, has been 
generally advocated, and from Oie moat various quartera. Thus Marro 
(La PuhfrlA, p. 300) recomends this plan. ,T. Hndrey-Menoa ("La 
Question du Sexe dans I'Education," Revue fiocialisle, June, 1895), givea 
the same advice. Rudolf 5iommer, in a paper entitled ".Madcheneriieh- 
ling Oder MenschenbildungT" {OemhUvht vnd OeaseUclmft, Jshrgaag ■ 



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SEXUAL BDDCATION. 6» 

I, Heft 3) recommends that the first introduction of MX knowledge to 
children should be made by talking to them on simple natural biator]'' 
subjects; "there are endless opportunitiea," be remarks, "over a faiij- 
tale, or a walk, or a fruit, or an egg, the sowing of seed or the nest- 
building of birds." Canon Lyttelton {Training of Ike Young in Laios 
of RfT, pp. 74 et Kq.) adrises a somewhat similar method, though lay- 
ing chief stress on personal confidence between the child and his mother; 
"reference is made to the animal world just so far as the child's knowl- 
edge extends, so as lo prevent the new facts from being viewed in isola- 
tion, but the main emplmsis is laid on his feeling for his mother and 
the instinct which exists in nearlj' all children of reverence due to tho 
maternal relation;" he adds that, however difficult the subject may 
seem, the essential facts of paternity must also be explained to boys and 
girls alike. Keyes, again (iVeio York Medwal Journal, Feb. 10, 1908), 
advocates teaching children from an early age the srxual facts of plant 
life and also concerning insects and other lower animals, and so grad- 
ually leading up to human beings, the matter being thus robbed of its 
unwholesome mystery. Mrs. Ennis Richmond (Boyhood, p. 62) recom- 
mends that children should be sent to spend some of their time upon a 
farm, so that they may not only become acquHinted with the general 
facts of the natural world, but also with the sexual Wvts of animals, 
learning things which it is difficult to teach verbally. Karina Karin 
("Wie erdeht man ein Kind zdr wissenden KeuschheitT" QeachlPcht und 
OeaetUchafl, Jabrgang I, Heft 4). reproducing some of her talks with 
her nine-year old son, from the time that he first asked her where chil- 
dren came from, shows how she began with telling him about flowers, to 
pass on to fish and birds, and finally to the facts of human pregnancy, 
showing him pictures from an obstetrical manual of the child in its 
mother's body. It may be added that the advisability of beginning the 
aer teaching of children with the facts of botany was repeatedly empha- 
sized by various speakers at the special meeting nf the German Congress 
for Combating Venereal Disease devoted to the subject of sexual instruc- 
tion (Se^ualpdda^^t/especially pp. 36, 47, 76). 

The transition from botany to the elementnrj- zoology of the 
lower Bnimals, to human anatomy and physiology, and to the 
science of anthropology baaed on these, is simple and natural. 
It is not likely to be taken in detail until the age of puberty. 
Sex enters into all these subjeeta and should not be artificially 
excluded from them in the education of either boys or girls. 
The text-books from which the sexual system is entirely omitted 
.ought no longer to be tolerated. The nature and secretion of the 



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60 P8TCH0L0OT OF SEX. 

t«sticleB, the meaning of the ovaries and of menetniation, as 
well as the significance of metabolifm and the urinary excretion, 
should be clear in their main lines to al! boys and girls who have 
reached the age of puberty. 

At puberty there arises a new and powerful reason why boys 
and girls should receive definite instruction in matters of sex. 
Before that age it is possible for the foolish parent to imagine 
that a child may be preserved in ignorant innocence,* At 
puberty that belief is obviously no longer possible. The 
efflorescence of puberty with the development of the sexual 
organs, the appearance of hair in unfamiliar places, the general 
related organic changes, the spontaneous and perhaps alarming 
occurrence in boys of seminal emissions, and in girls of menstrua- 
tion, the unaccustomed and sometime? acute recognition of 
sexual desire accompanied by new sensations in the sexual organs 
and leading perhaps to masturbation; all these arouse, as we 
cannot fail to realize, a new anxiety in the boy's or girl's mind, 
and a new curiosity, ail the more acute in many cases because it 
is carefully concealed as too private, and even too shameful, to 
speak of to anyone. In boys, especially if of sensitive tempera- 
ment, the suffering tlius caused may be keen and prolonged. 

A doctor of philosophy, prominent in bis profession, wrote to Stan- 
ley Hall {Adolescence, vol. i, p. 452) : "My entire youtli, from six to 
eighteen, was made miserable from lack of knowledge that any one who 
knew anything of the nature of puberty might have given; this long 
eenae of defect, dread of operation, shame and worry, has left an indeli- 
ble mark." Xliere are certainly many men who could say the same. 
Lancaster ("Psychology and Pedagogy of Adolescence," Pedagogical 
Seminary, July, 1KU7, pp. 123-5) apeaka strongly regarding the evils 
of ignorance of sexual hygiene, and the terrible fact that millions of 
youths are always in the hands of quacks who dupe them into the belief 
that they are on the road to an awful destiny merely because they have 
occasional emiaaions during sleep. "This is not a light matter," Ijin- 
caster declares. "It strikes at the very foundation of our inmost life. 
It deals with the reproducfory part of our natures, and must have a deep 
hereditary influence. It is a natural res-ult of the foolish false modesty 
shown regarding all sex instruction. Every boy should be tau(^t the 



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SEXUAL EDUCATION. 61 

simple pbyaiological facts beforv! his life ia forever blighted bj* thU 
cause." lAncaster hati had in liiB liands one thousand letleri, mostly 
written bj young people, who were usually normal, and addressed to 
quacks who were duping them. From time to time the suicides of 
youttis from this cause are reported, and in many mysterious suicides 
this has undoubtedly t>een the real cause. "Week after week," writes 
the Brititk Medioal Journal in an editorial ("Dangerous Quack Litera- 
ture: The Moral of a' Recent Suicide," Oct. 1, 1892), "we receive 
despairing tetters from those victims of foul birds of prey who have 
obtained theii first bold on those they rob, torture and often ruin, by 
advertisements inserted by newspapers of a respectable, nay, even of a. 
valuable and respected, character." It is added that the wealthy pro- 
prietors of such newspapers, often enjoying a reputation tor benevolence, 
even when the matter is brought before them, refuse to interfere as they 
would tJiereby lose a source of income, and a censorship of advertise- 
ments is proposed. This, however, is difficult, and would be quite 
unnecessary if youths received proper enlightenment from their natural 

Masturbation, and the fear that by an occasional and perhaps out- 
grown practice of masturbation they have sometimes done themselves 
irreparable injury, ia a common source of anxiety t^ boya. It has long 
been a question whether a boy should be warned against masturbation. 
At a meeting of the Section of Psychology of the British Medical Asso- 
ciation some years ago, four speakers, including the President (Dr. 
Blandford), were decidedly in favor of parents warning their children 
■gainst masturbation, while three spealiers were decidedly against that 
course, mainly on the groimd that it was posEiible to pass through even 
a public school life without hearing of masturbation, and also that the 
warning against masturbation might encourage the practice. It is, 
however, becoming more and more clearly realized that ignorance, even 
if it can be maintained, is a. perilous possession, while the teaching that 
consists, as it should, in a loving mother's counsel to the child from his 
earliest years to treat his sexual parts with care and respect, can only 
lead to masturbation in the child who is already irrcsiBtiblj impelled to 
it Most of the scK manuals for boys touch on masturbation, sometimes 
exaggerating its dangers; such exaggeration should be avoided, for it 
leads to far worse evils than those it attempts to prevent. It seems 
undesirable that any wnmingf about masturbation nliould form part of 
school instruction, unless under very special circumstances. The sexual 
instruction imparted in the sdiool on sexual as on other subjects should 
be absolutely Impersonal and objective. 

At this point we approach one of the difficulties in the way of 
■exnal enlightenment r the ignorance or unwisdom of the would-be 
teadien. Tbia difficulty at present exists both in the home and tlie 



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62 PSYCHOLOGY OF 8BX. 

school, while it destroys tlie value of many nanuala written for the 
sexual instruction of the young. The mother, who ought to be the 
child's confidant and guide in matters of sexual education, and could 
naturally be so if left to her own healthy instinctB, has usually been 
brought up in false traditions which it requires a high d^ree of intelli- 
gence and character to escape Irom; the school -teacher, even if only 
called upon to give instruction in natural history, is oppressed by the 
same traditions, and by false shame concerning the whole subject of sex; 
the writer of maniiats on sex has often only freed himself from these 
bonds in order to advocate dogmatic, unscienttilc, and sometimes mis- 
chievous opinions which have been evolved in entire ignorance of the 
real facts. Aa Moll says (Dag 8exuallcben dm Kindm, p. 270), neces- 
sary as Hcxual enlightenment is, we cannot help feeling a little skeptical 
as to its reeults so long at those who ought, to enlighten are themselves 
often in need of enligtitennient. He refers also to the fact that even 
among competent authorities there is difference of opinion concerning 
important matters, as, for instance, whether masturbation is physiolog- 
ical at the first development of the sexual impulse and how far sexual 
abstinence is beneficial. But it is evident that tlie difficulties due to 
false tradition and ignorance will diminish as sound traditions and bet- 
ter knowledge become more widely diffused. 

The girl at puberty is usually less keenly and definitely 
coDBciouB of her sexual nature than the boy. But the risks she 
runs from sexual ignorance, though for the most part different, 
are more subtle and less easy to repair. She is often extremely 
inquisitive concemiDg these matters; the thoughts of adolescent 
girls, and often their conversation among themselves, revolve 
much around sexual and allied mysteries. Even in the matter of 
conscious sexual impulse the girl is often not so widely different 
from her brother, nor so much less likely to escape the con- 
tamination of evil communications, so that the scruples of 
foolish and ignorant persons who dread to "sully her purity'" by 
proper instruction are exceedingly misplaced. 



Conversations dealing with the important mysteries of human 
nature, Obici and Marcheaini were told by ladies who had formerly been 
pupils in Italian Normal Schools, are the order of the day in schools 
and colleges, and sperially circle around procreation, the most ditficult 
mystery of all. In England, even in the best and most modem colleges. 
in which games and physical exercise are much cultivated, I am fold 
that "the majority of the girls are entirely ignorant of all sexual mat- 
ters, and understand nothing whatever about them. But they do won- 



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8BXUAL EDUCATtOK. 6ff 

der about them, end t«lk about them conatantly" (aee Appendix D, ''The 
Bclkool- Friendships of Girls," in the second volume of these Sludiea). 
"The restricted life and fettered mind of girls," wrote a. well-known 
physician some years ago (J. Milner Fothergill, Adolescence, 1890^ pp. 
20, 22) "leave them with le«a to actively occupy their thoughts than ii 
the case with boys. They are studiously taught concealment, and a girl 
may be a perfect model of outward decorum and yet have a very filthy 
mind. The pnidishueBs with which she is brought up leaves her no 
alternative hut to view her passions from the nasty side of human 
nature. All healthy tliaught on the subject is vigorously repressed. 
Everything is done to darken her mind and foul her imagination by 
throwing her back on her own thoughts and a literature with which she 
is ashamed to own acquaintance. It is opposed to a girl's best interests 
to prevent her from having fair and just conceptions about herself and 
her nature. Many a fair young girl is irredeemably ruined on the very 
threshold of life, herself and her family disgraced, from ignorance as 
much as from vice. When the moment of temptation comes she falls 
without any palpable resistance; she has no trained educated power of 
resisUince within herself; her whole future hangs, not upon herself, but 
upon the perfection of the social safeguards by which she is hedged and 
nrrounded." Under the free social order of America to-day much the 
same results are found. In an instructive article ("Why Girls Go 
Wrong," Ladies' Home Journal, Jan., 1907) B. B. Lindsey, who, as 
Judge of the Juvenile Court of Denver, ia able to speak with authority, 
brings forward ample ei-idence on this head. Both girls and boys, he 
has found, sometimes possess manuscript books in which they had writ- 
ten down the crudest sexual things. These children were often sweet- 
faced, pleasant, refined and intelligent, and they had respectable par- 
ents-, but no one had ever spoken to them of sex matters, except tha 
worst of their school -fellows or some coarse-minded and reckless adult. 
By careful inquiry Lindsey found that only in one in twenty cases had 
the parents ever spoken to the children of sexual subjects. In nearly 
every case the children acknowledged that it was not from their parents, 
but in the street or from older companions, that they learnt the facts of 
sex. The parents usually imagined that their children were absolutely 
ignorant of these matters, and were astonished to realize their mistake; 
"parents do not know their children, nor have they the least idea of 
what their children know, or what their children talk about and do 
when away from them." The parents guilty of this neglect to instruct 
their children, are, Lindsey declares, traitors to their children. From 
his own experience he judges that nine-tenths of the girls who "go 
wrong," whether or not they sink in the world, do so owing to the inat- 
tention of their parents, and that in the case of most prostitutes the 
mischief is really done before the age of twelve; "every wayward girt 



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64 P8TCH0LO0T OF SEX. 

I have t&lked to has assured me of this truth." He conajdere that nloe- 
tentlis of Bchool-boys and Bchool-girls, in town or country, are very 
inquiHJtive regarding matters of sex, and, to liin own araazetaeut, he 
has found that in the girta tliis is as marked as in the boys. 

It IB the businoss of the girl's mother, at least as much as of 
the boy's, to watch over her child from the earliest years and to 
win her confidence in all the intimate and personal matters of 
sex. With these flBpccts the school cannot properly meddle. 
But in matters of physical sexual hygiene, notably menstruation, 
in regard to which all girls stand on the same level, it is certainly 
the duty of the teacher to take an actively watchful part, and, 
moreover, to direct the general work of education accordingly, 
and to ensure that the pupil shall rest whenever that may seem 
to be desirable. This is part of the very olcmenta of the educa- 
tion of girls. To disregard it should disqualify a teacher from 
taking further share in educational work. Yet it is constantly 
and persistently neglected. A large number of girls have not 
even been prepared by their mothers or teachers for the first 
onset of the menstrual flow, sometimes with disastrous results 
both to their bodily and mental health.* 

"I know of no large girl's school," wrote a distinguished gjiMB- 
cologist. Sir W. S. Ployfair ("Education and Training of Girls at 
Puberty," British Medical Journal, Dec. 7, 1895), "in which the abso- 
lute distinction which exists between boys and girls as regards the 
dominant menstrual function is systematically cared for and attended 
to. Indeed, the feeling of all schoolmistresses is distinctly antagonixtic 
to such an admissinn. The contention is that there is no real dilTerenee 
between an adolescent male and female, tbat what is good for one la 
good for the other, and that such as there is is due to the evil customs 
of the past which have denied to women the ambitions and advantages 
open to men, and that this will disappear when a happier era is inaug- 
urated. If this be so, how conies it that while every practical physician 
of experience has seen many cases of antemia and chlorosis in girls, 
accompanied by amenorrhien or menorrhagia, headaches, palpitations, 
emaciation, and all the familiar accompaniments of breakdown, an 
analogous condition in a school-boy is so rare that it may well be 
doubted if it is ever seen at all I" 

1 Girls are not even prepared, in many cases, for the appearance 
of the pubic hair. This unexpected growth of hair frequently causes 
young girls much secret worry, and often they carefully cut it ofif. 



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SEIOAL EDUCATION. 66 

It is, however, only the excuses for this almost criminal negligence, 
«a it oug^t to be conaidered, which are new; the negligence itself is 
ancient. Half a centui}' earlier, before the new era of feminine educa- 
tion, another distinguished gynieco legist. Tilt iEletnenta of Health and 
Principles of Female Hygiene, 1862, p. 18) stated that from a statistical 
inquiry regarding the onset of menstruation in nearly one thousand 
women he found that "25 per cent, were totally unprepared for its 
appearance; that thirteen out of the twenty-Bve were much frightened, 
screamed, or went into hysterical fits; and that six out of the thirteen 
thought themselTee wounded and washed with cold water. Of those 
frightened the genera] health was seriously impaired." 

Engelmann, after stating that his experience in America was 
similar to Tilt's in England, continues ('The Health of the American 
Girl," Transactions of the Southern Surgioaf and Gyntrcologieal Bociety, 
1800): "To innumerable women has fright, nervous and emotional 
excitement, exposure to cold, brought injury at puherty. What more 
natural than that the anxious girl, surprised by the sudden and unex- 
pected loss of the precious life-Suid, should seek to check the bleeding 
wound — as she supposes! For this purpose the use of cold washes and 
applications is conimon, some even seek to stop the flow by a cold bath, 
as was done by a now careful mother, who long lay at the point of death 
from the result of such indiscretion, and but slowly, by years of care, 
regained her health. The terrible warning has not been lost, and mind' 
ful of her own experience she has taught her children a lesson which 
but few are fortunate enough to learn — the individual care during 
periods of functional activity which is needful for the preservation of 
-woman's health." 

In a study of one hundred and twenty-five American high school 
girls Dr. Helen Kennedy refers to the "modesty" which makes it Impos- 
sible even for mothers and daughters to speak to each other concerning 
the menstrual functions. "Thirty-six girls in this high school passed 
into womanhood with no knowledge whatever, from a proper source, of 
all that makes them women. Thirty-nine were probably not much 
wiser, for they stated that they had received some instruction, but had 
not talked freely on the matter- From the fact that the curious girl 
did not talk freely on what naturally interested her, it is possible she 
was put off with a few words as to personal care, and a reprimand for 
her curiosity. Less than half of the girls felt free to talk with their 
mothers of this most important matterl" (Helen Kennedy, "Effects of 
High School Work upon Girls During Adolescence," Pedagogical Semi- 
nary, June. 1806.) 

The qame state of things probably also prevails in other countries. 
Thus, as regards France, Edmond de Goncourt in Chirie (pp. 137-139) 
described the terror of his young heroine at the appearance of the first 



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66 PSYCHOLOGY OF 8EI. 

meiutnial period for which she had never been prepared. He adds: 
"It is very aeldom, indeed, that women speak of thia eventuality. 
Mothers fear to warn their daughters, elder sisters dislike confidences 
with their jiounger sisters, governesses are generallj mute with girls 
who have no mothers or sisters." 

Sometimes this leads to suicide or to ftttempta at suicide. Thus a 
few yea,r» ago the case was reported In the French newspapers of a voung 
girl of fifteen, who threw herself into the Seine at Saint-Ouen. She was 
rescued, and on being brought before the police commissioner said that 
she had been attacked by an "unknown disease" which had driven her 
to despair. Discreet inquiry revealed that the mysterious malady was 
one common to nil women, and the girl was restored to her insufficiently 
punished parents. 

Half a century ago the sexual life of girls waB ignored by 
their parents and teachers from reaeoos of pnidisbQess; at the 
present time, when quite different ideas prevail regarding 
feminine education, tt is ignored on the ground that girls should 
be 88 independent of their physiological sexual life as boys are. 
The fact that this mischievous neglect has prevailed equally 
under such diScrent conditions indicates clearly that the vary- 
ing reasons assigned for it are merely the cloaks of ignorance. 
With the growth of knowledge we may reaBonabiy hope that one 
of the chief evils which at present undermine in early life not 
only healthy motherhood but healthy womanhood generally, may 
be gradually eliminated. The data now being accumulated show 
not only the extreme prevalence of ■ painful, disordered, and 
absent menstruation in adolescent girls and young women, but 
also the great and sometimes permanent evils inflicted upon even 
healthy girls when at the beginning of sexual life they are sub- 
jected to severe strain of any kind. Medical authorities, 
whichever sex they belong to, may now be said to be almost or 
quite unanimous on this point. Some years ago, indeed. Dr. 
Mary Putnam Jacobi, in a very able book, The Question of Rest 
for Women, concluded that "ordinarily healthy" women may 
disregard the menstrual period, but she admitted that forty-six 
per cent, of women are not "ordinarily healthy," and a minority 
which comes so near to being a majority can by no means be 
dismissed as a negligible quantity. Qirls themselves, indeed. 



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BEXUAL EDDCATIOH. 67 

carried away by the ardor of their pursuit of work or amuse- 
ment, are usually recklessly and igoorautly indifferent to the 
serious risks they run. But the opinions of teachers are now 
tending to agree with medical opinion in recognizing the 
importance of care and rest during the years of cdoleEcence, and 
teachers are even prepared to admit that a year's rest from hard 
work during the period that a girl's sexual life is becoming 
established, while it may ensure her health and vigor, is not even 
a disadvantage from the educational point of view. With the 
growth of knowledge and the decay of ancient prejudices, we 
may reasonably hope that women will be emancipated from the 
traditions of a false civilization, which have forced her to regard 
her glory as her shame, — though it has never been so among 
robust primitive peoples, — and it is encouraging to find that so 
distinguished an educator as Principal Stanley Hall looks for- 
ward with confidence to such a time. In his exhaustive work on 
Adolescence he writes: "Instead of shame of this function girls 
should be taught the greatest reverence for it, and should help it 
to normality by regularly stepping aside at stated times for a 
few years till it is well established and normal. To higher beings 
that looked down upon human life as we do upon flowers, these 
would be the most interesting and beautiful hours of blossoming. 
With more self-knowledge women will have more self-respect at 
this time. Savagery reveres this state and it gives to women a 
mystic awe. The time may come when we must even change the 
divisions of the year for women, leaving to man his week and 
giving to her the same number of Sabbaths per year, but in 
groups of four successive days per month. When woman asserts 
her true physiological rights she will begin here, and will glory 
in what, in an age of ignorance, man made her think to be her 
shame. The pathos about the leaders of woman's so-called 
emancipation, is that they, even more than those they would 
persuade, accept man's estimate of this state."* 

1 G. S. Hall, AdoUeoence, vol. i, p. 611. Man; years ago, in 1875, 
the Ut« Dr. Clarke, in his Sex in Eduoalion, advised menstrual rest for 
girls, and thereby aroused a violent opposition which irould certainly 
not be found nowdays, when the special risks of womanhood are becom- 
ing more clearly nnderstood. 



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68 PSYCHOLOGT OF SEX. 

These wise words caimot be too deeply pondered. The 
pathos of the situation has indeed been — at all events in the 
past for to-day a more enlightened generation is growing up — 
that the very leaders of the woman's movement have often 
betrayed the cause of women. They have adopted the ideals of 
men, they have urged women to become second-rate men, they 
have declared that the healthy natural woman disregards the 
presence of her menstrual functions. This is the very reverse 
of the truth. "They claim," remarks Engelmann, "that woman 
in her natural state la the physical equal of man, and constantly 
point to the primitive woman, the female of savage peoples, as 
au example of this supposed axiom. Do they know how well this 
same savage is aware of the weakness of woman and her sus- 
ceptibility at certain periods of her life? And with what care he 
protects her from harm at these periods? I believe not. The 
importance of Burroundiug women with certain precautions 
during the height of these great functional waves of her 
existence was appreciated by all peoples living in an approx- 
imately natural state, by all races at all times; and among their 
comparatively few religious customs this one, affording rest to 
women, was most persistently adhered to." It is among the 
white races alone that the sexual invalidism of women prevails, 
and it is the white races alone, which, outgrowing the religious 
ideas with which the menstrual seclusion of women was asso- 
ciated, have flung away that beneficent seclusion itself, throwing 
away the baby with the bath in an almost literal sense.^ 

In GemiBD]'' Tobler has investigated the menstrual hintoriea of 
over one thouaand women {Monatsachrift fur Oeburlshiilfe uttd Qyna- 
kologie, July, 1&05). He finds that in the great majority o[ women at 



1 For a summary of the ph^siral and menta) phenomena of the 
menstrual period, see Havelook Ellis: Man and Woman, Ch. XI. The 
primitive conception of menstruation is briefly discussed in Appenilii 
A to the first volume of these 8tudieg, and more elaborately by J. G. 
Frazer in The Golden Bough. A large collection of fscta with regard 
to the nienstruai seclusion of women throughout the world will be found 
in Ploas and Bartels, Dan Wcib. Tlie pubertal Bwlusion of girls at 
Torres Straits has been especinDv studied bv Seligmann, Beporta Anthro- 
pological Expedition to I'orres Btraita, vol.' v, Ch. VI. 



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SESCAL EDUCATION. 69 

the preaent day menstruation is aBSociated with dUtinet deterioration of 
th« general health, and diminution of functional energy. In 26 per cent, 
local pain, general malaise, and mental and nervous anomalies coexisted; 
in larger proportion come the casea in whieli local pain, general weak 
health or psychic abnormality was experienced alone at this period. In 
16 per cent, only none of these symptoms were experienced. In a very 
small separate group the physical and mental functions were stronger 
during this period, but in half of these casea there was distinct disturb- 
ance during the intermenstrual period. Tobler concludes that, while 
menatruation itself ia physiological, all these disturbances are patho- 
logical. 

As far as England is concerned, at a discussion of normal and 
painful menatruation at a meeting of the British Association of Regis- 
tered Hedical Women on the 7th of July, 1908, it was stated by Miss 
Bentham that 50 per cent, of girls in good position suffered from pain- 
ful menstruation. Mrs. Dunnett said it usually occurred between the 
ages of twenty-four and thirty, being frequently due to neglect to rest 
during menstruation in the earlier yeara, and Mrs. Grainger Evans had 
found that this condition was very common among elementary achool 
teachers who bad worked hard for examinations during early girlhood. 

In America various investigations have been carried out, showing 
the prevalence of disturbance in the acxual health of school girls and 
young women. Thus Dr. Helen P. Kennedy obtained elaborate data con- 
cerning the menstrual life of one hundred and twenty-five high school 
girls of the average age of eighteen ("Effect of High School Work upon 
Girls Daring Adolescence," Pedagogical Seminary, June, 1898), Only 
twenty-eight felt no pain during the period; half the total number 
experienced disagreeable symptoms before the period (such as headache, 
malaise, irritability of temper), while forty-four complained of other 
symptoms besides pain during the period (especially headache and great 
weakness). Jane Kelley Sabine (quoted in Boston Medical and SurgicUl 
Journal, Sept. 15, 1904) found in New England schools among two thou- 
sand girls that 75 per cent, had menstrual troubles, 80 per cent, had 
leucorrhtEa and ovarian neuralgia, and 80 per cent, had to give up work 
for two days during each month. These results seem more than usually 
unfavorable, but are significant, as they cover a large number of cases. 
The conditions in the Pacific States are not much better. Dr. Mary 
Hitter (in a paper read before the California State Medical Society in 
1003) stated that of 860 Freshmen girls at the University of California, 
67 per cent, were subject to menstrual disorders, 27 per cent, to head- 
aches, 30 per cent, to backaches, 29 per cent, were habitually constipated, 
Ifl per cent, had abnormal heart sounds; only 23 per cent, were free 
from functional disturbances. Dr. Helen MacMurchey, in an interesting 
paper on Thysiological Phenomena Preceding or Accompanying Men- 



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70 P8YCH0L0QT OF SEX. 

etruation" {Lancet, Oct. 5, IBOl), hj inquiriei among one hundred 
medical women, nurses, and ivomen teachera in Toronto concerning the 
presence or absence of twenty-one different abnormal menstrual phe- 
nomena, found that between 60 and 00 per cent, admitted that they 
were liable at this time to disturbed sleep, to headache, to mental 
depression, to digestive disturbance, or to disturbnnc« of the special 
senses, while about 25 to 60 per cent, were liable to neuralgia, to vertigo, 
to excessive nervous energy, to defective ner\'oiis and muscular power, 
to cutoneouB hypemstlienia, to vasomotor disturbances, to constipation, 
to diarrhtea, to Increased urination, to cutaneous eruption, to increased 
liability to take cold, or to irritating watery discharges before or after 
the menstrual discharge. This inquiry Is of much interest, because it 
clearly brings out the marked prevalence at menstruation of conditions 
which, though not necessarily of any gravity, yet definitely indicate 
decreased power of resistance to morbid influences and diminished 
efficiency for work. 

How serious an impediment menstrual troubles are to a woman is 
indicated by the fact that the women who achieve success and fame 
seem seldom to be greatly afl^ected by them. To that we may, in part, 
attribute the frequency with which leaders of the women's movement 
have treated menstruation as a thing of no importance In a woman's 
life. Adele Gerhard, and Helene Simon, also, in their valuable and 
impartial work, MutteracbafI and Qeiitige Arbtit (p. 312), failed to 
find, in their inquiries among women of distinguished ability, that men- 
struation was regarded as seriously disturbing to work. 

Of late the suggestion that adolescent girls shall not only rest from 
work during two days of the menstrual period, but have an entire holi- 
day from school during the first year of sexual life, has frequently been 
put forward, both from the medical and the educational side. At the 
meeting of the Association of Registered Medical Women, already 
referred to. Miss Sturge spoke of the good results obtained in a school 
where, during the first two years after puberty, the girls were kept in 
bed for the first two days of each menstrual period. Some years ago 
Dr. G. W. Cook ("Some Disorders of Menstruation," .American Journal 
of Obstetrics, April, 1896), after giving cases in point, wrote: "It is 
my deliberate conviction that no girl should be confined at study during 
tlie year of her puberty, but she should live an outdoor life." In an 
article on "Alumna's Children," by "An Alumna" (Popular Scirnce 
Monthly. May, ISO'l), dealing with the sexual invalidism of American 
women and the severe strain of motherhood upon them, the author, 
though she is by no means hostile to education, which is not, she 
declares, at fault, pleads for rest for the pubertal girl. "If the brain 
claims her whole vitality, how can there be any proper development! 
Just as very young children should give all their strength for some years 



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SEXUAL EDUCATION, / 1 

solely to physical growth before tbe brain is allowed to make any con- 
siderable demands, bo at tbis critical period in the life of the woman 
nothing should obstruct tbe right of way of this important system. A 
year at tiie least should be made especially easy for her, witb neither 
mentsl nor nervous strain; and throughout the rest of her school days 
sbe should have her periodical day of rest, tree from any study or over- 
exertion." In another article on the same subject in the same journal 
("The Health of American Girls," Sept., 1907), Nellie Comins WhiUker 
advocates a similar course. "I am coming to be convinced, somewhat 
against my wiah, that there are many eases when the girl ought to be 
taken ont of school entirety for some months or for a year at the period 
of puhertij." She adds that the chief obstacle in the way Is the girl's 
own likes and dislikes, and the ignorance of her mother who has been 
accustomed to think that pain is a woman's natural lot. 

Such a period of rest from mental strain, while it would fortify 
the organism in its resistance to any reasonable strain later, need by no 
means be lost for education in the wider sense of the word, for the edu- 
cation required in classrooms is but a small part of the education 
required for life. Nor should it by any means be reserved merely for 
tbe sickly and delicate girl. Tbe tragic part of the present neglect to 
give girls a really sound and Btting education is that the best and finest 
girls are thereby so often ruined. Even the English policeman, who 
admittedly belongs in physical vigor and nervous balance to the flower 
of the population, is unable to bear tlie strain of bis life, and is said 
to be worn out in twenty-Sve years. It is equally foolish to submit the 
finest flowers of girlhood to a strain which is admittedly too severe. 

It Beems to be clear that the main factor in the common 
pexual and general invalidiam of girls and young women is bad 
hygiene, in the first place consisting in neglect of the menstrual 
functions and in the second place in faulty habits generally. 
In all the more eesential matters that concern the hygiene of 
the body the traditions of girls — and this seems to be more 
especially the case in the Anglo-Saxon countries — are inferior 
to those of youths. Women are much more inclined than men 
to subordinate these things to what seems to them some more 
urgent interest or fancy of the moment ; they are trained to wear 
awkward and constricting garments, they are indifferent to 
regular and substantial meals, preferring innutritious and 
indigestible foods and drinks; they are apt to disregard the 
demands of the bowels and the bladder out of laziness or 



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72 PBYCHOLOOT OF SEX. 

modesty; they are even indifferent to physical cleanlineeB.^ In 
a great number of minor ways, which separately may seem to be 
of little importance, they play into the hands of an environment 
which, not always having been adequately adjusted to their 
special needs, would exert a considerable stress and strain even if 
they carefully sought to guard themselves against it. It has 
been found in an American Women's College in which about half 
the scholars wore corsets and half not, that nearly all the honors 
and prizes went to the non-coraet-wearers. McBride, in bringing 
forward this fact, pertinently remarks, "If the wearing of a 
single style of dress will make this difference in the lives of 
young women, and tliat, too, in their most vigorous and resistive 
period, how much difference will a score of unhealthy habits 
make, if persisted in for a life-time?^ 

"It seems evident," A. E. Giles concludes ("Some Points of Pre- 
ventive Treatment in the Diseases of Women," Tke Eospital, April 10, 
1897) "that dysmeDorrhtea might be to a large extent prevented hy 
Attention to general health and education. Short hours of work, espe- 



1 Thus Uias Lura Sanborn, Director of Physical Training at the 
Chicago Normal School, found that a bath once a fortnixbt was not 
unusual. At the menstrual period eepeciallj there is still a supersti- 
tious dread of wat«r. Girls sbould always be tau^t that at this period, 
above all, cleanliness is imperatively necessary. There should be a tepid 
hip bath night and momir^, and a vaginal douche (which should never 
be cold) is always advantageous, both tor comfort as well as clean- 
liness. There is not the slightest reason to dread water during men- 
struation. This point was discussed a few years ago in the British 
Medical JouTruil with complete unanimity of opinion. A distinguished 
American obstetrician, also, Dr. J. Clifton Edgar, after a careful study 
of opinion and practice in this matter ("Bathing During the Menstrual 
Period," American Journal Obstetrics, Sept., IBOO), concludes that it is 
possible and beneficial to take cold baths (though not sea-baths) during 
the period, provided due precautions are observed, and that there are no 
sudden changes of habits. Such a course should not be indiscriminately 
adopted, but there can be no doubt that in sturdy peasant women who 
are inured to it early in life even prolonged immersion in the sea In 
fishing has no evil results, and is even Ijeneflcial. Houzel (Annalet d« 
Oj/nfcologie, Dec., 1S94) has published statistics of the menstrual life 
of 123 Ssherwomen on the French coast. They were accustomed to 
shrimp for hours at a time in tfae sea, often to above the waist, and 
then walk about in their wet clothes selling the shrimps. They all 
insisted that their menstruation was easier when they were actively at 
work. Their periods are notably regular, and their fertility is hi^. 



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BEXCAL EDrCATION, 73 

ciallj of atandiag; plenty of outdoor exercise — tennis, boating, cycling, 
gymnBsticB, and walking for those who cannot afford these; regularity 
of meals and food of the proper quality — not the incessant tea and bread 
and butter 'with variation of pastry; the avoidance of overexertion and 
prolonged fatigue; these are some of the principal things which require 
attentioa. Let prU pursue their study, but more leisurely; they will 
arrive at the same goal, but a little later." The benefit of allowing 
free movement and exercise lt> the whole body ii undoubtedly very great, 
both as regards the sexual and general physical health and the mental 
balance; in order to insure this it is necessary to avoid heavy and con- 
stricting garments, more especially around the chest, for it is in respira- 
tory power and chest expansion more than in any other respect that 
girls fall behind boys (see, e.g., Havelork Ellis, Man and Woman, Ch. 
IX). In old days the great obstacle to the free exercise of girls lay in 
an ideal of feminine behavior which involved a prim restraint on every 
natural movement of the body. At the present day that ideal is not eo 
fervently preathed as of old, but its traditional influence still to some 
extent persists, while there is the further difficulty that adequate time 
and opportuni^ and encouragement are by no means generally afforded 
to girls for the cultivation and training of the romping instincts which 
are really a serious part of education, for it is by such free exercise of 
the whole body that the neuro- muscular system, the basis of all vital 
•ctivitf, is built up. The neglect of such education is to-day clearly 
visible in the structure of our women. Dr. F. May Dickinson Berry, 
Medical Examiner to the Technical Education Board of the London 
Count? Council, found (BTttiah Medical Journal, May 28, IEK)4) among 
over 1,500 girls, who represent the flower of the schools, since they had 
obtained scholarships enabling them to proceed to higher grade schools, 
that 22 per cent, presented some degree, not always pronounced, of 
lateral curvature of the spine, though such cases were very rare among 
the boys. In the same way among a very similar class of select girts 
at the Chicago Normal School, Miss Lura Sanborn (Doctors' Magasine, 
Dec., 1900) found 17 per cent. wiUi spinal curvature, in some cases of 
a very pronounced degree. There is no reason why a girl should not 
have as straight a back as a boy, and the cause can only lie in the 
defective muscular development which was found in most of the cases, 
sometimes accompanied by anemia. Here and there nowadays, among 
the better social classes, there is ample provision for the development of 
muscular power in girls, but in any generalized way there is no adequate 
opportunity for such exercise, and among the working class, above 
all. in the section of it which touches the lower middle class, although 
their lives are destined to be filled with a constant strain on the neuro- 
muscular system from work at home or in shops, etc.. there is usually 
a of healthy exercise and physical development. Dr. W. A. 



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74 PSTCHOLOQT OF BEX. 

B. Sallman, of Baltimore ("Cau^^ of Painful Menatnuttlon In Unmar- 
ried Women," American Journal Obstelrics. Nov., 1S07), emphasizes tho 
admirable reaulU obtained bj* moderate phjaical exercise for young 
womeD, and in training them to care for their bodies and to rest their 
nervous systemB, while Dr. Charlotte Brown, of San Francisco, rightly in- 
fiints on the establiahment in all tonus and villages alike of outdoor gym- 
nastic fields for women and girls, and of a building, in connection with 
every large school, for training in physical, manual, and domestic 
science. The provision of special playgrounds is necessary where the 
exereising of girls is so unfamiliar as to cause an embarraBBJng amount 
of attention from the opposite sex, though when it is an immemorial 
custom it can be carried out on the village green without attracting the 
slightest attention, as I have seen in Spain, where one Cannot fail to 
connect it with the physical vigor uf the women. In boys' schools games 
are not only encouraged, but made compulsory; but this is by no means 
a universal rule in girls' schools. It is not necessary, and is indeed 
highly undesirable, that the games adopted should be titogo of boys. In 
England especially, where the movements of women are so often marked 
by awkwardness, angularity and lack of grace, it is essential that noth- 
ing should be done to emphasize these characteristics, for where vigor 
involves violence we are in the presence of a lack of due neuromuscular 
coCrdinatiou. Swimming, when possible, and especially some forms of 
dancing, are admirably adapted to develop the bodily movements of 
women both vigorously and harmoniously (see, e.g., Havelock Ellis, Man 
and Woman, Ch. VII ) . At the International Congress of School 
Hygiene in 1907 (see, e.g., British Medical Journal, Aug. 24, 1907) Dr. 
L. H. Gulick, formerly Director of Physical Training in the Public 
Schools of New York City, stated that after many experiments it bad 
l-en found in the New York elementary and high schools that folk-danc- 
ing constituted the very best exercise for girls, "Tlie dances selected 
involved many contractions of the large muscular masses of the body and 
had therefore a great effect on respiration, circulation and nutrition- 
Such movements, moreover, when done aa dances, could be carried on 
three or four times as long without producing fatigue as formal gym- 
nastics. Many folk-dances were imitative, sowing and reaping dance, 
dances expressing trade movements (the shoemaker's dance), others 
illustrating attack and defense, or the pursuit of game. Such neuro- 
muscular movements were racially old and fitted in with man's expres- 
sive life, and if it were accepted that the folk-dances really expressed 
an epitome of man's neuromuscular history, as distinguished from 
mere permutation of movements, the folk-dance combinations should be 
preferred on these biological grounds to the unselected, or even ths 
physiologically selected. From the Ksthetic point of view the sense of 
beauty as shown in dancing was far commoner than the power to sing, 
paint or model." 



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SEXUAL £l>nCATIO\. 76 

It must always be remembered that in realizing the especial 
demands of woman's nature, we do not commit ourselves to the 
belief that higher education is unfitted for a woman. That 
question may now be regarded as settled. There is therefore no 
longer any need for the feverish ansiety of the early leadere of 
feminine education to prove that girla can be educated exactly a& 
if they were boys, and yield at least as good educational results. 
At the present time, indeed, that anxiety is not only unnecessary 
but mischievous. It is now more necessary to show that women 
have special needs just as men have special needs, and that it is as 
bad for women, and therefore, for the world, to force them to 
accept the special laws and limitations of men as it would be bad 
for men, and therefore, for the world, to force men to accept the 
special laws and limitations of women. Each sex must seek to 
reach the goal by following the laws of its own nature, even 
although it remains desirable that, both in the school and in the 
world, they should work so far as possible side by side. The great 
fact to be remembered always is that, not only are women, in 
physical size and physical texture, slighter and finer than men, 
but that to an extent altogether unknown among men, their 
centre of gravity is apt to be deflected by the series of rhythmic 
eexnal curves on which they are always living. They are thus 
more delicately poised and any kind of stress or strain — cerebral, 
nervous, or muscular — is more likely to produce serious disturb- 
ance and requires an accurate adjustment to their special needs. 

The fact that it 19 Htress and strain in general, and not necesHarily 
edncational studies, that are injurious to adolescent women, is suffi- 
ciently proved, if proof is necessary, by the fact that sexual arrest, and 
physical or nervous breakdown, occur with extreme frequency in gii\a 
who work in shops or mills, even in girls who have never been to school 
at all. Even excesses in athletics — which now not infrequently occur as 
a reaction against woman's indifference to physical exercise — are bad. 
Cycling is i>eneficial for women who can ride without pain or discom- 
fort, and, according to Watkins, it is even beneficial in many diseased 
and disordered pelvic conditions, hut excessive cycling is evil in its 
results on women, more especially by inducing rigidity of the perineum 
to *a extent which may even prevent chil^irth and necessitate opera- 
tion. I may add that the same objection applies to much borse-rid- 



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76 PSTCHOLOGT OF SEX, 

ing. In tbe Bame wkj everTthiug which causes shocks to the boii^ 
is apt to be dangerous to women, since in the womb they possess 
a delicately poised organ which varies in weight at different times, and 
it would, for instaoce, be impossible to commend football as a game for 
girls. "I do not believe," wrote Miss H. Ballaotine, Director of Vassar 
College Gymnasium, to Prof. W. Thomas (Sea and Society, p. 22) 
"women can ever, no matter what tbe training, approach men in their 
physical achievements; and," she wisely adds, "I see no reason why 
they should." There seem, indeed, as has already been indicated, to ba 
reasons why they should not, especially if tbey look forward to becom- 
ing mothers. I have noticed that women who have lived a very robust 
and athletic outdoor life, so far from always having the easy confine- 
ments which we might anticipate, sometimes have very seriously difficult 
times, imperilling the life of the child. On making this observation to 
a distinguished obstetrician, the late Dr. Engelmann, who was an ardent 
advocate of physical exercise for women (in e.g. his presidential address, 
"The Health of the American Girl," TransactUma Bouthem Surgical and 
Oyn(Fct>togical Attociation, 1890), he replied that he had himself made 
the same observation, and that instructors in physical training, both in 
America and England, bad also told him of such cases among their 
pupils. "I hold," he wrote, "precisely the opinion yon express [as to 
tbe unfavorable inllueuee of muscular development in women], jlfh- 
letica, i.e., overdone physical training, causes the girl's system to 
approximate to tbe masculine; this is so whether due to sport or 
necessity. The woman who indulges in it approximates to the male in 
her attributes; this is marked in diminished sexual intensity, and in 
increased difficulty of childbirth, with, in time, lessened fecundity. 
Healthy habits improve, but masculine muscular development diminiehea, 
womanly qualities, althou|^ it ia true that the peasant and tbe laboring 
woman have easy labor. I have never advocated muscular development 
for girls, only physical training, but have perhaps said too much for it 
and pmieed it too unguardedly. In schools and colleges, so far, how- 
ever, it is insiifncient rather than too much; only the wealthy have too 
much golf and athletic sports. I am collecting new material, but from 
what I already have seen I am impressed with the truth of what you 
say. 1 am studying the point, and shall elaborate the explanation." 
Any publication on this subject was, however, prevented by Engelmann's 
death a tew years later. 

A proper recognition of the special nature of woman, of her 
peculiar needs and her dignity, has a significance beyond its 
importance in education and hygiene. The traditions and train- 
ing to which ahe is subjected in this matter have a subtle and 



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SEZrAL EDUCATION. 77 

far-reaching Bignlficance, accordiog as they are good or evil. If 
ahe is taught, implicitly or explicitly, contempt for the character- 
istics of her own sex, she naturally develops masculine ideals 
which may permanently discolor her vision of life and distort her 
practical activities ; it has been found that as many ae fifty per 
cent, of American school girls have masculine ideals, while fifteen 
per cent, American and no fewer than thirty-four per cent. 
English school girls wished to be men, though scarcely any boys 
wished to be women.' With the same tendency may be con- 
nected that neglect to cultivate the emotions, which, by a 
mischievously extravagant but inevitable reaction from the 
opposite extreme, has sometimes marked the modem training of 
women. In the finely developed woman, intelligence is inter- 
penetrated with emotion. If there is an exaggerated and 
isolated culture of intelligence a tendency shows itself to dis- 
harmony which breaks up the character or impairs its complete- 
ness. In this connection Reibmayr has remarked that the 
American woman may serve. as a warning.^ Within the emo- 
tional sphere itself, it may be added, there is a tendency to 
disharmony in women owing to the contradictory nature of the 
feelings which are traditionally impressed upon her, a contra- 
diction which dates back indeed to the identification of sacred- 
nesB and impurity at the dawn of civilization. "Every girl and 
woman," wrote Hellmann, in a pioneering book which pushed a 
sound principle to eccentric extremes, "is taught to regard her 
sexual parts as a precious and sacred spot, only to be approached 
by a husband or in special circumstances a doctor. She is, at 
the same time, taught to regard this spot as a kind of water-closet 
which she ought to be extremely ashamed to posaesa, and the mere 
mention of which should cause a painful blush."* The average 

1 W. G. Cbambers, "The Evolution of Ideals," Pedagogical Semi- 
nary, March, 1903; Catherine Dodd, "School Children's Ideals," Ya- 
tional Sevictc, Feb. and Dec., 1900, and June, 1901. No German girU 
acknowledged a wish to he men; they said it would be wicked. Among 
Flemiah girls, however, Varendonck found at Ghent (Archives de Pay 
ehologie, Julj-, 1908) that 26 per cent, had men as their ideals. 

a A. Reibmayr, Die Enticicl-lungsgcschichte deit Talentea und Oeniea, 
190S, Bd. i, p. 70. 

<R, Hellmann, TJeber Ovtchlechlsfreiheit, p. 14. 



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78 PSYCHOLOGY OP SEX. 

untbintdng woman accepts the incongruity of this opposition 
without question, and grows accustomed to adapt herself to each 
of the incompatibles accordiDg to circumstances. The more 
thoughtful woman works out a private theory of her own. But 
in very many cases this mischievous opposition exerts a subtly 
perverting influence on the whole outlook towards Nature and 
life. In a few cases, also, in women of sensitive temperament, it 
even undermines and ruins the psychic personality. 

ThuB Boris Sidis has recorded a case illustrating the disastrous 
results of inculcating on a morbidly sensitive girl the doctrine of the 
impurity of women. She was educated in a convent. "While there she 
was impressed with the belief that woman is a vesael of vice and 
impurity. This seemed to have been imbued in her bj one of the nuns 
who was very holy and practiced self-mortification. With the onset of 
her periods, and with the observation of the same In the other girls, 
this doctrine of female impurity was all the stronger impressed on her 
sensitive mind." It lapsed, however, from conscious memory and only 
came to the foreground in subsequent years with the exhaustion and 
fatigue of prolonged office work. Then she married. Now "she has an 
extreme abhorrence of women. Woman, to the patient, is impurity, 
filth, the very incarnation of degradation and vice. The bouse wash 
must not be given to a laundry where women work. Nothing must be 
picked up in the street, not even the most valuable object, perchance 
it might have been dropped by a woman" (Boris Sidis, "Studies in 
Psychopathology," Boston Uedical and Kvrghal Journal. April 4, IflOT}. 
That is the logical outcome of much of the traditional teaching which 
is given to girls. Fortunately, the healthy raind offers a natural resist- 
ance to its complete acceptation, yet it usually, in some degree, persists 
and exerts a mischievous influence. 

It is, however, not only in her relations to herself and to 
her sex that a girl's thoughts and feelings tend to be distorted 
by the ignorance or the false traditions by which she is so often 
carefully surrounded. Her happiness in marriage, her whole 
future career, is put in peril. The innocent young woman must 
always risk much in entering the door of indissoluble marriage ; 
she knows nothing truly of her husband, she knows nothing of the 
great laws of love, Rhe knows nothing of her own possibilities, and, 
worse still, she is even ignorant of her ignorance. She runs the 
risk of losing the game while she is still only beginning to leam 



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SEXUAL mHJCATION. 79 

it. To Bome extent that ie quite ioevitable if we are to insbt that 
a woman should bind herself to marry a man before she has 
experienced the nature of the forces that marriage may unloose in 
her. A young girl believes she poseeBseB a certain character; she 
arranges her future in accordance with that character; she 
marriee. Then, in a considerable proportion of cases (five out of 
six, according to the novelist Bourget), within a year or even a 
week, flhe finds she was completely mistaken in herself and in the 
man she has married; she discovers within her another self, and 
that self detests the man to whom she is bound. That is a 
possible fate against which only the "woman who has already been 
aroused to love is entitled to regard herself as fairly protected. 

There is, however, a certain kind of protection which it is 
possible to afford the bride, even without departing from our 
most conventional conceptions of marriage. We can at least 
insist that she shall be accurately informed as to the exact 
nature of her physical relations to her future husband and be 
safeguarded from the shocks or the disillusions which marriage 
might otlierwjae bring. Notwithstanding the decay of preju- 
dices, it is probable that even to-day the majority of women 
of the so-called educated class marry with only the vaguest and 
most inaccurate notions, picked up more or less clandestinely, 
concerning the nature of the sexual relationships. So highly 
intelligent a woman as Madame Adam has stated that she 
believed herself bound to marry a man who had kissed her on 
the mouth, imagining that to be the supreme act of sexual tmion,' 
and it has frequently hajipened that women have married 
sexually inverted persons of their own sex, not always knowingly, 
but believing them to be men, and never discovering their 
mistake; it is not long indeed since in America three women were 
thus successively married to the same woman, none of them 
apparently ever finding out the real sex of the "husband." "The 
civilized giri," as Edward Carpenter remarks, "is led to the 



I This belief seems frequent among jouag girls in Continental 
Europe. It forms the subject of one of Marcel Prevoat's Letlrea de 
Femmes. In Austria, according to Freud, it ia not uneommon, exclu- 
sirel^ among girla. 



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so PSYCHOLOQY OF SEX. 

'altar* often in uttermost ignorance and miBunderstanding of the 
sacrificial ritea about to be consummated." Certainly more 
rapes have been effected in marriage than outside it.^ The girl 
is full of vague and romantic faith in the promises of love, often 
heighteued by the ecstasies depicted in sentimental novels from 
■which every touch of wholesome reality has been carefully 
omitted. "All the candor of faith is there," as Senancour puts 
it in his book De I'Aviour, "the desires of inesperience, the needs 
of a new life, the hopes of an upright heart. She has all the 
faculties of love, she must love; she has all the means of 
pleasure, she must be loved. Everj-tliing expresses love and 
demands love : this hand formed for sweet caresses, an eye whose 
resources are unknown if it must not say that it consents to be 
loved, a bosom which is motionless and useless without love, and 
will fade without having been worshipped; these feelings that 
are so vast, so tender, so voluptuous, the ambition of the heart, 
the heroism of passion ! She needs must follow the delicious 
rule which the law of the world has dictated. That intoxicating 
part, which she knows so well, which everything recalls, which the 
day inspires and the night commands, what young, sensitive, 
loving woman can imagine that she shall not play it?" But 
when the actual drama of love begins to unroll before her, and she 
realizes the true nature of the "intoxicating part" she has to play, 
then, it has often happened, the case is altered ; she finds herself 
altogether unprepared, and is overcome with terror and alarm. 
All the felicity of her married life may then hang on a few 
chances, her husband's skill and consideration, her own presence 
of mind. Hirschfeld records the case of an innocent young girl 
of seventeen — in this case, it eventually proved, an invert — who 
was persuaded to marry but on discovering what marriage meant 
energetically resisted her husband's sexual approaches. He 

1 Yet, according to Engliih law, rape is a crime which it ia impoa- 
Bible lot a. husband to commit on hi* ivife (see, e.g., Nevill Geary, The 
Law of Marriage, Cli. XV, Sect. V). The performance of the marriage 
ceremony, however, even it it necessarily involved a clear explanation of 
marital privilegi^s, cannot be regarded as adequate JQstillcation for an 
act of sexual intercourse performed with violence or without the wife's 
consent. 



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SEXUAL EDUCATION. 81 

appealed to her mother to explain to her daughter the nature of 
"wifely duties." But the young wife replied to her mother's 
eipostulations, "If that ie my wifely duty then it was your 
parental duty to have told me beforehand, for, if I had known, I 
should never have married." The husband in this case, much in 
love with his wife, sought for eight years to over-persuade her, 
but In Tain, and a separation finally took place.^ That, no 
doubt, is an extreme case, but how many innocent young inverted 
girls never realize their true nature until after marriage, and 
how many perfectly normal girls are so shocked by the too 
sudden initiation of marriage that their beautiful early dreams of 
love never develop slowly and wholesomely into the acceptance 
of its still more beautiful realities? 

Before the age of puberty it would seem that the sexual 
initiation of the child — apart from such scientific information as 
would form part of school courses in botany and zoology— should 
be the exclusive privilege of the mother, or whomever it may be to 
whom the mother's duties are delegated. At puberty more 
authoritative and precise advice is desirable thau the mother may 
be able or willing to give. It is at this age that she should put 
into her son's or daughter's hands some one or other of the very 
numerous manuals to which reference has already been made 
(page 53), expounding the physical and moral aspects of the 
sexual life and the principles of sexual hygiene. The boy or 
girl is already, we may take it, acquainted with the facts of 
motherhood, and the origin of babies, as well as, more or less 
precisely, with the father's part in their procreation. Whatever 
manual is now placed in his or her hands should at least deal 



1 Hirachfeld, Jahrbwh fiir Stavelle ZtoUchenstufen, 1903, p. 88. 
It may be added that a horror of coitus is not necesBarilj due to Iwd 
education, and may aleo occur in hereditarily degenerate women, whose 
anc««tor3 have shown similar or allied mentat peculiarities. A case of 
such "functional impotence" lias been reported in a young Italian wife 
of twenty-one, who was otherwise healthy, and strongly attached to her 
hutband. The marriage was annulled on the ground that "rudimentary 
sexual or emotional paranoia, which renders a wife inrineiblj refractory 
to Hiual union, notwithstanding the integrity of the sexual organs, cod- 
stitutes psychic functional impotence" lArcMvio di Psiohiatria. 1606. 
fasc Ti, p. 806) . 



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O'i PSTCHOLOOT OP SEX. 

summaTily, but definitely, with the sexual relationship, and 
should also comment, wamingly but in no alarmist spirit, with 
the chief auto-erotie phenomena, and by no means exclusively 
with masturbation. Nothing but good can come of the use of 
such a manual, if It has been wisely selected; it will supplant 
what the mother has already done, what the teacher may still be 
doing, and what later may be done by private interview with a 
doctor. It has indeed been argued that the boy or girl to whom 
such literature is presented will merely make it an opportunity 
for morbid revelry and sensual enjoyment. It can well be 
believed that this may sometimes happen with boys or girls from 
whom all sexual facts have always been mysteriously veiled, and 
that when at last they find the opportunity of gratifying their 
long-repressed and perfectly natural curiosity they are overcome 
by the excitement of the event. It could not happen to children 
who have been naturally and wholesomely brought up. At a 
later age, during adolescence, there is doubtless great advantage 
in the plan, now frequently adopted, especially in Germany, of 
giving lectures, addresses, or quiet talks to young people of each 
sex separately. The speaker is usually a specially selected 
teacher, a doctor or other qualified person who may be brought 
in for this special purpose. 

Stanle; Hall, after reniBrking that seituat education should be 
chiefly from fathers to sons and from mothers to dau^t«r9, adds: "It 
may be that in the future this kind of initiation will again heroine an 
art, and experts will tell us with more confidence how to do our duty 
to the manifold exigencies, types and stBgen of youth, and instead of 
feeling baffled and defeated, we shall see that this age and theme is the 
supreme opening for the highest pedagogy to do its best and most trans- 
forming work, as well as being the greatest of all opportunities for the 
teacher of religion" (Stanley Hall, Adolescence, vol. i, p. 489). "At 
Williams College, Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Clark," the snme distin- 
guished teacher observes {ib., p. 4S5). "I have made it a duty in my 
departmental teaching to speak verj' briefly, but plainly to young men 
under my instruction, personally if I deemed it wise, and often, though 
here only in general terras, before student bodies, and I believe I ha\e 
nowhere done more good, but it is a painful duty. It requires tact and 
some degree of hard and strenuous common sense rather than technical 
knowledge." 



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SEXUAL EDUCATION, 08 

It ia scarcely necesaary to say that the ordinary t«acber of either 
aex ie quite incompetent to speak of sexual hygiene. It ia a tasli: to 
which all, or some, teachers must be trained. A beginning in tbia 
direction bas been made in Germany by the delivery to teacbera of 
courses of lectures on sexual hygiene in education. In Prussia the first 
attempt was made in Breilau when the central school authorities 
requested Dr. Martin Chotzen to deliver such a course to one hundred 
and fifty teachers who took the greatest interest in the lectures, which 
covered the anatomy of the sexual organs, the development of the sexual 
instinct, its chief perversions, venereal diseases, and the importance' of 
the cultivation of self-control. In Geickleckt und Oeaellschafi (Bd. i. 
Heft 7) Dr. Fritz Reuther gives the substance of lectures which be has 
delivered to a class of young teachers; they cover much the same ground 



There ie no evidence that in England the Minister of Education 
has yet taken any steps to insure tlie delivery of lectures on sexua) 
hygiene to the pupils who are aliout to leave school. In Prussia, how- 
ever, the Ministry of Education bas taken an active interest in this 
matter, and such lectures are beginning to be commonly delivered, though 
attendance at them is not usually obligatory. Some years ago (In 
1000), when it was proposed to deliver a series of lectures on sexual 
hygiene to the advanced pupils in Berlin schools, under the auspices of 
a society for the improvement of morals, the muncipal authorities with- 
drew their permission to use the classrooms, on the ground that "such 
lectures would be extremely dangerous to the moral sense of an audience 
of the young," Tlie same objection has been made by municipal officials 
in France. In Germany, at all events, however, opinion is rapidly grow- 
ing more enlightened. In England little or no progress has yet been 
made, but in America steps are being taken in this direction, as by the 
Chicago Society for Social Hygiene. It must, indeed, be said that those 
who oppose the sexual enlightenment of youth in large cities are directly 
allying themselves, whether or not they know it, with the influences that 
make for vice and immorality. 

Such lectures are also given to girls on leaving school, not only girls 
of the well-to-do, but also those of the poor class, who need them fully as 
much, and in some respects more. Thus Dr. A. Heidenhain has pub- 
lished a lecture iBexvelle Belehrung der aut den Volkaachule entlassenen 
iladchen, 1907), accompanied by anatomical tables, which he bas deliv- 
ered to girls about to leave school, and which is intended to be put into 
their hands at this time. Salvat, in a Lyons thesis {La Depopulation 
de la France, 100.1], insists that (he hygiene of pregnancy and the care 
cf infants should form part of the subject of such lectures. These sub- 
jects might Well be left, however, to a somewhat later period. 



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84 PSYCHOLOGY OF 8ES. 

Something is clearly needed beyond lectures on these 
matters. It should be the business of the parents or other 
guardians of every adolescent youth and girl to arrange that, 
once at least at this period of life, there should be a private, 
personal interview with a medical man to afford an opportunity 
for a friendly and confidential talk concerning the main points 
of sexual hygiene. The family doctor would be the best for this 
duty because he would be familiar with the personal temperament 
of the youth and the family tendencies,! Jq the case of girls a 
woman doctor would often be preferred. Sex is properly a 
mystery ; and to the unspoilt youth, it is instinctively so ; except 
in an abstract and teclmical form it cannot properly form the 
subject of lectures. In a private and individualized conversation 
between the novice in life and the espert, it is possible to say 
many necessary things that could not be said in public, and it is 
possible, moreover, for the youth to ask questions which shyness 
and reserve make it impoaeible to put to parents, while the con- 
venient opportunity of putting them naturally to the expert 
otherwise seldom or never occurs. Most youtha have their own 
special ignorances, their own special difficulties, difficulties and 
ignorances that could sometimes be resolved by a word. Yet it 
by no means infrequently happens that they carry them far on 
into adult life because they have lacked the opportunity, or the 
skill and assurance to create the opportunity, of obtaining 
enlightenment. 

It must be clearly understood that these talks are of medical, 
hygienic, and physiological character; they are not to be used 
for retailing moral platitudes. To make them that would be a 
fatal mistake. The young are often very hostile to merely con- 
ventional moral maxims, and suspect their hollowness, noi 
always without reason. The end to be aimed at here is enlighten- 



1 The reaBonableneas of this step ii so obvious that it should 
scarcely nepd insistpnce. "The instruction of school-boys and school- 
girls is most adequately effected by an elderly doctor," Nilcke remarks, 
"sometimes perhapn the school -doctor." "I strongly advocate," says 
Ciouston (The Hygiene of Mind, p. 249), "that the family doctor, guided 
by the parent and the teacher, is by far the best instructor and monitor." 
Moll is of the same opinion. 



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BEXUAL EDUCATION. 85 

ment. Certainly knowledge can never be immoral, but nothing is 
gained by jumbling up knowledge and morality together. 

In emphasizing the nature of the physician's task in this 
matter as purely and simply that of wise practical enlightenment, 
nothing is implied against the advantages, and indeed the 
immense value in sexual hygiene, of the moral, religious, ideal 
elements of life. It is not the primary busiBcss of the physician 
to inspire these, but they have a very intimate relation with the 
eexual life, and every boy and girl at puberty, and never before 
puberty, should be granted the privilege — and not the duty or 
the task — of initiation into those elements of the world's life 
which are, at the same time, natural functions of the adolescent 
soul. Here, however, is the sphere of the religious or ethical 
teacher. At puberty he has his great opportunity, the greatest 
he can ever obtain. The flower of sex that blossoms in the body 
at puberty has its spiritual counterpart which at the same 
moment blossoms in the soul. The churches from of old have 
recognized the religious significanoe of this moment, for it is this 
period of life that they have appointed as the time of conEnn- 
ation and similar rites. With the progress of the ages, it is true, 
snch rites become merely formal and apparently meaningless 
fossils. But they have a meaning nevertheless, and are capable 
of being again vitalized. Nor in their spirit and essence should 
they be confined to those who accept supematurally revealed 
religion. They concern all ethical teachers, who must realize 
that it is at puberty that they are called upon to inspire or to 
fortify the great ideal aspirations which at this period tend 
spontaneously to arise in the youth's or maiden's soul.^ 

The age of puberty, I have said, marks the period at which 
this new kind of sexual initiation is called for. Before puberty, 
although the psychic emotion of love frequently develops, as well 
as sometimes physical sexual emotions that are mostly vague 
and diffused, definite and localized sexual sensations are rare. 
For the normal boy or girl love is usually an unspecialized 
emotion ; it is in Guyau's words "a state in which the body has 
"Religion and the 



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86 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

but tlie smallest place." At the first rising of the aim of sex the 
boy or girl sees, as Blake said he saw at sunrise, not a round 
yellow body emerging above the horizon, or any other physical 
manifegtation, but a great company of singing angels. With 
the definite eruption of physical sexual manifestation and desire, 
whether at puberty or later in adolescence, a new turbulent dis- 
turbing influencH appears. Against the force of this influence, 
meie intL-llectual enlightenment, or even loving maternal counsel 
— the agencies we have so far been concerned with — may he 
powerless. In gaining control of it we must find our auxiliary 
in the fact that puberty is the efflorescence not only of a new 
physical but a new psychic force. The ideal world naturally 
unfolds itself to the boy or girl at puberty. The magic of 
beauty, the instinct of modesty, the naturalness of self-restraint, 
the idea of unselfish love, the meaning of duty, the feeling for 
art and poetry, the craving for religious conceptions and 
emotions — all these things awake spontaneously in the unspoiled 
boy or girl at puberty. I say "unspoiled," for if these things 
have been thrust on the child before puberty when they have 
yet no meaning for him — as is unfortunately far too often done, 
more especially as regards religious notions — then it is but too 
likely that he will fail to react properly at that moment of hie 
development when he would otherwise naturally respond to them. 
"Under natural conditions this is the period for spiritual 
initiation. Now, and not before, is the time for the religious or 
■ethical teacher as the case may be — for all religions and ethical 
systems may equally adapt themselves to this task — to take the 
boy or girl in hand, not with any special and obtrusive reference 
to the sexual impulses but for the purpose of assisting the 
development and manifestation of this psychic puberty, of 
indirectly aiding the young soul to escape from sexual dangers 
by harnessing his chariot to a star that may help to save it from 
sticking fast in any miry ruts of the fiesh. 

Such an initiation, it is important to remark, is more than 
an introduction to the sphere of religious sentiment. It is an 
initiation into manhood, it must involve a recognition of the 
masculine even more than of the feminine virtues. This has 



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- 8KXDAL EDUCATION, 87 

been well understood by the finest primitive races. They con- 
stantly give their boys and girla ao initiation at puberty; it is 
an initiation that involves not merely education in the ordinary 
sense, but a stem discipline of the character, feate of endurance, 
the trial of character, the testing of the muscles of the soul ae 
much as of the body. 

Ceremonies of initiation into manhood at puberty — involving 
physical and mental discipline, as well as InHtructiou, lasting for weeks 
or months, and never identical for both sesea — are common among 
MTSges in all parts of the world. They nearly always involve the 
endurance of a certain amount of pain and hardship, a wise measure 
of training which the softness of civiliution has too foolishly allowed 
to drop, for the ability to endure hardness is an essential condition of 
all real manhood. It is as a corrective to this tendency to flabbinesa 
in modern education that the teaching of Nietische is so InTaluable. 

The initiation of boys among the natives of Torres Straits has 
been elaborately described by A. C. Haddon (Reports Anthropological 
Expedition to Torre* Strait*, vol. v, Chs. VII and SII). It laste a 
month, involves much severe training and power of endurance, and 
includes admirable moral instruction. Haddon remarks that it formed 
"a very good discipline," and adds, "it is not easy to conceive of a more 
effectual means for a rapid training." 

Among the aborigines of Victoria, Australia, the initiatory cere- 
numiea, as described by R. H. Mathews ("Some Initiation Ceremonies," 
Zeittokrift fUr Elhnohgia 1605, Heft 6), last for seven months, and con- 
stitute an admirable discipline. The boys are taken away by the elders 
of the tribe, subjected to many trials of patience and endurance of pain 
and discomfort, sometimea involving even the swallowing of urine and 
excrement, brought into contact with strange tribes, taught tbe laws 
and folk-lore, and at the end meetings are held at which betrothals are 
.ry.»g«l. 

Among the northern tribes of Central Australia the initiaUon 
ceremonies involve circumcision and urethral subincision, as well as 
hard manual labor and hardships. The initiation of girls into woman- 
hood is accompanied by cutting open of the vagina. These ceremonies 
have been described by Spencer and Gillen (Vorthem Tribes of Central 
Auttralia, Oh. XI). Among various peoples in British East Africa 
(including the Masai) pubertal initiation is a great ceremonial event 
extending over a period of many months, and it includes circumcision 
!n boys, and in girls clitoridectomy, as well as, among some tribes, 
removal of the njmphte. A girl who winces or cries out during the 
Operation is disgraced among the women and expelled from the settle- 



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88 PBTCHOLOOT OF 8E±. 

meut. When tiie eecemonj has been satisfactorily completed ttie boy or 
girl is maTTiageable (C. Marsh Beadnell, "Ctrcumcision and Clitori- 
dectomj as Practiced by the Natives of British East Africa," British 
Medical Journal, April 29, 1905). 

Initiation among the African Bawenda, na described bj a mis- 
sionaiy, is in three stages: (1) A stage of instruction and discipline 
during which the traditions and sacred things of the tribe are revealed, 
the art of warfare tau^t, aelf-TCHiraint and endurance borne; then the 
youtbs are count«d aa full-grown. (2) In the next stage the art of 
daucing is practiced, by each sex separately, during the day. (3) In 
the final stage, which is that of complete se^cual initiation, the two 
sexes dance together by night; the scene, in the opinion of the good . 
missionary, "does not bear description;" the initiated are now complete 
adults, with all the privileges and responsi bill ties of adults {Rev. E. 
Gottschling, "The Bawenda," Joumcl Anthropological Institution, July 
to Dec., 1906, p. 372. Cf,, an interesting account of the Bawenda Toodo 
schools by anotlier missionary, Weaeraann, The Batoenda, pp. 60 e( wg.). 

The initiation of ^rls in Azimba Land, Central Africa, has boen 
fully and interestingly described by H. Crawford Angus ("The 'Chen- 
samwali' or Initiation Ceremony of Girla," Zeitachrift fUr Ethnologie, 
1898, Heft 6). At the firat sign of menstruation the girl is talcen by 
her mother out of the village to a grass hut prepared for her where 
only the women are allowed to visit her. At the end of menstruation 
she is talcen to a secluded epot and the women dance round her, no men 
being present. It was only with much difficulty that Angus was en- 
abled to witness the ceremony. The girl is then informed in regard to 
the hygiene of menstruation. "Many aongs about the relations between 
men and women are eung, and the girl is inntnicted as to all her duties 
when ahe becomes a wife. . , . The. pri ia taught to be faithful 
to her buaband, and to try and bear children. The whole matter is 
looked upon aa a matter of courae, and not as a thing to be ashamed 
of or to hide, and being thus openly treated of and no secrecy mode 
about it, you find in this tribe that the women are Tery virtuoua, 
becanae the subject of married life has no glamour for them. When a 
woman fs pregnant she is again danced; this time all the dancers are 
naked, and she is taught how to behave and what to do when the time 
of her delivery arrives." 

Among the Yuman Indians of California, as described by Horatio 
Rust ("A Puberty Ceremony of the Misfion Indiana," American Anthro- 
pologist, Jan. to March, 1906, p. 2ft> the girls are at puberty prepared 
for marriage by a ceremony. They are wrapped In blankets and placed 
in a warm pit, where they He looking very hapf^ aa they peer out 
through their covers. For four daya and nights they lie here (occasion- 
ally going away for food), while the old women of the tribe dane« and 



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BBXDAL EDDCATION. 89 

sing roimd the pit conatantlj. At times the old women throw silver 
coins Buong the crowd to teach the girls to be generous. Thef also 
give awaj cloth and wheat, to teach them to be Icind to the old and 
ueedjr; and they sow wild seeds broadcast over the girls to cause them 
to he prolific. Finally, all straDgers are ordered away, garlands are 
placed on the girla' heads, snd Ihey are led to a hillside and shown the 
large and sacred stone, symbolical of the female organs of generation 
and resembling tbem, which is said to protect women. Then grain is 
thrown over all present, and the ceremony is orer. 

The Tblinkeet Eskimo women were long notod for their fine 
qualities. At puberty they were secluded, aomeUmes for a whole year, 
being kept in darkness, suffering, and filth. Yet defective and unsatis- 
factory as this initiation was, "Langsdorf suggests," says Bancroft 
(A'altce Baeei of Pacific, vol. i, p. 110), referring to the virtues of the 
Thlinkeet woman, "that it may be during this period of confinement that 
the foundation of her influence is laid; that in modest reserve and 
meditation her charactor is strengthened, and she comes forth cleansed 
in mind as well as body." 

We have lost these ancient and inyaluable rites of initiation 
into manhood and womanhood, with their inestimable moral 
benefits; at the most we have merely preserved the shells of 
initiation in which the core has decayed. In time, we cannot 
doubt, they will be revived in modern fonns. At present the 
spiritual initiation of youths and maidens is left to the chances 
of some happy accident, and usually it is of a purely cerebral 
character which cannot be perfectly wholesome, and is at the 
best absurdly incomplete. 

This cerebral initiation commonly occurs to the youth 
through the medium of literature. The influence of literature 
in sexual education thus extends, in an incalculable degree, 
beyond the narrow sphere of manuals on sexual hygiene, however 
admirable and desirable these may be. The greater part of 
literature is more or less distinctly penetrated by erotic and auto- 
erotic conceptions and impulses ; nearly all imaginative literature 
proceeds from the root of sex to Sower in visions of beauty and 
ecstasy. The Divine Comedy of Dante is herein the immortal 
type of the poet's evolution. The youth becomes acquainted 
with the imaginative representations of love before he becomes 
acquainted with the reality of love, so that, as Leo Berg puts it, 



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■90 P8TCH0L00T OF 6BX. 

"the way to love among civilized peoples passea through imagina- 
tion." All literature is thus, to the adoleacent soul, a part of 
Bexual education.^ It depends, to Bome extent, though for- 
tunately not entirely, on the judgment of those in authority over 
.the young soul whether the literature to which the youth or girl 
is admitted is or is not of the large and humanizing order. 

All great literature touches nakedly and saneljr on the central facts 
of sex. It is alnays consoling to reroember this in an age of petty 
pruderies. And it is a satisfaction to know that It would not be pos- 
sible to emasculate the literature of the great ages, however desirable 
it might seem to the men of more degenerate ages, or to close the ave- 
nues to that literature against tbe young. All our religious and literary 
traditions serve to fortify the position of the Bible and of Shakespeare. 
"So many men and women,'* writes a correspondent, a literary man, 
"gain BCKual ideas in childhood from reading the Old Testament, that 
the Bible may be called an erotic text -book. Most persons of either sex 
with whom I have conversed on the subject, say that the Books of Moses, 
and the stories of Amnon and Tauiar, Lot and liis daughters, Potiphar's 
wife and Joseph, etc., caused speculation and curiosity, and gave theni 
information of the sexual relationship, A boy and girl of fifteen, both 
friends of the writer, and now over thirty years of age, used to find out 
erotic passages in the Bible on Sunday mornings, while in a Dissenting 
chapel, and pass their Bibles to one another, with their fingers on the 
portions that interested them." In the same way many a young woman 
has borrowed Shakespeare in order to read the glowing erotic poetry of 
Tenua and Adonit, which her friends have told her about. 

The Bible, it may be remarked, is not in every respect, a model 
introduction for the young mind to the questions of sex. But even 
its frank acceptance, as of divine origin, of sexual rules so unlike those 
that are norninally our own, such as polygamy and concubinage, helps 
to enlarge the vision of the youthful mind by showing that the rules 
surrounding the child are not those everywhere and always valid, while 
the nakedness and realism of the Bible cannot but he a wholesome and 
tonic corrective to conventional pruderies. 

We must, indeed, always protest against the absurd contusion 



1 The intimate relation of art and poetry to the sexual impulse 
hna been realized in a fragmentary way by many who have not attained 
to any wide vision of auto-erotic activity in life. "Poetry is necessarily 
related to the sexual function," says Metchnikoff (Eaaaiit Optimistes. p. 
.152), who also quotes with approval the statement of MBbius (pre- 
viously made by Ferrero and many others) that "artistic aptitudes must 
probably be considered as secondary sexual characters." 



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SBXDAL EDDCATION. 91 

whereby nakedness of speech is regarded aa eqaivalent to immorality, 
and not the leas because it is often adopted even in what are regarded 
as intellectual quarters. When in the House of Lords, in the last cen- 
tury, the question of the exclusion of Byron's statue from Westminster 
Abbey was under discussion, Lord Brougham "denied that Shakespeare 
waa more moral than Byron. He could, on the contrary, point out in a 
single page of Shakespeare more grosaness than was to be found in all 
Lord Byron's works." The conclusion Brougham thus renched, that 
Byron is an incomparably more moral writer than Shakespeare, ought 
to have been a sufficient reduolio ad absurcfum of his argument, but it 
does not appear that anyone pointed out the vulgar confusion into 
which he bad fallen. 

It may be said that the spedal attractiveness which the nakedncHs 
of great literature sometimes possesses for young minds is unwliolesome. 
But it must be remembered that the peculiar interest of this element ii 
merely due to lie fact that elsewhere there is an inveterate and abnor- 
mal concealment. It must also be said that the statements of the great 
miters about natural things are never degrading, nor even erotically 
exciting to the young, and what Emilia Pardo Bazan tirlls of herself and 
ber'delight when a child in the historical books of the Old Testament. 
that the crude passages in them failed to send the faintest cloud of 
trouble across her young imagination, is equally true of moat children. 
It is necessary, indeed, that these naked and serious things should be 
left standing, even if only to counterbalance the lewdly comic efTorts to 
besmirch love and sex, which are visible to all in every low-class book* 
seller's shop window. 

This point of view was vigorously championed by the speakers on 
sexual education at the Third Congress of the German Gesellsehaft Jiur 
BekSmpfung der Geschlechtskrankheiten in 1907. Thus Enderlin, speak- 
ing as a headmaster, protested against the custom of bowdlerizing poems 
and folk-songs for the use of children, and thus robbing them of the 
finest introduction to purified sexual impulses and the highest sphere of 
emotion, while at the same time they are recklessly exposed to the 
"psychic infection" of the vulgar comic papers everywhere exposed for 
sale. "So long as children are too young to respond to erotic poetry it 
cannot hurt them; when they are old enough to respond it can only 
benefit them by opening to them the highest and purest channels of 
human emotion" {Sexualpadagogil:, p. t!0). Professor SchSfenacker 
[id., p. 08) expresses himself in the same aenae, and remarks that "the 
method of removing from school-booka all those passages which, in the 
opinion of short-sighted and narrow-hearted school masters, are unsulted 
tor youth, must be decisively condemned." Every healthy boy and girl 
who has reached the age of puberty may be safety allowed to ramble in 
any good library, however varied its contents. So far from needing 



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92 PSTCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

guidance they will usually ehov,- a much more refined taste than their 
elders. At this Age, when the emotions are still virginal and sensiUve, 
the things that are realistic, ugly, or morbid, jar on the joung spirit 
and are cast aside, though in adult life, witli the coarsening of mental 
texture which comes of years and experience, this repugnance, doubtless 
by an equally sound and natural instinct, may become much leas acute. 
Ellen Key in Ch. VI of her Cenlurt/ of the Child well summarizes 
the TMSone against the practice of selecting for children books that are 
"suitable" for them, a practice which she considers one of the follies of 
modern education. The child should be free to read all great literature, 
and will himself instinctively put aside the things he is not yet ripe 
for. His cooler senses are undisturbed by scenes that his elders find too 
exciting, while even at a later stage it is not the nakedness of great 
literature, but much more the method of the modem novel, which is 
likely to stain the Imagination, falsify reality and injure taste. It is 
concealment which minleads and coarsens, producing a state of mind tn 
which even the Bible becomes a stimulus to t^e senses. The writings 
of the great masters yield the imaginative food which the child craves, 
and the erotic moment in them is too brief to be overheating. It is the 
more necessary, Ellen Key remarks, for children to be introduced to 
great literature, since they often hare little opportunity to oocupy them* 
selves with it in later life. Miiny years earlier Buskin, In Sesame and 
Lilks, had eloquently urged that even young girls should b« allowed to 
range freely in libraries. 

What liae been said about literature applies equally to art 
Art, as well as literature, and in the same indirect way, can be 
made a valuable aid in the task of se.vual enlightenment and 
eexual hygiene. Modern art may, indeed, for the most part, be 
ignored from this point of view, but children cannot be too 
early familiarized with the representations of the nude in ancient 
sculpture and in the paintings of the old masters of the Italian 
school. In this way they may be immunized, as Enderlin 
espresses it, against those representations of the nude which 
make an appeal to the baser instincts. Early familiarity with 
nudity in ail is at the same time an aid to the attainment of a 
proper attitude towards purity in nature. "He who has once 
learnt," as Holler remark?, "to enjoy peacefully nakedness in 
art, will be able to look on nakedness in nature as on a work of 
art." 



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BEXUAL EDUCATION. »3 

Casts of classic nude statues and reprixluctionB of the picturea of 
ttie old Venetian and other Italian maaterB may fittingly he used to 
adorn schoolrooms, not bo much as objects of instruction as things of 
' beauty with which the child cannot too early become familiarized. In 
Italy it is said to be usual for school classes to be taken by their 
teachers to the art museuma with good results; euch Tisits form part 
of the otScial scheme of education. 

There can be no doubt that such early familiarity with the beauty 
of nudil^ in classic art is widely needed among alt social classes and in 
many countries. It is to this defect of our education that we must 
attribute the oceasionai, and indeed In America and En^and frequent, 
occurrence of such incidents as petitions and protests against the 
exhibition of nude statuary in art museums, the display of pictures so 
inoOensive as Leighton's "Bath of Psychr'' in nhop windows, and tiie 
demand for the draping of the naked personifications of abstract virtues 
in architectural street decoration. So imperfect is still the education of 
the multitude that in these matters the ill-brod fanatic of pruriency 
usually gains his will. Such a state of things cannot but have an 
unwholesome reaction oa the moral atmosphere of the community in 
which it is possible. Even from the religious point of view, prurient 
prudery ta not justifiable. Northcote has very temperat«ly and sensibly 
discussed the question of the nude in art from the standpoint of Chris- 
tian morality. He points out that not only is the nude in art not to 
b» condemned without qualification, and that the nude is by no means 
nec^sarily the erotic, but he also adds t^at even erotic art, in its best 
and purest manifestations, only arouses emotions that are the legitimate 
object of man's aspirations. It would be impossible even to represent 
Biblical stories adequately on canvas or in marble if erotic art were to 
be tabooed (Rev. H.Korthcote, Chrutiamly andScse Prohlemt, Ch. XIV). 

Early familiarity with the nude in classic and early Italian art 
should be combined at puberty with an equal familiarity with photo- 
graphs of beautiful and naturally developed nude models. In former 
years books containing such pictures in a suitable and attractive man- 
ner to place before the young were difficult to procure. Now this diffi- 
culty na longer exists. Dr. C. H. Stratz, of The Hague, has been tlie 
pioneer in this matter, and in a series of beautiful books (notably in 
Der Eorper dea-Kindes, Die SckSnheit des Weiblichen Korpera and Die 
Ramentchonhcit dea Weibes, all published by Enke in Stuttgart), he 
has brought together a large number of admirably selected photographs 
of nude but entirely chaste figures. More recently Dr. Shnfeldt, of Wash- 
ington (who dedicates his work to Stratz), has published his Btadiea 
of the Buman Form in which, in the same spirit, he has brought 
tt^ether the results of his own studies of the naked human form during 
many years. It is necessary to correct the impressions received from 



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94 PSTCHOLOOY OF BEX. 

classic sources bj good photo^aphic illustrations on account of tite false 
conveutioDfl prevailing in classic works, though those conventiooE were 
not necessaril}' false for the artists who originated them. The omission 
of the pudendal hair, in representations of the nude was, for instance, 
quite natural for tiie people of countries still under Oriental influence 
are accustomed to remove the hair from the body. If, however, under 
quite different conditions, we perpetuate that artistic convention to-day, 
we put ourselves into a perverse relation to nature. There is ample 
evidence of this. "There is one convention so ancient, so necessary, so 
universal," writes Mr. Frederic Harrison {Nineteenth Century and 
After, Aug., 1907), "that its deliberate defiance to-day may arouse the 
bile of the least squeamish of men and should make women withdraw at 
once." If boys and girls were brought up at their mother's kneea in 
familiarity with pictures of beautiful and natural nakedness, it would 
be impossible for anyone to write such silly and shameful words as 

There can be no doubt that among ourselves the simple and direct 
attitude of the child towards nakedness is bo early crushed out of him 
that intelligent education is necessary in order that he may be enabled 
to discern what is and what is not obscene. To the plough-boy and the 
country servant-girl all nakedness, including that of Greek statuary, is 
alike shameful or lustful, "I have a picture of women like that," said 
a countryman with a grin, as he pointed to a photi^aph of one of 
Tintoret's most beautiful groups, "smoking cigarettes." And the mass 
of people in most northern countries have still passed little beyond this 
stage of discernment; in ability to distinguish between the beautiful 
and the obscene they are still on the level of the plough-boy and the 
servant-girl. 



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CHAPTEE III. 

SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDl^SS. 

The Greek Attitude Towards Nakedness — How the Romans Modi' 
fied That Attitude — The Influence of Christianity — NakednesH in Mediee- 
val Times — Evolution of the Horror of Nakedness — Concomitant Change 
in the Conception of Nakedness — Prudery — The Romantic Movement — 
Rise of a Now Feeling in Regard to Nakedncaa — The Hygienic Aspect 
of NakednesB — How Children May Be Accuatoraed to Nakedness — Naked- 
ness Not loimical fo Modesty— The Instinct of Physical Pride— The 
Value of Nakedness in Education — The -l^sthelio Value of Nakedness — 
The Human Body as One of the Prime Tonics of Life — How Nakedness 
May Be Cultivated— The Moral Value of Nakedness. 

The diaeuBBion of the value of nakedness in art leadB ub on 
to the allied queBtion of nakedness in nature. What is the 
p63'chological influence of familiarity with nakednesB? How far 
should children be made familiar with the naked body? This is 
a question in regard to which different opinionB have been held in 
different ages, and during recent years a remarkable change haa 
begun to come over the minds of practical edncationalistB in 
regard to it. 

In Sparta, in Chios, and elsewhere in Greece, women at one 
time practiced gymnastic feats and dances in nakedness, together 
with the men, or in their presence.' Plato in his Republic 
approved of such customs and said that the ridicule of those who 
laughed at them was but "unripe fruit plucked from the tree of 
knowledge." On many questions Plato's opinions changed, but 
not on this. In the Laws, which are the last outcome of his 
philosophic reflection in old age, he still advocates (Bk, viii) a 
similar coeducation of the sexes and their cooperation in all the 
works of life, in part with a view to blunt the over-keen edge of 

"Thus Athenieus (Bk. xiii, Ch. XX) says: "In the Island of 
Chios it is a beautiful sight to go to the gymnasia and the race-courses, 
and to see the young men wrestling naked with the maidens who are 
also naked." 

(95) 



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96 P8YCHOL0aV OF SEX. 

sexual appetite ; with the same object he advocated tlie aseoeia- 
tion together of youths and girls without constraint in costumes 
which offered no concealment to the form. 

It ia notewortliy that the Romans, a coarser-grained people 
than the Greeks and in our narrow modem sense more "moral," 
showed no perception of the moralizing and refining influence of 
nakedness. Nudity to them was merely a licentious indulgence, 
to be treated with contempt even when it was enjoyed. It was 
conDned to the stage, and clamored for by the populace. In the 
Floralia, especially, tlie crowd seem to have claimed it as their 
right that the actors should play naked, probably, it has been 
thought, as a survival of a folk-ritual. But the Romans, though 
they were eager to run to the theatre, felt nothing but disdain 
for the performers. "Flagitii principiura est, nudare inter cives 
corpora." So thought old Ennius, as reported by Cicero, and 
that remained the genuine Roman feeling to the last. "Quanta 
perversitas!" as Tertullian exclaimed. "Artem magnificant, 
artificem notant.''^ In this matter the Romans, although they 
aroused the horror of the Christians, were yet in reality laying 
the foundation of Christian morality. 

Christianity, which found so many of Plato's opinions con- 
genial, would have nothing to do with his view of nakedness and 
failed to recognize its psychological correctness. The reason was 
simple, and indeed simple-minded. The Church was passion- 
ately eager to fight against what it called "the flesh," and thus 
fell into tlie error of confusing the subjective question of sexual 
desire with the objective spectacle of the naked form. "The 
flesh" is evil; therefore, "the flesh" must be hidden. And they 
hid it, without understanding that in so doing they had not sup- 
pressed the craving for the human form, but, on the contrary, 
had heightened it by imparting to it the additional fascination 
of a forbidden mystery. 

Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy (Part III, Sect II, Mem. II, 
Subs. IV), referring to the recommendations of Ptato, adda: "But 
Evaehiug and TheodoTet worthily lash liim for it; and uell they might: 



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SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS. 97 

for UB one saith, the r«rf sight of naked parti, eauteth enormout, 
etceeding concvpiteenoes, and «tira up both men and women to burning 
lust." Yet, as Burtun himaeK adds further on in the same section of 
liiB work (Mem. V, Subs. Ill), without protest, "some are of opinion, 
tluit to see a woman naked, is able of itself to alter bis affeetion; and 
it is worthy of consideration, saith Mftntaigne, the Frenchman, in his 
Essays, that the skilfullest masters of amorous dalliance appoint for a 
remedy of venereous passions, n full survey of the body." 

There ought to be no question regarding the tact that It is the 
adorned, the partially concealed body, and not the absolutely naked 
body, which acts as a sexual excitant. I have brought together some 
evidence on this point in the study of "The Evolution of Modesty." "In 
Madagascar, West Africa, and the Cape," aaye G. F, Scott Elliot {A 
Naluraligt in Mid-Africa, p. 36), "I have always found the same rule. 
Chastity varies inversely as the amount of clothing." It is now indeed 
generally held that one of the chief primary objects of omampnt and 
clothing was the stimulation of sexual desire, and artists' models 
are well aware that when they are completely unclothed, they are most 
safe from undesired masculine advances. "A favorite model of mine 
told me," remarks Dr. Shufeldt {Medical Brief. Oct., 1904), the distin- 
guished author of Btadica of the Human Form, "that it was her prac- 
tice to disrobe as soon after entering the artist's studio as possible, for, 
as men are not always responsible for their emotions, she felt that she 
was far less likely to arouse or excite them when entirely nude than 
when only semi-draped." This fact is, indeed, quite familiar to artists' 
models. If the conquest of se:tual desire were the flrst and last consid- 
eration of life it would be more reasonable to prohibit clothing than to 
prohibit nakedness. 

WheD ChriBtianity absorbed the whole of the European world 
this strict avoidance of even the sight of "the flesh," although 
nominally accepted by all as the desirable ideal, could only be 
carried out, thorouglily and completely, in the cloister. In the 
practice of the world outside, although the original Christian 
ideals remained influential, various pagan and primitive tradi- 
tions in favor of nakedness still persisted, and were, to some 
extent, allowed to manifest themselves, alike in ordinary custom 
and on special occasions. 

How widespread is the occasional or habitual practice of nakedness 
in the world generally, and how entirely concordant it is with even a 
most sensitive modesty, has been set forth in "The Evolution of Mod- 
eety," in vol. i of these Btttdie*. 



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9o PSYCHOLOGY OP BEX. 

Even during the Christian era the impulse to adopt nudify, often 
with tJie feeling that it was an eepectallj' aocred practice, has persisted. 
The Adamites of tite second century, who read and prayed nalied, and 
celebrated the sacrament naked, according to the statement quoted by 
8t. Augustine, seem to iiave caused little scandal so loi^ aa they only 
practiced nudity in their sacred ceremonies. The German Brethren of 
the Free Spirit, in the thirteenth century, combined so much chastity 
with promiscuous nakedness that orthodox Catholics believed they were 
assisted by the Devil. The French Picards, at a much later date, 
insisted on public nakedness, believing that God had sent their leader 
into the world as a new Adam to reCstabliah the law of Nature; they 
were persecuted and were Anally exterminated by the Hussites. 

In daily life, however, a considerable degree of nakedness waa 
tolerated during mediaival times. This was notably so in the public 
baths, frequented by men and women together. Thus Alwin SchuItB 
remarks (in his Hiifigckc Ltbcn zvr ZeiC der ilinnesdnger), that the 
women of the aristocratic classes, though not the men, were often naked 
in these baths except for a hat and a necklace. 

It is sometunes stated that in the medieval religious plays Adam 
and Eve were absolutely naked. Chambers doubts this, and thinks they 
wore flesh-colored tights, or were, as in a later play of this kind, 
"apparelled in white leather" (E. K. Chambers, The Hediaval Stage, 
vol. i, p. 6). It may l>e bo, but the public exposure even of the sexual 
organs was permitted, and that in aristocratic houBes, for John of Salis- 
bury (in a passage quoted by Buckle, Commonplace Book, 541) protests 
against this custom. 

The women of the feminist sixteenth century in France, as R. de 
Maulde ia Clavitre remarks {Revue de VArt, Jan., 1898), had no scruple 
in recompensing their adorers by admitting them to their toilette, or 
even their bath. Late in tbe century they became still less prudish, and 
many well-known ladies allowed themBelves to be painted naked down U> 
the waist, aa we see in the portrait of "Gabrielle d'EstrCes au Bain" at 
Chantilly. Many of these pictures, however, are certainly not real 
portraits, 

Even in the middle of the seventeenth century in England naked- 
ness was not prohibited in public, for Pepys tella ua that on July 26, 
1067, a Quaker came into Westminster Hall, crying, "Repent! Bepent!" 
being in a state of nakedness, except that he waa "very civilly tied 
about the privities to avoid scandal." (This waa doubtless Solomon 
Eccles, who was accustomed to go about in this costume, both before and 
after the Reatoration. He had been a distinguished musician, and, 
though eccentric, was apparently not insane.) 

In a chapter, "De la Nudity," and in the appendices of hia book, 
De I'AmouT (vol. i, p. 221), Senancour gives inatancea of the occasional 



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8EZCAI, EDUCATION AND NAEBDKESS. 99 

practice of oudity in Europe, and adds some interesting remarka of hie 
own; BO, also, Dulaure (Dea Z>it>tnil^ Oiniratrica, Ch. XV). It would 
Appear, as a rule, that though complete nudity was allowed in other 
respecto, it was UBiial to cover the sexual parte. 

The movement of revolt agaiuBt nakedness never became 
completely victoriouB until the nineteenth century. That cen- 
tury represented the triumph of all the forces that banned public 
nakedness everywhere and altogether. If, as Pudor insists, 
nakedness is aristocratic and the slavery of clothes a plebeian 
characteristic imposed on the lower classes by an upper class who 
reserved to themselves the privilege of physical culture, we may 
perhaps connect this with the outburst of democratic plebeianism 
which, as Nietzsche pointed out, reached its climax in the nine- 
teenth century. It is in any case certainly interesting to observe 
that by this time the movement had entirely clianged its char- 
acter. It had become general, but at the same time its foimda- 
tion had been undermined. It had largely lost its religious and 
moral character, and instead was regarded as a matter of con- 
vention. The nineteenth century man who encountered the 
spectacle of white limbs flashing in the sunlight no longer felt 
like the mediaeval ascetic that he was risking the salvation of his 
immortal soul or even courting the depravation of his morals; he 
merely felt that it was "indecent" or, in extreme cases, "disgust- 
ing," That is to say he regarded the matter as simply a question 
of conventional etiquette, at the worst, of taste, of aesthetics, in 
thus bringing down his repugnance to nakedness to so low a plane 
he had indeed rendered it generally acceptable, but at the same 
time he had deprived it of high sanction. His profound horror 
of nakedness was out of relation to the frivolous grounds on which 
he based it. 

We must not, however, under-rate the tenacity with which this 
horror of nakedness was held. Nothing illustrates more vividly the 
deeply ingrained hatred which the nineteenth century felt of nakedness 
than the ferocity — there is no other word for it — with which Christian 
missionaries to sevagea all over the world, even in the tropics, insisted 
on their converts adopting the conventional clothing of Korthern Europe. 
levellers' narratives abound in references to the emphasis placed by 



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100 PSTCHOLOOT OF SEX. 

missionaries on this cliange of custom, which was both injurious to the 
health of the people and degrading to their dignity. It is sufficient to 
quote one authoritatJTe witness, Lord Stanmore, formerly Governor of 
Fiji, who read a long paper to the Anglican Missionary Conference in 
1894 on the subject of "Undue Introduction ot Western Ways." "In 
the centre of the Tillage," ha remarked in quoting a typical case 
(and referring not to Fiji but to Tonga), "is the church, a wooden 
bam-Iilce building. If the day be Sunday, we shall find the native 
minister arrayed in a greenish-black swallow-tail coat, a neckcloth, 
once white, and a pair of spectacles, which he probably does not 
need, preaching to a congregation, the male portion of which is dressed 
in much the same manner as himself, while the women are dizened 
out in old battered hats or bonnets, and shapeless gowns like bathing 
dresses, or it may be in crinolines of an early type. Chiefs of infln- 
ence and women of high birth, who in their native dress would look, 
and do look, the ladies and gentlemen they are, are, by their Sunday 
finery, given the appearance of attendants upon Jack-In -the-Green. If 
ft rlsit be paid to the houses ot the town, after the morning's work of 
the people is over, the family will he found sitting on chairs, listless 
and uncomfortable, in a room full of litter. In the houses ot the 
superior native clergy there will be a yet greater aping of the manners 
ot the West. There will be chairs covered with hideons antimacassars, 
tasteless round worsted-work mats for abaent flower jars, and a lot of 
ugly cheap and vulgar china chimney ornaments, which, there being no 
fireplace, and consequently no chimney-piece, are set out in order on a 
rickety deal table. The whole life of these village folk is one piece of 
unreal acting. They are continually asking themselves whether they ara 
incurring any of.the penalties entailed by infraction of the long table 
«t prohibitions, and whether they are living up to the foreign garments 
they wear. Their faces have, tor the moat part, an expression of sullen 
discontent, they move shout silently and Joylessly, rebels in heart to tho 
restrictive code on them, but which they fear to cast off. partly from a 
vague apprehension of possible si-cular results, and partly because they 
suppose they will cease to be good Christians it they do so. They havS 
good ground for their dissatisfaction. At the time when I visited the 
Tillages I have specially in my eye, it was punishable by fine and impris- 
onment to wear native clothing, punishable by fine and imprisonment to 
wear long hair or a garland ot flowers; punishably by fine or imprison- 
ment to wrestle or to play at ball; punishable hy fine and imprison- 
ment to build a native-fashioned house; punishable not to wear shirt 
and trousers, and in certain localities coat and shoes also; and, in addi- 
tion to laws enforcing a strictly puritanical observation of the Sabbatb, 
it was punishable by fine and Imprisonment to bathe on Sundays. In 
some other places bathing on Sunday was punishable by fiogging; and 



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SEXUAL EDCCATION AND NAKEDNEBB. 101 

to my knowledge women have been flogged for no other offense. Men Id 
such circumstances are ripe for revolt, and sometimes the revolt cornea." 
An obvious result of reducing the feeling about nakedness to an 
unreasoning but imperative convention is the tendency to prudi^neas. 
This, as we know, is a form of pseudo-modesty which, being a conven- 
tion, and not a natural feeling, is capable of unlimited esteneion. It is 
by no means confined to modem times or to Christian Europe. The 
ancient Hebrews were not entirely free from prudishnesB, and we find in 
the Old Testament that by a curious euphemisin the sexual organn are 
Bometimea referred to as "the feet." The Turks are capable of prudish- 
ness. So. indeed, were even the ancient Greeks. "Dion the philosopher 
tells us," remarks Clement of Alexandria [Stromatea, Bk. IV, Ch. XIX) 
"that a certain woman, Lysidica, through excess of modesty, bathed in 
ler clothes, and that Philotera, when she was to enter the bath, grad- 
ually drew back her tunic as the water covered her naked parts; and 
then rising by degrees, put it on." Mincing prudes were found among 
the early Christians, and their ways are graphically described by St. 
Jerome in one of his letters to Eustochium: "These women," he says, 
speak between their teeth or with the edge of the lips, and with a lisp- 
ing tongue, only half pronouncing their words, because they regnrd as 
gross whatever is natural. Such as these," declares Jerome, the scholar 
in him overcoming the ascetic, "corrupt even language." Whenever a 
new and artificial "modes^' is imposed upon savages prudery tends to 
ttriae. Haddon describes this among the natives of Torres Straits, where 
even the children now suffer from exaggerated prudishnesa, though for- 
merly absolutely naked and unashamed [Cambridge Anthropological 
Expedition to Torre* Straits, vol. v, p. 271). 

The nineteenth century, which witnessed tlie triumph of 
timidity and prudery in this matter, also produced the firet 
fruitful geim of new conceptions of nakedness. To some 
extent these were embodied in the great Romantic movement. 
Bousseaii, indeed, had placed no special insistence on nakedness 
as an element of the return to Nature which he preached so 
influentially. A new feeling in this matter emerged, however, 
with characteristic extravagance, in some of the episodes of the 
Bevolution, while in Germany in the pioneering Lucinde of 
Friedrich Schlegel, a characteristic figure in the Romantic move- 
ment, a still imfamiliar conception of the body was set forth in 
a serious and earnest spirit. 

In England, Blake with his strange and flammg genius, 



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102 PSl'CllOLOGY OF 8BX. 

proclaimed a mystical gospel which involved the spiritual 
glorification of the body and contempt for the civilized worship 
of clothes ("As to a modern man," he wrote, "stripped from his 
load of clothing he is like a dead corpse") ; while, later, in 
America, Thoreau and Whitman and Burrougha asserted, still 
more definitely, a not dissimilar message concerning the need of 
returning to Nature, 

We And the importance of the eight of the boAy — though veiy nar- 
rowly, for the avoidance of fraud in tlie preiimiDaries of marriage — set 
forth as early as the aixteenth century by Sir Thomas More in his 
Utopia, which ia eo rich in new and fruitful ideas. In Utopia, accord- 
ing to Sir Thomas More, before maTriage, a staid and honest matron 
"showeth the woman, be alie maid or widow, naked to the wooer. And 
likewise a sage and discreet man exhibiteth the wooer naked to tho 
woman. At this custom we laughed and disallowed it as foolish. But 
they, OD their part, do greatly wonder at the folly of all other nations 
which, in buying a colt where a little money is in hazard, be so chary 
and eircumspect that though he be almost all bare, yet they will not 
buy him unless the saddle and all the harness be taken off, lest under 
these coverings be hid some gall or sore. And yet, in choosing a wife, 
which shall be either pleasure or displeasure to them all their life afl«r, 
they be so reckless that all the residue of the woman's body being cov- 
ered with clothes, they estimate her Bcarcely by one handsbreadth (for 
they can see no more but her face) and so join her to them, not without 
great Jeopardy of evil agreeing together, it anything in her body after- 
ward should chance to offend or mislike them. Verily, so foul deformity 
may be hid under thes« coverings that it may quite alienate and take 
away tlie man's mind from his wife, when it shall not be lawful for 
their bodies to be separate again. If such deformity happen by any 
chance after the marriage is consummate and finished, well, there ia no 
remedy but patience. But it were well done that a law were mode 
whereby all such deceits were eschewed and avoided beforehand." 

The clear conception of what may be called the spiritual value of 
nakedness — by no means from More's point of view, but as a part of 
natural hygiene in the widest sense, and as a high and special aspect 
of the purifying and ennobling function of beauty — is of much later 
date. It is not clearly expressed until the time ot the Romantic move- 
ment at the beginning ot the nineteenth century. We have it admirably 
set forth in Senancour's De r.4n'oiir (first edition. Ifi06; fourth and 
enlarged edition, 18S4). which still remains one of the best books on the 
morality of love. After remarking that nakedness by no means abol- 
ishes modesty, he proceeds to advocate occasional partial or complete 



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SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS. 103 

nuditr. "Let us aiippoM," he remarkfl, aomewhat in the spirit of 
Plato, "a country i" which at certain general festivala the women 
should be absolutely free to be nearly or even quite naked. Swimming, 
waltzing, walking, tho»e who thought good to do so might TenmiD 
UDclotbcd in the presence of men. No doubt the illusions of love would 
be tittle known, and passion would see a diminution of jta transports. 
But is it passion that in general ennobles human aflfairsi We need 
honest attachments and delicate delights, and all these we may obtain 

while still preserving oqt common-sense Such nakedness 

would demand corresponding institutions, strong and simple, and a great 
respect for those conventions which belong to all times" (Senancour, De 
I'Amour, vol. i, p. 314 J. 

From that time onwards references to the value and desirability 
of nakedness become more and more frequent in all civilized countries, 
sometimes mingled with sarcastic allusions to the false conventions we 
have inherited in this matter. Thus Thoreau writes in his journal on 
June 12, 1953, as he looks at boys bathing in the river; "The color of 
their bodies in the sun at a distance is pleasing. I hear the sound of 
their sport borne over the water. As yet we have not man in Nature. 
What B singular fact for an angel visitant to this earth to carry back 
in his note-book, that men were forbidden to expose their bodies under 
the severest penalties." 

Iwan Bloch, in Chapter VII of his Seaual Life of Our Time, dis- 
cusses this question of nakedness from tbe modem point of view, and 
concludes; "A natural conception of nakedness: that is the watchword 
of the future. All the hygienic, esthetic, and moral efforts of our time 
are pointing in that direction." 

Stratz, as befits one who has worked so strenuously in the cauao 
of human health and beauty, admirably sets forth the stage which we 
have now atteined in this matter. After pointing out [Die Frauen- 
kleidung, third edition, 1004, p. 30) that, in opposition to the pagan 
world which worshipped naked gods. Christianity developed the idea 
that nakedness was merely sexual, and therefore immoral, he proceeds: 
"But over all glimmered on the heavenly helghte of the Cross, the naked 
body of the Saviour. Under that protection there has gradually disen- 
gaged itself from the confusion of ideas a new transfigured form of 
nakedness made free after long struggle. I would call this arlistio 
nakcdnese. for as it wis immortalizeii by the old Greeks through art, so 
also among us it has been awakened to new lite by art. Artistic naked- 
ness is, in its nature, much higher than either the natural or the sensual 
conception of nakedness. The simple child of Nature sees in nakedness 
nothing at all; the clothed man sees in the uncovered body only a sen. 
eual irritation. But at the highest standpoint man consciously returns 
to Nature, and recognizes that under the manifold coverings of human 



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104 PSYCUOLOOT OF BEX. 

CabricatioQ there ia hidden the moat splendid creature that God has 
creaUil. One maj stand in silent, worshipping wonder before the sight; 
another may be impelled to imitate and show to his fellow-man what 
in that holy moment he has seen. But both enjoy the spectacle of 
human beauty with full consciousness and enlightened purity of 
thought" 

It was not, however, so much on these more spiritual sides, 
but on tlie Bide of hygiene, that the nineteenth century furnished 
its chief practical contribution to the new attitude towards 
nakedness. 

Lord Monboddo, the Scotch judge, who was a pioneer in rqpird to 
many modern ideas, had already in the eighteenth century realised the 
hygienic value of "air-baths," and he invented that now familiar name. 
"Lord Monboddo," says Boswell, in 1777 {Life of Johnson, edit«d by 
Hill, vol. iii, p. 168) "told me that he awaked everj' morniDg at four, 
and then for his health got up and walked in his room naked, with the 
window open, which he called taking an air-bath." It is said also, 1 
know not on what authority, that he made his beautiful daughters take 
an air-bath naked on the terrace every morning. Another distinguished 
man of the same century, Benjamin Franklin, used sometimes to work 
naked in his study on hygienic grounds, and, it is recorded, onca 
affrighted a servant-gir) by opening the door in an absent-minded 
moment, thus unattired. 

Rikli seems to have been the apostle of air-baths and aun-baths 
regarded as a systematic method. He establi^ed light- and air-baths 
over half a century ago at Trieste and elsewhere in Austria. His motto 
was: "Light, Truth, and Freedom are the motive forces towards the 
highest development of physical and moral health." ' !Man is not a fish, 
he declared; light and air are the first conditions of a highly organized 
life. Solaria for the treatment of a number of dilferent disordered con- 
ditions are now commonly established, and most systems of natural 
therapeutics attach prime importance to light and air, while in medicine 
generally it is beginning to be recognized that such influences can by 
no means be neglected. Dr. Fernand Sandoz, in his Introduction A la 
Thirapetilique Naturttte par Ics agents Physiques el Dietitiques (IBOT) 
sets forth such methods comprehensively. In O^rmany sun-baths have 
become widely common; thus Lenkei (in a paper summarized in British 
Medical Journal, Oct. 31, 190S) prefcribea them with much benefit in 
tuberculosis, rheumatic conditions, obesity, ansmia, neurasthenia, etc. 
He considers that their peculiar value lies in the action of light. Pro- 
fessor J. N. Hyde, of Chicago, even believes ("Light-Hunger in the Pro- 
duction of Psoriasis," British Medical Journal, Oct. 6, 1006), that 



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SEXUAL EDDCATIOK A»D XAEEDNESS. IDS' 

psorioeis is caused bj deficiency of sunlight, and is best cured b; the 
Application of light. This belief, which has not, Jiovever, been generally 
accepted in its unqualified form, he ingeniously supports by the fact that 
psoriasis tenda to appear on the roost exposed parts of the body, which 
may be held to naturally receive and require the maximum of light, and 
by the absence of the disease in hot countries and among negroes. 

The hygienic value of nakedness is indicated by .the robust health 
of the savages throughout the world who go naked. The vigor of the 
Irish, also, has been connected with the fact that (as Pyne^ Moryson's 
Itinerary shows) both sexes, even among persons of high social class, 
were accustoroed to go naked except for a mantle, especially in more 
remote parts of the country, as late as the seventeenth century. VVhere- 
ever primitive races abandon nakedness for clothing, at once the tendency 
to disease, mortality, and degeneracy notably increases, though it must 
be remembered that the use of clothing is commonly accompanied by the 
introduction o( other bad habits. "Nakedness is the only condition 
universal among vigorous and healthy savages; at every other point per- 
haps tbey differ," remarks Frederick Boyle in n paper ("Savages and 
Clothes," Monthly Review, Sept., 1B05) in which he brings together 
much evidence cancerning the hygienic advantages of the natural human 
stSite in which man is "all face." 

It Is in Germany that a return towards nakedness has been most 
ably and thoroughly advocated, notably by Dr. H. Pudor in his Nackt- 
Cultur, and by R. Ungewitter in Die yacttheit (first published in 190S), 
R book which has had a very large circulation in many editions. These 
writers enthusiastically advocate nakedness, not only on hygienic, but 
on moral and artistic grounds. Fudor insisto more especially that 
"nakedness, both in gymnastics and in sport, is a method of cure and 
a method of regeneration;" he advocates co-education in this culture of 
nakednesa. Althou^ he makes large claims for nakedness — believing 
(hat all the nations whjch have disregarded these claims have rapidly 
become decadent — Pudor is less hopeful than Ungewitter of any speedy 
victory over the prejudices opposed to the culture of nakedness. Ha 
considers that the immediate task is education, and that a practical com- 
mencement may beet be made with the foot which is specially in need 
of hygiene and exercise; a lari^ p*rt of the first volume of his book Is 
derated to the foot. 

Ab the matter is to-day viewed by thoee educationalists who 
are equally alive to aanitary and sexual considerations, the claims 
of nakedoesB, so far as concerns the j'oung. are regarded as part 
alike of physical and moral hygiene. The free contact of the 
naked body with air and water and light makes for the health of 



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106 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

the body; familiarity with the sight of the body aboliehes petty 
pruriencies, trains the eense of beauty, and makes for the health 
of the Boul. This double aspect of the matter has undoubtedly 
weighed greatly with those teachers who now approve of customs 
trhich, a few years ngo, would have been hastily dismissed as 
'^decent." There is still a wide difference of opinion ae to the 
limits to which the practice of nakedness may he carried, and also 
as to the age when it should begin to be restricted. The fact that 
the adult generation of to-day grew up under the influence of the 
old horror of nakedness is an inevitable check on any revolu- 
tionary changes in these matters. 

Maria LiBchnewaka, one of the ablest advocates of the methodical 
enlightenment of children in matters of aex (op, c<l.), clearly realizes 
that a sane attitude towards the body Ilea at the root of a aoimd educB' 
tion for life. She finds that the chief objection encountered in such 
education, as applied in the higher clasaeB of schools, is "the horror of 
the civilized man at his own body." She shows that there can be no 
doubt that those who are engaged in the diflicuit task of working 
towards the abolition of that superstitions horror have taken up a moral 
task of the first importance. 

Walter Gerhard, in a thoughtful and sensible paper on the educa- 
tional question ("Ein Kapitel zur Erziehungsfrage, Oeichlecht und 
Oeselhchaft, vol. i. Heft 2), points out that it is the adult who needs 
education in this matter — as in so many other matters of sexual enlight- 
enment — considerably more than the child. Parents educate their chil- 
dren from the earliest years in prudery, and vainly flatter themselves 
that they have thereby promoted their modesty and morality. Ha 
records his own early life in a tropical land and accustomed to naked- 
ness from tlie first. "It was not till I came to Germany when nearly 
twenty that I learnt that the human body is indecent, and that it must 
not be shown because that 'would arouse bad impulses.' It was not till 
the human body was entirely withdrawn from my sight and after I was 
constantly told that there was something improper behind clothes, that 

I was able to understand this Until then I had not known 

that a naked body, by the mere fact of being naked, could arouse erotic 
feelings. I liad known erotic feelings, but they bad not arisen from the 
eight of the naked body, but gradually blossomed from the union of our 
souls." And he draws the final moral that, if only for the sake of our 
children, we must leam to educate ourselves. 

Forel (Die Sexuelle Frage, p. UO), speaking in entirely the same 
sense as Gerhard, remarks that prudei; may be either caused or cured 



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8EX0AL EDDCATIOK AND NAKEDNESS. 107 

in children. It maj be caused by undue anxiety in covering thpir bodien 
and hiding from thera the bodies of others. It may be cured by making 
them realize that there is nothing in the body that in unnatural and 
that we need be nshanied of, and by encouraging bathing of the sexes in 
common. He points out (p. S12) the advant»ge» of allowing rhildren 
to be acquainted with the adult forma which they will themselves some 
day assume, and condemns the conduct of thone foolish perEions who 
aaanme that children already possess the adult's erotic feelings about 
the body. That is so far from being the case that children are fre- 
quently unable to distinguish the sex of other children apart from their 
clothes. 

At the Mannheim Congress of the German Society for Combating 
Venereal Diseases, specially devoted to sexual hygiene, the speakers con- 
stantly referred to the necessity of promoting familiarity with the naked 
body. Thus Eulenburg and .Tulian Marcuse {HeruatpSdagogik, p. 2S4t 
emphasize the importance of air-baths, not only for the sake of the 
physical health of the young, but in the interests of rational sexual 
training. HBIler, a teacher, speaking at the same congress [op. cit., p. 
85), after insisting on familiarity with the nude in art and literature, 
and protesting against the bowdlerising of poems for the young, con- 
tinues: "By bathing-drawers ordinances no soul was ever yet saved 
from moral ruin. One who has learnt to enjoy peacefully the naked in 
art is only stirred by the naked in nature as by a work of art." Ender- 
lin, another teacher, speaking in the same sense (p. 6S). points out 
that nakedness cannot act sexually or immorally on the child, since the 
sexual impulse has not yet become pronounced, and the earlier he is 
introduced to the naked in nature and in art, as a matter of course, the 
less likely are the sexual feelings to be developed precociously. The 
child thus, indeed, becomes immune to impure influences, so that later. 
when representations of the nude are brought before him for the object 
of provoking his wantonness, they are powerless to injure him. It is 
important, Enderlin adds, for familiarity with the nude in art to be 
learnt at school, for most of us, as Siebert remarks, have to leam purity 
through art. 

Nakedness in bathing, remarks Bulsche in his Liebetleben in der 
Jfalur (vol. iii, pp. 139 et acq.), we already in some measure possess; 
we need it in physical exercises, at first for the sexes separately; then, 
when we have grown accustomed to the idea, occasionally for both sexes 
together. We need to acquire the capacity to sec the bodies of individ- 
uals of the otiier sex with such self-control and such natural instinct 
that they become non-erotic to us and can be gazed at without erotic 
feeling. Art, he says, shows that this is possible in civilization. 
Science, he adds, comes to the aid of the same view. ' 

Ungewitter (Die Nacktkeit, p. 57) also advocates boys and girls 



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108 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

engaging ia plaj and gymniuticB together, entirely naked in aiT-ba.tbs. 
"In this way," he believes, "the gymnaiium would become a echool of 
morality, in which young growing things would be able to retain their 
purity OB long aa possible through becoming naturally accustomed to 
each other. At the same time their bodies would be hardened and 
developed, and the perception of beautiful and natural forms awakened." 
To thoae who have any "moral" doubts on the matter, he mentions the 
custom in remote country districts of boys and girls bathing together 
quite naked and without any sexual consciousness. Rudolf Sommer, 
similarly, in an excellent article entitled "Miidclienprdehung oder Men- 
Bchenbildung!" (Geschlecht und Gisellsckafl, Bd. i, Heft 3) advises that 
children should be made accustomed to each other's nakedness from an 
early age in the family life o^ the house or tlie garden, in games, and 
especially in bathing; he remarks that parents having children of only 
one sex should cultivate for their children's sake intimate relations with 
a family having children of like age of the opposite sex, so that they 
may grow up together. 

It Ib scarcely neceesary to add that the cultivation of naked- 
ness muBt always be conciliated with respect for the natural 
instincts of modesty. If the practice of nakedness led tlie young 
to esperience a diminished reverence for their own or others' per- 
sonalities the advantages of it would be too dearly bought. This 
ia, in part, a matter of wholesome instinct, in part of wise train- 
ing. We now know that the absence of clothes has little relat'on 
with the absence of modesty, such relation as there b nj, of 
the irfvcrse order, for the savage races which go naked are us ally 
more modest than those which wear clothes. The so ng qu te 1 
by Herodotus in the early Greek world that "A woman take off 
her modesty with her shift" was a favorite text of tl e t.1 r t an 
Fathers. But Plutarch, who was aiso a moralist, had already 
protested against it at the close of the Greek world : "By no 
means," he declared, "she who is modest clothes herself with 
modesty when she lays aside her tunic." "A woman may be 
naked," as Mrs. Bishop, the traveller, remarked to Dr. Baelz, in 
Japan, "and yet behave like a lady."^ 

The question is complicated among ourselves because ^tab- 

1 Sec "The Evolution of Jfodesty" in the first volume of these 
Studies, where this question of the relationship of nakedness to modesty 
la fully discussed. 



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SeXDAL EDUCATION AND KAKEDNE3S. 109 

liehed traditions of rigid concealment have fostered a pruriency 
which is an offensive insult to naked modesty. In many lands 
the women who are accustomed to be almoat or quite naked in the 
presence of their own people cover themselves as soon as they 
become conscious of the lustful inquisitive eyes of Europeans. 
Stratz refers to the prevalence of this impulse of offended 
modesty in Japan, aad mentions that he himself failed to arouse 
it simply because he was a physician, and, moreover, had long 
lived in another land (Java) where also the custom of naked- 
ness prevails.^ So long as this unnatural prurience exists a free 
unqualified nakedness is rendered difficult. 

Modesty is not, however, the only natural impulse which 
has to be considered in relation to the custom of nakedness. It 
seems probable that in cultivating the practice of nakedness we 
are not merely carrying out a moral and hygienic prescription 
but allowing legitimate scope to an instinct which at some 
periods of life, especially in adolescence, is spontaneous and 
natural, even, it may be, wholesomely based in the traditions of 
the race in sexual selection. Our rigid conventions make it 
impossible for us to discover the laws of nature in this matter 
by stifling them at the outset. It may well be that there is a 
rhythmic harmony and concordance between impulses of modesty 
and impulses of ostentation, though we have done our be?t to 
disguise the natural law by our stupid and perverse by-laws. 

SUinlej Hall, who emphaaizes the importance of nakedneaa, remarka 
that at pubertj' we have much reaaon to aaaume that in a atate of nature 
there ia a cert«iii instinctive pride and ostentation that accompaniea the 
new local development, and quotes the observation of Dr. Seerley that 
the impulse to conceal the sexual organs is especially marked in young 
men who are underdeveloped, but not evident in thoae who are developei 
beyond the average. Stanley Ilnll (Adolescence, vol. ii, p. 97), also 
refers to the frequency with which not only "virtuous young men, but 
even women, rather glorj- in occasions when they can display the beauty 
of their forma without reserve, not only to themaelves and to loved ones, 
but even to others witli proper pretexts," 

Many have doubtlesa noted this tendency, eapccially in women, and 



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110 PSYCHOLOGY OF BEX, 

chieftf in thoae -who are conscious of beautiful phjaicsl development. 
Madame Celine RenoOE believes that the tendency correBponde to a realty 
deep-rooted instinct ia women, little or not at all manifested in men 
who have consequently sought to impose artificially on women their own 
maseuline conceptions of modesty. "In the actual life of the young girl 
to-day there is a moment when, by e secret atavism, she feels the pride 
of her sex, the intuition of her moral superiority and cannot understand 
why she must hide its cause. At this moment, wavering between the 
laws of Nature and social aonventJons, she scarcely knows if nakedness 
should, or should not, affright her. A sort of confused atavistic memory 
recalls to her a period before clothing was known, and reveals to her as 
a paradisaical ideal the customs of that human epoch" {C4line RenooE, 
Psychologie Comparie de Vllomme et de la Femme, pp. 8B-87). Perhaps 
this was obscurely felt by the German girl (mentioned in Kalbeck's IAf« 
of Brahmt), who said: "One enjoys music twice as much dicolletie." 

From the point of view with which we are here eBsentially 
concerned there are three ways in which the cultivation of 
nakedncBs — bo far as it is permitted by the slow education of 
public opinion — tends to exert an influence; (1) It is an 
important element in the sexual hygiene of the young, intro- 
ducing a wholesome knowledge and incuriosity into a sphere 
once given up to prudery and pruriency. (2) The efifect of 
nakedness is beneficial on those of more mature age, also, in so 
far as it tends to cultivate the sense of beauty and to furnish the 
tonic and consoling influences of natural vigor and grace. (3) 
The custom of nakedness, in its inception at all events, has a 
dynamic psychological influence also on morals, an influence 
exerted in the substitution of a strenuous and positive morality 
for the merely negative and timid morality which has ruled in 
this sphere. 

Perhaps there are not many adults who realize the intense 
and secret absorption of thought in the minds of many boys and 
some girls concerning the problem of the physical conformation 
of the other sex, and the time, patience, and intellectual energy 
which they are willing to expend on the solution of this problem. 
This ia mostly effected in secret, but not seldom the secret 
impulse manifests itself with a sudden violence which in the 
blind eyes of the taw is reckoned as crime. A Germau lawj-er, 
Dr. Werthauerj has lately stated that if there were a due degree 



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B8XDAL laiUCATION AND SAKEDNBSS. HI 

of familiarity with the natural organs and fimctioDs of the 
opposite sex ninety per cent, of the indecent acta of youths with 
girl children would disappear, for in most cases these are not 
assaults but merely the innocent, though uncontrollable, out- 
come of a repressed natural curiosity. It is quite true that not a 
few children boldly enlist each others' cooperation in the 
settlement of the question and resolve it to their mutual satis- 
faction. But even this is not altogether satisfactory, for the 
end is not attained openly and wholesomely, with a due sub- 
ordination of the specifically sexual, but with a consciousness of 
wrong-doing and an exclusive attentivencss to the merely 
physical fact which. tend directly to develop sexual excitement. 
■\Vhen familiarity with the naked body of the other sex is gained 
openly and with no consciousness of indecorum, in the course of 
work and of play, in exercise or g}'mnastic8, in running or in 
bathing, from a child's earliest years, no unwholesome results 
accompany the knowledge of the essential facts of physical 
conformation thus naturally acquired. The prurience and 
prudery which liave poisoned sexual life in the past are alike 
rendered impossible. 

XakednesB has, however, a hygienic value, as well as a 
spiritual significance, far beyond its ioftuences in allaying the 
natural jnquisitiveness of the young or acting as a preventative 
of morbid emotion. It is an inspiration to adults who have long 
outgrown any youthful curiosities. The vision of the essential 
and eternal human form, the nearest thing to us in all the 
world, with its vigor and its beauty and its grace, is one of the 
prime tonics of life. "The power of a woman's body" said 
James Hinton, "is no more bodily than the power of music ia a 
power of atmospheric vibrations." It is more than all the 
beautiful and stimulating things of the world, than flowers or 
stars or the sea. History and legend and myth reveal to us the 
sacred and awful influence of nakedness, for, as Stanley Hall, 
says, nakedness has always been "a talisman of wondrous power 
with gods and men," How sorely men crave for the spectacle of 
the human body — even to-day after generations have inculcated 
the notion that it is an indecorous and even disgusting spectacle 



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112 PSYOHOLOQT OP BSX. 

— IB witnessed by the eagerness with which they seek after the 
spectacle of even its imperfect and meretricious forms, although 
ihese certainly possess a heady and stimulating quality which 
can never be found in the pathetic simplicity of naked beauty. 
It was another spectacle when the queens of ancient Madagascar 
at the annual Fandroon, or feast of the bath, laid aside their 
royal robee and while their subjects crowded the palace courtyard, 
descended the marble steps to the bath in complete nakedness. 
When we make our conventions of clothing rigid we at once 
spread a feast for lust and deny ourselves one of the prime tonics 
of Ufe. 

"I was feeling in despair and walking despondently along a Mel- 
bourne street," writes the Australian author of a yet unpublished auto- 
biography, "when three children came running out of a lane and crossed 
the road in full daylight. The beaut; and texture of their legs in the 
«pen air filled me with joy, so that I forgot all my troubles whilst 
looking at them. It was a bright revelation, an unexpected glimpse of 
Paradise, and I have never ceaaed to thank the happy combination of 
«liape, pure blood, and fine skin of these poverty -stricken children, for 
th« wind seemed to quicken their golden beauty, and I retained the roi? 
TJsion of their natural young limbs, so much more divine than thMe 
always under cover. Another occasion when naked young limbs made 
me forget all my gloom and despondency was on my first visit to 
Adelaide. I came on a naked boy leaning on the railing near the Baths, 
And the beauty of his face, torso, fair young limbs and exquisite feet 
filled me with joy and renewed hope. The tears came to my eyes, and I 
said to myself, *While there ia beauty In the world I will continue to 
Btrug^e.' " 

We must, as Biilsche declares [loo. oit), accustom ourselves to gaze 
-on the naked human body exactly as we gaze at a beautiful flower, not 
merely with the pity with which the doctor looks at the body, but with 
joy in its strength and health and beauty. For a flower, as Bjilsche 
truly adds, is not merely "naked body," it is the most sacred region of 
the body, the sexual organs of the plant. 

"For girls to dance naked," said Hinton, "ia the only truly pure 
form of dancing, and in due time it must therefore come about. This Is 
certain; girls will dance naked and men will be pure enough to gaze 
on them." It has already been so in Qreece, he elsewhere remarks, as 
it is to-day in Japan (as more recently descritjed by Slratz). It is 
nearly forty years since these prophetic words were written, but Hinton 
himself would probably have been surprised at the progress which has 



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SEXl'AL EDUCATION AND NAEEDNESa. 113 

already been made slowly (for all true progress must be slow) towftrda 
this goal. Even on the stage new and more natural traditions are begin- 
ning to prevail in Europe. It is not many yeara since an English actress 
regarded as a calumnj the statement that she appeared on the stage 
bar«-foot, and brought an action for libel, winning substantial damages. 
Suoh a rpsult would scarcely be poesible to-day. The movement in which 
Isadora Duncan was a pioneer ha^ led to a partial disuse among dancers 
of the offensive deviee of tightx, and it is no longer considered indecor- 
ous to ohov many parts of the body whicb it was formerly usual tt> 
oorer. 

It should, however, be added at the same time that, while dancers. 
Id so far as they are genuine artists, are entitled to determine the con- 
ditions moat favorable to their art, nothing whatever is gained for the 
cause of a wholesome culture of nakedness by the "living statues" and 
"living pictures" which have obtained an international vogue during 
recent years. These may be legitimate as variety performancea, but 
they have nothing whatever to do with either Nature or art Dr. Pudor, 
writing as one of the earliest apostles of the culture of nakedness, has 
energetically protested against these performances {Bemial-Prolleme, 
Dec., 1608, p. 828). He rightly pointa out that nakedness, to be whole- 
some, requires the open air, the meadows, the sunlight, and that naked- 
ness at night, in* a music hall, by artiQcial light, in the presence of 
spectators who are themselves clothed, has no eltment of morality about 
it. Attempts have here and there been qnietly made to cultivate a cer- 
tain amount of mutual nakedness as between the sexes on remote country 
excursions. It is significant to find a record of such an experiment in 
Ungewitter's Die Xacktkeit. In this case a party of people, men and 
women, would regularly every Sunday seek remote spots in woods or 
meadows where they would settle down, picnic, and enjoy games. "They 
made themselves oh comfortable as possible, the men laying aside their 
coats, waistcoats, boots and socks; the women their blouses, skirts, 
shoes and stockings. Gradually, as the moral conception of nakedness 
developed in their minds, more and more clothing fell away, until tlie 
men wore nothing but bathing-drawers and the women only their 
chemises. In this 'costume' games were carried out in common, and a 
regular eamp-life led. The ladies <Home of whom were unmarried) 
would then lie in hammocks and we men on the grass, and the inter- 
course was delightful. We felt as members of one family, and behaved 
accordingly. In an entirely natural and unembarrassed way we gave 
ourselves up entirely to the liberating feelings aroused by this li^t- and 
air-bath, and passed these splendid hours in joyous singing and dancing, 
in wantonly childish fashion, freed from the burden of a false civiliza- 
tion. It was, of course, necessary to seek spots as remote as possible 
from high-roads, for fear of being disturbed. At the some time we by 



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114 PSTCHOLOOY OF SEX. 

no meuM foiled in natural modestj and ooneideration towards one 
another. Oiildren, who can be entirely naked, may be allowed to take 
part in such meetings of adults, and will thus be brought up free from 
morbid prudery" (R. Ungewitter, Die Nacklheit, p. 58). 

No doubt it may be said that the ideal in this matter is the pos- 
sibility of permitting complete nakedness. This may be admitted, and 
it is undoubtedly true that our rigid police regulations do much to 
artificially foster a concealment in this matter which ia not based on 
any natural instinct. Dr. Shufeldt narrates in his 8lu:Ues of the 
Euman Form that once in the course of a photographic expedition in 
the woods he came upon two boys, naked except for bathing-drawers, 
engaged in getting water lilies from a pond. He found them a good 
subject for his camera, but they could not be induced to remove their 
drawers, by no means out of either modesty or mock-modesty, but simply 
because they feared they might possibly be cnuglit and arrested. We 
have to recogniie that at the present day the general popular sentiment 
is not yet sufficiently educated to allow of public disregard for the con- 
vention of covering the sexual centres, and all attempts to extend the 
bounds of nakedness must show a due regard for this requirement. As 
concerns women, Valentin Lehr, of Freibui^, in Breisgau, has invented 
a costume (figured in Ungewitter's Die 'Kacktheil] which is Buitable for 
either public water-baths or nirbaths, because it meets the demand of 
tho8« whose minimum requirement is that the chief sexual centres of 
the body should be covered in public, while it is otherwise fairly unob- 
jectionable. It consists of two pieces, made of porous material, one 
covering the breasts with a band over the shoulders, and the other cov- 
ering the abdomen below the navel and drawn between the legs. This 
minimal costume, while neither idea) nor testhetic. adequately covers the 
sexual regions of the body, while leaving the arms, waist, bips, and legs 
entirely free. 

There finally remainB the moral aspect of nakedness. 
Although this has been emphasized by many during the past half 
century it is still unfamiliar to the majority. The human body 
can never be a little thing. The wise educator may see to it 
that boys and girls are brou^t up in a natural and wholesome 
familiarity with each other, but a certain terror and beauty 
must always attach to the spectacle of the body, a mixed attrac- 
tion and repulsion. Because it has this force it naturally caUs 
out the virtue of those who take part in the spectacle, and makes 
impossible any soft compliance to emotion. Even if we admit 
that the spectacle of nakedness is a challenge to passion it is still 



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SEXDAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS. 115 

a challenge that calls out the eonobling qualities of self-control. 
It is but a poor sort of virtue that lies in fleeing into the desert 
from things that we fear may have in them a temptation. We 
have to leam that it is even worse to attempt to create a desert 
around us in the midst of civilization. We cannot dispense with 
passions if we would ; reason, as Holbach said, is the art of 
choosing the right passions, and education the art of sowing and 
cultivating them in human hearts. The spectacle of nakedneas 
has its moral value in teaching us to leam to enjoy what we do 
not possess, a lesson which is an essential part of the training 
for any kind of fine social life. The child has to leam to look at 
flowers and not pluck them ; the man has to leam to look at a 
woman's beauty and not desire to pOBsess it. The joyous con- 
quest over that "erotic kleptomania," as Ellen Key has well said, 
reveals the blossoming of a fine civilization. We fancy the 
conquest is difficult, even impossibly difBcult. But it is not so. 
This impulse, like other human impulses, t^nds under natural 
conditions to develop temperately and wholesomely. We arti- 
ficially press a stupid and brutal hand on it, and it is driven into 
the two unnatural extremes of repression and license, one 
extreme as foul as the other. 

To those who have been bred under bad conditions, it may 
indeed seem hopeless to attempt to rise to the level of the Qreeks 
and the other finer tempered peoples of antiquity in realizing the 
moral, as well as the pedagogic, hygienic, and sesthetic advan- 
tages^ of admitting into life the spectacle of t)ie naked human 

1 1 have not considered it in place here to emphasize the Esthetic 
influence of familiarity with nakedneas. The moat leathetic nations (not- 
ably the Greeks and the Japanese) iiave been those that preaerved a 
certain degree of familiarily with the naked body. "In all arts," 
Maeterlinck remarks, "civilized peoples have approached or departed 
from pure beauty according' as they approached or departed from the 
habit of nakednesB." Ungewittcr inaisU on the advantage to the artist 
of being able to study the naked body in movement, and it may be worth 
mentioning that Fidiis (Hugo HHppener), the Gennan artist of to-day 
who has exerted great influence by hia freah, powerful and yet reverent 
delineation of the naked human form in all its varying fts;)ecta, 
attributes his inspiration and vision to the fact that, aa a pupil of 
Diefenbach, he was accustomed with hia companions to work naked in 
the Bolitudes outside Munich which they frequented (F. Enzensberger, 
"Fldus," Deutaahe Evltw. Aug., 1906). 



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116 PSYCHOLOGT OF SEX. 

body. But unless we do we hopelessly fetter ouraelTea in our 
march along the road of civilization, we deprive ourselves at once 
of a source of moral strength and of joyous inspiration. Just as 
Wesley once asked why the devil should have all the best tunes, 
80 to-day men are beginning to ask why the human body, the 
most divine melody at its finest moments that creation has 
yielded, should he allowed to become the perquisite of those who 
lust for the obsceae. And some are, further, convinced that by 
enlisting it on the side of purity and strength they are raising 
the most powerful of all bulwarks against the invasion of a 
vielouB conception of life and the consequent degradation of sex. 
These are considerations which we cannot longer afford to neglect, 
however great the opposition they arouse among the unthinking. 

"Folk are afraid of such tbings rousing the paBsions," Edward 
Carpenter remarka. "No doubt the tilings may act that way. But why, 
we may ask, should people be afraid of rousLng pasaiona which, after all, 
are the great driving lorces of hiiraan life!" It \a trup, the aame writer 
continues, our conventional moral formulie are no longer strong enough 
tff control paBsion adequately, and that we are generating steam in a 
boiler that is cankered with rust. "The cure is not to cut off the pas- 
sions, or to be weakly afraid of them, but to find a new, sound, healthy 
engine of general morality and common sense within which they will 
work" (Edward Carpenter, Albany Review, Sept., 1907). 

So far aa I am aware, however, it was James Hinton who chiefly 
sought to make clear the possibility ot a positive morality on the basis 
of nakedness, beauty, and sexual influence, regarded as dynamic forces 
which, when suppressed, make for corruption and when wisely used 
serve to inspire and ennoble life. He worked out bis thnnghts on thii 
matter Id MSS., written from about 1870 to his death two years lat«r, 
which, never having been prepared for publication, remain in a frag- 
mentary state and have not been published. I quote a few brief charac- 
teristic passages: "Is not," he wrote, "the Hindu refusal to see a 
woman eating strangely like ours to see one naked! The real sensuality 

of the thought is visibly identical Suppose, because they 

are delicious to eat, pineapples were forbidden to be seen, except in 
pictures, and about that there was something dubious. Suppose no one 
might have sight of a pineapple unless he were rich enough to purchase 
one tor his particular eating, tho sight and the eating being so indis' 
solubly joined. What luatfulncss would surround them, what constant 

pruriency, what stealing! .... Miss told us of her 

Syrian adventures, and how she wont into a wood-carver's shop and he 



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SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAEEDNBS8. 117 

would not look at her; and how she took up a. tool and worked, till at 
)aat be looked, and they both buiat out laughing. Will it not be even 
K> with our looking at women altogether! There will come a work — 
and af last we shall look up and both burst out laughing. .... 
When men see truly what is amies, and act with reaaon and forethought 
in respect to the sesual relations, will they not inaiat on the enjoyment 
of women's beauty by youths, and from the earliest age, that the first 
feeling may be of beautyt Will they not say, 'We must not allow the 
false puri^, we muat hare the true.' The false has been tried, and it 
ia not good enough; the power purely to enjoy beauty must be gained; 
attempting to do with less ia fatal. Every instructor of youth shall 
say; This beauty of woman, God's chief work of beauty, it ia good you 
see it; it ia a pleasure that serves good; all beauty aervea it, and abore 
all this, for ita office is to make you pure. Come to it aa you come to 
daily bread, or pure air, or the cleansing bath: this ia pure to you if 
you be pure, it will aid you in your effort to be bo. But if any of you 
are impure, and make of it the feeder of impurity, then you ahould be 
ashamed and prayj it ia not for you our life can be ordered; it ia for 
men and not for beaata.' This must come when men open their eyes, 
and act coolly and with reason and forethonght, and not in mere panic 
in reapect to the sexual passion in it« moral relations." 



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CHAPTER IV. 

THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE. 

The Conception of Sexual Love — The Attitude of Medisval Asceti- 
cism — St. Bernard and St. Odo of Clunj — The Ascetic Insistence on the 
Proximity of tbe Sexual and Excretory Centres — Love as a Sacrament 
■of Nature — The Idea of the Impurity of Sex in Primitive Religions 
Generally — Theories of the Origin of This Idea — ^The Anti-Ascetic Ele- 
ment in the Bible and Early Christianity — Clempnt of Alexandria — St. 
Augustine'a Attitude — The Recognition of the Sacredness of the Body 
"by Tertullian, Ruflnus and Athanasiua— The Reformation — The Sexual 
Instinct regarded as Beastly — The Human Sexual Instinct Not Animal- 
Jilte — Lust and Love — The Definition of Love — Love and Names for Love 
Unknown in Some Parts of the World— Romantic Love of Late Develop- 
ment in the ^\'hif« Race — The Mystery of Sexual Desire — Whether Love 
is a Delusion— The Spiritual as Well as the Physical Structure of the 
World in Part Built up on Sexual Love— The Testimony of Men of 
Intellect to the Supremacy of Love. 

It will be seen that the preceding discussion of nakedness 
has a significance beyond nhat it appeared to possess at the out- 
Bet. The hygienic value, physically and mentally, of familiarity 
with nakedness during the early years of life, however con- 
siderable it may be, is not the only value which such familiarity 
possesses. Beyond its [esthetic value, also, there lies in it a moral 
value, a source of dynamic energy. And now, taking a still 
further step, we may say that it has a spiritual value in relation 
to our whole conception of the sexual impulse. Our attitude 
towards tlie naked human body is the test of our attitude towards 
the instinct of sex. If our own and our fellows' bodies seem to 
us intrinsically shameful or disgusting, nothing will ever really 
ennoble or purify our coneeptions of sexual love. Love craves 
the flesh, and if the flesh is shameful the lover must be shameful. 
"Se la cosa amata ^ vile," as Leonardo da Vinci profoundly 
said, 'Tamante se fa vile." However illogical it may have been, 
there really was a justification for the old Christian identification 
of the flesh with the sexual instinct. They stand or fall 
(118) 



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THE VALUATION OF 8BXDAL LOVE. 119 

together; we cannot degrade the one and exalt the other. As 
our feelings towards nakedneea are, bo will be our feelings towards 
love. 

"Man is nothing else than fetid sperm, a sack of dung, the 
food of worms. . . . You have never seen a viler dung-hill." 
Such was the outcome of St. Bernard's cloistered Meditaiiones 
Piissima.^ Sometimes, indeed, these mediffival monks would 
admit that the skin possessed a, certain superficial beauty, but 
they only made that admission in order to emphasize the hideous- 
nees of the body when deprived of this film of loveliness, and 
strained all their perverse intellectual acumen, and their 
ferocious irony, as they eagerly pointed the finger of mockery at 
every detail of what seemed to them the pitiful figure of man. St. 
Odo of Cluny — charming saint as he was and a pioneer in his 
appreciation of the wild beauty of the Alps he had often 
traversed — was yet an adept in this art of reviling the beauty of 
the human body. That beauty only lies in the ekin, he insists ; 
if we could see beneath the skin women would arouse nothing 
but nausea. Their adornments are but blood and mucus and 
bile. If we refuse to touch dung and phlegm even with a finger- 
tip, how can we desire to embrace a sack of dung?^ The 
mediaeval monks of the more contemplative order, indeed, often 
found here a delectable field of meditation, and the Christian 
world generally was content to accept their opinions in more or 
less diluted versions, or at all events never made any definite 
protest against them. 

i Meditationea PiMmie de Cognititme Humana Conditions, Migne's 
PalTOlogia, vol. clixiv, p. 489, cap. Ill, "De Dignitat* Animie et Vilitate 
Corporis." It may be worth while to quote more at length the vigorous 
language of the original. "Si diligenter conaideres quid per os et nares 
esterosque corporis meatus egrediatur, villus sterquilinum nuroquam 

vidisti Attende. homo, quid fuUti ante ortum, et quid ea ab 

ortu usque ad occasum, atque quid eria post hanc vitam. Profecto fuit 
quand non eraa: postca de vili materia factua, et viliesimo panno 
InrolutuB, menstrual i sanguine in iitero matemo fuisti nutritua, et 
tunica tua fuit pellis secundina. Nihil Blind eat homo qiiam aperma 

fetidum, sacetia aterconim, cibua vermium Quid superbis, 

pulvia et cinia, cujus conceptus cula, nasci miaeria, vivere pcena, mori 
antruatiaT" 

8. Odonit abbalit Cluniaccnsis Oolla- 



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120 P3TC110L0QT OF SEX. 

Even men of science accepted these conceptions and are, 
indeed, only now beginning to emancipate themselves from such 
ancient euperstitions. B. de Graef in the Preface to hia famous ' 
treatise oa the generative organs of women, De MtUierum Organis 
Qeneratione Inservientibm, dedicated to Cosmo III de Medici in 
1672, considered it necessary to apologize for the subject of his 
work. Even a century later, Linnseus in his great work. The 
System of Nature, dismissed as "abominable" the exact study 
of the female genitals, although he admitted the scientific 
interest of euch investigations. And if men of science have 
found it difficult to attain an objective vision of women we 
cannot be surprised that mediaeval and still more ancient 
conceptions have often been subtly mingled with the views of 
philosophical and semi-philosophical writers.' 

We may regard as a special variety of the ascetic view of 
sex, — for the ascetics, as we see, freely but not quite legitimately, 
based their asceticism largely on KStbetic considerations, — that 
insistence on the proximity of the sexual to the excretory centres 
which found expression in the early Church in Augustine's 
depreciatory assertion: "Inter faeces et urinam nascimur," and 
still persists among many who by no means always associate it 
with religious asceticism.^ "As a result of what ridiculous 
economy, and of what Mephistophilian irony," asks Tarde,' 
"has Nature imagined that a function so lofty, so worthy of the 
poetic and philosophical hymns which have celebrated it, only 
deserved to have its exclusive organ shared with that of the vilept 
corporal functions?" 

It may, however, be pointed out that thb view of the matter, 
however unconsciously, is itself the outcome of the ascetic depre- 
ciation of the body. From a scientific point of view, the 

1 Dtlhren {Neue Forahungm Uber die Marquit de Bade, pp. 432 et 
»eq.) ahovrs how the ftscetic view of woman's body persisted, for instance, 
in Scbopenhftuer and De Sade. 

a In "The Evolution of Modesty," in the first volume of these 
8tudie», and again in the fifth volume in discussing uroiagnia in the 
study of "Erotic Bymbolism.*' the mutual reactions of tJie sexual and 
eitcretory centres were fully dealt with, 

3 "Ia Morale Sexuelle," ATchive* d'Anthropologie CrimitteU«, Jan., 
1W>7. 



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THE VALUATION OF 8EXCAL LOVE. 121 

metabolic processes of the body from one end to the other, 
whether regarded chemically or psydiologically, are all inter- 
woven and all of equal dignity. We cannot separate out any 
particular chemical or biological procesa and declare: This is 
vile. £ven what we call excrement still stores up the stuff of our 
lives. Eating has to some persons seemed a disgusting process. 
But yet it has been possible to say, with Thoreau, that "the gods 
have really intended that men should feed divinely, as themselves, 
on their own nettar and ambrosia. ... I have felt that 
eating became a sacrament, a method of communion, an ecstatic 
exercise, and a sitting at the communion table of the world." 

The sacraments of Nature are in this way everywhere woven 
into the texture of men's and women's bodies. Lips good to kiss 
witli are indeed first of all chiefiy good to eat and drink with. 
So accumulated and overlapped have the centres of force become 
in the long course of development, that the mucoua membranes 
of the natural orifices, through the sensitiveness gained in their 
own offices, all become agents to thrill the soul in the contact 
of love ; it is idle to discriminate high or low, pure or impure ; all 
alike are sanctified already by the extreme unction of Nature. 
The nose receives the breath of life; the vagina receives the 
water of life. Ultimately the worth and loveliness of life must 
be measured by the worth and loveliness for us of the instruments 
of life. The swelling breasts are such divinely gracious insignia 
of womanhood because of the potential child that hangs at them 
and sucks; the large curves of the hips are so voluptuous because 
of the potential child they clasp within them ; there can be no 
division here, we cannot cut the roots from the tree. The 
supreme function of manhood — the handing- on of the lamp of 
life to future racee — is carried on, it is true, by the same instru- 
ment that is the daily conduit of the bladder. It has been said 
in scorn that we are bom between urine and excrement; it 
may be said, in reverence, that the pissage through this channel of 
birth is a sacrament of Nature's more sacred and significant than 
men could ever invent. 

These relationships have been sometimes perceived and their 
meaning realized by a sort of mystical intuition. We catch 



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122 P8T0H0LOQT OF BEX. 

glimpses of such an insight now and again, first among the poets 
and later among the physicians of the Renaissance. In 1664 
Eolfinciua, in hia Ordo et Methodus Oeneratiom Partium etc., at 
the outset of the second Part devoted to the sexual organs of 
women, sets forth what ancient irriters have said of the Eleusinian 
and other mysteries and the devotion and purity demanded of 
those who approached these sacred ritea. It is so also with us, he 
continues, in the rites of scientific investigation. "We also operate 
with sacred things. The organs of sex are to be held among 
sacred things. They who approach these altars must come with 
devout minds. Let the profane stand without, and the doors be 
closed." In those days, even for science, faith and intuition were 
alone possible. It is only of recent years that the histologiat's 
microscope and the physiological chemist's test-tube have fur- 
nished them with a rational basis. It is no longer possible to 
cut Nature in two and assert that here she is pure and there 
impure,* 

There thuB appears to be no adequate ground for agreeing with 
those who consider that the proximity of the generative and excretory 
centres is "a stupid bungle of Nature's." An association which is so 
ancient and primitive in Nature can only seem repulsive to those whose 
feeliogB have become morbidly unnatural. It may further he remarkeil 
that the anus, which is the more Kstheticnlly unattractive of the excre- 
tory centres, is comparatively remote from the sexual cintce, and that, 
as K. Hellmann remarked many years ago in discussing this question 
(Ueber Oeachlechttfreiheit, p. 82): "In the first place, freshly voided 
urine has nothing specially unpleasant about it, and in the second place, 
even if it had, we might reflect that a rosy mouth by no means loses its 
charm merely because it fails to invite a kiss at the moment when its 
possessor ia vomiting." 

A clergyman writes suggesting that we may go further and find a 
positive advantage in this proximity: "I am glad that you do not agree 
with the man who considered that Nature had bungled by using the 
genitals for urinary purposes; apart from teleological or theological 
grounds I could not follow that line of reasoning. I think there ia no 
need for disgust concerning the urinary organs, though I feel that the 

I The above passage, now slightly modified, originally formed an 
unpublished part of an essay on Walt Whitman in The f{eu> Spirit, first 
issued in 1880. - 



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THE VALUATION OF SEXCAL LOTS. 123 

anus can never be attractive to the noinial mind; but tbe anus is quite 
separate from the genitals. I nould Euggest that the proximity servea 
a good end in making the organs more or leas secret except at times of 
sexuai emotion or to those in love. The result it some degree of repul- 
sion at ordinary times and a strong attraction at times of sexual 
activity. Hence, the ordinary guarding of the parta, from fear of creat- 
ing disgust, greatly increases their attractiveness at other times when 
sexual emotion is paramount. Further, the feeling of disgust itself is 
merely the result of habit and sentiment, however useful it may be, and 
according to Scripture everj-thing is clean and good. The ascetic feeling 
of repulsion, if we go back t« origin, is due to other than Christian 
influence. Christianity came out of Judaism which had no sense of th« 
impurity of marriage, for 'unclean' in the Old Testament simply means 
'sacred.' The ascetic side of the religion of Christianity is no part of 
the religion of Christ as it came from the hands of its Founder, and 
the modern feeling on this matter is a lingering remnant of the heresy 
of the Manichfeans." I may add, however, that, as Northcote points 
out {Chrittianilj/ and Bern FrobUmt, p. 14), side by side in the Old 
Testament with the frank recognition of sexuality, there ia a circle of 
ideas revealing the feeling of impurity in sex and of shame in connec- 
tion with it. Christianity inherited this mixed feeling. It has really 
been a widespread and almost universal feeling among the ancient and 
primitive peoples that there is sometliing impure and sinful in the things 
of sex, BO that those who would lead a religious life must avoid sexual 
relationships; even in India celibacy has commanded respect (see, e.g., 
Westermarck, Marriage, pp. 150 et seq.). As to the original foundation 
of this notion — which it is unnecessary to discuss more fully here — 
many theories have been put forward; St. Augustine, in his De Civitato 
Dei, sets forth the ingenious idea that the penis, being liable to spon- 
taneous movements and erections that are not under the control of the 
will, is a shameful organ and involves the whole sphere of sex in its 
shame. -Westermarck argues that among nearly all peoples there is a 
feeling against sexual relationship with members of the same family or 
household, and as sex ivss thus banished from the sphere of domestic 
life a notion of its general impurity arose; Northcote points out that 
from the first it has been necessary to seek concealment for sexual inter- 
course, because at that moment the couple would be a prey to hostile 
attacks, and that it was by nil easy transition that sex cume to be 
regarded as a thing that ought to be concealed, and, therefore, a sinful 
thing. (Diderot, in his HuppUment au Voyage de Bougainville, had 
already referred to this motive for seclusion as "the only natural ele- 
ment in modesty.") Crawley has devoted a large part of his suggestive 
work. The Mystic Rose, to showing that, to savage man, sex is a perilous, 
dangerous, and enfeebling element in life, and, therefore, sinful. 



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124 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, 

It wonld, however, be a mistake to think that euch men aa 
St. Bernard and St. Odo of Clunj, admirably as they repiesented 
the ascetic and even the general Christian views of their own 
time, are to be regarded as altogether typical exponents of the 
genuine and primitiye Christian view. So far as I have been 
able to discover, during the first thousand years of Christianity 
we do not find this concentrated intellectual and emotional 
ferocity of attack on the body ; it only developed at the moment 
when, with Pope Gregory VII, mediseval Christianity reached the 
climax of its conquest over the souls of European men, in the 
establishment of the celibacy of the secular clergy, and the growth 
of the great cloistered communities of monks in severely regulated 
and secluded orders.! Before that the teachers of asceticism 
were more concerned to exhort to chastity and4u6desty than to 
direct a deliberate and systematic attack on the whole body ; they 
concaitrated their attention rather on spiritual virtues than on 
physical imperfections. And if we go back to the Oospels we 
find little of the mediceval ascetic spirit in the reported sayings 
and doings of Jesus, which may rather indeed be said to reveal, 
on the whole, notwithstanding their underlying asceticism, a 
certain tenderness and indulgence to the body, while even Paul, 
though not tender towards the body, exhorts to reverence towards 
it as a temple of the Holy Spirit. 

We cannot expect to find the Fathers of the Church sympa- 
thetic towards the spectacle of tlie naked human body, for their 
position was based on a revolt against paganism, and paganism 
had cultivated the body. Nakedness had been more especially 
associated with the public bath, the gymnasium, and the theatre ; 
in profoundly disapproving of these pagan institutions Christi- 

1 Even in the ninth century, however, when the monastic movemeot 
was rapidly developing, there were some who withstood the tendencies 
of thd new asccticB. Thus, in 860, RatramnuH, the monk of Corbie, 
wrote a treatise (Liter de eo quod Chrigtua ex Virgine ttatvt, eel) to 
prove that Mary really gave birth to Jesus through her sexual organs, 
and not, as some high-atmng persons were beginning to think could 
alone be possible, through the more conventionally decent breasts. The 
Bpxual organs were annctifled. "Rpiritus sanctus . . . . et thala- 
mum tanto dignum sponso sanctificavit et portam" (Achery, Spicilcgium, 
vol. i, p. 6E). 



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THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE. 125 

aaity discouraged nakedueas. The fact that familiarity with 
Dakedaess wad favorable, rather than opposed, to the chastity to 
which it attached eo much importance, the Church — though 
indeed at one moment it accepted nakedness in the rite of bap- 
tism — was for the most part unable to see if it was indeed a fact 
which the special conditions of decadent classic life had tended 
to disguise. But in their decided preference for the dressed over 
the naked human body the early Christians frequently hesitated 
to take the further step of asserting that the body is a focus of 
impurity and that the physical organs of sex are a device of the 
devil. On the contrary, indeed, some of the moat distinguished 
of the Fathers, especially those of the Eastern Church who had 
felt the vivifying breath of Gredt thought, occasionally expressed 
themselves on the subject of Nature, sex, and the body in a 
spirit which would have won the approval of Goethe or Whitman. 

Clement of Alexandria, with all the eccentricities of his over- 
subtle intellect, was yet the most genuinely Qreek of all the 
Fathers, and it is not surprising that the dying ray of classic light 
reflected from his mind shed some illumination over this question 
of sex. He protested, for instance, against that prudery which, 
as the sun of the classic world set, bad begun to overshadow life. 
"We should not be aehamed to name," he declared, "what God 
has not been ashamed to create."^ It was a memorable declare 
tion because, while it accepted the old classic feeling of no shame 
in the presence of nature, it put that feeling on a new and 
religions basis harmonious t^ Christianity. Throughout, though 
not always quite consistently, Clement defends the body and the 
functions of sex against those who treated them with contempt. 
And as the cause of sex is the cause of women be always strongly 
asserts the dignity of women, and also proclaims the holiness of 
marriage, a state which he sometimes places above that of 
virginity.2 

Unfortunately, it must be said, St. Augustine — another 

tPadagogua, lib. ii, cap. X. Elsewhere (id., lib. ii, Ch. VI) he 
makes a more detailed statement to the same effect. 

!See, e.g., Wilhelm Capitaioe, Die Moral dea Clemen* con Alex- 
Ofidrien, pp. 112 et aeq. 



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126 PSTOHOLOGT OF BBS, 

North African, but of Roman Carthage and not of Greek Alex- 
andria — thought that he had a convincing answer to the kind of 
argument which Clement presented, and so great was the force 
of his pasBionate and potent genius that he was able in the end to 
make his answer prevail. For Augustine sin was hereditary, and 
sin had its epecial seat and symbol in the sesuai organs ; the fact 
of sin haH modified tlie original divine act of creation, and we can- 
not treat sex and its organs as though there had been no inherited 
sin. Our sexual organs, he declares, have become shameful be- 
cause, through sin, they are now moved by lust. At the same time 
Augustine by no means takes up the mediaeval ascetic position of 
contemptuous hatred towards the body. Nothing can be further 
from Odo of Cluny than Augustine's enthusiasm about the body, 
even about the exquisite harmony of the parta beneath the skin. 
"I believe it may be concluded," he even says, "that in the cre- 
ation of the liuman body beauty was more regarded than 
necessity. In truth, necessity ie a transitory thing, and the time 
is coming when we shall be able to enjoy one another's beauty 
without any lust."' Even in the sphere of sez he would be 
willing to admit purity and beauty, apart from the inherited 
influence of Adam's sin. In Paradise, he ssys, had Paradise con- 
tinued, the act of generation would have been as simple and free 
from shame as the act of t)ie hand in scattering seed on to the 
earth. "Sexual conjugation would have been under the control 
of the will without any sexual desire. The semen would be in- 
jected into the vagina in as simple a manner as the menstrual 
fluid is now ejected. There would not have been any words 
wltich could be called obscene, but all that might be said of these 
members would have been as pure as what is said of the other 
parts of the body,"- That, however, for Augustine, is what 

i De Ciniiale Dei, lib. xxii, cap. XXIV. "There is no need," he 
HBVB ogain iid., lib. \iv, cap. V) "that in our atns and vices we accuse 
tlie nature of the flesh to the injury of the Creator, for in its own kind 
and degree tlie flesh is good." 

£St. Augustine. De Cioitate Dei, lib. xiv, cap. XXIII-XXVI. 
Chrj'Soslom and Oregory, of Nyssa, thought that in Paradise human 
beings would have multiplied b; special creation, but Buch is not the 
accepted Co th olio doctrine. 



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THE VALUATION OP SEXUAL LOVE. * 127 

might have been in Paradise where, as he believed, sexual desire 
had no existeoce. Ab things are, he held, we are right to be 
ashamed, we do well to blush. And it was natural that, as 
Clement of Alexandria mentions, many heretics should have gone 
further on this road and believed that while God made man down 
to the navel, the rest was made by another power; such heretics 
have their descendants among m even to-day. 

Alike in the Eastern and Western Churches, however, both 
before and after Augustine, though not so oft«n after, great 
Fathers and teachers have uttered opinions which recall those 
of Clement rather than of Augustine. We cannot lay very much 
weight on tiie utterance of the extravagant and often contradic- 
tory Tertullian, but it is worth noting that, while he declared 
that woman is the gate of hell, he also said that we must approach 
Xature with reverence and not with blushes. "Natura veneranda 
est, non erubescenda." "No Christian author," it has indeed 
been aaid, "has so energetically spoken against the heretical eon- 
tempt of the body as Tertullian. Soul and body, according to 
Tertullian, are in the closest association. The soul is the life- 
principle of tlie body, but there is no activity of the soul which is 
not manifested and conditioned by the flesh."^ More weight 
attaches to Eufinus Tyranniua, the friend and fellow-student of 
St. Jerome, in the fourth century, who wrote a commentary on 
the Apostles' Creed, which was greatly esteemed by the early and 
mediaeval Church, and is indeed still valued even to-day. Here, 
in answer to those who declared that there was obscenity in the 
fact of Christ's birth through the sexual organs of a woman, 
Kufinus replies that God created the sexual organs, and that "it 
is not Nature but merely human opinion which teaches that these 
parts are obscene. For tlie rest, all the parts of the body are 
made from the same clay, whatever differences there may be in 
their uses and functions."^ He looks at the matter, we see, piously 

1 W. Capitaine, Die ^^o^al de« Clement van Alexandricn, pp. 112 e( 
seq. Without tlie body, Tertullian declared, there could be no virginity 
and no aalvation. The soul itself is corporeal. He carries, indeed, his 
idea of the omni presence of the body to the absurd. 

2 RuRnua, Commentariaa in Symbolum Apostolorum, cap. XII. 



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128 PSYCHOLOOT OF SEX. 

indeed, but naturally and simply, like Clement, and not, like 
Augustine, tlirough the distorting medium of a tlieological sys- 
tem. Athanasiua, in the Eastern Church, spoke in the same sense 
as Rufinus in the Western Church. A certain monk named 
Amun had been much grieved by the occurrence of seminal emis- 
sions during sleep, and he wrote to Athanasius to inquire if such 
emissions are a sin. In the letter he wrote in reply, Athanasius 
seeks to reassure Amun. "All things," he tells him, "are pure 
to the pure. For what, I ask, dear and pious friend, can there 
be sinful or naturally impure in excrement? Man is the hand- 
work of God. There is certainly nothing in us tliat is impure."^ 
We feel as we read these utterances that tlie seeds of prudery and 
pruriency are already alive in the popular mind, but yet we see 
also that some of the most distinguished thinkers of the early 
Christian Church, in striking contrast to the more morbid and 
narrow-minded mediieval ascetics, clearly stood aside from the 
popular movement. On the whole, they were submerged because 
Christianity, like Buddhism, had in it from the first a germ that 
lent itself to ascetic renunciation, and the sexual life is always the 
firgt impulse to be sacrificed to the passion for renunciation. But 
there were other germs also in Christianity, and Luther, who in 
his own plebeian way asserted the rights of the body, although he 
broke with medireval asceticism, by no means thereby cast him- 
self off from the traditions of the early Christian Church. 

I have thought it worth while to bring forward this evidence, 
although I am perfectly well aware that the facts of Nature gain 
no additional support from the authority of the Fathers or even 
of the Bible. Nature and humanity existed before the Bible and 
would continue to exist although the Bible should be forgotten. 
But the attitude of Christianity on this point has so often been 
unreservedly condemned that it seems as well to point out that 
at its finest moments, when it was a young and growing power in 
the world, the utterances of Christianity were often at one with 
those of Nature and reason. Tliere are many, it may be added, 
who find it a matter of consolation that in following the natural 



iJligne, Patrotogia (ha'ca, vol. xivi, pp. 1170 e 



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THE VALDATION OP SEXUAL LOVE. 129 

and rational path id this matter they are not thereby altogether 
breaking with the religious traditions of their race. 

It is Mjaroelf necesBary to remark that when we turn from ChriS' 
tiaaity to the other great world- religioDS, we do not uauall; meet wltb 
BO ambiguous an attitude towards sex. The Mabommedans were as 
emphatic in assertiug the sanctity of sex as they were In asserting 
physical cleanliness; th^ were prepared to cany the functions of sec 
into the future life, aud were never worried, as Luther and so many 
other Christians have been, concerning the lack of occupation in Heaven. 
In India, although India is the home of the most extreme forms of 
religious asceticism, sexual love has been sanctified and divinised to a 
greater extent than in any other part of the world. "It seems never to 
have entered into the heads of the Hindu legislators," said Sir William 
Jones long since {Worka, vol. ii, p. 311), "that anything natural could 
be offensively obscene, a singularity which pervades all their writings, 
but is no proof of the depravity of their morals." The s^cual act has 
often had a religious significance in India, and the minutest details of 
the sexual life and its variations are discussed in Indian erotic treatises 
In a spirit of gravity, while nowhere else have the anatomical and phy- 
•io1<^cal sexual characters of women been studied with such minute and 
adoring reverence. "Love in India, both as regards theory and practice," 
remarks Richard Schmidt {BeitrSge oar Inditohen Brotik, p. 2) "poa- 
oesses an Importance which It is impossible for us even to conceive." 

In Protestant countries the influence of the Reformation, by 
rehabilitating sex ae natural, indirectly tended to substitute in 
popular feeling towards sex the opprobrium of sinfuhiese by the 
opprobrium of animality. Henceforth the sexual impulse must 
be disguised or adorned to become respectably human. This may 
be illuBtrated by a passage in Pepys's Diary in the seventeenth 
century. On the morning after the wedding day it was cub- 
tomary to call up new married couples by music ; the absence of 
this music on one occasion (in 1667) seemed to Pepje "as if they 
had married like dog and bitch." We no longer insist on the 
music, but the same feeling still exists in the craving for other 
disguiees and adornments for the sexual impulse. We do not 
always realize that love brings its own sanctity with it. 

Nowadays indeed, whenever the repugnance to the sexual 
side of life manifests itself, the assertion nearly always made is 



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130 PSYCIIOLOBT OF SEX. 

not BO much that it is "sinful" aB that it ia "'beaBtly." It iB 
regarded as that part of man which moet cLoBely allies him to the 
lower animale. It should scarcely be necessary to point out that 
this is a mistake. On whichever side, indeed, we approach it, the 
implication that sex in man and animals is identical cannot be 
home out. From the point of view of those who accept this 
identity it would be much more correct to say that men are 
inferior, rather than on a level with animala, for in animals under 
natural conditions the sexual instinct'is strictly subordinated to 
reproduction and very little susceptible to deviation, so that from 
the standpoint of those who wish to .minimize sex, animala are 
nearer to the ideal, and such persons must say with Woods Hutch- 
inson: "Take it altogether, our animal anceatora have quite as 
good reason to be ashamed of tte as we of them." But if we look 
at the matter from a wider biological standpoint of development, 
our conclusion must be very different. 

So far from being animal-like, the human impulscB of Bex 
are among the least animal-like acquisitions of man. The human 
sphere of sex differs from the animal sphere of sex to a Bingularly 
great extent.^ Breathing is an animal function and here we can- 
not compete with birds; locomotion is an animal function and 
here we cannot equal quadrupeds ; we have made no notable ad- 
vance in our circulatory, digestive, renal, or hepatic functions. 
Even as regards vision and hearing, there are many animals that 
are more kecn-sighted than man, and many that are capable of 
hearing sounds that to him are inaudible. But there are no 
animals in whom the sexual instinct is ao sensitive, so highly 
developed, so varied in ite manifeetatione, bo constantly alert, so 
capable of irradiating the highest and remotest parts of &e 
organism. The sexual activities of man and woman belong not 
to that lower part of our nature which degrades ua to the level of 
ihe "brute," but to the higher part which raises ub towards all 
the finest activities and ideals we are capable of. It is true that 
it is chiefly in the mouths of a few ignorant and ill-bred women 

1 Even in physiCBl conformation the hntnan sexual orgniw, when 
rompnred with those of the lower animals, ahow marked differencea (see 
"The Mecbanism of Detumeacence," in the fifth volume of these Studiet). 



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THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE. 131 

that we find sex referred to as "bestial'' or "the animal part of 
our nature."^ 'But since women are the mothers and teachers of 
the human race this ib a piece of ignorance and ill-breeding which 
cannot be too swiftly eradicated. 

There are some who seem to think that they have held the 
balance evenly, and finally stated tlie matter, if they admit that 
sexual love may be either beautiful or dlaguatiug, and that either 
view is equally normal and legitimate, "Lieten in turn," Tarde 
remarks, "to two men who, one cold, the other ardent, one chaste, 
the other in love, both equally educated and large-minded, are 
estimating the same tiling: one judges as disgusting, odious, 
revolting, and bestial what the other judges to be delicious, ex- 
quisite, ineffable, divine. What, for one, is in Christian phrase- 
ology, an unforgivable sin, is, for the other, the state of true 
grace. Acts that for one seem a sad and occasional necessity, 
stains that must be carefully effaced by long intervals of con- 
tinence, are for tlie other the golden naila from which all the 
rest of conduct and existence is enspended, the things that tdone 
give human life its value."^ Yet we may well doubt whether 
both these persons are "equally well-educated and broad-minded." 
The savage feels that sex is perilous, and he is right. But the 
person who feels that the sexual impulse is bad, or even low and 
vulgar, is an absurdity in the universe, an anomaly. He is like 
those persons in our insane asylums, who feel that the instinct 
of nutrition is evil and so proceed to starve themselves. They 
are alike spiritual outcasts in the universe whose children they 
are. It is another matter when a man declares that, personally, 
in his own case, he cherishes an ascetic ideal which leads him to 
restrain, so far as possible, either or both impulses. The man 
who is sanely ascetic seeks a discipline which aids the ideal ho 
has personally set before himself. Ho may still remain theoreti- 
cally in harmony with the universe to which he belongs. But to 

i It may perhaps be as well to point out. with Porel [Die Sexuelle 
Frage, p. 208), that the word "beatial" is generally used quite incorrecUy 
in thiH connection. Indeed, not only for the higher, but also for the 
lower manifestation of the sexual impulae, it would usually be more 
correct to nse instead the quatiHeation "humnn." 

^Loe. oit., Archivet d'Anthropotogie Criminelle, Jan., 1S07. 



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132 PSYCHOLOGY OF tiEX. 

pour contempt on the sexual life, to throw the veil of "impurity" 
over it, is, as Nietzsche declared, the unpardonable sin against the 
Holy Ghost of Life. 

There are many who seek to concilate prejudice and reason 
in their valuation of sex by drawing a sharp distinction between 
'lust" and "love," rejecting the one and accepting the other. It 
is quite proper to make such a distinction, but the manner in 
which it is made will by no means usually bear examination. We 
have to define what we mean by "lust" and what we mean by 
'love," and this ia not easy if they are regarded as mutually ex- 
'clusive. It is sometimes said that "luat" must be understood as 
meaning a reckless indulgence of the sexual impulse without 
r^ard to other considerations. So understood, we are quite aafe 
in rejecting it. But that is an entirely arbitrary definition of the 
word. "Luat" is really a very ambiguous term ; it is a good word 
that has changed its moral values, and therefore we need to define 
it very carefully before we venture to use it. Properly speaking, 
"luat" is an entirely colorless word^ and merely means desire in 
general and sexual desire in particular; it corresponds to 
"hunger" or "thirst"; to use it in an offensive sense is much the 
aame as thougli we should always assume that the word "hungry" 
had the offensive meaning of "greedy." The result has been that 
sensitive minds indignantly reject the term "lust" in con- 
nection with love.2 In the early use of our language, "lust," 
"lusty," and "lustful" conveyed the sense of wholesome and 
normal sexual vigor ; now, with the partial exception of "lusty," 
they have been so completely degraded to a lower sense that 
although it would be very convenient to restore them to their 



1 It has, however, become colored and suspect from an early period 
in the hiBtorj' of Christianitr. St. Augustine {De Civitate Dei, lib. xiv, 
cap. XV), while admitting that libido ^r luBt is merely the generic name 
for all desire, adds that, as specially applied to the sexual appetite, it is 
justly and properly mixed up with ideas of shame. 

ZHinton well illustra^s this feeling. "We call by the name of 
lust," he declares in his MSS., "the most simple and natural desires. 
We might as well term hunger and thirst 'lust' as so call sex-passion, 
when PTpresaing simply Nature's prompting. We miscall it 'luat.' cruelly 
libcllinf: those to whom wc ascribe it, and introduce absolute disorder. 
For, by foolishly confounding Nature's demands with luet, we insist upon 
restraint upon her," 



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THE TALDATIOS OF SEXUAL LOVE. 133 

original and proper place, which gtill remains vacant, the attempt 
at such a restoration scarce!}' eeems a liopeful task.- We have 
80 deeply poisoned the springs of feeling in theBe matters with 
raediffival ascetic crudities that all our words of aex tend soon to 
become bespattered with filth ; we may pick them up from the 
mud into which they have fallen and seek to purify them, but to 
many eyes they will still seem dirty. One result of this tendency 
is that we have no simple, precise, natural word for the love of 
the sexes, and are compelled to fall back on the general term, 
which is so extensive in its range that in English and French and 
most of the other leading languages of Europe, it is equally cor- 
rect to "love" Qod or to "love" eating. 

Love, in the sesual sense, is, summarily considered, a syn- 
thesis of Inst (in the primitive and uncolored sense of sexual 
emotion) and friendship. It is incorrect to apply the term 
"love" in the sexual sense to elementary and uncomplicated sexual 
desire; it is equally incorrect to apply it to any variety or com- 
bination of varieties of friendship. There can be no sexual love 
without lust; but, on the other hand, until the currents of lust 
in the organism have been so irradiated as to affect otiier parts of 
the psychic organism — at the least the affections and the social 
feelings — it is not yet sexual love. Lust, the specific sexual im- 
pulse, is indeed the primary and essential element in this syn- 
thesis, for it alone is adequate to the end of reproduction, not 
only in animals but in men. But it is not until lust is expanded^ 
and irradiated that it develops into the exquisite and enthralling 
flower of love. We may call to mind what happens among 
plants ; on the one hand we have the lower organisms in which 
sex is carried on summarily and cryptogamically, never shedding 
any shower of gorgeous blossoms on the world, and on the other 
hand the higher plants among whom sex has become phaners- 
gamous and expanded enormously into form and color and 
fragrance. 

While "lust" is, of coutbs, known aH over the world, and there are 
everywhere words to designate it, "love" is not universally known, and 
in many languages there kre no words for "love." The failures to find 
kve are oft«D remarkable and unexpected. We may find it where we 



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134 PSYCUOLOGY OF SEX. 

least expect it. Se\ua1 desire became idealized (aa Sergi has pointed 
out) even bj some animals, especially birds, for when a bird pines to 
death for the loss of its mate Uiis cannot be due to the uncomplicated 
instinct of sex, hut must involve the interweaving of that instinct with 
the other elements of life to a degree which is rare even among the most 
civilizL'd men. Some savage races neem to have no fundamental notion 
of love, and (like the American Nahuae) no primary word tor it. while, 
on the other hand, in Quichua. the language of the ancient Peruvians. 
there are nearly six hundred combinations of the verb munay, to love. 
Among some peoples love aeems to be confined to the women. Letourneau 
{L'Evol-ulion lAlliraire, p. 529) points out that in i-arious parts of the 
world women have taken a leading part in creating erotic poetry. It 
may be mentioned in this connection that suicide from erotic motives 
among primitive peoples occurs chieQy among women (Zeitachrift fiir 
Itoxialwiasenschaft, 1600, p. 678). Not a, tew savages poflsess love- 
poems, ax, tor instance, the Suahali (VeTt«n, in his Praia und Poe»ie 
der Svahali, devotes a section to love-poems reproflueed in the Suahali 
language). D. G. Brinton, in an interesting paper on "The Concep- 
tion ot Love in Some American Languages" {Proceedinga American 
Philosophical Society, vol. xiiii. p. 646, 1886) states that the words 
for love in these languages reveal four main ways of expressing the 
conception: (1) Inarticulate cries of emotion; (2) assertions of same- 
ness or similarity; (3) assertions of conjunction or union; (4) asser- 
tions of a wish, desire, a longing. Brinton adds that "these sama 
notions are those which underlie the majority of the words of love 
in the great Aryan family of languages." The remarkable fact emerges, 
however, that the peoples of Aryan tongue were slow id developing their 
conception of sexual love. Brinton remarks that the American Mayas 
must be placed at>ove the peoples of early Aryan culture, in that they 
, possessed a radical word for the joy of love which was in signiflcanoe 
purely psychical, referring strictly to a mental state, and neither to 
similarity nor desire. Even the Greeks were late in developing any ideal 
of sexual love. This has been well brought out by E, F. M. Benecke in 
his Antimachits of Colophon and the Poailion of Women in Greek Poetry, 
a book which contains some hazardous assertions, hut is highly instruc- 
tive from tlie present point of *iew. The Greek lyric poets wrote prac- 
tically no love poems at all to women liefore Anacreon, and his were 
only written in old age. True love for the Greeks was nearly always 
homoscxnal. The Ionian lyric poets of early Greece regarded woman 
as only an instrument of pleasure and the founder of the family. 
Theognis compares marriage to cattle-breeding; Alcman, when he wishes 
to be complimentary to the Spartan girls, speaks of them as his "female 
boy-friends," .Sschylus makes even a father assume that his daughters 
will misbehave if left to themselves. There is no sexual love in Sopho- 



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THE VALUATION OF BEXCXL LOVE. 135 

cin, and JD Euripides it is onlv the women who fall in love, BenecE;? 
concludes (p. 67) that in Greece mxubI tove, down to a comparatively 
later period, was looked down on, and held to be unworthy of public dia- 
citssion and representation. It was in Magna Griscia rather than in 
Greece itself that men took interest in women, and it was not until the 
Alexandrian period, and notubly in Aeclepiades, Benecke maintains, that 
the love of vromen was regarded as a matter of life and death. There- 
after the conception of sexual love, in its romantic aspects, appears in 
European life. With the Celtic story of Tristram, as Qaston Paris 
remarks, it finally appears in the Chriatian European world of poetry 
as the chief point in human life, the great motive force of conduct. 

Romantic love failed, however, to penetrate the masses in Europe. 
In the sixteenth century, or whenever it was that Uie ballad of "GUa- 
^rion" was written, we see it is assumed that a churl's relation to bis 
mistress is confined to the mere act of sexual intercourse; he fails to 
kiss her on arriving or departing; it is only the kni^t, the man of 
upper class, who would think of offering that tender civility. And at 
the present day in, for instance, the region between East Friesland and 
the Alps, Biocb states (Bescuelleben itnaerer Zeit, p. 29), following E. 
H. Heyer, that the word "love" is unknown among the masses, and only 
Its coarse counterpart recognized. 

On the other side of the world. In Japan, sexual love seems to be 
in as great disrepute as it was in ancient Greece; thus Mias Tsuda, a 
Japanese head-mi stress, and herself a Christian, remarks (as quoted by 
Mrs. Fraser in World's Work and Play, Dec., 1S06) : "That word 
'love' has been hitherto a word unknown among our girls, in the foreign 
sense. Duty, submission, kindness — these were the sentiments which a 
girl was expected to bring to the husband who had been chosen for her — 
and nuiny happy, harmonious marriages were the result. Now, your 
dear sentimental foreign women say to our girls: 'It is wicked to marry 
without love; the obedience to parents in such a case is an outrage 
against nature and Christianity. If you love a man you must sacrifice 
everything to marry him.' " 

niien, however, tove is fully developed it becomes an enormously 
extended, highly complex emotion, and lust, even in the best sense of 
that word, becomes merely a coordinated element among many other 
elements. Herbert Spencer, in an interesting passage of his PrinrnpUa 
of Psychology (Part IV, Ch. VIII), has analywd love into as many as 
nine distinct and important elements: (1) the physical impulse of 
sex; (2) the feeling for beauty; (3) affration; (4) admiration and 
respect; (5) love of approbation; (6) self-esteem; (T) proprietary 
feeling: (8) extended liberty of action from the absence of personal 
barriers; (fl) exaltation of the sympathies. "This passion," he con- 
cludes, "fuses into one immense aggregate most of the elementary excita- 
tions of which we are capable." 



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1,36 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

It iB scarcely neceseary to say that to define sexual love, or 
even to analyze its componentB, ie by no means to explain its 
mystery. We seek to Batisfy our intelligence by means of a 
coherent picture of love, but the gulf between that picture and 
the emotional reality must always be incommensurable and im- 
passable. "There is no word more often pronounced than that 
of love," wrote Bonatetten many years ago, "yet there is no subject 
more mysterious. Of that which touches ua most nearly we 
know least. We measure the march of the stars and we do not 
know how we love," And however expert we have become in 
detecting and analyzing the causes, the concomitants, and the 
results of love, we must still make the same confession to-day. 
W& may, as some have done, attempt to explain love as a form of 
hunger and thirst, or as a force analogous to electricity, or as k 
kind of magnetism, or as a variety of chemical affinity, or as a 
vital tropism, but these explanations are nothing more than ways 
of expressing to ourselves the magnitude of the phenomenon we 
are in the presence of. 

What has always baffled men in the contemplation of sexual 
love is the seeming inadequacy of its cause, the immense dis- 
crepancy between the necessarily circumscribed region of mucous 
membrane which is the final goal of such love and the sea of 
world-embracing emotions to which it seems as the door, so that, 
as Bemy de Gourmont has said, "the mucous membranes, by an 
ineffable mystery, enclose in their obscure folds all the riches of 
the infinite," It is a mystery before which the thinker and the 
artist are alike overcome, Donnay, in his play L'Escalade, 
makes a cold and stem man of science, who regards love as a 
mere mental disorder which can be cured like other disorders, at 
last fall desperately in love himself. He forces his way into the 
girl's room, by a ladder, at dead of night, and breaks into a long 
and passionate speech; "Everj-thing that touches you becomes 
to me myateiious and sacred. Ah! to think that a thing so well 
known as a woman's body, which sculptors have modelled, which 
poets have sung of, which men of science like myself have dis- 
sected, that such a thing should suddenly become an unknown 
mystery and an infinite joy merely because it is the body of one 



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THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE. 137 

particular woman — what insanity ! And yet that is what I feel."' 
That love ie a natural insanity, a temporary deluaion which 
the individual is compelled to suffer for the aake of the race, is 
indeed an explanation that has suggested itself to many who have 
been baffled by this mystery. That, as we know, was the explana- 
tion offered by Schopenhauer. When a youth and a girl fall into 
each other's arms in the ecstacy of love they imagine that they are 
seeking their own happiness. But it is not bo, said Schopen- 
hauer ; they are deluded by the genius of the race into the belief 
that they ate seeking a personal end in order that they may be 
induced to effect a far greater impersonal end: the creation of 
the future race. The intensity of their passion is not the 
measure of the personal happiness they will secure but the 
measure of their aptitude for producing offspring. In accepting 
passion and renouncing the counsels of cautious prudence the 
yonth and the girl are really sacrificing their chances of 
selfish happiness and fulfilling the larger ends of Nature. As 
Schopenhauer saw the matter, there was here no vulgar illusion. 
The lovers thought that they were reaching towards a boundlessly 
immense personal happiness; they were probably deceived. But 
they were deceived not because the reality was less than their 
imagination, but because it was more; instead of pursuing, as 
they thought, a merely personal end they were carrying on the 
creative work of the world, a task better left undone, as Schopen- 
hauer viewed it, but a task whose magnitude he fully recognized. ^ 
It must be remembered that in the lower sense of deception, 
love may be, and frequently is, a delusion. A man may deceive 
himself, or be deceived by the object of his attraction, concerning 

1 Several centuries earlier another French writer, the diHlinguiaheil 
physician, A. laurentius (DfB Laurens) in his Bitloria Anatomies 
Humani Corporis (lib. viii, Qusstio vii) had likewise puzzled over "the 
incredible desire of coitui," and asked how it was that "that divine 
animal, full of reason and judgment, which we call Man, should be 
attracted to those obacene parts of women, soiled with filth, which are 
placed, like a sewer, in the lowest part of the body." It is noteworthy 
that, from the first, and equally among men of religion, men of science, 
and men of letters, the mystery of this problem ha« peculiarly appealed 
to the French mind. 

2 Schopenbaner, Die Welt alt WiOe und Vorstellang, vol. ii, pp. 60* 



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138 PSTCHOLOaY OF SEX. 

the qualities that she pOBECeaeB or fails to poesess. In first love, 
occurring in youth, such deception is perhaps entirely normal, 
and in certain Buggeetible and inflammable types of people it is 
peculiarly apt to occur. This kind of deception, although far 
more frequent and conspicuous in matters of love — and more 
serious because of the tightness of tiie marriage bond — is liable 
to occur in any relation of life. For most people, however, and 
those not the least sane or the least wise, the memory of the 
exaltation of love, even when the period of that exaltation is 
over, still remains as, at the least, the memory of'one of the most 
real and essential facts of life.^ 

Some writers seem to confuse tlie liability in matters of love to 
deception or disappointment with the larger question of a metaphysical 
illusion in Schopenhauer's sense. To some extent this confusion per- 
haps eiiBtB in the discussion of love by Renouvier and Prat in La 
youvelle Monadologie (pp. 216 et aeq.). In considering whether love ia 
or is not a delusion, they answer that it is or is not according as we 
are, or are not, dominated by selftshneas and injustice. "It was not an 
es»ent[al error which presided over the creation of the idol, for the idol 
is only what in all things the ideal is. But to realize the ideal in love 
two persons are needed, and therein is the great difficulty." We are 
never justified, they conclude, in casting contempt on our love, or even 
on its object, for if it is true that we hare not gained possession of the 
sovereign beauty of the world it is equally true that we have not 
attained a degree of perfection that would have entitled us justly to 
rlaim so great a prize." And perhaps most of us, it may be added, must 
admit in the end, if we are honest with ourselves, that the priEea of 
love we have gained in the world, whatever their flaws, are far greater 
than we deserved. 

We may well agree that in a certain sense not love alone but 
all the passions and desires of men are illusions. In that sense 

1 "Perhaps there is scarcely a man," wrote Malthus, a clergyman 
as well as one of the profoundest thinkers of his day (fssoy on the 
PrincipU of Popuiolton, 1798, Ch. XI), "who has once experienced tha 
genuine delight of virtuous love, however great his intellectual pleasures 
may have been, that does not look back to the period as the sunny spot 
in bis whole life, where his imagination loves to bask, which he recol- 
lects r.nd contemplates with the fondest regrets, and which he would 
most wish to live over again. The superioritj' of intellectual to sexual 
pleasures consists rather in their filling up more time, in their having 
a lai^T range, and in their being less liable to satiate, than in their 
being more real and essential." 



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THE TALCATION OF BEZUAL LOVE, 139 

the Qospel of Buddha ts juBtified, and we may recognize the in- 
spiration of Shakespeare (in the Tempest) and of Calderon (in 
La Vida cs Sueiio), who felt that ultimately the whole world is 
an insubstantial dream. Bui short of that large and ultimate 
vision we cannot accept illusion ; we cannot admit that love is a 
delueion in some special and peculiar sense that men's other 
cravings and aspirations escape. On the contrary, it is the most 
solid of realities. All the progressive forma of life are built up on 
the attraction of sex. If we admit the action of sexual selection 
— as we can scarcely fail to do if we purge it from its unessential 
accretions' — ^love has moulded the precise shape and color, the 
essential beauty, alike of animal and human life. 

If we further reflect that, as many investigators believe, not 
only the physical structure of life but also its spiritual structure 
— our Rocial feelings, our morality, our religion, our poetry and 
art — are, in some degree at least, also built up on the impulse of 
se.T, and would have been, if not non-existent, certainly altogether 
different had other than sexual methods of propagation prevailed 
in the world, we may easily realize that we can only fall into 
confusion by dismissing love as a delusion. The whole edifice of 
life topples down; for as the idealist Schiller long since said, it is 
entirely built up on hunger and on love. To look upon love as 
in any special sense a delusion is merely to fall into the trap of 
a shallow cynicism. Love is only a delusion in bo far as the 
whole of life is a delusion, and if we accept the fact of life it is 
unphilosophical to refuse to accept the fact of love. 

It is unnecesBarj here to magnify the functions of love in the 
world; it is sufficient to investigate its workings in its own proper 
sphere. It iiia]r, however, be worth while to quote a few ezpregBions of 
thinkers, belonging to various sehoola, who have pointed out what 
seemed to them the far-ranging significance of the sexual emotions for 
the moral life. "The passions are the heavenly fire which gives life to 
the moral world," wrote HelvfitiuH long since in De I'EspHt. "The 
activity of the mind depends on the activity of the passions, and it is 
at the period of the passions, from the oge of twen^-five to thirty-five 



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140 PSTCHOLOOT OF SEI. 

OT forl^ that men are capable oi the greatest efforts of virtue OT of 
geniiiB." "What touchei nex," wrote Zola, "toucbea the centre of Bocial 
life." Even our regard tot the praise and blame of oUiers has a ae.<iual 
origin, Professor ThomuH argues {Psychological Review, Jan,, 1904, pp. 
61-87), and it is love which is the souTee of Busceptibilitj generally and 
of the altruistic side of life. "The appearance of sex," ProfesBor Woods 
IIutchinBon attempts to show ("Love as a. Factor in Evolution." Moniat, 
1898), "the development of maleness and femaleness, wbb not only the 
birthplace of affection, the well-spring of all morali^, but an enormous 
economic advantage to the race and an absolute necessity of progress. 
In it first we find any conscious longing for or active impulse toward a. 
fellow creature." "Were man robbed of the instinct of procreation, and 
of alt that spiritually springs therefrom," exclaimed Maudsley in his 
Physiology of Hind, "that moment would all poetry, and perhaps also 
his whole moral sense, be obliterated from bis life." "One seems to 
oneself tranaflgured, stronger, richer, more complete; one it more com- 
plete," Bays Nietzsche {Der Wille xur Mackt, p. 389), "we find here ort 
as an organic function; we find it inlaid in the most angelic instinct of 

'love:' we find it as the greatest stimulant of life It is 

not merely that it changes the feeling of values: the lover ia worth 
more, is stronger. In animals this condition produces new weapons, 
pigments, colors, and forms, above all new movements, new rhythms, a 

new seductive music. It is not otherwise in man Even 

in art the door is opened to him. If we subtract from lyrical work in 
words and sounds the suggestions of that intestinal fever, what is left 
over in poetry and music? L'Art pour Vart perhaps, the quacking vir- 
tuosity of cold frogs who perish in their marsh. All the rest is created 

It would be easy to multiply citationa tending to show how many 
diverse thinkers have come to the concloBion that sexual love (including 
therewith parental and especially maternal love) is the source of the 
chief manifestations of life. How far they are justified in that conclu- 
sion, It is not our business now to inquire. 

It is imdonbtedlv true that, as we have seen when discussing 
the erratic and imperfect distribution of the conception of love, 
and even of words for love, over the world, by no means all 
people are equally apt for experiencing, even at any time in their 
lives, the emotions of pcxual exaltation. The difference between 
the knight and the churl utill subsists, and both may sometimes 
be found in all social strata. Even the refinements of sexual 
enjoyment, it is unnecessary to insist, quite commonly remain on 



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THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE. 141 

a merely physical basis, and have little effect on the intellectual 
and emotional nature.^ But this is not the case with the people 
who have most powerfully influenced the course of the world's 
thought and foeling. The personal reality of love, its importance 
for the individual life, are facts that have been testified to by 
some of the greatest thinkers, after lives devoted to the attain- 
ment of intellectual labor. The experience of Renan, who 
toward the end of his life set down in his remarkable drama 
L'Abhesse de Jouarre, his conviction that, even from the point 
of view of chastity, love is, after all, the supreme thing in the 
world, is far from standing alone. "Love has always appeared 
as an inferior mode of human music, ambition as the superior 
mode," wrote Tarde, the distinguished sociologist, at the end of 
his life. "But will it always be thus? Are there not reasons 
for thinking that the future perhaps reserves for us the ineffable 
surprise of an inversion of that secular order?" Laplace, half an 
hour before hie death, took up a volume of his own Mecantque 
Celeste, and said : "AH that is only trifles, there is nothing true 
but love." Comte, who had spent his life in building up a 
Positive Philosophy which should be absolutely real, found {as 
indeed it may be said the great English Positivist Mill also 
found) the culmination of all his ideals in a woman, who was, 
he said, Egeria and Beatrice and Laura in one, and he wrote: 
"There is nothing real in the world but love. One grows tired of 
thinking, and even of acting; one never grows tired of loving, 
nor of saying so. In the worst tortures of affection I have never 
ceased to feel that the essential of happiness is that the heart 
should be worthily filled — even with pain, yes, even with pain, 
the bitterest pain." And Sophie Kowalewskj', after intellectual 
achievements which have placed her among the most distinguished 
of her sex, pathetically wrote: "Why can no one love me? I 
could give more tlian most women, and yet the most insignificant 
women are loved and I am not." Ixtve, they all seem to say, is 



I'Terhapi moat nvernge men," Forel remarks {Die Sextielle Fragt, 
p. 307), "are but slightly receptive to the intoxication of love; they sre 
Kt moat on the level of the gourmet, which is by no means necessarily 
an immoral plane, but is certainly not thttt of poetry." 



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142 PS.yCHOLOGT OF 8KX. 

the oDc thing that is supremely worth while. The greatest and 
most brilliant of the world's intellectual giants, in their moments 
of final insight, thus reach the habitual level of the humble and 
almost anonymous persouB, cloistered from the world, who wrote 
The Imitation of Christ or The Letters of a Portuguese Nun. 
And how many others t 



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CHAPTER V. 

THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY. 

Cbastitj' Eseential to tbe Dignity of Love— The Eighteenth Centuiy 
Revolt Against tf* Ideal of Chaality — Unnatural Forms of Chastity — 
The Psychological Basis of Asceticism — AscetidBm and Chastity ae 
Savage Virtuee — The Significance of Tahiti — Chastity Among Barbarous 
Feoplea-'ChaBti^ Among the Early Christiaua — Struggles of the Saints 
with the Flesh — The Romance of Christian Chastity — Its Decay in 
Mediteval Times — Amxutin et Nicolette and the new Romance of Chaste 
Love — The Unchaetity of the Northern Barbarians — The Penitentials — 
Influence of the Renaissance and Ihe Reformation — The Revolt Against 
Virginity as a Virtue — The Modern Conception of Chastity as & Virtue 
— ^The Influences That Favor the Virtue of Chastity — (.'bastity as a Dis- 
cipline — The Value of Chastity for the Artist — Potency and Impotence 
in Popular Estimation — The Correct Definitions of Asceticism and 
Chastity. 

The supreme importance of chastity, and even of asceticism, 
has never at any time, or in any greatly vital human society, 
altogether failed of recognition. Sometimes chastity has been 
exalted in hnman estimation, sometimes it has been debased; it 
has frequently changed the nature of its manifestations ; but it 
has always been there. It is even a part of the beautiful vision of 
all Nature. "The glory of the world is seen only by a chaste 
mind," said Thoreau with hia fine extravagance. "To whomso- 
ever this fact is not an awful but beautiful mystery there are no 
flowers in Nature." Without chastity it is impossible to main- 
tain the dignity of sexual love. The society in which its estima- 
tion sinks to a minimum is in the last stages of degeneration. 
Chastity has for sexnal love an importance which it can never 
lose, least of all to-day. 

It is quite true that during the eighteenth and nineteenth 
centuries many men of high moral and intellectual distinction 
pronounced very decidedly their condemnation of the ideal of 
chastity. The great BuflEon refused to recognize chastity as an 

(143) 



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144 P8TCHOLOOT OF SEX, 

ideal and referred scornfully to "that kind of insanity which has 
turned a girl's virginity into a thing with a real esistence," while 
William Morris, in his downright manner, once declared at a 
meeting of the Fellowship of the Xew Life, that asceticism is "the 
most disgusting vice that afflicted human nature." Blake, 
though he Reems always to have been a strictly moral man in the 
most conventional sense, felt nothing but contempt for chastity, 
and sometimes confers a kind of religious solemnity on the idea 
■of unchastity. Shelley, who may have been unwise in aesnal 
matters but can scarcely be called unchaste, also often seems to 
associate religion and morality, not with chastity, but with un- 
chastity, and much the same may be aaid of James Hinton.^ 

But all these men — with other men of high character who 
have pronounced similar opinions — were reacting against false, 
decayed, and conventional forma of chastity. They were not 
rebelling against an ideal; they were seeking to set up an ideal 
in a place where they realized that a mischievous pretense was 
masquerading as a moral reality. 

We cannot accept an ideal of chastity unless we ruthleealy 
cast aside all the unnatural and empty forms of chastity. If 
chastity is merely a fatiguing effort to emulate in the sexual 
sphere the exploits of professional fasting men, an effort using 
up all the energies of the organism and resulting in no achieve- 
ment greater than the abstinence it involves, tlien it is surely an 
unworthy ideal. If it is a feeble submission to an external 
conventional law which there is no courage to break, then it is 
not an ideal at all. If it is a rule of morality imposed by one 
sex on the opposite sex, then it is an injustice and provocative 
■of revolt. If it is an abstinence from the usual forms of sex- 
uality, replaced by more abnormal or more secret forma, then it is 
simply an unreality based on misconception. And if it is merely 
an external acceptance of conventions ^-ithout any further 

1 For Blake and for Shelley, as well as, it may be added, for Hin- 
ton. chastity, as Todhunter remarks in his Btudu of FHiFllry, is "a typo 
of Biibmission to the actual, a renunciation of the infinite, and is there- 
fore hated bj them. The chaste man, i.e.. the man of prudence and self- 
control, is the man who has lost the nakedness of his prfmitive 



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THE FUNCTION OF OHABTITT. 146 

acceptance, even in act, then it ie a contemptible farce. Theae 
are the forms of chastity which during the past two ceqturiea 
many fine-souled men have vigorously rejected. 

The fact that chastity, or asceticism, is a real virtue, with 
fine nses, becomes evident when we realize that it has flourished at 
all times, in connection with all kinds of religions and the most 
various moral codes. We find it pronounced among savages, and 
the special virtues of savagery — hardness, endurance, and bravery 
— are intimately connected with the cultivation of chastity and 
asceticism.^ It is true that savages seldom have any ideal of 
chastity in the degraded modem sense, as a state of permanent 
abstinence from sexual relationships having a merit of its own 
apart from any use. They esteem chastity for its values, magical 
or real, as a method of self-control which contributes towards the 
attainment of importiint ends. The ability to bear pain and 
restraint is nearly always a main element in the initiation of 
youtha at puberty. The custom of refraining from sexual inter- 
course before expeditions of war and hunting, and other serious 
concerns involving great muscular and mental strain, whatever 
the motives assigned, is a sagacious method of economizing 
eneigy. The extremely wide-spread habit of avoiding inter- 
course during pregnancy and suckling, again, is an admirable pre- 
caution in sexual hygiene which it is extremely difficult to 
obtain the observance of in civilization. Savages, also, are. per- 
fectly well aware how valuable sexual continence is, in combina- 
tion with fasting and solitude, to acquire the aptitude for ab- 
normal spiritual powers. 

Thus C. Hill Tout (Journal Anthropologieal Inttitute, Jan..Ju]ie, 
ISOO, pp. 143-145) gives an interesting ftccount of the self-diaclpline 
undergone by those among the Salish Indians of British Coliunbia, who 
seek to acquire shantanistic powers. The psjchio effects of such train* 



1 For evidence of the practices of savages in this matter, see Appen. 
dix A to the third volume of these Studiea, "The Seiual Instinct in 
Sava^s." Cf. also Chs. IV and VII of Weatermarck'a Hiitory of 
Human Marriage, and also Chs. XXXVIII and XLI of the same author's 

" ■ " - - ■ - , jj. pfujer's Oolden 

also Crawley's Mystic 



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146 FBYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

ing on tbeae men, bays Hill Tout, ie undoubted. "It enables tbem 
to undertalie and accomplish feata of abnormal strength, agilitj, and 
endurance; and gives them at times, besideB a general exaltation of the 
Benses, undoubted clairvoyant and other supernormal mental and bodily 
powers." At the other end of the world, as shown bj the Reports of 
ike Anthropologioal Expedition to Torrm Strait$ (vol. v, p. 321), closely 
analogous methods of obtaining supernatural powers are alao customary. 
There are fundamental psychological reasons for the wide prev- 
alence of asceticism and for the remarkable manner in which it involves 
self-mortilicBtion, even acute physical suffering. Such pain is an actual 
psychic stimulant, more especially in slightly neurotic persons. This is 
well illustrated by a young woman, a patient of Janet's, who suffered 
from mental depression and was accustomed to find relief by slightly 
burning her hands and feet. She herself clearly understood the nature 
of her actions. "I feel," she said, "that I make an effort when 1 hold 
my hands on the stove, or when I pour boiling water- on my feet; it is 
a violent act and it awakens me: t feel that it is really done by myself 

and not by another To make a mental effort by itself Is 

too difficult for me; I have to supplement it by physical efforts. I 
have not succeeded in any other way: that is all ; when I brace myself 
up to burn myself I make my mind freer, lighter and more active for 
several days. Why do you speak of my desire for mortification T My 
parents believe that, but it is absurd. It would be a mortiflcatioa if 
it brought any suffering, but I enjoy this suffering, it gives me back my 
mind; it prevents my thoughts fiom stopping; what would one not do 
to attain such happiness!" (P. Janet, "The Pathogenesis of Some Impul- 
sions," Journal of Abnormal Psychology, April, 1906.) If we under- 
stand this psychological process we may realize how it is that even is 
the higher religions, however else they may differ, the practical value 
of asceticism and mortification as the necessary door to the most exalted 
religious state is almost universally recognized, and with complete cheer- 
fulness. "Asceticism and ecstacy are inseparable," as Probst-Birabeii 
remarks at the outset of an interesting paper on Mahommcdan mysti- 
cism ("L'Eitase dans le Mystioisme Musulman," Revve Fhitoaophiqae, 
Nov., 1906). Asceticism is the necessary ante-chamber to spiritual per- 
fection. 

It thus happenB that savage peoples largely base their often 
admirable enforcement of aBceticiam not on the practical grounds 
that would justify it, but on religious grounds that with the 
growth of intelligence fall into dieeredit.' Even, however, when 



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THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY. 147 

the scrupulous obseiTances of savages, whether in sesual or in non- 
sexual matters, are without any obviously sound basis it cannot be 
said that they are entirely useless if they tend to encourage self- 
control and the sense of reverence. ^ The would-be intelligent 
and practical peoples who cast aside primitive observances becauee 
they seem baaelesB or even ridiculous, need a still finer practical 
sense and still greater intelligence in order to realize that, though 
the reasons for the observances have been wrong, yet the observ- 
ances themselves may liave been necessary methods of attaining 
personal and social efficiency. It constantly happens in the course 
of civilization that we have to revive old observances and furnish 
them with new reasons. 

In consideriDg the moral quality of fhaHtity nmong savages, wo 
must carefully sepaiate that chastity which among Bcmi -primitive peo- 
ples IB exclusively imposed upon women. This has no moral quality 
whatever, for it is not exercised as a useful discipline, but merely 
enforced in order to heighten the economic and erotic value of the 
women. Many awthoritics believe that the regard for women as prop- 
erty furnishes the true reason for the widespread insistence on virginity 
in brides. Thus A. B. Ellis, speaking of the West Coast of Africa 
lYoruba-Speaking Peoples, pp. 183 et »eq.), says that girls of good class 
are beti'othed as mere children, and are carefully guarded from men, 
while girls of lower class are seldom betrothed, and may lead any life 
they choose, "In this custom of infant or child betrothals we probably 
find the key to that curious regard for ante-nuptial chastitj' found not 
only among the tribes of the Gold and Slave Coasts, but also among 
many otlier uncivilized peoples in different parts of the world." In a 
very different part of the world, in Northern Siberia, "the Yakuts," 
Sieroshevski states {Journal AntkropoJogieat Institute, Jan, -June, 1901, 

1 Thus an old Maori declared, a few years ago, that the decline of 
his race has been entirely due to the loss of the ancient religious faith 
in the tabu. "For," said he (I quote from an Auckland newspaper), 
"in the olden-time our tapu ramified the whole social Bystem. The 
head, the hair, spots where apparitions appeared, places which the 
tohungos proclaimed as sacred, we have forgotten and disregarded. Who 
nowadays thinks of the sacredness of the head? See when the kettle 
boils, the young man jumps up, whips the cap off his head, and uses it 
for a kettle-holder. Who nowadays but looks on with indifference when 
the barber of the village, if he be near the fire, shakes the loose hair off 
his cloth into it, and the joke and the lauRhtcr f^s on as if no sacred 
operation had just been concluded. Food is consumed on places which, 
in bygone days, It dared not even be carried over." 



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148 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, 

p. S6], "see nothing immoral in illicit love, providing oolj that nobody 
suffers material loss by it. It is true that parents will scold a daughter 
if her conduct threatens to deprive them of their gain from the bride- 
price; but if once they have lost hope of marrying her off, or if tha 
bride-price has been spent, they manifest complete indiffereoce to her 
conduct Maidens who no longer expect marriage are not restrained 
at all, if they obserre decorum it is only out of respect to cmtom." 
Westermarck {Tliftory of Human Marriage, pp. 123 et »eq.) also shows 
the connection between the high estimates of virgioity and the concep- 
tion of woman as property, and returning to the question in his later 
work, The Origin and Development of Ihe Moral Ideas (vol. ii, Ch. 
XLII), after pointing out that "marriage by purchase has thus raised 
the standard of female chastity," he refers (p. 437) to the significant 
fact that the seduction of an unmarried girl "is chiefly, if not exclu- 
sively, regarded as an offense against the parents or family of the girl," 
and there is no indication that it is ever held by savages that any wrong 
has been done to the woman herself. Westermarck recognizes at tha 
same time that the preference given to vir^^ns has also a biological basis 
in the instinctive masculine feeling of jealousy in regard to women who 
liave had intercourse with other men, and especially in the erotic charm 
for men of the emotional state of shyness whicli accompanies virginity. 
(This point has been dealt with in the discussion of Modesty in vol. i 
of these Btudiea.) 

It is scarcely necessary to add that the insistence on the virginity 
of brides is by no means confined, as A. B. Ellis seems to imply, to 
uncivilized peoples, nor is it necessary tliat wife-purchase should always 
accompany it. The preference still persists, not only by virtue of its 
natural biological basis, but as a, refinement and extension of the idea 
of woman as property, among those ciiilized peoples who, like ourselves, 
inherit a form of marriage to some extent based on wife- purchase. 
Under such conditions a woman's chastity has an important social func- 
tion to perform, bein^. as Mrs. Mona Caird has put it {The Morality of 
Marriage, 1897, p. 88), the watch -dog of man's property. The fact that 
no element of ideal morality enters into the question is shown by the 
usual absence of any demand for ante-nuptial chastity in the husband. 

It must not be supposed that when, as is most usually the case, 
there is no complete and permanent prohibition of extra-nuptial inter- 
course, mere unrestrained license prevails. That has probably never 
happened anywhere among uncontaminated savages. The rule probably 
is that, as among the tribes at Torres Straits (Reports Cambridgt 
Anthropological Expedition, vol. v, p. 275), there is no complete con- 
tinence before marriage, but neither is there any unbridled license. 

The example of Tahiti is instructive as regards the prevalence of 
chastity among peoples of n-hat we generally consider low grades of 



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THE FUSCTIOK OF CHASTITY. 149 

eiTillzation. Tahiti, according to all who have visited it, from the 
earliest explorera down to that dittinguiihed Americaa surgeon, the lat« 
Dr. tiieholas Senn, is an island posieBsing qualities of natural beauty 
e,nd climatic excellence, which it is impossible to rate too highly. "I 
eeemad to be transported into the garden of Bden," said Bougainville in 
1768. But, mainlj under the influence of the early English misaionaries 
who held ideas of theoretical moralit; totally alien to those of the inhab- 
itants of the islands, the Tahitians have be«ome the stock example of ft 
population given over to licentiousness and all its awful results. Thus, 
in his valuable Polj/ntsian Beaearehea (second edition, 1832, vol. i, Ch. 
IX) William Ellis says tliat the Tahitians practiced "the worst pollu- 
tions of which it was possible for man to be guilty," though not specify- 
ing them. When, however, we carefully examine the narratives of tiie 
early visitors to Tahiti, before the population became contaminated by 
contact with Europeans, it becomes clear that this view needs serious 
modification. "The great plenty of good and nourishing food," wrote an 
early explorer, J. R. Forster (Obaervationa Made on a Voyage Round the 
World. 1778, pp. 231, 400, 422), "together with the fine cliraat«, the 
beauty and unreserved liehavior of their females, invite them powerfully 
to the enjoyments and pleasures of love. They begin very early to 
abandon themselves to the most libidinous scenes. Their songs, their 
dances, and dramatic performances, breathe a spirit of iu]tuTy." Yet 
he is over and over again impelled to set down facts which hear testi- 
mony to the virtues of these people. Though rather effeminate in 
build, they are athletic, he says. Moreover, in their wars they fight 
with great bravery and valor. They are, tor the rest, hospitable. He 
remarks that they treat their married women with great respect, and 
that women generally are nearly the equals of men, both in intelligence 
and in social position; he gives a charming description of the women. 
"In short, their character," Forster concludes, "is as amiable as that of 
any nation that ever came unimproved out of the hands of Nature," and 
he remarks that, as was felt by the South Sea peoples generally, "when- 
ever we came to this happy island we could evidently perceive the 
opulence and happiness of its inhabitants." It is noteworthy also, that, 
notwithstanding the high importance which the Tahitians attached to 
the erotic side of life, they were not deficient in regard for chastity. 
When Cook, who visited Tahiti many times, was among "this benevolent 
humane" people, he noted their esteem for chastity, and found that not 
only were betrothed girls strictly guarded before maTiage, but that men 
also who had refrained from sexual intercourse for some time before 
marriage were believed to pass at death immediately into the abode of 
the blessed. "Their behavior, on all occasions, seems to indicate a great 
openness and generosity of disposition. T never saw them, in any mil- 
fortune, labor under the appearance of anxiety, after the critical moment 



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150 P8TCHOLOOY OF SEX. 

was past. Neither does care ever seem to wrinkle tlieir brovv. On the 
contrary, even the approach of death does not appear to alter their usual 
vivacity" {Third Voyage of Discovery, 1770-1780). Turnbull visited 
Tahiti at a later period (A Voyage Round the World in ISOO, etc., pp. 
374-5), but while finding all sorts of vices among them, he ia yet com- 
pelled to admit their virtues r "Their manner of addressing strangers, 
from the king to the meanest subject, is courteous and affable in the 

extreme They certainly livs amongst each other in more 

harmony than is usual amongst Europeans. During the whole time 1 

was amongst them I nevi?r saw such a thing as a battle I 

never remember to have seen an Otaheitean out of temper. They jeat 
upon each other with greater freedom than the Europeans, but these 
jests are never taken in ill part, .... With regard to food, it 
is, I believe, an invariable law In Otaheite that whatever is poasesaed by 
one is common to all." Thus we see that even among a people who are 
commonly referred to as the supreme example of a nation given up to 
uncontrolled licentiousness, the claims of chastity were admitted, and 
many other virtues vigorously flourished. The Tahitians were brave, 
hospitable, self-controlled, courteous, considerate to the needs of others, 
chivalrous to women, even appreciative of the advantages of sexual 
restraint, to an extent which haa rarely, if ever, been known among 
those Christian nationa which have looked down upon them aa abandoned 
to unspeakable vices. 

Ab we turn from eavagea towards peoples in the barbaroua 
and civilized stages we find a general tendency for cliastity, in so 
far as it ia a common possessioD of tlie common people, to be lees . 
regarded, or to be retained only as a traditional convention no 
longer strictly observed. The old grounds for chastity in primi- 
tive religions and iabu have decayed and no new grounds have 
been generally established. "Although the progress of civiliza- 
tion," wrote Gibbon long ago, "has undoubtedly contributed to 
assuage the fiercer passions of human nature, it seems to have 
been less favorable to the virtue of chastity," and Westermarck 
concludes that "irregular connections between the sexes have, on 
the whole, exhibited a tendency to increase along with the prog- 
ress of civilization." 

The main difference in the social function of chastity as we 
pass from savagery to higher stages of culture seems to be that 
it ceases to e^ist as a general hygienic measure or a general 
■ceremonial observance, and, for the most part, becomes confined 



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THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY. 161 

to special philoBophic or religious sects which cultivate it to an 
extreme degree in a more or less professional way. This state of 
things is well illustrated bj the Boman Empire during the earlj 
centuries of the Christian era.^ Christianity itself was at first 
one of these sects enamored of the ideal of chastity ; but by its 
superior vitality it replaced all the others and finally impoeed its 
ideals, though by no means its primitive practices, on European 
society generally. 

Chastity manifested itself in primitive Christianity in two 
different though not necessarily opposed ways. On the one 
hand it took a stem and practical form in vigorous men and 
women who, after being brought up in a society permitting a 
high degree of sexual indulgence, suddenly found themselves con- 
vinced of the sin of such indulgence. The battle with the society 
they had been bom into, and with their own old impulses and 
habits, became so severe that they often found themselves com- 
pelled to retire from the world altogether. Thus it was that the 
parched solitudes of Egypt were peopled with hermits largely 
occupied with the problem of subduing their own flesh. Their 
preoccupation, and indeed the preoccupation of much early 
Christian literature, with sexual matters, may be said to be vastly 
greater than was the case with the pagan society they had left. 
Paganism accepted sexual indulgence and was then able to dis- 
miss it, so that in classic literature we find very little insistence 
on sexual details except in writers like Martial, Juvenal and 
Petronius who introduce them mainly for satirical ends. But 
the Christians could not thus escape from the obsession of sex ; 
it was ever with them. We catch interesting glimpses of their 
atmggles, for the most part barren struggles, in tlie Epistles of 
St. Jerome, who bad himself been an athlete in these ascetic con- 



"<%, how manj times," wrote St, Jerome to Eustochium, the 
virgin to whom he addresBed one of the longest and most interesting of 
his letters, "when in the desert, in that vast solitude which, burnt up 

1 Thus, long before Christian monks arose, the ascetic life of the 
cloister on veiy similar lines existed In Egypt in the worship of Serapis 
( Dill, Roman Society, p. T9 ) . 



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152 P8TCH0L0GY OF SEX. 

by the heart of the sun, offers but a horrible dwelling to monkB, I 
imagined mjeelf among the delights of Romel I was alone, for aty bouI 
wa« full of bittemeu. Hy limbs were covered by a wretched sack and 
mj slcin was as black as an Ethiopian's. BTer; d&y I wept and groaned, 
and if I was uawillingly overcome by sleep my lean body lay on the bare 
earth. I say nothing of my food and drink, for In the desert even 
invalids have no drink but cold water, and cooked food is regarded as 
a luxury. Well, I, who, out of fear of hell, had condemned myself to this 
prison, companion of scorpions and wild beasts, often seemed in imagina- 
tion among bands of girls. My face was pale with fasting and my mind 
within my frigid body was burning with desire; the fires of lust would 
still flare up in a body thai already seemed to be dead. Then, deprived 
of all help, I threw myself at the feet of Jesus, washing them with my 
tears and drying them with my hair, subjugating my rebellious flesh by 
long fasts. I remember that more than once I passed the night uttering 
cries and striking my breast until God sent me peace." "Our century," 
wrote St. Chrysostom in bis Discourse to Tkote Who Keep Virffint in 
Their Houses, "has seen many men who have bound their bodies with 
chains, clothed themselves in sacks, retired to the summits of mountains 
where they have lived in constant vigil and fasting, giving the example 
of the most austere discipline and forbidding all women to cross the 
thresholds of their humble dwellings; and yet, in spite of alt the severi- 
ties they have exercised on themselves, it was with difficulty they could 
repress the fury of their passions." Hilarion, says Jerome, saw visions 
of naked women when he lay down on his solitary couch and delicious 
meats when he sat down to his frugal table. Such experiences rendered 
the early saints very scrupulous. "They used to say," we are told in 
an interesting history of the Egyptian anchorites. Palladiua's Paradise 
of the Holy Fathers, belonging to the fourth century (A, W. Budge, The 
Paradise, vol, ii, p. 120), "that Abba Isaac went out and found the foot- 
print of a woman on the road, and he thought about it in his mind and 
destroyed it saying. 'If a brother seeth it he may fall,'" Similarly, 
according to the rules of St. Crosarius of Aries for nuns, no male cloth- 
ing was to be taken into the convent for the purpose of washing or 
mending. Even in old age, a certain anxiety about chastity still re- 
mained. One of the brothers, we are told in The Paradise (p. 132) said 
to Abba Zeno, "Behold thou hast grown old, how is the matter of forni- 
cation?" The venerable saint replied, "It knocketh, but it passeth on." 
As the centuries went by the same strenuous anxiety to guard 
chastity still remained, and the old struggle constantly reappeared t^ee, 
e.g., Migne's Dictionnaire d'AscMisme, art, "Dfmon, Tentation du"}. 
Some saints, it is true, like Luigi di Oonzaga, were so angelically natured 
that they never felt the sling of sexual desire. These seem to have been 
the exception. St. Benedict and St. Francis experienced the difficulty of 



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THB PDNCTION OP CHASTITT. 153 

subduing the flesh. St. Magdalens de Pozzi, in order to dispel sexual 
desires, would roll on thorny bushes till the blood came. Some saints 
kept a special cask of cold water in their cells to stand in (Lea, 
Sacerdotal Celibacy, vol. i, p. 124). On the other hand, the Blessed 
Angela de Fulginio tells us in her ViMemea {cap. XIX) that, until for- 
hidden bj her confessor, she would plaee hot coals in her secret parts, 
hoping by material fire to extinguish the fire of concupiscence. St. 
Aldhelm, the holy Bishop of Sherborne, in the eighth century, also 
adopted a homeopathic method of treatment, though of a more literal 
kind, for William of Malmsbury states that when tempted by the flesh 
he would have women to sit and lie by him until he grew calm again; 
the method proved very successfnl, for the reason, it was thought, that 
the Devil felt he had been made a fool of. 

In time the Catholic prsctice and theory of asceticism became 
more formalized and elaborated, and its beneficial effects were held to 
extend beyond the individual himself. "Asceticism from the ChrtHtian 
point of view," writes Brenier de Montmoraud in an interesting study 
("Asc^tisme ei Mysticisme," Revue PhiloBOphiqae, March, 1904) "is 
nothing else than all the therapeutic measures making for moral purlll- 
cation- The Christian ascetic is an athlete struggling to transform his 
corrupt nature and make a road to God through the obstacles due to his 
passions and the world. He is not working in his own interests alono, 
but — by virtue of the reversibility of merit which compensates that of 
solidarity in error — for the good and for the salvation of the whole of 
society." 

This is the aspect of early Christian aaceticism moat often 
emphaeized. But there is another aspect which may be less 
familiar, but has been by no means less important. Primitive 
Christian chastity was on. one side a Btrenuous discipline. On 
another side it was a romance, and this indeed was its most 
specifically Christian side, for athletic asceticism has been asso- 
ciated with the most various religious and philosophic belief.'f. 
If, indeed, it had not possessed the charm of a new sensation, of a 
delicious freedom, of an unknown adventure, it would never have 
conquered the European world. There are only a few in that 
world who have in them the stuff of moral athletes; there are 
many who respond to the attraction of romance. 

The Christians rejected the grosser forms of se-Tual indul- 
gence, but in doing so they entered with a more delicate ardor 
into the more refined forms of sexual intimacy. They cultivated 



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154 PSYCHOLOGY OF 8BX. 

a relatioDsliip of brolliers and Bisters to each other, they kissed 
one another ; at one time, in the spiritual orgy of baptism, tliey 
were not ashamed to adopt complete nakedneBB.i 

A very inBtnietiye picture of the forma which chastity 
assumed among the early Christians is given us in the treatise of 
Chryaostom Against Those who Keep Virgins in tkeir Houses. 
Our fathers, Chryaostom begins, only knew two forms of sexual 
intimacy, marriage and fornication. Now a third form has 
appeared : men introduce young girls into their houses and keep 
them there permanently, respecting their virginity. "What," 
Chryaostom asks, "is tlie reason? It seems to me that life in 
common with a woman is sweet, even outside conjugal union and 
fleshly commerce. That is my feeling ; and perhaps it is not my 
feeling alone; it may also be that of these men. They would 
not hold their honor so cheap nor give rise to such scandals if 
this pleasure were not violent and tyrannical. . . . That 
there should really be a pleasure in this which produces a love 
more ardent than conjugal union may surprise you at first. But 
when I give you the proofs you will agree that it is so." The 
absence of restraint to desire in marriage, he continues, often 
leads to speedy disgust, and even apart from this, sexual inter- 
course, pregnancy, delivery, lactation, the bringing up of children, 
and all the pains and anxieties that accompany these things soon 
destroy youth and dull the point of pleasure. The virgin is free 
from these burdens. She retains her vigor and youthfulness, and 
even at the age of forty may rival the young nubile girl. "A 
double ardor thus bums in the heart of him who lives with her, 
and the gratification of desire never extinguishes the bright 
flame which ever continues to increase in strength." Chrysostom 
describes minutely all the little cares and attentions which the 
modem girls of his time required, and which these men delighted 
to expend on their virginal sweethearts whether in public or in 
private. He cannot help tliinking, however, that the man who 
lavishes kisses and caresses on a woman whose virginity he retains 

1 At night, ID the baptietry, with lamps dimly burning, the woraen 
were stripped even of tlieir tunics, plunged three times in the pool, then 
nnointed, dreased in whit«, &Dd kisaed. 



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THE FDNCTION OF CHASTITY. 155 

IB putting himself sotnewliat in the poeition of Tantalus. But 
this new refinemeiit of tender chastity, wliich came as a delicious 
discovery to the early Christians who had resolutely thrust away 
the licentiousness of the pagan world, was deeply rooted, as we 
discover from the frequency with which the grave Fathers of the 
Church, apprehensive of scandal, felt called upon to reprove it, 
though their condemnation is sometimes not without a trace of 
secret syrapathy.i 

There was one form in which the new Christian chastity 
fiourished exuberantly and unchecked: it conquered literature. 
The most charming, and, we may be sure, the most popular 
literature of the early Church lay in the innumerable romances of 
«rotic chastity — to some e.\tent, it may well be, founded on fact 
— which are embodied to-day in the Acta Sanctorum. We can 
eee in even the most simple and non-miraculous early Christian 
Tecords of the martyrdom of women that the writers were fully 
aware of the delicate charm of the heroine who, like Perpetua at 
Carthage, tossed by wild cattle in the arena, rises to gather her 
torn garment aroundher and to put up her disheveled hair.^ It 
was an easy step to the stories of romantic adventure. Among 
these delightful stories I may refer especially to the legend of 
Thekla, which has been placed, incorrectly it may be, as early as 
the first century, "The Bride and Bridegroom of India" in Judas 
Thomas's Acts, "The Virgin of Antioch" as narrated by St. 
Ambrose, the history of "Achilleus and Nereus," "Mygdonia 
and Karish," and "Two Lovers of Auvergne" as told by Gregory 
of Tours. Early Christian literature aboimds in the stories of 
lovers who had indeed preserved their chastity, and had yet 
-discovered the most exquisite secrets of love. 

1 Thus Jerome, in his letter to Eustochhim, referi to those couples 
who "Bhare the same room, often even the same bed, and call ue sus- 
picious if we draw anj conclusions." while Cyprian {Kpislola, SA) 
is nnable to approve of those men he hears of, one a deacon, who live 
in familiar intercourse with vir^ns. even sleeping in the same bed wittt 
them, for, he declares, the feminine sex is uesk and 7011th is wanton. 

S Perpetua (Acta Sanetorum, March 7) ia termed bv Hort and 
Mayor "that fairest flower in the garden of post- .Apostolic Christen- 
dom." She was not, however, a virgin, but a yoMog mother with a baby 
«t her breast. 



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156 PSYCUOLOGT OF SEX. 

Thekla'B day fs the twenty'third of September. There is a very 
good Sjriae version (by Lipaiua and others regarded ae more primitive 
than the Oreek version) of the Acts of Paul and Thekta (see, e.g., 
Wright's Apocryphal Acts). These Acta tielong to the latter part of the 
second century. The story is that Tbekia, refusing to yield t« the pas- 
sion of the high priest of Syria, was put, naked but for a girdle (««b- 
ligaoulum) iDto the arena on the back of a lioness, which licked her 
feet and fought for her againat the other beasts, dying in her defense. 
The other beasts, however, did her no harm, and she was finally released. 
A queen loaded her with money, she modified her dress to look like k 
man, travelled to meet Paul, and lived to old age. Sir W. M, Ramsay 
hat written an interesting study of these Aclt {The Charch in the 
Rotnan Empire, Ch. XVT). He is of opinion that the Actt are based on 
a first century document, and is able U> disentangle many elements of 
truth from the story. He states that it ia the only evidence we possess 
cf the ideas and actiona of women during the first century in Asia 
Minor, where their position was so high and their influence so great. 
Tbekia represents the assertion of woman's rights, and she administered 
the rite of baptiam, though in the existing veraiona of the Acts these 
features are toned down or eliminated. 

Some of the most typical of these early Christian romances are 
described as Gnosticai in origin, with something of the germs of Mani- 
chtean dualism which were held in the rich end complex matrix of 
Gnosticism, while the spirit of these romances is also largely Mon- 
tanist, with the combined chastity and ardor, the pronounced feminine 
tone due to its origin in Asia Minor, which marked Montanism. It can- 
not be denied, however, that they largely passed into the main stream 
of Christian tradition, and form an essential and important part of 
that tradition. (Renan, in his Marc-Aurile, Chs. IX and XV, 
insiata on the immense debt of Christianity to Qnostic and Montanist 
contributions). A characteristic example ia the atory of "The Betrothed 
of India" in Judas Thomas's Acts {Wright's Apoeryphol Acts). Judaa 
Thomaa was aold by hia master Jesus to an Indian merchant who 
required a carpenter to go with him to India. On disembarking at the 
eity of Sandaruk they heard the sounds of music and singing, and learnt 
that it was the wedding-foaat of the King's daughter, which all must 
attend, rich and poor, slaves and trepmeo, strangers and citizens. 
Judaa Thomas went, with his new master, to the banquet and reclined 
witli a garland of myrtle placed on hia head. When a Hebrew flute- 
player came and stood over him and played, he sang the aongs of Christ, 
and it was aeen that he wna more beantiful than nil that were there 
and the King sent for him to biess the young couple in the bridal cham- 
ber. And when all were gone out nnd the door of the bridal chamber 
closed, the bridegroom approached the bride, and saw, as it were, Judaa 



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THE FDNCTION OF CHASTITY. 157 

Thomaa still tKlkiDg with her. But it wah out Lord who said to biin, 
"I am not Judas, but hia brother." And our Lord sat down on the bed 
beside the young people and began to say to them: "Remember, my 
children, what my brother spake with you, and know to whom he com- 
mitted you, and know that if ye preserve younelves from this filthj 
intercourse ye become pure temples, and are saved from afflictions mani' 
feet and hidden, and from the heavy care of children, the end whereof 
is bitt«r sorrow. For their sakes ye will become oppressors and rob- 
bers, and ye will be grievously tortured for their injuries. For children 
are the eause of many pains; either the King falls upon them or a 
demon lays hold of them, or paralysis befalb them, And if they be 
healthy they come to ill, either by adultery, or theft, or fornication, or 
covetouaaesa, or vain-glory. But if ye will be persuaded by me, and 
keep yourselves purely unto (Jod, ye shall have living children to whom 
not one of these blemishes and hnrts cometh nigh; and ye shall be 
without care and without grief and without sorrow, and ye shall hope 
for the time when ye shall see the true wedding-feast." The young 
couple were persuaded, and refrained from lust, and our Lord vanished. 
And in the morning, when it was dawn, the King had the table fur- 
nished early and brought in before the bridegroom and bride. And he 
found them sitting the one opposite the other, and the face of (he bride 
waa uncovered and the bridegroom was very cheerful. The mother of 
the bride saith to her: "Why art thou sitting thus, and art not 
aahamed, but art as if, lo, thou wert married a long time, and for many 
a dayf And her father, too, said: "la it thy great love for thy hus- 
band that prevents thee from even veiling thyself!" And the bride 
answered and said: "Truly, my father, I am in great love, and am 
praying to my Lord that I may continue in this love whitA I have 
experienced this night. I am not veiled, because the veil of corruption 
ia taken from me, and I am not ashamed, because the deed of shame baa 
been removed far from me. and I am cheerful and gay, and despise this 
deed of corruption and the jo^ of this wedding-feast, because I am 
invited to the true wedding-feast I have not had intercourse with a. 
hnsband, the end whereof is bitter repentance, because I am betrothed 
to the true Husband." The bridegroom answered also in the same spirit, 
very naturally to the dismay of the King, who sent for the sorcerer 
whom he had asked to bless his unlucky daughter. But Judaa Thomas 
had already left the city and at his inn the King's stewards found only 
the flute-player, sitting and weeping because he had not taken her with 
him. She was glad, however, when she heard what had happened, and 
hastened to the young couple, and lived with them ever afterwards. 
The King also was finally reconciled, and all ended chastely, but happily. 
In these same Judas Thamat'a Acta, which are not later than the 
fourth century, we find (eighth act) the story of Mygdonin and Karish. 



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158 PSYCHOLOGY OP SEX. 

Mygdonia, the wife of Karisht ia converted bj Thomas and flees from 
her husband, naked save for the curtain of the chamber door which she 
has wrapped around her, to her old nurse. With the nurse she goes to 
Thomas, who pours holy oil over her head, bidding the nurse to anoint 
her all over with it; then a cloth is put round her loins and he bap- 
tizes ber; then she is clothed and he gives her the sacrament. The 
young rapture of chastity grows lyrical at times, and Judas Thomas 
breaks out: "Purity is the athlete who is not overcome. Purity is tbe 
truth that blencbeth not. Purity is worthy before God of being to Him 
a familiar handmaiden. Purity ia the messenger of concord which 
bringeth the tidings of peace." 

Another romance of cliastity is furnished by the episode of 
BruBiana in The Eiatory of the Apoitlet traditionally attributed to 
Afadias, Bishop of Babylon (Bk. v, Ch. JV, et eeg.). Drusiana is the 
wife of Andronicus, and is so pious that she will not have intercourse 
with him. The youth Callimachua falls madly in love with her, and his 
amorous attempts involve many exciting adventures, but the chastity 
of Drusiana is finally triumphant. 

A characteristic example of the literature we are here concerned 
with is St. Ambrose's story of "The Virgin in tJie Brothel" (narrated 
in his De Tirginibut, Migne's edition of Ambrose's Works, vols, iii-iv, 
p. 211). A certain virgin, St. Ambrose tells us, who lately lived at 
Antioch, was condemned either to sacrifice to the gods or to go to the 
brothel. She chose the latter alternative. But the first man who came 
in to her was a Christian soldier who called her "sister," and bade her 
have no fear. He proposed that they should exchange clothes. This 
was done and she escaped, while the soldier was led away to death. At 
the place of execution, however, she ran up and exclaimed that it was 
not death she feared but shame. He, however, maintained that he had 
been condemned to death in her place. Finally the crown of martyrdom 
for which they contended was adjudged to both. 

We constantly observe in til e early documents of this romantio 
literature of chastity that chastity is insisted on by no means chiefly 
because of its rewards after death, nor even because the virgin who 
devotes herself to it secures in Christ an ever-young lover whose golden- 
haired beauty is sometimes emphasized. Its chief charm is represented 
as lying in its own joy and freedom and the security it involves from 
all the troubles, inconveniences and bondages of matrimony. This early 
Christian movement of romantic chastity was clearly, in large measure, 
a revolt of women against men and marriage. This is well brought out 
in the instructive story, aiipposed to be of third century origin, of the 
eunuchs Achilleus and Nereus, as narrated in the Acta SaTiotorum, May: 
12th. Achilleus and Nereus were Christian eunuchs of the bedchamber 
to Domitia, a virgin of noble birth, related to the Emperor Domitian 



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THE FUNCTION OP CHASTITY. 159 

and betrothed to Aurelian, aon of a. Consul. One day, aa their mistresB 
was putting on her jewela and her purple garments embroidered with 
gold, they began in turn to talk to her about all the joys and advantage^ 
of virginity, as compared to marriage with a mere man. The conversa- 
tion is developed at great length and with much eloquence. Domitia 
was finally perauaded. She suffered much from Aurelian in conse- 
quence, and when he obtained her banishment to an island she went 
thither with Achilleua and Nereus, who were put to death. Incident- 
ally, the death of Felicula, another heroine of chastity, is described. 
When elevat«d on the rack because she would not marry, she constantly 
refused to deny Jesus, whom she called her lover, "Ego nan nego 
amatorem meum!" 

A special department of thin literature is concerned with stories 
of the conversions or the penitence of courtesans. St. Martinianus, for 
instance (Feb. 13), was tempted by the courtesan Zoe, but converted 
her. The story of St. Margaret of Cortona (Feb. 22), a penitent 
courtesaD, is late, tor she belongs to the thirteenth century. The most 
delightful document In this literature is probably the latest, the four- 
(eenth century Italian devotional romance called The Life of Saint Mary 
Magdaleti^ commonly assooiated with the name of Frate Domenico 
Cavalca. (It has been translated into English). It Is the delicately 
end delictouslf told romance of the chaste and passionate love of the 
sweet sinner, Mary Magdalene, for her beloved Master. 

As time went on the insistence on the joys of chastity in this life 
became less marked, and chastity is more and more regarded as a state 
only to be fully rewarded in a future life. Even, however, in Gregory 
of Tours's charming story of "The Two Lovers of Auvergne," in which 
this atttitude is clear, the pleasures of chaste love in this life are 
brought out as clearly as in any of the early romances {Biatona Fran- 
coruM, lib. i, cap. XLII). Two senators of Auvergne each had an only 
child, and they betrothed them to each other. When the wedding day 
came and the young couple were placed in bed, the bride turned to the 
wall and wept bitterly. The bridegroom implored her to tell him what 
was the matter, and, turning towards him, she said that if she were to 
weep all her days she could never wash away her grief for she had 
resolved to give her little body immaculate to Christ, untouched by men, 
and now instead of immortal roses she had only had on her brow faded 
roses, which deformed rather than adorned it, and instead of the dowry 
of Paradise which Christ had promised her she bad become the consort 
"of a nferely mortal man. She deplored her sad fate at considerable 
length and with much gentle eloquence. At length the bridegroom, 
overcome by her sweet words, felt that eternal life had shone before him 
like a great light, and declared that if she wished to abstain from carnal 
desires he was of the same mind. She was grateful, and with clasped 



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160 PSYCHOtOCY OF SEX. 

hands they fell asleep. For many years they thus lived together, 
chastely sharing the same bed. At length she died and was buried, her 
lover restoring her imznaculate to tiie hands of Christ Soon after- 
wards be died also, and was placed in a separate tomb. Then a miracle* 
happened which made manifest the magnitude of this chaste love, for 
the two bodies were found mysteriously placed together. To this day, 
Uregory concludes (writing in the sixth century), the people of the 
place call them "The Two Lovers." 

Although Benan I Uaro-Aurile, Cb. XV) briefly called attention to 
the eiiatence of this copious early ChTiatian literature setting forth the 
romance of chastity, it seems as yet to have received tittle or no study. 
It is, however, of considerable importance, not merely for its own sake, 
but on account of its psychological significance in making clear the 
nature of the motive forces which made chastity easy and charming to 
the people of the early Christian world, even when it involved complete 
abstinence from sexual interoourae. The early Church anathematized 
the eroticism of the Pagan world, and exorcised it in the most effectual 
way t^ setting up a new and more exqnirite erotjciam of ita own. 

During the Middle Ages the primitive freshness of Christian 
chastity began to lose its charm. No more romances of chastity 
were written, and in actual life men no longer sought daring 
adventures in the field of chastity. So far as the old ideals snr- 
vived at all it was in the secular field of chivalry. The last 
notable figure to emulate the achievements of the early Christians 
was Robert of Arbriseel in Normandy. 

Robert of Arbrissel, who founded, in the eleventh century, the 
famous and distinguished Order of Fontevrault for women, was a Breton. 
This Celtic origin is doubtless significant, for it may explain his unfail- 
ing ardor and gaiety, and his enthusiastic veneration for womanhood. 
Even those of his friends who deprecated what thej considered hie scan- 
dalous conduct bear testimony to his unfailing and cheerful tempera- 
ment, his alertness in action, his readiness for any deed of humanity, 
and his entire freedom from severity. He attracted immense crowds of 
people of all conditions, especially women, including prostitutes, and hia 
influence over women was great. Once he went into a brotbel to warm 
his feet, and, incidentally, converted all the women there. "Who are 
yout" asked one of them, "I have been here twenty-five years and nobody 
has ever come here to talk about God." Robert's relation with hia nun« 
at Fontevrault waa very intimate, and he would often sleep with them. 
This is set forth precisely in letters written by friends of his, bishops 
and abbots, one of whom remarks that Robert had "discovered a now 



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THE FUNCTION' OP CHASTITY. 161 

but fruitless form of martfrdora." A royal abbess of Pont«vrault in 
the seventeenth century, pretending that the venerated founder of the 
order could not possibly have been guilty of such scandaloua conduct, 
and that the letters must therefore be spurious, had the originalB 
destroyed, so far as possible. The Boliandiste, in an wtscholarly and 
incomplete account of the matter {Aeta Sanctorum, Feb. 26), adopted 
this view. J. von Walter, however, in a recent and thorough study of 
Robert of Arbrissel {Die Ersten Wanderprediger Frankreioti*, Theil I), 
shows that there is no reason whatever to doubt the authentic and 
reliable character of the impugned letters. 

The early Christian legends of chastity had, however, their 
auccessors. Aucassin et Nicolette, which waa probably written in 
N'orthem France towards the end of the twelfth century, is above 
all the descendant of the stories in the Acta Sanctorum and else- 
where. It embodied their spirit and carried it forward, uniting 
their delicate feeling for chastity and purity with the ideal of 
monogamic love. Aucassin et Nicolette was the death-knell of 
the primitive Christian romance of chastity. It was the dis- 
covery that the chaste refinements of delicacy and devotion were 
possible within the strictly normal sphere of sexual love. 

There were at least two cansea which tended to extinguish 
the primitive Christian attraction to chastity, even apart from the 
influence of the Church authorities in repressing its romantic 
manifestations. In the first place, the submergence of the old 
pagan world, with its practice and, to some extent, ideal of 
sexual indulgence, removed the foil which had given grace and 
delicacy to the tender freedom of the young Christians. In the 
second place, the austerities which the early Christians had 
gladly practised for the sake of their soul's health, were robbed 
of their charm and spontaneity by being made a formal part of 
codes of punishment for sin, first in the Penitentials and after- 
wards at the discretion of confessors. This, it may be added, 
was rendered the more necessary because the ideal of Christian 
chastity was no longer largely the possession of refined people 
who had been rendered immune to Pagan license 'by being 
brought up in its midst, and even themselves steeped in it. It 
was clearly from the first a serious matter for the violent North 
Africans to maintain the ideal of chastity, and when Christianity 



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162 PSTCHOLOOY OP BKX. 

spread lo Northern Europe it Hcemed almost a hopeless task to 
acclimatize its ideals among the wild Oermana. Hereafter it 
became necessary for celibacy to be imposed on the regular clergy 
by the stem force of ecclesiastical authority, while voluntary 
celibacy was only kept alive by a succession of religious enthus- 
iasts perpetually founding new Orders. An asceticism thus 
enforced could not always be accompanied by the ardent exalta- 
tion necessary to maintain it, and in its artificial efforts at self- 
preservation it frequently fell from its insecure heights to the 
depths of unrestrained license.^ This fatality of all hazardous 
efforts to overpass humanitj^'s normal limits begun to be realized 
after the Jliddle Ages were over by clear-sighted thinkers, "Qui 
veut faire I'ange," said Pascal, pnngently summing up 'this view 
of the matter, "fait la b^te." That had often been illustrated in 
the history of the Church. 

The Penitential a began to come int« use in the seventh centui?, 
and became ot wide prevalence and authority during the ninth and 
tenth centuries. The; were bodies of law, partly spiritual and partly 
secular, and were thrown into the form of catalogues of offences with 
the exact measure of penance prescribed for each offence. Tbey repr«- 
sented the introduction of social order among untamed barbarians, and 
were codes of criminal law much more than part of a system of sacra- 
mental confession and penance. In France and Spain, where order on a 
ChTJBtian basis already existed, tbey were little needed. They had thdr 
origin in Ireland and England, and especially flourished in Germany; 
Charlemagne supported them (see. e.g.. Lea, History of Aurictilar Con- 
feasiwt, vol. ii, p. 06, also Ch. XVII; Hugh Williams, edition ot Qildas, 
Part II, Appendix 3; the chief Penitentials are reproduced In Wasser* 
schleben's ButtOTdnaitgen) . 

In 1216 the Lateran Council, under Innocent m, made confession 
obligatory. The priestly prerogative of regulating the amount ot pen- 
ance according to circumstances, with greater flexibility than the ri^d 
Penitentials admitted, was first absolutely asserted by Peter of Poitiers. 

1 The strength of early Christian asceticism lay in its spontaneous 
and voluntary character. When, in the ninth century, the Carlovingians 
attempted to enforce monastic and clerical celibacy, the result was a 
greet outburst of unchnntit; and crime ; nunneries became brothels, nuns 
were frequently guilty of infanticide, monks committed unBpeakable 
abominations, the regular clergy formed incestuous relations with their 
nearest female relatives (Lea, History of Bacerdolal Celibacy, vol. i, pp. 
155 et »eq.). 



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THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY, 163 

Then Alain de Lille threw aside the PenitentiaU as obsolete, and declared 
tliat the priest biouelf must inquire into the circuntatances of each ain 
and weigh precisely its guilt <Lea, op. cil., vol. ii, p. 171). 

Long before this period, however, the ideals of chastity, so far as 
ihey involved any considerable degree of continence, although they had 
become flnnly hardened into the conventional traditions and ideals of 
the Christian Church, had ceased to have any great charm or force for 
the people living in Christendom. Among the Northem barbarians, nlth 
different traditions of a mare vigorous and nntural order behind them, 
the demands of sex were often frankly exhibited. The monk Ordericua 
Vitalis, in the eleventh century, notes what he calls the "lasciviouaness" 
of the wives of the Norman conquerors of England who, when left alone 
at home, sent messages that if their husbands failed to return speedily 
they would take new ones. The celibacy of the clergy was only estab- 
lished with the very greatest difficulty, and when it was established, 
priests became unchaste. Archbishop Odo of Rouen, in the thirteenth 
century, recorded in the diary of his diocesan visitations that there waa 
one unchaste priest in every five parishes, and even as regards the Italy 
of the same period the friar Salimbene in his remarkable autobigraphy 
shows how little chastity was regarded in the religious life. Chastity 
could now only be maintained by force, usually the moral force of 
ecclesiastical authority, which was itself undermined by unchastjty, but 
sometimes even physical force. It was in the thirteenth century, in the 
opinion of some, that the prdle of chastity [cingula caatitalia) flrst 
begins to appear, but the chief authority, Caufeynon {La Ceinlure de 
Chatteti, 1904) believes it only dates from the Renaissance (Schnlti, 
Dm S5fiaohe Leben eur Zeit der MirmeaUnger, vol. i, p. 595; Dufour, 
Eittoire de la Progtilution, vol. v, p. 272-, Krauss, Anthropopht/teia, 
vol. iii, p. 247 ) . In the sixteenth century convents were liable to become 
almost brothels, as we learn on t^e unimpeachable authority of Burobard, 
a Pope's secretary, in his Diarium, edited by Thuasne who brings 
togetiier additional authorities for this statement in a footnote (vol. il, 
p. 79) ; that they remained so in the eighteenth century we see clearly 
in the pages of Casanova's Mitaoirea, and !n many other documents of 
the period. 

The RenaisBance and the rise of humaDiam undouhtedly 
affected the feeling towards asceticism and chastity. On the one 
hand a new and ancient sanction was found for the disregard of 
virtues which men began to look upon as merely monkish, and on 
the other hand the finer spirits affected by the new movement 
began to rea1i;!e that chastity might be better cultivated and 
observed by those who were free to do as they would than by 



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164 PSYCHOLOGY OF SKI. 

those who were under the compulsion of priestly authority. 
That is the feeling that prevails in Montaigne, and that is the 
idea of Itabelais when he made it the only rule of his Abbey of 
Thel^me : "Fay ce que vouldras," 

A little later thia doctrine was repeated in varying tonea hy manjr 
writers more or Icsa tinged by tlie culture brought into fashiOQ by the 
RenaiaBnnce. "Ab long as Danae was free," remarks Ferrand in bia six- 
teenth century treatise, De la Matadie d'Amotir, "she was chaate." And 
Sir Kenelm Digby, the latest representative of the Renaiasance spirit, 
insists in his Private Memoirs that the liberty which LycurgUB, "tho 
wisest human law-raaker that ever waa," gave to women fo eommuaicata 
their bodies to men to whom they were drawn by noble affection, and 
the hope of generous offspring, was the true cause why "real chaetitj 
flourished in Sparta more than in any other part of the world." 

In Protestant countries the ascetic ideal of chastity was still 
further discredited by the Reformation morement which was in 
considerable part a revolt against compulsory celibacy. Religion 
was thus no longer placed on the side of chastity. lu the 
■eighteenth century, if not earlier, the authority of Xature also 
was commonly invoked against chastity. It has thuB happened 
that during the past two centuriea serious opinion concerning 
chastity has only been partially favorable to it. It began to be 
felt that an unhappy and injurious mistake had been perpetrated 
by attempting to maintain a lofty ideal which encouraged 
hypocrisy. "The human race would gain much," as Senancour 
wrote early in the nineteenth century in his remarkable book on 
love, "if virtue were made less laborious. The merit would not 
be po great, but what is the use of an elevation which can rarely 
be sustained ?"^ 

There can be no doubt that the undue discredit into which 
tlie idea of chastity beg;in to fall from the eighteenth century 

1 Senancour, Oe I'Amovr, vol. 11, p. 233. Islam has placed much 
lesa strcas on chastity than Christlanily, but practically, it would appear, 
there is often more regard for chastity under Mohammedan rule than 
under Christian rule. Thus it is stated by "Viator" {Portnightljf 
Review, Dec.. 1908) that formerly, under Turkish Moslem rule. It waa 
impossible to buy the virtue of women in Bosnia, hut that now, under 
the Christian rule of Austria, it is everywhere possible to buy women 
near the Austrian frontier. 



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THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY. 165 

<mwards was largely due to the esistence of that merely external 
and conventional physical chastity which was arbitrarily enforced 
BO far as it could be enforced, — and is indeed in some degree still 
enforced, nominally or really, — upon all respectable women out- 
side marriage. The conception of the physical virtue of vir- 
ginity had degraded the conception of the spiritual virtue of 
chastity. A mere routine, it was felt, prescribed to a whole sex, 
whether they would or not, could never possesB the beauty and 
charm of a virtue. At the same time it began to be realized that, 
as a matter of fact, the state of compulsory virginity is not 
only not a state especially favorable to the cultivation of real 
virtues, but that it is bound up with qualities which are no longer 
regarded as of high value.^ 

"How arbitrary, artifleial, contrary to Nature, is the life now 
fropoaed upon women in this matter of chastity!" wrote Jamea H{nt«n 
forty years ago. '"Think of that line; 'A woman who deliberatea ia 
lost.' We make danger, making all womanhood hang upon a point like 
this, and surrounding it with unnatural and preternatural dangers. 
There is a wanton unreason embodied in the life of woman now; the 
present 'virtue' is a morbid unhealthy plant. Nature and God never 
poised the life of a woman upon such a needle's point. The whole mod' 
em idea of chastity has in it sensual exaggeration, surely, in part, 
remaining to us from other times, with what was good in it in great 
part gone." 

"The whole grace of virginity," wrote another philosopher, Ouyau, 

I The basis ot this feeling was strengthened when it was shown by 
echolars that the physical virtue of "virginity" had been masquerading 
under a false name. To remain a virjcin seems to have meant at the 
first, among peoples ot early Aryan culture, by no means to take a vow 
of chastity, but to refuse to submit to the yoke of patriarchal marriage. 
The women who preferred to stand outside marriage were "virgins," 
even thougli mothers of large families, and ^schylus speaks of th« 
Amaxons as "virgins," while in Greek the child of an unmarried girl was 
always "the virgin's son." The history of Artemis, the most primitive 
of Greek deities, is instructive from thia point of view. She was origin- 
ally only virginal in the sense that she rejected marriage, being the 
goddess of a nomadic and matriarchal hunting people who had not yet 
adopted marriage, and she was the goddess of childbirth, worshipped 
with orgiastic dances and phallic emblems. It was by a late transfor- 
mation that Artemis became the goddess of chastitv (Fnmell. C'llli of 
tfie Greek Slates, vol. ii, pp, 442 et seq.; Sir W. M, Ramsay, Cities of 
PhrygiOf vol. i, p. 96; Paul Lafargue, "Lea Mythes Historiquea," Revue 
dea Idiea, Dec., 1004). 



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166 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

"is ignorance. Virgioit;, like certain fruits, can only be preserved bj 
a process of desiccation." 

M£rim^ pointed out the same desiccating influence of virgiui^. 
In a letter dated 1859 he wrote: "I think that nowadays people Httaeh 
far too much importance to chastity. Not that I deny that chastity is 
a virtue, but Uiere are degrees in virtueB just as there are in vices. It 
seems to be alwurd that a woman should be banished from society for 
having had a lover, while a woman vtio is miserly, double-faced and 
spiteful goes everywhere. The morality of this age is assuredly not that 
which is taught in the Gospel. In my opinion it is better to love too 
much than not enough. Nowadays dry hearts are stuck up on a. pin- 
nacle" IRevue de» Deux Mondes, April, 1S06). 

Dr. H. Paul has developed an allied point. She writes: "There 
are girls who, even as children, have prostituted themselves by masturba- 
tion and lascivious thoughts. The purity of their souls has long been 
lost and nothing remains unlcnown to them, but — they have preserved 
their hymensi That is for the sake of the future husband. Let no one 
dare to doubt their innocence with that unimpeachable evidence! And 
if another girl, who has passed her childhood in complete purify, now, 
with awakened senses and warm impetuous womanliness, gives herself 
to a man in love or even only in pSBsion, they all stand up and scream 
that she is 'dishonoredl' And, not least, the prostituted girl with the 
hymen. It is she indeed who screams loudest and throws the biggest 
stones. Yet the 'distionored' woman, who is sound and wholesome, need 
not fear to tell what she has done to the man who desires her in mar- 
riage, speaking ns one human being to another. She has no need to 
blush, she has exerrtsed her human rights, and no reasonable man will 
on that account esteem her the less" (Dr. H. Paul, "Die UeberschStiung 
der Jungfemschaft," Oeechlecht und QeselUchaft, Bd. ii, p. 14, 1907). 

In a similar spirit writes F. Erhard [Oescklccht xmd OeselUchaft, 
Bd, i, p. 408) : "Virginity in one sense has its worth, but in the ordi- 
nary sense it is greatly overestimated. Apart from the fact that a girl 
who pOBseBses it may yet be thoroughly perverted, this overeat imation 
of virginity leads to the girl who is without it being despised, and has 
further resulted in the development of a special industry for the prepara- 
tion, by means of a prudishly cloistral education, of girls who will bring 
to their husbands the peculiar dainty of a bride who knows nothing 
about anything. Noturally, this can only be achieved at the expense of 
any rational education. What the undeveloped little goose may turn 
into, no man can foresee." 

Freud (Sexiiat-Proileme, March, 1008) also points out the evil 
results of the education for marriage which is given to girls on the 
basis of this ideal of virginity. "Education undertakes the task of 
repressing the girl's sensuality until the time of betrothal. It not only 



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THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY. 167 

forbids sexual relations and seta a high premium od innocence, but it 
also withdraws the ripening womanly indi vidua) itj' from temptation, 
maintaining a stale of ignorance coneerning the practical side of the 
part she is intended to play in life, and enduring no stirring of love 
which cannot lead to marriage. The result is that when she is soddenl; 
permitted to fall in love by the authority of ber elders, the girt cannot 
bring her psychic disposition to bear, and goes into marriage uncertain 
of her own feelings. As a consequence of this artificial retardation of 
the function of love she brings nothing but deception to the husband 
who has set all his desircB upon her, and manifesta frigidity in her 
physical relations with him." 

Senancour (De I'Amour, vol. i, p. 285) even believes that, when 
it is possible to leave out of consideration the question of offspring, not 
only will the law of chastity become equal tor the two sexes, but there 
will be a tendency for the situation of the sexes to be, to some extent, 
changed. "Continence becomes a counsel rather than a precept, and it 
iz in women that the voluptuous inclination will be regarded with most 
indulgence. Man is made for work; be only meets pleasure in passing; 
ho must be content that women should occupy themselves with it more 
than he. It is men whom it exhausts, and men must always, in part, 
restrain their desires." * 

As, however, we liberate oureelvefl from the bondage of a 
compulsory physical chastity, it becomes possible to rehabilitate 
chastity as a virtue. At the present day it can no longer be 
said that there is on the part of thinkers and moralists any active 
hostility to the idea of chastity; there is, on the contrary, a 
tendency to recognize the value of chastity. But this recognition 
has been accompanied by a return to the older and sounder con- 
ception of chastity. The preservation of a rigid sexual ab- 
stinence, an empty virginity, can only be regarded as a psendo- 
chastity. The only positive virtue which Aristotle could bava 
recognized in this field was a temperance involving restraint of 
the lower impulses, a wise exercise and not a non-exercise.* The 
best thinkers of the Christian Church adopted the same concep- 
tion ; St. Basil in his important monastic rules laid no weight on 
self -discipline as an end in itself, but regarded it as an instru- 
ment for enabling the spirit to gain power over the flesh. St. 
Augustine declared that continence is only excellent when prao- 

1 See, e.g., Nicomachean Ethics, Bk. iii, Ch. XIII. 



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168 PSTOHOLOOY OF BEX. 

tiaed in the faith of the highest good,i and he regarded chastity 
ae "an orderly movement of the soul subordinating lower things 
to higher things, and specially to be manifested in conjugal 
relationships"; Thomas Aquinas, defining chastity in much 
the same way, defined impurity as the enjoyment of sexual 
pleasure not according to right reason, whether as regards the 
<^ject or the conditions.^ But for a time the voices of the great 
moralists were unheard. The virtue of chastity was swamped in 
the popular Christian passion for the annihilation of the fiesh, 
and that view was, in the sixteenth century, finally consecrated 
by the Council of Trent, which formally pronounced an anathema 
upon anyone who should declare that the state of virginity and 
celibacy was not better than the state of matrimony. Nowadays 
the pseudo-chastity that was of value on the simple ground that 
any kind of continence is of higher spiritual worth than any 
kind of sexual relationship belongs to the past, except for those 
who adhere to ancient ascetic creeds. The mystic value of vir- 
ginity has gone ; it seems only to arouse in the modem man's 
mind the idea of a piquancy craved by the hardened rake ;' it is 
men who have themselves long passed the age of innocence who 
attach so much importance to the innocence of their brides. The 
conception of life-long continence as an ideal has also gone; at 
the best it is regarded as a mere matter of personal preference. 
And the conventional simulation of universal chastity, at the 
bidding of respectability, is coming to be regarded as a hindrance 
rather than a help to the cultivation of any real chastity.^ 

1 De Civilaie Dei, lib, xv, cap. XX. A little further on (lib. xvi, 
cap. XXV) he refers to Abmham ae a man able to use women as a man 
should, his wife temperately, hja concubine compliantly, neither immod- 
erately. 

3 gumma, Migne'a edition, vol. iii, qu. 154, art I. 

3 See the Study of Modesty in the firBt volume of these Studies, 

1 The majority of chatte youths, remarks nn acute critic of modem 
life iBellpfich, f/erro»itat und Kultur. p. 175), nre merely actuated by 
traditional principles, or by shyness, fear of venereal infections, lack of 
Bclf -confidence, want of money, very seldom by any consideration for a 
future wife, and that indeed would he h tragi-comio error, for a woman 
lays no importance on intact masculinity. Moreover, he adds, the chaste 
man is unable to choose a wife wisely, and it is among teachers and 
olerKymen — the chastest class — that most unhappy marriHRcs ore made. 
Milton had already made this fact an argument for facility of divorce. 



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THE FUNCTION OP CHASTITY. 16& 

The chastity that is regarded by the moralist of to-day as a 
virtue has its worth by no means in its abstinence. It is not, in 
St. Theresa's words, the virtue of the tortoise which withdraws 
its limbs under its carapace. It is a virtue because it is a dis- 
cipline in self-control^becaose it helps to fortify the character 
and will, and because it is directly favorable to the cultivation of 
the most beautiful, exalted, and effective sexual life. So viewed, 
chastity may be opposed to the demands of debased mediaeval 
Catholteism, but it is in harmony with the demands of our 
civilized life to^ay, and by no means at variance with the re- 
quirements of Nature. 

There is always an analogy between the instinct of repro- 
duction and the instinct of nutrition. In the matter of eating it 
is the influence of science, of physiology, which has finally put 
aside an exaggerated asceticism, and made eating "pure." The 
same process, as James Hinton well pointed out, has been made 
possible in the sexual relationships; "science has in its hands 
the key to purity."' 

Uany influences have, however, worked together to favor an 
insistence on chastity. There has, in the first place, been an 
inevitable reaction against the sexual facility which had come to 
be regarded as natural. Such facility was found to have no 
moral value, for it tended to relaxation of moral fibre and was 
nnfavorable to the finest sexual satisfaction. It could not even 
claim to be natural in any broad sense of the word, for, in Nature 
generally, se.vual gratification tends to he rare and difficult.- 
Courtship iq arduous and long, the season of love is strictly 
delimited, pregnancy interrupts sexual relationships. Even 
among savages, so long as they have been untainted by civiliza- 
tion, virility is usually maintained by a fine asceticism; the 



1 "In eating," said Hinton. "we have achieved the task of combin- 
ing pleasure with an abaence of 'lust.' The problem for man and woman 
is BO to use and possess the sexual passion as to make it the minister 
to higher things, with no restraint on it but lliat. It is esBentially con- 
nected with things of the spiritual order, and would naturally revolve 
round them. To think of it as merely bodily is a mistake." 

2 See "Analysis of the Sexual Impulse," and Appendix, "The Sexual 
Instinct in Savages," in vol. iii of these Studies. 



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170 P8Y0H0LOGY OF SEX. 

endurance of hardship, eelf-control and restraint, tempered by 
rare orgies, constitnte a diacipline which covers the Bexual as 
well as every other department of savage life. To preserve the 
same virility in civilized life, it may well be felt, we must 
deliberately cultivate a virtue which under savage conditions of 
life is natural. 1 

The influence of Nietzsche, direct and indirect, has been on 
the side of the virtue of chastity in its modem sense. The com- 
mand: "Be hard," as Nietzsche used it, was not bo much an 
injunction to an unfeeling indifFerence towards others as an 
appeal for a more strenuous attitude towards one's self, the cul- 
tivation of a self-control able to gather tip and hold in the forces 
of the soul for expenditure on deliberately accepted ends. "A 
relative chastity," he wrote, "a fundamental and wise foresight 
in the face of erotic things, even in thought, is part of a fine 
reasonableness in life, even in richly endowed and complete 
natures."^ In this matter Nietzsche is a typical representative 
of the modem movement for the restoration of chastity to its 
proper place as a real and beneficial virtue, and not a mere empty 
convention. Such a movement could not fail to make itself felt, 
for all that favors facility and luxurious softaesa in sexual 
matters is quickly felt to degrade character as well as to diminish 
the finest erotic satisfaction. For erotic satisfaction, in its 
highest planes, is only possible when we have secured for the 
sexual impulse a high degree of what Colin Scott calls "irradia- 
tion," that is to say a wide diffusion through the whole of the 
psychic organism. And that can only be attained by placing 
impediments in the way of the swift and direct gratification of 
sexual desire, by compelling it to increase its force, to take long 
circuits, to charge the whole organism so highly that the final 
climax of gratified love is not the trivial detumescaice of a petty 
desire but the immense coosummation of a longing in which the 
whole soul as well as the whole body has its part. "Only the 

1 1 hare elsewhere diecuased more nt length Ote need iu modara 
civilized life of a natural and sincere asceticism (see A/firmatioiu, 169B} 
"St Francis and Others." 

^Der Witle tvr Maahl, p. 392. 



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THB FUNCTION OF CHASTITY. t71 

chaste caa be really obaceoe," eaid Huysmane. And on a higher 
plane, only the chaste can really love. 

"Physical purity," remftrks Hans Menjago {"Die Uebersebltcung 
der Pbysischen Reinheit," Oetchlecht vnd QeaelUdhaft, toI. il. Part 
Vin) "wkB original)]' valued as a aign of greater atrength at will and 
finnneM of character, and It marked a rise above primitive condition*. 
This purit; was difficult to preserve in those uneure day:>; it was rare 
and nDoaual. From this rari^ rose the superstition of supematural 
power residing in the virgin. But this has no meaning as soon a« such 
puri^ becomes general and a spedallj conspicuous degree of firmness of 

character is no longer needed to maintain it Physical 

purity can only possess value when it is the result of individual strength 
of character, and not when it is the result of compulsory rules of 
morality." 

Eonrad Hfiller, who has given special attention to the sexual ques- 
tion in schools, remarks in relation to physioal exercise; "The greatest 
advantage of physical exercises, however, is not the development of the 
active and passive strength of the body and its skill, but the estahliah- 
ment and fortification of the authority of the will over the body and its 
needs, so much given up to indolence. He who has learnt to endure and 
overcome, for the sake of a definite aim, hunger and thirst and fatigue, 
will be the better able to withstand sexual impulses and the temptation 
to gratify them, when better insight and «Hthetic feeling have made 
clear to him, as one used to maintain authority over his body, that to 
yield would be injurioua or disgraceful" (K. HSller, "Die Aufgahe der 
Volksschule," Bewvalpadagogik, p. 70). Professor Schttfenacker (id., p. 
102), who also emphasizes the importance of self-control and self-re- 
straint, thinks a youth must bear in mind hit future mission, as citizen 
and father of a family. 

A subtle and penetrative thinker of to-day, Jules de Gaultier, 
writing on morals without reference to this specific question, has dis- 
euflsed what new internal inhibitory motivee we can appeal to in 
replacing the old external inhibition of authority and belief which is 
now decayed. He answers that the state of feeling on which old faiths 
were based still persists. "May not," he asks, "the desire for a thing 
that we love and wish for beneficently replace the belief that a thing 
is by divine will, or in the nature of things! Will not the presence of 
a bridle on the frenzy of instinct reveal itself .as a useful attitude adopted 
by instinct itself for its own conservation, as a symptom of the force 
and health of instinct! Is not empire over oneself, the power of reg- 
ulating one's acts, a mark of superiority and a motive for self-esteem! 
Will not this joy of pride have the same authority in preserving (he 



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172 PBTCHOLOOY OF 8BX. 

instincts aa was once poesassed hy religious fear and the pretend?(t 
imperatives of reason t" (Jules de Gauitier, La Dipendance de la Morale 
et Vlndipendance de» Mteura, p. 153.) 

H. O. Wells {in A Modern Utopia), pointing out the importanoe 
of ehastity, though rejecting celibacy, invokeB, like Jules de Gaultier, 
the motive of pride. "CivilizaUon baa developed tar more rapidly than 
man has modified. Under the unnatural perfection of security, liberty,. 
and abundance our civilization has attained, the normal untrained 
human being is disposed to excess in almont every direction; he tends 
to eat too much and too elaborately, to drink too much, to become laqf 
faster than his work can be reduced, to waste his interest upon displays, 
and to make love too much and too elaborately. He gets out of train- 
ing, and concentrates upon egoistic or erotic broodings. Our founders 
organized motives from all sorts of sources, but I think the chief force 
to give men self-control is pride. Pride may not be the noblest thing 
in the «oul, but it is the best king there, for all that. They looked to 
it to keep a man clean and sound and sane. In this matter, as in all 
matters of natural desire, tbey held no appetite must be glutted, no- 
appetite must have artificial whets, and also and equally that no 
appetite should be starved. A man must come from the table satisfied, 
hut not replete. And, in the matter of love, a straight and clean desire 
for a clean and straight fellow-creature was our founders' ideal. They 
enjoined marriage between equals as the duty to the race, and they 
framed directions of the preciscst sort to prevent that uxorious insepar- 
ableness, that connubiality, that sometimes reduces a couple of people to- 
something jointly less than either." 

With regard to chastity as an element of erotic satisfaction. 
Edward Carpenter writes {Love's Coming of Age, p. 11): "There is tk 
kind of illuAon about physical desire similar to that which a child 
suffers from when, seeing a beautiful Bower, it instantly snatches the 
some, and deatro^'s in a few moments the form and fragrance which 
attracted it. He only geta the full glory who holds himself back a little, 
and truly possesses, who is willing, if need be. not to possess. He is 
indeed a master of lite who, accepting tlie grosser desires as they come 
to his body, and not refusing them, knows how to transform them at 
will into the most rare and fragrant flowers of human emotion." 

Beyond its functions in building up character, in heighten- 
ing and ennobling the erotic life, and in subserving the adequate 
fuliilment of family and social duties, chastity has a more special 
value for those who cultivate the arts. We may not always be 
inclined to believe the writers who have declared that their verse 
alone ia wanton, but their lives chaste. It is certainly true, how- 



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THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY. 173 

ever, that a relationship of this kind tends to occur. The stuff 
of the sexual life, ae Nietzsche says, is the stufl of art; if it is 
«xpeDded in one channel it is lost for the other. The masters of 
all the more intensely ^notional arts have frequently cultivated 
s high degree of chastity. This is notably the case as regards 
music ; one thinks of Mozart,* of Beethoven, of Schubert, and 
many lesser men. In the case of poets and novelists chastity may 
usually seem to be less prevalent but it is frequently well-marked, 
and IB not seldom disguised by the resounding reverberations 
vrhich even the slightest love-episode often exerts on the poetic 
organism. Goethe's life seems, at a first glance, to be a long 
series of continuous love-episodes. Yet when we remember that 
it was the very long life of a man whose vigor remained until 
the end, that hig attachments long and profoundly affected his 
emotional life and his work, and that with most of the women 
he has immortalized he never had actual sexual relationships at 
all, and when we realize, moreover, that, throughout, he accom- 
plished an almost inconceivably vast amount of work, we shall 
probably conclude that sexual indulgence had a very much smaller 
part in Goethe's life than in that of many an average man on 
whom it leaves no obvious emotional or intellectual trace wliat- 
ever. Sterne, again, declared that he must always have a 
Dulcinea dancing in his head, yet the amount of his intimate 
relations with women appears to have been small. Balzac spent 
his life toiling at his desk and carrying on during many years a 
love correspondence with a woman he scarcely ever saw and at 
the end only spent a few months of married life with. The like 
■experience has befallen many artistic creators. For, in the words 
of Landor, "absence is the invisible and incorporeal mother of 
ideal beauty." 

We do well to remember that, while the auto-erotic manifes- 
tations through the brain are of infinite variety and importance. 



1 At the ELge of twentj-five, when he had already produced much 
fine work, Mozart wrote in his letters that he ti&d never touched a 
n-oniHn, though he longed for love and marriage. He could not afford 
to many, he would not seduce an innocent girl, a venial relation was 
repnlsive to him. 



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174 P8T0HOLOOY OF BEX. 

the brain and the sexual organs are yet the great nvals in iiBiDg 
up bodily energy, and that there ie an antagoniam between ex- 
treme brain vigor and extreme sexual vigor, even although they 
may eometimes both appear at different periods in the same 
individual.^ In this senae there is no paradox in the saying of 
Ramon Correa that potency is impotence and impotence potency, 
for a high degree of energy, whether in athletics or in intellect op 
in sexual activity, is unfavorable to the display of energy in 
other directions. Every high degree of potency has its related 
impotencies. 

It may be added that we may find a curiousl; incoDBistent proof 
of the excessive importance attached to sexual function hy a society 
which HfBteraatically tries to depreciate aex, in the disgrace which is 
attributed to the lack of "virile" potency. Although civilized life offen 
immense scope for the activities of sexually impotent persons, the 
impotent man is made to feel that, while he need not be greatly con- 
cerned if he Buffers from nervous disturbances of digeBtioD, if he should 
suffer just as innocently from nervous disturbances of the sexual im- 
pulse, it is almost a crime. A striking example of this was shown, a 
few years ago, when it was plausibly suggested that Carlyte's relations 
with his wife might best be explained by supposing that he suffered from 
some trouble of sexual potency. At once admirers rushed forward to 
"defend" Carlyle from this "diagraceful" charge; they were mors 
shocked than if it bad been alleged that be was a syphilitic. Yet 
impotoice is, at the most, an inflrmity, whether due to some congenita] 
anatomical defect or to a disturbance of nervous balance in the delicate 
sexual mechanism, such as is apt to occur in men of abnormally sensi- 
tive temperament. It is no more disgraceful to suffer from it than from 
dyspepsia, with which, indeed, it may be aasociated. Many men of 
genius and high moral character have been sexually deformed. This 
was the case with Cowper (Uiough this significant fact is suppressed by 
his biographers) ; Ruskin was divorced for a reason of this kind; and 
J. S. Mill, it is said, was sexually of little more than infantile develop- 
Up to this pomt I have been .considering the quality of 
chastity and the quality of asceticism in their most general senae 



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THE FUNCTION OP CUA8IITT. 176 

and vithoot any attempt at precise differentiation, ^ But if we 
are to accept these aa modern virtues, valid to-day, it is necessary 
that we should be somewhat more precise in defining them. It 
seems most convenient, and most strictly accordant also with 
etymology, if we agree to mean by aeceticism or ascesis, the 
athlete quality of self-discipline, controlling, by no means oeces- 
Barily for indefinitely prolonged periods, the gratification of the 
sexual impulse. By chaetity, which is primarily the quality of 
purity, and secondarily that of hoIincBB, rather than of abstinence, 
we may beet understand a due proportion between erotic claims 
and the other claims of life. "Chastity," as Ellen Key well says, 
"is harmony between body and soul in relation to love." Thus 
comprehended, asceticism is the virtue of control that leads up 
to erotic gratification, and chastity is the virtue which exerts its 
harmonizing influence in the erotic life itself. 

It will be seen that asceticism by no means necessarily 
involves perpetual continence. Properly understood, asceticism 
is a discipline, a training, which has reference to an end not 
itself. If it is compulsorily perpetual, whether at the dictates of 
a religious dogma, or as a mere fetish, it is no longer on a natural 
basis, and it is no longer moral, for the restraint of a man who 
has spent his whole life in a prison is of no value for life. If it 
is to be natural and to be moral asceticism must have an end out- 
side itself, it must subserve the ends of vital activity, which 
cannot be subserved by a person who is engaged in a perpetual 
struggle with his own natural instincts. A man may. Indeed, as 
a matter of taste or preference, live his whole life in sexual 
abstinence, freely and easily, but in that case he is not an ascetic, 
and his abstinence is neither a subject for applause nor for 
criticism. 



iWe may exclude altogether, it ia ■carcelj necessary to repeat, the 
quality of Tirginity — that is to Bay, the possesHion of an intact hynieD — 
sinee this is a merely physical quality with no necessary ethical rela' 
tionshipB. The demand for virginity in women is. for the moit part, 
either the demand for a better marketable article, or for a more power- 
ful stimulant to masculine desire. Virginity involves no moral qualities 
in ita poasesaor. Chastity and asceticism, on the other hand, are mean- 
inglesR terms, except as demands made by the apirit on itself or on the 
body it controls. 



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176 PStCHOLOGT OF SEX. 

In the B&me way ehastity, far from involving sexual ab- 
stinence, only has its value when it is brought within tie erotic 
sphere. A purity that is ignorance, when the age of childisli 
innocence is once passed, is mere stupidity ; it is nearer to vice 
than to Tirtue. Nor ia purity consonant with efEort and struggle ; 
in that respect it differs from asceticism. "AVe conquer the 
bondage of sex," Rosa Mayreder aays, "by acceptance, not by 
denials, and men can only do this with the help of women." The 
would-be chastity of cold calculation is equally unbeautiful and 
unreal, and without any sort of value, A true and worthy 
chastity can only be supported by an ardent ideal, whether, as 
among the early Christians, this is the erotic ideal of a new 
romance, or, as among ourselves, a more humanly erotic ideal. 
"Only erotic idealism," says Ellen Key, "can arouse enthusiasm 
for ehastity." Chastity in a healthily developed person caa thus 
be beautifully exercised only in the actual erotic life; in part it 
ia the natural instinct of dignity and temperance ; in part it is 
the art of touching the things of sex with hands that remember 
their aptness for all the fine ends of life. Upon the doorway oE 
entrance to the inmost sanctuary of love there is thus the same 
inscription as on the doorway to the Epidaurian Sanctuary of 
Aesculapius: "None but the pure shall enter here." 

It will be seen that the deflnition of chastity remains somewhat 
lacking in precision. That ia inevitable. We cannot grasp purit^r 
tightly, for, like snow, it will merely melt in our hands. "I'urity itself 
forl>idB too minute a system of rules for the observance of purity," well 
says Sidgwick [Melhods of Ethics, Bk. iii, Ch.'IX). Elsewhere (op. 
cil., Bk. iii, Ch. XI) he attempts to answer the question: ^^^lat w^unl 
relations are essentially impuret and concludes that nn answer ia pos- 
sible. "There appears to be no distinct principle, having any claim to 
self -evidence, upon which the question can lie answered so as to com- 
mand general assent." Even what is called "Free Love." he adds, "in 
so far as it is earnestly advocated as a means to a completer harmony 
of sentiment between men and women, cannot be eondemni'd as impure, 
for it seems paradoxical to dintinguish purity from impurity merely by 
less rapidity of transition." 

Jfoll, from the slandpoint of medical psychology, reaches the same 
conclusion as Sidgiiirk from that of ethics. In a report on the "Value 
of Chastity for Men," published as an appendix to the third edition 



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THE FUKCTION OF CHASTITY. 177 

(ISBB) of his Konlrarc Sexualempfindung, the dUtiDguiBhed Berlin phy- 
sician discusBes the matter with much vigorous common sense, insisting 
that "chaste and unchaste are relative ideas," We must not, h« atates, 
aa is BO often done, identify "chaste" with "sexually abstineirt." Ue 
adds that we are not justiQed in describing all extra-marital sesual 
intercourse aa unchaste, for, if we do so, we shall be compelled to 
regard nearly all men, and some veiy estimable women, as nncliaste. 
He rightly insiata that in this matter we must apply the same rule to 
women as to men, and he points out that even when it involves what 
may be technically adultery sexual intercourse is not neceasarily un- 
chaste. He takea the case of a girl who, at eighteen, when still mentally 
immature, is married to a man with whom ahe finds it impossible to 
live and a separation consequently occurs, although a divorce may be 
impossible \o obtain. If she now falls passionately in love with a man 
her love may be entirely chast«, though it involvea what is technically 
adultei;. 

In thuB understanding asceticlBni and chastity, and their 
beneficial functions in life, we see that they occupy a place mid- 
way between the artificially exaggerated position they once held 
and that to which they were degraded by the inevitable reaction 
of total indifference or actual hostility which followed. Aaceti- 
cism and chastity are not rigid categorical imperatives; they are 
useful means to desirable ends ; they are wise and beautiful arts. 
They demand our estimation, but not our over-estimation. For 
in over-estimating them, it is too often forgotten, we over-esti- 
mate the sexual instinct. The instinct of sex is indeed extremely 
important. Yet it has not that all-embracing and supereminent 
importance which some, even of those who fight against it, are 
accustomed to believe. That artificially magnified conception of 
the sexual impulse is fortified by the artificial emphasis placed 
upon asceticism. We may learn the real place of the sexual 
impulse in learning how we may reasonably and naturally view 
Mie restraints on that impulse. 



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CHAPTER VI. 

THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE. 

The Influence of Tradition — Tlie Theological Conception of Lusi — 
Tendency of Tbeie Influences to Degrade Sexual Morality — Their Bsault 
in Creating the Problem of Sexual Abstinence — The Proteats Against 
Sexual Abstinence — Sexual Abstinence and Genius — Sexual Abstinence 
in Women — The Advocates ot Sexual Abstinence — Intermediate Attitude 
— UnsatiBfadory Nature of the Whole Discussion — Criticism of the Con- 
ception of Sexual Abstiaence — Sexual Abstinence as Compared to 
Abstinence from Food — No Complete Analogy— The Morality of Sexnal 
Abstinence Entirely Negative — Is It the Physician's Duty to Advise 
Extra-Conjugal Sexual IntercourseT — Opinions of Those Who Affirm or 
Deny This Duty— The Conclusion Against Such Advice— The Physician 
Bound by the Social and Moral Ideas of His \ge — The Physician as 
Beformer — Sexual Abstinence and Sexual Hygiene — Alcohol — The Influ- 
ence of Physical and Mental Exercise — The Inadequacy of Sexual 
Hygiene in This Field — The Unreal Nature of the Conception of Sexual 
Abstinence — The Necessity of Replacing It by a More Positive Ideal. 

When we look at the matter from a purely abstract or even 
purely biological point of view, it might seem that in deciding 
that asceticism and chastity are of high value for the personal 
life we have said all that is neceesary to Bay. That, however, is 
very far from being the case. We soon realize here, as at every 
point in the practical application of eexual pKjchology, that it is 
not sufficient to determine the abstractly right course along bio- 
logical lines. We have to harmonize our biological demands vith 
social demands. We are ruled not only by natural instincts but 
by inherited traditions, that in the far past were solidly based on 
intelligible grounds, and that even still, by the mere fact of their 
existence, exert a force which we cannot and ought not to ignore. 

In discussing the valuation of the sexual impulse we found 

that we had good ground for making a very high estimate of 

love. In discussing chastity and asceticism we found that they 

also are highly to be valued. And we found that, so far from any 

(178) 



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THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE. 179 

contradiction being here involved, love and chastity are inter- 
twined in all their finest developments, and that there is thua a 
perfect harmony in apparent oppoeition. But when we come to 
consider the matter in detail, in its particular personal applica- 
tions, we find that a new factor asserts itself. We find that our 
inherited social and religious traditions exert a pressure, all on 
one side, which makes it impossible to place the relations of love 
and chastity simply on the basis of biology and reason. We are 
confronted at the outset by our traditions. On the one side these 
traditions have weighted the word 'lust" — considered as express- 
ing all the manifestations of the sexual impulse which are outside 
marriage or which fail to have marriage as their direct and 
ostentations end — with deprecatory and sinister meanings. And 
on the other side these traditions have created the problem of 
"sexual abstinence," which has nothing to do with either asceti- 
cism or chastity as these have been defined in the previous 
chapter, but merely with the purely negative pressure on the 
sexual impulse, exerted, independently of the individual's wishes, 
by his religious and social environment. 

The theological conception of 'lust," or "libido," as sin, fol- 
lowed logically the early Christian conception of "the fleeh," and 
became inevitable as soon as that conception was firmly estab- 
lished. Not only, indeed, had early Christian ideals a degrading 
influence on the estimation of sexual desire per se, but they 
tended to depreciate generally the dignity of tlie sexual relation- 
ship. If a man made sexual advances to a woman outside 
marriage, and thus brought her within the despised circle of 
"lust," he was injuring her because he was impairing her religious 
and moral value.* The only way he could repair the damage 
done was by paying her money or by entering into a forced and 
therefore probably unfortunate marriage with her. That is to 
say that sexual relationships were, by the ecclesiastical traditions, 



1 This view was hti ambiguous improvement on the view, universally 
prevalent, as Westennarck has shown, among primitive peoples, that the 
sexual act involves Indignity to & woman or depreciation of her onl^ in 
BO far as sha is the property of another person who is the reallj' injured 
party. 



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180 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, 

placed on a pecuniary basis, on the same level as prostitution. 
By its well-meant intentions to support the theological morality 
which had developed on an ascetic basis, the Church was thus 
really undermining even that form of sexual relationship which 
it sanctified. 

Gregory the Great ordered that the seducer of a virgin shall marry 
her, or. in case of refusal, be severelj punished oorporally and ahut up 
in a, monastery to perform penance. According to other ecclesiastical 
rules, the seducer of a Tirgin, though held to no responiibiiit'- by the 
civil forum, was required to marry her, or to find a husband and furnish 
a dowry for her. Such rules had their good side, and were especially 
equitable when seduction had been accomplished by deceit. But they 
largely tended in practice to subordinate all questions of sexual morality 
to a money question. The reparation to the woman, also, largely became 
necessary because the ecclesiastical conception of luet caused her value 
to be depreciated by contact with lust, and the reparation might be said 
. to constitute a part of penance. Aquinas held that lust, in however 
alight a degree, is a mortal sin, and most of the more influential 
theologians took ft view nearly or quite as rigid. Some, however, held 
that a certain degree of delectation is possible in these matters without 
mortal sin, or asserted, for instance, that to feel the touch of a soft 
and warm hand is not mortal sin so long as no sexual feeling is thereby 
aroused. Others, however, held that such distinctions are impossible, 
and that all pleasures of this kind are sinful. Tomfis SaneheE en- 
deavored at much length to establish rules for the complicated problems 
of delectation that thus arose, but he was constrained to admit that no 
rules are really possible, and that auch matters must be left to the judg- 
ment of a prudent man. At that point casuistry dissolves and the 
modern point of view emerges (see, e.g., Lea, History of Avrictilar Con- 
fetsion, vol. ii, pp. 57, 116, 246, etc.). 

Even to-day the influence of the old traditions of the Church 
still unconsciously survives among ua. That is inevitable aa 
regards religious teachers, but it is found also in men of science, 
even in Protestant countries. The result is that quite contra- 
dictory dogmas are found side by side, even in the same writer. 
On the one hand, the manifestations of the sexual impulse are 
emphatically condemned as both unnecessary and evil; on the 
other hand, marriage, which is fundamentally (whatever else it 
may also be) a manifestation of the sexual impulse, receives 
equally emphatic approval as the ouly proper and moral form of 



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THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE. 181 

living.' Tliere can be no reasonable doubt whatever that it is to 
the surviving and pervading influence of the ancient traditional 
theological conception of libido tliat we must largely attribute 
the sharp difference of opinions among physicians on the question 
of sexual abstinence and the otherwise unnecessary acrimony with 
which these opinions have sometimes been stated. 

On the one side, we find the emphatic statement that sexual 
intercourse is necessary and that health cannot be maintained 
unless the sexual activities are regularly exercised, 

"All parts of the body which are developed for a definite use 
are kept in health, and in tlie enjoyment of fair growth and of 
long youth, by the fulfilment of that use, and by their appropriate 
exercise in the employment to which they are accustomed." In 
that statement, which occurs in the great Hippocratic treatise 
"On the Joints," we have the classic expression of the doctrine 
which in ever varying forms has been taught by all those who 
have protested against sexual abstinence. When we come down 
to the sixteenth century outbreak of Protestantism we find that 
Luther's revolt against Catholicism was in part a protest against 
the teaching of sexual abstinence. "He to whom the gift of con- 
tinence is not given," he said in his Tabic Tall', "will not become 
chaste by fasting and vigils. For my own part I was not 
excessively tormented [though elsewhere he speaks of the great 
fires of lust by which he had been troubled], but all the same the 
more I macerated myself the more I burnt." And three hundred 
years later, Bebel, the would-be nineteenth century Luther of a 
difi'erent Protestantism, took tlie same attitude towards sexual 
abstinence, while Hinton the physician and philosopher, living in 
a land of rigid sexual conventionalism and prudery, and moved 
by keen sympathy for the sufferings he saw around him, would 
break into passionate sarcasm when confronted by the doctrine of 
sexual abstinence. "There are innumerable ills — terrible destruc- 
tions, madness even, the ruin of lives — for which the embrace 
of man and woman would be a remedy. "So one thinks of 



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182 P8T0B0L0GT OF SEX. 

qnestioning it. Terrible evils and a remedy in a delight and joy I 
And man haB chosen bo to muddle his life that be maet say: 
"There, that would be a remedy, but I cannot use it. I mutt 
be virtuous.'" 

If we confine ourselves to modem times and to fairly precise med- 
ical Btatements, we find in Schurig'a Spermatologut { 1720, pp. 2T4 et 
aeq.), not only a. diaeuBaion of the advantages of moderate Bexual Inter- 
course in a number of disorders, as witnessed by famous authorities, 
but also a list of results — Including anorexia, insanity, impotence, 
epilepsy, even death — whieh were believed to have been due to aeiual 
abstinence. This extreme view of the possible evils of sexual abstinent 
seems to have been part of the Renaissance traditions of medicine stiff- 
ened by a certain opposition between religion and science. It was atill 
rigorously stated by Lallemand early In the nineteenth century. Subse- 
quently, the medics] statements of the evil resulta of sexual abstinence 
became more temperate and measured, though still often pronounced. 
Thus Gyurkovechky believes that these results niay be as serious as those 
of sexual excess. Krafft-Ebing showed that sexual abstinence could pro- 
duce a state of general ner^-ous excitement {Jahrbuch fiir Ptychiatrie, 
Bd. viii, Heft 1 and 2). Schrenck-Not?:ing regards sexual abstinence as 
a cause of eitreme sexual hyperssthesis and of vbtIdus perversions (in 
• chapter on sexual abstinence in his Krimitialptyctiotogitche und 
Ptyohopathologitche Btudien, 1902, pp. 174-178). He records in illus- 
tration the case of a man of thirty-six who had masturbated In modera- 
tion as a boy. but abandoned the practice entirely, on moral grounds, 
twenty years ago, and has never had sexual intercourse, feeling proud 
U> enter marriage a chaste man, but now for yesrs has sufTcred greatly 
from extreme sexual hyperesthesia snd concentration of thought on 
sexual Bubjeeta, notwithstanding a atrong will and the resolve not to 
masturbate or indulge in illicit intercourse. In another case a vigorous 
and healthy man, not inverted, and with strong sexual desires, who 
remained abstinent up to marriage, suffers from psychic impotence, and 
his wife remains a virgin notwithstanding all her affection and caresses. 
Ord considered that sexual abstinence might produce many minor evils. 
"Most of us." he wrote {Briliah Medical Jovrnal, Aug. 2, I8S4) "have, 
no doubt, been consulted by men, chaste in act, who are tormented by 
sexual excitement. They tell one stories of long-continued local excite- 
ment, followed by intense muscular weariness, or by severe aching pain 
in the back and legs. In some I have had complaints of swelling and 
stiffness in the legs, and of pains In the joints, particularly in the 
knees)" be gives the case of a man who suffered after prolonged chastity 
from inflammatory conditions of knees and was only cured by marriage. 



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THE PROBLEU OF SEXCAL ABSTINENCE. - 183 

PearM Gould, it may be added, finds that "excesBive ungratified HexiUiI 
deein" b one of the causes of amite orchitii. Remondino ("Some 
Obaervationa on Continence as a Factor in Health and Disease," Paoifia 
Medical Joumai, Jan., 1900) reourds the caae of a gentleman of nearly 
eerentf who, during the prolonged illness of his wife, suffered from fre- 
quent Mid extreme priapism, causing inaomnia. He was very certain 
that his troubles nere not due to his continence, but all treatment failed 
and there vere no spontaneous emissions. At last Remondino advised 
him to, as he expresses it, "imitate Solomon." He did so, and all the 
Bjmptoins at once disappeared. Ttiis case is of special interest, because 
the symptoms were not accompanied by any conscious sexual desire. It 
is ao longer generally believed that sexual abstinence tends to produce 
insanity, and the occasional cases in which prolonged and intense sexual 
desire in young women is followed by insanity will usually be found to 
occur on a basis of hereditary degeneration. It is held by many 
authorities, however, that minor mental troubles, of a more or leas vague 
character, as well as neurasthenia and hysteria, are by no means infre- 
quently due to sexual abstinence. Thus Freud, who has carefully studied 
angstneurosis, the obsession of anxiety, finds that it is a result of sexual 
abstinence, and may indeed be considered as a vicarious form of such 
abstinence (Freud, Satnmlung KUiner Schriften Bar ffeuroacnlehre, 
1900, pp. 70 et aeq.). 

The whole subject of sexual abstinence has been discussed at 
length by NystrOm, of Stockholm, in Dot Cfe»ohteaht»leben und teine 
Octette, Cb. III. He concludes that it is desirable that continence 
should be preserved as long as possible in order to strengthen the phys- 
ical health and to develop the intelligence and character. The doctrine 
of permanent sexual abstinence, however, he regards as entirely false, 
except in the case of a small number of religious or philosophic persons, 
"Complete abatineDce during a long period of years cannot be borne 
without producing serious results both on the body and the mind. 
. . . . Certainly, a young man should repress his sexual impulses 
as long as possible and avoid everything that may artificially act as a 
sexual stimulant. If, however, he has done so, and still suffers from 
unsatisfied normal sexual desires, and if he sees no possibility of mar- 
riage within B reasonable time, no one should dare to say that he is 
committing a sin if, with mutual understanding, he enters into sexual 
relations with a woman friend, or forma temporary sexual relationships, 
provided, that is, that he takes the honorable precaution of begetting no 
children, unless his partner is entirely willing to become a mother, and 
he is prepared to accept all the responsibilifjes of fatherhood." In an 
article of later date ("Die Einwirlmng der Sexuellen Abstinenz auf die 
Gesundheit," Sfmuil-Probleme, July, 10OS) NystrOm vigorously sums up 
his views. He includes among the results of sexual abstinence orchitis, 



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184 PSYCHOLOGY OF SES, 

fr^uent inToluntaiy seminal cmissionB, impotence. nenraBthenia, deprM- 
Bion, and a great variety of nervous disturbances of vaguer character, 
involving diminished power of work, limited enjoytnent of life, sleepless- 
nesH, nervouBness, and preoccupation with sexual desires and imagiua- 
tions. More especially tliere is heightened sexual irritability with erec- 
tions, or even seminal emissions on the slightest occasion, as on gazing 
at an attractive woman or in social intercourse with her, or in the pres- 
ence of works of art repreacnliiig naked figures, Xystriim lias had tha 
opportunity of investigating and recording ninety cases of persona who 
have presented these and ainiilar aym[ttom8 as the result, he beiieves, of 
sexual abstinence. He has published some of these cases (Zeitachrift 
lilT Bexualiciaaenschaft, Oct., I»0S), but it may be added that Rohleder 
("Die AbStinenlia Sexualis," ib., Nov., lOOS) has criticized these cases, 
and doubts whether any of them are conclusive. Rohleder believes that 
the bad results of sexual abstinence are never permanent, and also that 
ro nnntomically pathological states (such as orchitis) can be thereby 
produced. But he considers, nevertheless, that even incomplete and 
temporary sexual alKtinence may produce fairly serious results, and 
cnpi^cLally neurasthenic disturbances of various kinds, such as nervous 
irritahility, anxiety, depression, disinclination for work; also diurnal 
omissions, premature ejaculations, and even a state approaching saty- 
riasis; and in women hysteria, hjstcro-epilepsy, and nymphomaniacal 
manifestations; all these symptoms may, however, he believes, be cured 
when the abstinence ceases. 

Many advocates of sexual abstinence have attached importance to 
the fact that men ol great genius have apparently been completely con- 
tinent throughout life. This in certainly true (see ante, p. 173). But 
this fact can scarcely be invoked as an argument in favor of the advan- 
tages of sexual abstinence among the ordinary population. J. F. Scott 
selects .lesuH, Newton, Beethoven, and Kant as "men of vigor and mental 
acumen who have lived chastely as bachelors." It cannot, however, be 
said that Dr. Kcott has been happy in the four figures whom he has been 
able to select from the whole history of human genius as examples of 
life-long sexual abstinence. We know little with absolute certainty of 
Jesus, and even if we reject the diagnosis which Professor Binet-San^S 
(In his FoUe de Jesus) has built up from a minute study of the Gospels, 
there are many reasons why we should refrain from emphasizing the 
example of his sexual abstinence; Kewton, apart from his stupendous 
genius in a special Held, was an incomplete and unsatisfactory human 
being who ultimately reached a condition very like insanity; Beethoven 
was B thoroughly morbid and dise.ised man, who led an intensely un- 
happy existence; Kant, from first to last, was a feeble valetudinarian. 
It would probably ho dilTicult to find a healthy normal man who would 
i-oluntarily accept the life led by any of these four, even as the price 



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THE PROBLEM OP SEXUAL ABSTIKENCE. 185 

of their fame. J. A. Godfrey (Science of Seto, pp. 13B'147) diHcuesea 
at length the qutstion whether sexual abstioence is favorable to ordinary 
intellectual vigor, deciding that it i» not, and that we cannot argue 
from the occnaioiial sexual abstinence of men of genius, who are often 
abnormally constituted, and physically below the average, to the nor- 
mally developed man. Sexual abBtiuence, it may be added, in by no 
means always a favorable sign, even in men who stand intellectually 
above the average. "I liave not obtained the impression," remarks 
Freud (Sexuat-Probleme, March, 1908), "that sexual abstinence is help- 
ful to energetic and independent men of action or original thinkers, to 
courageous liberators or reforniers. The sesual conduct of a man is 
often symbolic of his whole method of reaction in the world. Tlie man 
who energetically grasps the object of his sexual desire may be trusted 
to show a similarly relentless energy in the pursuit of other aims." 

Many, though not all, who deny that prolonged Bexual 
abstinence is harmless, include women in this statement. There 
are some aiitliorities indeed who believe that, whether or not any 
conscious sexual desire is present, sexual abstinence is less easily 
tolerated by women than by men.^ 

Cabanis, in liis famous and pioneering work, Rapports d« Phyiique 
et du iforal, said in 1802, that women not only bear sexual excess more 
easily than men, hut sexual privations with more diihculty, and a cau- 
tious and experienced observer of to-day, Liiwenfeld [Sexaalleben unll 
ycrvenleiden, 1R99, p. 53), wliile not considering that normal women bear 
sexual abstinence less easily than men, adds that this is not the case 
with women of neuropathic disposition, who suffer mucli more from this 
cause, and either masturbate when sexual intercourse is impossible or 
fall into hystero-neurasthenio states. Busch stated (fios Qeschlechts- 
Uben des Weibea, 1H39, vol. i, pp. 69, 71) that not only is the working 
of the sexual functions in the organism stronger in women than in men, 
but Uiat the bad results of sexual abstinence are more marked in women- 
Sir Benjamin Brodie said long ago that the evils of continence to women 
are perhaps greater than those of incontinence, and to-day Hammer (DiV 
OcsuttdkeitlKheii Oefahren dcr Gcschlefhllicken Eiithallsamkeil, 1904) 
states that, so far as reasons of health are concerned, sexual abstinence 
Is no more to he recommended to women than to men. Nystriim Is of 
the same opinion, though he thinks that women bear sexual abstinence 
better than men, and has discussed this special question at length in a 
section of his Geschleohtsleben und seine Ometzc. He agrees with the 



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lo6 PSYCHOLOGY OP BEX. 

experienced Erb tbftt a large number ot completely chaste -women o( high 
character, and possesGing diatinguiahed qualities of mind and heart, are 
more or leas disordered through their sexual abstinence; this is specially 
often the case with women married to impotent men, though it is fre- 
quently not until they approach the age of thirty, Ny strOm remarks, that 
women definitely realize their sexual needn, 

A great many women who are healthy, chaate, and modest, feel at 
times such powerful sexual desire that they can scarcely resist the 
temptation to go into the street and solicit the first man they meet- 
Not a few such women. oft«n of good breeding, do actually offer them- 
•eWes to men with whom they may have perhaps only the alighteat 
Acquaintance. Routh records such cases (Briiiah Qynwcologioal Jour- 
nal, Feb., 1887 ) , and moat men have met with them at some time. When 
a woman of high moral character and strong pasaiona is subjected for 
a Teiy long period to the perpetual strain of such aexual craving, espe- 
cially if combined with love for a definite individual, a chain of evil 
results, physical and moral, may be set up, and numerous distinguished 
physicians have recorded such cases, which terminated at once in com- 
plete recovery as soon aa the passion was gratified. Lauvergne long 
since described a case. A fairly typical case of this kind was reported 
in detail by Brachet {De I'Bypochtmdrie, p. 69) and embodied by Orie- 
ainger in his classic work on "Mental Pathology." It concerned a 
healthy married lady, twenty-six years old, having three children. A 
risiting acquaintance completely gained her affections, but she strenu- 
ously reaiated the aeducing influence, and concealed the violent passion 
that he had aroused in her. Various serious symptoms, physical and 
mental, slowly began to appear, and she developed what seemed to be 
signs of consumption. Six months' stay in the south of France pro- 
duced no improvement, either in the bodily or mental symptoms. On 
returning home she became still worse. Then ahe again met the object 
of her passion, succumbed, abandoned her huaband and children, and 
fled with him. Six months later ahe was scarcely recognizable; beauty, 
freshness and plumpness had taken the place of emaciation; while the 
symptoms of consumption and all other troubles had entirely disap- 
peared. A somewhat similar case ia recorded by Camill Ledcrer, of 
Vienna { Monatttchrift fiir Barnkrankheilen find Scxuelle Hygiene, 
1906, Heft 3). A widow, a few months after her husband's death, began 
to cough, with symptoms of bronchial catarrh, but no definite signs of 
lung disease. Treatment and change of c1imat« proved entirely unavail- 
ing to effect a cure. Two years later, aa no signs of disease had 
appeared In the lungs, though the symptoms continued, she married 
again. Within a very few weeks all symptoms had disappeared, and 
she was entirely frenh and well. 

Numerous distinguished gyneecolo^sts have recorded their beli^ 



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THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ADSTINEKOB. 187 

that Mxual excitement is a remedy for various disorders of the sexual 
syBtem in women, and that abstinence is a cause of such disorders. 
Matthews Duncan said that sesnal excitement is the only remedy for 
amenorrhffia; "the only emmenagogue medicine that I know of," he 
wrote {Medical Times, Feb. 2, I8S4), "is not to be found in the Thar- 
macoptEia: it is erotic excitement. Of the value of erotic excitement 
there Is no doubt." Anstie, in his work on SeuTalgia, refers to the 
beneficial effect of sexual intercourse on dysmenorrhfea, remarking that 
the necessi^ of the full natural exercise of the sexual function is shown 
by the great improvement in such cases after marriage, and especially 
after childbirth. (It may be remarked that not al! authorities find 
dysmenorrhcea benefited by marriage, and some consider that the disease 
is often thereby aggravated; see, e.g., Wythe Cook, American Journal 
OMetrics, Dec, 1803.) The distinguished gymecologist. Tilt, at a some- 
what earlier date (On Uterine and Ovariaa In/Uimmation, 1862, p. 309), 
insisted on the evil results of sexual abstinence in producing ovarian 
irritation, and perhaps subacute ovaritis, remarking that this was spe- 
dally pronounced in young widows, and in prostitutes placed in peniten- 
tiaries. Intense desire, he pointed out, determines organic movements 
resembling those required for the gratification of the desire. These 
burning desires, which can only Ix^ quenched by their legitimate satis- 
faction, are still further heightened by the erotic influence of thoughts, 
books, pictures, mUBi(\, which are often even more sexually stimnlat- 
ing than social intercourse with men, but the excitement tlius produced 
is not relieved by that natural collapse which should follow a state of 
vital turgescence. After referring to the biological facts which show 
the effect of psychic inSuences on the formative powers of the ovario- 
nterine organs in animals, Tilt continues: "I may fairly infer that 
similar incitements on the mind of females may have a stimulating effect 
on the organs of ovulation. I have frequently known menstruation to 
be irregular, profuse, or abnormal in type during courtship in women in 
whom nothing similar had previously occurred, and that this protracted 
the treatment of chronic ovaritis and of uterine inflammation." Bonni- 
field, of Cincinnati (Medical Standard, Dec., 1896), considers that unsat- 
isfied sexual desire is an important cause of catarrhal endometritis. It 
is well known that uterine fibroids bear a definite relation tji organic 
sexual activity, and that sexual abstinence, more especially the long- 
continued deprivation of pregnancy, is a very important cause of the 
disease. This is well shown by an analysis by A. E. Giles (Lanoet, 
March 2, 1007) of one hundred and fifty cases. As many as flfty-six of 
these cases, more than a third, were unmarried women, though nearly 
all were over thirty years of age. Of the ninety-four married women, 
thir^-four had never been pregnant; of those who had been pregnant, 
tbirty-six had not been so for at least ten years. Thus eighty-four per 



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188 PSYCHOLOGY OF 6EX. 

cent, had either not been pregnant at all, or had had no pregnancy fur 
at leaat ten jeara. It is, therefore, evident that deprivation of sexual 
function, whether or not involving abstinence from sexual intercourse, is 
an important caiue o( uterine fibroid tumors. Balls-Ileadley, of \'ic- 
loria {Evolulion of the Dtaeases of Women, 1804, and "Etiology of Dis- 
(r:ises of Female Uenital Organs," All butt and Playfair, tSytlem of 
Oijiiavology), believes that unsatisfied sexual desire is a factor in very 
many disorders of the sexual organs in women, "lly views," he wrile-i 
In a private letter, "are founded on a really special gyntEcological prac- 
tice of twenty years, during whieh I have myself taken about seven 
thousand most careful records. The nonna) woman U sexually well- 
formed and her nexual feelings require satisfaction in the direction of 
the production of the next generation, but under the restrictive and now 
especially abnormal conditions of civilization some women undergo 
hereditary atrophy, and (he uterus and sexual feelings are feeble; ill 
others of good average local development the feeling is in restraint: in 
others the feelings, as well as the organs, are strong, and if normal use 
be withheld evils ensue. Bearing in mind these varieties of congenital 
development in relation to the respective condition of virginity, or sterile 
or parous married life, the mode of occurrence and of progress of disease 
grows on the physician's mind, and there ie no more occasion for bewil- 
derment than to the metliematician studying conic sections, nhen his 
knowledge has gronn from the basis of the science. The problem is 
suggested: Has a crowd of unassociatcd diseases fallen as through a 
sieve on woman, or have these affections almost necessarily ensued froia 
the circumstance:) of her unnatural environmentT" It may be added 
that Kisch (Seiuni Life of Woman), while protesting against any exag- 
gerated estimate of the effects of sexual ab'itinencc, considers that in 
women it may result, not only in numeruiis local disorders, but also in 
nervous disturbance, hysteria, and even insanity, while in neurastlienie 
women "regulated sexual intercourse has an actively beneficial effect 
which is often striking." 

remark that the evil results of sexual abstinence 
ion of many of those who insist upon their impor- 
(is merely due to unsatisfied sexual desire. They 
'en when the woman herself has not the slightest 

1 needs. This was clearly pointed out forty years 
ago by the sagacious Anstie {op. cit). In women, especially, he rc- 
niarks, "a certain restless hyperactivity of mind, and perhaps of body 
also, seems to be the expression of Nature's unconscious resentment of 
the ncglecl of scjiial fiitwliona." Such women, he adds, have kept thcni- 
selvps free from masturtmtion "at the expense of a perpetual -and almost 
fierce activity of mind and muscle." Anstie had found that some of the 
worst cases of the form of nervosity and neurasthenia whieh he termed 



It 


IS important 


in wome 


n, in the op 


tancc, a 


re by no me 


may be 





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THE PKOBLEil OF SEXDAL ABSTINENCE. 189 

"apioal irritation," often accompanied bf irritable stomach and anamia, 
g.'t well on DMrriag?. "There can be no question," he continuea, "that 
a very large proportion of tbeae cases in single women (who form by 
far the greater number of subjects of spinal irritation) are due to this 
conscious or unconscious irritation kept up by an unsatisfied sexual 
want. It is certain tliat very many young persons (women more 
especially) are tormented by tUe irritability of the sexual organs with- 
out having the least consciousness of sexual desire, and present the aad 
spectacle of a vie manqvte without erer knowing the true source of the 
misery which incapacitates them for all the active duties of life. It is 
a singular fact that in occasional instances one may even see two sis- 
ters, inheriting the same kind of nervous organization, both tormented 
with the symptoms of spinal irritation and l>oth prot>abIy suITering from 
repressed sexual functions, but of whom one shall be pure-minded and 
entirely unconscious of the real source of her troubles, while the other 
is a victim to conscious and fruitless sexual irritation." In this matter 
Anstie may be regarded as a forerunner of Freud, who has developed 
with great subtlety and analytic power the doctrine of the transforma- 
tion of repressed sexual instinct in women into morbid forms. He con- 
flidcTs that the nervosity of to-day is largely due to the injurious action 
on the sexual life of that repression of natural instincts on which our 
civilization is built up. (Perhaps the clearest brief statement of 
Freud's views on the matter is to be found in a. very suggestive article, 
"Die 'Kulturelle* Seiualmoral und die Modcrne NcrvositUt," in Se^uat- 
PTobleme, March, 1908, reprinted in the second series of Freud's 
fiammlung Kleitier Bchriften zut yeuroeenlehre, 1906). We possess the 
aptitude, he says, of sublimating and transforming our sexual activities 
into other activities of a psychically related character, but non-sexual. 
This process cannot, however, be carried out to an unlimited extent any 
more than can the conversion of heat into mechanical work in our 
machines. A certain amount of direct sexual satisfaction is for most 
organizations indispensable, and the renunciation of this individually 
varying amount is punished by manifestations which we are compelled 
to regard as morbid. The process of sublimation, under the influence 
of civiliiation, leads both to sexual perversions and to psycho- neuroses. 
These two conditions are closely related, as Freud views the process of 
their development; they stand to each other as positive and negative, 
sexual perversions being the positive pole and psj'cho-neu roses tlie nega- 
tive. It often happens, he remarks, that a brother may be sexually 
perverse, while his sister, with a weaker sexual temperament, is a 
neurotic whose symptoms are a transformation of her brother's perver- 
sion; while in many families the men are immoral, the women pure 
and refined but highly nervous. In the case of women who have no 
defect of sexual impulse there Is yet the same pressure of civilised 



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190 P6YCHOLOOY OP 8E5. 

mornUt^ puahing them into neurotic states. It is a terribly serioua 
injustice, Freud remarks, that the civilized stanibird of seiual life is 
the earae for &11 peraona, because thou^ some, by their organization, 
may easily accept it, for others it involves the most diSBcult psychic 
sacriflces. The unmarried girl, who haa become nervously we«k, can- 
not be advised to aeek relief in marriage, for she must be strong in 
order to "bear" marriage, while we urge a man on no account to 
marry a girl who is not strong. The married woman who has experi- 
enced the deceptions of marriage has usually no way of relief left 
but by abandoning her virtue. "The more strenuously she has been 
educated, and the more completely she has Iieen subjected to the demands 
of civilization, the more she fears this way of escape, and in the conflict 
between her desires and her sense of duty, she also seeks refuge — in 
neurosis. Nothing protects her virtue so surely as disease." Taking a 
still wider view of the influence of the narrow "civilized" conception of 
sexual morality on women, Freud flnds that it is not limited to the 
production of neurotic conditions; it alTects the whole Intellectual apti- 
tude of women. Their education denies them any occupation with sexual 
problems, although such problems are so full of interest to them, for it 
inculcates the ancient prejudice that any curiosity in such matters is 
unwomanly and a proof of wicked inclinations. They are thus terrifled 
from thinking, and knowledge is deprived of worth. The prohihitiou to 
think extends, automatically and Inevitably, far beyond the sexual 
sphere. "I do not believe," Freud concludes, "that there is any opposi- 
tion between intellectual work and sexual activity such as was supposed 
by UBbius. I em of opinion that the unquestionable fact of the intel- 
lectual inferiority of so many women is due to the inhibition of thought 
imposed upon them for the purpose of sexual repression." 

It is only of recent ye^rs that this problem has been realized and 
faced, though solitary thinkers, like Hinton, have been keenly conscious 
of Its existence; tor "sorrowing virtue," as Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox 
puts it, "ia more ashamed of Its woes than unhappy sin, because the 
world baa tears for the latter and only ridicule for the former." "It is 
an almost cynical trait of our age," Hellp&ch wrote a few years ago, 
"that it is constantly discussing the theme of prostitution, of police 
control, of the age of consent, of the "white slavery,' and passes over the 
moral struggle of woman's soul without an attempt to answer her burn- 
ing questions." 

On the other hand we find medical writers not only asserting 
with much moral fervor that se.tual intercourse outside marriage 
is always and altogether unnecessary, but declaring, moreover, tiie 
faarmlessnesB or even the advantages of Bexnal abstinence. 



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THE PROBLEM OP SEXDAL ABSTINENCE. 191 

Ribbing, the Swedish profesaor, in his Hygiine Beauetle, advocates 
sexual abstinence outside marriage, and asserts its harmleasneaB. lilies 
de la Tourette, F6t$, and Auga^ieur in France agree. In Germany Fiir- 
bringer (Senator and Kaminer, Health and Disease in Relation to Mar- 
riage, vol. i, p. 22S) asserts that continence is possible and necessary, 
though admitting that it may, however, mean serious mischief in excep- 
tional cases. Eulenburg [Sexnale Neuropathie, p. 14) doubts whether 
anyone, who othemise lived a reasonable life, ever became ill, or more 
precisely neurasthenic, through sexual abstinence. Hegar, replying to 
the argumenta of Bebel in his well-known book on women, denies that 
sexual abstinence can ever produce satyriasis or nymphomania. NUcke, 
who has frequently discussed the problem of sexual abstinence {e.g., 
Archiv /iir Krimitiol-Anthropologie, 190-1, Heft I, and Setmal-Probleme, 
June, 1908), maintains that sexual abstinence can, at most, produce rare 
and slif^t unfavorable results, and that it is no more likely to produce 
insanity, even in predisposed individuals, than are the opposite extremes 
of sexual excess and masturbation. He adds that, so far as his own 
obeervatjons are concerned, the patients in asylums suffer scarcely at all 
from their compulsory sexual abstinence. 

It is in England, however, that the virtues of sexual abstinence 
have been most loudly and emphatically proclaimed, sometimes indeed 
with considerable lack of cautious qualiScation. Acton, in his Repro- 
ductive Organs, sets forth the traditional English view, as well as Beale 
in his Moralilt/ and the Moral Question. A more distinguished repre- 
sentative of the same view was Paget, who, in his lecture on "Sexual 
HypochondriasiB," coupled sexual intercourse with "theft or lying." Sir 
William Gowers (SyphiUs and the Nervous Bt/stem, 1892, p. 128) also 
prodaima the advantages of "unbroken chaatify," more especially as a 
method of avoiding syphilis. He is not hopeful, however, even as r^ards 
his own remedy, for he adds: "We can trace small ground for hope 
Qiat the disease will thus be materially reduced." He would still, how- 
ever, preach chastity to the individual, and he does bo with all the ascetic 
ardor of a mediaval monk. "With all the force that any knowledge I 
possess, and any authority I have, can give, I assert that no man ever 
yet was in the slightest degree or way the worse for continence or better 
for incontinence. From the latter all are worse morally; a clear 
majority are worse physically; and in no small number the result is, 
and ever will be, utter physical shipwreck on one of the many rocks, 
sharp, jagged-edged, which beset the way, or on one of the many beds 
of festering slime which no care can possibly avoid." In America the 
same view widely prevails, and Dr. J. F. Scott, in his Bexval-Instinct 
(second edition, 1908, Ch. Ill), argues very vigorously and at great 
length in favor of sexual abstinence. He will not even admit tKat there 



D,:„lz.db,G00glC 



192 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

are two sides to the question, thou^ if that were the case, the length 
and the energy of his argumenta would be unnecessary. 

Among medical authorities who have discussed the question of 
Msual abstinence at length it is not, indeed, usually possible to find 
Buch unqualified opinions in its favor as those I have quoted. There can 
i>e no doubt, however, that a large proportion of physicians, not exclud- 
ing prominent and distinguished authorities, when casually confronts 
with the question whether sexuai abstinence is harmlens, wilt at once 
adopt the obvious path of least resistance and reply: Yes. In only ■ 
few cases will they even make any qualification of this affirmative 
answer. This tendency is very well illustrated hy an inquiry made by 
Dr. Ludwig Jacohsohn, of St. Petersburgh ("Die Sexuelle Enthaltsam- 
iteit im Liehte der Medizin," 8i. Petcrsburger Medtcinitch^ Wochen- 
tchrift, March 17, 1007). He wrote to over two hundred distinguished 
Russian and German professors of physiology, neurology, psychiatry, 
etc., asking them if they regarded sexual obntinence as liarmles.t. The 
majori^ returned no answer; eleven Russian and twenty-eight Germans 
replied, but four of them merely said that "they had no personal experi- 
ence," etc.; there thus remained thirty-five. Of these E. PflOger, of 
Bonn, was skeptical of the advantage of any propaganda of abstinence: 
"if all the authorities in the world declared the harmlessness of absti- 
nence that would have no influence on youth. Forces are here in play 
that break through all obstactes." The harmlessness of abstinence was 
affirmed by KrSpelin, Cramer, Gitrtner, Tuczek, Schottelius. Gaffky, 
Finkler, Selenevr, Lasear, Seifert, Grubcr; the last, however, added that 
he knew very few abstinent young men, and himself only considered 
abstinence good before full development, and intercourse not dangerous 
in moderation even before then. Brieger knew cases of abstinence 
without harmful results, but himself thought that no general opinion 
could be given. JDrgensen said that abstinence in ilself is not harmful, 
but that in some cases intercourse exerts a more beneficial influence. 
HolTmann said that abstinence in harmless, adding that though it cer- 
tainly leads to masturbation, thnt ia better than gonorrh<ea, to say noth- 
ing of syphilis, and is easily kept within bounds. KtrUmpell replied 
that sexual abstinence is harmless, and indirectly useful as preserving 
from the risk of venereal disease, hut that sexual intercourse, being 
normal, is always more desirable. Hensen said that abstinence is not 
to be unconditionally approved. Rumpf replied that abstinence was not 
harmful for most before the age of thirty, hut after that age there was 
a tendency to mental obsessions, and marriage should take place at 
twenty-five. Leyden also considered abstinence harmless until towards 
thirty, when it leads to psychic anomalies, especially states of anxiety, 
and a certain afTectation. Hein replied that abstinence is harmless for 
most, btit in some leads to hysterical manifestations and indirectly to 



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THE PSOBLEU OF 8EXUAI, ABSTINENCE. 193 

bad reeulta from muturbation, while for the aormal man abitinence 
cannot be directly beneficial, lince intercourse is mttural. QrUtmer 
thought that abstinence is almost never harmful. Neacheda said it is 
luirnilees in itself, but harmful in bo far as it leads to unnatural modes 
of gratification. Neisser believes that more prolonged alietjnence than 
is now usual would be beneficial, but admitted the sexual excitations of 
onr civilization; he added that of course he saw no harm for healthy 
men in intercourse. Hocbe replied that abstinence is quite harmless in 
normal persons, but not always so in abnormal persons. Weber thought 
it bad a useful influence in increasing will-power. Tamowsky said it 
is good in early manhood, hut likely to be unfavorable after twenl^-five. 
Orlow replied that, especially in youth, it is harmless, and a man abould 
be as chaste as his wife. Popow said that abstinence is good at all 
ages and preserves the energy. Blumenau said that in adult age ab- 
stinence is neither normal nor beneficial, and generally leads to mas- 
turbation, though not generally to nervous dieordera; but that even 
masturbation is better than syphilis. Tachiriew aaw no barm In 
abstinence up to thirty, and thought sexual weakness more likely to 
follow excess than abstinence. Tschlsh regarded abstinence as beneficial 
rather than harmful up to twenty-five or twenty-eight, but thought it 
ditScult to decide after that age when nervous alterations seem to be 
caused. Darksehewit«z regarded abstinence as harmleBS up to 1;wenty- 
five, Frankel said it was harmless for moat, but that for a considerable 
proportion of people intercourse is a neccBaity. Erb's opinion is 
regarded by Jacobsohn as standing alone; he placed the age below 
which abstinence ia harmlesa at twenty; after that age he regarded it 
as injurioiM tu health, aerioualy impeding work and capacity, while En 
neurotic persons it leads to still more aerioua results. Jacobsohn con- 
cludes that the general opinion of those answering the inquiry may thus 
be expressed: "Youth should be abstinent. Abstinence can in no way 
injure them; on the contrary, it is beneficial. If our young people will 
remain abstinent and avoid extra-conjugal intercourse they will nuun- 
tain a hi^ ideal of love and preserve themselves from venereal diseases." 
The harmlessnesB of aexual abstinence was likewiae affirmed in 
.America in a resolution passed by the American Medical Association in 
1906. The proposition thua formally accepted was thus worded: "Con- 
tinence is not incompatible with health." It ought to be generally 
realized that abstract propositions of this kind are worthless, because 
they mean nothing. Every sane person, when confronted by the demand 
to boldly affirm or deny the proposition, "Continence is not Incompati- 
ble with health," is bound to affirm it. He might firmly believe that 
continence is incompatible with the health of most people, and that pro- 
longed continence is incompatible with anyone's health, and yet, it he 
is to be honest in the use of language, it would be impossible for him 



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194 P8T0H0L0QT OP SEX. 

to deny the vague and abstract proposition that "Continence is not 
incompatible witii healtb." Such propositions are therefore not on)}' 
without value, but actually misleading. 

It ifl obvious that the more extreme and unqualified opinions in 
favor of sexual abstinence are baaed not on medical, but on what the 
writers regard as moral considerations. Moreover, as the same writers 
are usually equally emphatic in regard to the advantages of sesual inter- 
course in marriage, it is clear that they have committed themselves to 
a contradiction. The same act, as Nllcke rightly points out, cannot 
become good or bad according as it is performed in or out of mar- 
riage. There is no magic eOicacy in a few words pronounced by a priest 
or a government official. 

Remondino (loc. cit.) remarks that the authorities who have com- 
mitted themselves to declarations in favor of the unconditional advan- 
tages of sexual abstinence tend to fall into three errors; <1) they 
generalize unduly, instead of considering each case individually, on it^t 
own merits; (2) they fail to realize that human nature is influenced 
bj highly mixed and complex motives snd cannot l>e assumed to be 
amenable only to motives of abstract morality; (3) they ignore Uia 
great army of masturbators and sexual perverts who make no complaint 
of sexual suffering, but by maintaining a rigid sexual abstinence, so far 
as normal relationships are concerned, gradually drift into currents 
whence there is no return. 

Between those who unconditionally affirm or deny the harm- 
leeeneaa of Eexual abstinence we find an intermediate party of 
authorities whose opinions are more qualified. Many of those 
who occupy this more guarded position are men whose opinions 
carry much weight, and it is probable that with them rather than 
with the more extreme advocates on either side the greater 
measure of reason lies. So complex a question as this cannot be 
adequately investigated merely in the abstract, and settled by 
an unqualified negative or adinnative. It is a matter in which 
every case requires its own special and personal consideration. 

"Where there is such a marked opposition of opinion truth is not 
exclusively on one side," remarks LOwcnfeld {BexualUhen vnd Wercen- 
leiden, second edition, p, 40). Sexual abstinence is certainly often 
injurious to neuropathic persons. (This is now believed by a large 
number of authorities, and was perhaps flrst decisively stated by Krafft- 
Kbing, "LVber NeurosPn durch Abstinenz," JahrbUoh fiir Pgyohtatrie, 
1889, p. 1). LSwenfeld finds no special proclivity to neurasthenia 



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THE PBOBLEU OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE. 195 

among the Catholic clergy, and when it does occur, there is no reason 
to euppofle a sexual causation. "In healthy and not hereditarily neuro- 
pathic man complete abstinence is possible without injury to the nervous 
eyetem." Injurious effects, he continues, when they appear, seldom 
occur until between twenty-four and thirty-six years of age, and even 
then are not usually serious enough to lead to a visit to a doctor, con- 
sisting mainly in frequency of nocturnal emissions, psin in testes or 
rectom, hyperssthesia in the presence of women or of sexiul ideas. If, 
however, conditions arise which specially stimulate the sexual emotions, 
neurasthenia may be produced. Lit wen f eld agrees with Freud and 
Gattel that the neurosis of anxiety tends to occur in the abstinent, 
careful examination showing that the abstinence is a factor in its pro- 
duction in both sexes. It is common among young women married to 
much older men, often appearing during the first years of marriage. 
Under special circumstances, therefore, abstinence can be injurious, but 
on the whole the difficulties due to such abetinenee are not severe, and 
they only exceptionally call forth actual disturbance in the nervous or 
psychic spheres. Moll takes a similar temperate and discriminating 
Tiew. He regards sexual abstinence before marriage as the Ideal, but 
points out that we must avoid any doctrinal extremes in preaching 
eexnal abstinence, for such preaching will merely lead to hypocrisy. 
Intercourse with prostitutes, and the tendency to change a woman like 
a garment, induce loss of sensitiveness to the spiritual and personal 
element in woman, while the dangers of sexual abstinence must no 
more be exaggerated than the dangers of sexual intercourse (Moll, 
Libido Senfualit, 1898, vol. i, p. 848; id., KontrSre Sexnalemp/indung, 
1899, p, 6B8). Bloch also (in a ehapter on the question of sexual 
abstinence In his Sex^uallehen unaerer Zfit, 19D8) takes a similar stand- 
poiaL He advocates abstention during early life and temporary absten- 
tion in adult life, such abstention being valuable, not only for the 
conservation and transformation ot energy, but also to emphasize the 
fact that life contains other matters to strive for beyond the ends of 
sex. Redlich ( If eiwiniscfce EHnik, 1908, No. 7) also, in a careful 
study of the medical aspects of the question, takes an intermediate 
standpoint in relation to the relative advantages and disadvantages of 
sexual abstinence. "We may say that sexual abstinence is not a condi- 
tion which must, under all circumstances and at any price, be avoided, 
though it is true that for the majority of healthy adult persons regular 
sexual intercourse is advantageous, and sometimes is even to be recom- 
mended." 

It may be added that from the standpoint of Christian religious 
morality thta same attitude, between the extremes of either parly, 
recognizing the advantages of sexual abstinence, but not insisting that 
they shall be purchased at any price, has also fbund representation. 



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196 PStCHOLOGT OF SEX. 

Thus, in England, an Anglican clei^Tmao, the Rev. H. Northcoto 
[Chriatianitj/ and Sex Problems, pp. 58, 80) deali temperately and 
qrin pathetically with the difficulties of sexual abstinence, and is bj no 
means convinced that auch abstinence is always an unmixed advan- 
tage; while in Gemiaiij a Catholic priest, Karl Jentsch [Seiewiletkik, 
Sexualjualiz, Sexualpolizri, 1900) sets himself to oppose the rigorous 
and unqualified assertions of Ribbing in favoi of sexual abstinence. 
Jentsch thus expresses what he conceives ought to be the attitude of 
fathers, of public opinion, of the State and the Church towards the 
young man in this matter: "Endeavor to be abstinent until marriage. 
Many succeed in this. If you can succeed, it is good. But, if yon can- 
not succeed, it is unnecessary to cast reproaches on yourself and to 
regard yourself as a scoundrel or a lost sinner. Provided that you do 
not abandon yourself to mere enjoyment or wantonness, but are content 
with what is necessary to restore your peace of mind, self-possession, 
and cheerful capacity for work, and also that you observe the precau- 
tions which physicians or experienced friends impress upon you." 

When we thus analyze and investigate the the three main 
streams of expert opinions in regard to this question of sexual 
abstinence — the opinions in favor of it, the opinions in opposition 
to it, and the opinions which take an intermediate course — we can 
scarcely fail to conclude how unsatisfactory the whole discussion 
is. The state of "sexual abstinence" is a completely vague and 
indefinite state. The indefinite and even meaningless character 
of the expression "sexual abBtinence" is shown by the frequency 
with which those who argue about it assume that it can, may, or 
even must, involve masturbation. That fact alone largely de- 
prives it of value as morality and altogether as abstinence. At 
this point, indeed, we reach the most fundamental criticism to 
which the conception of "sexual abstinence" lies open. Rohleder, 
^n experienced physician and a recognized authority on questions 
■of sexual pathology, has submitted the current views on "sexual 
abstinence" to a searching criticism in a lengthy and important 
paper,' He denies altogether that strict sexual abstinence exists 
at all. "Sexual abstinence," he points out, in any strict scense 
of the term, must involve abstinence not merely from sexual 
intercourse but from auto-erotic manifestations, from masturba- 
' Zeitachrift fUr SexuahDitaenehaft, 



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THE PfiOBLEU OF SEXUAL ABIJTIKENCB. 197 

tioo, from homose:tiial acts, from all sexually perverse practices. 
It must furtber involve a permanent abstention from indulgence 
in erotic imaginations and voluptuous reverie. When, however, 
it is possible thus to render the whole psychic held & tabula rasa 
BO far as sexual activity is concerned — and if it fails to be so con- 
stantly and consistently there is no strict sexual abstinence — 
then, Bohleder points out, we have to consider whether we are not 
in presence of a case of sexual anaesthesia, of anaphrodisia 
sexualis. That is a question which is rarely, if ever, faced by 
those who discuss sesual abstinence. It is, however, an extremely 
pertinent question, because, as Rohleder insists, if sexual anaes- 
thesia exists tiie question of sexual abstinence falls to the ground, 
for we can only "abstain" from actions that are in our power. 
Complete sexual antesthesia is, however,. so rare a state that it 
may be practically left out of consideration, and as the sexual 
impulse, if it exists, must by physiological necessity sometimes 
become active in some shape— even if only, according to Freud's 
view, by transformation into some morbid neurotic condition — - 
we reach the conclusion that "sexual abstinence" is strictly 
impossible. Rohleder has met with a few cases in which there 
seemed to him no escape from the conclusion that sexual ab- 
stinence existed, but in all of these he subsequently found that he 
was mistaken, usually owing to the practice of masturbation, 
which he believes to be extremely common and very frequently 
accompanied by a persistent altempt to deceive the physician 
concerning its existence. The only kind of "sexual abstinence" 
that exists is a partial and temporary abstinence. Instead of 
saying, as some say, "Permanent abstinence is unnatural and 
cannot exist without physical and mental injury," we ought to 
say, Rohleder believes, "Permanent abstinence is unnatural and 
has never existed." 

It is impossible not to feel as we contemplate this chaotic 
mass of opinions, that the whole discussion is revolving round a 
purely negative idea, and that fundamental fact is responsible 
for what at first seem to be startling conflicts of statement. If 
indeed we were to eliminate what is commonly regarded as the 
religious and moral aspect of the matter — an aspect, be it 



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198 PBTOHOLOGT OF SBZ. 

remembered, which has do bearing od the essential natural facts 
of the quefltion — we cannot fail to perceive that these ostenta- 
tiouB differences of conviction would be reduced within very 
narrow and trifling limits. 

We cannot strictly coordinate the impulse of reproduction 
with the impulse of nutrition. There are very important differ- 
ences between them, more especially the fundamental difference 
that while the satisfaction of the one impulse is absolutely neces- 
sary both to the life of the individual and of the race, the satis- 
faction of the other is absolutely necessary only to the life of 
the race. But when we reduce this question to one of "sexual 
abstinence" we are obviously placing it on the same basis as that 
of abstinence from food, that is to say at the very opposite pole 
to which we place it when {as in the previous chapter) we con- 
sider it from the point of view of asceticism and chastity. It 
thus comes about that on this negative basis there really is an 
interesting analogy between nutritive abstinence, though neces- 
sarily only maintained incompletely and for a short time, and 
sexual abstinence, maintained more completely and for a longer 
time. A patient of Janet's seems to bring out clearly this resem- 
blance. Nadia, whom Janet was able to study during five years, 
was a youDg woman of twenty-seven, healthy and intelligent, not 
suffering from hysteria nor from anorexia, for she had a normal 
appetite. But she had an idea; she was anxious to be slim and 
to attain this end she cut down her meals to the smallest size, 
merely a little soup and a few eggs. She suffered much from the 
abstinence she thus imposed on herself, and was always hungry, 
though sometimes her hunger was masked by the inevitable 
stomach trouble caused by bo long a persistence in this regime. 
At times, indeed, she had been so hungry that she had devoured 
greedily whatever she could lay her hands on, and not infre- 
quently she could not resist the temptation to eat a few biscuits 
in secret. Such actions caused her horrible remorse, but, all the 
same, she would be guilty of them again. She realized the great 
efforts demanded by her way of life, and indeed looked upon her- 
self as a heroine for repisting so long. "Sometimes," she told 
Janet, "I passed whole hours in thinking about food, I was so 



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THE FROBLEU OF SEXUAL AB8TIKENCE. 199 

hungry. I swallowed my saliva, I bit my handkerchief, I rolled 
on the ground, I wanted to eat so badly. I searched books for 
descriptions of meals and feasts, I tried to deceive my hunger 
by imagining that I too was enjoying all these good things. I 
was really famished, and in spite of a few weaknesses for biscuits 
I know that I showed much courage."' Nadia's motive idea, 
that she wished to be slim, corresponds to the abstinent man's 
idea that he wishes to be "moral," and only differs from it by 
having the advantage of bemg somewhat more positive and per- 
sonal, for the idea of the person who wishes to avoid sexual 
indulgence because it is "not right" is often not merely negative 
but impersonal and imposed by the social and religious environ- 
ment. Nadia's occasional outbursts of reckless greediness cor- 
respond to the sudden impulses to resort to prostitution, and her 
secret weaknesses for biscuits, followed by keen remorse, to lapses 
into the habit of masturbation. Her fits of struggling and 
rolling on the ground are precisely like the outburste of futile 
desire which occasionally occur to young abstinent men and 
women in health and strength. The absorption in thoughts 
about meals and in literary descriptions of meals is clearly 
analogous to the abstinent man's absorption in wanton thoughts 
and erotic books. Finally, Nadia's conviction that she is a 
heroine corresponds exactly to the attitude of self-righteousnesa 
which often marks the sexually abstinent. 

If we turn to Freud's penetrating and su£^;estive study of 
the problem of sexual abstinence in relation to "civilized" sexual 
morality, we find that, though he makes no reference to the 
analogy with abstinence from food, his words would for the most 
part have an equal application to both cases. "The task of sub- 
duing so powerful an instinct as the sexual impulse, otherwise 
than by giving it satisfaction," he writes, "is one which may 
employ the whole strength of a man. Subjugation through sub- 
limation, by guiding the sexual forces into higher civilizational 
paths, may succeed with a minority, and even with these only for 
a time, least easily during the years of ardent youthful energy. 



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200 FSTOHOLOQY OF SBX. 

Moat others become neurotic or otherwise come to grief. Ex- 
perience shows that the majority of people constitntin^ our 
society are conetitutioQally unequal to the taek of abstinence. 
We say, indeed, that the struggle with this powerful impulse and 
the emphasiB the struggle invokes on the ethical and Ksthetic 
forces in the soul's life 'steels' the character, and for a few 
favorably organized natures this is true ; it must also be acknowl- 
edged that the differentiation of individual character bo marlied 
in our time only becomes possible through sexual limitationa. 
But in by far the majority of cases the struggle with sensuality 
uses up the available energy of character, and this at the very 
time when the young man needs all his strength in order to win 
his place in the wotld."i 

When we have put the problem on this negative basis of 
abstinence it is difficult to see how we can dispute the justice of 
Freud's conclusions. They hold good equally for abstinence 
from food and abstinence from sexual love. When we have 
placed the problem on a more positive basis, and are able to 
invoke the more active and fruitful motives of asceticism and 
chastity this unfortunate fight against a natural impulse is 
abolished. If chastity is an ideal of the harmoniouB play of all 
the organic impulses of the soul and body, if asceticism, properly 
understood, is the athletic striving for a worthy object which 
causes, for the time, an indifference to the gratification of sexual 
impulses, we are on wholesome and natural ground, and there is 
no waste of energy in fruitless striving for a negative end, 
whether imposed artificially from without, as it usually is, or 
voluntarily chosen by the individual himself. 



1 S. Preud, Seaual-Problema, March, 1908. Afl AAaXa Bchreiber alu 
points out {Mutterachute, Jan., 1007, p. 30), it ii not enough to prove 
that abstinence ie not dangerouB ; we have to remember that the spiritual 
and phyiical energy uaed up in repressing this mighty instinct often 
reduces a joyous and energetic nature to a weary and taded shadow. 
SimllBTly. Helene StScker (Die Liebe und die Prauen, p. 105) says; 
"The question whether abstinence is harmful is, to say the truth, « 
ridiculous question. One needs to be do nervous specialist to know, aa 
a matter of course, that a life of happy love and marriage is the healthy 
life, and its complete absence cannot fail to lead to severe psychic depres- 
sion, even if no direct physiological disturbances can be demonatrated." 



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THE PROBLEM OF BBZUjtL ABBTINENCE. 201 

For there is really no complete anal(^ between eexual 
deeire and hunger, between abstinence from sexnal relationa and 
abstinence from food. When we put them both on the basis of 
abstinence we put them on a basis which covers the impulse for 
food but only half covers the impulse for sexual love. We con- 
fer no pleasure and no service on our food when we eat it. But 
the half of sexual love, perhaps the most important and ennobling- 
half, lies in what we give and not in what we take. To reduce 
this question to the low level of abstinence, is not only to centre 
it in a merely negative denial but to make it a solely self-regard- 
ing question. Instead of asking: How can I bring joy and 
strength to another ? we only aak : How can I preserve my empty 
virtue? 

Therefore it is that from whatever aspect we consider the 
question, — ^whether in view of the flagrant contradiction between 
the authorities who have discussed this question, or of the 
illegitimate mingling here of moral and physiological considera- 
tions, or of the merely negative and indeed unnatural character 
of the "virtue" thus set up, or of the failure involved to grasp 
the ennobljngly altruistic and mntnal side of sexual love, — from 
whatever aspect we approach the problem of "sexual abstinence" 
we ought only to agree to do so under protest. 

If we thus decide to approach it, and if we have reached 
the conviction — ^which, in view of all the evidence we can 
scarcely escape — ^that, while sexual abstinence in so far as it may 
be recognized as possible is not incompatible with health, there 
are yet many adults for whom it is harmful, and a very much 
larger number for whom when prolonged it is undesirable, we 
encounter a serious problem. It is a problem which ctmfronts 
any person, and especially the physician, who may be called upon 
to give professional advice to his fellows on this matter. If 
sexual relationships are sometimes desirable for unmarried per- 
sons, or for married persons who, for any reason, are debarred 
from conjugal union, is a physician justified in recommending 
such sexual relationships to his patient? This is a question that 
has frequently been debated and decided in opposing senses. 



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202 PSYCHOLOGY ( 



Varioua diatiaguished phTsicia 
proclaimed the duty of the doctor 



his patient whenever he coDsidera it dcBirable. Gyurkovechky, tor 
instance, has fully discuaaed this question, and answered it in the 
offlrmative. NyatrSm {Bfxual-Probleme, July, 1908, p. 413) states that 
it la the physician's duty, in some casee of sexual weakness, when all 
other methods of treatment have failed, to recommend sexual inter- 
course as the best remedy. Dr. Max Marcuae stands out as a con- 
spicuous advocate of the unconditional duty of the phyaieian to 
advocat« sexual intercouree in some caae«, both to men and to women, 
and has on many occasions argued in this sense (e.g„ Darf der A.ret 
mm Au»»erehelichen aeachteehlavtrkehr ratenT 1904). Marcuae ia 
strongly of opinion that a phyaieian who, allowing faimeelf to be 
influenced by moral, sociological, or other oonaiderationa, neglects to 
recommend sexual intercourae when he conaidera it desirable for the 
patient's health, is unworthy of hia profeaaion, and should either give 
up medicine or send his patients to other doctors. This attitude, though 
not usually so emphatically stated, aeems to be widely accepted. 
Lederer goes even further when he atat«8 (Uonatttchrifl fUr Bam- 
krankheiten «nd BetmelU Hygiene, 1B06, Heft 3) that it is the phyal- 
cian'a duty in the case of a woman who is suffering from her huaband'a 
Impotence, to advise her to hhve intercourse with another man, adding 
that "whether she does ao with her huaband's consent ia no alTalr of 
the physician'a, for he is not the guardian of morality, but the guardian 
of health." The physicians who publicly take this attitude are, how- 
ever, a small minority. In England, ao far aa I am aware, no phyaiciaa 
of eminence has openly proclaimed the duty of the doctor to advise 
aexual intercourse outside marriage, although. It ia acarcely neceasaiy 
to add, in England, as elaewhere, it happena that doctors, including 
women doctors, from time to time privately point out to their unmar- 
ried and even married patients, that sexual intercourae would probably 
be beneflciaL 

The duty of the physician to recommend sexual Intercourse has 
been denied as emphatically aa it has been affirmed. Thua Eulenbwg 
(Sexuale Neuropathic, p. 43), would by no means advise extra-conjugal 
relations to his patient; "such advice is quite outside the phyaician's 
competence." It is, of course, denied by those who regard aexual 
abatinence aa alwaya harmleaa, if not beneficial. But it Is also denied 
by many who consider that, under aome circumstances, sexual inter- 
course would do good. 

Moll haa especially, and on many occasions, diacuaaed the dn^ of 
the physician in relation to the question of advising sexual Intercourse 
outside marriage (e.g., in his comprehensive work, Aerztliche Efhik, 
1902; also ZeittohHft far Aerlzliche FortUldimg, 1905, Nos. 12-16; 



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THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTIKENCE. 203 

Muttertehult, IMS, Heft 3; Qeiekleckt und Oeaellsohaft, toI, ii. Heft 
S), At the outset Moll had been disposed to assert the right of the 
phyEJcian to recommend sexual intercourse under some circumstances; 
"ao long as marriage is undulj' delayed and sexual intercourse outside 
marriage exists," he wrote (Die Contrdre Seaualemp/ittdung, second 
edition, p. 2BT ) , "so long, I think, we may use such intercourse 
therapeutically, provided that the rights of no third person (huaband 
or n'ife) are injured." In all his later writings, however, Moll ranges 
hinuelf clearly and decisively on the opposite side. He considers that 
the physician has no right to overlook the possible results of his advice 
in inflicting venereal disease, or, in the case of a woman, pregnanej, on 
his patient, and he believes that these serious results are far more 
likely to happen than Is always admitted by those who defend the 
legitimacy of such advice. Nor will Moll admit that the physician is 
entitled to overlook the moral aspects of the question. A physician 
may know that a poor man could obtain many things good for his 
health by stealing, but he cannot advise him to steal. Moll takes the 
ease of a Catbolic priest who is sulTering from neurasthenia due to 
sexual abstinence. Kven although the physician feels certain that the 
priest may be able to avoid all the ri&ks of disease as well as of pub- 
licity, he is not entitled to urge him to sexual intercourse. He has to 
remember that in thus causing a priest to break his vows of chastity 
he may induce a mental conflict and a bitter remorse which may lead 
to the worst results, even on his patient's physical health. Similar 
results, Moll remarks, may follow such advice when given to a married 
man or woman, to say nothing of possible divorce proceedings and 
accompanying evils. 

Rohteder iVorle»ungen iiber Oeschleehtstrieb und Qetamtet Qeaeh- 
lechlaUben ier Jfetwchen) adopts a somewhat qualified attitude in this 
matter. As a general rule he is decidedly against recommending 
sexual intercourse outside marriage to those who are suffering from 
partial or temporary abstinence (the only form of abstinence he recog- 
nJEes), partly on the ground that the evils of abstinence are not serious 
or permanent, and partly because the patient is fairly certain to exer- 
cise bis own judgment in the matter. But in some classes of eases he 
recommends such intercourse, and notably to bisexual persons, on the 
ground that he is thus preserving his patient from the criminal risks 
of homosexual practices. 

It seems to mc that there should be no doubt whatever as to 
the correct professional attitude of the physician in relation to 
this question of advice concerning sexual intercourse. The 
physician is never entitled to advise his patient to adopt sexual 



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204 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

intercourse outside marriage nor any method of relief which is 
commonly regarded as illegitimate. It is said that the physician 
has nothing to do with considerations of conventional morality. 
If he considers that champagne would be good for a poor patient 
he ought to recommend him to take champagne; he is not 
called upon to consider whether the patient will beg, borrow, or 
steal the champagne. But, after all, even if that he admitted, it 
must still be said that the physician knows that the champagne, 
however obtained, is not likely to be poisonous. Wlicn, however, 
he prescribes sexual intercourse, with the same lofty indifference 
to practical considerations, he hae no such knowledge. In giving 
such a prescription the physician has in fact not the slightest 
knowledge of what he may be prescribing. He may he giving 
bis patient a venereal disease ; he may be giving the anxieties and 
responsibilities of an illegitimate child ; the prescriber is quite in 
the dark. He is in the same position as if he had prescribed a 
quack medicine of which the composition was unknown to him, 
with the added disadvantage that the medicine may turn out to be 
far more potently explosive than is the case with the usually 
innocuous patent medicine. The utmost that a physician can 
properly permit himself to do is to put the case impartially before 
his patient and to present to him all the risks. The solution 
must be for the patient himself to work out, as best he can, for 
it involves social and other considerations which, while they are 
indeed by no means outside the sphere of medicine, are certainly 
entirely outside the control of the individual private practitioner 
of medicine. 

Moll also is of opinion that this impartial preKntation of the case 
for and against eexual intercourse corresponds to the physician's duly 
in tbe matter. It is, indeed, a duty which can scarcely be escaped by 
the physician in many cases. Moll points out that it can by no means 
be aBBimilated, aa some have supposed, with the recontmendation of 
sexual intercourse. It in, on the contrary, he remarks, much more 
analogous to the physician's duty in reference to operations. He puts 
before the patient the nature of the operation, its advantages and its 
risks, but he leaves it to the patient's judgment to accept or reject the 
operation. Lewitt also {Ocschteckllicke Enlhallaamheit und Qemnd- 
heiteslSrutigen, 1905), after discussing the various opinions on this 



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THE PHOBLEM OP 8EXDAL ABSTINENCE. 205 

question, comeg to the conclusion that the physician, if he thinks that 
intercouTse outside marriage might be l>ene(icial, should explain the 
difficulties and leave the patient himself to decide. 

There ie another reason why, having regard to the prevailing 
moral opinions at all events among the middle classes, a physician 
Bhould refrain from advising extra-conjugal intercourse: he 
places himself in a false relation to hia social environment. He 
is recommending a remedy the nature of which he could not 
puhlicly avow, and so destroying the public confidence in himself. 
The only physician who ie morally entitled to advise his patients 
to enter into extra-conjugal relationships is one who openly 
acknowledges that he is prepared to give such advice. The doctor 
who is openly working for social reform has perhaps won the 
moral right to give advice in accordance with the tendency of his 
public activity, but even then his advice may be very dubiously 
judicious, and he would be better advised to confine his efforts 
nt social reform to his public activities. The voice of the physi- 
cian, as Professor Max Flesch of Frankfort observes, is more and 
more heard in the development and new growth of social institu- 
tions; he is a nafural leaders in such movements, and proposals 
for reform properly come from him. "But," as Flesch continues, 
"publicly to accept the excellence of existing institutions and in 
the privacy of the consulting-room to give advice which assumes 
the imperfection of those institutions is illogical and confusing. 
It is the physician's business to give advice which is in accord- 
ance with the interests of the community as a whole, and those 
interests require that sexual relationships should be ent«red into 
between healthy men and women who are able and willing to 
accept the results of their union. That should be the physician's 
rule of conduct. Only so can he become, what to-day he b often 
proclaimed to be, the leader of the nation.^" This view is not, as 
we see, entirely in accord with that which assumes that the 
physician's duty is solely and entirely to his patient, without 
regard to the bearing of his advice on social conduct. The 
patient's interests are primary, but they are not entitled to be 



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206 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

placed in antagonism to the interests of society. The advice 
given by the wise physician must always be in harmony vith the 
social and moral tone of his age. Thus it is that the tendency 
among the younger generation of physicians to-day to take an 
active interest in raising that tone and in promoting social 
reform — a tendency which exists not only in Germany where such 
interests have long been acute, but also in bo conservative a land 
as England — is full of promise for the future. 

The physician is usually content to consider hia duty to his 
patient in relationship to sexual abstinence as sufficiently ful- 
filled when he attempts to allay sexual hypereesthesia by medical 
or hygienic treatment. It can scarcely be claimed, however, that 
the results of such treatment are usually satisfactory, and some- 
times indeed the treatment has a result which is the reverse of 
that intended. The difficulty generally is that in order to be 
efficacious the treatment must be carried to an extreme which 
exhausts or inhibits not only the genital activities alone but the 
activities of the whole organism, and short of that it may prove 
a stimulant rather than a sedative. It is difficult and usually 
impossible to separate out a man's sexual activities and bring 
influence to bear on these activities alone. Sexual activity is 
BO closely intertwined with the other organic activities, erotic 
exuberance is so much a 0ower which is rooted in the whole 
organism, that the blow which crushes it may strike down the 
whole man. The bromides are universally recognized as powerful 
sexual sedatives, but their influence in this respect only makes 
itself felt when they have dulled all the finest energies of the 
organism. Physical exercise is universally recommended to 
sexually hypcrffisthetic patients. Yet most people, men and 
women, find that physical exercise is a positive stimulus to sexual 
activity. This is notably so as regards walking, and exuberantly 
energetic young women who are troubled by the irritant activity 
of their healthy sexual emotions sometimes spend a large part of 
their time in the vain attempt to lull their activity by long walk?. 
Physical exercise only proves efficacious in this respect when it is 
carried to an extent which producer general exhaustion. Then 
indeed the sexual activity is lulled, but eo are all the mental and 



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THE PROBLEM OF SESUAL ABSTIKEKCi:. 207 

pliysical activities. It is midoubtedly true tliat cxerciBes and 
games of all Borts for youag people of both eexes have a sexually 
hygienic aB well as a generally hygienic influence which is 
undoubtedly beneficial. They are, on all grounds, to be preferred 
to prolonged sedentary occupations. But it is idle to suppose 
that games and exercises will suppress the sesual impulses, for 
in so far as they favor health, they favor all the impulses that 
are the result of health. The most that can be expected is that 
they may tend to restrain the manifestations of sex by dispersing 
the energy they generate. 

There are many physical rules and precautions which are 
advocated, not without reason, as tending to inhibit or diminish 
sexual activity. The avoidance of heat and the cultivation of 
cold is one of the most important of these. Hot climates, a 
close atmosphere, heavy bed-clothing, hot baths, all tend power- 
fully to excite the-sexual system, for that system is a peripheral 
sensory organ, and whatever stimulates the skin generally, 
stimulates the sexual system. ^ Cold, which contracts the skin, 
also deadens the sexual feelings, a fact which the ascetics of old 
knew and acted upon. The garments and the posture of the body 
are not without influence. Constriction or pressure iu the 
neighborhood of the sexual region, even tight corsets, as well as 
internal pressure, as from a distended bladder, are sources of 
sexual irritation. Sleeping on the back, which congests the 
spinal centres, also acts in the same way, as has long been known 
by those who attend to sexual hygiene; thus it is stated that in 
the Franciscan order it is prohibited to lie on the back. Food 
and drink are, further, powerful sexual stimulants. This is 
true even of the simplest and most wholesome nourishment, but 
it is more especially true of flesh meat, and, above all, of alcohol 
in its stronger forms such as spirits, liqueurs, sparkling and 
heavy wines, and even many English beers. This has always 
been clearly realized by those who cultivate asceticism, and it is 
one of the powerful reasons why alcohol should not be given in 
early youth. As St. Jerome wrote, when telling Eustochium 
that she must avoid wine like poison, "wine and youth are the 
1 See the Section on Touch in the fourth volume of these Bludiea. 



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208 P8TCH010GY OF 8BI. 

two fires of luet. Why add oil to the flame ?"^ IdleneBS, again, 
CBpecially when combined with rich liying, promotes sexual 
activity, as Burton sets forth at length in his Anatomy of Melan- 
choly, and constant occupation, on the other hand, concentrates 
the wandering activities, 

ilcntal e^ferciae, like pliysical ezercise, has sometimeB been 
advocated as a metliod of calming sexual excitement, but it aeema 
to be equally equivocal in ita action. If it is profoundly inter- 
esting and exciting it may stir up rather than lull the sexual 
emotions. If it arousea little interest it is unable to exert any 
kind of influence. Tliis is true even of mathematical occupations 
which have been advocated by various authorities, including 
BrouBsais, as aids to sexual hygiene.^ "I have tried mechanical 
mental work," a lady writes, "auch as solving arithmetical or 
algebraic problems, but it docs no good ; in fact it aeems only to 
increase the excitement." "I studied and espfecially turned my 
attention to matliematics," a clergyman writes, "with a view to 
check my sexual tendencies. To a certain extent I was success- 
ful. But at the approach of an old friend, a voice or a touch, 
tliese tendencies came back again with renewed strength. I 
found mathematics, however, the best thing on the whole to take 
off my attention from women, better than religious exercises 
which I tried when younger (twenty-two to thirty)." At the 
best, however, such devices are of merely temporary efBcacy. 

It is easier to avoid arousing the sexual impulses than to 
impose silence on them by hygienic measures when once they are 



1 "I have had two years' close CKperientw and connexion with the 
TrappiBta," wrote Dr. Butterfleld. of Natal [Briliih Medical Journal, 
Sept. 15, 1906, p. 668), "both an medical attendant and as being a 
Catholic in creed rayBclf. I have studied them and investigated their 
life, habits and diet, and though I should be very backward Id adopting 
it myself, as not suited to me individually, the great bulk of them are 
in absolute ideal health and strength, seldom ailing, capable of vast 
work, mental and physical. Their life is very simple and very regular. 
A healthier body of men and women, with perfect equanimity ot tem- 

Eir — this tatter I lay grent stress on — it would be difficult to find, 
ealth beams In their eyes and countenance and actions. Only in sick- 
ness or prolonged journeys are they allowed any strong foodj — meats, 
«ggB, etc — or any alcohol. 

2 Tir6, L'Inttinet Sexutl, second edition, p. 332. 



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THE PBOBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE. 209 

aroused. It is, therefore, in childhood and youth that all these 
measures may be most reasonably obBer\-ed in order to avoid auy 
premature sexual excitement. In one group of stolidly normal 
children influences that might be expected to act sexually pass 
away unperceived. At the other extreme, another group of 
' children are so neurotically and precociously sensitive that no 
precautions will preserve them from such influences. But 
between these groups there is another, probably much the largest, 
who resist slight sexual suggestions but may succumb to stronger 
or longer influences, and on these the cares of sexual hygiene may 
profitably be bestowed.^ 

After puberty, when the spontaneous and inner voice of sex 
may at any moment suddenly make itself heard, all hygienic 
precautions are liable to he flung to the winds, and even the 
youth or maiden most anxious to retain the ideals of chastity can 
often do little but wait till the storm has passed. It sometimes 
happens that a prolonged period of sexual storm and stress occurs 
soon after puberty, and then dies away although there has been 
little or no sexual gratification, to be succeeded by a period of 
comparative calm. It must be remembered that in many, and 
perhaps most, individuals, men and women, the sexual appetite, 
unlike hunger or thirst, can after a prolonged struggle, be reduced 
to a more or less quicBcent state which, far from injuring, may 
even benefit the physical and psychic vigor generally. This may 
happen whether or not sexual gratification has been obtained. If 
there has never been any such gratification, the struggle is lees 
severe and sooner over, unless the individual is of highly erotic 

1 Rural life, hs we have Been when discussing itB relation to sesii*! 
preeocil?, is on one side the reverse of a safeguard against sexual 
influences. But, on the other hand, in bo far as it involves hard work 
and simple living under conditions that are not nen-ouslj' Btimulating, 
it la favorable to a considerably delayed sexual activitj* in ^outh and 
to a relative continence. Ammon, in the course of his anthropological 
investigations of Baden conscripts, found that sexual Intercourse was 
rare in the country before twenty, and even sexual emissions during 
sleep rare before nineteen or twenty. It is said, also, he repeats, that 
no one has a right to run after girls who does not yet carry a gun, 
and the elder lads sometimes brutally ill-treat any younger boy found 
0>ing about with a girl. No doubt this is often preliminary to much 
liceoae lat«r. 



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210 PSTCIIOLOGT OF 8KS, 

temperament. If there has been gratirication, if the mind is 
filled Dot merely with desires but with joyous experience to which 
the body also has grown accustomed, then the struggle is longer 
and more painfully absorbing. The succeeding relief, however, 
if it comes, is sometimes more complete and is more likely to be 
associated with a state of psychic health. For the fundamental 
experiences of life, under normal conditions, bring not only 
intellectual sanity, but emotional pacification. A conquest of the 
sexual appetites which has never at any period involved a grati- 
fication of these appetites seldom produces results that commend 
themselves as rich and beautiful. 

In these combats there are, however, no permanent con- 
quests. For a very large number of people, indeed, though there 
may be emotional changes and fluctuations dependent on a 
variety of circumstances, there can scarcely be said to be any 
conquest at all. They are either always yielding to the impulses 
that assail them, or always resisting those impulses, in the first 
case with remorse, in the second with dissatisfaction. In either 
case much of their lives, at the time when life is most vigorous, is 
wasted. With women, if they happen to be of strong passions 
and reckless impulses to abandonment, the results may be highly 
enervating, if not disastrous to the general psychic life. It is to 
this cause, indeed, that some have been inclined to attribute the 
frequent mediocrity of women's work in artistic and intellectual 
fields. Women of intellectual force are frequently if not gen- 
erally women of strong passions, and if they resist the tendency 
to merge themselves in the duties of maternity their lives are 
often wasted in emotional conflict and their psychic natures im- 
poverished.! 

I The numerical preponderance which celibate women teachers have 
now gained in the American school Bystem haa caused much misgiving 
among many sugacious observers, and ia said to be unsatisfactory in its 
results on the pupils of both sexes. A distinguished authority, Pro- 
fessor KIcKeen Cattell ("The School and the Family," Popular Beicnct 
Monthlj/, Jan., lOOd), referring to this preponderance of "devitalized 
and imsexed spinsters," goefl so far as to say that "the ultimate result 
of letting the celibate female be the usual teacher has been such as to 
make It a question whether it would not be an advantage to the country 
if the whole school plant could be scrapped." 



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THE PROBLEU OF SEXUAL AB6TINENCE. 211 

The extent to which sexual abstinence and the struf^leB it involves 
inaf hamper and absorb the individual throughout life is well illustrated 
in the following case. A lady, vigorous, robust, nnd generally healthy, 
of great intelligence and high character, has reached middle life without 
marrying, or ever having sexual relationshipB. She was an only child, 
and when between three and four years of age, a playmate aome aix 
years older, initiated her into the habit of playing with her sexual 
parts. She was, however, at this age quite devoid of sexual feelings, 
and the habit dropped naturally, without any bad effects, as soon as she 
left the neighborhood of this girl a year or so later. Her health was 
good and even brilliant, and she developed vigorously at puberty. At 
the age of sixteen, however, a mental shock caused menstruation to 
diminish in amount during mme years, and simultaneously with this 
diminution persistent sexual excitement appeared spontaneously, for the 
first time. She regarded such feelings as abnormal and unhealthy, and 
exerted all her powers of self-control in resisting them. But will power 
had no effect in diminishing the feelings. There was constant and 
imperious excitement, with the sense of vibration, tension, pressure, 
dilatation and tickling, accompanied. It may be, by some ovarian con- 
gestion, for she felt that on the left 'side there was a network of seinat 
nerves, and retroversion of the uterus was detected some years later. 
Her life was strenuaus with many duties, but no occupation could be 
pursued without this undercurrent of sexual hyperssthesla involvinj; 
perpetual self-control. This continued more or less acutely for many 
years, when menstruation suddenly stopped altogether, much before tha 
usual period of the climacteric. At the same time the sexual excite- 
ment ceased, and she became calm, peaceful, and happy. Diminished 
menstruation was associated with sexual excitement, but abundant 
menstruation and its complete absence were both accompanied by the 
relief of excitement. This lasted for two years. Then, for the treat- 
ment of a trifling degree of ansmia, she was subjected to a long, and, 
in her case, injudicious course of hypodermic injections of stiychnia. 
From that time, five years ago, np to the present, there has been con- 
stant sexual excitement, and she has always to be on guard lest she 
should be overtaken by a sexual spasm. Her torture is increased by the 
fact that her traditions make it impossible for her (except under very 
exceptional circumstances) to allude to the cause of her sufferings. "A 
woman is handicapped," she writes. "She may never speak to anyone 
on such a subject. She munt live her tragedy alone, smiling as much 
as she can under the strain of her terrible burden." To add to her 
trouble, two years ago, shs felt impplled to resort to masturbation, and 
has done bo aliout once a month since; this not only brings no real 
relief, and leaves irritability, wakefulness, and dark marks under Vto 
eyes, but ts a cause of remorse to her, for she rcgurds masturbation u 



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212 PSYCHOLOGY OF BEX. 

entlrel; abnormal and unnatural. She has tried to gain benefit, not 
merely by the usual methods of phyaical hygiene, but by auggestion, 
Christian Science, etc., but all in vain, "I may say," ehe writes, "that 
it ia the most passionate desire of my heart to be freed from this Ixmd- 
age, that I may relax the terrible years-long tension of resistance, and 
be happy in my own way. If I had this aSliction once a month, onco 
a week, even twice a week, to stand against' it would be child's play. I 
should scorn to resort to iinnatural means, however moderately. But 
self-contro) itself has its revenges, and I sometimes feel as if it is no 
longer to be borne." 

ThuB while it is an immense benefit in physical and psychic 
development if the eruption of the disturbing sexual emotions can 
be delayed until puberty or adolescence, and while it is a very 
great advantage, after that eruption has occurred, to be able to 
gain control of these emotions, to emah altogether the sesual 
nature would be a barren, if not, indeed, a perilous victory, 
bringing with it no satisfaction. "If I had only had three 
weeks' happiness," said a woman, "I would not quarrel with 
Fate, but to have one's whole life so absolutely empty is horrible." 
If such vacuous self-restraint may, by courtesy, be termed a 
virtue, it is but a negative virtue. The persons who achieve it, 
as the result of congenitally feeble sexual aptitudes, merely (as 
GjTirkovechky, Furbringer, and Ijowenfeld liave all alike re- 
marked) made a virtue of their weakness, ilany others, whose 
instincts were less weak, when they disdainfully put to flight the 
desires of sex in early life, have found that in later life that foe 
returns in tenfold force and perhaps in unnatural shapes.^ 

1 Corre ILes Criminels, p. 351) mentions that of thirteen priests 
convicted of crime, six were guilty of sexual attempts on children, and 
of eighty-three convicted lay teachers, forty-eight had committed similar 
ofTeDsea. This was at a time when lay teachers were in practice almost 
compelled to live a celibate life; altered conditions have greatly dimin- 
ished this class of olTense among them. Without going bo far as crime, 
many moral and religious men, clergymen and others, who have led 
severely abstinent lives in youth, sometimes experience in middle age 
or later the eruption of almost uncontrntlable sexual impulseB, normal 
or abnormal. In women such manifestations are apt to take the form 
of obsessional thoughts of sexual character, as e.j/., the case {Comptea- 
Rendwt Congrfs International de lUMecine, Moscow, 1897, vol. iv, p. 27) 
of a chaste woman who was compelled to think about and look at the 
sexual organs of men. 



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THE PROBLEM OF BEXCAL ABSTIXENCE. 213 

The conception of "gexuai abstinence" is, we see, an entirely 
false and artificial conception. It ib not only ill-adjusted to the 
hygienic facts of the case but it fails even to invoke any 
genuinely moral motive, for it is exclusively self-regarding and 
self-centred. It only becomes genuinely moral, and truly inspir- 
ing, when we transform it into the altruistic virtue of self- 
sacrifice. When we have done bo we see that the element of 
abstinence in it ceases to be essential. "Self-sacrifice," writes the 
author of a thoughtful book on the sexual life, "is acknowledged 
to be the basis of virtue; the noblest instances of self-sacrifice 
are those dictated by sexual affection. Sympathy is the secret of 
altruism ; nowhere is sympathy more real and complete than in - 
love. Courage, both moral and physical, the love of truth and 
honor, the spirit of enterprise, and the admiration of moral 
worth, are all inspired by love as by nothing else in human 
nature. Celibacy denies itself that inspiration or restricts its 
influence, according to the measure of its denial . of sesual 
intimacy. Thus the deliberate adoption of a consistently celibate 
life implies the narrowmg down of emotional and moral experi- 
ence to a degree which is, from the broad scientific standpoint, 
unjustified by any of the advantages piously supposed to accrue 
from it,"^ 

In a sane natural order all the impulses are centred in the 
fulfilment of needs and not in their denial. Moreover, in this 
special matter of sex, it is inevitable that the needs of others, and 
not merely the needs of the individual himself, should determine 
action. It ie more especially the needs of the female which are 
the determining factor ; for those needs are more various, com- 
plex and elusive, and in his attentiveness to their gratification 
the male finds a source of endless erotic satisfaction. It might 
be thought that the introduction of an altruistic motive here is 
merely the claim of theoretical morality insisting that there shall 
be a firm curb on animal instinct. But, as we have again and 
again seen throughout the long course of these Studies, it is not 
so. The animal instinct itself makes this demand. It is a 



> J. A. QoilTty, T\e Science of Sen, p. 13S. 



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214 PSYCirOLOGY OF SEX. 

biological law that rules throughout the zoological world and 
has involved the universality of courtship. In man it is only 
modified because in man sexual needs are not entirely concen- 
trated in reproduction, but more or less penetrate the whole of 
life. 

While from the point of view of society, as from that of 
Nature, the end and object of the sexual impulse is procreation, 
and notliing beyond procreation, that is by no means true for the 
individual, whose main object it must be to fulfil himself har- 
moniously with that due regard for others which the art of living 
demands. Even if sexual relationships had no connection with 
procreation whatever — as some Central Australian tribes believe 
— they would still be justifiable, and are, indeed, an indiapensablo 
aid to the best moral development of the individual, for it is only 
in so intimate a relationship as that of sex that the finest graces 
and aptitudes of life have full scope. Even the saints cannot 
forego the sexual side of life. The best and most accomplished 
saints from Jerome to Tolstoy — even the exquisite Francis of 
Assisi — had stored up in their past all the experiences that go to 
the complete realization of life, and if it were not so they woold 
have been the less saints. 

The element of positive virtue thus only enters when the 
control of the sexual impulse has passed beyond the stage of 
rigid and sterile abstinence and has become not merely a delib- 
erate refusal of what is evil in sex, but a deliberate acceptance of 
what is good. It is only at that moment that such control 
becomes a real part of the great art of living. For the art of 
living, like any other art, is not compatible with rigidity, but lies 
in the weaving of a perpetual harmony between refusing and 
accepting, between giving and taking.* 

The future, it is clear, belongs ultimately to those who are 
slowly building up sounder traditions into the structure of life. 
The "problem of sexual abstinence" will more and more sink into 
insignificance. There remain the great solid fact of love, the 
great solid fact of chastity. Those are eternal. Between them 



• See, e.g., Havelock Ellis, "St. Francis and Others," Affirmatioiu. 



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THE mOBLEM OF BEXUAL ABSTINENCE. 215 

there is nothing but harmoDy. The development of one involves 
the development of the other. 

It Ima been neceesary to treat seriously this problem of 
"sexual abstinence" because we have behind ub the traditions of 
two thousand years based on certain ideals of sexual law and 
seiual license, together with the long effort to build up practices 
more or less conditioned by those ideals. We cannot immediately 
escape from these traditions even when we question their validity 
for ourselves. We have not only to recognize their existence, but 
also to accept the fact that for some time to come they must still 
to a considerable extent control the thoughts and even in some 
degree the actions of existing communities. 

It is undoubtedly deplorable. It involves the introduction 
of an artificiality into a real natural order. Love is real and 
positive; chastity is real and positive. But sexual abstinence is 
unreal and negative, in the strict sense perhaps impossible. The 
underlying feelings of all those who have emphasized its impor- 
tance is that a physiological process can be good or bad according 
as it is or is not carried out under certain arbitrary external con- 
ditions, which render it licit or illicit. An act of sexual inter- 
course under the name of "marriage" is beneficial; the very 
same act, under the name of "incontinence," is pernicious. No 
physiological process, and still less any spiritual process, can 
bear such restriction. It is as much as to say that a meal becomes 
good or bad, digestible or indigestible, according as a grace is or 
is not pronounced before the eating of it. 

It is deplorable because, such a conception being essentially 
unreal, an element of unreality is thus introduced into a matter 
of the gravest concern alike to the individual and to society. 
Artificial disputes have been introduced where no matter of real 
dispute need exist. A contest has been carried on marked by all 
the ferocity which marks contests about metaphysical or pseudo- 
metaphysical differences having no concrete basis in the actual 
world. As will happen in such cases, there has, after all, been no 
real difference between the disputants because the point they 
quarreled over was unreal. In truth each side was right and each 
side was wrong. 



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216 PSTCHOLOOT OF SEX. 

It is neceseary, we see, that the balance should be held even. 
An absolute license is bad ; an absolute abBtinence — even though 
Bome by nature or circumstances are urgently called to adopt it — 
JB also bad. They are both alike away from the gracious equilib- 
rium of Nature. And the force, we see, which naturaUy holds 
this balance even ie the biological fact that the act of sexual union 
is the satisfaction of the erotic needs, not of one person, but of 
two persons. 



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CHAPTER VII. 
PROSTITUnON. 

I. The Orgy; — The Religious Origin of th« Orgy— The Feast of 
Foola — Recognition of the Orgy by the Greeks and Romans — The Otgy 
Among SavBgea— The Drama — The Ohject Subserved by the Orgy. 

II. The Origin and Development of ProsliluHon: — The Definition 
of Prostitution — Prostitution Among Savages— The ConditionB Under 
Which Professional Prostitution Arises — Saored Prostitution — The Rite 
of Mylitta — The Praotice of Prostitution to Obtain a Marriage Portion — 
The Rise of Secular Prostitution in Greece— Prostitution in the East — 
India, China, Japan, etc. — Prostitution in Rome — The Influence of 
Christianity on Prostitution — The Effort to Combat Prostitution — The 
Medisva) Brothel — The Appearance of the Courtesan — Tullia D'Aragona 
— Veronica Franco — Ninon de Lencloe — Later Attempts to Eradicate 
Prostitution — The Regulation of Prostitution — Ita Futility Becoming 
Recognized. 

in. The Catuee of Pro* (itu (ion .-—Prostitution as a Part of the 
Marriage System — The Complex Causation of Prostitution — The Motives 
Assigned by Prostitutes — (1) Economic Factor of Prostitution — Poverty 
Seldom the Chief Motive for Prostitution — But Economic Pressure Exerts 
a Real Influence — The Large Proportion of Prostitutes Recruited from 
Domestic Service — Significance of This Fact — (2) The Biological Factor 
of Prostitution— The So-called Bom-Prostitute— Alleged Identity with 
the Born-Criminal — The Sexual Instinct in Prostitutes — The Physical 
and Psychic Characters of Prostitutes — (3) Moral Necessity as a Factor 
in the Existence of Prostitution — The Moral Advocates of Prostitution — 
The Moral Attitude of Christianity Towards Prostitution— The Attitude 
of Protestantism— Recent Advocates of the Moral Necessity of Prostitu- 
tion — (4) Civilizational Value as a Factor of Prostitution — The Influ- 
ence of Urban Life — The Craving for Excitement — Why Servant-girls so 
Often Turn to Prostitution— The Small Part Played by Seduction — Pro- 
stitutes Come Largely from the Country— The Appeal of Civilization 
Attracts Women to Prostitution — The Corresponding Attraction Fcli by 
Men — The Prostitute as Artist and Leader of Fashion — The Charm of 
Vulgarity. 

IV. The FretenI Social Attitude Totoarda Proa Htution:— The Decay 
of the Brothel — The Tendency to the Humanization of Prostitution — 
The Monetary Aspects of Prostitution— The Geisha— The Hetaira— The 

(217) 



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■218 PSYCIIOLOOT OP SEX. 

Uoral Herolt Against ProBtitution — Squalid Vice Based on LuxuriouB 
Virtue — ITie Ordinary Attitude Towards Prostitutes — Its Cruelty Absurd 
— The Need of Reforming Prostitution — The Need of Reforming Mar- 
riage — These Two Needs Closely Correlated — The Dynamic Relationships 
Involved. 

7. The Orgy. 

Trawtiosal morality, religion, and CBtabliahed convention 
^ombioe to promote not only the extreme of rigid abstinence but 
also that of reckless licensed They preach and idealize the one 
extreme; tliey drive those who cannot accept it to adopt the 
opposite extreme. In the great ages of religion it even happens 
that the severity of the rule of abstinence is more or lesa deliber- 
ately tempered by the permission for occasional outbursts of 
license. We thus have the orgy, which Nourished in mediaeval 
days and is, indeed, in its largest sense, a universal manifestation, 
liaving a function to fulfil in every orderly and laborious civiliza- 
tion, built up on natural energies that are bound by more or less 
inevitable restraints. 

The consideration of the orgy, it may be said, lifts us beyond 
the merely sexual sphere, into a higher and wider region which 
belongs to religion. The Greek orgeia referred originally to 
ritual things done with a religious purpose, though lator, when 
dances of Bacchanals and the like lost their sacred and inspiring 
-character, the idea was fostored by Christianity that such things 
were immoral. ^ Yet Christianity was itself in its origin an orgy 
of the higher spiritual activities released from the uncongenial 
servitude of classic civilization, a great festival of the poor and 
the humble, of the slave and the sinner. And when, with the 
necessity for orderly social organization, Christianity had ceased 
to be this it still recognized, as Paganism had done, the need for 
an occasional orgy. It appears that in 743 at a Synod held in 
Kainault reference was made to the February debauch (de Spur- 
calibtta in fehruario) as a pagan practice; yet it was precisely 
this pagan festival which was embodied in the accepted customs 
■ of the Christian Church as the chief orgy of the ecclesiastical 



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PBOSTITCTION. 219 

year, the gieat CamiTal prefixed to the long fast of Lent. The 
celebration on Shrove Tuesday and the previous Sunday con- 
stituted a ChriBtian Bacchanalian festival in which all classes 
joined. The greatest freedom and activity of physical movement 
was encouraged; "some go about naked without shame, some 
crawl on all fours, some on stilts, some imitate animals."' As 
time went on the Carnival lost its most strongly marked 
Bacchanalian features, but it still retains its essential character 
as a permitted and temporary relaxation of the tension of cus- 
tomary restraints and conventions. The Mediseval Feast of 
Fools — a New Year's Eevel well established by the twelfth cen- 
tury, mainly in France — presented an expressive picture of a 
Christian orgy in its extreme form, for here the most sacred 
ceremonies of the Church became tlie subject of fantastic parody. 
The Church, according to Nietzsche's saying, like all wise legis- 
lators, recognized that where great impulses and habits have to be 
cultivated, intercalary days must be appointed in which these 
impulses and habits may be denied, and so learn to hunger anew.^ 
The clergy took the leading part in these folk-festivals, for ta 
the men of that age, as Mcray remarks, "the temple offered the 
complete notes of the human gamut; they found there the 
teaching of all duties, the consolation of all sorrows, the satis- 

1 HormajT's Tatchenbuck, 1836, p. 255. HagelBtange, in a chapter 
on medueval festivals in his Siiddeutiches BauenUeben im MittnUUter, 
ehowB how, in these Christian orgies which were really of pagan origin, 
the German people reacted with tremendous and boiat«rou8 energy 
against the laborious and monotonous existence of everyday life. 

2 This was clearly realized by the more intelligent upholders of the 
Feast of Foola. Austere persons wished to abolish this Feast, and in a 
remarkable petition sent up to the Theological Faculty of Paris (and 
quoted by Flogel, Qeschichle des Grotesk-Komischen, fourth edition, p. 
204) the case for the Feast is thus presented: "We do this according to 
ancient custom, in order that folly, which is second nature to man and 
seems to bo inborn, may at least once a year have free outlet. Wine 
casha would burst if we failed sometimes to remove the bung and let in 
air. Now we are all ill-bound casks and barrels which would let out 
the wine of wisdom if bv constant devotion and fear of God we allowed 
It to ferment. We must let in air so that it mav not be spoilt. Thus 
on some days we jrive ourselves up to sport, ao that with the greater zeal 
we may afterwards return to the worsbin of God." The Feast of Fools 
was not suppressed until the middle of the sixteenth century, and relics 
«f it persisted (as at Aix) till near the end of the eighteenth century. 



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aa) PSYCHOLOGY OF BEX. 

faction of all joje. The sacred festivals of medieval Christianity 
were aot a eutrival from Koman times; they leapt from the very 
heart of Chrietian society."* But, as M^ray admits^ all great 
and vigorous peoples, of the East and the West, have found it 
necessary sometimes to play with their sacred things. 

Among the Greeks and Romans this need is everywhere 
visible, not only in their comedy and tlieir literature generally, 
but in everyday life. Aa Nietzsche truly remarks (in his Qeburt 
der Tragodie) the Greeks recognized all natural impulses, even 
those that are seemingly unwortliy, and safeguarded them from 
working mischief by providing channels into which, one special 
days and in special rites, the surplus of wild energy might harm- 
lessly flow. Plutarch, the last and moat influential of the 
Greek moralists, well aays, when advocating festivals (in his 
essay "On the Training of Children"), that "even in bows and 
harps we loosen their strings tliat we may bend and wind tliem 
up again." Seneca, perhaps the most influential of Roman if 
not of European moralists, even recommended occasional drunk- 
enness. "Sometimes," he wrote in his De TranquUHlate, "we 
ought to come even to the point of intoxication, not for the pur- 
pose of drowning ourselves but of sinking ourselves deep in wine. 
For it washes away cares and raises our spirits from the lowest 
depths. The inventor of wine is called Liber because he frees the 
soul from the servitude of care, releases it from slavery, 
quickens it, and makes it bolder for all undertakings." The 
Romans were a sterner and more serious people than the Greeks, 
but on that ver}' account they recognized the necessity of occa- 
sionally relaxing their moral fibres in order to preserve their tone, 
and encouraged the prevalence of festivals which were marked 
by much more abandonment than those of Greece. When these 



lA MSray, La Vie au Temps des Lihret PrScheurt, vol, ii, Ch. X. 
A good and scholarly sccount of the Feaat of FooU is given by E. K. 
Chambers, The Vedia-val Stage, Ch. XIII. It is true that the Church 
and the early Fathers often anathematized the theatre. But Gregory 
of Niizlanten wished to found a Christian theatre; the Mediceval Mys- 
teries were certainly under the proterlion of the cl^rgv; and St Thomaa 
Aiiiiinas, the greatest of the schoolmen, only conilemns the theatre wiUi 
cautious qualifications. 



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PHOSTITI'TION'. 221 

festivals began to lose their moral sanction and to fall into decay 
the decadence of Uome bad begun. 

All over the world, and not excepting the most primitive 
savages — for even savage life is built up on systematic con- 
straints which sometimes need relaxation — the principle of the 
orgy is recognized and accepted. Thus Spencer and Gillen 
describe' the Nathagura or fire-ceremony of the Warraraunga 
tribe of Central Australia, a festival taken part in by both sexes, 
in which all the ordinary rules of social life are broken, a kind 
of Saturnalia in which, however, there is no sexual license, for 
sexual license is, it need scarcely be said, no essential part of the 
orgy, even when the orgy lightens the burden of sexual con- 
straints. In a widely different part of the world, in British 
Columbia, the Salish Indiana, according to Hill Tout,^ believed 
that, long before the whites came, their ancestors observed a Sab- 
bath or seventh day ceremony for dancing and praying, assemb- 
ling at sunrise and dancing till noon. The Sabbath, or peri- 
odically recurring orgy, — not a day of tension and constraint but 
a festival of joy, a rest from all the duties of everyday life, — . 
has, as we know, formed an essential part of many of the orderly 
ancient civilizations on which our own has been built ;^ it is 
highly probable that the stability of these ancient civilizations 
was intimately associated with their recognition of the need of a 
Sabbath orgy. Such festivals are, indeed, as Crawley observes, 
processes of purification and reinvigoration, the effort to put off 
"the old man" and put on "the new man," to enter with fresh 
energy on the path of everyday life.* 

1 Spencor and Gillen. yorthem Tribes of Central Australia, Ch. XIL 

"Journal Anthropological Institute, July-Dec., 1904, p. 329. 

aWeatermarck (Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, vol. 
ii, pp. 2fl3-9) shows how widespread is the custom of Betting apart a 
peritMlical rest day. 

* A. E. Crawley, The ilgelic Rose, pp. 273 et seq., Crawley brings 
into association with this function of great festivals the custom, found 
in some parts of the world, of exchanging wives at these times. "It has 
nothing whatever to do with the marriage system, except aa breaking it 
for a season, women of forbidden degree being Tent, on the same grounds 
as conventions and ordinary relations are broken at fentimls of the 
Saturnalia type, the object being to change life and start afresh, by 
exchanging everything one can, while the very act of exc'iange coincides 
with the oUier desire, to weld the commuDity together" (Ih., p. 47B). 



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'££■1 PSYCHOLOGY OF BEX. 

The orgy is an inBtituti<ni which by no means has its eignifi- 
cance only for the past. On the' contrary, tlie high tension, the 
rigid routine, the gray monotony of modem life insistently call 
for moments of organic relief, though the precise form that that 
orgiastic relief takes must necessarily change with other social 
changes. As Wilhelm von Humboldt said, "just as men need 
suffering in order to become strong bo they need joy in order to 
become good." Charles Wagner, insisting more recently (in his 
Jeuntise) on the same need of joy in our modem life, regrets that 
dancing in the old, free, and natural manner has gone out of 
fashion or become unwholesome. Dancing is indeed the most 
fundameotal and primitive form of the org}-, and that which most 
completely and healthfully fulfils its object. For while it ia 
undoubtedly, as we see even among animals, a process by which 
sexual tumescence is accomplished,^ it by no means necessarily 
becomes focussed in sexual detumescenee but it may itself become 
a detumescent discharge of accumulated energy. It was on this 
account that, at all events in former days, the clergy in Spain, on 
moral grounds, openly encouraged the national passion for 
dancing. Among cultured people in modem times, the orgy 
tends to take on a purely cerebral form, which is less wholesome 
because it fails to lead to harmonious discharge along motor 
channels. In these comparatively passive forms, however, the 
orgy tends to become more and more pronounced under the con- 
ditions of civilization. Aristotle's famous statement concerning 
the function of tragedy as "purgation" seema.to be a recognition 
of the beneficial effects of the orgy.^ Wagner's music-dramas 
appeal powerfully to this need; the tlieatre, now as ever, fulfils 
a great function of the same bind, inherited from the ancient 
days when it was the ordered expression of a sexual festival,^ 



1 See "The AnalyaU of the Sexual Impulse" in vol. iii of these 

2G. Murray, Ancient Greek Literature, p, 211. 

s The Greek drama probably arose out of a folk-festival of more or 
h'ss sexual character, and it is even possible that the mediteval drama 
had a somewhat xiinilar origin (see DonaldBOn, The Greek Theatre; Gil- 
bert Miirrav, !oe. cil.; Karl Pearson, The Chancee of Death, vol, ii, pp. 
135-0,280 etseq.). 



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PROBTITUTIOK. 5s2* 

The theatre, indeed, tends at the present time to asBume a, larger 
importance and to approximate to the more serious dramatic per- 
formances of classic days by being transferred to the day-time 
and the open-air. France has especially taken the initiative in 
these performances, analogoua to tlie Dionysiac festivals of 
antiquity and the Mysteries and Moraliti'^ of the Middle Agee. 
The moTcment began some years ago at Orange. In 1907 there 
were, in France, as many as thirty open-air theatres (ThMtres de 
la Nature," "Theatres du Soleil," etc.,) while it is in Marseilles 
that the first formal open-air theatre has been erected since classic 
days.' In England, likewise, there has been a great extension of 
popular interest in dramatic performances, and the newly insti- 
tuted Pageants, carried out and taken part in by the population 
of the region commemorated in the Pageant, are festivals of the 
same character. In England, however, at the present time, the 
real popular orgiastic festivals are the Bank holidays, with which 
may be associated the more occasional celebrations, "Maffekings," 
etc., often called out by comparatively insignificant national 
events but still adequate to arouse orgiastic emotions as genuine 
as those of antiquity, though they are lacking in beauty and 
religious consecration. It is easy indeed for the narrowly austere 
person to view such manifestations with a supercilious smile, but 
in the eyes of the moralist and the philosopher these orgiastic 
festivals exert a salutary and preservative function. In every 
age of dull and monotonous routine — and all civilization involves 
such routine — many natural impulses and functions tend to 
become suppressed, atrophied, or perverted. They need Uiese 
moments of joyous exercise and expression, moments in which 
they may not necessarily attain their full activity but in which 
they will at all events be able, as Cyples expresses it, to rehearse 
their great possibilities.^ 

1 R. CaDudo, "Lee Chorfiges Francaia," Mercure dc France, May 1, 
1907, p. ISO. 

i'ThiB is, in fsct." Cyples declares {The Process of Human 
Experience, p. 743 1. "Art's peal function — to rehearBe within us greater 
eRoiatic poaaibiiitie^. to habituate ub to larger actualizations of personal- 
itj in a rudimentary manner," and h> to arouse, "aimlessly but splen- 
didly, the sheer as yet unfulftlled poaaibilities witiiin us." 



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PBTCHOLOOT ( 



II. The Origin and Development of Prostitution. 

The mare refined forms of the orgy flourish in civilization, 
although on account of their mainiy cerebral character they are 
not the most beue Scent or the most effective. The more 
primitive and muscular forms of the orgy tend, on the other 
hand, under the influence of civilization, to fall into discredit 
and to be so far as possible suppressed altogether. It is partly 
in this way that civilization encourages prostitution. For the 
orgy in its primitive forms, forbidden to show itself openly and 
reputably, seeks the darkness, and allying itself with a funda- 
mental instinct to which civilized society offers no complete 
legitimate satisfaction, it firmly entrenches itself in the very 
centre of civilized life, and thereby constitutes a problem of 
immense difficulty and importance. ^ 

It is commonly said that prostitution has existed always and 
everywhere. That statement is far from correct. A kind of 
amateur prostitution is occasionally found among savages, but 
usually it is only when barbarism is fully developed and is already 
approaching the stage of civilization that well developed prosti- 
tution is found. It exists in a systematic form in every civiliza- 
tion. 

What is prostitution ? There has been considerable discus- 
sion as to the correct definition of prostitution.^ The Boman 
Ulpian said that a prostitute was one who openly abandons her 
body to a number of men without choice, for money.^ Not all 
modem definitions have been so satisfactory. It is sometimes 
said a prostitute la a woman who gives herself to numerous men. 
To be sound, however, a definition must be applicable to both 



1 Even when monotonous labor ia intellectual, it is not therebj pro- 
tected against degrading, orgiastic reactions. Prof. h. Qurlitt shows 
(Die Neuc Oeneration. January, 160B, pp. 31-8) how the strenuous, 
unremitting intellectual work of Pniasian seminaries leads among both 
teachers and scholars to the worst forms of the orgy. 

SRabutaux diBeusses various deSnitions of prostitution, De la 
Prostitution ea Europe, pp. 119 et aeq. For the origin of the names to 
designate the prostitute, see Schrader, Reallexicon, art. "BeischlBterin." 

'Digett, lib. xsiii, tit ii, p. 43. If she only gave herself to one or 
two persons, though for money, it was not prostitutioQ, 



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FROSTITCTIOK, 225 

sexes alike and we should certainly hesitate to describe a man who 
had sexual intercourse with many women as a prostitute. The 
idea of venality, the intention to sell the favors of the body, is 
essential to the conception of prostitution. Thus Ouyot defines 
a prostitute as "any person for whom sexual relationships are 
subordinated to gain."' It is not, however, adequate to define a 
prostitute simply as a woman who sells her body. That is done 
every day by women who become wives in order to gain a home 
and a liTelihood, yet, immoral as this conduct may be from any 
high ethical standpoint, it would be inconvenient and even mis- 
leading to call it prostitution. 2 It is better, therefore, to define 
a prostitute as a woman who temporarily sells her sexual favors 
to various persons. Thus, according to Wharton's Law-lexicon 
a prostitute is "a woman who indiscriminately consorts with men 
for hire" ; Bonger states that "those women are prostitutes who 
sell their bodies for the exercise of sexual acts and make of this a 
profession" f Richard again states that "a prostitute is a woman 
who publicly gives herself to the first comer in return for a 
pecuniary remuneration.''^ Aa, finally, the prevalence of homo- 
sexuality has led to the existence of male prostitutes, the defini- 
tion must be put in a form irrespective of sex, and we may, there- 
fore, say that a prostitute is a person who makes it a profession 



1 Guyot, La Prottitalion, p, 9. The element of venali^ ia eBsentiat, 
and religious writers (like Robert Wardlaw, D.D., of Edinburgh, in his 
Lectures on Female Proilitution, 1842, p. 14) who define prostitution as 
"the illicit intercourse of the sexes," and Bynonymous mth theological 
"fornication," fall into an absurd confusion. 

Z"8uch mairiages are sometimes stigmatized aa legalized prosti- 
tution,'" remarks SIdgwiok (Uethods of Ethics, Bit. iii, Ch. XI), "but 
the phrase is felt to be extravagant and paTadaxical." 

S Bonger. Criminality et Conditions Eoonomiquet, p, 378. Bon- 
ger believes that tfae act of prostitution ia "intrioBically equal to that 
of a man or woman who contracts a marriage for economical reasons." 

* E. Richard. La Prostitution i Paris, IflBO, p. 44. It may be ques- 
tioned whether publicity or notoriety should form an essential part of 
the definition ; it seems, however, to be involved, or the prostitute can- 
not obtain cliente. Reus<i states that ^e must, in addition, be absolutely 
without means of subsistence-, that is certainly not essential. Nor is 
it necessary, fts the Digfst insisted, that the act should be performed 
"without nieasure;" that may be as it will, without affecting tiie 
prostltutional nature of the act 



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226 PflYCHOLOGT OF BEX. 

to gratify the lust of various persons of the opposite sex or the 

It ie esseatial that the act of prostitution should be habitually per- 
formed with "variouH persona." A woman who gains her liviog by being 
mistresB to a man, to whom she le faithful, is not a prostitute, although 
she often becomes one afterwards, and may have been one before. The 
exact point at which b woman begins to be a prostitute is a question of 
considerable importance in countries in which prostitutes are subject to 
registration. Thus in Berlin, not long ago, a girl who was mistress to 
a rich cavali; officer and supported by him, during the illness of the 
officer accidentally met a man whom she had formerly known, and once 
or twice invited hira to see her, receiving from him presents in money. 
Tbia somehow came to the knowledge of the police, and she was arrested 
and sentenced to one day's imprisonment as an unregistered prostitute. 
On appeal, however, the sentence was annulled. Liszt, in bis Strafrechl, 
lays it down that a girl who obtains whole or part of her income from 
"fixed relationships" is not practicing unchsetity for gain in the sense 
of the German law {QetckUokt und OeselUahafI, Jahrgang I, Heft 9, p. 
346). 

It ie not altogether easy to explain the origin of the system- 
atized professional prostitutioD with the existence of which we 
are familiar in civilization. The amateur kind of prostitution 
which has sometimes been noted among primitive peoples — the 
fact, that ia, that a man may give a woman a present in seeking 
to perauade her to allow him to have intercourse with her — is 
really not prostitution as we underBtand it. The present in such 
a case is merely part of a kind of courtship leading to a temporary 
relationship. The woman more or less retains her social position 
and ia not forced to make an avocation of selling herself because 
henceforth no other career is possible to her. When Cook came 
to New Zealand his men found that the women were not impreg- 
nable, "but the terms and manner of compliance were as decent 
as those in marriage among us," and according "to their notions 
the agreement waa as innocent." The consent of the woman's 
friends was Decesaary, and when the preliminaries were settled ' 
it was also necessary to treat this "Juliet of a night" with "the 
earae delicacy aa is here required with the wife for life, and the 
lover who presumed to take any liberties by which this was 



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PHOSTITUTIOM. 227 

violated was sure to be disappoiated."^ Id some of the Melaa- 
esian Islands, it is said that women would sometimes become 
prostitutes, or on account of their bad conduct be forced to 
become prostitutes for a time; they were not, however, par- 
ticularly despised, and when they had in this way accumulated a 
certain amount of property they eould marry well, after which it 
would not be proper to refer to their former career.^ 

When prostitution first arises among a primitive people it 
sometimes happens that little or no stigma is attached to it for 
the reason that tlie community has not yet become accustomed to 
attach any special value to the presence of virginity. Schurtz 
quotes from the old Arabic geographer Al-Bekri some interesting 
remarks about the Slavs : "The women of the Slavs, after they 
have married, are faithful to their husbands. If, however, a 
young girl falls in love with a man she goes to him and satisfies 
her passion. And if a man marries and finds his wife a virgin 
he says to her: If you were worth anything men would have 
loved you, and you would have chosen one who would have taken 
away your virginity.' Then he drives her away and renounces 
her." It is a feeling of this kind which, among some peoples, 
leads a girl to be proud of the presents she has received from her 
lovers and to preserve them as a dowry for her marriage, knowing 
that her value will thus be atiU further heightened. Even among 
the Southern Slavs of modem Europe, who have preserved much 
of the primitive sexual freedom, this freedom, as Krauss, who has 
minutely studied the manners and customs of these peoples, 
declares, is fundamentally different from vice, licentiousness, or 
immodesty.^ 

Prostitution tends to arise, as Schurtz has pointed out, in 
every society in which early marriage is difficult and intercourse 
outside marriage is socially disapproved. "Venal women every- 
where appear as soon as the free sexual intercourse of young 
people is repressed, without the necessary consequences being 

1 Hawkeiwortli, icoount of the Voyages, etc., ITT5, vo). ii, p. 2S1. 

3K. W. Codrington, The Melanetiant, p. 23S. 

SF. S. KrauBS, Romanisehe For^ohungen, ]603, p. 200. 



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228 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, 

impeded by uousually early marriagefl,"' The repression of 
sexual intimacies outside marriage is a pbenonienoa of civiliza- 
tion, but it is not itself by any means a measure of a people's 
general level, and may, therefore, begin to appear at an early 
period. But it is important to remember that the primitive and 
rudimentary forms of prostitution, when they occur, are merely 
temporary, and frequently — tliough not invariably — involve no 
degrading influence on the woman in public estimation, some- 
times indeed increasing her value as a wife. The woman who 
sells herself for money purely aa a profesaional matter, without 
any thought of love or passion, and who, by virtue of her pro- 
fession, belongs to a pariah class definitely and rigidly excluded 
from the main body of her sex, is a phenomenon which can 
seldom be found except in developed civilization. It is alto- 
gether incorrect to speak of prostitutes as a mere survival from 
primitive times. 

On the whole, while among savages sexual relationships are 
sometimes free before marriage, as well as on the occasion of 
special festivals, tliey are rarely truly promiscuous and still mqre 
rarely venal. When savage women nowadays sell tlieraaelves, or 
are sold by their husbands, it lias usually been found that we are 
concerned with the contamination of European civilization. 

The definite ways in whicli professional prostitution may 
arise are no doubt many.' We may assent to the general principle, 
laid down by Schurtz, that whenever the free union of young 
people is impeded under conditions in which early marriage is 
also difficult prostitution must certainly arise. There are, how- 
ever, different ways in which this principle may take shape. So 
far as our western civilization ia concerned — the civilization, that 

IH. Schurtz, Alteraklasscn iind ildnnerbiindc, 1B02, p. 190. In 
this work Schurtz brings together (pp. 180-201) some examples of tlie 
genus of prostitution among primitive people-f. Many facta and refer, 
encee are given by Westermarck {History of Human ilarriage, pp. 6S 
et aeq., and Origin and Development of the ^orat Ideas, vol. ii, pp. 441 
ct seq. ) . 

2 Bachofen (more especially in his itulterrecht and f^affe ran 
Tanaquil) nrgiied tliat even reli^ous prostitution sprang from the 
resistance of primitive instincts 1o the tndividnalization of love. Cf. 
Robertson Smith, Religion of Semites, second edition, p. 59. 



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PKOBTITUTION. £si 

IB to say, which has its cradle in the Mediterranean basin — it 
would seem that the origin of prostitution is to be found pri- 
marily in a religious custom, religion, the great conserver of 
social traditions, preserving in a transformed shape a primitive 
freedom that was passing out of general social life.* The typical 
example is that recorded by Herodotus, in the fifth century 
before Christ, at the temple of Mylitta, the Babylonian Venus, 
where every woman once in her life had to come and give herself 
to the first stranger who threw a coin in her lap, in worship of 
the goddess. The money could not be refused, however small the 
amount, but it was given as an offertory to the temple, and the 
woman, having followed the man and thus made oblation to 
Mylitta, returned home and lived chastely ever afterwards.^ Very 
similar customs existed in otiier parts of Western Asia, in North 
Africa, in Cyprus and other islands of the Eastern Mediterranean, 
and also in Greece, where the Temple of Aphrodite on the fort at 
Corinth possessed over a thousand hierodules, dedicated to the 
service of the goddess, from time to time, as Strabo states, by 
those who desired to make thank-offering for mercies vouchsafed 
to them. Pindar refers to the hospitable young Corinthian 
women ministrants whose thoughts often turn towards Onrania 



1 Whatever the reaaoii ma; be, there can be no doubt that there 1b 
a widespread tendency for religion and proatitution to be asBOciated; it 
ia poBsibly to Bome extent a special case of that general connection 
between the religious and sexual impulses which has been discussed else- 
where (Appendix C to vol. i of these Studies). Thus A. B. Ellis, in hia 
book on The Ewe-apeaking Peoples of West Africa (pp. 124, Ul) atates 
that here women dedicated to a god become promiwuous prostitutes. 
W. G. Sumner (Folk-uiaya, Ch. XVI) brings together many facts concern- 
ing the wide distribution of religious prostitution, 

2 Herodotus. Bk. I, Ch. CXCIX; Baruch, Ch. VI, p. 43. ^fodem 
scholars confirm the statements of Herodotus from the study of Babylon- 
ian literature, though inclined to deny that reli^ous prostitution 
occupied so large a place as he gives it. A tablet of the Gilganuuh epio, 
according to Morris Jastrow, refers to prostitutes as attendants of the 
goddess lehtar in the city Uruk (or Erech), which was thus a centre, and 
perhaps the chief cenfre, of the rites de^ribed by Herodotus (Morris 
Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. 1898, p. 476). Ishtar 
was the gdddess of fprtility, the great mother goddess, and the prostitutes 
were prlestesse?!. attached to her worship, who took part in ceremonies 
intended to symbolize fertility. Thene priestes-ves of Tshtar were known 
by the general name Kaditditu, "the holy ones" (op. cit., pp. 485, 660). 



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230 psTOHOLoor of sex. 

Aphrodite' in whose temple they burned inceoBe; and Atheiueus 
mentions the importance that was attached to the prayers of the 
Corinthian prostitutes in any national calamity-' 

We seem here to be in the presence, not merely of a relig- 
iously preserved survival of a greater sexual freedom formerly 
exiBting,^ hut of a specialized and ritualized development of that 
primitive cult of the generative forces of Nature which involves 
the belief that all natural fniitfulness is associated with, and 
promoted by, acts of human sexual intercourse which thus 
acquire a religious significance. At a later stage acts of sesual 
intercourse having a religious significance become specialized and 
localized in temples, and by a rational transition of ideas it 
becomes believed that such acts of sexual intercourse in the serv- 
ice of the god, or with persons devoted to the god's service, 
brought benefits to the individual who performed them, more 
especially, if a woman, by insuring her fertility. Among primi- 
tive peoples generally this conception is embodied mainly in 
seasonal festivals, but among the peoples of Western Asia who had 
ceased to he primitive, and among whom traditional priestly and 
hieratic influences had acquired very great influence, the earlier 



1 1t is usual among modern writers to nsaociate Aphrodite Pan- 
demoB, rather than Ourania, with venal or promiseiiouK Hexuality, liut 
this is a complete raiatake, for the Aphrodite Pandemos was purely polit- 
ical and had no sexual aigni flea nee. The mistake was introduced, per- 
hapB intention hIIj, by Plato. It has bepn sugiteKted that that arch-jug- 
gler, who disliked democratic ideas, purponoly aouglit to pervert and 
vulgarize the conception of Aphrodite I'andemos (Farnell, Oiilla of Greek 
Stales, vol. ii, p. 600). 

ZAthencuR. Bk, xiii. cap. XXXII. It appears that the only other 
Hellenic community where the temple cult involved unchastity was a 
city of the Loeri Kpizephyrii (Farnell, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 638). 

3 I do not say an earlier "promiscuity," for the theory of a primi- 
tive sexual promiacuily in now widely discredited, though there can be 
no reasonable doubt that the early prevalence of mother-right was more 
favorable to the sexual freedom of women than the later patriarchal 
system. Tlina in very early Egyptian days a woman could give her 
favors to any man she ehose by sending him her garment, even if she 
were married. In time the growth of the rights of men led to this being 
regarded as criminal, hut the priestesses of Amen retained the privilege 
to the last, as being under divine protection (Flinders Petrle, Bffyptian 
T(il««, pp. 10, 4S). 



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PROSTITUTION. 2S1 

generative cult had ttiua, it seems probable, naturally changed 
its form in becoming attached to the temples.' 

The theory that religious prostitution developed, ils a, general rule, 
out of the belief tliat the generative activity of human tieingti poaeeBsed 
» myaterioua and sacred influence in promoting the fertility of Nature 
generally Beems to have Wen first set forth by Mannhardt in his Aniike 
Wald- und FeldkuUe (pp. ZS3 et geq.). It is supported by Dr. F. S. 
Krauss ("Beisehtafausilbimg aln Kulthandlung," Anthropophyleia, vol. 
iii, p. 20), who refers to the si^illcant fact that in Baruch's time, at a 
period long anterior to Herodotus, sacred prostitution took place under 
the trees. Dr. J. G. Frazer has more eBptreially developed this concep- 
tion of the origin of sacred prostitution in his Adonis, Atti$, Oriris. He 
thus summarizes his lengthy discussion: "We may conclude that a great 
Mother Goddess, the person i&cation of ail the reproductive energies of 
nature, was worshipped under different names, but with a substantial 
similari^ of myth and ritual by many peoples of western Asia; that 
associated with her was a lover, or rather series of lovers, divine yet 
mortal, with whom she mated year by year, their commerce being deemed 
essential to the propagation of animals and plants, each in their aeveral 
kind; and further, that the fabulous union of the divine pair was sim- 
ulated, and, as it were, multiplied on earth by the real, though tem- 
porary, union of the human sexes at the sanctuary of the goddess for 
the sake of thereby ensuring the fruitfulness of the ground and the 
increase of man and beast. In course of time, as the institution of 
individual marriage grew in favor, and the old communism fell more and 
more into discredit, the revival of the ancient practice, even for a single 
occasion in a woman's life, became ever more repugnant to the moral 
sense of the people, and aciyirdingly they resorted to various expedients 
for evading in practice the obligation which they still acknowledged in 

theory But while the majority of women thus contrived to 

observe the form of religion without sacrificing their virtue, it was still 
thought necessary to the general welfare that a certain number of them 
should discharge the old obligation in the old way. Thene became 
prostitutes, either for life or for a term of years, at one of the temples^ 
dedicated fo the service of religion, they were invested with a sacred 

lit should be added that Farnell ("The Position of Women in 
Ancient Religion." Archiv fur Religionsinssenschaft, 1004, p. SS) seeks 
to explain the religious prostitution of Babylonia as a special religious 
niodiflcatjon of the custom of destroying virginitv before marriage in 
order to safeguard the .husband from the mvslic dangers of defloration. 
E. S. Hartland. also ('Tonceming the Ritc'at the Temple of Mylitta," 
Anthropological EMaj/a Presented to H. B. Tyler, p. 1R9K suggests that 
this vras a puberty rite eonneeted with cp'remniinl d"flOTition. This 
theory is not, however, generally accepted by Semitic scholars. 



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232 PSTCHOLOGT of sex. 

oliaracter, and their vocation, far from being deemed infamoiu, 
probably long regarded bj the lait^ as an exercise of more than c 
virtue, and rewarded with a tribute of mixed wonder, reverence, and 
pity, not unlitce that which in Rome parts of the world is still paid to 
women who geek to honor their Creator in a dilTerent way by renouncing 
the natural functions of their sex and the tenderest relations of human- 
itj" (J. G. Frazer, adonis, Atlis, Osiris, 1B07, pp. 23 et »eq.). 

It is difficult to resist the conclusion that this theory represente 
the central and primitive idea which led to the deveIo})ment of sacred 
prostitution. It seems equally clear, however, that as time went on, and 
especially as temple cults developed and priestly influence increased, this 
fundamental and primitive idea tended to become modified, and even 
transformed. The primitive conception became specialized in the belief 
that religious benelit«, and especially the gift of fruitfulness, were 
gained by tfte toorshipper, who thus Bou^t the goddess's favor by an 
act of uncbastity wb^ch might be presumed U> be agreeable to an 
unchaste deity. The rit« of Mylitta, as described by Herodotus, was a 
late development of this kind in an ancient civilization, and the benefit 
sought was evidently for the worshipper herself. This has been pointed 
out by Dr. West«nnarck, who remarks that the words spoken to the 
woman by her partner as he gives her the coin — "May the goddess be 
auspicious to theel" — themselves )ndJcat« that the object of the act was 
to Insure her fertility, and he refers also to the fact that strangers fre- 
quently had a semi -supernatural character, and their benefits a specially 
efficacious character (Westermarck, Origin and Development of the Moral 
Idea*, vol. ii, p. 446). It may be added that the rite of Mylitta thus 
became analogous with another Mediterranean rite, in which the act 
of simulating intercourse with the reprcHentative of a god, or his image, 
ensured a woman's fertility. This is the rite practiced by the Egyptians 
of Mendes, in which a woman went through the ceremony of simulated 
intercourse with the sacred goat, regarded as the representative of a 
deity of Pan-like character (Herodotus, Bk. ii, Ch. XLVI; and see 
Dulaure, De» Divinitis Qiniratricea, Ch. II; cf. vol. v of these Studies, 
"Erotic Symbolism," Sect. IV). This rite was maintained by Roman 
women, in connection with the statues of Priapus, to a very much later 
date, and St. Augustine mentions how Roman matrons placed the young 
bride on the erect member of Priapus (De Civilale Dei, Bk. iii, Ch. IX). 
The Idea evidently running through this whole group of phenomena is 
that the deity, or the representative or even mere image of the deity, 
is able, through a real or simulated act of intercourse, to confer on the 
worshipper a portion of its own exalted generative activity. 

At a Iat«r period, in Corinth, prostitutes were still the 
priesteaBea of Venue, more or less loosely attached to her 



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PHOSTITDTION. 28* 

templeB, and bo long aa that was the case they enjoyed a con- 
siderable degree of esteem. At this stage, however, we realize 
that religious prostitution was deyeloping a utilitarian side. 
. These temples flourished chiefly in sea-coast towns, in islands, in 
large cities to which many strangers and sailors came. The 
priestesses of Cyprus burnt incense on her altars and invoked her 
sacred aid, but at the same time Pindar addresses them as "young 
girls who welcome all strangers and give them hospitality." 
Side by side with the religious significance of the act of genera- 
tion the needs of men far from home were already beginning to be 
definitely recognized. The Babylonian woman had gone to the 
temple of Mylitta to fulfil a personal religious duty; the Corin- 
thian priestess had begun to act as an avowed minister to the 
sexual needs of men in strange cities. 

The custom which Herodotus noted in Lydia of young girls 
prostituting themselves in order to acquire a marriage portion 
which they may dispose of as they think fit (Bk. 1, Ch, 93) may 
very well have developed (as Frazer also believes) out of religious 
prostitution ; we can indeed trace its evolution in Cyprus where 
eventnally, at the period when Justinian visited the island, the 
money given by strangers to the women was no longer placed on 
the altar but put into a chest to form marriage-portions for 
them. It is a custom to be found in Japan and various other 
parts of the world, notably among the Ouled-Nail of Algeria,* 
and is not necessarily always based on religious prostitution; 
but it obviously cannot exist except among peoples who see noth- 
ing very derogatory in free sexual intercourse for the purpose of 
obtaining money, so that the custom of Mylitta furnished a 
natural basis for it.^ 

1 The girls of this tribe, who are remnrkablj' pretty, after apending 
two or three years in thus amasaing a little dowry, return horns to marry, 
and are sail] to make model wives and mothers. They are described by 
Bertherand in Parent-DuchAtelet, ha Prostitulion A Paris, vol. ii, p. 539. 

2 In Abyasiniu (according to Fiaselii, British Stedical Journal, 
March 13, 1807 ) , where prostitution has always been held in high esteem, 
the prostitutes, who are now snbjpct to medical examination twice a, 
week, Btill attach no dlsurace to their profession, and easily find hus- 
bands afterwards. Potter (Sohrab and Rtutem, pp. 168 et aeq.) gives 
references as regards peoples, widely dispersed in the Old World and the 
New, among whom the young women have practiced prostitution to 
obtain a dowry. 



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234 PSYCUOLOOY OF SEX. 

As a more spiritual conceptioB of religioa developed, and 
as the growth of civilization tended to deprive sexual intercourse 
of its sacred halo, religions prostitution in Greece was slowly 
abolished, though on the coasts of Asia Minor both religiotis 
prostitution and prostitution for the purpose of obtaining a 
marriage portion persisted to the time of Constantine, who put an 
end to these ancient customs. ^ Superstition was on the Bide of 
the old religious prostitution; it was believed that women who 
had never sacrificed to Aphrodite became consumed by lust, and 
according to the legend recorded by Ovid — 8 legend which seems 
to point to A certain antagonism between sacred and secular proe- 
titution — this was the case with the women who first became 
public prostitutes. The decay of religious prostitution, doubtless 
combined with the cravings always bom of the growth of civiliza- 
tion, led up to the first establishment, attributed by legend to 
Solon, of a public brothel, a purely secular establishment for a 
purely secular end : the safeguarding of the virtue of the general 
population and the increase of the public revenue. With that 
institution the evolution of prostitution, and of the modem 
marriage system of which it forma part, was completed. The 
Athenian diklerioii is the modem brothel; the dikteriade is the 
modem state-regulated prostitute. The free hetaira, indeed, 
subsequently arose, educated women having no taint of the dik- 
terion, but they likewise had no official part in public worship.^ 
The primitive conception of the sanctity of sexual intercourse in 
the divine service had been utterly lost. 

A fairly l^ptcal example of Uie conditknu exiBting among savages 
is to be found in the South Sea IstaDd of Kotuma, where "proatitution 
for money or gifts was quite unknown." Adultery after marriage was 

1 At Tralles, la Lydia, even in the aecond century A. D., as Sir 
W, M, Ramsay notes {Cities of Phiygia, vol. i, pp. 84, IIB), sacred 
prostitution was still an honorable practice for women of good birth 
who "felt themselves called upon to live the divine life under the influ- 
ence of divine inspiration." 

2 The gradual secularization of prostitution from its earlier re- 
ligious fonn ban been traced by various writers (see, e.g., Dupouey, La 
Prostitution dann rAntiquitS). The earliest complimimtory reference to 
the Hetaira in literature is to be found, according to Benecke {inti- 
machui of Colophon, p. 3S), in Bacchylides. 



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PROSTITUTION. 235 

also unkflown. But there was great freedom in the [ormation of sexual 
relationtiliips before marriage {J. Stanley Gardiner, Journal Anlhro- 
poiogical Inalitute, February, 1898, p. 400). Much the same is said of 
tb» Bantu Ba mbola of Africa {op. cil., July-December, 1905, p. 410). 

Among tbe early Cymii of Wales, representing a more advanced 
HOcial stage, proHtitution appears to have been not absolutely unknown, 
but puMic prostitution was punished by loss of valuable privileges (R. 
B. Holt, "Marriage Laws and Customs of the Cymri," Journal Anthro- 
poloffical Inalitute, August -November, 18B8, pp. 161-163). 

Prostitution was practically unknown in Burmah, and regarded as 
shameful before the coming of the English and the example of t^e idcmI- 
ern Hindus. The missionaries have unintentionally, but inevitably, 
favored the growth of prostitution by condemning free unions {Arokive* 
d'Anthropotogie Criminelle, November, 1903, p. 720). The English 
brought prostitution to India. "That was not specially the fault of the 
English," said a Brahmin to Jules Bois, "it is the crime of your civiliza- 
tion. We have never had prostitutes. I mean by that horrible word 
the brutalized servants of the gross desire of tbe passerby. We had, 
and we have, castes of singtrs and dancers who are married to trees — 
yes, to trees — by touching ceremonies which date from Vedic times; our 
priests bless them and receive much money from tbem. They do not 
refuse themselves to those who love them and please them. ELiags have 
made them rich. They represent all the arts-, they are the visible 
beauty of the universe" (Jules Bols, Viaiona de Vlnde, p. 56). 

Religious prostitutes, it may be added, "the servants of the god," 
are connected with temples in Southern India and the Deccan. They 
are devoted to their sacred calling from their earliest years, and it is 
their chief business to dance before the image of the god. to whom they 
are married |thou|{h in Upper India professional dancing girls are mar- 
ried to inanimate objects), but they are also trained in arousing and 
assuaging the desires of devotees who comi.' on pilgrimage to the shrine. 
For the betrothal rites by which, in India, sncred prostitutes are con- 
secrated, see, e.g., A. Van Gennep, Ritt» de Pottage, p. 142. 

In many parts of Western Asia, where barbarism had reached a 
high stage of development, prostitution was not unknown, though usually 
disapproved. The Hebrews knew it, and the historical Biblical refer- 
ences to prostitutes imply little reprobation. Jephtha was the son of a 
prostitute, brought up with tbe legitimate children, and the story of 
Tamar is instructive. But the legal codes were eictremely severe on 
Jewish maidens who became prostitutes (the offense was quite tolerable 
in strange women), while Hebrew moralists exercised their invectives 
against prostitution; it is sufficient to refer to a well-known passage in 
the Book of Proverbs (see art. "Harlot." by Cheyne. (n the Encylopadia 
Bibliaa). Mahomed also severely condemned prostitution, though some- 



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236 PSTCHOLOGT OP SEX. 

what more tolerant to it in slave women; acoording to Halebf, however, 
prostitution was pTacticallf unknown in IbIbdi during the first centurie) 
after the Prophet's time. 

The Persian adherents of the someuhat ascetic Zendavesta also 
knew prostitution, and regarded it with repulsion; "It is the Gahi [the 
courtesan, as an incarnation of the female demon, Gahi], O Spitama 
Zarathustral who mixes in her the seed of the faithful and the unfaith- 
ful, of the worshipper of Mazda and the worshipper of the Dsvaa, of the 
nicked and the righteous. Her look dries up one-third of the mighty 
floods that run from the mountains, O Zarathustra; her look withers 
onS'third of the beautiful, golden-hued, growing plants, O Zarathustra; 
her look withers one-third of the strength of Spenta Armaiti [the earth] ; 
and her touch withers in the faithful one-third of his good thoughts, of 
his good words, of his good deeds, one-third of his strength, of his vic- 
torious power, of his holiness. Verily I say unto thee, O Spitama 
Zarathustra! such creatures ought to be killed even more than gliding 
finakes, than howling wolves, than the she-wolf tiiat falls upon the fold, 
or than the she-frog that falls upon the waters with her thousandfold 
brood" (Zend-Avesta, the Tctulidad, translated by James Dannesteter, 
FarfadXVrn)., 

In practice, however, prostitution is well established in the modern 
Gnat. Thus in the Tartar-Turcoman region houses of prostitution Tying 
outside Uie paths frequented by Christians have been described by a 
writer who appears to be well informed ( "Oriental isehe Prostitution," 
Oeschlecht und Oesellschafl, 1907, Bd. ii. Heft 1). These bouses are not 
regarded as immoral or forbidden, but as places in which the visitor will 
find a woman who gives him for a few hours the illusion of being In bis 
own home, with the pleasure of enjoying her songs, dances, and recita- 
tions, and finally her body. Payment is made at the door, and no subse- 
quent question of money arises; the visitor is henceforth among friends, 
almost as if in his own family. He treats the prostitute almost as if 
she were his wife, and no indecorum or coarseness of speech occurs. 
"There is no obscenity in the Oriental brothel." At the same time there 
is no artificlnl pretence of innocence. 

In Eastern Asia, among the peoples of Mongolian stock, especially 
in China, we find prostitution firmly established and organised on a 
practical business basis. Prostitution is here accepted and viewed with 
no serious disfavor, but the prostitute herself ia, nevertheless, treated 
with contempt. Young children are frequently sold to be trained to a 
life of prostitution, educated accordingly, and kept shut up from the 
world. Young widows (remarriage being disapproved) frMjuenlly alao 
slide into a life of prostitution. Chinese prostitutes often end through 
opium and the ravagps of syphilis (see, e.ij.. C<>Itman'a The Chinese, 1000. 
Ch. VII). In ancient China, it is said prosUtutes were a superior 



byGoogIc 



PllOSTlTUTIOK. 237 

ctasa and occupied a poBitioa M>me»h&t aimilar to that at the ketairie in 
Greece. Even in modem China, however, where they are very numeTouB, 
and the flower boats, in which in towns by the sea they usually live, 
very luxurious, it ia chiefly for entertainment, according to aome writers, 
that Oiey are resorted to. Tsehang Ki Tong, military attache in Paris 
{as quoted by PIom and Bartels), deHcrlbes the Rower boat as less 
analogoua to a European brothel than to a cafi chantani; the young 
Chinaman cornea here for music, for tea, for agreeable converaation with 
the flower-maidens, who are by no means necessarily called upon to min- 
ister to the lust of their nsitors. 

In Japan, the prostitute's lot is not ao degraded as in China. The 
greater refinement of Japanese civilization allows the prostitute to 
retain a higher degree of self-respecL Slie is sometimea regarded with 
pity, but less often with contempt. She may associate openly with men, 
ultimately be married, even to men of good social class, and rank as a 
respectable woman. "In riding from Toklo to Yokohama, the (fast win- 
ter," Coltman observes [op. dt., p. 113), "I saw a party of four young 
men and tliree quite pretty and gaily-painted prostitutes, in the same 
car, who were having a glorious time. They had two or three bottles of 
1-arious liquor)*, orangps, and fancy cakes, and they ate, drank and sang, 
besides playing jokes on each other and frolicking like so many kittens. 
You may travel the wliole length of the Chinese Empire and never wit- 
ness such a scene." Yet tHe history of Japanese prostitutes (which has 
been written in an interesting and well-informed book. The Nighlteta 
City, by an English student of sociology who remains anonymous) shows 
that prostitution in Japan has not only been severely regulated, but 
very widely looked down upon, and that Japanese prostitutes have often 
had to suffer greatly; they were at one time practically slaves and often 
treated with much hardship. They are free now. and any condition 
approaching slavery is strictly prohibited and guarded against. It would 
seem, however, that the palmiest days of Japanese prostitution lay some 
centuries back. Up to the middle of the eighteenth century Japanese 
prostitutes were highly accomplished in singing, dancing, music, etc. 
Towards this period, however, they seem to have declined in social con- 
sideration and to have ceased to he well educated. Yet even to-day, says 
Matignon ("La Prostitution au Japon" Archtvea d'Antkropologie Crintf- 
nelle, October, 1906), less infamy attaches to prostitution in Japan than 
in Europe, while at the same time there is less immorality in Japan 
than in Europe. Though prostitution is organized like the postal or 
telpgraph service, there is also much clandestine prostitution. The 
prostitution quarters are clean, beautiful and well-kept, but the Japanese 
prostitutes have lost much of their native good taste in costume by try- 
ing to imitate European fashions. Tt was when prostitution began to 
decline two centuries ago, that the geishas first appeared and ware 



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238 PSYCHOLOGY of sex. 

organized in such n nay that they should not, if possible, compete as 
prostitutes with the recognized and licensed inhabit&nte of the Yoshi- 
wura, as the quHiter i» culled to wjiich prostitutes are confined. The 
geishas, of course, are not prostitutes, though their virtue may not / 
always be impregnable, and in social position they correspond to 
actresses in Europe, 

In Korea, at all events before Korea fell into the bands of the 
Japanese, it would seem that there nas no distinction between the 
class of dancing girls and prostitutes. "Among the courtesans," Angns 
Hamilton Btnt«s, "the mental abilities are trained and developed with a 
view to making them brilliant and entertaining companions. These 
'leaves of sunlight' are called gisaing, and correspond to the geishas of 
Japan. Officially, thpy are attached to a department of government, and 
nre controlled by a bureau of their own, in common with the Court 
mueiciaiu. They are supported from the national treasury, and they are 
in evidence at official diimers and all palace entertainments. They read 
nnd recile; they dance and sing; they become accomplished artiste and 
miisicianH. They dress with exceptional taste; they move with exceed- 
ing grace; they arc delicate in appearance, very frail and very human, 
very tender, sympathetic, and imaginative." But thoiigh they are cer- 
tainly the prettipst women in Korea, move in the hi^est socie^, and 
might become concubines of the Emperor, they are not allowed to 
marry men of good class (Angus Hamilton, Korea, p. 62). 

The history of European proetitution, as of bo manj other 
modem institutions, may properly be said to begin in Borne. 
Here at the outset we already find that inconsistently mixed 
attitude towards prostitution which to-day is still preserved. In 
(Jreece it was in many respects different. Greece was nearer to 
the days of religious proetitution, and the sincerity and refine- 
ment of Greek civilization made it possible for the better kind of 
profititute to exert, and often bo worthy to e.xert, an influence in 
all departments of life which she has never been able to exercise 
nince, except perhaps occasionally, in a much slighter degree, in 
France. The course, vigorous, practical Roman was quite ready 
to tolerate the prostitute, but he was not prepared to carry that 
toleration to its logical results ; he never felt bound to harmonize 
inconsistent facts of life. Cicero, a moralist of no mean order, 
without eipressing approval of prostitution, yet could not under- 
stand how anyone should wish to prohibit youths from commerce 



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PR08TITDTI0N. 26V 

with prostituteB, Buch severity being out of barmoDy with all the 
customs of the past or the present.^ But the superior class of 
Eonian prostitutes, the bona mulieres, had no such dignified 
position as the Greek ketaira. Their influence was indeed 
immense, but it was confined, as it is in the case of their European 
BucccBBors to-day, to fashions, customa, and arts. There was 
always a certain moral rigidity in the Roman which prevented 
him from yielding far in this direction. He encouraged brothels, 
but he only entered them with covered head and face concealed 
in his cloak. In the same way, while he tolerated the prostitute, 
beyond a certain point he sharply curtailed her privileges. Not 
only was she deprived of all influence in the higher concerns of 
life, but she might not even wear the vitta or the stola; she could 
indeed go almost naked if she pleased, but she must not ape the 
emblems of the respectable Soman matron.^ 

The rise of Christianity to political power produced on the 
whole less change of policy than might have been anticipated. 
The Christian rulers had to deal practically as best they might 
with a very mixed, turbulent, and semi-pagan world. The lead- 
ing fathers of the Church were inclined to tolerate prostitution 
for the avoidance of greater evils, and Christian emperors, like 
tlieir pagan predecessors, were willing to derive a tax from pros- 
titution. The right of prostitution to exist was, however, no 
longer so unquestionably recognized as in pagan days, and from 
time to time some vigorous ruler sought to repress prostitution 
by severe enactments. The younger Theodosius and Valentinian 
definitely ordained that there should be no more brothels and that 
anyone giving shelter to a prostitute should be punished. 
Justinian confirmed that measure and ordered that all panders 
were to be exiled on pain of death. These enactments were quite 
vain. But during a thousand years they were repeated again and 
again in various parts of Europe, and invariably with the same 
fruitless or worse than fruitless results. Theodoric, king of the 

1 Cicero, Oratio pr6 Coelio, Cap. XX. 

SKerre Dufour, Biatoire de la Progtitution, vol. ii, Chs, XIX-XX. 
The real author of this well-known hiatoiy of prostitution, which, though 
not scholarly in its methods, brings together a great mass of interesting 
information, is said to l>e Paul I^croix. 



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240 PSYCUOLOOT OF BEX. 

Viaigoths, punished with death those who promoted prostitution, 
and Itecared, a Catholic king of the same people in the sixth 
century, prohibited prostitution altogether and ordered that a 
prostitute, when found, sliould receive tliree hundred strokes of 
the whip and be driven out of the city. Charlemagne, as well 
.ae Genserich in Carthage, and later Frederick Btirbarossa in 
Germany, made severe laws against prostitution which were all 
of no effect, for even if they seemed to be effective for the time 
the reaction was all the greater afterwards.* 

It is in France that the most persistent efforts have been 
made to combat prostitution. Moet notable of all were the 
efforts of the King and Saint, Louis IX, In 1254 St. Louis 
ordained that prostitutes should be driven out altogether and 
deprived of all their money and goods, even to their mantles and 
gowns. In 1356 he repeated this ordinance and in 1269, before 
setting out for the Crusades, he ordered the destruction of all 
places of prostitution. The repetition of those decrees shows how 
ineffectual they were. They even made matters worse, for pros- 
titutes were forced to mingle with the general population and 
their influence wae thus extended. St. Louis was unable to put 
down prostitution even in his own camp in the East, and it 
existed outside his own tent. His legislation, however, was 
frequently imitated by subsequent rulers of France, even to the 
middle of the seventeenth century, always with the same ineffect- 
ual and worse results. In 15C0 an edict of Charles IX abolished 
brothels, but the number of prostitutes was thereby increased 
rather than diminished, while many new kinds of brothels 
appeared in imsuspected shapes and were more dangerous than 
the more recognized brothels which had been euppressed.^ In 
spite of all such legislation, or because of it, there has been no 
country in which prostitution has played a more conspicuous 
part.^ 

1 RabutauT, is his Ilisfoire dc la Proslitution en Europe, describes 
many attempts to suppresB proBtitutioni c/. Dufour, op. cit., vol. iii. 

sDufouT, op. <h(., vol. vi, Ch, XLI. It was in the reign of tha 
homOBCKual Henry Itl that the foTeranec of brothels was established. 

Sin the eighteenth oentury, especially, houses of prostitution in 
Paris attained to an astonishing degree of elaboration and prosper!^. 



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PBOBTITCTION. 241 

At Mantua, bo great was the repulsion aroused by prostitutea 
that they were compelled to buy in the markets any fruit or 
bread that had been soiled by the mere touch of their hands. It 
was so also iu-Avignon in 1343. In Catalonia they could not 
eit at the same table as a lady or a knight or kiss any honorable 
person.^ Even in Venice, the paradise of prostitution, numerous 
and severe regulations were passed against it, and it was long 
before the Venetian rulers resigned themselves to its toleration 
and regulation.^ 

The last vigorous attempt to uproot prostitution in Europe 
was that of Haria Theresa at Vienna in the middle of the 
eighteenth century. Although of such recent date it may be 
mentioned here because it was mediseval alike in its conception 
and methods. Its object indeed, was to suppress not only prosti- 
tution, but fornication generally, and the means adopted were 
fines, imprisonment, whipping and torture. The supposed causes 
of fornication were also dealt with severely ; short dresses were 
prohibited ; billiard rooms and caf^ were inspected ; no wait- 
resses were allowed, and when discovered, a waitress was liable 
to be handcuffed and carried off by the police. The Chastity 
Conuniseion, under which these measures were rigorously carried 
out, was, apparently, established in 1751 and was quietly 
abolished by the Emperor Joseph II, in the early years of his 
reign. It was Uie general opinion that this severe legislation 
was really ineffective, and that it caused much more serious evils 
than it cured.8 It is certain in any case that, for a long time 

Owing to the conatant watchful attention of the police a vast amount of 
detailed inforniation concerning the«e establishnients was accumulated, 
and during recent years much of it has been published. A summair of 
this literature will be found in Dilbren's ?leue Forvhungen iiftw den Mar- 
ijuit de Bade vnd seine Zeit, 1904, pp. 07 el teq. 

t Rabutaux. op. ctt, p. S4. 

2 Calza has vritten the historr of V'netian prostitution ; and some 
of the documenta he found have been reproduced by Mantegazza, Oli 
Amori degli TJomimi. cap. XIV. At the beginning of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, a comparatively late period. Coryat viBited Venice, and in his 
Crudities gives a full and interesting account of its courtesans, who then 
numbered, he says, at least 20,000: the revenue they brought into tba 
State maintained a dozen jBilleyn. 

a J. Scbrank, Die Prostitution in Wien, Bd, I, pp. 152-206. 



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242 PBTCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

past, illegitimac; has been more prevalent in Vienna than in any 
other great European capital. 

Yet the attitude towards prostitutes was always mised and 
inconsiatent at different places or different times, or ei^n at the 
same time and place. Dufour has aptly compared their position 
to that of the mediaeval JewB ; they were continually persecuted, 
ecclesiastically, civilly, and socially, yet all classes were glad to 
have recourse to them and it was impossible to do without them. 
In some countries, including England in the fourteenth century, 
a special costume was imposed on prostitutes as a mark of 
infamy.* Yet in many respects no infamy whatever attached 
to prostitution. High placed officials could claim payment of 
their expenses incurred in visiting prostitutes when traveling on 
public business. Prostitution sometimes played an official part 
in festivities and receptions accorded by great cities to royal 
guests, and the brothel might form an important part of the 
city's hospitality. When the Emperor Sigismund came to TTlm 
in 1434 the streets were illuminated at such times as be or his 
suite desired to visit the common brothel. Brothels under 
municipal protection are found in the thirteenth century in 
Augsburg, in Vienna, in Hamburg.^ In France tJie best known 
abbayts of prostitutes were those of Toulouse and Montpellier.' 
Durkheim is of opinion that in the early middle ages, before this 
period, free love and marriage were le?s severely differentiated. 
It was the rise of the middle class, be considers, anxious to pro- 
tect their wives and daughters, which led to a regulated and 
publicly recognized attempt to direct debauchery into a separate 
channel, brought under control,* These brothels constituted a 
kind of public service, the directors of them being regarded almost 
as public officials, bound to keep a certain number of prostitutes, 
to charge according to a fixed tariff, and not to receive into their 
houses girls belonging to the neighborhood. The institutions of 

1 U. Robert, tea Signea d'Infamie ou Moyen Age, Cli. IV. 

SRudeck (Qegckichle der ajfenllichen ftiUliohireit in Deutaohkmd, 
pp. 28-38) gives many details conceding the importapt part played by 
proRtitut^B and brothela in mediseval German life. 

3 They are described by Rabutaux, op. rit.. pp. 90 et aeg. 

il/Annie SocMogique, seventh year, 1B04, p. 440. 



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PROSTITUTION. 248 

this kind lasted for three centuries. It was, in part, perhaps, the 
impetus of the new I'roteatant movement, but mainly the terrible 
devastation produced by the introduction of syphilis from 
America at the end of the fifteenth century which, as Burckhardt 
and others have pointed out, led to the decline of the mediseval 
brothels.* 

The superior modem prostitute, the "courtesan" who had no 
connection with the brothel, seems to have been the outcome of 
the Renaissance and made her appearance in Italy at the end of 
the fifteenth century. "Courtesan" or "cortegiana" meant a 
lady following the court, and the term began at this time to be 
applied to a superior prostitute observing a certain degree of 
decorum and restraint.^ In the papal court of Alexander Borgia 
the courtesan flourished even when her conduct was not alto- 
gether dignified. Burchard, the faithful and unimpeachable 
chronicler of this court, describes in his diary how, one evening, 
in October, 1501, the Pope sent for fifty courtesans to be brought 
to bis chamber; after supper, in the presence of Casar Borgia 
and hia young sister Lucrezia, they danced with the servitors and 
others who were preeent, at first clothed, afterwards naked. The 
candlesticks with lighted candies were then placed upon the floor 
and chestnuts thrown among them, to be gathered by the women 
crawling between the candlesticks on their hands and feet 
Finally a number of prizes were brought forth to be awarded to 
those men "qui pluries dictos meretrices camaliter agnoscerent," 
the victor in the contest being decided according to the judgment 
of the spectators.^ This scene, enacted publicly in the Apostolic 

1 Bloch, Der Ursprung der Byphilia. As regards the Genuftn 
"FraucnhauHon" see Mux Bauer, Daa OcschiechtBlebcn in der Deutachen 
Vergangertheit, pp. 133.214. In Paris, Dufour etat^a {op, cit., vol. v, 
Ch. XXXIV). brotliels under the ordinancea of St. Louts liad manj rights 
which they lost at last in 1560. when they became merely tolerated 
houses, without statutes, special rostumes, or eonftnement to special 
streets. 

2 "Cortegiana, hoc est nieretrix honeata," wrote Burchard, the 
Pope's Secretarj", at the beginning of the sixteenth century, Diarium, ed. 
Thuaane, vol. li, p. 442; other outhorities are quoted by Thuasne in a 

3 Burchard, Diarium, vol. iii, p. 167. Thuasne quotes other au- 
thorities in confirmation. 



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244 PSYCHOLOGY OF BES. 

palace and serenely set forth by the impartial eecrctary, is at once 
a notable epieode in the history of modem prostitution and one of 
the most illuniinatii^ illuBtrations we poseeBs of the paganiem of 
the Renaissance. 

Before the term "cotirteean" came into repute, prostitutes were 
even in Italy commonly called "sinners," ptccalriee. The change, Graf 
remarkB in a very intercBttng study of the RenaissaDce prostitute t"Una 
COrtigiana fra Mille," Attraveno it Ctnqutoento, pp. 217-351 ) , "rereali a 
profouDd alteration in ideas and in life;" a term that suggested infamy 
gave place to one that suggested approval, and even honor, for the courts 
of the Renaissance period represented the finest culture of the time. 
The best of these courtesans seem to have been not altogether unworthy 
of the honor they received. We can detect this in their letters. There 
is a chapter on the letters of Renaissance prostitutes, especially those 
of Camilla da Pisa which are marked by genuine passion, in Lothar 
Schmidt's Frauenbrieft der Renaitaance. The famous Imperia, called 
by a Pope in the early years of the sixteenth century "nobiliaslmum 
I{om« Bcortum," knew Latin and could write Italian verse. Other 
courtesans knew Italian and Latin poetry by heart, while they were 
accomplished in music, dancing, and speech. We are reminded of ancient 
Greece, and Graf, discussing how far the Renaissance courtesans resem- 
bled the hetaine, finds a very considerable likeness, especially in culture 
and influence, though with some differences due to the antagonism 
between religion and prostitution at the later period. 

The most distinguished figure in every resppct among the courtesans 
of that time was certainly IHillia D'Aragnna. She was probably the 
daughter of Cardinal D'Aragona (an illegitimate scion of the Spanish 
royal family) by a Ferrarese courtesan who became his mistress. Tutlia 
has gained a high reputation by her verse. Her best sonnet is addressed 
to a youth of twenty, whom she passionately loved, but who did not 
return her love. Her Ouerrino Hcnrhino, a translation from the Span- 
ish, is a very pure and chaste work. She was a woman of refined 
instincts and aspirations, and oni?e at least she abnndnned her life of 
prostitution. She was held in high esteem and respect. When, in 1546, 
Cosimo, Duke of Florence, ordered all prostitutes to wear a yellow veil 
or handkerchief as a public badge of their profession, Tullia appealed 
to the Duchess, a Spanish lady of high character, and received permission 
to dispense with this badge on account of her "rara scienzia d! poesia 
et fliosofia." She dedicated her Rime to (he Duchess. Tullia D'Aragona 
was very beautiful, with yellow hair, and remarkably large and bright 
eyes, which dominated those who came near her. She was of proud 
bearing and inspired unusual respect (G. Biagi, 'Tn' Etera Romana." 



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PBOSTITUTIOX. 245 

I/uovo Antologia, toL iv, 19S6, pp. fl5s-711; S. Bongi, Riciita oritica 
delta Letteratara Italiana, 1BS6, IV, p. 188). 

Tullia lyArBgDiia was clearly not a courtesan at heart. PerhapB 
the most typical example of the Renaissance courtesan at her best is 
furnished by Veronica Franco, born in 1546 at Venice, of middle class 
family and in aarly life married to a doctor. Of her also it lias been 
said tliat, while by profession a prostitute, she was by inclination a, poet. 
But she appears to have been well content with her profession, and 
never ashamed of it. Her life and character have been studied by 
Artnro Graf, and more slightly in a. little book by Taasini. She was 
highly cultured, and knew several languages; she also sang well and 
played on many instruments. In one of her letters she advises a youth 
who was madly in love with her ttiat if he wishes to obtain her favors 
he must leave off importuning her and devote himself tranquilly to 
study. "You know well," she adds, "that all those who claim to be able 
to gain my love, end who are extremely dear to me, are strenuous in 

studious discipline If my fortune allowed it I would spend 

all my time quietly in the academies of virtuous men." The Diotlmas 
and Aspasias of antiquity, as Graf comments, would not have demande 1 
so much of their lovers. In her poems it is possible to trace some of 
her love histories, and she often shows herself torn by jealousy at the 
thought that perhaps another woman may approach her brloved. Once 
she fell in love with an ecclesiastic, possibly a bishop, with whom shs 
had no relationships, ard after a long ubxence. which healed her love, 
she and he became sincere friends. Once she was visited by Henry III 
of France, who took away her portrait, while on her part she promise:! 
to dedicate a book to him; she so far fulfilled this as to address some 
■onnets to him and a letter; "neither did the King feel ashamed of hi.i 
intimacy with the courtesan," remarks Graf, "nor did she suspect that 
he would feel ashamed of it" When Montaigne passed through Venice 
she sent him a little book of hers, as we learn from his Jmirnal, though 
they do not appear to have met. Tintoret was one of her many distin- 
guished friends, and she was a strenuous advocate of the high qualities 
of modern, as compared with ancient, art. Her friendships were affec- 
tionate, and she even seems to have had various grand ladies among her 
friends. Shs was, however, so far from being ashamed of her profession 
of courtesan that in one of her poems she affirms she has been taught 
by Apollo other arts besides those he is usually regarded as teaching: 

"Cosl dolce e gustevole divento, 
Quando mi trovo con persona in letto 
Da cui amata e gradita mi sento." 

In a certain eatalogo of the prices of Venetian courtesans Veronica 
is assigned only 2 scudi for her favors, while the courtesan to whom the 



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246 F8YCU0L00Y OF SEX. 

catalogue is dedicated is set down at 25 scudi. Graf thinks there may 
be some mistake or malice here, and an Italian gentlemaD of the time 
states that she required not leas than 50 acudt from those to whom she 
was willing to accord what Montaigne called the "negotiation entiCre." 

In regard to this matter it may be mentioned that, as stated by 
Bandello, it was the custom for a Venetian prostitute to have six or 
seven gentlemen at a time as her lovers. Each was entitled to come to 
sup and sleep with her on one night of the week, leaving her days free. 
They paid her so much per month, but she always definitely reserved the 
right to receive a stranger passing through Venice, il she wished, chang- 
ing the time of her appointment with her lover for the night. The high 
and special prices which we find recorded are, of course, those demanded 
from the casual distinguished stranger who came to Venice as, once in 
the sixteenth century, Montaigne came. 

In 1S60 twhen not more than thirty-lour) Veronica confessed to 
the Holy Office that she had had six children. In the same year she 
formed the design of founding a home,Vhich should not be a monastery, 
where prostitutes who wished to abandon their mode of life could find a 
refuge with their children, if they had any. This seems to have led to the 
entablishment of a Casa del Soccorao, In 1S91 she died of fever, recon- 
ciled with God and blessed by many unfortunates. She had a good heart 
and a sound intellect, and was the last of the great Renaissance court«- 
sana who revived Greek hetairism (Graf, Atfraverao il Cinqvccento, pp. 
S17-351). Even in sixteenth century Venice, however, it will be seen, 
Veronica Franco seems to have been not altogether at peace in the career 
of a courtesan. She was clearly not adapted for ordinary marriage, yet 
under the most favorable conditions that the modem world has ever 
offered it may still be doubted whether a prostitute's career can offer 
complete satisfaction to a woman of large heart and brain. 

Ninon do Lenclos, who is frequently called "the last of the great 
courtesans," may seem an exception to tlie general rule as to the inabil- 
ity of a woman of good heart, high character, and flne intelligence to 
find satisfaction in a prostitute's life. But it is a total misconception 
alike of Ninon de Lenclos's temperament and her career to regard her 
as in any true sense a prostitute at all. A knowledge of even the barest 
outlines of her life ought to prevent such a mistake. Born early in the 
seventeenth century, she was of good family on both sides; her mother 
was a woman of severe life, but her father, a gentleman of Touraine, 
inspired her with his own Epicurean philosophy as well as his love of 
music. She was extremely well educated. At the age of sixteen or 
seventeen she had her first lover, the noble and valiant Qaspard dc 
Coligny; he was followed for half a century by a long succession of 
other lovers, eometimes more than one at a time; three years was the 
longest period during which she was faithful to one lover, Eer attrac- 



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PROSTITUTION. 247 

tions lasted so long that, it ia aaid, three generatioua of S^vign^B were 
among her Ibvers. Tallemant des Rfiaux enables ui) to study in detail 
her liaUoiu. 

It is not, however, the abuadsnce of lovers which makes a woman 
a prostitute, but the nature of her relationships with them. Sainte' 
Beuve, in an otherwise admirable study of Ninon de Lenclos [Caus^iea 
da Lundi, vol. iv), seems to reckon her among the courtesans. But no 
woman is a prostitute unless she uses men as a source of pecuniary 
gain. Not only ia there no evidence that this was the case with Ninon, 
but all the evidence excludes such a relationship. "It required much 
skill," said Voltaire, "and a great deal of love on her part, to induce 
her to accept presents." Tallemant, indeed, says that she sometimes 
took money from her lovers, but this atatement probably Involves noth- 
ing beyond what is contained in Voltaire's remark, and, in any case, 
Tallemant's gossip, though usually well-informed, was not always re- 
liable. All are agreed as to her extreme disinterestednesa. 

When we hear precisely of Ninon de Lenclos in connection with 
money, it is not as receiving a gift, but only aa repaying a debt to an 
old lover, or restoring a large sum left with her for aafe keeping when 
the owner was exiled. Such incidents are far from suggesting the pro- 
fessional pfostitute of any age; they are rather the relationships which 
might exist between men friends. Ninon de Lencios's character was in 
many respects far from perfect, but she combined many masculine vir- 
tues, and especially probity, with a temperament which, on the whole, 
was certainly feminine; she hated hypocrisy, and ehe was never influ- 
enced by pecuniary considerations. She waa, moreover, never reckless, 
but always retained a certain self-restraint and temperance, even in eat- 
ing and drinking, and, we are told, she never drank wine. She was, aa 
Sainte-Beuve has remarked, the firat to realize that there must \m the 
same virtues for men and for women, and that it ia absurd to reduce all 
feminine virtues to one. "Our sez has been burdened with all the 
frivolities," she wrote, "and men have reaerved to themselves the essen- 
tial qualities : I hav? made myself a man." She sometimes dressed aa a 
man when riding (see, e.g.. Correspondence Autkenlique of Ntnon de 
Lenclos, with a good introduction by Emile Colombey). Consciously or 
not, she represented a new feminine idea at a period when — as we may 
see in many forgotten novels written by the women of that time — ideas 
were beginning to emerge in the feminine sphere. She was the first, and 
doubtless, from one point of view, the most extreme representative of a 
small and distinguished group of French women among whom Georges 
Sand is the finest personality. 

Thus it is idle to attempt to adorn the history of prostitution with 
the name of Ninon de Lenclos. A debauched old prostitute would never, 
like Ninon towards the end of her long life, have been able to retain or 



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P8TCH0LOOT OP SKI, 



there reigned in her little court a deconun which the greatest princeaaes 
cniuot achieve. She was not a prostitute, but a woman of unique per- 
Bonality with a little streak of geniua in it. That ahe was inimitable 
we need not perhaps greatly regret. In lier old age, in 1600, her old 
friend and former lover, Saint-Evremond, wrote to her. with onlj a little 
exaggeration, that there were few princesses and tew saints who would 
not leave their courts and their cloisters to change places with her. "If 
I had known beforehand what tny life would be I would have hanged 
myself," was her oft-quoted answer. It is, indeed, a solitary phrase that 
slips in, perhaps as the expression of a momentary mood ; one may make 
too much of it. More truly characteristic is the Qne saying in which 
her Epicurean philosophy seems to stretch out towards Nietzsche: "La 
joie de I'esprit en marque la force." 

The frank acceptance of prostitution by the spiritual or even 
the temporal power has since the Renaissance become more and 
more exceptional. The opposite extreme of attempting to uproot 
prostitution has also in practice been altogether abandoned. 
Sporadic attempts have indeed been made, here and there, to put 
down prostitution with a strong hand even in quite modem times. 
It is now, however, realized that in such a case the remedy is ■ 
worse than the disease. 

In I860 a Mayor of Portsmouth felt it bis duty to attempt to sup- 
press prostitution. "In the early part of his mayoralty," according to 
ft witness before the Select Committee on the Contagious Diseases Acta 
<p. 393), "there was an order passed that every beerhouse-keeper and 
licensed victualer in the borough known to harbor these women would 
be dealt with, and probably lose his license. On a' given day about three 
hundred or four hundred of these forlorn outcasts were bundled whole- 
sale into the streets, and they formed up in a large body, many of them 
with only a shift and a petticoat on, and with a lot of drunken men and 
boys with a flfe and fiddle they parnded the streets for several days. 
They marched in a body to the workhouse, but for many reasonH they 

were refused admittance These women wandered about for 

two or three days shelterless, and it was felt that the remedy was very 
much worse than the disease, and the women were allowed to go back to 
their former places." 

Similar experiments have been made even more recently in America. 
"In Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1891, the houses of prostitutes were 



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PROSTITUTION. 249 

closed, tha inmates turned out upon the streets, and were refused lodg- 
ing and even food hj the citizens of that place. A nave of populai 
remonstrance, all over the country, at the outrage on humanity, creatett 
a reaction which resulted in a last condition by no means better than 
the first." In tlie same year also a similar incident occurred in New 
Yorlc with the same unfortunate results (Isidore Dyer, 'The Municipal 
Control of Prostitution in the United States," report presented to the 
Brussels International Conference in 1809). 

There grew up instead the tendency to regulate prostitution, 
to give it a eemi-official toleration which enabled the authorities 
to exercise a control over it, and to guard as far ae possible 
against ite evil by medical and police inspection. The new 
brothel pystem differed from the ancient mediieval houses of 
prostitution in important respects; it involved a routine of 
medical inspection and it endeavored to suppress any rivalry by 
unlicensed prostitutes outside. Bernard Mandeville, the author 
of the Fable of the Bees, and an acute thinker, was a pioneer in 
the advocacy of this system. In 1724, in his Modest Defense of 
Publick Stews, he argues that "the encouraging of public whoring 
will not only prevent most of the mischievous effects of this vice, 
but even lessen the quantity of whoring in general, and reduce it 
to the narrowest bounds which it can possibly be contained in." 
He proposed to discourage private prostitution by giving special 
privileges and immunities to brothels by Act of Parliament. His 
scheme involved the erection of one hundred brothels in a special 
quarter of the city, to contain two thousand prostitutes and one 
hundred matrons of ability and experience with physicians and 
surgeons, as well as commiBSioners to oversee the whole. Mande- 
ville was regarded merely as a cynic or worse, and his scheme was 
ignored or treated with contempt. It was left to the genius of 
Napoleon, eighty years later, to establish the system of "maisons 
de tolerance," which had so great an influence over modem 
European practice during a large part of the last century and 
even still in its numerous survivals forms the subject of widely 
divergent opinions. 

On the whole, however, it must be said that the system of 
registering, examining, and regularizing prostitutes now belongs 



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250 PSYCHOLOaY OF SEX. 

to the past. Itlany great battles have been fought over this 
question ; tlie most important is tliat which raged for manj years 
in England over tlie Contagious Diseases Acts, and ia embodied in 
the 600 pages of a Report by a Select Committee on these Acts 
issued in 1883. The majority of the members of the Committee 
reported favorably to the Acts which were, notwithstanding, 
repealed in 1886, since which date no serious attempt has been 
made in England to establish them again. 

At the present time, although the old s}'stem still stands in 
many countries with the inert stolidity of established institutions, 
it no longer commands general approval. As Paul and Victor 
Margueritte have truly stated, in the course of an acute examina- 
tion of the phenomena of state- regulated prostitution as found 
in Paris, the system is "barbarous to start with and almost 
inefficacious as well." The expert is every day more clearly 
demonstrating its inelTicacy while the psychologist and the 
sociologist are constantly becoming more convinced that it is. 
barbarous. 

It can indeed by no means be said that any unanimity has 
been attained. It is obviously so urgently necessary to combat 
the flood of disease and misery which proceeds directly from the 
spread of syphilis and gonorrhea, and indirectly from the pros- 
titution which is the chief propagator of these diseases, that we 
cannot be surprised that many should eagerly catch at any system 
which seems to promise a palliation of the evils. At the present 
time, however, it is those best acquainted with the operation of 
the system of control who have most clearly realized that the 
supposed palliation is for the most part illusory,^ and in any 
case attained at the cost of the artificial production of other evils. 
In France, where the system of the registration and control of 



1 The example of Holland, where Bome large cities have adopted the 
reflation of proatitution and othera have not, ia instructive as regards 
the illusory nature of the advantages of regulation. In \%S3 Dr. DeBprte 
brought forward figures, supplied by Dutch officials, ihowing that in 
Botterdani, where prostitution was regulated, both prostitution and 
venereal dieeasea were more prevalent than in Amsterdam, a city with- 
out Tegulation (A. Deapr^a, Im ProtHtution en France, p. 122). 



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PROSTITUTION. 251 

proBtitutes has been establialied for over a century,^ and where 
4.-onBeqaeiitly its advantages, if such there are, should be clearly 
realized, it nieete with almost impassioned opposition from able 
men belonging to every section of the community. In Germany 
the opposition to regularized control has long been led by well- 
equipped experts, headed by Blaschko of Berlin. Precisely the 
same conclnBious are being reached in America. Gottheil, of 
New York, finds that the municipal control of prostitution is 
"neither successful nor desirable." Heidingsfeld concludes that 
the r^ulation and control system in force in Cincinnati has done 
little good and much harm ; under the system among the private 
pati^its in his own clinic the proportion of cases of both syphilis 
and gonorrhcea has increased; "suppression of prostitutes is 
impossible and control is impracticable."^ 

It is in Germanj' that the attempt to regulate proetitution still 
remains most periistent, with results that in Germany itself are regarded 
as unfortunate. Thus the Gennan law inflicts a penalty on householders 
who permit illegitimate sexual intercourse in their houses. This is 
meant to strike the unlicensed prostitute, but it really encourages pros- 
titution, for a decent youth and girl who decide to form a relationship 
which later may develop into marriage, and which is not illegal (for 
extra-marital sexual intercourse per »e is not in Germany, as it is by the 
antiquated laws of several American States, a punishable offense), are 
subjected to so much trouble and annoyance by the suspicious police that 
it is much easier for the girl to become a prostitute and put herself under 
the protection of the police. The law was largely directed against thoss 
who live on the proBta of prostitution. But in practice it works out dif- 
ferently. The prostitute simply has to pay extravagantly high rents, so 
that her landlord really lives on the fruits of her trade, while she has 
to carry on her business with increased activity and on a larger scale 
in order to cover her heavy expenses (P. Hausmeister, "Zur Analyse der 
Prostitution," GeeoMecM und OeaelUeluift, vol. ii, 1607, p. 294). 

In Italy, opinion on this matter is much divided. The regulation 
of prostitution has been successively adopted, abandoned, and rcAdopted. 
In Switzerland, the land of governmental experiments, various plans are 

1 It was in 1S02 that the medical inspection of prostitutes in Paris 
brothels was Introduced, though not until 1825 fully established and 
made general. 

2M, L. Heidingsfeld. "The Control of Prostitution," Journal Ameri- 
Mtn Mediottl Aaaooiation, January 30, 1904. 



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252 PSYCHOLOGY of bes. 

tried in different oantont. In some there ia no attempt to interfere 
with prostitution, except under special circumstaneea ; In others all 
prostitution, and even fornication generally, is punishable; iu Geneva 
only native prostitutes are permitted to practice; in Zurich, since 1897, 
prostitution is prohibited, but care is taken to put no difficulties in the 
path of free sexu&l relationshipH vhich are not for gain. With these 
difTerent regulations, morals in Switzerland generally are said to be 
much on the same level as elsewhere | Moreau-Christaphe, Du ProhlitM 
de la Mitire, vol. iii, p. 259). The same conclusion holds good of Lon- 
don, A disintereeted observer, FClix Remo (Lo Vie Qalante en Angle- 
lerre, ISSS, p. 237), concluded that, notwithstanding its free trade iu 
prostitution, its alcoholic excesses, its vices of all kinds, "London is one 
of the most moral capitals in Europe." The movement towards freedom 
in this matter has been evidenced in recent years by the abandonment of 
the system of r^;ulation by Denmark in 1906, 

Even the most ardent advocates of the registration of pros- 
titutes recognize that not only is the tendency of civilization 
opposed ratlier than favorable to the syetem, but tliat in the 
numerous countries where the system persists registered prosti- 
tutes are losing ground in the struggle against clandestine 
prostitutes. Even in France, the classic land of police-con- 
trolled prostitutes, the "inaisons de tolerance" have long been 
steadily decreasing in number, by no means because prostitution 
ia decreasing but because low-class brasseries and small cafh- 
chantants, which are really unlicensed brothels, are taking their 
place,* 

The wholesale regularization of prostitution in civilized 
centres is nowadays, indeed, advocated by few, if any, of the 
authorities who belong to the newer school. It is at most claimed 
as desirable in certain places nnder special circumstances.^ 
Even those who would still be glad to see prostitution thoroughly 

1 See, e.g., G. B6mult, La Maiaon de ToUnince, These de Paris, 
1904, 

3 Thus the circumstances of the English army in India are of a 
special character. A number of statements (from the reports of com- 
mittees, official publications, etc.) regarding the good induence of 
regulation in reducing venereal diseases in India are brought together 
by Surgeon-Colonel P, H. Welch, "The Prevention of Syphilis," Lancel, 
August 12, 1990. The system has been sboIiRhed, but only as the result 
of a popular outcry and not on the question of its merits. 



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FBUaTlTUTIOH. 253 

in the control of the police now recognize that experience shows 
this to be impossible. Aa many girls begin their career as proB- 
titutes at a very early age, a sound Bystem of regulation should be 
prepared to enroll as permanent prostitutes even girls who are 
little more than children. That, however, is a logical conclusion 
against which the moral sense, and even the common sense, of a 
community instinctively revolts. In Paris girls may not be 
inscribed as prostitutes imtil they have reached the age of sixteen 
and some consider even that age too low.' Moreover, whenever 
she becomes diseased, or grows tired of her position, the registered 
woman may always slip out of the hands of the police and estab- 
lish herself elswhere as a clandestine prostitute. Every rigid 
attempt to keep prostitution within the police ring leads to 
offensive interference with the actions and the freedom of respect- 
able women which cannot fail to be intolerable in any free com- 
munity. Even in a city like London, where prostitution is 
relatively free, the supervision of the police has led to scandalous 
police charges against women who have done nothing whatever 
which should legitimately arouse suspicion of their behavior. 
The escape of the infected woman from the police cordon has, it is 
obvious, an effect in raising the apparent level of health of, 
registered women, and the police statistics are still further 
fallaciously improved by the fact that the inmates of brothels are 
older on the average than clandestine prostitutes and have become 
immune to disease.^ These facts are now becoming fairly 
obvious and well recognized. The state regulation of prostitu- 



1 Thus Richard, who accepts regulation and was instructed to 
report on it tor the Paris Municipal Council, would not have girls 
inscribed as profeBBionsI prostitutes until they are of age and able to 
realize what they are binding themselves to (E. Richard, La Proalitu- 
lien d Pari*, p, 147). But at that age a large proportion of proatitutes 
have been practicing their profession tor years. 

! In Germany, where the cure ot infected prostitutes under regula- 
tion is nearly evcrTwhere compulmry. usually at the cost of the com- 
munity, it is found that 18 U the avernge nge at which they are affected 
by syphilis; the average age of prostitutes in brothels is higher than 
that of those outside, and a much Inrgf r proportion hnve therefore become 
immune to disease (Blaschko. "Hveriene der Syphilis." in Weyl's Hand- 
bwh der Hygiene, Bd. ii, p. 62. 1900). 



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264 rsTCHOLOOT of sex. 

tion is undeBirabk, on moral grounds for the oft-emphaBized 
reason that it is only applied to one Bex, and on practical grounds 
because it is ineffective. Society allows the police to harass the 
prostitute with petty persecutions under the guise of charges of 
"aolicitation," "disorderly conduct," etc., but it is no longer con- 
vinced that she ought to be under the absolute control of the 
police. 

The problem of prostitution, when we look at it narrowly, 
seems to be in the same position to-day as at any time in the 
course of the past three thousand years. In order, however, to 
comprehend the real significance of prostitution, and to attain a 
reasonable attitude towards it, we must look at it from a broader 
point of view ; we must consider not only its evolution and his- 
tory, but its causes and its relation to the wider aspects of modem 
social life. When we thus view the problem from a broader 
standpoint we shall find that there is no conflict betwe^i the 
claims of ethics and those of social hygiene, and that the co- 
ordinated activity of both is involved in the progressive refine- 
ment ^nd purification of civilized sexual relationships. 

III. The Causes of Prostitution. 

The history of the rise and development of prostitution 
enables us to see that prostitution is not an accident of our 
marriage system, but an essential constituent which appears con- 
currently with its other essential constituents. The gradual 
development of the family on a patriarchal and largely mono- 
gamic basis rendered it more and more difficult for a woman to 
dispose of her own person. She belongs in the first place to her 
father, whose interest it was to guard her carefully until a 
husband appeared who could afford to purchase her. In 
the enhancement of her value the new idea of the market value 
of virginity gradually developed, and where a "virgin" had 
previously meant a woman who was free to do as she would with 
her own body its meaning was now reversed and it came to mean 
a woman who was precluded from having intercourse with men. 
When she was transferred from her father to a husband, she 



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PK08TITUTI0N. 26fr 

vae still guarded with the eame care; husband and father alike 
found their interest in preserving their women from uumarried 
men. The situation thus produced reaulted in the existence of a 
large body of young men who were not yet rich enough to obtain 
wives, and a large number of young women, not yet chosen as 
wives, and many of whom could never expect to become wives. 
At such a point in social evolution prostitution is clearly 
inevitable; it is not so much the indispensable concomitant of 
marriage as an eesaitial part of the whole system. Some of 
th»euperfluoua or neglected women, utilizing their money value 
and perhaps at the same time reviving traditions of an earlier 
freedom, find their social function in selling their favors to 
gratify the temporary desires of the men who have not yet been 
able to acquire wives. Thus every link in the chain of the 
marriage system is firmly welded and tiie complete circle formed. 

But while the history of the rise and development of prosti- 
tution shows us how indestructible and essential an element 
prostitution is of the marriage system which baa long prevailed in 
Europe — under very varied racial, political, social, and religioua 
conditions — it yet fails to supply us in every respect with the data 
necessary to reach a definite attitude towards prostitution to-day. 
In order to understand the place of prostitution in our existing 
system, it is necessary that we should analyze the chief factors of 
prostitution. We may most conveniently leam to understand 
these if we consider prostitution, in order, under four aspects. 
These are: (1) economic necessity; (2) hiological predisposi- 
tion; (3) moral advantages; and (4) what may be called its 
ririlizationa} value. 

While these four factors of prostitution seem to me those 
that here chiefly concern us, it is scarcely necessary to point out 
tJiat many other causes contribute to produce and modify prosti- 
tution. Prostitutes themselves often seek to lead other girls to 
adopt tlie same paths; recruits must be found for brothels, 
whence we have the "white slave trade," which ia now being 
energetically combated in many parts of the world ; while all the 
forms of seduction towards this life are favored and often pre- 
disposed to by alcoholism. It will generally he found that several 



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266 F8TCHOLOGY OF SEX.. 

catiBeB have combined to push a girl into the career of prosti- 
tution. 

The ways In which rariouH faetora of environment and suggestion 
unite to lead a girl into the paths of proatitution are indicated in the 
following statement in which a correspondent has set forth his own con- 
clusions on this n)att«r as a man of the world: "I have had a some- 
what varied experience among loose women, and can say, without 
hesitatjon, that not more than 1 per cent, of the women I have known 
could be regarded as educated. This indicates that almost invariably 
the; are of humble origin, and the terrible cases of overcrowding that 
are daily brought to light suf^est that at very early ages the sense of 
modesty becomes extinct, and ioag before pi^rty a familiarity with 
things sexual takes place. As soon as they are old enough these girls 
are seduced by their sweethearts ; the familiarity with which they regard 
sexual matters removes the restraint which surrounds a girl whose early 
life has been spent in decent surroundings. Later they go to work in 
factories and shops; if pretty and attractive, they consort with man- 
agers and foremen. Then the love of finery, which forms so large a part 
of the feminine character, tempts the girl to become the 'kepf woman 
of some man of means. A remarkable thing in this connection ia the 
fact that th(7 rarely enjoy excitement with Uieir protectors, preferring 
rather the coarser embraces of some men nearer their own station' in 
life, very often a soldier. I have not known many women who were 
seduced and deserted, though this Is a fiction much affected by prosti- 
tutes. Barmaids supply a considerable number to the ranlca of prostitu- 
tion, largely on account of their addiction to drink; drunkenness 
invariably leads to laxnees of moral restraint in women. Another 
pot«nt factor in the production of prostitutes lies in the flare of finery 
flaunted by some friend who has adopted the life. A girl, working hard 
to live, sees some friend, perhaps making a call in the street where the 
hard-working girl lives, clothed in finery, while she herself can hardly 
get enough to eat. She has a conversation with her finely-clad friend 
who tells her how easily she can earn money, explaining what a vital 
asset the sexual organs are, and soon another one is added to the ranks." 

There is some interest in ccmsidering the reasons assigned for 
prostitutes entering their career. In some countries this has been esti- 
mated by those who come closely into official or other contact witli 
prostitutes. In other countries, it Is the rule for giris, before they are 
registered as prostitutes, to state the reasons for which they desire to 
enter the career. 

Parent-Duchatelet, whose work on prostitutes in Paris is still an 
authority, presented the first estimate of this kind. He found that of 
over five thousand prostitutes, 1441 were influenced by poverty, 1425 by 



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PHOSTITDTION. 1!67 

Beduction of loverti who had abandoned them, 1260 hy the loss of parents 
from death or other cauae. By such an estimate, nearly the whole num- 
ber are accounted for bj wretchedueea, that is bj economic causes, alone 
(Pfcrent'Duchfltelet, De la FTOstilulion, 1857, toI, i, p. 107). 

In Bniieels during a period of twenty jreara (1866-1884) 350S 
women were inscribed as prostitutes. The causes thef assigned for 
desiring to take to this career present a different picture from that 
shown by Parent-Duchatclet. but perhaps a more reliable one, although 
there are tome marked and furious discrepancies. Out of the 3G05, 1523 
explained that extreme poverty wai the cause of their degradation i 
1118 frankly confessed that their sexual passions were the cause; 420 
attributed their fall to evil company; 316 said they were disgusted and 
weary of their work, because the toil was so arduous and the pay so 
small; 101 had been abandoned by their lorers; 10 had quarrelled with 
their parents; T were abandoned by their husbands; 4 did not agree 
with their guardians; 3 had family quarrels; 2 were compelled to 
prostitute themselves by their husbands, and 1 by her parents {Lancet, 
June 28, IBDO, p. 1442). 

In London, Merrick found tJiat of 16,022 prostitutes who passed 
through his hands during the years he was chaplain at Millbank prison, 
6001 voluntarily left home or situation for "a life of pleasure;" 3303 
assigned poverty as the cause; 3154 were "seduced" and drifted on to 
the street; 1636 were betrayed by promises of marriage and abandoned 
by lover and relations. On the whole, Merridc states, 4700, or nearly 
one-third of the whole number, may be said to owe the adoption of their 
career directly to men, 11,232 to other causes. He adds that of thoee 
pleading poverty a large number were indolent and Incapable (G. P. 
Merrick, Work Among the Fallen, p. 38). 

Logan, an English city missionary with an extensive acquaiutancR 
with prostitutes, divided them into the following groups: (1) One- 
fourth of the ^rls are servants, especially in public houses, beer shops, 
etc., and thus led into the life; (2) one-fourth come from factories, 
etc.; (3) nearly one-fourth are recruited by procuresses who visit coun- 
try towns, markets, etc.; (4) a Una! group includes, on the one hand, 
tiiose who are induced to become prostitutes by destitution, ur indolence, 
or a bad temper, which unfits them for ordinary avocations, and, on the 
other hand, those who have been seduced by a false promise of marriage 
(W. Logan, The Oreat Social Evil, 1871, p. 53). 

In America Sanger hes reported the results of inquiries made of 
two thousand New York prostitutes as to the causes which induced them 
to take up their avocation: 



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268 PflYCHOLOQY OP SEX. 

Deatitution 52S 

loclination 513 

Seduced and abandoned 2S8 

Drink and desire for drink 181 

lli-trcBtment by parents, relations, or husbandB. 14i 

Ab an eoBj life 124 

Bad company 84 

Perauaded by prflBtitutea 71 

Too idle to work 29 

Violated 27 

Seduced on emigrant ship 14 

Seduced in emigrant boarding homes B 

2,000 
(Sanger, Uintory of ProttHution, p. 488.) 

In America, again, more recently. Professor Woods Hutchinson put 
himself into communication with some thirty representative men in 
various great metropolitan centres, and thua nunmarizes the answers as 
T^ards the etiology of prostitution: 

Love of display, luxury and idlai«M 42.1 

Bad family surroundings 23.S 

Seduction in which they were innocent victims. 11.3 

Lack of employment 0.4 

Heredity 7.8 

Primary sexual appetite G.O 

(Woods Hutchinson, "The Elconomics of Prostitution," Ammiean 

QyniEeoXogio and OhMtetrui Journal, September, 189S; Id., The Ooipel 

Aocordinff to Darrein, p. 1&4.) 

In Italy, in 1881, among 10,422 inscribed prostitutes from the age 
of seventeen upwards, the causes of prostitution were classified as fol* 

Vice and depravity 2,752 

Death of parents, husband, etc 2,130 

Seduction by lover 1,653 

Seduction by employer 027 

Abandoned by parents, husband, etc 704 

LovB of luxury 608 

Incitement by lover or other persons outside 

family OM 

Incitement by parents or husband 400 

To support parents or children 393 

(Perriani, Minorenni Deltnquenti, p. 103.) 



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PH08T1TDTI0N, 259 

The re&8oas aaaigned hj RuBSian prostitutes for taking up tbeir 
career are (according to Federow) aa follows: 
38.5 per cent. ineutBcient wages. 
£1, " " desire for amusement. 
14. " " loss of place. 
0.5 " " perBuasion by women friends. 
0.5 " " loBH of habit of work. 
6.6 " " chagrin, and to punish lover. 
.6 " " drunkenness. 
(Summarized in Arckioea d'Anthropologie Criminelle, Nov. 16, 1901.) 
1. The Economic Causation of Prostitution, — Writers on 
proBtitution frequently assert that economic conditions lie at 
the root of prostitution and that its chief cause is poverty, while 
prostitutes themselves often declare that the difficulty of earning 
a livelihood in other ways was a main cause in inducing them 
to adopt this career. "Of all the causes of prostitution," Parent- 
Ducb&telet wrote a century ago, "particularly in Paris, and 
probably in all large cities, none ia more active than lack of work 
and the misery which ,i8 the inevitable result of insufficient 
wages." In England, also, to a large extent, Sherwell states, 
"morals fluctuate with trade."* It ia equally so in Berlin where 
the number of registered prostitutes increases during bad years.^ 
It is 80 also in America. It is the same in Japan; "the cause 
of causes is poverty."^ 

Thus the broad and general statement that prostitution is 
largely or mainly an economic phenomenon, due to the low wages 
of women or to sudden depressions in trade, is everywhere made 
by investigators. It must, however, be added tliat these general 
statements are considerably qualified in the light of the detailed 
investigations made by careful inquirers. Thus Strohmberg, 
who minutely investigated 463 prostitutes, found that only one 
assigned destitution as the reason for adopting her career, and on 
investigation this was found to be an impudent lie.^ Hammer 

1 A. Sherwell, Life in West London, 1897, Ch. V. 

3 Bonger brings together statistics illustrating this point, op. dt., 
pp. 402-6. 

8 The mghlless City. p. 126. 

* StrOlunberg, as quoted by AschafFenburg, Das Verbrechen, 1903, 
p. 77. 



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260 PSYCHOLOOT OF SEX. 

found that of ninety registered German prostituteB not one had 
entered on the career out of want or to support a child, while eome 
went on the street while in the poesession of money, or without 
wishing to be paid.^ Pastor Buschmann, of the Teltow Mag- 
dalene Home in Berlin, finds that it is not want but indiSerence 
to moral considerations which leads girls to become prostitutes. 
In Germany, before a girl ia put on the police register, due care is 
always taken to give her a chance of entering a Home and getting 
work; in Berlin, in the course of ten years, only two girls— ont 
of thousands — were willing to take advantage of this opportunity. 
The difficulty experienced by English Rescue Homes in finding 
girls who are willing to be "rescued" is notorious. The same 
difl3culty is found in other cities, even where entirely different 
conditions prevail; thus it is found in Madrid, according to 
Bernaldo de Quiros and Lianas Aguilaniedo, that the prostitutes 
who enter the Homes, notwithstanding all the devotion of the 
nuns, on leaving at once return to their old life. While the 
economic factor in prostitution undoubtedly exists, the undue 
frequency and emphasis with which it is put forward and accepted 
is clearly due, in part to ignorance of the real facts, in part to the 
fact that such an assumption appeals to those whose weakness it 
is to explain all social phenomena by economic causes, and in part 
to its obvious plausibility.^ 

Prostitutes are mainly recruited from the ranks of factory 
^rls, domestic servants, shop girls, and waitresses. In some 

1 MonaUachrift fur Bamkrankheiten vnd Sfouelle Hygiene, 1008. 
'Rp-tt 10, p. 4G0. But tliid cause is undoubtedly effective in BOme csaes 
'of unmarried women in Germany unftble to get work (see article hj Sis- 
ter Henrietta Arendt, Police-AsBistant at Stuttgart, Sexual-PTobleme. 
December, 1608). 

iThus, for instance, ve find Irma von Troll-Boroatfani Bajing in 
her book, Im Freien Reich (p. 178) ; "Go and ask these unfortunate 
creatures if they willingly and freely devoted themselves to vice. And 
nearly all of them will t«ll you a story of need and destitution, of hunger 
and lack of work, which eompcllpd them to it. or else of love and seduc- 
tion and the fear of the discovery of their fnlne step which drove tliem 
out of their home«. helpless and forsaken, into the pool of vice from 
which there ia hardly any Balvation." It Is, of course, quit* true that 
the prostitute is frequently ready to tell sneli stories to philanthropic 

Krsone who expect to hear them, and sometimes even put the words Into 
r mouth. 



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PB08TITUTI0N. 261 

of these occnpations it is difficult to obtain employment all the 
year round. In this way many milliners, dresemakeiB and 
tailoresses become proBtitutes when busineea is slack, and return to 
buBinese when the season begins. Sometim«fl the regular work of 
the day is supplemented concurrently by prostitution in the street 
in the evening. It is said, possibly with some truth, that amateur 
prostitution of Uiis kind is e:itreme1y prevalent in England, as it 
is not checked by the precautions which, in countries where prosti- 
tution is regulated, the clandestine prostitute must adopt in order 
■ to avoid r^istration. Certain public lavatories and dressing- 
rooms in central London are said to be used by the girls for 
putting on, and finally washing oS before going home, the 
customary paint.^ It is certain that in England a targe propor- 
tion of parents belonging to the working and even lower middle 
class ranks are unacquainted with the nature of the lives led by 
their ovn daughters. It must be added, also, that occasionally 
this conduct of the daughter is winked at or encouraged by the 
parents; thus a correspondent writes that he "knows some towns 
in England where prostitution is not regarded as anything dis- 
graceful, and can remember many cases where the mother's house 
has been used by the daughter with the mother's knowledge." 

Acton, in a well-informed book on London prostitution, 
written in the middle of the last century, said that prostitution is 
"a transitory stage, through wbicli an untold number of British 
women are ever on their passage."^ This statement was stren- 
uously denied at the time by many earnest moralists who refused 
to admit that it was possible for a woman who had sunk into so 
deep a pit of degradation ever to climb out again, respectably safe 
and sound. Yet it is certainly true as regards a considerable 
proportion of women, not only in England, but in other countries 
also. Thus Parent-Duchatelet, the greatest authority on French 
prostitution, stated that "prostitution is for the majority only a 
transitory stage ; it is quitted usually during the first year ; very 

1 C. Booth, Life and Labour, final volume, p. 126. Similarly in 
Sweden, Kutlberg states tTiat girls of thirteen to seventeen, living at 
home with their parent* in comfortable circiinmtancea, have often been 
found on the streets. 

3 W. Acfon, Protlitulion, 1370, pp. 39, 43. 



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262 PSYCHOLOGY OP SEX. 

few proetitutee continue until extinction." It is difficult, how- 
ever, to ascertain precisely of how large a proportion this is true ; 
there are no data which would serve as a basis for exact estima- 
tion, ^ and it is impoBsible to expect that respectable married 
women would admit that they had ever been "on the streets"; 
they would not, perhaps, always admit it even to themselves. 

The following case, though noted down over twenty jean ago, Ib 
(airljT t^ical of a certain class, among the lower ranki of prostitution, 
in which the economic factor counts for much, but in which we ought 
not too hastily to assume that it is the sole factor. 

Widow, Rged thirty, with two children. Works iu an umbrella 
manufactory in the East End of Tjondon, earning eighteen shillings a 
week by hard work, and increasing her income by occasionally going out 
on the streets in the evenings. She haunts a quiet side street which is 
one of the approaches to a large city railway terminus. She is a com- 
fortable, almost matronly-looking woman, quietly dressed in a way that 
is only noticeable from the skirts being rather hhorL If spoken to she 
may remark that she is "waiting for a lady friend," talks in an affected 
way about the weather, and parenthetically introduces her offers. She 
will either lead a man into one of the silent neighboring lanes filled with 
warehouses, or will take him home with her. She is willing to accept 
any sum the man may he willing or able to give; occasionally it !s a 
sovereign, sometimes it is only a sixpence; on an average she earns a 
few shillings in an evening. She had only been in London tor ten 
months; before that she lived in Newcastle. She did not go on the 
streets there; "circumstAnces sitcr cafes," she sagely remarks. Though 

t In Lyons, according to Potton, of 3884 prostitutes, 3184 aban- 
doned, or apparently abandoned, their profession ; in Paris a very large 
number became servants, dressmakers, or tailoresses, occupations which, 
in many cases, doubtless, they had exercised before ( Parent-Duchlltelet. 
Dc la Prottiliition. 18.17. lol. i. p. 6S4; vol. ii, p. 451). Sloggett (quoted 
by Acton) stated that at Davenport. 2.50 of the 1775 prostitutes there 
married. It is well known that prostitutes occasionally marry extremely 
well. It was remarked nearly a century aRO that marriages of prostj. 
tutea to ricli men were especially frequent in England, and usually turned 
out well; the same seems to he true still. In their own social rank they 
not infrequently mnrry cnbmen and policemen, the two clssses of men 
with whom they are brought most cIoewIt in contact in the streets. As 
regards Germany. C. K. Schneider (flic Proatituirte und die GeaeU- 
achaft), states that young prostitute* fake up all sorts of occuostions 
and situations, sometimes, it tliev hnve snved a little monev. estsMishing 
a business, while old prosfitntei become procuresses, brotbel'keepers, 
lavatory women, nnd so on. Not n few prostitutes marry, he adds, but 
the proportion among inscribed German prostitutes is very small, less 
than 2 per cent. 



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PROSTITUTION, 268 

not speakii^ well of the police, slie aajs they do not interfere with her 
M th^ do with eome of the girls. She never gives them monej, but 
hints that it is sometimes necessary to gratifj their desires in order to 
keep on good terms with them. 

It must always be remembered, for it is sometimes forgotten 
bj Bocialists and social reformers, that while the pressure of 
poverty exerta a markedly modifying influence on prostitution, in 
that it increaBes the ranks of the women who thereby seek a 
livelihood and may thus be properly regarded as a factor of 
prostitution, no practicable raising of the rate of women's wages 
could possibly serve, directly and alone, to abolish prostitution. 
De MoIJnari, an economist, after remarking that "prostitution is 
an industry" and that if other competing industries can offer 
women sufficiently high pecuniary inducements they will not be 
80 frequently attracted to prostitution, proceeds to point out that 
that hy no means settles the question. "Like every other industry 
prostitution is governed by the demand of the need to which it 
responds. As long as that need and that demand persist, they 
will provoke an offer. It is the need and the demand that we 
must act on, and perhaps science will furnish ns the means to do 
BO."* In what way Molinari expects science to diminish the 
demand for prostitutes, however, is not clearly brought out. 

Not only have we to admit that no practicable rise in the 
rate of wages paid to women in ordinary industries can possibly 
compete with the wages which fairly attractive women of quite 
ordinary ability can earn by prostitution,^ but we have also to 
realize that a rise in general prosperity — ^which alone can render 
a rise of women's wages healthy and normal — involves a rise in 
the wages of prostitution, and an increase in the number of 
prostitutes. So that if good wages is to be regarded as the 
antagonist of prostitution, we can only say that it more than 



IQ. de MoUnari, La TiriouUtire, 1897, p. 156. 

3 ReuHS and other writers hnve reproduced t7pic«l extracts from 
the private account hooica of prontttutes, stiowing the high rate of their 
earnings. Even in the common brothels, in Philadelphia (according to 
Ooodchild. "The Social Evil in PhiUdplphia," Arena, March, 1896), girls 
earn twenty dollars or more a week, which is far more than they could 
eam in any other occupation open to them. 



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264 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

gives back with one hand what it takes with the other. To bo 
marked a degree is this the case that Uespr^s in a detailed moral 
and demographic study of the diBtribution of prostitution in 
France comes to the conclusion that we must reverse the ancient 
doctrine that "poverty engenders prostitution" since prostitution 
regularly increases with wealth,^ and aa a d^partement rises in 
wealth and prosperity, so the ntunber both of its inscribed and its 
free prostitutes rises also. There is indeed a fallacy here, for 
while it is true, as Desprte argues, that wealth demands prostitu- 
tion, it is also true that a wealthy community involves the extreme 
of poverty as well as of riches and that it is among the poorer 
elements that prostitution chiefly finds its recruits. The ancient 
dictum that "poverty engenders prostitution" still stands, but it 
is complicated and qualified by the complex conditions of civiliza- 
tion. Bonger, in his able discussion of the economic side of the 
question, has realized the wide and deep basis of prostitution 
when he reaches the conclusion that it is "on the one hand the 
inevitable complement of the existing legal monogamy, and on 
the other hand the result of the bad conditions in which many 
young girls grow up, the result of the physical and psychical 
wretchedness in which the women of the people live, and the 
consequence also of the inferior position of women in our actual 
society."^ A narrowly economic conaideration of prostitution 
can by no means bring us to the root of the matter. 

One circumstance alone shoald have sutBced to indicate that the 
inability of man]' women to secure "a living wage," ie far from being 
tiifl moBt fundamental cause of prostitution; a large proportion of 
prostitutes come from the ranks of domestic service. Of alt the great 
groups of female workers, domestic servants are the freest from eeonomic 
anxieties; thej' do not pay for food or for lodging; they often live as 
well as their mistresses, and in a lar^ proportion of cases thej have 
fewer roonej' anxieties than their miHtresaes. Moreover, they supply an 
almost universal demand, bo that there ia never any need for even very 
moderately competent servants to be in want of work. They constitute, 
it is true, a very large body which could not fail to supply a certain 
contingent of recruits to prostitution. But when we see that domestic 



lA. Despres, La Prostitution en France, 1883. 

2 Boager, Criminaliti et Conditioite Economiqves, 1905, pp. 3TMI4. 



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PE08TITDTI0N. 26& 

wirice is the chief reservoir from which prostitutes are drawn, it should 
be clear that the craving for food and shelter is by no means the chief 
cause of proetitutioD. 

It may be added that, altbou^ the significance of this predomi- 
nance of servants among prostitutes is seldom realized bj those who 
fancy that to remove poverty is to abolish prostitution, it has not been 
ignored by the more thoughtful students of social questions. Thus Sher- 
well, while pointing out truly that, to a large extent, "morals fluctuate 
with trade," adds that, against the importance of the economic factor, 
it is a suggestive and in every way impressive fact that the majority 
of the girls who frequent the West End of London (88 per cent., accord- 
ing to the Salvation Army's Registers) are drawn from domestic servlca 
where the economic struggle is not severely felt (Arthur Sherwell, Life 
in Weal Lond<m, Ch. V, "Prostitution"). 

It is at the same time worthy of note that by the condiUons of 
their lives serranta, more than any other class, resemble prostitutes 
(Bemaldo de Quirns and Llnnas Aguilaniedo have pointed this out in 
La Mala Tida en Madrid, p. 240). Like prostitutes, they are a class of 
women apart; they are not entitled to the considerations and the little 
courtesies usually paid to other women; in some countries they are even 
registered, lilte prostitutes; it is scarcely surprising that when they 
Bufl'er from so many of the diaadvantag^s of the prostitute, they should 
sometimes desiie to poesesH also some of her ndvintagRs. Lily Braun 
[Prauenfrage, pp. 389 et »eq.) has set forth in detail these unfavorable 
conditions of domestic labor as they bear on the tpndency of servant- 
girls to become prostitutes. K. de RyckSre, in his important work, La 
Bervante CHminelle (1907, pp. 460 et teq.; cf., the same author's article, 
"La Criminality Ancillaire," Archives d'AnlkropoIogie Ctiminelte, July 
and Decem1>er, 190G), has studied the psychology of the servant-girl. 
He finds that she is specially marked by lack of foresight, vanity, lack 
of invention, tendency to imitation, and mobility of mind. These are 
characters which ally her to the prostitute. De Ryckere estimates the 
proportion of former servants among prostitutes generally aa fifty per 
cent., and adds tliat what is called the "white Bla\-ery" here finds Its 
most complacent and docile victims. He remarks, however, that the 
servant prostitute is, on the whole, not so much immoral as non-moral. 

In Paris Parent-Duchlltelet found that, in proportion to their num- 
ber, servants furnished the largest contingent to prostitution, and hi<( 
editors also found that they head the list ( Parent-Ducbfttelet, edition 
18ST, vol. i, p. S3). Among clandestine prostitutes at Paris, Gommenge 
has more recently found that former servants constitute forty per cent. 
In Bordeaux Jeannel IDe le Prostitution Publique, p. 102) also found 
that in 1860 forty per cent, of prostitutes had been servants, seamstreHse'i 
coming nest with thirty-seven per cent. 



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266 PSTCHOLOGT OF SEX. 

In Germanj' and Austria it has long been reet^ized that domeaUe 
serrice fumishea the chief number of recruits to prostitution. Lippert, 
in Qeitnany, and Qross-Hoffinger, in Austria, pointed out this predomi- 
nant of maid-servants and its significance before the middle of the nine- 
teenth centurjr, and more recently Blascbko has stated ("Hygiene der 
Syphilis" in Weyl'a Handbvch der Hygiene, Bd. ii, p. 40) that among 
Berlin pr..-.tituteH in 18S8 maid-servants stand at the head with fifty-ona 
per cent. Baumgarten has stated that in Vienna the proportion of 
serrantB Is fifty-eight per cent. 

In England, according to the Report of a Select Committee of the 
Lords on the laws for the protection of children, sixty per cent, of proo- 
titntea have been servants. F, Remo, in his Yie GaUinte en Angleterre, 
states (be proportion as eighty per cent It would appear to be even 
higher as regards the West End of Ixindon. Taking London as a whole 
the extensive statistics of Merrick (Worjt Amnng the Fallen), chaplain 
of the Millbanic Prison, showed that out of 14,700 prostitutes, 5823, or 
about forty per cent, had previously been servants, laundresses ooming 
next, and then dressmalters; classifying his data somewhat more sum- 
marily and roughly, Merrick found that the proportion of servants was 
fifty- three per cent. 

In America, among two thousand prostitutes, Sanger states that 
forff-three per cent- had lieen servants, dressmakeri coming next, but 
at a long Interval, with six per cent. (Sanger, Hittory of Froitituiion, 
p. 524). Among Philadelphia prostitutes, Goodcliild states that "do- 
mestics are probably in largest proportion," although some recruits may 
be found from almost any occupation. 

It is the same in other countries. In Italy, according to Tauuneo 
{La Prottitwsione, p. 100), servants come first among prostitutes with a 
proportion of twenty-eight per cent, followed by the group of dress- 
makers, talloresses and milliners, seventeen per cent In Sardinia, A. 
Mantegaeca states, most prostitutes are servants from the country. In 
Russia, according to Fiaux, the proportion is forty-five per cent In 
Madrid, acooiding to Bslava (as quoted by Bernaldo de Quiros and 
Lianas Aguilaniedo ( La Mala Tida en Madrid, p. 239 ) , servants come at 
the head of registered prostitutes with twenty-seven per cent. — almost 
the same proportion as in Italy — and are followed by dressmakers. In 
Sweden, according to Welander [Monatsahefte fiir Praktiache Derma- 
lologie, 1890, p. 477) among 2641 inscribed prostitutes, 1586 (or mxty- 
two per cent) were domestic servants; at a long interval folloived 210 
seamstresses, then 168 factory workers, etc. 

3. The Biological Factor of Prostitution. — IkKmomic COD- 
sideratioDs, as we see, have a highly important modificatory 



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PHOSTITUTION. 267 

influence on prostitution, although it is by no means correct 
to assert that they form its main cause. There is another 
question which has exercised many investigators: To what 
extent are prostitutes predestined to this career by organic con- 
stitution? It is generally admitted that economic and other 
conditions are an esciting cause of prostitution; in bow far are 
those who succumb predisposed by the possession of abnormal 
personal characteriBtlcB ? Some inquirers have argued that this 
predisposition is so marked that prostitution may fairly be 
regarded as a feminine equivalent for criminality, and that in a 
family in which the men instinctively turn to crime, the women 
instinctively turn to prostitution. Others have as strenuously 
denied this conclusion. 

Lombroso haa more eepeciaDy advocated th« doctrine that proB- 
titution 19 the vicarious equivalent of criminality. In this he waa 
developing ihe results reached, in the important studj of the Jukes 
family, by Dugdale, who found that "there where the brothers coounit 
crime, the siaters adopt prostitution;" the fines and imprisonments of 
the women of the family were not for violations of the right of property, 
but mainly for otTences against public decency. "The peychologtcal oa 
well as anatomical identity of the criminal and the bora prostitute," 
Lombroso and Ferrero concluded, "could not be more complete: both are 
identical with the moral insane, and therefore, according ia the axiom, 
equal to each other. There is the same lack of moral sense, the same 
hardness of heart, the same precocious taste for ei'il, the same indiffer' 
ence to social infamy, the same volatility, love of idleness, and lack of 
foresight, the eame taste for facile pleasures, for the orgy and for alcohol, 
the seme, or almost the same, vanity. Prostitution is only the feminine 
side of criminality. And so true is it that prostitution and criminality 
are two analogous, or, so to say, parallel, phenomena, that at their 
extremes they meet. The prostitute is, therefore, psychologically a 
criminal: if she commits no offenses it is because her physical weak- 
ness, her small intelligence, the facility of acquiring what she wants by 
more easy methods, dispenses her from the necpssity of crime, and on 
these very grounds prostitution represents the specific form of feminine 
criminality." The authors add that "prostitution is, in a certain sense, 
socially useful as an outlet tor masculine sexuality and a preventive of 
crime" (Lombroso and Ferrero, Lti Donna Delinquente. 1893, p. 571). 

Those who have opposed this view have taken various grounds, and 
by DO means always understood the position they are attacking. Thus 



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268 PSTCHOLOGY OF BEX. 

VV. Fischer (in Die Prostitution) vigorously argues that prostitution is 
not an inoffensive equivalent of criminality, but a factor of criminalitf. 
FCre, again (in Digfnirescence et Criminalili), asserts that criminaliiy 
and prostitutiOD are not equivalent, but identical. "Prostitutes and 
criminals," he holds, "have as a common character their unproductive- 
ness, and consequently they are both anti-social. Prostitution thus 
constitutes a form of criminality." The essential character of criminals 
is not, however, their unproductiveness, for that they share with a con- 
siderable proportion of the wealthiest of the upper classes; it must be 
added, also, that the prostitute, unlike the criminal, is exercising an 
activity for which there is a demand, for which she is willingly paid, and 
for which she has to work (it has sometimes been noted that the pros- 
titut« looks down on the thief, who "does not work") ; she is carrying 
on a profession, and is neither more nor less productive than those who 
carry on many more reputable professions. Asehaffenburg, also believing 
himself in opposition to Lombroso, arguea, somewhat differently from 
FCr^, that prostitution is not indeed, as ¥(t6 said, a form of criminality, 
hut that it is too frequently united with criminality to be regarded as 
an equivalent. MOnkemSller has more recently supported the same 
view. Here, however, as usual, there is a wide dlfTerence of opinion 
as to tbe proportion of prostitutes of whom this is true. It is recog- 
nized by all investigators to be true of a certain number, but while 
Baumgarten, from an examination of eight thousand prostitutes, only 
found a minute proportion who were criminals, StrUhmberg found that 
among 462 prostitutes there were as many as 175 IJiieves. From another 
side, Morasso (as quoted in Archivio <ft Ptiohiatria, 1S96, fasc. I), on 
the strength of his own investigations, is more clearly in opposition to 
Lombroso, since he protests altogether against any purely degenerative 
view of prostitutes which would In any way assimilate them with 
criminals. 

The question of the Bezuality of pTostitutee, which has a 
certain bearing on the question of their tendency to degeDeration, 
has been settled by different writers in different senses. While 
some, like Ifora^o, assert that sexual impulse is a main cause 
inducing women to adopt a prostitute's career, others assert that 
prostitutes are usually almost devoid of sexual impulse. Lom- 
broso refers to the prevalence of sesnal frigidity among prosti- 
tutea.^ In London, Merrick, speaking from a knowledge of 
over 16,000 proptitntes, states that he has met with "only a very 

I La Donna Drlinguente, p. 401. 



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PBOSTITUTION. 2o9 

iew cases" in which gross eexual desire has been the motive to 
adopt a life of prostitution. In Paris, Baciborski had stated at 
a much earlier period that "among prostitutes one finds very few 
who are prompted to libertinage by sexual ardor."* Commenge, 
again, a careful studeot of the Parisian prostitute, cannot admit 
that sexual desire is to be classed among the serious causes of 
prostitution. "I have made inquiries of thousands of women on 
this point," he states, "and only a very small number have told 
me that they were driven to prostitution for the satisfaction of 
sexual needs. Although girls who give themselves to prostitution 
are often lacking in frankness, on this point, I believe, they have 
no wish to deceive. When they have sexual needs they do not 
conceal them, but, on the contrary, show a certain amour-propre 
in acknowledging them, as a sudicient sort of justification for 
their life ; so that if only a very email minority avow this motive 
the reason is that for the great majority it has no existence." 

There can be no doubt that the statements made regarding 
the sexual frigidity of prostitutes are often much too unqualified. 
This is in part certainly due to the fact that they are usually 
made by those who speak from a knowledge of old prostitutes 
whose habitual familiarity with normal sexual intercourse in its 
least attractive aspects has resulted in complete indifference to 
such intercourse, so far as their clients are concerned.* It may 
be stated with truth that to the woman of deep passions the 
ephemeral and superficial relationships of prostitution can offer 
no temptation. And it may be added that the majority of prosti- 
tutes begin their career at a very early age, long before the some- 
what late period at which in women the tendency for passion to 

1 Raciborfiki, Traili de r/mpuissance, p. 20. It may be added that 
Borgh, a leading authority on the anatomical peculiarities of the external 
female sexual organs, who believe that strong development of the external 
genital organs accompanies libidinous tendencies, has not found such 
development to be common among prostitutes. 

2 Hammer, who has had much opportunity of studying tie payohol- 
ogy of prostitutes, remarks that he has seen no reason to suspect sexual 
coldness (J/onotsscftrifi filr Hamkrankheilen und Bexuelle Bygieitv, 
1906, Heft 2, p. 8S), although, as he has elsewhere stated, he Is of opin- 



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270 PSYCHOLOGY OP SEX. 

become strong, has yet arrived.^ It may also be said that au 
indifference to sexual relationships, a tendency to attach no per- 
sonal value to them, is often a predisposing cause in the adoption 
of a prostitute's career; the general mental shallowness of prosti- 
tutes may well be accompanied by shallowness of physical 
emotion. On the other hand, many prostitutes, at all events early 
in their careers, appear to show a marked degree of sensuality, 
and to women of coarse sexual fibre the career of prostitution has 
not been without attractions from this point of view; the 
gratification of physical desire is known to act as a motive in 
some cases and is clearly indicated in others.^ This is scarcely 
surprising when we remember that prostitutes are in a very large 
proportion of cases remarkably robust and healthy persons in 
general respects.^ They withstand without difficulty the risks of 
their profession, and though under its influence the manifesta- 
tions of sexual feeling can scarcely fail to become modified or 
perverted in course of time, that is no proof of the original 
absence of sexual sensibility. It is not even a proof of its loss, 
for the real sexual nature of the normal prostitute, and her 
possibilities of sexual ardor, are chiefly manifested, not in her 
professional relations with her clients, but in her relations with 
her "fancy hojr" or "bully,"* It is quite true that the conditions 
of her life often make it practically advantageous to the prosti- 
tute to have attached to her a man who is devoted to her interests 

t Women," in the third volume of 

STait stated that in Edinburgh many married women living with 
their huBbande in comfortable circumstancea, and having children, were 
found to be acting as prostitutea, that Is, in the regular habit of making 
assignations wit^ strangers (W. Tait, Uagdaleniam in EdmbnToh, 1842, 
p. 16). 

3 Janke brings together opinions to this effect, Die WillkiirlUihe 
Hervorhringtn dea Oeschlechts. p. 275. "It we compare a prostitute of 
thirty-five with her respectable sister," Acton remarked (ProtlUution, 
1870, p. 39), "we seldom find that the conatitutional ravages often 
thought to be neceBsary consequences of prostitution exceed tlioae attrib* 
utable U> the cares of a family and the heart-wearing struggles of 
virtuous labor." 

4Hirsehfeld states (We«en der lAebe. p. 35) that the desire for 
Intercourae with a svmpathetie person is heightened, and not decreased, 
by a proffssioDal act of coitus. 



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PB08TITDTI0N. 271 

and will defend them if necessary, but that is only a secondary, 
occasional, and subsidiary advantage of the "fancy boy," so far 
as prostitutes generally are concerned. She is attracted to him 
primarily because he appeals to her personally and she wants him 
for herself. The motive of her attachment is, above all, erotic, 
in the full sense, involving not merely sexual relations but 
possession and common interests, a permanent and intimate 
life led together. "You know that what one does in the way 
of business cannot fill one's heart," said a Qerman prostitute; 
"^hy should we not have a husband like other women? I, too, 
need loye. If that were not so we should not want a bully." 
And he, on his part, reciprocates this feeling and is by no means 
merely moved by self -interest.* 

One of my correspondente, who has bad much experience of proetl' 
tutes, not only in Britaio, but also in Oermany, France, Belgium and 
HolloDd, has found that the normal manifestations of Bczual feeling are 
much more common in British than in continental prostitutes. "I should 
say," he writes, "that in normal coitus foreign women are generally 
nncoDScious of sexual excitement. I don't think I have ever known a 
foreign woman who had aoy semblance of orgasm. British women, on 
the other hand, if a man is moderately kind, and shows that he has 
some feelings beyond mere sensual gratification, often abandon them- 
selves to the wildest delights of sexual excitement Of course in this 
life, as in others, there is keen competition, and a woman, to vie with 
her compeUtors, must please her gentlemen friends; but a man of the 
world can always distinguish between real and simulated passion." (It 
is possible, however, that he may be most successful in arousing the 
feelings of his own fellow-country women.) On the other hand, this 
writer finds that the foreign women are more anxious to provide tor the 
enjoyment of their temporary consorts and to ascertain what pleases 

1 This has been clearly shown by Hans Ostwald ( from whom I take 
the above-quoted observation of a prostitute), one of the best authorities 
on prostitute life end character; see, e.g., his article, "Die erotischen 
Besiehungen Kwischen Birne und ZuliHIter," Scatial-Probleme, June, 
190S. In the subsequent number of the same periodical (July, 190S, 
p. 393) Dr. Mux Marcuse supports Ostwald's experiences, and says that 
the letters of prostitutes and their bullies are love-letters exactly like 
those of respectable people of the same class, and with the same elements 
of love and iealousy: these reNtionships. he remarks, often prove very 
endjiring. The prostitute author of the Tagriuch einer Ferlorenen (p. 
147) also has some remarks on the proatitilte's relations to her bully, 
stating that it is simply the natural relationship of a girl to her lover. 



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272 P8Y0HOLOQT OF BEX. 

tbem. "The foreigner aeensB to make it the buslneae of her life to dis- 
■cover some abnormnt modq of seicual gratiQcation tor her consort." For 
their own pleasure also foreign prostitutes frequently oak for ounnv 
.Hnotua, in preference to normal coitus, while anal coitus ia also com- 
mon. The difference evidently ia that the Britiah women, when they 
wek gratification, find it in normal coitus, while the foreign women 
prefer more abnormal methods. There is, however, one class of Britiah 
prostitutes which this correspondent finds to ba an exception to the 
general rule: the class of those who are recruited from the lower walks 
of the Btage. "Such women are generally more licentious — that is to 
toy, more acquainted w[th the bizarre in sexualiam — than girls who 
come from shops or bars; they show a knowledge of fellatio, and una 
anal coitus, mod during meoBtniation frequently auggest inter-mammat; 

On the whole it would appear that prostitutes, though not 
UBuaUj impelled to their life by motives of seneuality, on entering 
and during the early part of tiieir career poaaeBB a fairly average 
amount of sexual impulse, with variations in both directions of 
-excess and deficiency as well as of perversion. At a somewhat 
later period it is useless to attempt to measure the sexual impulse 
of prostitutes by the amount of pleasure they take in the pro- 
feseional perfoi-mance of sexual intercourse. It is necessary to 
ascertain whether they possess sexual instincts which are 
gratified in other ways. In a large proportion of cases this is 
found to be so. Masturbation, especially, is extremely common 
among prostitutes everywhere; however prevalent it may be 
among women who have no other means of obtaining sexual 
gratification it is admitted by all to be still more prevalent among 
prostitutes, indeed almost universal.^ 

Homosexuality, though not so common as masturbation, is 
very frequently found among prostitutes — in France, it would 
seem, more frequently than in England — and it may indeed be 

I Thus Moraglia found that among ISO prostitutes in North Italian 
brotlicls, and among 23 elegant Italian and foreign cocottes, every one 
admitted that ahe maaturhated, preferably by friction of the clitoris; 
113 of them, the msjority, declared that they preferred solitary or 
mutual masturbation to normal coitus. TTammer states (ZeAn Lfbena- 
Idufe Berliner KontroHmnilf.hen in OatwaM's seriea of "Grosstadt 
Dokumente," 1905) that when in hospilnl all but three or four of sixty 
prostitutes masturbate, and those who do not are laughed at by the rest. 



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PltOSTlTUTION. 278 

eaid that it occurs more often among prostitutes than among any 
other class of women. It is favored by the acquired distaste for 
normal coitus due to professional intercourse with men, which 
leads homosexual reiationshipa to be regarded as pure and ideal 
by comparison. It would appear also that in a considerable pro- 
portion of cases prostitutes present a congenital condition of 
sexual inversion, such a condition, with an aceompanyjng 
indifference to intercourse with men, being a predisposing cause 
of the adoption of a prostitute's career. Kurella even regards 
prostitutes as constituting a sub-variety of congenital inverts. 
Anna Ruling in Germany states that about twenty per cent. 
prostitutes are homosexual; when asked what induced them to 
become prostitutes, more than one inverted woman of the street 
has replied to her that it was purely a matter of business, sexual 
feeling not coming into the question except with a friend of tho 
same sex.* 

The occurrence of congenital inversion among prostitutes — 
although we need not regard prostitutes as necessarily degenerate 
as a class — suggests the question whether we are likely to find an 
unusually large number of physical and other anomalies among 
them. It cannot be said that there is unanimity of opinion on 
this point. For some authorities prostitutes are merely normal 
ordinary women of low social rank, if indeed their instincts are 
not even a little superior to those of the class in which they were 
born. Other investigators find among them so large a proportion 
of individuals deviating from the normal that they are inclined 
to place prostitutes generally among one or other of the 
abnormal classes.^ 

1 Jahrbuch fur Betcuelle Zwischenstufen, Jahrgnng VIT, 1906, p. 
148; "Sexual Inversion," vol. ii of these Btudiea, Ch. IV. Hammer 
found that of twenty-flve prostitutes in a reformatory as many as twen^- 
three were homosexual, or, on good )^ouni!s, suspected to be such. 
Hirschfeld {BerUns Driitea GcechlechI, p. 85) mpntiona that prostitutes 
sometimes accost better-class women who, from their man-like air, they 
tjike io be homosexual; from perMms of their own sex prostitutcB will 
accept a smaller remunpration, and eometimes refuse payment altogether. 

2 With prostitntion, as with criminality, it is of courie difficult to 
disentangle the element of heredity from that of environment, even when 
we have good grounds for believing thnt the fnctor of heredity here, aa 
tiiroughout the whole of life, cannot, fail to carry much weight. It ii 



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274 P3YCH0UK1Y OF BES. 

BaumgBTten, in Vienna, from a knowledga o( over 8000 proatituteB, 
concluded that only a very minute proportion are either crimiDal or 
psychopathic in temperament or organization (ArcAtu fur ilTrtminal- 
Anihropologie, vol. xi, 1902). It is not clear, however, that Baumgar- 
ten carried out any detailed and precise investigations. Mr. Ia.ne, a 
London police magistrate, has stated as the result of his otvn observa- 
tion, that prostitution is "at once a symptom and outcome of the same 
deteriorated physique and decadent moral fibre which determine the 
manufacture of male tramps, pet^ thieves, and professional beggars, of 
whom the prostitute is in general the female analogue" {Ethnolo^oal 
Jottrnal, April, 1905, p. 41). This estimate is doubtless correct as 
regards a considerable proportion of the women, often enfeebled by drink, 
who pass through the police courts, but it could searcely be applied witii- 
out qualification to prostitutes generally. 

Morasso {Archivia di Paickiatria, 1898, fasc. I) has protested 
i^inst a purely degenerative view of prostitutea on the strength of hia 
own observations. There is, he states, a category of prostitutes, un- 
known to scientific inquirers, which he calls that of the proatitvte di 
alto bordo. Among these the signs of degeneration, physical or moral, 
are not to be found in greater number than among women who do not 
belong to prostitution. They reveal all sorts of characters, some of them 
showing great refinement, and are cbiefij marked ofl^ by the posaeasion 
of an unusual degree of serual appetite. Even among the more degraded 
group of the baasa prostituzione, he asserts, we Snd a predominance of 
sexual, as well as professional, characters, rather than the signs of degen- 
eration. It is sufficient to quote one more testimony, as act down many 
j-ears ago by a woman of high intelligence and character, Mrs. Craik, the 
novelist: "The women who fall are by no means the worst of their ata* 
tion," she wrote. "I have heard it affirmed by more than one lady — hj 
one in particular whose experience was as large as her benevolence — tbttt 
many of them are of the very best, refined, intelligent, truthful, and 
affectionate. 'I don't Icnow how It is.' she would say, 'whether their 
very superiority makes them dissatisfied with their own rank — such 
brutes or clowns as laboring men often arel — so that they fall easier 
victims to the rank above them; or whether, though thia theory will 
shock many people, other virtues can exist snd flouriab entirely distinct 

certain, in any case, that prostitution frequently runs in families. "It 
has often been my experience," writes a former prostitute (Hedwig 
Hard, Beichte einer Oefallenen, p. 158) "that when in a family a girl 
enters this path, her sister soon afterwards followf her: I have met 
with innumerable cases; sometimes three sisters will alt be on the reg- 
ister, and I knew a case of four sisters, whose mother, a midwife, had 
been in prison, and the father drank. In this case, all four sisters, who 
were reiy beautiful, married, one at least very happily, to a rich doctor 
who took her out of the brothel at sjxteen and educat«d her." 



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PROSTITDTION. 276 

from, and after the loss of, that which we are accuetotned to believe the 
indiepenaable prime virtue of our sex — ohaatitj. I cannot explain itj 
I can onlj sbj' that it is bo, lliat some of my moat promising village girls 
have been the first to come to barm; and some of the best and moat 
faithful servants 'I ever had, have been girls who have fallen into shame, 
and who, had I not gone to the rescue and put them in the way to do 
well, would infallibly have become 'lost women' " (J Woman's Thoughtt 
Ahoul Women, 1S58, p. 291). Various writers have insisted on the good 
moral qualities of proatitutes. Thus in France, Despine first enumerates 
their vices as (I) greediness and love of drink, (2) lying, (3) anger, 
(4) want of order and untidineaa, (6) mobility of character, (6) need 
of movement, (T) tendency to homoicsuality, and then proceeds to 
detail their good qualitiea: tbcir maternal and filial afTection, their 
charity to each other; and their refusal to denounce each other; while 
they are frequently religious, sometimes modest, and generally very hon- 
est (Deapine, Paychologie fialitreile, vol. iii, pp. 207 ct aeq.; as regards 
Sicilian prostitutes, cf. CftUari, Arckioio di PsiehiatTia., fasc IV, 1903). 
The charity towards each other, often manifested in diatress, is largely 
neutralized by a tendency to professional auapicion and jealousy of each 

Lombroso believes that the basis of prostitution must be found in 
moral idiocy. If by moral idiocy we are to understand a condition at 
all closely allied with insanity, this assertion is dubious. There seems 
no clear relationship between prostitution and insanity, and Tanuneo 
has shown {La ProstitwsioTie, p. 76) that the frequency of prostitutes in 
the various Italian provinces is in inverse ratio to the frequency of 
insane persons; as insanity increases, prostitution decreases. But if 
we mean a minor degree of moral imbecility — that is to say, a bluntness 
of perception for the ordinary moral considerations of civilization which, 
while it is largely due to the hardening inllucnce of an unfavorable early 
environment, may also rest on a congenital predisposition — there can 
be no doubt that moral imbecility of slight degrcf is very frequently 
found among prostitutes. It would be plausible, doubtless, to say that 
every woman who gives her virgini^ in exchange for an inadequate 
return is an imbecile. If she gives herself for lovp, she has, at the worst, 
made a foolish mistake, such as the young and inexperienced may at any 
time make. But if she deliberately proposes to sell herself, and does so 
for nothing or next to nothing, the case is altered. The experiencca of 
Commenge in Paris are instructive on this paint. "For many young 
girls," he writea, "modesty has no ejcistence, they experience no emotion 
in showing themselves completely undreaaed, they abandon themselves to 
any chance individual whom they will never see again. They attach no 
importance to their virginity; they ere deflowerrd under the strangest 
conditions, without the least thoi^t or care about the act they ore 



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276 rsYciioi-ooY or sex. 

aecompIishiDg. Ko sentiment, no calculation, pushes them into s man's 
arms. Tb^ let themselves go without reflexion and without motive, in 
an almost animal manner, from indifference and without pleasure." He 
iras acquainted with forty-flve girls between the agea of twelve and seven- 
teen who were deflowered bj chance strangers whom, th^ never met 
again; they lost tlieir virginity, in Dumas's phrase, as they lost their 
milk-t«eth, and could give no plausible account of the loss. A girl of 
fifteen, mentioned by Commenge, living with her parents who supplied 
all her wants, lost her rirginity by casually meeting a man who offered 
her two francs if she would go with him ; she did so without demur and 
soon begun to accost men on her own account. A girl of fourteen, also 
living comfortably with her parents, sacrificed her virginity at a fair in 
return for a glass of beer, and henceforth begun to associate with pros- 
titutes. Another girl of the same age, at a local fete, wishing to go 
round on the hobby horse, spontaneously offered herself to the man direct- 
ing the machinery for the pleasure of a ride. Yet another girl, of fifteen, 
at another ff te, offered her virginity' in return for the same momentary 
joy (Commenge, Progtitution Clandestine, lfl97, pp. 101 el seq.). In tlie 
United States. Dr. W. Travis Gibb, examining physician to the New 
York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, bears simikr 
testimony to the fact that in a fairly large proportion of "rape" cases 
the child is the willing victim. "It is horribly pathetic," he says { J/ed- 
ical Record, April 20, 1907}, "to learn how tar a nickel or a quarter 
will go towards purchasing the virtue of these children." 

In estimating ths t«ndency of prostitutes to display congenital 
physical anomalies, the crudeat and most obvious test, though not ft 
precise or satisfactory one, is the general impression produced by the 
face. In France, when nearly 1000 prostitutes were divided into five 
groups from the point of view of their looks, only from seven to fourteen 
per cent, were found to belong to the first group, or that of those who 
could b« said to possess youth and benuty (Jeannel, De la Prottttution 
Fuhlique, 1860, p. IdS). Woods Hutchinson, again, judging from an 
extensive acquaintance with London, Paris, Vienna, New York, Philadel- 
phia, and Chicago, asserts that a handsome or even attractive-looking 
prostitute, is rare, and that the general average of beauty is lower than 
in any other class of women. "Whatever other evils," he remarks, "the 
fatal power of beauty may be responsible for, it has nothing to do with 
prostitution" [Woods Hutchinson. "The Economics of Prostitution," 
American QiiniFcologiail and Obaletrio Journal, September, 1805). It 
must, of course, he borne in mind that these estimates are liable to be 
vitiated through being based chiefly on the inspection of women who 
most obviously belong to the class of prostitutes and have already been 
coarsened by tlieir protession. 

If we may conclude — and the fact la probably undisputed — that 



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PROSTITUTION, 277 

beautiful, agreeable, and hannonlouatj' formml fares are rare rather th&n 
common among prostitutt^x, we iobj ctrWnly say that minut« examina- 
tloD will reveal a large number of physical nhnormalitiea. Ona of che 
earliest important physical inveatigationi of prnatitutes was that of Di. 
Pauline Tamowaky in RuHsia ( first published in the Vratoh in I88T, and 
afterwards as Eludes anthropomfiriqwa twr les I'roatituiea et lea 
Yoleutet). She eTaminwI fifty St. Petpr»biirg prostitutes who had (jeen 
inmates of a brothel for not leas than two years, and also fifty peasant 
women of, so far as possible, the same age and mental development. She 
found that (1) the prostitute showed shorter anterior- post«iior and 
transverse diameters of skull; {2) a proportion equal to eigiity-four per 
cent, showed various signs of physiciat degeneration (irregular sLull, 
asymmetry of (ace, anomalies of bard palate, teeth, ears, etc.). This 
t«ndency to anomaly among the prostitutes was to some extent explained 
when it was foimd that about four-fifths of them, had parenta wbo were 
habitual dmnkards, and nearly one-fifth were the last survivors of large 
families ; , such families have been often produced by degenerate parents. 

The frequency of herpditary degeneration has been noted by Bon- 
hoeffer among Q«rman prostitutes. He investigated 100 Breslau proati- 
tutes in prisoQ, and therefore of a more abnormal class than ordinary 
prostitutes, and found that 102 were hereditarily degenerate, and mostly 
with one or both parents who were drunliards; 53 alM showed feeble- 
mindedness (Zeitsckrift fur die Oeaamte Btrafit^Mnaoiiaft, Bd. xxiii, p. 
106). 

The most detailed examinations of ordinary non-criminal prosti- 
tutes, both anthropometrically and as regards the prevalence of anom- 
alies, have been made in Italy, though not on a sufilciently larg» 
number of subjects to yield absolutely decisive resultH. Thus Foroasari 
made a detailed examination of sixty prostitutes belonging chiefly ti> 
Emilia and Venice, and also of twenty-seven othcra belonging ti Bologna, 
the latter group being compared with a third group of twenty normal 
women belonging to Bologna (Archtvio di Peichialna, lfll>2, fasc. YI). 
The prostitutes were found to be of lower type thnn the normal in- 
dividuals, having smaller heads and larger faces. As the author hitnwlf 
points out, his subjects were not sufficiently numerous to justify far- 
reaching general iiations, but it maj- be worth while to aummarize some 
of. his results. At equal heights the proatitutes ahowi^ greater weiglit; 
at equal ages they were of shorter stature than other women, not only 
of well-to-do, hut of the poor clasa : height of faoe, hi-xygomntic diameter 
(though not the distance between lygumas) , the di.-itance from chin to 
external auditory meatus, and the size of the jnw were all greater in the 
prostitutes; the hands were longer and broader, compared to the palm, 
than in ordinary women; the foot also was longer in proatitutes, and 
the thigh, as compared to the calf, was larger. It is noteworthy that in 



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278 PflYCHOLOOY OF SEX. 

most particulara, and especially in regard to head nieasurenieiita, ths 
variations were much greater among the prostitutes than among the 
other women examined; this is to some extent, though not entirely, to 
be accounted for by the slightly greater number of the former. 

Ardu (in the same number of the Arokivio) gave the result of 
observations (undertaken at Lombroso's suggestion) as to the frequency 
of abnormalities among prostitutes. The subjects were seventy-four in 
number and belonged to Professor Giovanninl's Clintoa Sifilopatkit at 
Turin. Tlie abnormalities investigated were virile distribution of hair 
on pubes, chest, and limbs, hypertrichosis on forebeaJ, left-handedness, 
atrophy of nipple, and tattooing (which was only found once). Com* 
bining Ardu's observations with another series of observations on flfty- 
flve prostitutes examined by Lombroso, i'. is -ound that virile disposition 
of hair is found in fifteen per cent. C3 against His per cent, in normal 
women; some degree of hypertrichosis in eigl.teen per cent; left-handed- 
nese in eleven per cent, (but in normal vrcmen as hl^ ae twelve per 
cent, according to Gallia) ; and atrophy of nifple in twelve per cent. 

GiufTrida-Rugg^ri, again (Atti della i:''^oieti Romajia di Antra- 
pologia, 18B7, p. 218), on examining eighty-two prostitutes found 
anomalies in the following order of decreasing frequency: tendency of 
eyebrows to meet, laclc of cranial symmetry, depression at root of nose, 
defective development of calves, hypertrichosis and other anomalies of 
hair, adherent or absent lobule, prominen' ligoma, prominent forehead 
or frontal bones, bad implantation of teeth. Darwinian tubercle of ear, 
thin vertical lipa. These signs are separately of little or do importance, 
though together not without significance as an indication of general 

More recently Ascarilla, in an elaborate study {Archivio di Pai- 
ohiatna, 1906, fasc. VI, p. 812) of the finger prints of prostitutes, comes 
to the conclusion that even in this respect prostitutes tend to form a 
class showing morphological inferiority to normal women. The pattenis 
tend to show unusual simplicity and uniformity, and the significance of 
this is indicated by the fact that a similar uniformity is shown by the 
finger prints of the insane and deaf-mutes (De Sanctis and Toscano, Atti 
Society Bi^mana Antropolo^, vol. viii, 1901, fssc. II). 

In Chicago I>r, Harriet Alexander, in conjunction with Dr, E, S. 
Talbot and Dr. J, G. Kieman, examined thirty prostitutes in the Bride- 
well, or House of Correction; only the "obtuse" class of professional 
prostitutes reach this institution, and it is not therefore surprising that 
they were found to exhibit very marked stigmata of degeneracy. In 
race nearly half of those examined were Celtic Irish. In sixteen tha 
zygomatic processes were unequal and very prominent. Other facial 
asymmetries were common. In three cases the heads were of Mongoloid 
type; sixteen were epignathic, and eleven prognathici five showed arrest 



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PROSTITDTIOH. 279 

of development of face. Braehjcephal; predominated [aeventeen caaea) ; 
the rest were mesaticepbalic; there were no dolicliocephalH. Abnormali- 
ties in shape of the skull were numerous, and twenty-nine liad defective 
ears. Four were demonstrablj' insane, and one was an epileptic |H. C. 
B. Alexander, "Physical Abnormalities in Prostitutes," Chicago Academ; 
of Medicine, April, 1803; E. S. Talbot, Degeneracy, p. 320; Id., Irreg- 
vlarities of the Teeth, fourth edition, p. 141}. 

It would seem, on the whole, bo far as the evidence at present 
goes, that pTostitutes are not quite normal representatives of the 
ranks into which they were bom. There has been a process of 
selection of individuals who slightly deviate congenitally from 
the normal average and are, correspondingly, slightly inapt for 
normal life.* The psychic characteristics which accompany such 
deviation are not always necessarily of an obviously unfavorable 
nature; the slightly neurotic girl of low class birth — disinclined 
for hard work, through defective energy, and perhaps greedy and 
seMsh — may even seem to possess a refinement superior to her 
station. While, however, there is a tendency to anomaly among 
prostitutes, it must be clearly recognized that that tendency 
remains slight so long as we consider impartially the whole class 
of prostitutes. Those investigators who have reached the con- 
clusion that prostitutes are a highly degenerate and abnormal 
class have only observed special groups of prostitutes, more 
especially those who are frequently found in prison. It is not 
possible to form a just conception of prostitutes by studying them 
only in prison, any more than it would be possible to form a just 
conception of clergymen, doctors, or lawyers by studying them 
esclusively in prison, and this remains true even although a much 
larger proportion of prostitutes than of members of the more 
reputable professions pass through prisons; that fact no doubt 
partly indicates the greater abnormality of prostitutes. 

It has, of course, to be ranembered that the special condi- 
tions of the lives of prostitutes tend to cause in them the appear- 
ance of certaii. professional characteristics which are entirely 
acquired and not congenital. In that way we may account for 
the gradual modification of the feminine secondary and tertiary 

I This fact ia not contradicted by the undoubted fact that prosti- 
tutes are by no means always contented with the lifa tiey choose. 



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280 I'SYCHOLOGY OF SES, 

sexual characters, and the appearance of masculine charactera, 
such as the frequent deep voice, etc.* But with all due allowance 
for these acquired characters, it reniains true that such compara- 
tive investigations as have bo far been made, although inconclu- 
sive, aeem to indicate that, even apart from the prevalence of 
acquired anomalies, the profeaaional selection of their avocation 
tends to separate out from the general population of the same 
social class, individuals who possess anthropometrical characters 
varying in a definite direction. The observations thus made seem, 
in this v&y, to indicate that prostitutes tend to be in weight over 
the average, though not in stature, that in length of arm they are 
inferior though the hands are longer (this has been fonnd alike 
in Italy and Sussia) ; they have smaller ankles and larger calves, 
and still larger thighs in proportion to their large calves. The 
estimated skull capacity and the skull circumference and 
diameters are somewhat below the normal, not only when com- 
pared with respectable women but also with thieves; there is a 
tendency to brachycephaly (both in Italy and Eusaia) ; the 
cheek-bones are usually prominent and the jaws developed ; the 
hair is darker than in respectable women though leas so than 
in thieves ; it is also unusually abundant, not only on the head 
but also on the pudenda and elsewhere; the eyes have be^i 
found to be decidedly darker than those of either respectable 
women or criminals.^ 

So far as the evidence goes it serves to indicate that prosti- 
lutee tend to approximate to the type which, as was shown in the 
previous volume, there is reason to regard as specially indicative 
of developed sexuality. It is, however, unnecessary to discuss 
this question until our anthropometrical knowledge of prostitutes 
is more extended and precise. 

3, The Moral JustificaHon of Prostitution. — ^There are and 
always have been moralists — ^many of them people whose opinioDB 
are deserving of the moat serious respect — ^who consider that, 

1 This point haa been discussed by Bloch, SeteualUben uTiterer Xeit, 

Ch. xm.- 

1 Various series of observations sre summarised bj* Lombroeo and 
Ferrero, La Donna Delinqiientc, IftOS, Part III, cap. IV. 



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pROSTiTonoK. 281 

allowing for the need ol improved liygienic conditione, the 
exietence of pnetitutioo presente no seriouB problem for solution. 
It is, at most, they Bay, a necessary evil, and, at best, a beneficent 
institution, the bulwark of the home, the inevitable reveirse of 
which monogamy is the obverse. "The immoral guardian of 
public morality," is the defmition of prostitutes given by one 
writer, who talcea the humble view of the matter, and another, 
taking the loftier ground, writes: "The prostitute fulfils a social 
mission. She is the guardian of virginal modesty, the channel 
to carry off adulterous desire, the protector of matrons who fear 
late maternity ; it is her part to act as the shield of the family." 
"Female Decii," said Balzac in his Physiolagie du Manage of 
prostitutes, "they sacrifice themselyes for the republic and make 
of their bodies a rampart for the protection of respectable 
families." In the same way Schopenhauer called prostitutes 
"human sacrifices on the altar of monogamy." Lecky, again, in 
an oft-quoted passage of rhetoric,* may be said to combine both 
the higher and the lower view of the prostitute's mission in 
human society, to which he even seeke to give a hieratic character. 
"The supreme type of vice," he declared, "she is ultimately the 
roost efficient guardian of virtue. But for her, the unchallenged 
purity of countless happy homes would be polluted, and not a 
few who, in the pride of their untempted chastity, think of her 
with an indignant shudder, would have known the agony of 
remorse and of despair. On that one degraded and ignoble form 
are concentrated the passions that might have filled the world 
with shame. She remains, while creeds and civilizations rise and 
fall, the eternal priestess of humanity, blasted for the sins of the 
people."^ 

1 am not aware that the Greeks were greatly concerned with 

> BUtorg of European Month, vol. iii, p. 283. 

2 Similarly Lord Hor1«7 hu written {Diderot, vol. ii, p. 20) : "The 
purity of the family, so lovely and dear as it ia, has etill oiily been 
■ecurrd hitherto by retaining a vast aaC. dolorous host of female out- 
c*«t« .... npon whose heads, as upon the scapegoat of the 
Hebrew ordinance, we put all the iniquitiee of the children of the bouse, 
and r11 their transf^essions in all their sins, and then K.nish thrm with 
maledictions into the (oul outer wilderness and the land not inhabited." 



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282 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

the moral justification of proatitution. Tliey had not allowed 
it to assume very offensive forma and for the most part they 
were content to accept it. The Romans usually accepted it, too, 
but, we gather, not quite so easily. There was an austerely 
serious, almost Puritanic, spirit in the Romans of the old stock 
and they seem sometimes to have felt the need to assure them- 
selves that prostitution really was morally justifiable. It ia 
significant to note that they were accustomed to remember that 
Cato was said to have expressed satisfaction on seeing a man 
emerge from a brothel, for otherwise he might have gone to lie 
with his neighbor's wife.* 

The social necessity of prostitution is the most ancient of 
all tlie arguments of moralists in favor of the toleration of pros- 
titutes; and if we accept the eternal validity of the marriage 
system with which prostitution developed, and of the theoretical 
morality based on that system, this is an exceedingly forcible, if 
not an unanswerable, argument. 

The advent of Christianity, with its special attitude towards 
the "flesh," necessarily caused an enormous increase of attention 
to the moral aspects of prostitution. When prostitution was not 
morally denounced, it became clearly necessary to morally 
justify it; it was impossible for a Church, whose ideals were 
more or less ascetic, to be benevolently indifferent in such a 
matter. As a rule we seem to find throughout that while the 
more independent and irresponsible divines take the side of 
denunciation, those theologians who have had thrust upon them 
the grave responsibilities of ecclesiastical statesmanship have 
rather tended towards the reluctant moral justification of prosti- 
tution. Of this we have an example of the first importance in 
St. Augustine, after St. Paul the chief builder of the Christian 
Church. In a treatise written in 386 to justify the Divine regu- 
lation of the world, we find him declaring that just as the 
executioner, however repulsive he may be, occupies a necessary 
place in society, so the prostitute and her like, however sordid 
and ugly and wicked they may be, are equally necessary; xemove 

I Horace, Balires, lib. i, 2, 



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PROSTITUTION. 288 

prostitutes from human ailaire and you would pollute the world 
with luat : "Aufer meretrices de rebus humanis, turbavcris omnia 
libidinibua."^ Aquinas, the only theological thinker of Christen- 
dom who can be named with Augustine, was of tlie same mind 
with him on this question of prostitution. He maintained the 
aiDfulnese of fornication but he accepted the necessity of prosti- 
tution as a beneficial part of the social structure, comparing it to 
the sewers which keep a palace pure.^ "Prostitution in towns is 
like the sewer in a palace; take away the sewers and the palace 
becomes an impure and stinking place." Liguori, the most 
influential theologian of more modern times, was of the like 
opinion. 

This wavering and semi-indulgent attitude towards prosti- 
tution was indeed generally maintained by theologians. Some, 
following Augustine and Aquinas, would permit prostitution for 
the avoidance of greater evils; others were altogether opposed to 
it; others, again, would allow it in towns but nowhere else. It 
was, however, universally held by theologians that the prostitute 
has a right to her wages, and is not obliged to make restitution.^ 
The earlier Christian moralists found no difUculty in maintaining 
that there is no sin in renting a house to a prostitute for the 
purposes of her trade; absolution was always granted for this 
and abstention not required.* Fornication, however, always 
remained a sin, and from the twelfth centary onwards the Church 
made a series of organized attempts to reclaim prostitutes. All 
Catholic theologians hold that a prostitute is bound to confess 
the sin of prostitution, and most, though not all, theologians have 
believed that a man also must confess intercourse with a prosti- 
tute. At the same time, while there was a certain indulgence to 
the prostitute herself, the Church was always very severe on those 

1 Augustine, De Ordine, Bk. II, Ch. IV. 

^ De Regimine PHnoipum {Oputoula -U), lib. iv, cap. XIV. I am 
indebted to the Rev. H. Northeote for the reference to tha precise place 
where this statement occurs; it is usuallf quoted more vaguely. 

SLea, E%»tory of Auriovtar Confession, vol. ii, p. SQ. There was 
even, it seems, an eccentric decinion of the Snlamanca theologians that 
a Dua mi^t so receive monej, "licitc et valide." 

*Lea, op. oit., vol. li, pp. S63, 399. 



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284 PeYOHOLOGY OF SEX, 

who lived on the profits of promoting prostitutioo, on (he lenones. 
Thus the Council of Elvira, which woe ready to receive without 
penance the prostitute who married, reiused reconciliation, even 
at death, to persons who had been guilty of lenocinium.^ 

Protestantism, in this as in many other matten of sexual 
morality, having abandoned the confessional, was usually able to 
escape the necessity for any definite and responsible uttersDces 
concerning the moral statue of prostitution. When it expressed 
any opinion, or sought to initiate any practical action, it naturally 
founded itself on the Biblical injunctions against fornication, as 
expressed by St. Paul, and showed no mercy for prostitutes and 
no toleration for prostitution. This attitude, which was that of 
the Puritans, was the more easy since in Protestant countries, 
with the exception of special districts at special periods — such as 
Gieneva and ^ew England in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries — theologians have in these matters been called upon to 
furnish religious exhortation rather than to carry out practical 
policies. The latter task they have left to others, and a certain 
confusion and uncertainty has thus often arisen in the lay 
Protestant mind. This attitude in a thoughtful and serious 
writer, is well illustrated- in England by Burton, writing a century 
after the Reformation. He refers with mitigated approval to 
"our Pseudo-Catholics," who are severe with adultery but 
indulgent to fornication, being perhaps of Cato'e mind that it 
should be encouraged to avoid worse mischiefs at home, and who 
holds brothels "aa necessary as churches" and "have whole 
Colleges of Courtesans in their towns and cities." "They hold it 
impossible," he continues, "for idle persons, young, rich and 
lusty, BO many servants, monks, friars, to live honest, too tyran- 
nical a burden to compel them to be chaste, and most unfit to 
suifer poor men, younger brothers and soldiers at all to marry, 
as also diseased persons, votaries, priests, servants. Therefore as 
well to keep and ease the one as the other, they tolerate and wink 
at these kind of brothel -houses and stews. Many probable argu- 
ments they have to prove the lawfulness, the necessity, and a 

) Rftbutaux, De la Prattitution en Europe, pp. 22 et atq. 



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PHOSTITLTION. 285 

toleration of them, as of usery ; and without question in policy 
they are not to be contradicted, but altogether in religion,"^ 

It was not until the beginning of the following century that 
the ancient argument of St. Augustine for the uioral justification 
of prostitution was boldly and decisively stated in Protestant 
England, by Bernard Mandeytlle in his Fable of the Bees, and at 
its first promulgation it seemed so offensive to the public mind 
that the book was suppressed. "If courtesans and stnimpetB were 
to be prosecuted with as much rigor as some silly people would 
have it," Mandeville wrote, "what iocks or bars would be sufficient 
to preserve the honor of our wives and daughters? .... 
It is manifest that there is a necessity of sacrificing one part of 
womankind to preserve the other, and prevent a filthinefis of a 
more heinous nature. From whence I tliink 1 may justly con- 
clude that chastity may be supported by incontinence, and the 
best of virtues want the assistance of the worst of vicee."^ After 
Mandeville's time this view of prostitution began to become com- 
mon in Protestant as well as in other countries, though it was 
not usually so clearly expressed. 

It may be of interest to gather together a few more modern 
examples of statements brought fom-ard for the moral juatiftcation of 
prostitution. 

Thus in France Meuanier de Querlon. in liis story of Ptaphion, 
written in the middle of the eighteenth century, puts into the mouth of 
a Greek courtesan many interesting reQections concerning the life and 
position of the prostitute. She defends her profession with much skill, 
and argues that while men imagine that prostitutes are merely the 
despised victims of their pleasures, these would-be tyrants are really 
dupes who are ministering to the needs of the women they trample 
beneath their feet, and themselves equally deserve the contempt thej 
bestow. "We return disgust for disgust, as they must surely perceive. 
We often abandon to them merely a statue, and while inflamed by their 
own desires they consume themselvra on insensible charms, our tranquil 
coldness leisurely enjoys their sensibility. Then it is we resume all our 

1 Burton, Anaiomv of Melanoholg, Part III, Sect. Ill, Mem. IV. 
Rubs. II. 

2B. Mandeville, Semarki to Fable of Ihe Bee», 1714, pp. 93-9; of. 
P. Sakmann, Bernard de Mandeville, pp. 101-4. 



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Zoo PSTOHOLOOY OF BEX. 

rights. A little hot blood has brou^t these proud creatures to our feet, 
»nd rendered uh miatresses of their fate. On which side, I ask, is the 
advantage!" But all men, she odds, are not bo unjust towards the pros- 
titute, and she proceeds to pronounce a eulogy, not without b sli^t 
touch of ironf in it, of the utility, facility, and convenience of tJie 
brothel. 

A large number of the modem writers on prostitution insist on its 
socially beneficial character. Thus Charles Richard concludes his book 
on the subject with the words: "The conduct of society with regard to 
prostitution must proceed from the principle of gratitude without false 
shame for its utility, and compassion for the poor creatures at whose 
expense this is attained" (I^t Proatitttlion detwtt le Philosophe, 1S92, 
p. 171). "To make marriage permanent is to make it difficult," an 
American medical writer observes; "to make it difficult ia to defer it; 
to defer it is to maintain in the community an increasing number of 
sexually perfect individuals, with normal, or, in cases where repression 
is prolonged, excessive sexual appetites. The social evil is the natural 
outcome of the physical nature of man, his inherited impulses, and the 
artificial conditions under which he is compelled to live" ("The Social 
Evil," Medicine, August and September, 1906). Woods Hutchinson, 
while speaking with strong disapproval of prostitution and regarding 
prostitutes as "the worst specimens Of the sex," yet regards prostitution 
B,s a social agency of the highest valoe. "From a medtco-economie point 
of view I venture to claim it as one of the grand selective and elimlnative 
agencies of nature, and of highest value to the community. It may be 
roughly characterized as a safety Valve (or the institution of marriage" 
(The Oospel According to Darwin, p. 193; of. the same author's article 
on "The Economics of Prostitution," summarized in Boston Medical and 
Burgieal Journal, November 21, 1895). Adolf Gerson, in a somewhat 
rimilar spirit, argues ("Die Ursache der Prostitution," Bcmtal-Probteme, 
Beptember, 1908) that "prostitution is one of the means used by Nature 
to limit the procreative activity of men, and especially to postpone the 
period of sexual maturity." Molinari considers that the social benefits 
of prostitution have been manifested in various ways from the first; by 
steriliiing, for instance, the more excessive manifestations of the sexual 
impulse prostitution suppressed the necessity for the infanticide of super- 
fluous children, and ted to the prohibition of that primitive method of 
limiting the population (G. de lifolinari, La Virieulture, p. 45). In quite 
another way than that mentioned by Molinari, prostitution has even in 
very recent times led to the absndonment of infanticide. In the Chinese 
province of Ping- Yang, Mafignon states, it was usual not many years 
ago for poor parents to kill forty per cent, of the girl children, or even 
all of them, at birth, for they were Um expensive to rear and brought 
nothing in, since men who wished to marry could easily obtain a wife 



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PBOSTITDTION. 287 

in th« neEgbboring prorince of Wenehu, where women were Tery emy to 
obtain. Now, however, the line of eteamahipB along the coast malcea it 
very easy for girls U> reach tiie brothels of Shang-Hai, where they can 
earn money for their families; the custom of killing them has therefore 
died out {Matignon, Archivea d'Anthropologie CHminelle, 1S96, p. 72). 
"Under present conditions," writes Dr. F. Erhard ("Auch ein Wort Eur 
Ehereform," Geachlecht uniJ QeaelUohaft, Jahrgang I, Heft 9), "prosti- 
tution (in the broadest sense, including free relationships) is necesBary 
in order that young men may, in some degree, learn to know women, for 
conventional conversation cannot suffice for this; an exact knowledge of 
feminine thought and action is, however, necessary for « proper choice, 
since it is seldom possible to rely on the certainty of instinct. It is good 
also that men should wear off their horns before marriage, for the poly- 
gamous tendency will break through somewhere. Prostitution will only 
spoil those men in whom there is not much to spoil, and if the desire 
for marriage is thus lost, the man's unbegotten children may have cause 
to thank him." Neisaer, NHcke, and many others, have pleaded for 
prostitution, and even for brothels, as "necessary evils." 

It is scarcely necessary to add that many, among even the strongest 
upholders of the moral advantages of prostitution, believe that some 
improvement In method is still desirable. Thus B^rault looks forward 
to a time when regulated brothels will become less contemptible. Vari- 
ous improvements may, be thinks, in the near future, "deprive them of 
the barbarous attributes which mark them out for the opprobrium of tiie 
skeptical or ignorant multitude, while their recognizable advantages will 
put an end to the contempt aroused by their cynical aspect" {La Maiaon 
de ToUranee, These de Paris, 1904) . 

4. The Civilizational Value of Prostitution. — ^The moral 
argmnent for prostitution is based on the belief that our 
marriage system is so infinitely precious that an institution 
which serves as its buttresH must be kept in existence, however 
ngly or otherwise objectionable it may in itself be. There 
is, however, another argument in support of proatitatioo which 
scarcely receives the emphasis it deserves. I refer to its influence 
in adding an element, in some form or another necessary, of 
gaiety and variety to the ordered complexity of modem life, a 
relief from the monotony of its mechanical routine, a distraction 
from its dull and respectable monotony. This is distinct from 
the more specific function of prostitution as an outlet for 
Buperfluoos sexual energy, and may even affect those who have 



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288 P8Y0HOLOOT OF SEX. 

little or no commerce with proetitutee. This element ma; be 
Baid to conBtitute the civilizational value of prostitution. 

It is not merely the general conditions of civilization, but 
more specifically the conditiooB of urban life, which make this 
factor insiBtent. Urban life impoBea by the etrcBS of competition 
a very severe and exacting routine of dull work. At the same 
time it makes men and women more sensitive to new impreasions, 
more enamored of excitement and change. It multiplies the 
opportunities of social intercourse; it decreaBes the chances of 
detection of illegitimate intercourse while at the same time it 
makes marriage more difficult, for, by heightening social ambi- 
tions and increasing the expenses of living, it postpones the time 
when a home can be created. Urban life delays marriage and yet 
renders the substitutes for marriage more imperative.' 

There caimot be the slightest doubt that it is this motive — 
the effort to supplement the imperfect opportunities for self- 
development offered by our restrained, mechanical, and laborious 
civilization — which plays one of the chief parts in inducing 
women to adopt, temporarily or permanently, a prostitute's life. 
We have seen that the economic factor is not, as was once sup- 
posed, by any means predominant in this choice. Nor, again, is 
there any reason to suppose that an over-mastering sexual impulse 
is a leading factor. But a large number of young women turn 
instinctively to a life of prostitution because they are moved by 
an obscure impulse which they can scarcely define to themselves or 
express, and are often ashamed to confess. It is, therefore, sur- 
prising that this motive should find so large a place even in the 
formal statistics of the factors of prostitution. Merrick, in 
London, found that 5000, or nearly a third, of the prostitutes be 
investigated, voluntarily gave up home or situation "for a life of 
pleasure," and he puts this at the head of the causes of prostitu- 

1 These conditions favor temporal? free unions, but they also favor 
proBtitution. The reason is, according to Adolf Gerson {Seauat- 
Proiteme, September, 1908), that the woman of good class will not have 
free unions. Partly moved by moral traditions, and partly by the feel- 
ing that a man should be leftallv her property, she will not give herself 
out of love to a man; and he therefore turns to the lower-clssB womaa 
who gives herself for money. 



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PKOSTITDTION. 289 

tion.^ In America Sanger found tliat "mclination" came almost 
at the bead of the causes of prostitution, wliile Woods HutchlnBon 
found "\oye of display, luxury and idteness" by far at the head. 
"Disgusted and wearied with work" is the reason assigned by a 
large number of Belgian girls when stating to the police their 
wish to be enrolled as prostitutes. In Italy a similar motive is 
estimated to play an important part. In Eussia "desire for 
amusement" comes second among the causes of prostitution. 
There can, I think, be little doubt that, as a thoughtful student 
of London life has concluded, the problem of prostitution is "at 
bottom a mad and irresistible craving for excitement, a serious 
and wilful revolt against the monotony of commonplace ideals, 
and the uninspired drudgery of everyday life."^ It is this factor 
of prostitution, we may reasonably conclude, which is mainly 
responsible for the fact, pointed out by F, Schiller,^ that with 
the development of civilization the supply of prostitutes tends to 
outgrow the demand. 

Charles Booth seeniH to be of the Bame opinion, and quotes (Life 
and Labor of the People, Third Series, vol. vii, p. 3S4) from a Rescue 
Committee Report: "The popular idea is, that these women are eager 
to leave a life of sin. The plain and simple truth is that, for the most 
part, they have no desire at all to be rescued. So mon^ of these women 
do not, and will not, regard proatitution as a sin. 1 am takm oat to 
dinner and to some place of amusement every night; why should I give 
it upf" Uerrick, who found that five per cent, of 14,000 prostitutes 
who passed through Millbank Priaon, were accustomed to combine re- 
ligioue observance with the practice of their profession, also remarks in 
regard to their feelings about morality: "I am convinced that there are 
man; poor men and women who do not In the least understand what Is 

1 Many g^rlB, said Ellice Hopkins, get into mischief merely because 
thev have in them an element of the "black kitten," which must frolic 
and play, but has no desire to get into danger. "Da you not think it a 
little hard," she added, "that men should have dug by the aide of her 
foolish dancing feet a bottomless pit, and that she cannot have her jump 
and fun in safety, and put on her fine feathers like the silly bird-witted 
thing she is, without a single false step dashing her over the brink, and 
leaving her with the very womanhood daahed out of hert" 

2 A. Bherwell, Life in West London, 18B7, Ch. V. 

S Aa quoted by Bloch, SexmalUben Unserer Zeit, p. 368. In Berlin 
during recent years the number of prostitutes has increased at nearly 
double the rate at which the general population has increased. It is no 
donbt probable that the supply tends to increase the demand. 



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290 PSYOHOLOOY OF SEI. 

implied in the term 'immorality.' Out of courtesy to you, thqr nay 
ABaeut to what you say, but they do not comprehend your meaning when 
you talk of virtue or purity; you are Bimply talking over their heada" 
(Merrick, op. oit., p. 2S). The aame atttitude may t>e found among 
prostitul^E everywhere. In Italy Ferriani roentiona a girl of fifteen who. 
H'hen accused of indecency with a man in a public garden, denied with 
tears and much indignation. He finally induced her to confess, and then 
asked her: "Wliy did you try to make me believe you were a good 
girlT" She heaitated, smiled, and aaid; "Because they >ay l^rls ouglit 
not to do what I do, but ought to u-ork. But I am what I am, and it 
is no concern of theirs." This attitude is often more than an Inatlnctive 
feeling; in intelligent prostitutes it frequently becomes a reasoned con- 
viction. "I can hear everything, if so it muKt be," wrote the author of 
the Tagebvch eintr Terlorenca (p. 291), "even serious and honorable 
contempt, but I cannot bear acorn. Contempt — yes, if it is justified. If 
a poor and pretty girl with sick and hitter heart stands alone in life, cast 
off, with temptations and seductions ofTering on every side, and, in spite 
of that, out of inner conviction she chooses the grey and monotonous 
path of renunciation and middte-class morality, I recognize In that ^rl 
a personality, who has a certain justification in looking down with con- 
temptuous pity on weaker girls. But those geese who, under the eyes 
of their shepherds and life-long owners, have always been pastured In 
smooth green fields, have certainly no right to laugh scornfully at others 
who have not been so fortunate." Nor must it be supposed that there 
Es necessarily any sophistry in the proatitute'a justification of herself. 
Some of our best thinkers and observers have reached a conclusion thai 
te not diasimilar. "The actual conditions of society are opposed to any 
higb moral feeling in women," Marro observes (La Pubertd, p. 4S2), "for 
between those who sell themselves to prostitution and those who sell 
themselves to marriage, the only difference is in price and duration of 
tlie contract." 

We have already Been how very large a part in prostitution 
is fumiBhed by those who have left domestic aervice to adopt this 
life (ante p. 364). It is not difficult to find in this fact evidence 
of the kind of impulse which impels a woman to adopt the career 
of prostitution. "The servant, in our society of equality," wrote 
Goncourt, recalling somewhat earlier days when she was often 
admitted to a place in the family life, "has become nothing but a 
paid pariah, a machine for doing household work, and is no longer 
allowed to share the employer's human life."^ And in England, 

1 Goneourt, Journat, vol. iit. p. 49. 



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PROSTITUriON. 29X 

even half a century ago, we already find the same statements 
conceming the servant'e position : "domestic service is 8 complete 
slavery," with early hours and late hours, and congtant running 
up and down stairs till her legs are swollen; "an amount of 
ingeotiity appears too often to bo exercised, worthy of a better 
cause, in obtaining theJargest possible amount of labor out of the 
domestic machine"; in addition she is "a kind of lightning con- 
ductor," to receive the ill-temper and morbid feelings of her 
miBtresB and the young ladies; so that, aa some have said, "I felt 
so miserable I did not care what became of me, I wished I was 
dead,"^ The servant is deprived of all human relatioDships ; she 
must not betray the existence of any simple impulse, or natural 
need. At the same time she lives on the fringe of luxury; she 
ia surrounded by the tantalizing visions of pleasure and amuse- 
ment for which her fresh young nature craves.^ It is not sur- 
prising that, repelled by unrelieved drudgery and attracted by 
idle luxury, she should take the plunge which will alone enable 
her to enjoy the glittering aspects of civilization which seem so 
desirable to her.* 

It is Bometimea stated that the prevalence of prostitution among 
^rls who were formerly aervanta is due lo the immense numbers of 
aervanta who are seduced by their maaters or the young men of tbe 
family, and are thus forced on to the streets. Undoubtedly in a certain 
proportion of caaes, perhaps sometimes a fairly considerable proportion, 
this is a decisive factor in the matter, but it scarcely seems to be the 
chief factor. The eiistence of relationahips between serrants and mas- 
ters, it must be remembered, by no means nei'pssaTily implies aeduction. 

1 Vanderkiste, The Dens of London, lS.i4, p. 242. 

2 Bonger (CTiminalili et Conditioiut Economiquea, p. 400) refers to 
the prevalence of prostitution among dressmakers and milliners, as well 
as among servants, as showing the influence of contact with luxury, and 
adds that the rich women, who look down on prostitution, do not always 
realize that they are themselves an important factor of prostitution, both 
by their luxury and their idleness; while they do not seem to be aware 
that they would themaelTcs set in the same way if placed under the same 
conditions. 

8 H. Lippert, in his book on prostitution in Hamburg, laid much 
Btress on the craving for dreaa and adornment as a factor of prostitution, 
and Blooh I Das Sestuallehen unaurer Zeit. p. 372) considers that thi* 
factor is usually undereatl mated, and that it exerts an especially power, 
hil influence on servants. 



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292 PBTCHOLOOY OF 8EX. 

In a Urge number of cases the servant in a liouaehold Ib, in sexual mat- 
ters, the teacher rather than the pupil. (In "The Sexual Impulse in 
Women," in the third volume of these Studies, I have discussed the part 
played by servants as sexual iDitiatocs of the young boys in the house- 
holds in which they are placed.) The more precise statistics of the 
causes of prostitution seldom assign seduction as the main determining 
factor in more than about twenty per cent, of cases, though this is 
obviously one of the most easily avowable motives (see ante, p. 29a). 
Seduction hj any kind of employer constitufea only a proportion (usually 
less than half) even of these cases. The special case of seduction of 
servants by masters can thus play no very considerable part as a factor 
of prostitution. 

The statisUca of the parentage of illegitimate children have some 
bearing on this question. In a series of ISO unmarried motJiers Kssisted 
by the Berlin Bund fflr Mutterschutz, particulars are given of the 
occupations both of tlie mothers, and, as far as possible, of the fathers. 
The former were one-third servant-girls, and the great majority of the 
remainder assistants in trades or girls carrying on work at home. At 
the head of the fathers (among 120 cases) came artisans (33), followed 
by tradespeople (22); only a small proportion (20 fa> 25) could be 
described as "gentlemen," and even this proportion loses some of its 
significance when it is pointed out that some of the girls were also of 
the middle-class; in nineteen cases tJie fathers were married men {Uul- 
tergchvtg, January, 1907, p. 45). 

Most authorities in most countries are of opinion that girls who 
eventually (usually between the ages of fifteen and twenl^) become 
prostitutes have lost their virginity at an early age, and in the great 
majority of cases through men of their own class, "The girl of the peo- 
ple falls by the people," stated Reuss in Prance (La Prostitution, p. 
41). "It is her Ilk?, worlters like herself, who have the first fruite of 
her beauty and virginity. The man of the world who covers her with 
gold and jewels only has tbeir leavings." Martineau, again {De la 
Proatitvtion Clandestine, 1885), showed that prostitutes are usually 
deflowered by men of their own class. And Jeannel, in Bordeaux, found 
reason for believing that it is not chiefly their masters who lead servanta 
astray; they often go into service because tliey have been seduced in the 
country, while la^, greedy, and unintelligent girls are sent from the 
country Into the town to service. In Bdinbnrgli, W. Tait {MagdaUnism, 
1842) found that soldiers more than any other class in the community 
are the seducers of women, the Highlanders being especially notorious in 
this retpecL Soldiers have this reputation everywhere, and in Giermany 
especially it is constantly found that the presence of the soldiery In a 
oountry district, as at the annual roanmuvres, is t^e cause of unchasti^ 
and illegitimate births; it is so also in Austria, where, long ago, Gross- 



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PltOSTITDTION. 298 

Hoffinger stated that soldi^ra were reBpoiuible for at least a third of all 
illegitimate birthe, a share out of all proportion to their nnmbers. In 
Italy, Marro, investigating the occasion of the loss of virginity in twenty- 
two prosUtutes, found that ten gave themselves more or less spontane- 
ously to lovers or masters, ten yielded in the expectation of marriage, 
and two were outraged [La Puberti, p. 461). Tbe loss of virginity, 
Marro adds, though it may not be the direct cause of prostitution, often 
leads OD to it. "When a door baa once been broken in," a prostitute said 
to bim, "it is difficult to keep it closed." In Sardinia, as A. MsntPgazza 
and Ciuffo found, prostitutes are very largely servants from the country 
who have already been deflowered by men of their own class. 

This civilizational factor of prostitution, the influence of 
luxury and eicitenient and refiuement iu attracting the girl of 
the people, ae the dame attracts the moth, is indicated by tbe 
fact that it is the country-dwellere who chiefly auccomb to the 
fascination. The girls whose adolescent explosive and orgiastic 
impulses, sometimes increased by a slight congenital lack of 
ner\'ouB balance, have been latent in the dull monotony of country 
life and heightened by the spectacle of luxury acting on the 
unrelieved drudgery of town life, find at last their complete 
gratiflcatioD in the career of a prostitute. To the town girl, 
bom and bied in the town, this career has not usually much 
attraction, unless she has been brought np from the first in 
an environment that predisposes her to adopt it. She is familiar 
from childhood with the excitements of urban civilization and 
they do not intoxicate her ; she is, moreover, more shrewd to take 
care of herself than the country girl, and too well acquainted 
with the real facte of the prostitute's life to be very anxious to 
adopt her career. Beyond this, also, it is probable that the 
stocks she belongs to possess a native or acquired power of 
resistance to unbalancing influences which has enabled them to 
survive in urban life. She has become immune to the poisons of 
that life.i 



I Since this was written the influence of several generations of 
town-life in immunizinji: a stock to the evita of that life {thoi'gb with- 
out reference to prostitution) has been set forth by Reibmayr, Di« 
EnttDtcklungageiohichte dea Talentes und Qcmea, 10OS, vol. ii, pp. 73 e( 



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294 ra\cHOLoay of sex. 

In all great citiea a large proportion, if not the majority, of tlic 
inhabitants have usually been bom outside the city (in London only 
about fifty per cent, of beads of households are definitely reported aa 
born in London) ; and it ia not therefore aurpriaing that prostitutes 
alao abould often be outaidera. Still it remains a aigniflcant fact that 
ao typically urban a phenomenon aa prostitution ihould be 80 largely 
recruited from the country. Tliis is everywhere the case. Merrick 
enumerates the regions from which came some 14,000 prostitutes who 
paaaed through Uillbank Prison. Ltiddleaex, Kent, Surrey, Eaaex and 
Devon are the countiea that atand at the head, and Merrick eatiiiintes 
tliat tbe contingent of London from the four countiea which make up 
London was 7000, or one-half of tbe whole; military towns like Col- 
chester and naval porta like Plj-mouth supply many prostitutes to 
London; Ireland furnished many more than Scotland, and Germany far 
more than any otiier European country, France being scarcely rcpre^ 
senUd at all (Merrick, Work Among ike Fallrn. 1890, pp. 14-16). It ia. 
of eourae, possible that the proportions among those who pass through a 
prison do not accurately represent the proportions among proatitute* 
generally. The registers of the I./>ndon Salvation Army Rescue Home 
show that aixty per cent, of the ^rls and women come from the provinces 
(A. Sberwell, Ufe in West London, Cb. V). Tliis is exactly the same 
proportion as Tait found among prostitutes generally, half a century 
earlier, in Edinburgh. Sanger found that of 2000 prostitutes in New 
York as many aa 123S were born abroad (708 in Ireland), while of the 
remaining 702 only half were bom in tbe State of New York, and clearly 
{though the exact figures are not given) a still smaller proportion in 
New York City. Prostitutes come from the North — where the climate is 
uncongenial, and manufacturing and sedentary occupations prevail — 
much more than from the South ; thus !Maine, a cold bleak maritime State, 
sent twenty-four of these proatitutes to New Y'ork, while equldiatant Vir- 
ginia, which at the same rate should have sent seventy-two, only smt 
nine; there was a similar difTereoce between Rhode Island and Maryland 
(Sanger, History of Prostitution, p. 452). It is instructive to aee here 
the influence of a dreary climate and monotonous labor in stimulating 
tbe appetite for a "life of pleasure." In France, as shown by a map in 
Parent-Duchfltelet's work (vol. i, pp. 37-64, 1857), if the countiy ia 
divided into live zones, on the whole running east and west, there is a 
xteady and progressive decrease in the number of prostitutea each zone 
sends to Paris, as we descend soutliwarda. Little more than a third 
seem to belong to Paris, and, as in America, it la the aerlous and hard- 
working North, with its relatively cold climate, which furnishes tlie 
largest contingent; even in old France, Dufour remarks (op. cil., vol, 
iv, Ch. XV), prostrtution, as the fabliaux and romons show, wa.j less 
infamous in the langxie d'oil than in the langue ^oo, eo that they were 



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PROSTITUTION. 295 

doubtless r&re in the South. At a later period Reues stAtes [La Protti- 
tutioa, p. 12) that "nearly all the prostitutes of Paris come from the 
provinces." Jeannel found that of one thousand Bordeaux prostitutes 
unly fortj-six belonged to the city itself, and Potton (Appendix to 
Parent-DuchStelet, vol. ii, p. 448) states that of nearly four thousand 
Lyons prostitutes only 376 bclongeil to Lyons. In Vienna, in 1873, 
Schranlt remarlts that of over 1500 prostitutes only 616 were bom in 
Vienna. The general rule, it will be seen, though the variations are 
wide, is that little more than a third of a ci^'s prostitutes are children 
of the city. 

It is interesting to note that thin tendency of the prostitute to 
reach cities from afar, this migratory tendency — vrhich they nowadays 
share with waiters — is no merely modern phenomenon. "There are few 
cities in Lombardy, or Prance, or Gaul," wrote St. Bonifaee nearly twelve 
centuries ago, "in which there is not an adulteress or prostituta of tha 
En^ish nation," and the Saint attributes this to the custom of going 
on pilgrimage to foreign shrines. At the present time there is no marked 
English element among Continental prostitutes. Thus in Paris, accord- 
ing to Beuss (La Protlitution, p. 12), the foreign prostitutes in decreas- 
ing order are Belgian, German (AleBcc-Lorraine), Swiss (especially 
Geneva), Italian, Spanish, and only then English. Conuoisaeurs in this 
matter say, Indeed, that the English prostitute, as compared with her 
Continental (and especially French) sister, fails to show to advantage, 
being usually grasping as regards money and deficient in charm. 

It is the appeal of civilization, though not of what is finest 
and best in civilization, which more than any other motive, calls 
women to the career of a prostitate. It is now ncccsBary to point 
out that for the man also, the same appeal makes itaelf felt in the 
person of the prostitute. The common and ignorant assumption 
that prostitution exists to satisfy the gross sensuality of the 
young unmarried man, and tliat if he is taught to bridle gross 
sexual impulse or induced to mairj- early the prostitute must bo 
idle, is altogether incorrect. If all men married when quite 
young, not only would the remedy be worse than the disease— a 
point which it would be out of place to discuss here — but the 
remedy would not cure the disease. The prostitute is something 
more than a channel to drain oS superfluous se.xual energy, and 
her attraction by no mean? ceases when men are married, for a 
large number of the men who visit prostitutes, if not the majority. 



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296 P8TCH0L0GT OP SEX. 

are married. And alike whether they are married or unmarried 
the motive ie not one of uncomplicated luBt. 

Id EngUnd, a nell- informed writer remarks tiiat *^e value of 
marriage as a moral agent is evidenced hj the tact that all t^e better- 
class prostitutes in London are almost eotirely supported by married 
men," while in Germany, as stated in the interesting seriea of reminiS' 
cences by a former prostitute, H«dwig Hard's Beiohle einer Oefallenen, 
(p. 208), the majority of the men who visit progtituUs are married. 
The estimate is probably excessive. Neiaser states that only twenty-five 
per cent, of cases of gonorrbiia occur in married men. This indication 
is probably misleading in the opposite direction, as the married would 
be less reckless than the young and unmarried. Aa regards the motives 
which lead married men to prostitutes, Hedwig Hard narrates from her 
own experiences an incident which is instructive and no doubt tfplcal. 
In the town in which she lived quietly as • prostitute a man of tba best 
social class was introduced by a friend, and visit«d her habitually. She 
had often seen and admired his wife, who was one of the beauties of the 
place, and had two charming children; husband and wife seemed devoted 
to each other, and eveiy one envied their happinexs. He was a man of 
intellect and culture who encouraged Hedwig's love of books; she became 
greatly Btta<^ed to bim, and one day ventured to ask him how he could 
leave his lovely and charming wife U> come to one who was not worthy 
to tie her shoe-lace. "Yea, my child," he answered, "but all her beaufy 
and culture brings nothing to my heart. She is cold, cold as ic2, proper, 
and, above all, phlegmatic. Pampered and spoilt, she lives only for her- 
■elfi we are two good comrades, and nothing more. If, for instance, I 
oome bock from the club in the evening and go to her bed, perhaps a 
little excited, she becomes nervous and she thinks it improper to wake 
hee If I kiss her she defends herself, and tells me that I smell horribly 
of cigars and wine. And if perhaps I attempt more, she jumps out of 
bed, bristles up aa though I were assaulting her, and threatens to throw 
herself out of the window if I touch her. So, for the sake of peace, I 
leave her atone and come to you." There can be no doubt whatever that 
this is the experience of many married men who would be well content 
to find the sweetheart as well as the friend in their wives. But the 
wives, from a variety of causes, have proved incapable of becoming the 
sexual mates of their husbands. And the hu'bands, without being car- 
ried away by any impulse of strong passion or any desire for infidelity, 
seek abroad what they cannot find at home. 

This is not the only reason why married men visit prostitutes. 
Even men who are happily married to women in all chief respects fitted 
to them, are apt to find, after some years of married life, a mysterious 



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PBOSTITUTION. 297 

craving for Tariety. They are not tired of their wives, they have not 
the least wish or intention to abandon them, tliey will not, if tliey can 
help it, give them the slightest pain. But Irom time to time they are 
led by an almost irresistible and involuntaiy impulse to seek a temporary 
intimacy with women to whom nothing would persuade them to join 
themselves permanently. Pepya, whose Diary, in addition tn its other 
claims upon ua, is a psycliologicat document of unique importance, fur- 
nisbcB a veij characteristic example of this kind of impulse. He had 
married a young and charming wife, to whom he is grr'atty attached, and 
he lives happily with her, save for a few occasional domestic quarrels 
Hoon heated by kiasps; his love is witnessed by hia jealousy, a jealousy 
which, as he admits, is quite unreasonable, for she is a faitliful and 
devoted wife. Yet a few yeiirs after marriage, and In the midst of a 
life of strenuoua official activity, Pepys cannot resist tfae temptation to 
seek the temporary favnra of other women, seldom prustitutes, hut nearly 
always women of low social class — shop women, workmen's wives, 
superior servant- girts. Often he is content ti> invite them to a quiet 
ale-house, and to take a few trivial liberties. Sometimes they absolutely 
refuse to allow more than this; when that happens he frequently thanks 
Almighty God (as he makes hia entry in hi^ Diary at night) that he 
has been saved from temptation and from los4 of time and money; in 
any case, be is apt to vow that it shall never o?cur again. It always 
does occur again. Pepys is quite sincere wilh himself; he makes no 
attempt at jutitification or excuse; he knows thai he baa yielded t« a 
temptation; it is an impulse that comes over him at interrals, an im- 
pulse that he seems unable long to resist. Throughout it all he remains 
an estimable and diligent ofUcial, and in moat respects a tolerably 
virtuous man, nith a genuine diatike of loose pMipIc and loose talk. 
The attitude of Pepys is brought out with incomparable simplicity and 
sincerity because he is setting down theee things for his own eyes only, 
but his case is substantially that of a vast number of other men, per- 
haps indeed of the typical \omme moyen Benauel (see Pepys, Diary, ed. 
Wheatley; e.g., vol. iv, ptusim). 

There ia a third class of married men, Ip's conaiderable in number 
but not unimportant, who are impelled to viait prostitutes; the class of 
sexually perverted men. There are a great many reasons why such men 
may desire to be married, and in some cases they marry women with 
whom they find it possible to obtain the particular form of sexual gratifi- 
cation they crave. But in a large proportion of cases this is not 
posaible. The conventionally bred woman often cannot bring herself to 
humor even some quite innocent fetishistic whim of her husband's, for 
it is too alien to her feelings and too incomprehensible to her ideas, tmai 
though she may be geuuinely in love with him; in many cases the hus- 
band would not venture to ask, and scarcely even wish, that hia wife 



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298 psYCiiOLoaT of sex. 

should lend henelf to pla; the fanUstic or posaiblf degrading part his 
desirea demand. In such a caae he turns naturally to the prostitute, the 
only womao whose busin««a it is tu fulfil his peculiar needs. Marriage 
lias brought no reliei to these meu, and they constitute a Dotewortby 
proportion of a prostitute's clients in every great city. The moat ordi- 
nary prostitute of &ny experience can aupply cases from among her own 
visitors to illUHtrate a treatise of psychopathic sexuality. It may suffice 
here to quoto n passage from the confeBsiona of a young London (Strand) 
prostitute as written down from her lips by a friend to whom I am 
indebted for the document; 1 have merely turned a few colloquial terms 
into more technical forms. After describing bow, when ahe was still a 
child of thirteen in the country, -a rich old gentleman would frequently 
come and exhibit himsplf before her and other girls, and was eventually 
arrested and imprisoned, she spoke, of the perversities she had met with 
since she had become a prostitute. She knew a young man, about 
twenty-five, generally dressed in a sporting style, who always came with 
a pair of live pigeona, which he brought b a basbet. She and the girl 
with whom she lived had to undress and take the pigeons and wring 
their necks; be would stand in front of them, and as the necks were 
wrung orgasm occurred. Once a man met her In the street and asked 
her if he might come with her and lick ber boots. She agreed, and he 
took her to a hotel, paid half a guinea for a room, and, when ahe sat 
down, got under the tnble and licked her boots, which were covered with 
mud; he did nothing more. Then there were some things, she said, that 
were too dirty to repeat; well, one man came home with her and her 
friend and made them urinate into his mouth. She also had stories of 
Bagellation, generally of men who whipped the giria, more rarely of men 
who liked to be whipped by than. One man, who brou^t a new birdi 
every time, liked to whip her friend until he drew blood. She knew 
another man who would do nothing but smack her nates violently. Nov 
alt these tbingx, which come into the ordinary day's work of tiie prosti- 
tute, are rooted in deep and almost irresistible impulses (as will be clear 
to any reader of the discussion of Erotic Symbolism in the previoua 
volume of these Sludiea). They must And some outlet But it is only 
the prostitute who can be relied upon, throu(^ her interests and train- 
ing, to overcome the natural repulsion to such actions, and gratjl^ 
desires which, without gratification, might take on other and more dan- 
gerous forms. 

Although Woods Hutchinson quotes with approval the 
declaration of a friend, "Out of thousands I have never Been one 
with good table mannerB," there is still a real sense in which the 
prostitute represents, however inadequately, the attraction o( 



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PKOSTITDTION. 29S 

civilization. "There was no house in which I could habitually 
Bce a lady's face and heaf a lady's voice," wrote the novelist 
Anthony TroUope in his Autobiograph-j, concorning his early life 
in London. "No allurement to decent respectability came in my 
way. It seems to me that in ouch circumstances the temptations 
of loose life will almost certainly prevail with a young man. 
The temptation at any rate prevailed with me," In every great 
city, it has been said, there are thousands of men who have no 
right to call any woman but a barmaid by her Christian name.^ 
All the brilliant fever of civilization pulses round them in the 
streets but their lips never touch it. It is the prostitute who 
incarnates this fascination of the city, far better than the 
virginal woman, even if intimacy with her were within reach. 
The prostitute represents it because she herself feels it, because 
she has even sacrificed her woman's honor in the effort to 
identify herself with it. She has unbridled feminine instincts, 
she is a mistress of the feminine arts of adornment, she can speak 
to him concerning the mysteries of womanhood and the lux- 
uries of sex with an immediate freedom and knowledge the 
innocent maiden cloistered in her home would be incapable of. 
She appeals to him by no means only because she can gratify the 
lower desires of sex, but also because ghe is, in her way, an artist, 
an expert in the art (fir'feminine exploitation, a leader of feminine 
fashions. For she is this, and there are, as Simmel has stated in 
his Philosophie der Mode, good psychological reasons why she 
always should be this. Her uncertain social position makes all 
that is conventional and established hateful to her, while her tem- 
perament makes perpetual novelty delightful. In new fashions 
she finds "an sesthetic form of that instinct of destruction which 
seems peculiar to all pariah existences, in so far as they are not 
completely enslaved in spirit." 

1 In France 'Jiia intimacy is embodied in the delicious privilege of 
lutoiemtnt. "The mystery of tuttytmenll" exclaims Ernest La Jeiineese 
in I/iiolooatiate: "Barriers broken down, veila -"rawn nway, and the ease 
of existencel At ft time when I was very lonely, and trying to grow 
•cotiBtomed to Paris and to misfortu- e, I would go niilea — on foot, nat- 
urally — to see a gir. cousin and an Cnnt, merely tu have rometbing to 
tutoyer. Sometimes they were not at home, and I had tj come back 
with my iu, my thiiet for confidence and familiarity and broUierlinesa." 



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300 PSTCirOLOOY OF SEX. 

"However aurp rising it maj xeem to tome," a modern writer 
remarUa, "prostitutes must be put on the wime level as arUsts. Both 
use their gifts and talents for the joj and pleasure of others, and, as a 
rule, far payment. What is the essential difference between a singer 
who gives pleasure to hearers by her throat and a prostitute who gives 
pleasure to those wlio seek her by another part of her bodyt AH art 
works on tlie senses." He refers to the significant fact that actors, and 
especially actresses, were formerly regarded much as prostitutes are now 
(R, Hellmann, I7e6*r GeaohUchtafreihcit, pp. 245-262). 

Bernaldn de Quiros and Lianas AgiiiUniedo {I.a ilala Vida en 
Madrid, p. 242) trace the same influence still lower in tJie social scftle. 
They are describing the more squalid kind of csfi cluintant, in which, in 
8pain and elsewhere, the most vicious and degenerat« feminine creatures 
become waitresses (and occasionally singers and dancers], playing the 
part of amiable and distinguished hetairir to the public of carmen and 
shop-boys who frequent these resorts. "Dressed with what seems to the 
youth irreproachable taste, with hair elaborately prepared, and clean 
face adorned with flowers or trinkets, alTahle and at times haughfy, 
superior in charm and in finery to the other wom>n he is able \a know, 
the waitresses become the most elevated example of the femm« gala»te 
whom he is able to contemplate and talk to, the courtesan of his sphere." 

But while to the simple, ignorant, and hungry youth the 
prostitute appeals as the emboditncot of msny of the refinements 
and perversities of civilization, on many more complex and 
civilized men she exerts an attraction of an almost reverse kind. 
She appeals by her fresh and natural coaraeoess, her frank 
familiarity with the crudest facts of life; and so lifts them for 
a moment out of the withering atmosphere of artificial thought 
and nnreal sentiment in which so many civilized persons are 
compelled to spend the greater part of their lives. They feel in 
the words which the royal friend of a woman of this temperament 
IB said to have used in explaining her incomprehensible influence 
over him : "She is so splendidly vulgar !" 

In illustration of this aspect of the appeal of proaUtntion, I ntay 
quote a passage in which the novelist, Hermant, in his OonfetHon d'wt 
Enfant ifHier (Lettre Vlt), has set down the reasons which may le^d 
the super- refined child of a cultured i^e, yet by no means radically or 
oompletely vicious, to find satisfaction in commerce with prostitutes: 
"As long as my heart was not touched the object of my satisfaction was 
completely indifferent to me. I was, moreover, a great lover of absolute 



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PEOSTITUTION. 801 

liberty, which is ouly possible in the circle of these anonyiuous creature* 
And in their rfBerved dwelling. There everything became permiseible. 
With other women, however Jow we may eeek tbem, certain convenances 
must be observed, a kind of prutucol. To these one can say everything: 
one 18 protected by incognito and assured tliat nothing will be divulged. 
1 prolileil by tliis fret'doio, wLich suited my ag;.-, but with a perverse 
fancy which was not characteri.stic of my years, I scarcely know where 
I found what I said to thein, for it was the opposite of my tastes, which 
were simple, and, if I may venture to say so, cla><sic. It It true that, 
in matters of love, unrestrained naturalism alwa} a tends to perversion, 
a fact that can only seem paradoxical at first sight. Primitive peoples 
have many traits in common with degenerates. It was. liowever, only 
in words thitt I was unbridled; and that was the only occasion on which 
I can recollect seriously lying. But that necessity, which I then experi- 
enced, of expelling a lower depth of ignoble instincts, seems to me 
characteristic and humiliating. I may add that even in the midst of 
these dissipations I retained a certain reserve. The contacts to which 
I exposed myself failed to soil me; nothing was left when I had crossed 
the threshold. I have always retained, from that forcible and indifferent 
commerce, the habit of attributing no consequence to the action of the 
flesh. The amorous function, which religion and morality have sur- 
rounded with mystery or seasoned with sin, seems to me a function like 
any other, a little vile, but agreeable, and one to which the usual epilogue 

is too long This kind of companionship only lasted for a 

short time." This analysis of the attitude of a certain common type of 
civilized modem man seema to be just, but it may perhaps occur to some 
readers that a commerce which led to "the action of tlie fiesh" lieing 
regarded as of no consequence can scarcely be said to have left no taint. 

In a somewhat similar manner, Henri de lUgnier, in his novel, Lei 
Benoontret de Monsieur Brioi (p, 50), represents Bcrcaillfi as delib- 
erately preferring to take his pleasures with servant-girls rather than 
with ladies, for pleasure was, to his mind, a kind of service, which could 
well be accommodated with the services they are accustomed to give; 
and then they are robust and agreeable, they possess the naivety which 
ia always charming in the common people, and they are not apt to be 
repelled by those little accidents which might offend the fastidious sensi- 
bilities of delicately bred ladies. 

Bloch, who has especially emphasised this side of the appeal of 
prostitution IDaa Beseualleben unserer Zeit, pp. 359-382), refers to tho 
delicate and sensitive young Danish writer, J. P. Jakobsen, who seems to 
have acutely felt the contrast between the higher and more habitual 
impulses, and the occasional outburst of what he felt to be lower 
instincts; in his Tfiets Lyhne he describes tlie kind of double life in 
which a man is true for a fortnight to the god he worships, and is then 



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302 PSYoeoLOOY of sex, 

overcome hj other powers which madly bear him iu their grip towards 
what he feels to be humiliating, perrerse, and filthy. "Atsuch moments,'* 
Bloch remarks, "the man is another being. The 'two souls' in the breast 
become a reality. Is that the famous scholar, the lofty idealist, the fine- 
souled Ksthetician, tbe artist who has given ua so many splendid and 
pure works in poetry and paintingi We no longer recognize him, for 
at such moments another being has cone to the surface, another nature 
is moving within him, and with the power of an elementary force is 
impelling him towards things at which bis 'upper consciousness,' the 
civilized man within bim, would shudder." Blocb believes that we are 
here concerned with a kind of normal masculine masochiam, whi^ 
prostitution serves to gratify. 

IV. The Present Social Attitude Towards Prostitution. 

We have now surveyed the complex fact of prostitution in 
some of its most various and typical aspects, seeking to realize, 
intelligently and sympathetically, the fundamental part it fXeys 
as an elementary constituent of our marriage system. Finally 
we have to consider the grounds on which prostitution now 
appears to a large and growing numher of persons not only an 
unsatisfactory method of sexual gratification but a radically bad 
method. 

The movement of antagonism towards prostitution manifests 
itself most conspicuously, as might beforehand have been 
anticipated, by a feeling of repugnance towards the most ancient 
and typical, once the moat credited and best established prostitu- 
tional manifestation, the brothel. Tlie growth of this repug- 
nance is not confined to one or two countries but is international, 
and may thus be regarded as corresponding to a real tendency in 
our civilization. It is equally pronounced in prostitutes them- 
selves and in the people who are tlieir clients. The distaste on 
the one side increases the distaste on the other. Since only the 
most helpless or the most stupid prostitutes are nowadays willing 
to accept the servitude of the brothel, the brothel- Iceeper is forced 
to resort to extraordinary methods for entrapping victims, and 
even to take part in that cosmopolitan trade in "white slayea" 



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PBOSTITCnOH. 808 

which exists Bolely to Jeed brothels.^ This state of things has a 
Datural reaction in prejudicing the clients of prostitution against 
an institution which is going out of fashion and out of credit. 
An even more fundamental antipathy is engendered by the fact 
that the brothel fails to respond to the high degree of personal 
freedom and variety which civilization produces, and always 
demtrnds even when it fails to produce. On one side the prosti- 
tute is disinclined to enter into a slavery which usually fails even 
to bring her any reward ; on the other side her client feels it as 
part of the fascination of prostitution under civilized conditions 
that he shall enjoy a freedom and choice the brothel cannot 
provide.^ Thus it comes about that brothels which once con- 
tained nearly all the women who made it a business to minister 
to the sexual needs of men, now contain only a decreasing 
minority, and that the transformation of cloistered prostitution 
into free prostitution is approved by many social reformers as a 
gain to the cause of morality.^ 

The decay of brothels, whether as cause or as effect, has 
been associated with a vast increase of prostitution outside 
brothels. But the repugnance to brothels in many essential 
respects also applies to prostitution generally, and, as we shall 
see, it is exerting a profoundly modifying infiuence on that 
prostitution. 

The changing feeling in regard to prostitution seems to 
, express itself mainly in two ways. On the one hand there are 
those who, without desiring to abolish prostitution, resent the 
abnegation which accompanies it, and are disgusted by its sordid 
aspects. They may have no moral scruples against prostitution, 

1 For aome facte (knd references to the extensive literature concern- 
ing this trade, see, e.g., Bloch, Das Semtalleben Unaerer Zeit, pp. 374-376; 
also K. M. Baer, Zeitschrift fur Sexvattbissenscha/t, Sept., 1908; Pau- 
lueci de Calboli, Xuova Aniologia, April, 1902. 

2 These considerations do not, it is true, apply to many kinds ol 
sexual perverts who form an important proporUon of the clients of 
brothels. These can frequently find what they crave inside a brothel 
much more easily than outside. 

s Thus Charles Booth, in his great work on Life and Labor in Lon- 
don, final volume (p. 12S), recommends that "houses of accommodation," 
instead of beina hunted out, should be tolerated as a step towards the 
suppression of brothels. 



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804 p8T0HOLoay op sex. 

and they know do reason why a woman should not freely do as 
she will with her own person. But they believe that, if prostitu- 
tion is necessary, the relationships of men with prostitutes should 
he humane and agreeable to each party, and not degrading to 
either. It must be remembered that under the conditions of 
civilized urban life, the discipline of work is often too severe, 
and the excitements of nrban existence too constant, to render 
an abandonment to orgy a desirable recreation. The gross form 
of orgy appeals, not to the town-dweller but to the peasant, and 
to the sailor or soldier who reaches the town after long periods of 
dreary routine and emotional abstinence. It is a mistake, even, to 
suppose that the attraction of prostitution is inevitably asso- 
ciated with the fulfilment of the sexual act. " So far is this from 
being the case that the most attractive prostitute may be a woman 
who, possessing few sexual needs of her own, desires to please by 
the charm of her personality ; these are among those who most 
■often find good husbands. There are many men who are even 
well content merely to have a few hours' free intimacy with an 
agreeable woman, without any further favor, although that may 
be open to them. For a very large number of men under urban 
conditions of existence the prostitute la ceasing to be the degraded 
instrument of a moment's lustful desire; they seek an agreeable 
human person with whom they may find relaxation from the 
-daily stress or routine of life. When an act of prostitution is 
thus put on a humane basis, although it by no means thereby 
becomes conducive to the best development of either party, it at 
least ceases to be hopelessly degrading. Otherwise it would not 
have been possible for religious prostitution to flourish for so long 
in ancient days among honorable women of good birth on the 
shores of the Mediterranean, even in regions like Lydia, where the 
position of women was peculiarly high.^ 

It is true that the monetary side of prostitution would still 
exist. But it is possible to exaggerate its importance. It must 

1 "Towna like Woolwich, Aldershot, Portsmouth, Plymouth," it haa 
been said, "abound with \iT«tched, filthy monBters that bear no reoem- 
blance to women; but it Is drink, scorn, brutality and disease wliich 
haVe reduced them to this state, not the mere fact of associating with 



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PROSTITUTION, 806 

be pointed out tliat, tliough it is usual to speak of the prostitute 
as a Toman who "sells herself," this is rather a crude and inexact 
way of expressing, in its typical form, the relationship of a 
prostitute to her client, A prostitute is not a commodity with a 
market-price, like a loaf or a leg of mutton. She is much more 
on a level with people belonging to the professional classes, who 
accept fees in return for services rendered ; the amount of the 
fee varies, on the one hand in accordance with professional 
standing, on the other hand in accordance with the client's means, 
and under special circumstances may be graciously dispensed 
with altogether. Prostitution places on a venal basis intimate 
relationships which ought to spring up from natural love, and 
in so doing degrades them. But strictly speaking there is in 
such a case no "sale." To speak of a prostitute "selling herself" 
18 scarcely even a pardonable rhetorical exaggeration ; it is both 
inexact and unjust. ^ 

This tendeiuy in an advanced civibzation towards the humaniza- 
tJon of prostitution is the reverse process, we nm,y note, to that which 
takes place at an earlier stage of civilization when the ancient concep- 
tion of the religious dignity of prostitution logins to fall into disrepute. 
When men cease to reverence women who are prostitutes in the service 
of a goddess they set up in their place prostitutes who are merely abject 
slaves, flattering themselves that thej are thereby wortting in the pause 
of "progress" and "morality." On the shores of the Mediterranean this 
process took place more than two thousand years ago, and is associated 
witb the name of Solon. To-day we may see the aams process going on 
in India, In some parts of India (as at Jejuri, near Poonah) Hrat born 
girts are dedicated to Khsndoba or other gods; they are married to the 
god and termed mitralti. They serve in the temple, sweep it, and wash 

1 "The contract of prostitution in the opinion of prostitutes them- 
selves," Bematdo de Quiros and Lianas A^ilanledo remark (La Uata 
Tida en Madrid, p. 254) , "cannot be assimilated to a sale, nor to a con- 
tract of work, nor fo any other form of barter recognized by the civil 
law. They consider that in these pacts there always enters an element 
which makes it much more like a gift in a matter in which no payment 
could be adequate. 'A woman's body is withont price' is an axiom of 
prostitution. The money placed In the hands of her who procures the 
satisfaction of sexual desire is not the price of the act, but an offering 
which the priestess of Venus applies to her msintenance." To the Span- 
iard, it is true, every transaction which resembles trade is repugiumt, 
but the principle underlying this feeling holds good of prostitution gen- 
erally. 



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306 PSYCHOLOQY OF BEX. 

the holy Teseeb, also tliey dance, Hing and prostitute UtemaelvM. They 
are forbidden to marry, and tbej lire in the homes of their parents, 
brothera, or sisters; being consecrateil to religious aernce, they are 
untouched by degradation. Nowadays, however, Indian "reformers," in 
Uie name of "civilization and gfience," seek to persuade the murotM that 
they are "plunged in a career of degradation." No doubt in time the 
would-be moralists will drive the muralit out of their temples and their 
homes, deprive them of all self-respect, and convert them into wretched 
outcasts, all in the cause of "science and civilization" (see, e.g., an arti- 
cle by Mrs. Eashibai Deodhar, The New Reformer, October, 1907). So 
it is that early reformers create for the reformers of a later day the task 
of humanizing prostitution afresh. 

There can be no doubt that this more humane conception of prosti- 
tution is to-day beginning to be realized in ths actual civilized life of 
Europe. Thua in writing of prostitution in Paris, Dr. Robert Micbela 
("Krotische StreifzUge," Mullergohtitx, 1906, Heft 9, p. 368) remarks: 
"While in Germany the prostitute is generally considered as an 'outcasf 
creature, and treated accordingly, an instrument of masculine lust to be 
used and thrown away, and whom one would under no circumstances 
recognize in public, in France the prostitute plays in many respects Uie 
part which Once give significance and fame to the helaira of Athena." 
And after describing the consideration and respect which the Parisian 
prostitute is often able U> require of her friends, and the non-sexual rela- 
tion of comradeship which she can enter into with other men, the writer 
continues: "A girl who certainly yields licrself for money, but by no 
means for the first comer's money, and who, in addition to her 'business 
friends,' feels the need of, so to say, non-aezual companions with whom 
she can associate in a free comrade-like way, and by whom she is treated 
and valued as a free human being, is not wholly tost for the moral worth 
of humanity." All prostitution is had, Michols concludes, but we should 
have reason to congratulate ourselves if love- relationships of this 
Parisian species represented the lowest known >orm of extra-conjugal 
sexuality. (As bearing on the relative consideration accorded to prosti- 
tutes I may mention that a Paris prostitute remarked to a friend of 
mine that Englishmen would aak her questions which no Frenchman 
would venture to ask. ) 

It is not, however, only in Paris, although here more markedly and 
prominently, that this humanieing change in prostitution is beginning 
to make itself felt- It is manifested, for instance, in the greater open- 
ness of a man's sexual life. "While he formerly slinkcd into a brothel 
in a remote street," Dr. Willy Hellpach remarks {XervositUt and Eultur. 
p. 166), "he now walks abroad with his 'liaison,' visiting the theatres 
and caf£s, without indeed any anxiety to meet his acquaintenees, but 
with no embarrassment on that point. The thing is becoming more com- 



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PBOSTITUTIOM. 307 

monpUc«, more — natural." It JB alao, Hellpakch procMds to point out, 
tbUB becoming more moral also, and much unnholeBOme pnideTjr and 
pruriencj is being done away with. 

In England, wbere change ia alow, tliis tendency to the humanisa- 
tion of prostitution ma; be lens pronounced. But it certainly exists. 
In the middle of the laat century Lecky wrote [HUtory of Etiroptan 
MoraU, vol. ii, p. 286) that habitual prostitution "i« in no other Euro- 
pean country ao hopeleaaly vicious or so irrevocable." That statement, 
which was also made t^ Parent-Duchttelet and other foreign observers, 
la fully confirmed by the evidence on record. But it is a statement 
which would hardly be made to-day, except prehapa, in refereace to ape- 
cial confined areas of our citiea. It is the same In America, and we 
may doubtlese find thia tendency reflected in the report on The Soeiitt 
Evil (1902). drawn up by a committee in New York, who gave It (p. 
176) as one of their chief recommendations that prostitution should no 
longer l>e regarded as a crime, in which light, one gathers, it had formerly 
been regarded in New York. Tliat may aeem but a amall step in the 
path of humanisation, but it is in the right direction. 

It la by no meana only in lands of European civiliEation that we 
may trace with developing culture the refinement and faumanisation of 
the slighter bonds of relatiotiahip with women. In Japan exactly the 
aanw demands led, several centuries ago, to the appearance of the geisha. 
In the course of an interesting and precise study of the geisha Mr. R. T. 
Farrer remarks (Nineteenth Century, April, 1904) : "The geisha is in 
no sense necesaarily a courteaan. She is a woman educnted to attract; 
perfected from her childhood in all the intricacies of Japanese litera- 
ture; practiced in wit and repartee; inured to the rapid give-and-take 
of conversation on every topic, human and divine. From her earliest 
youth sbe la broken into an inviolable charm of manner incomprehensible 
to the flueat European, yet she is almost invariably a blossom of the 
lower classes, with dumpy claws, and squat, ugly nails. Her education, 
physical and moral, is far harder than that of the ballerina, and her 
success is achieved only after years of struggle and a bitter agony of 

torture And tte geisha's aocial position may be compared 

with that of the European actress. The Qeisha-house ofTers prizea aa 
desirable as any of the Western stage. A great g.'isha with twen^ 
nobles sitting round her, contending for her laughter, and kept in con- 
stant check by the flashing bodkin of her wit, bol<U a position no leaa 
high and famous than that of Sarah Bernhardt in her prime. She is 
equally Bought, equally flattered, quite as madly adored, that quiet little 
elderly plain girl in dull blue. But she is prized thus primarily for her 
tongue, whose power only ripens fully aa her phyaicnl charms decline. 
She demands vast sums for her owners, and even so often appears and 
dances only at her own pleasure. Few, it any, Westemera ever ace a 



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808 P8YCH0L00T OF PES. 

really famous geisha. She U too great to com;' before a European, 
except for an auguat or imperial command. Fioallj she may, and fre- 
quently does, marry into exalted places.' In all this there is not the 
■lightest neceraity for any illicit relation." 

In some reapecta the poeition of th? ancient Greek hetaira was 
more analogua to that of the Japanese geisha than to that of the prosti- 
tute in the strict sense. For the Greeks, indeed, the lisiaira, was not 
strictly a pome or prostitute at alL. The name meant friend or com- 
panion, and the woman to whom the name was applied held an honorable 
position, which could not be accorded to the mere prostitute. Athentaus 
(Bit. xiii, Chs. XXVIII-XXX) brings together passages ahowing that 
the AetoiVa could be regarded as an independpnt cit izpn, pure, simple, and 
virtuous, altogether distinct from the common crew of prostitutes, 
though these might ape her name. The helair(r "were almost the only 
Greek women," saya Donaldson {Woman, p. 50), "who exhibited what 
was best and noblest in women's nature." This fact renders it more 
intelligible why a woman of such intellectual distinction aa Aspaaia 
ahould have been a hetaira. There seems little doubt as to her intel- 
lectual distinction, "^^achines, in hia dialogue entitled 'Aapaaia,* " writea 
Gompers, the historian of Greek philosophy {Oreek Thinlieti, vol. ill, pp. 
124 and 343), "puts in the mouth of that distinguished woman an incisive 
criticism of the mode of life traditional for her sex. It would be exceed- 
ingly strange," GomperE adds, in arguing that an inference may thus 
be drawn concerning the historit-nl Aspuaiu, "if tSr:e authors — Plato. 
Xenophon and .^chines — hnd agreed in fictitiously enduing the com- 
panion of Pericles with what we miglit very reasonably have espeeteil 
her to possess — a highly cultivated mind and intellectual influence." It 
ia even possible tJiat the movement for woman's right whicli, as we dimly 
divine through the pages of Aristophanes, took place in Athens in the 
fourth century B. C., wiis led by hetaiiT. According to Ivo Brun* 
{Frauenemanoipalion in Athea, 1900, p. 16) "the moat certain informa- 
tion which we possess concemini; AspnEiia bears a strong resemblance to 
the picture which Euripides and Arixtophanes present to us of the 
leaders of the woman movement."' It was the exialen?u of this move- 
ment which made Plato's ideas on the community of women appear far 
less absurd than they do to us. It may perhaps be thought by some 
that this movement represented on a higher plane that love of distmc- 
tion, or, as we should better any, that spirit of revolt and aspiration, 
which Simmel finds to mark the intcllpctual and ar'i^tic nctivity of those 
who are unclnssed or dubiously rlnssed in the social hierarchy. Ninon 
de Lencloa, as we have seen, was not strictly a courietan, but she was a 
pioneer in the assertion of woman's rights. Aplirtt Behn who, a little 
later in Eugland, occupied a similarly dubious social position, was like- 
wise a pioneer in generous humanitarian aspirations, which have since 
been adopted in the world at large. 



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PU08TITUTION. 809 

These refinementa of proatitution may be said to be chiefly the out- 
rome of the )at« and more developed stages in civilization. Ab S^hurtz 
)iaa put it {AUeTikUi»»en und ildnnerbiinde, p. 191) ; "The cheerful, 
skilful and artiaticatly accomplished hetaira frequently stands as an ideal 
flgurc in opposition to the intellectually uncultivated wife banished to 
the interior ot the house. The courtesan o( the Italian Renaissance, 
Japanese geishas, Cliineae flower-girls, and Indian buyaderos, all show 
some not unnoble features, the breath of a free artistic existence. They 
liave achieved — with, it is true, tlie sacriQce of their highest worth — 
an independence from the oppressive rule of man and of household 
duties, and a part of the feminine endowment which is so often crippled 
^comes in them to brilliant development. ProstituJon in its best form 
may thus offer a path by which these feminine characteristics may eicert 
a certain influence on the development of civilirfltion. We may also 
believe that the artistic activity of women is in some measure able to 
offer a counterpoise to the otherwise less pleasant results of sexual 
abandonment, preventing the coarsening and destruction ot the emotional 
life; in his Magda Budermann has described a type of woman who, from 
the standpoint of strict morality, is open to condemnation, but in her 
art finds a foothold, the strength of which even ill-will must unwillingly 
recognize." In his Bex and Character, Weininger has developed in a 
more extreme and extravagant manner the conception of the prostitute 
as a fundamental and essential part of life, a permanent feminine type. 

There are others, apparently in increasing numbere, who 
approach the problem of proatitution not from an teathetic stand- 
point but from a moral standpoint This moral attitude ia not, 
however, that conventionalized morality of Cato and St. Augus- 
tine and Lecky, set fortli in previous pages, according to which 
the prostitute in the street must be accepted as the guardian of 
the wife in the home. These moralists reject indeed the claim of 
that belief to be considered moral at all. They hold that it is 
not morally possible that the honor of some women shall be 
purchaseable at the price of the dishonor of other women, because 
at such a price virtue loses all moral worth. When they read 
that, as Goncourt stated, "tlie most luxurious articles of women's 
trousseaux, the bridal chemises of girls with dowries of sii 
hundred thousand francs, are made in the prison of Clairvaux,"* 
they see the symbol of the intimate dependence of our luxurious 

^Jotimat des Goncourt, vol. iii; this was in 1806. 



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SIO FSYCUOLOQY OF BEX. 

virtue on our squalid vice. And wfaUe they accept the historical 
and Boeiological evidence which shows that prostitution is an 
inevitable part of the marriage Bystem which still survives among 
118, they ask whether it is not possible bo to modify our marriage 
system that it shall not be necessary to divide feminine humanity 
into "disreputable" women, who make sacrifices which it is dis- 
honorable to make, and "respectable" women, who take sacrifices 
which it cannot be less dishonorable to accept. 

pToatitutea, a diBtin^ished urns of eeience has said (Duclaux, 
L'Bygiine Sooiale, p. 243), "have bMome thinga which the public uses 
when it wanta t)iem, and throwx on the dungheap when it haa made than 
vile. In its phariaaism it even haa the inaolence to treat their trade as 
■hameful, as though it were not just aa ahampful to huj aa to sell in 
this market" Rlocli (Flexuelleben unserer Zeit. Ch. XV) insists that 
proetitution must be ennobled, and that only so can it be even diminished. 
Isidore D;er, of New Orleans, also argues that we cannot check prostitu- 
tion anleaa we create "in the minds of men and women a. spirit of 
tolerance instead of intolerance pf fallen women." This point may be 
illustrated by a remark by the prostitute author of the Tagebuclt einer 
VerUtrenen. "If the profesaion of yielding the body ceased to be a ahame- 
ful one," ahe wrote, "the army of 'unfortunat«s' would diminiah by four- 
flfthi — I will evea aay nine-tenths. Myself, for examplel How gladly 
would I take a situation as companion or governesal" "One of two 
things," wrote the eminent sociologist Tarde <"La Hbrate Sexuelle," 
Archives i^AnlhropolOffie CrimtTieUe, January, 1907), "either proatitu- 
tioQ will disappear through continuing to be dishonorable and will be 
replaced by some other institution which will better remedy the defects 
of monogamous marriage, or it will survive by becoming reapectable, that 
is to say, by making itself respected, whether liked or disliked." Tarde 
thought this might perhaps come about by a better organisation of pros- 
titutes, a more careful aelectinn aniorg thoae who desired admission to 
their ranks and the cultivation of professional virtues which would raise 
their moral level. "If courtesans fulfil a ne?d," Balzac had already said 
jn his Phyaiologie du Uai iage, "they must become an institution." 

TJiis moral attitude is supported and enforced by the 
inevitable democratic tendency of civilization which, although it 
by no means destroys the idea of class, undermines that idea as 
the mark of fundamental human distinctions and renders it 
superficial. Prostitution no longer makes a woman a slave; it 
ought not to make her even a pariah : "My body is my own," said 



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PROSTITUTION. 811 

the yoimg German prostitute of to-day, "and what I do with it is 
nobody else's concern." When the prostitute was literally a 
slave moral duty towards her was by no means necessarily 
identical with moral duty towards the free woman. But when, 
even in the same family, the prostitute may be separated by a 
great and impassable social gulf from her married sister, it 
becomes possible to see, and in the opinion of many imperatively 
necessary to see, that a readjustment of moral values is required. 
For thousands of years prostitution has been defended on the 
ground that the prostitute is necessary to ensure the "purity of 
women." In a democratic age it begins to be realized that 
prostitutes also are women. 

The developing sense of a fundamental human equality 
underlying the surface divisions of class tends to make the 
usual attitude towards the prostitute, the attitude of her clients 
even more than that of society generally, seem painfully cruel. 
The callous and coarsely frivolous tone of so many young men 
about prostitutes, it has been said, is "simply cruelty of a 
peculiarly brutal kind," not to be discerned in any other relatioa 
of life.i And if this attitude is cruel even in speech it is still 
more cruel in action, whatever attempts may be made to disguise 
its cruelty. 

Canon Lfttleton'i Teinarka may be t«ken to refer chieflj to voung 
men of the upper middle class. ConMming what ie perhaps the usual 
attitude of lower middle cUsa people towards proetjiution, I ma; quote 
from & remarkable communicatton which has reached me from Australia: 
"What are the views of a young man brought up iu a middle-class Chris- 
tian English family on prostituteBT Take my father, (or instaDoe. He 
fljst mentioned prostitutea to me, if I remember rightly, when speaking 
of bis life before marriage. And be ipoke of than as be would apeak of 
a korge he had hired, paid for, and dismissed from hii mind idien it 
had rendered him aerTfce. Although my mother was so kind and good 
she spoke of abandoned women with disgust and scorn as of some unclean 
animal. As it flatters vanity and pride to be aUe with good counte- 
nance and univerBal consent to look down on something. I soon grasped 
the situation and adopted an attitude which is, In the main, that of most 



I Rev. the Bon. C. Lyttleton, Training of the Young in Lam of Sex. 



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812 PSYCUOLOOY OF SEX. 

middle-class Christian EngHsbinen towards prostitutes. But as puberty 
develops this attitude has to be accommodated with the wish to make 
use of this Bcum, these moral lepers. The ordinary young man, who likes 
a spice of immorality end has it when in town, and thinks it is not likely 
to come to his mother's or sisters' ears, does not get over Ilia arrognnce 
and disgust or abate them in the least. He takes Uiem with him, moi« 
or less disguised, to the brothel, and they color his thoughts and actions 
all the time he is sleeping with prostitutes, or kissing them, or passing 
his hands over them, as he would over a mare, getting as much as he 
can for his money. To t«1I the truth, on the whole, that was my attitude 
too. But if anyone bad asked me for the smallest reason for tiiis 
attitude, for this feeling of superiority, pride, hauteur, and prejudice, I 
should, like any other 'respectable' young man, have been entirely at a 
loss, and could only have gaped foolishly." 

From the modern moral standpoint which now concerns us, 
not only ia the cruelty involved in the dishonor of the prostitute 
absurd, but not less absurd, and often not less cruel, seems the 
honor bestowed on'the respectable women on the other side of the 
social gulf. It is well recognized' that men sometimes go to 
prostitutes to gratify the excitement aroused by fondling their 
betrothed,^ As the emotional and physical results of ungratified 
excitement are not infrequently more serious in women than in 
men, tlie betrothed women in these cases are equally justified in 
seeking relief from other men, and the vicious circle of absurdity 
might thus be completed. 

From the point of view of the modem moralist there is 
anotlier consideration which was altogether overlooked in ttie 
conventional and traditional morality we have inherited, and 
was indeed practically non-existent in the ancient days when that 
morality was still a living reality. Women are no longer divided 
only into the two groups of wives who are to be honored, and 
prostitutes who are the dishonored guardians of that honor ; there 
18 a large third class of women who are neither wives nor prosti- 



iSee, e.q., R. W. Taylor, Treatise on Bemiai Disorders, 1S97, pp. 
74-6. Georg Hirth (TVejre Kur Heimat, 1909, p. fllB) narrates the case 
of a young officer who. being excited by tbe caresses of his betrothed and 
having too much respect for her to go further than this, and too much. 
respect for himself to rpsort to masturbation, knew nothing better thsn 
to go to a prOTtitute. Synhilis developed a few days after the wedding. 
Hirth adds, briefly, that the results were terrible. 



byGoogIc 



FKOBti'rorioN. 818 

tutee. For this group of the unmarried virtuous the traditional 
morality had no place at all ; it simply ignored them. But the 
new moralist, who is learning to recognize both the claims of the 
individual and the claims of society, begins to ask whether on the 
one hand these women are not entitled to the satisfaction of their 
afFectional and emotional impulses if they so desire, and on the 
other hand whether, since a high civilization involves a diminished 
birth-rate, the community ia not entitled to encourage every 
healthy and able-bodied woman to contribute to maintain the 
birth-rate when she so desires. 

All the considerations briefly indicated in the preceding 
pages — the fundamental sense of human equality generated by our 
civilization, the repugnance to cruelty which accompanies the 
reHuement of urban life, the ugly contrast of eictremes which 
shock our developing democratic tendencies, the growing sense of 
the rights of the individual to authority over his own person, 
the no less strongly emphasized right of the community to the 
best that the individual can yield — all these considerations are 
every day more strongly influencing the modem moralist to 
assume towards the prostitute an attitude altogether different 
from that of the morality which we derived from Cato and 
Augustine. He sees the question in a larger and more dynamic 
manner. Instead of declaring that it is well worth while to 
tolerate and at the same time to contemn the prostitute, in order 
to preserve the sanctity of the wife in her home, he is not only 
more inclined to regard each as the proper guardian of her own 
moral freedom, but he is less certain about the time-houored 
position of tlie prostitute, and moreover, by no means sure that 
the wife in the home may not be fully as much in need of 
rescuing as the prostitute in the street; he is prepared to con- 
sider whether reform in this matter is not most likely to take 
place in the shape of a fairer apportionment of sexual privileges 
and sexual duties to women generally, with an inevitably resultant 
elevation in the sexual lives of men also. 

The revolt of many serlouB reformers against the injustice and 
degradation now involved bj our system of prostitution is so profound 
that w>me have declared themselves ready to accept any revolution of 



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314 PSTOHOLOOT OF SEX. 

ideoa which would bring about a more wholenme transmutation of morat 
values. "Bett«r indeed were a saturnalia of free men tknd women," 
exclaims Edward Carpenter (Love^a Coming of Age, p. 62), "t^an the 
spectacle which, as it is, our great cities present at night." 

Even th6Be who would he quite content with as conserrative a 
treatment as possible of social institutions still eannot fail to realixa 
that prostitution is unsatisfactory, unless we are content to moke very 
humble claims of the semtal act. "The act of proatitution," Qodfr^ 
declares (The Boienoe of Beta, p. 202), "may be phjeiologically complete, 
but it is complete in no other sense. All the moral and intellectual fac- 
tors which combine with physical desire to form the perfect seznal 
attraction are abeent. AH tiie higher elements of love — admiration, 
respect, honor, and self-sacrificing devotion — are as foreign to prostitu- 
tion as to the egoistic act of mastnrbation. The principal drawbacks to 
the morally of the act lie In its associations more than In the act Iteelf. 
Any aflfectloual quality which a more or tens promiscuous connection 
might possess is at once destroyed by the intrusion of the monetary ele- 
ment. In the resulting degradation the woman has the largest share, 
since it makes her a pariah and involves her in all the hardening and 
4epraTing influences of social ostracism. But her degradation only 
serves to render her influence on her partners more demorallElng. Pros- 
titution," he concludes, "has a strong tendency towards emphasizing the 
naturally selflsh attitude of men towards women, and encouraging them 
In the delusion, bom of unregulated passions, that the sexual act itaelf 
Is the aim and end of the sex life. Prostitution can therefore make no 
claim to afford even a temporary solution to the sex problem. It fulflla 
only that mission which has made it a 'necessary evil' — the mission of 
palliative to the physical rigors of celibacy and monogamy. It does so 
at the cost of a considerable amount of physical and moral deterioration, 
much of which is undoubtedly due to the action of society in completing 
the degradation of the prostitute by persistent ostracism. Prostitution 
was not so great an evil when It was not thought so great, yet even at 
its best It was a real evil, a melancholy and sordid travesty of sincere 
and natural passional relations. It Is an evil which we are bound ti> 
have with us so long as celibacy Is a custom nnd monogamy a law." It 
is the wife as well aa the prostitute who is degraded by a system which 
makes venal love possible. "The time has gone past," the same writer 
remarks elsewhere (p. 195) "when a mere ceremony can really sanctify 
what is base and transform lust and greed into the sincerity of sexual 
affection. If, to enter into sexual connections with a man for a solely 
material end is a disgrace to humanify, it is a disgrace under the mar- 
riage bond just as much as apart from the hypocritical blessing of the 
church or the law. Tf the public prostitute is a being who deserves to 
be treated aa a pariab, it is hopelessly irrational to withhold every sort 



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FBOBTITUTION. SX5 

of morftl opprobritnn from tbe woman wbo lends a Bimilar life UDder « 
different let of external circuniBtanoe*. Either the proetitat« wife must 
come under the moral ban, or there must be an end to the complete 
oatraciem under which the prostitute labors." 

The thinker who more clearlj and fundamentallj than others, and 
first of all, realized the dynamical relationships of prostitution, as 
dependent upon a change In the other social relationships of life, was 
James Hinton. More than thirtj years ago, in fragmentary writing 
that still remain unpublished, since be never worked them into an 
orderly form, Einton gave vigorous and often passionate expression to 
this fundamental idea. It may be worth while to quote a few brief pas- 
sages from Hinton's MSS.; "I leel that the laws of force should hold, 
also amid the waves of human passion, that the relations of mechanics 
are true, and will rule also in human life. .... There is a ten- 
sion, a. crushing of the soul, by our modem life, and it is ready for a 
sudden spring to a different order in which the forces shall rearrange 
themselves. It is a dynamical question presented in moiol terms. 
.... Keeping a portion of the woman population without prospect 
of marriage means having prostitutes, that is women as instruments of 
man's mere sensuality, and this means the killing, in many of them, of 
all pure love or capacity of it. This is the fact we have to face. 
. . . . To-day I saw a young woman whose life was being consumed 
by her want of love, a case of threatened utter misery: now see the 
price at which we purchase her ill-bealth; for her ill-health we pay the 
crushing of another girl into hell. We give that for it; her wretched- 
ness of soul and body are bought by prostitution; we have prostitutes 
made tor that We devote some women recklessly to perdi- 
tion to make a hothouse Heaven for the rest. .... One wears 
herself out in vainly trying to endure pleasures she is not strong enough 
to enjoy, while other women are perishing for lack of these very pleas- 
ures. If marriage is this, is it not embodied lustl The happy Christian 

homes are the true dark places of the earth Prostitution 

for man, restraint for woman — they are two sides of the same thing, and 
both are denials of love, like luxury and asceticism. The mountains of 
restraint must be used to fill up the abysses of luxury." 

Some of Hinton's views were set forth by a writer intimately 
acquainted with him in a pamphlet entitled ^he Future of Uariiage: A.% 
Eirenicon for a Question of To-day, by a Respectable Womans(13S6). 
"When once the conviction is forced home upon the 'good' women," tha 
writer remarks, "that their place of honor and privilege rests upon the 
degradation of others as its basis, they will never rest Ull they have 
either abandoned it or sought for it some other pedestal. If onr inflexi- 
ble marriage system has for its essential condition the existence side by 
side with it of prostitution, then one of two things follows: either pros- 



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316 P8YCU0L00T OF BEX. 

titution must be shown to be compatible with the well-being, moral and 
physical, of the woniea who practice it, or our marriage system must be 
condemned. If it was clearly put before anyone, he could not seriously 
assert that to be 'virtue' which could only bs practiced at the expense 

of another's vice Whilst the laws of phyaEcs are becoming 

BO universally recognized that no one dreams of attempting to annihilate 
a particle of matter, or of force, yet wo do nut instinctively apply the 
same conception to moral forces, but think and act as it we could simply 
do away with an evil, while leaving unchanged that which gives it its 
strength. This is the only view of the social problem which can give us 
hope. That prostitution should simply cease, leaving everything else as 
it is, would be disastrous if it were possible. But it is not possible. 
The weakness of all existing clforta to put dou'u prostitution is that tb^ 
are directed against it as an isolated thing, whereas it is only one of 
the symptoms proceeding from a common disease." 

Ellen Key, who during recent years hns been the chief apostle of 
a gospel of sexual morality baaed on the needs of women as the motber* 
of the race, has, in a somewhat similar spirit, denounced alike prostitu- 
tion and rigid marriage, declaring (in her Essaj/s on I.otie and Marriage) 
that "the development of erotic personal consriousnees is as much 
hindered by socially regulated 'morality' as by socially regulated 'im- 
morality,' ■' and that "the two lowest and socially sanctioned expressions 
of sexual dualism, rigid marriage and prostitution, will gradually become 
impossible, because with the conquest of the idea of erotjc unity they 
will no longer correspond to human ne^ds." 

We may sum up the present situation as regards prostitutioD 
by saying that on the one haad there is a tendency for its eleva- 
tion, in association with the growing humanity and refinement 
of civilization, characteristics which must inevitably tend to mark 
more and more both those women who become proatitutea and 
those men who seek them; on the other hand, but perhaps 
through the aaine dvTiamic force, there is a tendency towards the 
alow elimination of prostitution by the Buccesaful competi- 
tion of- higher and purer methods of sexual relationship freed 
from pecuniary considerations. This refinement and humaniza- 
tion, this competition by better forms of sexual love, are indeed 
an essential part of progress as civilization becomes more truly 
sound, wholesome, and sincere. 

This moral change cnnnot, it seems probable, fail to be 
accompanied by the realization that the facte of human life are 



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PR08TITOTION. 317 

more impoitant than the fomiB. For all changes from lower to 
higher social formBj from savagery to civilization, are accom- 
panied — in BO far as they are vital changes — by a slow and painful 
groping towards the truth that it is only in natural relations that 
sanity and sanctity can be found, for, as Nietzsche said, the 
"return" to Nature should rather be called the "ascent." Only so 
can we achieve the final elimination from our hearts of that 
clinging tradition that there is any impurity or dishonor in acts 
of love for which the reasonable, and not merely the conventional, 
conditions have been fulfilled. For it is vain to attempt to 
cleanse our laws, or even our by-laws, until we have first cleansed 
our hearts. 

It would be out of place here to push furtlier the statement 
of the moral question as it is to-day beginning to shape itself, in 
the sphere of sex. In a psychological discussion we are on]^ con- 
cerned to set down the actual attitude of the moralist, and of 
civilization. The practical outcome of that attitude must be 
left to moralists and sociologists and the community generally to 
work out. 

Our inquiry has also, it may be hoped, incidentally tended 
to show that in practically dealing with the question of prostitu- 
tion it is pre-eminently necessary to remember the warning 
which, as regards many other social problems, has been em- 
bodied by Ilerbert Spencer in his famous illustration of the 
bent iron plate. In trying to make the bent plate smooth, it is 
useless, Spencer pointed out, to hammer directly on the buckled 
up part; if we do so we merely find that we have made matters 
worse; our hammering, to be effective, must be around, and not 
directly on, the offensive elevation we wish to reduce; only so 
can the iron plate be hammered smooth.* But this elementary 

1 It is an oft-quoted paesagp, but ran Bcarcelj be quoted too often: 
'^on see that this wroujitht-iron piste is not quite flat: it aticks up a 
littk, here towards the left — 'cockles,' as we say. How shall we flatten 
itt Obviously, you reply, by hitting down on the part that is prominent. 
Well, here is a hammer, and T give the plat' a blow as yot adviaa. 
Harder, you say. Still no effect. Another stroke* Well, there Is one. 
and another, and another. The prominenee xemains. you see: the evil 
ia as great aa ever — [jreafer, indeed. Bnt that is not all. Look at the 
warp which the pkkte has got near the opposite edge. Where it was 



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318 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEI. 

law has not been understood by moralists. The plain, prac- 
tical, common-Bense reformer, as he fancied himself to be — 
from the time of Charlemagne onwards — has over and over again 
brought his heavy fist directly down on to the evil of prostitution 
and has always made matters worse. It is only by wisely working 
outside and around the evil that we can hope to lessen it effect- 
ually. By aiming to develop and raise the relationships of men 
to women, and of women to women, by modifying our notions of 
sexual relationships, and by introducing a saner and truer con- 
ception of womanhood and of the responsibilities of women as 
well as of men, by attaining, socially as well as economically, a 
higher level of human living— it is only by such methods as these 
that we can reasonahly expect to see any diminution and allevia- 
tion of the evil of . prostitution. So long as we are incapable of 
such methods we must be content with the prostitution we 
deserve, learning to treat it with the pity, and the respect, which 
BO intimate a failure of our civilization is entitled to. 

flkt before it ia now curved. A pretty bungle we have made of it, 
Iii8t«ad of curing the original defect we have produced k second. Had 
we asked ao artisan practiced in 'planishin}!;.' an it is called, he would 
have told us that no good was to be done, but only miBChief. by hitting 
down on the projecting part. He would have taught u» how to give 
variously-directed and special ly-adjust«d blows with a hammer else- 
where: BO attacking the evil, not by direct, but by indirect actions. The 
required process is less simple than you thought. Even a sheet of metal 
ia not to be successfully dealt with after those comtn on -sense methods 
in which you have so much confidence. What, then, shall we say about 
a Bocietyl .... Is humanity more readily straightened than an 
iron plater' {The Study of BocMogy, p. 270.) 



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CHAPTER VIII. 

THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES. 

The Significance of the VeDereal Diseases — The Hiator^r *'^ Syphilis 
—The Problem of Its Origin— The Social Gravity- of Syphilis — TI e Social 
Dangers of Gonorrhrat — The Modem Change io the Methods of Combat- 
ing Venereal Diseases — Causes of the Decay of the System of PoHce 
Kegulation — Necessity of Facing the Facte — The Innocent Victims of 
Venereal Diseases — Diseases Not Crimes — The Principle of Notlflcatfon — 
The Scandinavian System — Gratuitous Treatment — Punishment for 
Transmitting Venereal Diseases — Sexual Education in Relation to Ven- 
ereal Diseases — Lectures, Etc. — Discussion in Novels and on the Stage — 
The "Disgusting" Not the "Immoral." 

It may, perhaps, excite surprise that in the preceding dis- 
cussion of prostitution scarcely a word has been said of venereal 
diseases. In the eyes of many people, the question of prostitution 
is simply the qnestion of syphilis. But from the psychological 
point of view with which we are directly concerned, as from the 
moral point of view with which we cannot fail to be indirectly 
concerned, the question of the diseases which may be, and bo 
frequently are, associated with prostitution cannot be placed in 
the first line of significance. The two questions, however 
intimately they may be mingled, are fundamentally distinct. 
Not only would venereal diseases still persist even though prosti- 
tution had absolutely ceased, but, on the other hand, when 
we have brought syphilis under the same control as we have 
brought the somewhat analogous disease of leprosy, the problem 
of prostitution would still remain. 

Yet, even from the standpoint which we here occupy, it is 
scarcely possible to ignore the question of venereal disease, for the 
psychological and moral aspects of prostitution, and even the 
whole question of the sexual relationships, are, to some extent, 
affected by the existence of the serious diseases which are specially 
liable to be propagated by sexual intercourse. 

Foumier, one of the leading authorities on this subject, has 
well said that syphilis, alcoholism, and tuberculosis are the three 

(319) 



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320 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

Djodem plagnee. At a much earlier period (1851) Schopen- 
hauer in Parerga und Paralipomena had expressed the opinion 
that the two things which mark modem social life, in distinction 
from that of antiquity, and to the advantage of the latter, are 
the knightly principle of honor and venereal disease ; together, he 
added, they have poisoned life, and introduced a hostile and even 
diabolical element into the relations of the Bexes, which has 
indirectly afFected all other social relationghips.1 It is like a 
merchandise, says Havelburg, of syphilid, which civilization has 
everywhere carried, so that only a very few remote districts of the 
globe (as in Central Africa and Central Brazil) are to-day free 
from it. 2 

It is undoubtedly true that in the older civilized countries 
tlie manifestations of syphilis, though still severe and a cause of 
physical deterioration in the individual and the race, are less 
severe than tliey were even a generation ago.^ This is partly the 
result of earlier and better treatment, partly, it is possible, the 
result also of the syphilization of the race, some degree of 
immunity having now become an inherited possession, although 
it must be remembered that an attack of syphilis does not 
necessarily confer immunity from the actual attack of the 
disease even in the same individual. But it must be added that, 
even though it has become less severe, syphilis, in the opinion of 
many, is nevertheless still spreading, even in the chief centres of 
civilization ; this has been noted alike in Paris and in London.^ 



1 It is probable that Scht^ienhauer f^lt a more than merely specula- 
tive interest in this matter. Bloch has shown good reason for believing 
that Schopenhauer himself contracted syphilift in 1813, and that this was 
a factor in constituting his conception of the world and in co^flrming 
his conBtitutionnl pessimism [Mediiiniaohe Elinik, Nos. 25 and S6, IDOS). 

£ Havelburg, in Senator and Kaminer, Health and Diaease in Rela- 
tion to Marriage, vol. i, pp. 188-189, 

3 This is the very deflnite opinion of Lowndes after an experience 
of fifty-four years in the treatment of venereal diseases in Liverpool 
(British Medical JiMmal, Feb. 0, 1907, p. 334). It is further indicated 
by the fact (if it is a real fact) that since 1876 there has been a decline 
of both the infantile and general mortslitj from syphilis in England. 

* "There is no doubt whatever that syphilis is on the increase in 
London, judging from hospital work alone," shvb Pernet (British Medical 
Journal, March 30. 19071. Svphilis waa evidently very prevalent, how- 
ever, a centnry or two ago, and there is no ground for asserting positively 
that it is more prevalent to-day. 



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THB OONQUBST OP THB TBNESEAL DISEASBB. 321 

According to the belief which is now tending to prevail, 
syphilis was brought to Europe at the end of the fifteenth century 
by the first discoverers of America. In Seville, the chief 
European port for America, it was known as the Indian disease, 
but when Charles YIII and his anny first brought it to Italy in 
1495, although this connection with the French was only 
accidental, it was called the Gallic disease, "a monstrous disease," 
said Catanens, "never seen in previous centuries and altogether 
unknown in the world." 

The synonyms of syphilis were at first almost innumerable. 
It was in his Latin poem Syphilis give Morbus Oalliciu, written 
before 1521 and published at Verona in 1530, that Fracastorus 
finally gave the disease its now universally accepted name, invent- 
ing a romantic myth to account for ita origin. 

Although Uie weif^t of ftuthoriUtive oplninn now Menu to Incline 
towttrda the belief that STphilis was brought to Europe from Amerlcft, 
on the dlacoverj of the New World, it Ib 011I7 within quite recent yeari 
that that belief has gained ground, and it icarcely even yet seems cer- 
tain that what the Spaniards brought back from America was reallj' a 
disease absolutely new to the Old World, and not a more virulent form 
«f an old disease of which the manifestations had become benign. Buret, 
for instance {Le Sypkilia Aujourd'hm et cntw it* Ancient, ISQO), who 
some years ago reached "the deep conviction that syphilis dates from the 
creation of man," and believed, from a minute study of ciasaie authors, 
that syphilis existed in Rome under the Ciesars, was of opinion that it 
has broken out at different places and *t different times, in epidemic 
bursts exhibiting different combinations of its manifold -sj-mptoms, so 
that It passed unnoticed at ordinary times, and at the times of its more 
intense manifestation was looked upon as a hitherto unlcnown disease. 
It was thus r^arded in classic times, be considers, as coining from 
Egypt, though he looked upon ita real home as Asia. ]l.eopold GlUck 
ha* likewise quoted (Arohiv fiir Dermatologie uad Syphitia, January, 
1S99) passages from the medical epigrams of a sixteenth century phy- 
sician, Gabriel Ayala, declaring that syphiHs is not really a new disease, 
though popularly supposed to be »o, but an old disease which tias broken 
out with hitherto unknown violence. There is, however, no conclusive 
reason for believing that syphilis was known at all in claaaic antiquity. 
A. V, Notthatt ("Die Legende von der Althertums-syphilia," in the 
Bindfleisch Festschrift, 1907, pp. 37T-E92) has critically investigated 
Uie passages in classic authors which were supposed by Eosenbaum, Buret, 



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322 PSYCHOLOGY OF 6EI. 

Prokech and others to refer to syphilid. It is quite true, Notthaft 
admits, that many of Uiese paeaages might poasibly refer to syphilis, 
and one or two would even better fit syphilis than any other ilisease. 
But, on the whole, they furnish no proof at all, and no ayphilologist, he 
concludes, has ever succeeded in demonBtrating that syphilis was known 
in antiquity. That belief is a legend. The most damning argument 
against it, Notthaft points out, is the fact that, although in antiquity 
there were great physicians who were keen observers, not one of tlicm 
gives any description of the primary, secondary, tertiary, and oongenital 
forms of this disease. China is frequently mentioned as the original 
home of syphilis, but this belief is also quite without basis, and the 
Japanese physician, Okamura, has shown {Monatgackrift fur proIclMcAs 
Dermatologie, vol, Txviii, pp. 296 et seq,\ that Chinese record* rereal 
nothing relating to syphilis earlier than the sixteenth century. At the 
Paris Academy of Medicine in 1900 photographs from Egypt were ex- 
hibited by Fouquet of human remains which date from B. C. 2400, show- 
ing bone lesions which seemed to be clearly syphilitic; Fournier, howerer, 
one of the greatest of authorities, considered that the diagnosis of syph- 
ilis could not be maintained until other conditions liable to produce some- 
what similar bone lesions had been eliminated (BritUh Medical Journal, 
September 20, 1000, p. 946). In Florida and various regions of Central 
America, in undoubtedly pre-Columbian burial places, diseased bones 
have been found which good authorities have declared could not b« any- 
thing else than sji^hilitic (".p., British Medical Journal, November 20, 
1907, p. 1487), though it may be noted that so recently ai 18B0 the cau- 
tious Virchow stated that pre-Columbian syphilis in America was still tor 
him an open question (Zeitachrift /iir Ethnologie, Heft 2 and 3, 1890, p. 
216). From another side, Beler, the distinguished authority on Mexican 
antiquity, shows (Zeitschrift fiir Ethnologie, 1805, Heft Br p. 44») that 
the ancient Mexicans were acquainted with a disease whi;h, as they 
described it, might well have been syphilis. It is obvious, however, that 
while the difficulty of demonstrating syphilitic diseased bones in America 
is as great as in Europe, the demonstration, however complete, would not 
suffice to show that the disease had not alreedy an existence also in the 
Old World. The plausible theory of Ayala that fifteenth century syphilis 
was a virulent recrudescence of an ancient disease has frequently been 
revived in more modern times. Thus J. Knott ("The Origin of Syphilis," 
A'ew York ^ffdical Journal. October 31. 1008) suggests that though not 
new in fiftefnth century Europe, it was then imported afresh in S form 
rendered more aggravai.ed by comlni; from an exotic race, as is believed 
often to be the case. 

It was in the eighteenth century that Jean Astruc began the 
rehabilitation of the belief that syphilis is really a comparatively mod- 
era disease of American origin, and since then various aathorities of 



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THE CONQOEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES. 323 

weight have given tbeir adherence to this view. It is to the energy and 
learning of Dr. Iwan Bloch, of Berlin (the first volume of whose impor' 
tant work. Dot Urtprung der Supkilia, was published in 1001) that we 
owe the fullest Btatement of the evidence in favor of t^e American origin 
of sj'philia. Bloch regards Buy Diaz de Isla, a distinguished Spanish 
physician, as the weightiest witness for the Indian origin of the disease, 
and concludes that it was brought to Europe by Columbus's men from 
Central America, more precisely from the Island of Haiti, to Fipain In 
1493 and 1494, and immediately afterwards was spread hy the armies of 
Charles VIII in an epidemic fashion over Italy and the other countries 
of Europe. 

It may be added that even If we have to accept the theory that the 
central regions of America constitute the place of origin of European 
syphilis, we still have to recognize that syphilis has spread in the North 
American mntinent very much more slowly and partially than it has 
in Europe, and even at the present day there are American Indian 
tribes among whom it is unknown. Holder, on the basis of his own 
experiences among Indian tribes, as well as of wide inquiries among 
agency physicians, prepared a table showing that among some thir^ 
tribes and groups of tribes, eighteen were almost or entirely free from 
venereal disease, while among thirteen it was very prevalent. Almost 
without exception, the tribes where syphilis is rsre or unknown refuse 
sexual intercourse with strangerii, while those among whom such disease 
is prevalent are morally tax. It is the whites who are the source of 
infection among these tribes (A. B. Holder, "Gynecic Notes Among the 
American Indiana," American Journal of Obatetrica. 1S92, No. 1). 

S3'philis is only one, certainly the most important, of a group 
of three entirely distinct "venereal diseases" whioli have only 
been distinguished in recent times, and so far as their precise 
nature and causation are concerned, are indeed only to-day begin- 
ning to be understood, although two of them were certainly 
knom in antiquity. It is but seventy years ago since Ricord, the 
great French sypbilologist, following Bassereau, first taught the 
complete independence of syphilis both from gonorrhoea and soft 
chancre, at the same time expounding clearly the three stages, 
primarj-, secondary and tertiary, through which syphilitic mani- 
festations tend to pass, while the full extent of tertiary syphilitic 
symptoms is scarcely yet grasped, and it is only to-day beginning 
to be generally realized that two of the most prevalent and serioua 
diseases of the bram and nervous system — general paralysis and 



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324 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

tabes dorsalia or locomotor ataxia — have their predominaat 
though not Bole and exclusive cause in the invasion of the 
syphilitic poiBon many years before. In 1879 a new stage of 
more precise knowledge of the vMiereal diseases began with 
Neiseer's discovery of the gonococeus which is the specific cause 
of gononrhcea. This was followed a few years later by the dis- 
covery by Ducrey and TJnna of the bacillus of soft chancre, the 
least important of the venereal diseases because exclusively local 
in its effects. Finally, in 1905 — after Metchnikoff had prepared 
the way by succeeding in carrying syphilis from man to monkey, 
and Lassar, by inoculation, from monkey to monkey — Fritz 
Schaudinn made his great discovery of the protozoal Spirochata 
pallida (since sometimes called Treponema pallidum), which is 
now generally regarded as the cause of syphilis, and thus revealed 
the final hiding place of one of the most dangerous and insidions 
foes of humanity.^ 

There is no more subtle poison than that of syphilis. It is 
not, like small-poz or typhoid, a disease which produces a brief 
and sudden storm, a violent struggle with the forces of life, in 
which it tends, even without treatment, provided the organism 
is healthy, to succumb, leaving little or no traces of its ravages 
behind. It penetrates ever deeper and deeper into the organism, 
with the passage of time leading to ever new manifestations, and 
no tissue is safe from its attack. And so subtle is thia all-per- 
vading poison that though its outward manifestations are 
amenable to prolonged treatment, it is often difBcult to say that 
the poison has been finally killed out.^ 

The immense importance of syphilis, and the chief reason 

1 See, e.g., A. Nciaaer, Die cxpeHmentelU 8'jphilUfOTiKshung, 1906, 
and E. Uoffmann (wlio was associated with Schaudinn's discover)'), DU 
Aetiologie der SyphUia, 1906; D'Arcy Power, A Hystem of Sypkitia, 1903, 
«tc.; F, W. Mott, "Pathology of Syphilis in the Light of MoJern Re- 
search," BritUh Medical Journal, February 20, IflOfl; also, Archivet of 
Neurology and Paj/chiatnf, vol. iv, 1909. 

2 There fa some difference of opinion on this point, and Uiough it 
teems probable that early and thorough treatment usually curis the dis- 
ease in a few years and renders further complications highly improbable, 
it is not possible, even under the most favorable circumstanecs, to speak 
with absolut« certainty as to the future. 



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' fuK CONQDEST OF THE TSNEfiZAL DISEASES. 325 

wliy it is aeeeas&ry to consider it here, lies in the fact that its 
results are not confioed to the individual himself, nor even to the 
persons to whom he may impart it by the contagion due to con- 
tact in or out of sexual relationships : it affects the offspring, and 
it affects the power to produce offspring. It attacks men and 
women at the centre of life, as the progenitors of the coming race, 
inflicting either sterility or the tendency to aborted and diseased 
products of conception. The father alone can perhaps transmit 
syphilis to his child, even though the mother escapes infection, 
and the child bom of syphilitic parents may come into the world 
apparently healthy only to reveal its syphilitic origin after a 
period of months or even years. Thus syphilis is probably a main 
cause of the enfeeblement of the race.^ 

Alike in the individual and in his offspring syphilis shows 
its deteriorating effects on all the structures of the body, bnt 
especially on the brain and nervous system. There are, as has 
been pointed out by Mott, a leading authority in this matter,^ 
five ways in which syphilis affects the brain and nervous system : 
(1) by moral shock ; (2) by the effects of the poison in produc- 
ing ansemia and impaired general nutrition; (3) by causing 
inflammation of the membranes and tissues of the brain ; (4) by 
producing arterial degeneration, leading on to brain-softening, 
paralysis, and dementia; (5) as a main cause of the para- 
syphilitic affections of general paralysis and tabes dorsalis. 

It is only within recent years that medical men have recog- 
nized the preponderant part played by acquired or inherited 
syphilis in producing general paralysis, which so largely helps 
to fill lunatic asylimis, and tabes dorsalis which is the most 
important disease of the spinal cord. Even to-day it can scarcely 



I "That Byphilia haa been, and is, one of the chief causes of phyflical 
degeneration in England cannot be denied, and it is a. fact that is 
a<£nowledged on all sides," writes Lieutenant- Colonel Lambkin, the 
medical officer in command of the London Military Hospital for Venereal 
Diseases. 'To grapple with the treatment of syphilis among the civil 
population of England ought to be the chief object of those interested in 
that most burning question, the physical degeneration of our race' 
IBHtUh Meiiical Journal, August 19, 1905}. 

a F. W. Mott, "Syphilis as a Cause of Insanity," Britith Medical 
Journal, October IB, IMS. 



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32(i PffYCHOLOQT OF 8BX. 

be said that there Ib complete agreement as to the supreme im- 
portance of the factor of syphilis in these diseases. There can, 
however, be little doubt that in about ninety-five per cent, at 
least of cases of general paralysis syphilis is present.^ 

Syphilis is not indeed by itself an adequate cause of general 
paralysis for among many savage peoples syphilis is very common 
vrhile general paralysis is very rare. It is, as Krafft-Ebing was 
accustomed to say, syphilization and civilization working together 
which produce general paralysis, perhaps in many cases, there is 
reason for thinking, on a nervous soil that is hereditarily 
degenerated to some extent; this is shown by the abnormal 
prevalence of congenital stigmata of degeneration found in gen- 
eral paralytics by Nacke and otliers. "Paralyticus nascitur atque 
fit," according to the dictum of Obersteiner. Once undermined by 
sj-philis, the deteriorated brain is unable to resist the jars and 
strains of civilized life, and the result is general paralysis, truly 
described as "one of the most terrible scourges of modem times." 
In ID03 the Psychological Section of the British Medical Asso- 
ciation, embodying the most competent English authority on this 
question, unanimously passed a resolution recommending that 
the attention of the Legislature and other public bodies should be 
called to the necessity for immediate action in view of tlte fact 
that "general paralysis, a very grave and frequent form of brain 
disease, together with other varieties of insanity, is largely due 
to syphilis, and is therefore preventable." Yet not a single step 
has yet been taken in this direction. 

The dangers of syphilis lie not alone in its potency and its 
persistence but also in its prevalence. It is difficult to state the 
exact incidence of syphilis, but a great many partial investigations 
have been made in various countries, and it would appear that 

1 It can seldom be proved in more than eiglify per cent, ol cases, 
but in twenty per cent, of old syphilitic cases it is commonly imposaiblo 
to And traces of the disease or to obtain a history of it. Crocker found 
that it was only in eighty per cent, of cases of absolutely certain syphi- 
litic skin diseases that he could obtain n history of syp^iilitic infection, 
and Sfott found exactly the sfime peropntage in absolutely certain syphi- 
litic lesions of the brain; Mott believes {?.<;.. "Syphilis in Relation to 
the fJervouB System," British Medical Journal. January 4, 1908) that 
Byphilis is the essential cause ol general paralysis and tabes. 



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TUE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES. 327 

from five to twenty per cent, of the population in European 
countries is syphilitic, while about fifteen per cent, of the 
syphilitic cases die from causes directly or indirectly due to the 
disease.^ In France generally, Fournier estimates that seventeeu 
per cent, of the whole population have had syphilis, and at 
Toulouse, Audry considers that eighteen per cent, of all his 
patients are Byphilitic. In Copenhagen, where notification is 
obligatory, over four per cent, of the population are said to be 
syphilitic. In America a committee of the Medical Society of 
New York, appointed to investigate the question, reported aa the 
result of exhaustive inquiry that in the city of New York not 
less than a quarter of a million of cases of venereal disease 
occurred every year, and a leading New York dermatologist has 
stated that among the better class families he knows intimately 
at least one-third of the sons have had syphilis. In Germany 
eight hundred tliousaud cases of venereal disease are by one 
authority estimated to occur yearly, and in the larger universities 
twenty-five per cent, of the students aro infected every term, 
venereal disease being, however, specially common among students. 
The yearly number of men invalided in the German army by 
venereal diseases equals a third of the total number wounded in the 
Franco-Prussian war. Yet the German army stands fairly high 
as regards freedom from venereal disease when compared with the 
British army which is more syphilized than any other European 
army.* The British army, however, being professional and not 

1 Audry, La Bemaine MidicaU, June 26, 1907. When Europ«aiu 
carry syphilia to lands inhabited by people of lower race, the results are 
often very much worse than this. Thus Lambkin, as a result of a spe- 
cial misaion to investigate syphilis in Uganda, found that in wine 
districts aa many as ninety pPT cent, of the people suffer from syphilis, 
and fifty to sixty per cent, uf the infant mortality is due to thi« cause. 
These people are Beganda, a highly intelligent, powerful, and well-organ- 
ized tribe before they received, in tiie gift of ayphilis, the full benefit of 
civilization and Christianity, which (Lambkin points outt has been 
largely the cause of the apread of the disease by breaking down social 
customs and emancipating the iromen. Christianity is powerful enough 
to break down the old moralitv. but not powerful enough to build up a 
new roorality (Britiah itrdical Journal. October 3, 190S, p. 1037). 

3 Even within the limits of the EnsHflh army it is found in India 
(H. C. French, Bf/pkilia in the Army, 1907) that venereal disease is ten 
times more frequent among British troops than among Native troops. 



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828 PSYCHOLOGY OF BEX. 

national, is less representative of the people than is the case in 
countries where some fonn of conecription prevailB. At one 
London hospital it could be aBcertained that ten per cent, of the 
patients had had ayphiliB; this probably means a real proportion 
of about fifteen per cent., a high though not extremely high ratio. 
Tet it is obvious that even if the ratio is really lower than this the 
national Iosb in life and health, in defective procreation and 
racial deterioration, must be enormous and practically incal- 
culable. Even in cash the venereal budget is comparable in 
amount to the general budget of a great nation. Stritch 
estimates that the cost to the British nation of venereal diseases 
in the army, navy and Qovemment'departments alone, amounts 
.annually to £3,000,000, and whai allowance is made for super- 
annuations and sick-leave indirectly occasioned through these 
diseasea, though not appearing in the returns as such, the more 
occarate estimate of the cost to the nation is stated to be £7,000- 
000. The adoption of simple hygienic measures for the preven- 
tion and the speedy cure of venereal diseases will be not only 
indirectly but evea directly a source of immense wealth to the 
nation. 

Syphilis is the most obviously and conspicuously appalling 
of the venereal diseases. Yet it is less frequent and in aome 
respects less dangerously insidious than the other chief venereal 
disease, gonorrhcea.^ At one time the serious nature of 
gonorrhoea, especially in women, was little realized. Men 
accepted it with a light heart as a trivial accident; women 
ignored it. This failure to realize the gravity of gonorrhoea, 



Outside of national annies it is found, by admiuion to hospital and 
death rates, that the United States etands far away at the head for fre- 
quen<? of venereal diseaae, b^ing followed by Great Britain, then France 
and Auetria-Bungary, Russia, and Germany. 

1 There is no dispute concerning the antiquity of gonorrhtsa In the 
Old World as there is regarding syphilis. The disease was certainly 
known at a very remote period. Even Eaarhaddon, the famous King of 
Assyria, referred to in the Old Testament, was treated by the priests for 
ft disorder which, as described in the cuneiform documents of the tiroe, 
could only have been gonorrhtea. The disease was also well known to 
the ancient Egyptians, and evidently enmmon, for they recorded many 
^prescriptions for its treatment (Oefele, "Gonorrhoe 1350 vor Christl 
Geburt," Monatghefte fUr Praktuche Dermatotogie, ISOO, p. 260). 



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THE CONQUEST OF THB VBKEBEAL DISEASES. 6)iV 

even sometimes on the part of the medical profeeeion — bo that it 
has been popularly looked upon, in Grandio's words, aa of little 
more significance than a cold ih the nose — has led to a reaction 
on the part of some towards an opposite extreme, and the risks 
and dangers of gonorrhcea have been even unduly magnified. 
This is notably the case as regards sterility. The inflammatory 
results of gonorrhoea are indubitably a potent cause of sterility in 
both sexes; some suthorities have stated that not only eighty per 
cent, of the deaths from inflammatory diseaees of the peWic 
organs and the majority of the cases of chronic invalidism in 
women, but ninety per cent, of involuntary sterile marriages, are 
due to gonorrhoea. Keisser, a great authority, ascribes to this 
disease without doubt fifty per cent, of such marriages. Even 
this estimate is in the experience of some observers excessive. It 
is fully proved that the great majority of men who have had 
gonorrhcea, even if they marry within two years of being infected, 
fail to convey the disease to their wives, and even of the women 
infected by their husbands more than half have children. This 
is, for instance, the result of Erb's esperience, and Kisch speaks 
still more strongly in the same sense. Bmnm, again, although 
regarding gonorrhcea ae one of the two chief causes of sterility 
in women, finds that it is not the most frequent cause, being only 
responsible for about one-third of the cases; the other two- 
thirds are due to developmental faults in the genital organs. 
Dunning in America has readied results which are fairly con- 
cordant with Bumm's. 

With regard to another of the terrible results of gonorrhoea, 
the part it plays in producing life-long blindneSB from infection 
of the eyes at birth, there has long been no sori; of doubt. The 
Committee of the Ophthalmological Society in 1884, reported 
that thirty to forty-one per cent, of the inmates of four asylums 
for the blind in England owed their blindness to this cause.^ In 
German asylums Beinhard found that thirty per cent, lost their 
sight from the same cause. The total number of persons blind 
from gonorrhoeal infection from their mothers at birth is 



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enormous. The British Koyal Commiseion on the Condition of 
the Blind estimated there were about seven thousand persons in 
the United Kingdom alone (or twenty-two per cent, of the blind 
persons in the coimtrj) who became blind ae the result of this 
disease, and Mookerji stated in his address on Ophthalmalogy at 
the Indian Medical Congress of 1894 that in Bengal alone there 
were six hundred thousand totally blind beggars, forty per cait. of 
whom lost their sight at birth through maternal gonorrhoea; 
and this refers to the beggar class alone. 

Although gonorrhoea is liable to produce many and various 
calamities,^ there can be no doubt that the majority of gonor- 
rhceal persons escape either suffering or inflicting any very 
serious injury. The special reason why gonorrhoea has become 
so peculiarly serious a scourge is its extreme prevalence. It 
is difficult to estimate the proportion of men and women in 
the general population who have had gonorrhoea, and the estimates 
vary within wide limits. They are often set too high, Erb, of 
Heidelberg, anxious to disprove exaggerated estimates of the 
prevalence of gonorrhcea, went over the records of two thousand 
two hundred patients in his private practice (excludmg all 
hospital patients) and found the proportion of those who had 
suffered from gonorrhoea was 48.5 per cent. 

Among the working classes the disease ia much less prevalent 
than among higher-class people. In a Berlin Industrial Sick 
Club, 413 per 10,000 men and 69 per 10,000 women had gonor- 
rhoja in a year; taking a series of years the Club showed a steady 
increase ia the number of men, and decrease in the number of 
women, with venereal infection ; this seems to indicate that the 
laboring classes are beginning to have intercourse more with 
prostitutes and less with respectable girls.' In America Wood 
Buggies has given (as had Noggerath previously, for New York), 
the prevalence of gonorrhoaa among adult males as from ?5 to 80 
per cent. ; Tenney places it much lower, 20 per cent, for males 

1 The extent of tlieae evils is set fortli, e.g., in a comprehenjive 
eeaay by Tnjlor, American Journal Obatelrics, January, 1908. 

i Neiaser brings together figures bearing on the prevalence of 
gonorrh<ea in Germany, Senator and Kaminer, Health and Disease in 
Relation la Marriage, vol. ii, pp. 468-492. 



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THE CONQDEST OF THE TENEDEAL DISEASES. 331 

and 5 per cent, for females. In England, a writer in the Lancet, 
Bome years ago,^ found sb the result of experience and inquiries 
that 75 per cent, adult males have had gonoirhcea once, 40 per 
cent, twice, 15 per cent, three or more times. According to Dul- 
berg about twenty per cent, of new cases occur in married men of 
good social class, the disease being comparatively rare among 
married men of the working class in England. 

Gonorrhosa in its prevalence is thus only second to measles ■ 
and in the gravity of its results scarcely second to tuberculosis. 
"And yet," as Grandin remarks in comparing gonorrhcea to tuber- 
culosis, "witness the activity of the crusade against the latter and 
the criminal apathy displayed when the former is concerned."^ 
The public must learn to understand, another writer remarks, 
that "gonorrhcea is a pest that concema its highest intereats and 
most sacred relations as much as do smallpox, cholera, diphtheria, 
or tuberculosis.''^ 

It cannot fairly be said that no attempts have been made to 
beat back the flood of venereal disease. On the contrary, such 
attempts have been made from the first. But they have never 
been effectual ;* they have never been modified to changed condi- 



ihanaet, September 23, 1882. As regards women. Dr. Francea 
Ivens [British Medical Journal, June IB, 1906) has found at Liverpool 
that 14 per cent, of gynecological cases revealed the presence of gonor- 
rhiEA. They were mostly poor respectable married women. This is 

Erobablj a high proportion, as Liverpool is a busy seaport, but it ia 
!ss than Sanger's estimate of 18 per cent. 

2 E. H. Grandin, Medical Record, May 26, 1606. 

3E. W. Gushing, "Sociological Aspects of OonorrhiBa," JVansoottoiu 
American Qyncoological Society, vol. xxii, 1867, 

* It is only in very small communities ruled by an autocratic power 
with absolute authority to control conditions and to examine persons of 
both sexes that reglementation becomes in any degree efTectual. This is 
well shown by Dr. VV, E. Hnrwood, who di-scribes the system he organized 
in the mines of the Minnesota Iron Company {Journal Arnerican Med- 
tool Association. December 22, 1906). The women in the brothels on 
the company's estate were of the lowest class, and disease was very 
prevalent. Careful examination of the women was established, and con- 
trol of the men, who, immediately on becoming diseased, were bound to 
declare by what woman they had been inferted. The woman was 
responsible for the meilica! bill of the man she infected, and even for his 
hoard, it incapacitated, and the women were comnelled to maintain a 
ftuiJ for their own hospital ennenses when required. In this way ven- 
ereal disease, though not entirely uprooted, was very greatly diminished. 



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SS'2 FSTOHOLOQT OF BEX. 

tion; at tbe present day the; are hopeleealy unscientififi and 
entirely opposed alike to the social and tbe individnal demandB 
of modem peoples. At the Tarious conferences on this question 
which have been held during recent years the only generally 
accepted conclusion which has emerged ie that all the existing 
systems of interfereDce or non-interference with prostitution are 
nnsatisfactory.i 

The character of prostitution has changed and the methods 
of dealing with it must change. Brothels, and tbe systems of 
official regulation which grew up with special reference to 
brothels, are alike out of date; they have about them a mediaeval 
atmosphere, an antiquated spirit, which now render tbem 
unattractive and suspected. The conspicuously distinctive 
brothel is falling into disrepute; tbe liveried prostitute absolutely 
under municipal control can scarcely be said to exist. Prostitu- 
tion tends to become more diffused, more intimately mingled with 
social life generally, leas easily distinguished as a definitely 
separable part of life. We can nowadays only influence it by 
methods of permeation which bear upon the whole of our social 
life. 

The objection to the regulation of prostitution is still of slow 
growth, but it is steadily developing everywhere, and may be traced 
equally in scientific opinion and in popular feeling. In France tbo 
municipalities of some of the largest cities have either suppressed the 
system of regulation entirely or shown their disapproval of it, while an 
inquiry among several hundred medical men showed that less than oue- 
third were in favor of maintaining regulation {Die Xeue Qenerttlion, 
June, 1609, p. 244). In Germany, where there is in some respects more 



1 A clear and comprehensive statement of the present position of 
the question is given by Iwao Bloch, Dot BemtaUehen Unterer Zeit, Chs. 
XIII-XV. How ineffectual the system of police regulation is, even in 
Germany, where police interference is tolerated to so marked a degree, 
may be illustrated by the case of Mannheim. Here the regulation of 
prostitution is very severe and thorough, yet a careful inquiry in 1606 
among the doctors of Mannheim (ninety-two of whom sent in detailed 
returns) showed that of six hundred cases of venereal disease in men. 
nearly half had been contracted from prostitutes. About half the re- 
maining cases (nearly a quarter of the whole) were due to waitresses 
and bar-maids; then followed servsnt'girls (Lion and Loeh. in Bewual- 
pSdagogik. the Proceedings of the Third German Congress for Combating 
Venereal Diseases, 1907, p. 296). 



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THE CONQUEST OF THE VBNEBEAI. DISEABBS. S33 

patient endurance of interference with the liberty of the individual than 
in France, England, or America, various elaborate ayeteme for organ- 
izing proatitution and dealing with venereal disease continue to be 
maintained, but thejr cannot bo completely carried out, and it is gen- 
eral!; admitted that in tuty case they could not accomplish the objects 
sought. Thus in Sasony no brothels are officially tolerated, though as 
a matter of fact they nevertheless exist Here, as in many other parts 
of Germany, most minute and extensive regulations are framed for the 
use of prostitutes. Thus at Leipzig they must not sit on the benches 
in public promenades, nor go to picture galleries, or theatres, or con- 
certs, or restaurants, nor look out of their windows, nor stare about 
them in the street, nor smile, nor wink, etc., etc. In fact, a German 
prostitute who possesses the heroic self-control to carry out conscien- 
tiously all the self-denying ordinances officially decreed for her guidance 
would seem to be entitled to a Government pension for life. 

Two methods of dealing with prostitution prevail in Germany. In 
some cities public houses of prostitution are tolerated (though not 
licensed) ; in other cities prostitution is "free," though "secret." Ham- 
burg Is the most important city where houses of prostitution are 
tolerated and segregated. But, it is stated, "everywhere, by far the 
larger proportion of the prostitutes belong to the so-called 'secret' class." 
In Hamburg, alone, are suspected men, when accused of infecting women, 
officially examined; men of every social class must obey a summons of 
this kind, which is issued secretly, and if diseased, they are bound to go 
under treatment, if necessary under compulsory treatment in the city 
hospital, until no longer dangerous to the community. 

In Germany it is only when a woman baa been repeatedly observed 
to act Btispiciously in the streets that she is quietly warned-, if the 
warning is disregarded she is invited to give her name and address to 
the police, and interviewed. It is not until these methods fail that she 
ia oflkially inscribed as a prostitute. The inscribed women, in some 
cities at all events, contribute to a sick benefit fund which pays their 
expenses when in hospital. The hesitation of the police to inscribe a 
woman on the official list is legitimate and inevitable, for no other course 
would be tolerated; yet the majority of prostitutes begin their careers 
very young, and as they tend to become infected very early after their 
tareers begin, it is obvious that this delay contributes to render the 
system of regulation ineffective. In Berlin, where there are no officially 
recognized brothels, there are some sis thousand inscribed prostitutes, 
but it is estimated that there are over sixty thousand prostitutes who 
are not inscribed. (The foregoing facts are taken from a series of 
papers describing personal investigations in Germany made by Dr. F. 
Bierhoff, of New York, "Police Methods for the Sanitary Control of 
Prostitution," New York Medical Journal, August, 1907.) The estima- 



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334 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

tion of the amount of clandcBtiue prostitution can indeed nerer be mnch 
more than guesswork ; exactly the same figure of sixty thousand it com- 
monly hrought forward as the probable number of prostitutes not only 
in Berlin, but also in London and in New York. It is absolutely impos- 
sible to say whether it ia under or over the real number, for secret 
proslitution is quit« intangible. Even if the (acts were miraouJously 
revealed there would still remain the difficulty of deciding what is and 
what is not prostitution. The avowed and public prostitute is linked 
by various gradations on the one side to the respectable girl llring at 
home who seeks some little relief from the oppression of her Tespnttabil- 
ity, and on the other hand to the married woman who has married for 
the aaJift of a home. In any case, however, It is very certain that public 
prostitutes living entirely on the eamiDgs of prostitution form but a 
email proportion of the vast army of women who may be said, in a wide 
sense of the word, to he prostitutes, i.e., who use their attractirenew to 
obtain from men not love alone, but money or goods. 

'The struggle agaiuBt sypbiliB is only possible if we agree to 

regard iU victims as onfortunatfi and not ae guilty 

We must give up the prejudice which has led to the creation of 
the term 'shameful dieeaaes/ and which commands silence con- 
cerning this Bconrge of the family and of humanity." In these 
words of Duclnux, the dietinguiehed successor of Faatenr at the 
Pasteur Institute, in his noble and admirable work L'Hygiina 
Sociale, we have indicated to us, I am convinced, the only road 
by which we can approach the rational and succesBful treatment 
of the great social problem of venereal disease. 

The supreme importance of this key to the solution of a problem 
which has often seemed insoluble is to-day beginning to become recog- 
nized in all quarters, and in . every country. Tlius a distinguished 
German authority, Professor Finger (Oeschlecht und Oescllachaft, Bd. 
i. Heft 5) declares that venereal disease must not be regarded as the 
well-merited punishment for a debauched life, hut as an unhappy 
accident. It seems to be in France, however, that this truth has been 
proclaimed with most courage and humanity, and not alone by ihe 
followers of science and medicine, but by many who might well be 
excused from interfering with so difficult and ungrateful a task. Thus 
the brothers, Paul and Victor Margueritte, who occupy a brilliant and 
honorable place in contemporary French letters, have distingnished 
themselves by advocating a more humane attitude towards prostitutes, 
and a more modem method of dealing with the question of venereal 



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THE CONQUKBT OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES. 335 

diaeaK. "The true method of prevention ia that which makea it clear 
to all that ayphilia is not a mysterioua and terrible thing, the penalty 
of the iin of the Jleah, a eort of shameful evil branded hy Catholic male- 
diction, but an ordinary disease which may be treated and cured." It 
ma; be remarked that the aversion to acknowledge venereal disease is 
at least as marked in France as in any other country; "maladiea 
faonteueea" ia a consecrated French term, just as "loathsome disease" 
is in English; "in the hospital," says Landret, "it requires much trou- 
ble (o obtain an avowal of gonorrhiea, and we may esteem ourselves 
happy if the patient acknowledges the fact of having had syphilis." 

Ho evils can be combated until they are recognized, simply 
and frankly, and honestly discussed. It is a significant and evett 
Bymbolic fact tliat the bacteria of disease rarely flourish vhen 
they are open to the free currents of pure air. Obscurity, dis- 
guise, concealment furnish the best conditions for their vigor and 
diffusion, and these favoring conditions we have for centuries 
past accorded to venereal diseases. It was not always so, as 
indeed the survival of tlie word 'venereal' itself in this connec- 
tion, with its reference to a goddess, atone suffices to show. Even 
the name "Byphilis" itself, taken from a romantic poem in which 
Fracaslorus sought a mythological origin for the disease, bears 
witness to the same fact. The romantic attitude is indeed aa 
much out of date as that of hypocritical and shamefaced obscuran- 
tism. We need to face these diseases in the same simple, direct, 
and courageous way which has already been adopted successfully 
in the case of smallpox, a disease which, of old, men thought 
analogous to syphilis and which was indeed once almost as terrible 
in its ravages. 

At this point, however, we encounter those who say that it is 
unnecessary to show any sort of recognition of venereal diseases, 
and immoral to do anything that might seem to involve indulg- 
ence to those who suffer from such diseases ; they have got what 
they deserve and may well be left to perish. Those who take 
this attitude place themselves so far outside the pale of civiliza- 
tion — to say nothing of morality or religion — ^that they might 
well be disregarded. The progress of the race, the development of 
humanity, in fact and in feeling, has consisted in the elimination 
of an attitude which it is an insult to primitive peoples to term 



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^Ob PSTOHOtOOY OF 8KX. 

savage. Yet it is an attitude which should not be ignored for it 
still carries weight with many who are too weak to withstand 
those who juggle with fine moral phrases. I have even seen in a 
medical quarter the statement that venereal disease cannot be 
put on the same level with other infectious diseases because it is 
"the result of voluntary action," But all the diseases, indeed all 
the accidents and misfortunes of suffering human beings, are 
equally the involuntary results of voluntary actions. The man 
who is run over in crossing the street, the family poisoned by 
unwholesome food, the mother who catches the disease of the 
child she is nursing, all these suffer as the involuntary result ot 
the voluntary act of gratifying some fundamental human 
instinct — the instinct of activity, the instinct of nutrition, the 
instinct of affection. The instinct of sex is as fundamental as 
any of these, and the involuntary evils which may follow the 
voluntary act of gratifying it stand on exactly the same level. 
This is the essential fact: a human being in following tha 
human instincts implanted within him has stumbled and fallen. 
Any person who sees, not this essential fact but merely some 
subsidiary aspect of it, reveals a mind that is twisted and 
perverted; he has no claim to arrest our attention. 

But even if we were to adopt the standpoint of the would-be 
moralist, and to agree that everyone must be left to suffer his 
deserts, it is far indeed from being the fact that all those who 
contract venereal diseases are in any sense receiving their deserts. 
In a large number of cases the disease haa been inflicted on them 
in the most absolutely involuntary manner. This is, of course, 
true in the case of the vast number of infants who are infected 
at conception or at birth. But it is also true in a scarcely lesa 
Absolute manner of a large proportion of persons infected in 
later life. 

Syphilis, insontium, or syphilis of the innocent, as it is com- 
monly called, may be said to fall into five groups; (1) the vast 
army of congenitally syphilitic infants who inherit the diseasft 
from father or mother; (2) the constantly occurring cases of 
syphilis contracted, in the course of their professional duties, by 
doctors, midwivea and wet-nurses; (3) infection as a result of 



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THE CONQDEST OF THE VENEREAL DIBEABEB. 337 

affection, as in simple kisBing; (4) accidental infection from 
casual eontacte and from using in common the objects and 
utensils of daily life, such as cups, towels, razors, knives (as in 
ritual circumcision), etc; (5) the infection of wives by their 



Hereditary congenital syphilis belongs to the ordinary path- 
ology of the disease and is a chief element in its social danger 
since it is responsiWe for an enormous infantile mortality .^ The 
risks of extragenital infection in the professional activity of 
doctors, midwivea and wet-nurses is also universally recognized. 
In the case of wet-nursee infected by their employers' syphilitic 
infante at their breast, the penalty inflicted on the innocent is 
peculiarly harsh and unnecessary. The influence of infected low- 
class midwives is notably dangerous, for they may inflict wide- 
spread injury in ignorance; thus the case has been recorded of a 
midwife, whose finger became infected in the conrse of her 
duties, and directly or indirectly contaminated one hundred per- 
sons. Kissing is an extremely common source of syphilitic 
infection, and of all extragenital regions the mouth is by far the 
most frequent seat of primary syphilitic sores. In some cases, it 
is true, especially in prostitutes, this is the result of abnormal 
sexual contacts. Bnt in the majority of cases it is the result of 
ordinary and slight kisses as between young children, between 
parents and children, between lovers and friends and acquaint- 



1 A eixtta leM numerous class migbt be added of the young girls, 
often so more than children, who have been practically raped by 
men who believe that intercourse with a virgin is a cure for obatinate 
venereal disease. In America this belief ie frequently held by Italiana, 
Chinese, negrora, etc. W. Travis Gibb, Examiiiing Physician of the 
New Yorlc Society for the Prevention of Cruelty U) Children, has ex- 
amined over 900 raped children (only a small proportion, he states, of 
the coses actually occurring), and finds that thirteen per cent, have 
venereal diseases. A fairly large proportion of these cases, among girls 
from twelve to sixteen, are, he states, willing victims. Dr. Flora Pol- 
lack, also, of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dispensary, eatimfttes that 
in Baltimore alone from 800 to 1,000 children between the ages of one 
and fifteen are venereally infected every year. The largest number, she 
finds, is at the age of six, and the chief causa appears to be, not lurt, 
but superstition. 

3 For a (lisciiAKion of inherited syphilis, see, e.g., Clement Lucas, 
LatKMt, February 1, 1008. 



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338 FSTOHOLOOT OF SEX. 

ancee. Fairly typical examplea, which have been reported, are 
thoae of a child, kissed by a proetitute, who became infected and 
Bubeeqnoitly infected its mother and grandmother; of a young 
French bride contaminated on her wedding-day by one of the 
guests who, according to French custom, kissed her on the cheek 
after the ceremony ; of an American girl who, returning from a 
ball, kissed, at parting, the young man who had accompanied her 
home, thus acquiring the disease which she not long afterwards 
imparted in the same way to her mother and three sisters. The 
ignorant and unthinking are apt to ridicule those who point out 
the serious risks of miscellaneous kissing. But it remains nerer- 
theless true that people who are not intimate enough to know 
the state of each other's health are not intimate enough to kiss 
each other. Infection by the use of domestic utensils, linen, etc., 
while comparatively rare among the better social classea, is 
extremely common among the lower classes and among &e less 
civilized nations ; in Bussia, according to Tamowsky, the chief 
authority, seventy per cent, of flll cases of ayphilis in the mral 
districts are due to this cause and to ordinary kissing, and a 
special conference in St. Petersbui^ in 1897, for the considera- 
tion of the methods of dealing with venereal disease, recorded its 
opinion to the same effect; much the same seems to be true 
regarding Bosnia and various parts of the Balkan peninsula 
where syphilis is extremely prevalent among the peasantry. As 
regards the last group, according to Bulkley in America, fifty per 
cent, of women generally contract syphilis innocently, chiefly 
from their husbands, while Foumier states tiiat in France 
seventy-five per cent, of married women with syphilis have been 
infected by their husbandB, most frequently (seventy per cent.) 
by husbands who were themselves infected before marriage and 
supposed that they were cured. Among men the proportion of 
syphilitics who have been accidentally infected, though less than 
among women, is still very considerable ; it is stated to be at 
least ten per cent., and possibly it is a much larger proportion of 
cases. The scrupulous moralist who is anxious that all should 
have their deserts cannot fail to be still more anxious to prevent 
the innocent from sufEering in place of the gnil^- But it is 



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THE CONQUEST OF THE VENBKilAL DISEASES. o39 

absolutely impossible for him to combine these two aims; 
syphilis camiot be at the same time perpetuated for the ^Ity 
and abolished for the inDocent. 

I bsve been taking onlj aTphilis into account, but nearly all that 
is said of the accidental infection of Byphilia applies nitii eqvial or 
greater force to gonorrhtEa, for though gonoirhcea does not enter into 
the system 1^ so many chanuelB as syphilis, it is a moie common as well 
aa a more subtle and elusive disease. 

The literature of Syphilis Insontium is «rtremely extenslTe. There 
is a bibliography at the end of Zhincan Bulkley's ByphilU *n th» 
Iitnoeeitt, and a comprehensive summary of the question in a Leipzig 
Inaugural Dissertation I^ F. Moses, Zur Kaaaiitik der EatragenitaUn 
Ss/philis-it^ektion, 1904. 

Even, however, when we have put aside the vast number of 
Tenereally infected people who may be said to be, in the narrowest 
and most conventionally moral sense, "innocent" victims of the 
diseases they have contracted, there is still much to he said on 
this question. It must be remembered that the majority of those 
who contract venereal diseases by illegitimate sexual intercourse 
are young. They are youths, ignorant of life, scarcely yet 
escaped from home, still undeveloped, incompletely educated, and 
easily duped by women; in many cases they have met, as they 
thought, a '^ice" girl, not indeed strictly virtnoua but, it seemed 
to them, above all suspicion of disease, though in reality she was 
a clandestine prostitute. Or they are young girls who have 
indeed ceased to be absolutely chaste, but have not yet lost all 
their innocence, and who do not consider themselves, and are not 
by others considered, prostitutes; that indeed, is one of the 
rocks on which the system of police regulation of prostitution 
comes to grief, for the police cannot catch the proetitnte at a 
sufficiently early stage. Of women who become sj'philitic, accord- 
ing to Foumier, twenty per cent, are infected before they are 
nineteen ; in hospitals the proportion is as high as forty per cent. ; 
and of men fifteen per cent, cases occur between eleven and 
twenty-one years of age. The age of maximum frequency of 
infection is for women twenty years (in the rural population 
eighteen), and for men twenty-three years. In Germany Erb 



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340 PSTCIIOLOOT OF SEX. 

£ndB that ae many as eighty-five per cent men with gonorrhcea 
contracted the diaease between the ages of sixteen and twenty- 
five, a very small percentage being infected after thirty. Theee 
young things for the most part fell into a trap which Nature had 
baited with her moat fascinating lure; they were usually 
ignorant; not seldom they were deceived by an attractive per- 
sonality; often they were overcome by passion; frequently all 
prudence and reserve had been lost in the fumes of wine. From 
a truly moral point of view they were scarcely less innocent than 
children. 

"I aak," eaya Duelanx, "whether when a young man, or a young 
girl, abandon themselves to a dangerous caress society has done what it 
can to warn them. Perhaps its intentions were good, but when the need 
<vme for precise knowledge a silly prudery has held it back, and it has 
left its children without viaticum. ... I will go further, and pro- 
claim that in a large number of cases the husbanda who contaminate 
their wives are innocent. No one is responsible for the evil which he 
commits without knowing it and without willing it." I may recall the 
suggestive fact, already referred to, that the majority of husbands who 
infect their wives contracted the disease before marriage. They entered 
on marriage believing that their disease was cured, and that they had 
broken with their past. Doctors have sometimes (and quacks fre- 
quently) contributed to this result by too sanguine an estimate of the 
period necessary to destroy the poison. So great an authority aa 
Fournier formerly believed that the syphilitic could safely be allowed 
to marry three or four years after the date of infection, but now, with 
increased experience, he extends the period to four or five ye^rs. It is 
undoubtedly true that, especially when treatment has been thorough uid 
prompt, the diseased constitution, in a majority of cases, can be brougM 
under complete control in a short«r period than tliis, but there is always 
a certain proportion of cases in which the powers of infection persist 
tor many years, and even when the syphilitic husband is no longer 
capable of infecting his wife he may still perhaps be In a condition to 
effect a disastrous influence on the offspring. 

In nearly all these cases there was more or less ignorance — 
which is but another word for innocence as we commonly under- 
stand innocence — and when at last, after the event, the facts are 
more or less bluntly explained to the victim he frequently ex- 
claims : "Nobody told me I" It is this fact which condemns the 



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THE C0NQCE8T OF THE VENEBEAL DISEASES. 341 

peeudomorallst. If he had Been to it that inotherB began to 
explain the facta of eex to their little boys and girls from child- 
hood, if he had (as Dr. Joseph Price urges) taught the risliB of 
venereal diBeaae in the Sunday-school, if he had plainly preadied 
on the relations of the sexes from the pulpit, if he had seen to it 
that every youth at the beginning of adolescence received some 
simple technical instruction from his family doctor concerning 
sexual health and se^iual disease — ^then, though there would still 
T^nain the need of pity for those who strayed from a path that 
must always be difficult to walk in, the would-be moralist at all 
events would in some measure be exculpated. But he has seldom 
indeed lifted a finger to do any of these things. 

Even those who may be unwilling to abandon an attitude of 
private moral intolerance towards the victims of venereal dieeases 
may still do well to remember that since the public manifestation 
of their intolerance is mischievous, and at the best useless, it is 
necessary for them to restrain it in the interests' of society. They 
would not be the lees free to order their own personal conduct in 
the strictest accordance with their superior moral rigidity ; and 
that after all is for them the main thing. But for the sake of 
society it is necessary for them to adopt what they may consider 
the convention of a purely hygienic attitude towards these dis- 
eases. The erring are inevitably frightened by an attitude of 
moral reprobation into methods of concealment, and these produce 
an endless chain of social evils which can only be dissipated by 
openness. As Duclaux has eo earnestly insisted, it is impossible 
to grapple successfully with venereal disease unless we consent 
not to introduce our prejudices, or even our morals and religion, 
into the question, but treat it purely and simply as a sanitary 
question. And if the pseudo-moralist still has difficulty in co- 
operating towards the healing of this social sore he may be 
reminded that he himself — like every one of us little though we 
may know it — has certainly had a great army of syphilitic and 
gonorrhceal persona among his own ancestors during the past four 
centuries. We are all bound together, and it is absurd, even when 
it is not inhuman, to cast contempt on our own flesh and blood. 

I have discussed rather fully the attitude of those who plead 



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842 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

morality as a resBon for ignoring the Bocial neceseity of combating 
venereal disease, because although there may not be many who 
aeriously and underetandingly adopt so anti-social and inhuman 
an attitude there are certainly many who are glad at need of the 
existence of bo fine an excuse for their moral indifference or their 
mental indolence.* When they are confronted by this great and 
difficult problem they find it easy to offer the remedy of conven- 
tional morality, although they are well aware that on a large 
scale that remedy has long been proved to be ineffectual. They 
ostentatiously affect to proffer the useless thick end of the wedge 
at a point where it is only possible with much skill and prudence 
to inBinuate the thin working end. 

The general acceptance of the fact that sj-philia and gonor- 
rhoea are diaeasea, and not necesBarily crimes or sins, is the con- 
dition for any practical attempt to deal with this question from 
the sanitary point of view which is now taking the place of the 
antiquated and ineffective police point of view. The Scandi- 
navian countries of Europe have been the pioneers in practical 
modem hygienic methods of dealing with venereal disease. 
There are several reasons why this has come about. All the 
problems of sex — of sexual love as well as of sexual disease — 
have long been prominent in these countries, and an impatience 
with prudish hypocrisy seems here to have been more pronounced 
than elsewhere; we see this spirit, for instance, emphatically 
embodied in the plays of Ibsen, and to some extent in Bjomson's 
works. The fearless and energetic temper of the people impels 
them to deal practically with sexual difficulties, while their strong 
instincts of independence render tbem averse to the bureaucratic 
police methods which have flouriBhed in Germany and France. 
The Scandinavians have thus been the natural pioneers of the 
methods of combating venereal diseases which are now becoming 

1 Much harm has been done in some countries bv the foolish and 
mischievous practice of friendly BOfJeties and sick clubs of ignoring 
venereal diseases, and not accordini; fri>e medical aid or sick pay to 
those members who aiiffer from them. This practice prevailed, tor 
instance, in Vienna until 1907, when a more humane and eolightened 
policy was inaui^rated, venereal diseases being placed on the same level 
as other dleeaies. 



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THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES. 343 

generally recognized to be the methods of the future, and they 
have fully organized the system of putting venereal diseases under 
the ordinary law and dealing with them as with other contagiouB 
diseases. 

The first step in dealing with a contagious disease is to apply 
to it the recognized principles of notification. Every new appli- 
cation of the principle, it is true, meets with opposition. It is 
without practical result, it is an unwarranted inquisition into the 
affairs of the individual, it is a new tax on the busy medical 
practitioner, etc. Certainly notification by itself will not arrest 
the progress of any infectious disease. But it is an essential 
element in every attempt to deal with the prevention of disease. 
Unless we know precisely the exact incidence, local variations, and 
temporary fluctuatiaus of a disease we are entirely in the dark 
and can only beat about at random. All progress in public 
hygiene has been accompanied by the increased notification of 
disease, and most authorities are agreed that such notification 
must be still further extended, any slight inconvenience thus 
caused to individuals being of trifling importance compared to 
the great public interests at stake. It is true that so great an 
authority as Neisser has expressed doubt concerning the extension 
of notification to gonorrhoea; the diagnosis cannot be infallible, 
and the patients often give false names. These objections, how- 
ever, seem trivial; diagnosis can very seldom be infallible (though 
in this field no one has done so much for exact diagnosis as 
Neisser himself), and names are not necessary for notification, 
and are not indeed required in the form of compulsory notification 
of venereal disease which existed a few years ago in Norway. 

The principle of the compulsory notification of venereal 
diseases seems to have been first established in Prussia, where it 
dates from 1835. The system here, however, is only partial, not 
being obligatory in all cases but only when in the doctor's 
opinion secrecy might be harmful to the patient himself or to the 
community; it is only obligatory when the patient is a soldier. 
This method of notification is indeed on a wrong basis, it is not 
part of a comprehensive sanitary system hut merely an auxiliary 
to police methods of dealing with prostitutioD. According to the 



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844 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

ScandinaviaD eystem, notification, though not an essential part of 
this Byfltem, rests on an entirely different baais. 

The Scandinavian plan in a modified fomi has lately been 
established in Denmark. This little country, so closely adjoining 
Germany, for some time followed in this matter the example of 
its great neighbor and adopted the police regulation of prostitu- 
tion and venereal disease. The more fundamental Scandinavian 
affinities of Denmark were, however, eventually asserted, and in 
1906, the system of regulation was entirely abandoned and Den- 
mark resolved to rely on thorough and aystematic application 
of the sanitary principle already accepted in. the country, although 
something of German influence still persists in the strict 
regulation of the streets and the penalties imposed npon 
brothel-keepers, leaving prostitution itself free. The decisive 
feature of the present system is, however, Uiat the sanitary 
authorities are now exclusively medical. Everyone, whatever 
bis social or financial position, is entitled to the free treatment of 
venereal disease. Whether he avails himself of it or not, he is in 
any case bound to undergo treatment. Every diseased person is 
thus, so far as it can be achieved, in a doctor's hands. All 
doctors have their instructions in regard to such cases, they have 
not only to inform their patients that they cannot marry so long 
as risks of infection are estimated to be present, but that they 
are liable for the expenses of treatment, as well ae the dangers 
suffered, by any persons whom they may infect. Although it 
has not been possible to make the system at every point thor- 
oughly operative, its general success is indicated by the entire 
reliance now placed on it, and the abandonment of the police 
regulation of prostitution. A system very similar to that of 
Denmark was established some years previously in Norway. The 
principle of the treatment of venereal disease at the public ex- 
pense exists also in Sweden as well as in Finland, where treatment 
is compulsory.* 



1 Active meaaiireB againat venereal diaease were introduced in 
Sweden early in the last century, and compulsory and gratuitous treat- 
ment established. Compulsory Tiotification was introduced many years 
ago in Norway, and by 1007 there was a great diminution in the 
prevalence of venereal <Uaeasea; there ia compulsory treatment. 



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TEE CONQUEST OF TEE VENEREAL DISEASES. 345 

It can scarcely be said that the principle of notification has 
yet been properly applied on a large scale to venereal diseases. 
But it is constantly becoming more widely advocated, more 
especially in England and tbe United States,^ where national 
temperament and political traditions render the system of the 
police regulation of prostitution impossible — even if it were more^ 
effective than it practically is — and where the system of dealing 
with venereal disease on the basis of public health has to be 
recc^ized as not only the best but the only possible system-^ 

In association with this, it is necessary, as is also becoming 
ever more widely recognized, that there should be the most ample 
facilities for the gratuitous treatment of venereal diseases; the 
general establisliment of free dispensaries, open in the evenings, is 
especially necessary, for many can only seek advice and help at 
this time. It is largely to the systematic introduction of facilities 
for gratuitous treatment that tlie enormous reduction in venereal 
disease in Sweden, Norway, and Bosnia is attributed. It is the 
absence of the facilities for treatment, the implied feeling that the 
victims of venereal disease are not sufferers but merely offenders 
not entitled to care, that has in the past operated so disastrously 
in artificially promoting the dissemination of preventable diseases 
which might be brought under control. 

If we dispense with the paternal methods of police regula- 
tion, if we rely on the general principles of medical hygiene, and 
for the rest allow the responsibility for his own good or bad 
actions to rest on the individual himself, there is a further step, 
already fully recognized in principle, which we cannot neglect to 
take: We must look on every person as accountable for the 
venereal diseases he transmits. So long as we refuse to recognize 
venereal diseases as on the same level as other infectious diseases, 
and so long as we offer no full and fair facilities for their treat- 



1 Bee, e.g., JIottow, Booial D%aea»ea and Marriage, Ch, XXXVII. 

2 A committee of the Medical Society of New York, appointed in 
1602 fo consider this question, reported in favor of notiflcation without 
giving names and addresses, and Dr. C. R. Diysdale, who took an active 
part in the Brussels International Conference of 1899, advocated « 
■imilar plaa in England, BrilUh Medical Journal, Febnuuy 3, 1900. 



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346 parcHOLOGY of sex. 

ment, it is unjust to bring the individual to account for spreading 
them. But if we publicly recognize the danger of infectious 
venereal diBeasee, and if we leave freedom to the individual, we 
must inevitably declare, with Duclaux, that every man or woman 
muet be held responsible (or the diseases he or she communicates. 

According to the Oldenburg Code of 1814 it waa a punish- 
able oScnce for a venereally diseased person to have sexual inter- 
course with a healthy person, whether or not infection resulted. 
In Germany to-day, however, there is no law of this kind, 
although eminent German legal authorities, notably Von Liszt, 
are of opinion that a paragraph should be added to the Code 
declaring that sexual intercourse on the part of a person who 
knows lliat he is diseased should be punieiiable by imprisonment 
for a period not exceeding two years, the law not to be applied as 
between married couples except on the application of one of the 
parties. At the present time in Germany the transmission of 
venereal diseafie is only punishable as a special case of the 
infliction of bodily injury.' In this matter Germany is behind 
most of the Scandinavian countries where individual respon- 
sibility for venereal infection ia well recognized and actively 
enforced. 

In France, though the law ia not definite and satisfactory, 
actions for th^ transmission of syphilis are successfully brought 
before the courts. Opinion seems to be more decisively in favor 
of puniphment for this offense than it is in Germany. In 1883 
Despr^s discussed the matter and considered the objections. Few 
may avail themselves of the law, he remarks, but all would be 
rendered more cautious by the fear of Infringing it; while the 
difficulties of tracing and proving infection are not greater, he 
points out, than those of tracing and proving paternity in the 
case of illegitimate children. Despres would punish with im- 
prisonment for not more than two years any person, knowing him- 
self to be diseased, who transmitted a venereal disease, and would 

1 Thus in Munich, in 1909, ft man who had givpu gonorrhtpa to a 
BCTvant-jdrl wns spnt to prison for ten months on thia Rroiind. The 
etate of German opinion to-dHv on this subject ie summarized bf Blocb, 
Betcualleben wuerer Zeit, p. 424. 



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THE CONQUEST OP THE VENEB£AL DISEASES. 347 

merely fine those who communicated the contagion by impru- 
dence, not realizing that they were diseased. ^ The question has 
more recently been discussed hy Aurientis in a Paris thesis. He 
states that the present French law as regards the transmission of 
sexual diseases is not clearly established and is difficult to act 
upon, but it is certainly just that those who have been con- 
taminated and injured in this way should easily be able to obtain 
reparation. Although it is admitted in principle that the com- 
munication of syphilis is an offence even under common law he is 
in agreement with those who would treat it as a special offence, 
making a new and more practical law.'' Heavy damages are even 
at the present time obtained in the French courts from men who 
have infected young women in sexual intercourse, and also from 
the doctors as well as the mothers of syphilitic infants who have 
infected the foster-mothers they were entrusted to. Although 
the French Penal Code forbids in general the disclosure of pro- 
fessional secrets, it is the duty of the medical practitioner to 
warn the foster-mother in such a case of the danger she is incur- 
ring, but without naming the disease; if he neglects to g;ive this 
warning he may be held liable. 

In England, as well as in the United States, the law is more 
unsatisfactory and more helpless, in relation to this class of 
offences, than it is in France. The mischievous and barbarous 
notion, already dealt with, according to which venereal disease 
is the result of illicit intercourse and should be tolerated as a 
just visitation of God, aeems still to flourish in these countries 
with fatal persistency. In England the communication of 
venereal disease by illicit intercourse is not an actionable wrong 
if the act of intercourse has been voluntary, even although there 
has been wilful and intentional concealment of the disease. Ex 
turpi causa non oritur actio, it is sententiously said ; for there is 
much dormitative virtue in a Latin maxim. No legal offence has 
still been committed if a husband contaminates his wife, or a 

lA. Deapr^s, La Proalilulion A Parts, p. Ifll. 

S F. AuTi<-ntia, Etude Medico-lfijale eur la iuriaprvtcnce aetvelle i 
prtpoa de la Tranamiaaion dee Maladies YeniHcnnes, Thftae de Paris, 
1906. 



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348 psrcHOLOOY of sex. 

wife her huBbaml.i The "freedom" enjoyed in thU matter by 
England and the United States is well illustrated by an American 
case quoted by Dr. Isidore Dyer, of New Orleans, in bis report to 
the Brussels ConfeTence on the Prevention of Venereal Diseases, 
in 1899: "A patient with primary syphilis refused even 
charitable treatment and carried a book wherein she kept the 
number of men she had inoculated. When I first saw her she 
declared the number hsd reached two hundred and nineteen and 
that slie would not be treated until she had had revenge on five 
hundred men." In a community where the most elementary 
rules of justice prevailed facilities would exist to enable this 
woman to obtain damages from the man who bad injured her or 
even to secure his conviction to a term of imprisonment. In 
obtaining some indemnity for the wrong done her, and securing 
the "revenge" she craved, she would at the same time have con- 
ferred a benefit on society. She is shut out from any action 
against the one person who injured her; but as a sort of com- 
pensation she is allowed to become a radiating focus of diseade, to 
shorten many lives, to cause many deaths, to pile up incatculable 
damages; and in so doing she is to-day perfectly within her legal 
rights. A community which encourages this state of things is 
not only immoral but stupid. 

There seems, however, to be a growing body of influential 
opinion, both in England and in the United States, in favor of 
making the transmission of venereal disease an offence punishable 
by heavy fine or by imprisonment.^ In any enactment no stress 



1 In England at present "a huaband knowingly and wilfully infect- 
ing Iiis wife with the venereal diEteate, cannot be convicted criminnlly, 
either under a charge of asiiault or of inflicting grievous bodily harm" 
(N. Geaiy, TJte Lam of Marriage, p. 479). Tliia waa decided in 1888 in 
the case of R. v. Clarence by nine judges to four judges in the Court 
for the ConBideratiott of Crown Caees Reserved. 

3 Modem democratic sentiment is opposed to the sequestration of 
a prostitute merely because the is diseased. But there can be no reft- 
sonabie doubt wbntever that if a diseased prostitute infecta another 
person, and ia unable to pay tbe very heavy damages which should be 
demanded in such a case, she ou^ht to be secluded and subjected to 
treatment. That is necessary in the interests of the community. But 
it is also necessary, to avoid placing a premium on the commission of 
an offence which would ensure gratuitous treatment and provision for 
a pro<ititute without means, tliat sha should be furnished with facilities 
for treatment in any case. 



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THE CONQUEST OF THE VKtfEREAL DItiBASES. 349 

should be put on the infection being conveyed "knowingly." Any 
formal limitation of this kind ib unneceeeary, as in each a case the 
Court always takes into account the offender's ignorance or mere 
negligence, and it is miscbievous because it tends to render an 
enactment ineSective and to put a premium on ignorance; the 
husbands who infect their wives with gonorrbcea immediately 
after marriage bave usually done so from ignorance, and it 
should be at least necessary for them to prove that tbey bave 
been fortified in tbeir ignorance by medical advice. It is some- 
times said tliat the existing law could be utilized for bringing 
actions of this kind, and that no greater facilities should be 
offered for fear of increasing attempts at blackmail. The 
inutility of the law at present for this purpose is shown by the 
fact that it seldom or never happens that any attempt is made 
to utilize it, while not only are there a number of esisting pimish- 
able offences which form the subject of attempts at blackmail, 
but blackmail can still be demanded even in regard to disreput- 
able actions that are not legally punishable at all. Moreover, 
the attempt to levy blackmail is itself an offence always sternly 
dealt with in the courts. 

It is possible to trace the beginning of a recognition that the 
transmission of a venereal disease is a matter of which legal 
cognizance may be taken in the English law courts. It b now 
well settled that the infection of a wife by her husband may be 
held to constitute the legal cruelty which, according to the 
present law, must be proved, in addition to adultery, before a 
vife can obtain divorce from her husband. In 1777 Bestif de la 
Bretonne proposed in his Qynogmpkes that the commtmication of 
a venereal disease should itself be an adequate ground for divorce; 
this, however, is not at present generally accepted,^ 

It is sometimes said that it is very well to make the 
individual legally responsible for the venereal disease he com- 
municates, but that the difficulties of bringing that reeponsibility 

I It haa, however, been decided hy the Paris Court of Appeal that 
for a husband to marr}' when knowing])' suffering from a venereal diB- 
ease and to communicate that disease to his wife is « sufficient cause for 
divorce {Senuiine Mfdicah, May. 1896). 



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360 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

home would Etill remain. And those who admit these difficulties 
frequently reply that at the worBt we should have in our hands 
a means of educating reeponsibility; the man who deliberately 
ran the risk of transmitting such infection would be made to feel 
that be was no longer fairly within his legal rights but had 
done a bad action. We are thus led on finally to what is now 
becoming generally recognized as the chief and central method of 
combating venereal disease, if we are to accept the principle of 
individual responsibility as ruling in this sphere of life. Organ- 
ized sanitary and medical precautions, and proper legal protection 
for those who have been injured, are inoperative without the 
educative influence of elementary hygienic instruction placed in 
the possession of every young man and woman. In a sphere that 
is necessarily bo intimate medical organization and legal resort 
can never be all-sufficing; knowledge is needed at every step ia 
every individual to guide and even to awaken that sense of 
personal moral responsibility which must here always rule. 
Wherever the importance of these questions is becoming acutely 
realized — and notably at the Congresses of the (German Society 
for Combating Venereal Disease — the problem is resolving itself 
maiuly into one of education. ^ And although opinion and prac- 
tice in this matter are to-day more advanced in Germany than 
elsewhere the conviction of this necessity is becoming scarcely 
less pronounced in all other civilized countries, in England and 
America as much as in France and the Scandinavian lands. 

A knowledge of the risks of disease by sexual intercourse^ 
both in and out of marriage, — and indeed, apart from sesnal 
intercourse altogether, — is a further stage of that sexual education 
which, as we have already seen, must begin, so far as the elemente 
are concerned, at a very early age. Youths and girls should be 
taught, as the distinguished Austrian economist, Anton von Men- 
ger wrote, shortly before his death, in his excellent little book, 
Netie Siltenlehre, that the production of children is a crime when 

1 The large volume, entitled BemMlpAAagogik, containing the Pro- 
wed ings of the Third of theac Con greases, almoBt ignores the Bpecial 
Hubject of venereal dtBeRse, and is devoted to the questions involved \>j 
the general sexual education of the young, which, as many of the apeaken 
maintained, must begin with the child at his mother's knee. 



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THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEBEAL DISEASES. 351 

the parents are syphilitic or otherwise incompetent through trans- 
missible chronic diseases. Information about venereal disease 
should not indeed be given until after puberty is well established. 
It is unnecessary and undesirable to impart medical knowledge to 
young boys and girls and to warn them against risks they are 
yet little liable to be exposed to. It is when the age of strong 
sexual instinct, actual or potential, begins that the risks, under 
Borne circumstances, of yielding to it, need to be clearly present 
to the mind. No one who refiects on the actual facts of life 
ought to doubt that it is in the highest degree desirable that every 
adolescent youth and girl ought to receive some elementary 
instruction in the general facts of venereal dieeaae, tuberculosis, 
and alcoholism. These three "plagues of civilization" are so 
wide-spread, so subtle and manifold in their operation, that every- 
one comes in contact with them during life, and that everyone ift 
liable to suffer, even before he is aware, perhaps hopelessly and 
forever, from the results of that contact. Vague declamation 
about immorality and vaguer warnings against it have no effect 
and possess no meaning, while rhetorical exaggeration is unneces- 
sary. A very simple and concise statement of the actual facts 
concerning the evils that beset life is quite sufiicient and adequate, 
and quite essential. To ignore this need is only possible to those 
who take a dangerously frivolous view of life. 

It is the young woman as much as the youth who needs this 
enlightenment. There are still some persons so ill-informed aa 
to believe that though it may be necessary to instruct the youth 
it is best to leave his sister unsullied, as they consider it, by a 
knowledge of the facta of life. This is the very reverse of the 
truth. It is desirable indeed that all should be acquainted with 
facte so vital to humanity, even although not themselves per- 
sonally concerned. But the girl is even more concerned than the 
youth. A man has the matter more within his own grasp, and if 
he so chooses he may avoid all the grosser risks of contact with 
venereal disease. But it is not so with the woman. Whatever 
her own purity, she cannot be sure that she may not have to 
guard against the possibility of disease in her future husband 
as well as in those to whom she may entrust her child. It is a 



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iJ02 PSYOHOLOOY OF SEX. 

poBsibility which the educated woman, so far from being dis- 
pensed from, is more liable to encounter than is the working-class 
woman, for venereal disease is less prevalent among the poor than 
the rich.^ The careful physician, even when his patient is a 
minister of religion, considers it hie duty to inquire if he has had 
ayphilia, and the clergyman of most severely correct life recog- 
nizes the need of such inquiry and may perhaps smile, but seldom 
feels himself insulted. The relationship between husband and 
wife is even much more intimate and important than that between 
doctor and patient, and a woman is not dispeuBcd from the 
necessity of such inquiry concerning her future husband by the 
conviction that the reply must surely be satisfactory. Moreover, 
it may well be in some cases that, if she is adequately enlightened, 
she may be the means of saving him, before it is too late, from the 
guilt of premature marriage and its fateful consequences, bo 
deserving to earn his everlasting gratitude. Even if she fails in 
winning that, she etill has her duty to herself and to the future 
race which her children will help to form. 

In most countries there is a, growing feeling in favor of the enlight- 
enment of young women equsll; witli young men as regards reaereal 
diseases. Thus in German}' Max Flesch, in his /Ya«ltf«fion und Frauen' 
krankheiten, oonsiders that at the end of their school dajs all girls 
should receive instruction concerning the grave physicAl and social dan- 
gers to which women arc exposed in life. In France I>uc1auz (in his 
L'lJjfffiine Sociale) is emphatic that women must be taught, "Already," 
he states, "doctors who by custom have been made, in spite of them- 
selves, the hustiand's accomplicea, will tell you of the ironical gaze th^ 
Bometintes encounter when tiiey seek to lead a wife antray concerning 
the causes of her ills. The day is approaching of a revolt against the 
social lie which has made so many victims, and you will be obliged to 
teach women what they need to know in order to guard themselves 
against you." It is the same in America. Reform in this field, Isidora 



1 "Workmen, soldiers, and so on," Neisser remarks (Senator and 
Kaminer, Health and Disease in Relation to Marriage, vol. ii, p. 485), 
"can more easily find non-prostitute girls of their own class willing to 
enter into amorous relation<i with them which result tn sexunl inter- 
course, and they are therefore less expose<l to the danger of infoctton 
than those men who have recourse almost exclusively tn prostituted* 
{see also Bloch, Betmalleien unterer Beit, p. 437). 



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THE COXQUESr OP THE VEKEREAL DISEASES. 353 

Dyer declares, must embleuon on its flag tbe motto, "Knowledge ia 
Health," as well of mind as of body, for women as well as for men. 
In a discussion introduced by Denslo^ Lewis at the annual meeting of 
tbe American Medical Association in 1001 on the limitation of venereal 
diseases [Medieo-Legal Journal, June and September, 19031, there waa 
a fairly general agreement among all tiie speakers that almost or quite 
the chief method of prevention lay in education, the education of women 
as much as of men. "Education lies at the bottom of the whole thing," 
declared one speaker (Seneca Egbert, of Philadelphia), "and we will 
never gain much headway until every young man, and every young 
woman, even before she falls in love and becomes engaged, knows what 
these diseases are, and what it will mean if she marries a man who has 
contracted them." "Educate father and mother, and they will educato 
their sons and daughters," exclaims Egbert Orandin, more especially in 
regard to ganorrhiea {Medioal Reoord, May 26, 1906} ; "I lay stress on 
th« daughter because she becomes the chief sufferer from inoculation, and 
It is her right to know that she should protect herself against tbe gosor- 
rh«eic as well as against the alcoholic." 

We must fully fac« the fact that it is the woman herself who 
mnst be accounted responsible, as much as a man, for securing the 
right conditions of a marriage she proposes to enter into. In 
practice, at the outset, that responsibility may no doubt be in part 
delegated to parents or guardians. It is unreasonable that any 
false delicacy should be felt about this matter on either side. 
Questions of money and of income are discusaed before marriage, 
and as public opinion grows sounder none will question the 
necessity of discussing the still more serious question of health, 
alike that of the prospective bridegroom and of the bride. An 
incalculable amount of disease and marital unhappiness would be 
prevented if before an engagement was finally concluded each 
party placed himself or herself in the hands of a physician and 
authorized him to report to the other party. Such a report 
would extend far beyond venereal disease. If its necessity became 
generally recognized it would put an end to much fraud which 
now takes place when entering the marriage bond. It constantly 
happens at present that one party or the other conceals the 
existence of some serious disease or disability which is speedily 
discovered after marriage, sometimes with a painful and alarming 
shock — as when a man discovers his wife in an epileptic fit on 



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854 FSTCHOLOGT OF 8SX. 

the wedding night — and always with the bitter and abiding sense 
of having been doped. There can be no reasonable doubt that 
Buch concealment is an adequate cause of divorce. Sir Thomas 
More doubtless sought to guard against such frauds when he 
ordained in his Utopia that each party should before marriage 
be shown naked to the other. The quaint ceremony he describes 
was based on a reasonable idea, for it is ludicrous, if it were not 
often tragic in its results, that any person should be asked to 
undertake to embrace for life a person whom he or she has not bo 
much as seen. 

It may be necesBary to point out that every movement in 
this direction must be the spontaneous action of individuals 
directing their own lives according to the rules of an enlightened 
conscience, and cannot be initiated by the dictation of the com- 
munity as a whole enforcing its commands by law. In these 
matters law can only come in at the end, not at the beginning. 
In the essential matters of marriage and procreation laws are 
primarily made in the brains and consciences of individuals for 
their own guidance. Unless such laws are already embodied in 
the actual practice of the great majority of the community it is 
useless for parliaments to enact them by statute. They will be 
ineffective or else they will be worse than ineffective by producing 
undesigned mischiefs. We can only go to the root of the matter 
by insisting on education in moral responsibility and instruction 
in matters of fact. 

The question arises as to the best person to impart this 
instruction. As we have seen there can be little doubt that before 
puberty the parents, and especially the mother, are the proper 
instructors of their children in eBoteric knowledge. But after 
puberty the case is altered. The boy and the girl are becoming 
less amenable to parental influence, there is greater shynese on 
both sides, and the parents rarely possess the more technical 
knowledge that is now required. At this stage it seems that the 
assistance of the physician, of the family doctor if he has the 
oroper qualities for the task, should be called in. The plan 
usually adopted, and now widely carried out, is that of lectures 
setting forth the main facts concerning venereal diseases, their 



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TUE CONQUEST OF THE VEKEHEAL DISEASES. 356 

dangers, and allied topics.^ This method is quite excellent. 
Such lectures should be delivered at intervals by medical lecturers 
at all urban, educational, manufacturing, military, and naval 
centres, wherever indeed a large Dumber of young persons are 
gathered together. It should be the buBinese of the central 
educational authority either to carry them out or to enforce on 
those controlling or employing young persons the duty of provid- 
ing sucb lectures. Tlie lectures should be free to all who have 
attained the age of sixteen. 

In GeriuBiiy the principle of instruction bj lectures concerning 
venereal diseaBes Beems to have become eetablisKed, at all events bo far 
as young men kre coocemed, and euch lecturen are conetantl; becoming 
more usual- In 1907 the lllinister of Education established courses of 
lectures bj doctors on Bcxual b;giene and venereal diaeases for higher 
schools and educational institution!!, though attendance was not made 
oompulsoTy. The courses now frequently given by medical men to the 
higher cUsses in Oerman secondary schools on the general principles of 
sexual anatomy and physiology nearly always include sexual hygiene 
with special reference to venereal diBcases (see, e.g., BexualpHdagogilc, 
pp. 131-153). In Austria, also, lectures on personal hygiene and the 
dangers of venereal disease are delivered to students about to leave the 
gymnasium for the university; and the working men's clubs have 
instituted regular courses of lectures on the same subjects delivered by 
physicians. Id France many distinguished men, both inside and outside 
the medical profession, are working for the cause of the instruction of 
the young in sexual hygiene, though they have to contend against a 
more obstinate degree of prejudice and prudery on the part of the middle 
class than is t« be found in the Germanic lands. The Commission 
Extraparlementaire du Regime des Moeurs, with the conjunction of 
Aogagneur, Alfred Fournier, Yves Guyot, Gide, and other distinguished 
professors, teachers, etc., has lately pronounced in favor of the ofUcial 
establishment of instruction in sexual hygiene, to be given in the highest 
classes at the lycCes, or in the earliest class at higher educational col- 
leges; mich instruction, it is argued, would not only furnish needed 
enlightenment, but also educate the sense of moral responsibility. There 
is in France, also, an active and distinguished though unofflcial Soci^t^ 
Francaise de Prophylaxle Sanitaire et Morale, which delivers public 
lectures on sexual hygiene, Fournier, Pinard, Burlureaux and other 

1 The character and extent of such lectures are fully discussed In 
the Proceedings of the Tliird Congress ot the German Society for Com- 
bating Venereal Diseases, Semalpadagogik, 1907. 



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356 PBTCHOI-OGT OF 8ES. 

etninent phyaicians have written pamphlets on this ndijeet for popular 
diBtribution (see, e.g., Le Progria Midical of September, 1007). In 
England and the United States very little has ^et been done in thia 
direction, but in the United States, at all events, opinion in favor of 
action is rapidly growing (see, e.g., W. A. Funk, "The Venereal Peril," 
UedUxtl Record, April 13, 1007). The American Society of Sanitary ait^ 
Moral Prophylaxis (based on the parent society founded in Paris in 
1600 by Foumier) was established in New York in 1905. There mre 
similar societies in Chicago and Philadelphia. The main object Is ta 
study venereal diseases and to work toward their social control. Doc- 
tors, laymen, and xfomen are meral«rB. Lectures and short talks are 
now given under the auspices of these societies to small groups of young 
women in social settlements, and in other ways, with encouraging suc- 
cess; it is found to be an exeellent method of reaching tlie young women 
of the working classes. Both men and women physicians take part in 
the lectures (Clement Cleveland, Presidential Address on "ProphylaxiB 
of Venereal Diseases," Traneaelions Amerioan Oynaoologiool Sooietg, 
Philadelphia, vol. sx^cii, 1007). 

An important auxiliary method of carrying out the task of sexual 
hygiene, and at the same time of spreading useful enlightenment, ia 
furnished by tlie method of giving to every syphilitic patient in clinics 
where such cases are treated a card of instruction for his guidance In 
hygienic matters, together with a warning of the risks of marriage 
within four or five years after infection, and in no case without medical 
advice. Such printed instruction, in clear, simple, and incisive language, 
should be put into the hands of every syphilitic patient as a matter of 
routine, and it might be as welt to have a corresponding card for gonor- 
rhieal patients. This plan has already been Introduced at some hospitals, 
and it is so simple and unobjectionable a precaution that it will, do 
doubt, be generally adopted. In some countries this measure is carried 
out on a wider scale. Thus in Austria, as the result of a mornnent in 
which several university professors have taken an active part, leaflets 
and circulars, explaining briefly the chief symptoms of -venerea) diseftsea 
and warning against quacks and secret remedies, are circulated among 
young laborers and factory hands, matriculating students, and eeholan 
who are leaving trade schools. 

In France, where great social questions are sometimes faced with 
a more chivalrous daring than elsewhere, the dangers of syphilis, and 
the social position of the prostitute, have alike been dealt with by dis- 
tinguished novelists and dramatists. Huysmans inaugurated thb move- 
ment with his first novel, Marlhe, which was immediately suppressed 
by the police. Shortly afterwards Edmond de Ooncourt published La 
Fille Elian, the first notable novel of the kind by a distinguished author. 
It was written with much reticence, and was not indeed a work of Iti^ 



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THE CONQDEflT OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES. 357 

artletic value, but it boldly faced s great social problem and clearly set 
forth the evils of the common attitude towards prostitution. It was 
dramatized end played bj Auf«ine at tha Th6fi.tre Libre, but when, in 
1801, Antoine wiaheil to produce it at the Porte- Saint-Martin Theatre, 
the censor interfered and prohibited the play on accnunt of its "con- 
texture gfin^rale." The Minister of Education defended this decision on 
the ground that there was much in the play that might arouse repug- 
nance and disgust. "Kepugnance here is more mors! than attraction," 
exclaimed M. Paul IWroulMe, and the newspapers criticized a censure 
which permitted on the stage all the trivial indecencies which iavor 
prostitution, but cannot tolerate any attack on prostitution. In more 
recent years the brothers Margueritte, botli in novels and in journalism, 
have largely devoted their distinguished abilities and high literary skill 
to the courageous and enlightened advocacy of many social reforms. 
Victor Margueritte, In his Prostitufe (1907) — a novel which has at- 
tracted wide attention and been translated into various languages — has 
sought to represent the condition of womi^n in our actual society, and 
more especially the condition of the prostitute under what fa^ regards 
as the odious and iniquitous system stil! prevailing. Tlie boi^ in a 
faithful picture of the real facts, thanks to the assistance the author 
teceived from the Paris Prefecture of Police, and largely for that reason 
is not altogether a satisfactory work of art, but it vividly and poignantly 
represento the cruelty, indifference, and hypocri^ so often shown by men 
towards women, and is a book which, on that account, cannot be too 
widely read. One of the most notable of modem plays is Brieux's Let 
A-varift <1003l. This distinguished dramatist, himself a medical man, 
dedicates his play to Fonrnier, the greatest of lyphilographers. "I think 
with you," he writes here, "that syphilis will lose much of its danger 
when it is possible to speak openly of an evil which is neither a shame 
»or a punishment, and when those who suffer from it, knowing what 
evils they may propagate, will better understand their duties towards 
others and towards themselves." The story developed in the drama is 
the old and typical story of the young man who has spent his bachelor 
days in what he considers a discreto and regular manner, having only 
had two mistresses, neither of them prostitutes, but at the end of this 
period, at a gay supper at which he bids farewell to his bachelor life, 
he eommita a fatal indiscretion and becomes infected by syphilis; his 
marriage is approaching and he goes to a distinguished specialist who 
wsms him that treatment tokes time, and that marriage is impossible 
for several years; he finds a quack, however, who undertakes to cure 
bim in six months; at the end of the time he marries; a eyphiliUc 
child is bom; the wife discovers the state of things and forsakes her 
home to retum to her parents; her indignant father, a deputy in Far- 
lioinent, arrives in Paris; the last word is with the great specialist who 



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3o8 PSYCHOLOOT OF SEX. 

brings finally some degree of peare and hope into the family. The chief 
mornls Brieiix points out are that it is ths duty of ths bride's parents 
before marriage to ascertain tlie bridegroom's health > that the bride- 
groom should have a doctor's certificate; tliat at every iiia.rriage tlie 
part of the doctor* U at least as important as that of tile lawyers. 
Even if it were a less accomplished work of art than it i*, Lrs Avarifs 
is a play wliich, from the sooial and educathv point of view alone, all 
who have reached tiie age of adolescenee should be compelled to eee. 

Another aitpect of tlie same problem has been presented in Plu» 
Fort que le Ual, a book written in dramatic form (though not as a 
properly constituted play intended for the stag«) by a distlngnished 
French medical author who here adopts the name of Bspy de Metz. The 
author (who is not, however, pleading pi-o ifonio) calls for a more sym- 
pathetic attitude towards tliose who suffer from syphilis, and though 
he writes with much leas dramatic skill than Brieux, and scarcely pre- 
sents his moral in so unequiiocnl n form, his work is a. notable con- 
tribution to the dramatic literature of sj-philis. 

It will probably be some time before these questions, poignant as 
they are from the dramatic point of view, and vitally important from 
the social point of view, are introduced on the English or the American 
stage. It is a remarkable fact that, notwithstanding the Purit&nic ele- 
ments which still exist in Anglo-Saxon thought and feeling generally, 
the Puritanic aspect of life has never received embodiment in the Eng- 
lish or American drama. On the English stage it is neier permitted 
to hint at the tragic side of wantonness; vice must always be made 
Reductive, even though n deus ea machina causes it to collapse at the end 
of the performance. As tir. Bernard Shaw has said, the English thea- 
trical method by no means banishes vice; it merely consents that it shall 
be made attractive; its charms are advertised and its penalties sup- 
pressed. "N'ou-. it is futile to plead that the stage is not the proper 
place for the representation and discussion of illegal operntionB, incest, 
and venereal disease. If the stage is the proper place for the eKhibition 
and discussion of seduction, adultery, promiscuity, and prostitution, it 
must be thrown open to nil the consequences of these things, or It will 
deraoralize the nation." 

The impulse to insist that vice sholl always be made attractive is 
not really, notwitlistandlng appearances, a vicious impulse. It airises 
from a mental confusion, a common psychic tendency, which Is by no 
means confined to Anglo-Saxon lands, and is even more well marked 
among the better educate In the merely literary sense, tlian among the 
worse educated people. The mithetie is conhised witli the moral, and 
what arouses disgust is thus regarded as immoral. In France the novels 
of Zola, the most pedestrinnally moralistic of writers, were for n long 
time supposed to be immoral because they were often disgusting. Ths 



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THE COXQUEaT OF THE TENEBEAL DlSJiLiBES, 359 

BBme feeling is still more -widespread in England. If a prostitute is 
brou^t on the stage, and she is pictty, well-dresNed, geductive, she maf 
gailj sail through the play and every one ia aatlafled. But it she were 
not particularly pretty, well-dressed, or seductive, if it were made plain 
that she was diseased and was reckless in infecting others with that 
disease, if it were hinted that she could oa occaflion be foul-mouthed, if, 
in short, a pi<^tnre were showu from life — then we should hear that the 
unfortunate dramatist had commitled something that was "disgusting" 
and "immoral." DiHgusting it might be, but, on that very account, it 
would be moral. There is a distinction here that the psychologist cannot 
too often point out or the moralist too often emphasise. 

It is Dot for the physician to complicate and confme his own 
task as teacher by mixing it up with considerations which belong 
to iiie spiritual sphere. But in carrying out impartially his own 
special work of enlightenment he will always do well to remem- 
ber that there is in the adolescent mind, as it has been necessary 
to point out in a previous chapter, a spontaneous force working 
on the side of sexual hygiene. Those who believe that ttie 
adolescent mind is merely bent on sensual indulgence are not less 
false and mischievous in their inSuence than are those who think 
it possible and desirable for adolescents to be preserved in sheer 
sexual ignorance. However concealed, suppressed, or deformed — 
usually by the misplaced and premature zeal of foolish parents 
■ and teachers — there arise nt puberty ideal impulses which, even 
though they may be rooted in sex, yet in their scope transcend 
Bex. These are capable of becoming far more potent guides of the 
physical sex impulse than are merely material or even hygienic 
considerations. 

It is time to summarize and conclude this discussion of the 
prevention of venereal disease, which, though it may seem to the 
superficial obsener to be merely a medical and sanitary question 
outside the psychologist's sphere, is yet seen on closer view to be 
intimately related even to the most spiritual conception of the 
sexual relationships. Kot only are venereal diseases the foes to 
the finer development of the race, but we cannot attain to any 
wholesome and beautiful vision of the relationships of sex so long 
as such relationships are liable at every moment to be corrupted 
and undermined at their source. We cannot yet precisely 



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360 PSYCHOLOGY OF 8EI. 

measure the interral which must elapse before, so far as Europe at 
leaBt IB concerned, aypfailis and gonorrhoea are sent to that limbo 
of monstrouB old dead diseasea to which plague and leprosy have 
gone and small-pox is already drawing near. But society is 
beginning to realize that into this field also mnet be brought the 
weapons of light and air, the Bword and the breastplate with 
which all diseases can alone be attacked. As we have seen, there 
are four methods by which in the more enlightened countries 
venereal disease is now beginnmg to be combated.^ (1) By 
proclaiming openly that the venereal diseases are diseases like 
any other disease, although more subtle and terrible than most, 
which may attack anyone from the unborn baby to its grand- 
mother, and that they are not, more than other diseases, the 
ahameful penalties of sin, from which relief is only to be sought, 
if at all, by stealth, but humaa calamities; (3) by adopting 
methods of securing official information concerning the extent, 
distribution, and variation of venereal, disease, through the already 
recognized plan of notiftcation and otherwise, and by providing 
such facilities for treatment, especially for free treatment, as may 
be found necessary ; (3) by training the individual sense of moral 
responsibility, so that every member of the community may 
realize that to inflict a serious disease on another person, even only 
as a result of reckless negligence, is a more serious ofEaice than 
if he or she had used the knife or the gun or poison as the method 
of attack, and that it is necessary to introduce special legal 
provision in every country to assist the recovery of damages for 
such injuries and to inflict penalties by lora of liberty or other- 
wise; (4) by the spread of hygienic knowledge, so tliat all 
adolescents, youths and girls alike, may be furnished at the outset 
of adult life with an equipment of information which will assist 
them to avoid the grosser risks of contamination and enable them 
to recognize and avoid danger at the earliest stages. 



1 1 leave out of account, as bejrond the Ksope of the present work, 
tiie ansiliary aida to the Bnpprenion of venereal difi^aws fumiahed by 
the promising new methods, onl.v now beginning to be nnderatood. of 
treating or even aborting anch diseases {see, e.g., Metohnikoff, TAe Vew 
Syffime, 1906 J. 



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THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEBSAL DISEASES. 361 

A few yean ago, when no method of combating venereal 
diaeaee was known except that system of police regulation which 
ia now in its decadence, it would have been imposaible to bring 
forward such coDHiderations ae theee; they would have seemed 
Utopian. To-day they are not only recognizable as practical, but 
they are bmg actually put into practice, although, it is true, with 
very varying energy and insight in different countries. Yet it 
is certain that in the competition of nationalities, as Max von 
Niesaen has well said, "that country will best take a leading 
place in the march of civilization which has the foresight and 
courage to introduce and carry through those practical movements 
of sesnal hygiene which have bo wide and significant a bearing on 
its own futnre, and that of the human race generally.* 



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CHAPTER IX. 

BEXL'AL MORALITY. 

Prostitution in Relation to Our Marriage Sj^tem — Marriage aod 
Morality — The Definition of the Term "Morality"— Theoretical Morally 
— Its Division Into Traditional Morality and Ideal Morality — Practical 
Morality — Practical Morality Based on Custom — The Only Subject of 
Scientific Ethics — The Reaction Bctweeii Theoretical and Practical 
Morality — Sexual Morality in the Past an Application of Economic 
Morality— The Combined Rigidity and Laiity of This Morality — The 
Growth of a Specific ScKual Morality and the Evolution of Moral Ideald 
— Manifestations of Sexual Morality — Disregard of the Forms of Mar- 
riage — Trial Marriage — Marriage After Conception of Child — Phenomena 
in Germany, Anglo-Saxon Countries, Russia, etc. — The Status of Woman 
— The Historical Tendency Favoring Moral Equality of Women with 
Men — The Theory of tlie Matria rebate — Mother-Descent — Women in 
Babylonia — Egypt — Rome — The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries — 
The Historical Tendency Favoring Moral Inequality of Woman — Tlie 
Ambiguous Influence of Christianity — Influence of Teutonic Custom and 
Feudalism — Chivalry— Woman in England — The Sale of Wives— The 
Vanishing Subjection of Women — Inaptitude of the Modem Man to 
Domineer — The Growth of Moral ResponaibiHty in Women^The Con- 
comitant Development of Economic Independence — The Increase of 
Women Who Work — Invasion of the Modern Industrial Field by Women 
— In How Far Tliis Is Socially Justifiable— The Sexual Responsibilitj- 
ot Women and Its Consequences—The Alleged Moral Inferiori^ of 
Women— The "Self-Sacriflce" of Women — Society Not Concerned with 
Sexual Relationships — Procreation the Sole Sexual Concern of the State 
— Tlie Supreme Importance of Maternity. 

It lias been necessary to deal fully with the phenomena of 
prostitution because, however aloof we may personally choose to 
hold ourselves from those phenomenn, they really bring us to the 
heart of the sexual question in so far aa it constitutes a social 
problem. If we look at prostitution from the outside, as an 
objective phenojnenon, as a question of social dynamics, it is seen 
to be not a merely accidental and eliminable incident of our 
present marriage system but an integral part of it, without which 
it would fall to pieces. This will probably be fairly clear to all 
who have followed the preceding exposition of prostitutional 
(362) 



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SEXUAL MORALITY. 36ii 

phenomena. Tliere is, however, more than tliis to be said. Not 
only is proetitution to-day, as it has been for more than two 
thousand years, the buttress of our marriage system, but if we 
look at marriage, not from the outside as a formal institution, 
but from the inside with relation to the motives that constitnte 
it, we find that marriage in a large proportiou of cases is itself 
in certain respects a form of prostitution. This has been 
• emphasized so often and from so many widely different stand- 
points that it may aeem hardly necessary to labor the point here. 
But the point is one of extreme importance in relation to the 
question of sexual morality. Our social conditions are unfavor- 
able to the development of a high moral feeling in woman. The 
difference between the woman who sells herself in prostitution 
and the woman who sella herself in marriage, according to the 
saying of Marro already quoted, "is only a difference in price 
and duration of the contract." Or, as Forel puts it, marriage is 
"a more fashionable form of prostitution," that is to say, a mode 
of obtaining, or disposing of, for monetary considerations, a 
sexual commodity. Marriage is, indeed, not merely a more 
fashionable form of prostitution, it is a form sanctified by law 
and religion, and the question of morality is not allowed to 
intrude. Morality may be outraged with impunity provided that 
law and religion have been invoked. The essential principle of 
prostitution ia thus legalized and sanctified among us. That is 
why it is ao difficult to arouse any serious indignation, or to main- 
tain any reasoned objections, against our prostitution considered 
by itself. The most plausible ground is that of those* who, bring- 
ing marriage down to the level of prostitution, maintain that the 
prostitute is a "blackleg" who is accepting less than the "market 
rate of wages," i.e., marriage, for the sexual services she renders. 
But even this low ground is quite unsafe. The prostitute is 
really paid extremely well considering how little she gives in 
return; the wife is really paid extremely badly considering how 
much she often gives, and how much she necessarily gives up. 
For the sake of the advantage of economic dependence on her 



*E.g., K. Beltort Bax, Oatapoken Eaaays, p. I 



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364 PSYCHOLOQT OF SEX. 

husband, she muet give up, as Ellen Key observes, those ri^ts 
over her children, her property, her work, and her own person 
which she enjoys as an unmarried woman, even, it may be added, 
as a prostitute. The prostitute never signs away the right over 
her own person, as the wife is compelled to do ; the prostitute, 
luilike the wife, retains her freedom and her personal rights, 
although these may not often be of much worth. It is the wife 
rather than the prostitute who is the "blackleg." 

It is by no mesua only during recent years that our niArrlage ayS' 
tern has been arraigned before the bar of momls. Forty years ago James 
Hinton exhausted the vocabulary of denunciation in describing the 
immorality and selilsh licentiousness which our marriage system covers 
with Ibe cloak of legality and sanctity. "There is an unsoundness in 
our marriage relations," Hinton wrote. "Not only practically are they 
dreadful, but they do not answer to feelings and convictions far too 
widespread to be wisely ignored. Take the case of women of markml 
eminenM consenting to be a married man's mistress; of pure and simple 
girls saying they cannot see why they should have a marriags by law, 
of a lady saying that if she were in love she would not have any legal 
tie; of its being necessary — or thought so by good and wise men — to 
keep one sex in bitter and often fatal Ignorance. These things (and how 
many more) show some deep unsoundness in the marriage rctatiana. 
This must be probed and searched to the bottom." 

At an earlier date, in 1847, Gross-Hofftnger, in his Die BcMokaale 
der Fraaea and die Proslittilion — a remarkable book which Blocb, with 
little exaggeration, describes as possessing an epoch-marking signiB- 
cance — vigorously showed that the problem of prostitution is in reality 
tbe problem of marriage, and that we can only reform away prostitution 
by reforming marriage, regarded as a compulsory institution resting on 
an antiquated economic basis. Groas-Hofltnger was a pioneering pre- 
cursor of Ellen Key. 

More than a century and « half earlier a man of very different 
type scathingly analyzed the morality of his time, with a brutal frank- 
ness, indeed, that seemed to his contemporaries a revoltingly cynical 
attitude towards their sacred Institutions, and they felt that nothing 
was left to tbem save to burn hia books. Describing modem marriage 
in his Fable of the Bees (1714, p. 04), and what that marriage might 
legally cover, Mandeville wrote: "The fine gentleman I spoke of need 
not practice any greater self-denial than the savage, and the lattor acted 
more according to the laws of nature and sincerity than the first. The 
man that gratifies his appetite after the manner the custom of the coun- 



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SEXUAL MORALITY, 360 

tij allows of, has no MnsuTe to fear. If he is hotter than goatB or 
buJla, as motm as the ceremony is over, let him sate and fatigue himself 
with joy and ecstasies of pleasure, raise and indulge his appetite by 
turns, as extravagantly as his strength and manhood will give him leave. 
He may, with safety, laugh at the wise men that should reprove him: 
all the women and above nine in ten of the men are of hia side; nay. 
he has the liber^ of valuing himself upon the fury of his unbridled 
passions, and the more he wallows in lust and strains ei-ery faculty to 
be abandonedly voluptuous, the sooner he shall have the good-will and 
gain the atfection of tlie women, not the young, vain, and lascivious only, 
but the prudent, grave, and most sober matrons." 

Thus the charge brought against our marriage system from the 
point of view of morality is that it subcrdinates the sexual relationship 
to considerations of money and of lust. That is precisely the essence of 
prostitution. 

Thfl only legitimately moral end of marriage — whether we 
regard it from the wider biological Btandpoint or from the 
narrower standpoiDt of human society — is as a sexual selection, 
effected in accordance with the laws of sexual selection, and 
having as its direct object a united life of complete mutual love 
and as its indirect object the procreation of the race. Unlesa 
procreation forms part of the object of marriage, society has noth- 
ing whatever to do with it and has no right to make its voice 
heard. But if procreation is one of the ends of marriage, then 
it is imperative from the biological and social points of view that 
no influences outside the proper natural influence of sexual 
selection should be permitted to affect the choice of conjugal 
partncTB, for in so far as wholesome sexual selection is interfered 
with the offspring is likely to be injured and the interests of the 
race affected. 

It must, of course, be clearly understood that the idea of marriage 
OS a form of sexual union based not on biological but on economic 
considerations, is very ancient, and is sometimes found in societies that 
are almost primitive. Whenever, however, marriage on a purely prop- 
erty basis, and without due regard to sexual selection, has occurred 
among comparatively primitive and vigorous peoples, it has been largely 
deprived of its evil results by the recognition of its merely economic 
character, and by the absence of any desire to suppress, even nominally, 
other sexual relationships on a more natural basis which were outside 
this artificial form of marriage. Polygamy especially tended to con- 



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366 rsYCHOLOoY of sex. 

ciliate unions on an economic basig with unions on a natural sexual 
basis. Our modem marriage system has, howerer, acquired an artificial 
rigidit; which excludes the possibility of this natural safeguard and 
compensation. Whatever ita real moral content may be, a modem mar- 
riage is always "legal" and "sacred." We are indeed so accustomed to 
economic forms of marriage that, as Sidgwick truly observed {Method 
of Etkiea, Bk. ii, Ch. XI), when they are spoken of aa "legalized prostitu- 
tion" it constantly happens that "the phrase is felt to be extravagant 
and paradoxical." 

A man who marries for money or for ambition is departing 
from the biological and moral ends of marriage. A woman who 
sells herself for life is morally on the same level as one who sells 
herself for a night. The fact that the payment seems larger, 
tliat in return for rendering certain domestic services and cer- 
tain personal complacencies — eervicea and complacencies in which 
she may be quite inexpert — she will secure an almshouse in which 
she will be fed and clothed and sheltered for life makes no differ- 
ence in the moral aspect of her case. The moral responsibility is, 
it need scarcely be said, at least as much the man's as the 
woman's. It is largely due to the ignorance and even the 
indifference of men, who often know little or nothing of the 
nature of women and the art of love. The un intelligence with 
which even men who might, one thinks, be not without eii)eri- 
enee, select as a mate, a woman who, however fine and charming 
slie may be, possesses none of the qualities which her wooer really 
craves, is a perpetual marvel. To refrain from testing and 
proving the temper and quality of the woman he desires for a 
mate is no doubt an amiable trait of humility on a man's part. 
But it is certain that a man should never be content with less than 
the best of what a woman's soul and body have to give, however 
unworthy he may feel himself of such a posseasion. This 
demand, it must be remarked, is in the highest interests of the 
woman herself. A woman can offer to a man what is a part at 
all events of the secret of the universe. The woman degrades 
herself who sinks to the level of a candidate for an asylum for the 
destitute. 

Our discussion of the psychic facts of sex has thus, it will 
be seen, brought us up to the question of morality. Over and 



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SEXUAL MORAXJTT, 367 

over again, in setting forth the phenomena of prostitution, it has 
been neceasary to use the word "moral," That word, however, 
is vague and even, it may be, misleading because it has several 
senses. So far, it has been left to the intelligent reader, as he 
will not fail to perceive, to decide from the context in what 
sense the word was used. But at the present point, before we 
proceed to discuss sexual psychology in relation to marriage, it 
is necessary, in order to avoid ambiguity, to remind the reader 
what precisely are the chief main senses in which the word 
"morality" is commonly used. 

The morality with which ethical treatises are concerned is 
theoretical morality. It is concerned with what people "ought" 
— or what is "right" for them — to do. Socrates in the Platonic 
dialogues was concerned with such theoretical morality : what 
"ought" people to seek in their actions? The great bulk of 
ethical literature, until recent times one may say the whole of it, 
is concerned with that question. Such theoretical morality is, 
as Sidgwick said, a study rather than a science, for science can 
only be based on what is, not on what ought to be. 

Even within the sphere of theoretical morality there are two 
very different kinds of morality, so different indeed that some- 
times each regards the other as even inimical or at best only by 
courtesy, with yet a shade of contempt, "moral," These two 
kinds of theoretical morality are traditional morality and ideal 
morality. Traditional morality is founded on the long estab- 
lished practices of a community and possesses the stability of all 
theoretical ideas based in the past social life and surrounding 
every individual born into the community from his earliest years. 
It becomes the voice of conscience which speaks automatically in 
favor of all the rules that are thus firmly fixed, even when the 
individual himself no longer accepts them. Many persons, for 
example, who were brought up in childhood to the Puritanical 
observance of Sunday, will recall how, long after they had 
ceased to believe that such observances were "right," they yet 
in the violation of them heard the protest of the automatically 
aroused voice of "conscience," that is to say the expression 
within the individual of customary rules which have indeed now 



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368 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

ceased to be his own but were those of the community in which he 
was brought up. 

Ideal morality, on the other band, refers not to the past of 
the coinmunity but to its future. It is based not on the old 
social actions that are becoming antiquated, and perhaps even 
anti-social in their tendency, hut on new social actions that are 
as yet only practiced by & small though growing minority of the 
community. Nietzsche in modem times has been a conspicuous 
champion of ideal morality, the heroic morality of the pioneer, 
of the individual of the coming community, against traditional 
morality, or, as he called it, herd-morality, the morality of the 
crowd. These two moralities are necessarily opposed to each 
other, but, we have to remember, they are both equally sotmd 
and equally indispensable, not only to those who accept them but 
to the community which they both contribute to hold in vital 
tlieoretical balance. We liave seen them both, for instance, 
applied to the question of prostitution; traditional morality 
defends prostitution, not for its own sake, but for the sake of 
the marriage system which it regards as sufficiently precious to be 
worth a sacrifice, while ideal morality refuses to accept the neces- 
sity of prostitution, and looks forward to progressive changes in 
the marriage system which will modify and diminish prostitution. 

But altogether outside theoretical morality, or the question 
of what people "ought" to do, there remains practical moralitjf, 
-or tiie question of what, as a matter of fact, people actually do. 
This is the really fundamental and essential morally. Latin 
mores and Greek $Ak both refer to custom, to the things that 
are, and not to tlie things that "ought to be, except in the 
indirect and secondary sense that whatever the members of the 
community, in the mass, actually do, is the thing that they feel 
they ouglit to do. In the first place, however, a moral act was 
not done because it was felt that it ought to be done, but for 
reasons of a much deeper and more instinctive character. * It 

I Such raasoDS are conuected with communal welfare. "All immoral 
jicls result in communal imhappineaa, all moral acts in communal happi- 
ness." aa Prof. A. Mathews remarkB, "Science and Morality," Popular 
Mcience Monthly, March, 1909. 



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BEXUAL MOBAUTY. 869 

was not first done because it was felt it ought to be done, bnt it 
vati felt it "ought" to be done becauBe it bad actually become the 
custom to do it. 

The actions of a community are deteniuned by the vital 
needs of a community under tbe special circumstances of ita 
culture, time, and land. When it is tbe general custom for chil- 
dren to kill their aged parents that custom is always found to be 
the best not only for the community but even for the old people 
themselves, who desire it; the action is both practically moral 
and theoretically moral.' And when, as among ourselves, the 
aged are kept alive, that action is also both practically and 
theoretically moral ; it ia in no wise dependent on any law or rule 
opposed to the taking of life, for we glory in the taking of life 
under tbe patriotic name of "war," and are fairly indifferent 
to it when involved by the demands of our industrial system; 
but the killing of the aged no longer subserves any social need 
and tbeir preservation ministers to our civilized emotional needs. 
The killing of a man is indeed notoriously an act which differs 
widely in its moral value at different periods and in different 
countries. It was quite moral in England two centuries ago and 
less, to kill a man for trifling offences against property, for such 
punishuient commended it^lf as desirable to the general sense of 
the educated community. To-day it would be regarded as highly 
immoral. We are even yet only beginning to doubt the morality 
of condemning to death and imprisoning for life an unmarried 
girl who destroyed her infant at birth, solely actuated, against all 
her natural impulses, by the primitive instinct of self-defense. 
It cannot be said that we have yet begun to doubt the morality 
of killing men in war, though we no longer approve of killing 
women and children, or even non-combatants generally. Every 
age or land has its own morality. 

"Custom, in the strict sense of the word," well says Wester- 

Kiarck, "involves a moral rule Society is the school 

in which men learn to distinguish between right and wrong. 



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370 PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. 

The headmaster is custom."' Custom is not only the basis of 
morality but also of law. "Custom is law."^ The field of theo- 
retical morality has been found so fascinating a playground for 
clever philosophers that there has sometimes been a danger of 
forgetting that, after all, it is not theoretical morality but prac- 
tical morality, the question of what men in the mass of a com- 
munity actually do, which constitutes the real stuff of morals.^ 
If we define more precisely what we mean by morals, on the 
practical side, we may say that it is constituted by those customs 
which the great majority of the members of a community 
regard as conducive to the welfare of the community at some 
particular time and place. It is for this reason — Le.^ because it is 
a question of what is and not of merely what some think ought 
to be — that practical morals form the proper subject of science. 
"If the word 'ethics' is to be used as the name for a science," 
Westermarck says, "the object of that science can only be to 
study the moral consciousness as a fact."* 

Lecky's Batory of European MoraU is a study in practical rather 
than in theoretical morals. Dr. WcatcrniHTck's great work. The Origin 
and Development of the Moral Ideas, is a more modern example of the 
objectively scientific discussion of morals, although this is not perhaps 
clearly brought out by the title. It is essentially a deacription of the 
actual historical facts of what has been, and not of what "ought" to be. 
Mr. L. T. Hobhouse's Morah m Evolvlion, published almost at the same 
time, is simiUrly a work which, while professedly dealing with Ideas, 



1 \Ve8termarck, Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, pp, 9, 
ISftj also the whole of Ch. VII. Actions that are in accordance with 
custom call forth public approval, actions that arc opposed to custom 
call forth public resentment, and Westermarck powerfully argues tjiat 
such approval and such resentment are the foundation of moral judg- 

2 This is well recognized by legal writers (e. g., E. A. Schroeder, Das 
Recht in der Otschlechtlichen Ordnang, p. 5). 

3 W. G. Sumnpr [Folkteayit. p. 418) even considers it desirable to 
change the form of the word in order to emphasize the real and funda- 
mental meaning of morals, and proposes the word morrg to indicate 
"popular usages and traditions conducive to societal reform." " 'Tm' 
moral.' " he points out, "never means anything but contrary to the mores 
of the tfme and place." There is, however, no need whatever to abolish 

■ or to supplement the good old ancient word "morality," so long as we 
clearly realize that, on the practical side, it means essentially custom. 
* Westermarck, op. oil., vol. i, p. JJ>. 



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SESIAL MOHALITY. 371 

ie., with rules and regulationa, and indeed disclaiming the task of being 
"the history of conduct," vH limits itself to those rules which are "in 
fact, the normal conduct of the average man" (vol. i, p. 26). In other 
words, it is essentially a history' ^o( practical morality, and not of 
theoretical morality. One of the most subtle and suggestive of living 
thinkers, M. Jules de Gaultier, in several of his books, and notabi}- in 
La Dipendance de la Uorale el I'lndipendaace des ilwura (1907), has 
analyzed the conception of morals in a somewhat simitar sense. "Phe- 
nomena relative to conduct," as he puts it [op. eit., p. 6B), "are given 
in experience like other phenomena, so that morality, or the totality of 
the laws which at any given moment of historic evolution are applied 
to human practice, is dependent on customs." 1 may also refer to the 
masterly eiposition of this aspect of morality in L^vy-Bruhl's La Morale 
et la Science des MtFurs (there is an English translation). 

Practical morality ia thua the solid natural fact which forms 
the biological baBis of theoretical morality, whether traditional or 
ideal. The excessive fear, bo widespread among us, lest we should 
injure morality is misplaced. We cannot hurt morals though 
we can hurt ourselves. A[orals is based on nature and can at the 
most only be modified. As Crawley rightly insists,* even the 
categorical imperatives of our moral traditions, so far from being, 
as is often popularly supposed, attempts to suppress Nature, arise 
in tlie desire to assist Nature ; they are simply an attempt at the 
rigid formulation of natural impulses. The evil of them only 
lies in the fact that, like all things that become rigid and dead, 
they tend to persist beyond the period when they were a beneficial 
vital reaction to the environment. They thua provoke new forma 
of ideal morality; and practical morals develops new structures, 
in accordance with new vital relationships, to replace older and 
desiccated traditions. 

There is clearly an intimate relationship between theoretical 
morals and practical morals or morality proper. For not only 
is theoretical morality the outcome in consciousness of realized 



I See, e.g., "Exogamy and the Mating of Cousins," in Essays Pre- 
sented ia E. B. Tylor. 1907, p. 53. "In many departments of primitive 
life we find a naive desire to, as it were, assist Nature, to afhrm what 
is normal, and later to confirm it by the categorical imperative of custom 
and law. This tendency still flourishes in our civilized communities, 
nnd, as the worship of the normal, is often a deadly foe to the abnormal 
and eccentric, and too often paralyzes originally," 



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372 PBYCHOLOOY OF SEX. 

practices embodied in the general life of the commimity, bat, 
baring thus become conscicniB, it reacts on those practices and 
tends to support them or, by its own spontaneons growth, to 
modify them. This action is diverse, according as we are dealing 
with one or the other of the strongly marked divisions of theo- 
retical morality : traditional and posterior morality, retarding the 
vital growth of moral practice, or ideal and anterior morality, 
stimulating the vital growth of moral practice. Practical 
morality, or morals proper, may be said to stand between these 
two divisions of theoretical morality. Practice is perpetually 
following after anterior theoretical morality, in so far of course 
as ideal morality really is anterior and not, as so often happens, 
astray up a blind alley. Posterior or traditional morality always 
follows after practice. The result is that while the actual 
morality, in practice at any time or place, is always closely related 
to theoretical morality, it can never exactly correspond to either 
of its forms. It always fails to catch up with ideal morality; 
it is always outgrowing trn^iitional morality. 

Jt has been necessary at this point to formulate definitely 
the three chief forms in which the word "moral" is used, 
although under one shape or another they cannot but be familiar 
to the reader. In the discussion of prostitution it has indeed 
been easily possible to follow the usual custom of allowing the 
special sense in which the word was used to be determined by the 
context. But now, when we are, for the moment, directly con- 
cerned with the specific question of the evolution of sexual 
morality, it is necessary to be more precise in formulating the 
terms we use. In this chapter, except when it is otherwise stated, 
we are concerned primarily with morals proper, with actual con- 
duct as it develops among the masses of a community, and only 
secondarily with anterior morality or with posterior morality. 

Sexual morality, like all other kinds of morality, is neces- 
sarily constituted by inherited traditions modified by new adap- 
tations to the changing social environment. If the influence of 
tradition becomes unduly pronounced the moral life tends to 
decay and lose its vital adaptability. If adaptability becomes too 
fscile the moral life tends to become unstable and to lose 



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BEXDAL UOBAUTT. 373 

authority. It is only by a reasonable eyiitbeais of structure and 
function — of what is called the traditional with what is called 
the ideal — that the moral life can retain its authority without 
losing its reality. Many, even among those who call themselves 
moralists, have found this hard to understand. In a vain desire 
for an impoBable logicality they have OTer-empbasized either the 
ideal influence on practical morals or, still more frequently, the 
traditional influence, which has appealed to them because of the 
impressive authority Its dicta seem to convey. The results in the 
sphere we are here concerned with have often been unfortunate, 
for no social impulse is so rebellious to decayed traditions, so 
voleanically eruptive, as tliat of ses. 

We are accustomed to identify our present marriage system 
with "morality*' in the abstract, and for many people, perhaps 
for most, it is difficult to realize that the slow and insensible 
movement which is always affecting social life at the present time, 
as at every other time, is profoundly affecting our sexual morality. 
A transference of values is constantly taking place; what was 
once the very standard of morality becomes immoral, what was 
once without question immoral becomes a new standard. Such a 
process is almost as bewildering as for the European world two 
thousand years ago was the great struggle between the Roman 
ci^ and the Christian Charch, when it became necessary to 
realize that what Marcus Aurelius, the great pattern of morality, 
had sought to crush as without question immoral,* was becoming 
regarded as the supreme standard of morality. The classic 
world considered love and pity and self-sacrifice as little better 
than weakness and sometimes worse; the Christian world not 
only regarded them as moralities but incarnated them in a god. 
Our sexual morality has likewise disregarded natural human 
emotions, and is incapable of understanding those who declare 
that to retain unduly traditional laws that are opposed to the 
vital needs of human societies is not a morality but an immorality. 



1 The Bpirit of Chrialiauity, as illustrated by Paulinus, in hifl 
EpittU XXV, waa from the Roman point of view, as Dill remarks 
{Romaa Society, p. 11), "a renunciation, not only of citizenship, but of 
all the hard-woD fmite of civilizatioa and social life." 



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874 PSYCHOLOGY OF BEX. 

The reason why the gradual evolution of moral ideals, which 
is always taking place, tends in the sexual sphere, at all events 
among ourselves, to reach a stage in which there seemB to be an 
opposition between different standards lies in the fact that as yet 
ive really have no specific sexual morality at all.^ That may 
seem surprising at first to one who refiects on the immense weight 
which is usually attached to "sexual morality." And it is 
undoubtedly true that we have a morality which we apply to the 
sphere of sex. But that morality is one which belongs mainly to 
the sphere of property and was very largely developed on a 
property basia. All the historians of morals in general, and of 
marriage in particular, have set forth this fact, and illustrated 
it with a wealth of historical material. We have as yet no gen- 
erally recognized sexual morality which has been based on the 
specific sexual facts of life. That becomes clear at once when we 
realize the central fact that the sexual relationship is based on 
love, at the very least on sexual desire, and that that basis is so 
deep as to be even ph}'siological, for in the absence of such sexual 
desire it is physiologically impossible for a man to effect inter- 
course with a woman. Any specific sexual morality must be 
based on that fact. But our so-called "sexual morality," so far 
from being based on that fact, attempts to ignore it altogether. 
It makes contracts, it arranges sexual relationships beforehand, 
it offerp to guarantee permanency of sexual inclinations. It 
introduces, that is, considerations of a kind that is perfectly 
sound in the economic spliere to which such considerations rightly 
belong, but ridiculously incongruous in the sphere of sex to which 
they have solemnly been applied. The economic relationships of 
life, in the large sense, are, as we shall see, extremely important in 
the evolution of any sound sexual morality, but they belong to the 
conditions of its development and do not constitute its basis." 

1 It thus happeoB that, as Lecky said in his History of European 
Morals, "of all the dEpartnientn of ethipR the questions concerning the 
relations of the aexes and the proper position of woman are those upon 
the future of which there rests the frreatest uncertainty." Some pnw- 
reia haa perhaps been made nince these words were written, but they still 
hold true for the majority of people, 

2 Concemint; economic marrinfte n!> a Testigial survival, see, e.g., 
Bloch, The Sexual lAfe of Our Time, p. 212. 



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SEXUAL MORALITY, 375 

The fact that, from the legal point of view, marriage Is primarily 
AQ arrangement for securing the rights of property and inheritance is 
well illustrated by the En^ish divorce law to-day. According to this 
law, if a woman has sexual intercourse with any man beside her husband, 
be is entitled to divorce her; if, however, tiie husband has int«rcanree 
with another woman beside hia wife, she Is not entitled to a divorce: 
that is only accorded if, in addition, he has also been cruel to her, or 
deserted her, and from any standpoint of ideal morality such a law is 
obviously unjust, and it has now been discarded in nearly all civilized 
lands except England. 

But from the standpoint of property and inheritance it is quit« 
intelligible, and on that ground it is still supported by the majority of 
Englishmen. If the wife has intercourse with other men there ia a risk 
that the husband's property will be inherited by a child who is not his 
own. But the sexual intercourse of the husband with other women Is 
followed by no such risk. The inf