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Psychology of Sex 


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UBWWY OF MEDICINE "="•'-'""8"- 

In the prerions five volnmee of theee Studies, I have dealt 
mainly with the sexual impulse in relation to its object, learing 
out of account the external persons and the enrironmental 
influences which yet may powerfully affect that impulse and its 
gratification. We cannot afford, however, to pass unnoticed this 
relationship of the sexual impulse 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 possible to discuss more smnmarily 
than in preceding volumes the manifold and important problems 
that are presented to us. In considering the more special ques- 
tions of sexual psychology we entered a neglected field and it 
was necessary to expend an analytic care and precision which at 
many points had never been expended before on these questions. 
But when we reach the relationships of sex to society we have for 
the most part no such neglect 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 turn, as clearly and succinctly as may be, 
in relation to those fundamental principles of sexual psychology 
which — so far as the data at present admit — have been set forth 
in the preceding volumes. 

It may seem to some, indeed, that in this exposition I should 
have confined myself to the present, and not included so wide a 
sweep of the course of human history and the traditions of the 
race. It may especially seem that I have laid too great a stress 
on the influence of Christianity in moulding sexual ideals and 
establishing sexual institutions. That, I am convinced, is an 


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error. It is because it is bo frequently made that the moTements 
of progrees among ub — movementB that can neTer at any period 
of social history cease — are by many bo aerionsly mismiderstood. 
We csnnot 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 he imagines the authority of 
the Christian past, is still held by that past. If its traditions are 
not absolutely in bis 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, milese we are acquainted with the drift 
of the great movements that Btir all civilization in never-ending 

In discussing sexual questions which are very largely matters 
of social hygiene we shall thus BtUl be preserving the 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 be to ascertain what best 
expresses, and what best satisfies, the totality of the impulses and 
ideas of civilized men and women. So that while we 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 ib to satisfy the demands of the whole human 

It is necessary to emphasize this point of view because it 


would seem that do error ia more common among writers on 
the hygienic and moral problems of sex than the neglect of 
the psychological staodpoint. They may take, for instance, the 
side of sexoal restraint, or the side of eexnal unrestraint, but 
they fail to realize that so narrow a basis is inadequate for the 
needs of complex human beings. From the wider psychological 
standpoint we recognize that we have to conciliate opposing 
impulses that are both alike founded on the homan psychic 

In the preceding volumes of these Studies I hare sought to 
refrain from the expression of any personal opinion and to main- 
tain, BO far as possible, a strictly objective attitude. In this 
endeavor, I tmat, I have been successful if I may judge from 
the fact that I have received the aympathy and approval of all 
kinds of people, not lees of the rationalistic free-thinker 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 neceesarily 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 have 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 approadied ; 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. 
Cubifl Bay, Cornwall, EngUnd. 

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The Motheb akd Hbb Cbiui, 

The Child's Right to Chooee Its Ancestry— How Tbia ia Effected— 
Tlie Motlier the Child's Supreme Parent — Motherhood and the 
Woman MoTement — The Immense Importance of Motherhood — 
Infant Mortality and Its Causes— The Chief Canse in the 
Mother — The Need of Rest During Pregnancy — Frequency of 
Premature Birth — The Function of the State — Recent Advance 
in PuericultuTe — 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 Mother — The 
Fallacy of Stat« Nurseries 


Sexual Educatton. 

Nurture Necessary as Well as Breed — Precocious UanifestationH of 
the Sexual Impulse — Are they to be Regarded as Normal t — The 
Sexual Play of Children— The Emotion of Love in Childhood — 
Are Town Children More Precocious Sexually Than Country 
Childrenf — Children's Ideas Concerning the Origin of Babies — 
Need for Beginning the Sexual Education of Children in Early 
Years — The Importance of Early Training in Responsibility- 
Evil of the Old Doctrine of Silence in Matters of Sex— The Evil 
Magnified When Applied to Girls- The Mother the Natnral and 
Best Teacher — The Morbid Influence of Artificial Mystery in Sex 
Matters — Books on Sexual Enlightenment of the Young — Nature 
of the Mother's Task— Sexual Education in the School— The 
Value of Botany — ZoOlogy — Sexual Education After Puberty — 
The Necessity of Counteracting Quack Literature — Danger of 
Neglecting to Prepare for the First Onset of Menstmatfon — The 
Right Attitude Towards Woman's Sexual Life— The Vital Neces- 
sity of the Hygiene of Menstruation During Adolescence — Buch 
Hygiene Compatible with the Educational and Social Equality 
of the Sexes— The Invalidism of Women Mainly Due to Hygienic 


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Neglect — Good Influence of PhTBical Training on Women and Bad 
Influence of Athleticn — The Evile of Emotional Suppression — 
Need of Teaching the Digni^ of Bex — 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 Re- 
ligious and Ethical Teacher — The Initiation Rites of Savages Into 
Manhood and Womanhood — The Sexual Influence of Literature — 
The Sexual Influence of Art 

Skzual Education and Nakedness. 
The Greek Attitude Towards Nakedness — ^How the Romans Modi- 
fled That Attitude— The Influence of Christianity- Nakedness in 
Medieval Times — Evolution of the Horror of Nakedness — Con- 
comitant Change in the Conception of Nakednesa — Prudery — The 
Romantic Movement — Rise of a New Feeling in Regard to Naked- 
ness — The Hygienic Aspect of Nakedness — How Children May Be 
Accustomed to Nakedness — Nakedness Not Inimical to Modesty — 
The Instinct of Physical Pride— The Value of Nakedness In Edu- 
cation — The il^sthetic Value of Nakedness — The Human Bod; as 
One of the Prime Tonics of Life-^How Nakedness May Be tTulti- 
vated- The Moral Value ol Nakedness 

Tee VAxuATiotT or Sescai, Love. 
The Conception of Sexual Love — The Attitude of Medieval Asceti- 
cism — St. Bernard and St. Odo of Cluny — The Ascetic Insistence 
on the Proximity of the 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 Thi» 
Idea— The Anti-Ascetic Element in the Bible and Early Giris- 
tianity — Clement of Alexandria — St. Augustine's Attitude — Tlie 
Reoognition of the Sacredness of the Body by Tertullian, Rufinun 
and Athaoasius — The Reformation — ^The Sexual Instinct Re- 
garded as Beastly — The Human Sexual Instinct Not AnimaMike 
— Lust and Love — The Deflnitiou of Love — Love and Names for 
Love Unknown in Some Parts of the World— Romantic Love of 
Late Development in the White Race — The Mystery of Sexual De- 
sire — WTjether 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 InteUect to the Supiemac; of I^ve 1 

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Thi Pumcttom of Chabtitt. ^^^^ 

Cluutitf EsKDtial to the Dignity of Lore — The Eighteenth Century 
Revolt Against the Ideal of Chastity — ^Unnatural Forma of 
Chastity — The Psychological Basis of Asceticism — Asceticism and 
Chasti^ as Savage Virtues — The Significance of Tahiti — Chastity 
Among Barbarous Peoples — Chastity Among the Early Christians 
— Struggles of the Saints with the Flesh — The Bomance of 
Christian Chastity — Its Decay !n Medieval Times — Aucatsin et 
Hicolette and the New Komance of ChBHte Love— The Unchastity 
of the Northern Barbarians — The Penitentials — Influence of the 
Renaissance and the Reformation — The Revolt Against Virginitv 
as a Virtue — The Modern Conception of Chastity as a Virtue — 
The Influences That Favor the Virtue of Chastity — Chastity as 
a Discipline — The Value of Chastity for the Artist — Potency and 
Impotence in Popular Estimation — The Correct Deflnitions of 
Aaoetidsm and Chastity 143 

The Fbobixk or Sezuai. Abbtikbnci. 
The Influenoe of Tradition— The Theological Conception of Lust — 
Tendenc}' of These Influences to Degrade Sexual Morality — Their 
Result in Creating the Problem of Sesual 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 Discussion — Criticism of the Conception of Sexual Absti- 
nence — Sexual Abstinence as Compared to Abstinence from Food — 
No Complete Analogy^The Morality of Sexual Abstinence En- 
tirely Negative— Is It the Physician's Duty to Advise Extra- 
Conjugal Sexual Intercourse? — 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 Age — 
The Physician as Reformer — Sexusl Abstinence and Sexual Hy- 
giene — Alcohol — The Influence of Physical and Mental Exer- 
cise — The Inadequacy of Sexual Hygiene in This Field— The 
Unreal Nature of the Conception of Sexual Abstinence — The 
NecessI^ of Replacing tt by a More Positive Ideal 17S 

I. Th« Orgs: — The Religious Origin of the Orgy- The Feast of 
Fools — Recognition of tlie Org;f by the Greelcs and Romans — 

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Hw Orgy Among SavKge*— The Drama— Th« Object BnbMrved 
by the Orgy 2IS 

II. 7^ Origin and Develoftment of Proititution : — The Definition of 
Prostitution — Proetitution Among Savftget — The Conditions Un- 
der Which Professional Prostitution Arises — Sacred Prostitu- 
tion—The RiU of Mylitta— The Practice 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 Prosti- 
tution—The Effort to Combat Prostitution— The Mediteval 
Brothel — Th& Appearance of the Courtesan — Tutlia D'Aragona 
— Veronica Franco — Ninon de Lenclos — Later Attempts to Ersdi- 
eate Prostitution — The Begulation of Prostitution— Its Fiitilily 
Becoming Recognized 224 

III. The Caiitet of Protlitution: — Prostitution as a Part of the 
Marriage System — ^the Complex Causation of Prostitution- The 
Motives Assigned by Prostitutes — (1) Economic Factor of Prosti- 
tution — Poverty Seldom the Chief Motive (or Prostitution — 
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-c«IIed Bom-Prostitute— Alleged Identity with the Bom- 
Criminal — The Sexual Instinct in Proetitutes — The Physical and 
Peycbic 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 
Proetitution — The Attitude of Protestantism — Recent Advocates 
of the Moral Necessity of Prostitution — (4) Civilfzational Value 
as a Factor of Prostitution — The Influence of Urban Life — The 
Craring for Excitement — Why Servant-girU so Often Turn to 
Prostitution — The Small Part Played by Seduction — Prostitutes 
Come Largely from the Country — The Appeal of Civiliiation 
Attracts Women to Prostitution — The Corresponding Attraction 
Felt by Men — The Prostitute as Artist and Leader of Fashion- 
The Charm of Vulgarity 854 

IV. The Present Social Attitude Tmcarfy Pro»(i(«(«m;— The Decay 
of the Brothel — The Tendency to the Humanization of ProsUtu- 
tion— The Monetary AspecU of Prostitution— The Geisha— The 
Hetaira— The Moral Revolt Against Prostitution — Squalid Vice 
Based on Luinirtous Virtue — ^The Ordinary Attitude Towards 
Prostitutes— Its Craelty Absurd— The Need of Reforming Pros- 
titution—The Need of Reforming Blarriage— These Two Needs 
Closely Correlated— The Dynamic Relationsbipa Involved 302 

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Tri ComtuBT or thk VKiraaxu. Discasu. 

The SignificAnee of tho VeiwrMl Dlaeaws— The History of SyphilU 
The Prablem of Ita Origtn— The SocUl Gravity of Syphilia— The 
SocUl Dmagtn of QonoiTbtE*— The Modern Change in the Meth- 
oda of Combating Venereal Diaeaaea — Caiues of the Decay of the 
Syetem of Police Regulation — Neceesi^ of Facing the Facts — 
The Innocent Victims of Venereal Dlaeasee — Diseases Not 
Crimea— The Principle of NotiBcation— The Scandinavian Syttem 
— Oratuitona Treatment— Punishment For Transmitting Vene- 
real Diaeaaea — Sexual Education in Relation (o Venereal Diseases 
— Lectures, Etc. — Macussion In Novels and on the Stage — The 
■OMBguating" Not th< "Immoral" 3 

chapter ix. 

Sexuai. Hobaltit. 

Prostitution in delation to Our Marriage Syatem — Marriage and 
Morality— The Definition of the Term "Morality"— Theoretical 
Morality — Its Division Into Traditional Morality and Ideal 
Morality — Practical Morality — Practical Morality Based on 
Custom — The Only Subject of Scientific Sthica^-The Reaction 
Between Theoretical and Practical Morality— Sexual Morality 
in the Past an Application of E!conomic Morality — The Com- 
bined Rigidity and Laxity of Thie Morality- Tbe Growth 
of a Specific Sexual Morali^ and the Evolution of Moral 
Ideals — Manifestations of Sexual Morality — Disregard of the 
Forms of Marriage — Trial Marriage— Marriage After Con- 
ception of Child — Phenomena in Germany, Anglo-Saxon Conn- 
tries, Russia, etc.- The SUtus of Woman— The Hietorical Tend- 
ency Favoring Moral Equality of Woraen with Men — The Theory 
of the Matrlarchate — Mother-Descent — Women in Babylonia — 
Egypt — Rome — The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries — The 
Historical Tendency Favoring Moral Inequality of Woman — The 
Ambiguous Influence of Christianity — Influence of Teutonic Cus- 
tom and Feudalism — Chivalry — Woman in England — The Sale of 
Wives— The Vanishing Bubjectioa of Woman— Inaptitude of the 
Modem Man to Domineer — The Growth of Moral ResponeibiHty 
in Women — The Concomitant Development of Economic Indepen- 
dence—The Increase of Women Who Work — Invasion of the 
Modem Industrial Field by Women— In How Far This Is Socially 
Justifiable— The Sexual Responsibility of Women and Its Conae- 
quenceo— The Alleged Moral Inferiority of Women— The "Self- 

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Sacrifice" of Women — Society Not Concerned with Sexual Rela- 
tionships — Procreation the Sole Sexual Ooneeni of the State — 
The Supreme Importance of Maternity 3 



The Definition of Marriage— Marriage Among Animals— The Pre- 
dominance of Monog&mj — The Question of Group Marriage — 
Monogamy a Natural Fact, Not Baaed on Human Law — The Tend- 
ency to Place the Fonn of Marriage Above the Fact of Marriage 
— The History of Marriage — Marriage in Ancient Rome— Ger- 
manic Influence on Marriage — Bride-Sale — The Ring — The Influ- 
ence of Christianity on Marriage — The Great Extent of this 
Influence — The Sacrament of Matrimony — Origin and Growth 
of the Sacramental Conception — The Church Made Marriage a 
Puhlic Act — Canon Law — Its Sound Core — Its Development — Its 
Confusions and Absurditiea — Peculiaritiei of English Marriage 
Law — Influence of the Reformation on Marriage — The Protestant 
Conception of Marriage as a Secular Contract — The Puritan Re- 
form of Marriage — Milton as the Pioneer of Marriage Reform — 
His Views on Divorce — The Backward Position of England in 
Klarriage Reform — Criticism of the English Divorce Law — Tradi- 
tions of the Canon Law Still Persistent — The Question of Damages 
tor Adultery — Collusion as a Bar to Divorc^^Divorce in France, 
Germany, Aiiatria, Russia, etc.— Tlie Uniied States — Impossibil- 
ity of Deciding by Statute the Causes for Divorce — Divorce by 
Mutual Consent — Us Origin and Development — Impeded by the 
Traditions of Canon Iaw — Wilhelin von Humboldt — Modern 
Pioneer Advocates of Divorce by Mutual Consent — The Argu- 
ments Against Facility of Divorce — The Interests of the Chil- 
dren — The Protection of Women — The Present Tendency of the 
Divorce Movement — Marriage Not a Contract — The Proposal of 
Marriage for a Term of Years — Legal Disabilities and Disad- 
advantagps in the Position of the Husband and the Wife — Mar- 
riage Not a Contract But a Fact — Only the Non-Essentials of 
Marriage, Kot the Essentials, fc Proper Matter for Contract— 
The Legal Recognition of Marriage as a Fact Without Any Cere- 
mony — Contracts of the Person Opposed to Modem Tendencies — 
The Factor of Moral Reaponsibility — Marriage as an Ethical 
Sacrament — Personal ReF>ponsibiIity Involves Freedom — Freedom 
the Best Quarantee of Stability — False Ideas of Individualism — 
Modem Tendency of Marriage — With the Birth of a Child Mar- 

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riagB CeawB to b« a Private Concern — Every Child Must Have 
a Legal Father and Mottiei^How This Can be Effected—The 
Firm Basis of Monogam}! — The Question of Marriage Varia- 
tion* — Such Variations Not Inimical to Monogamy — The Most 
Common Variations — The Flexibility of Marriage Holds Varia- 
tions in Check — Marriage Variations versus Prostitution — Mar- 
riage OD a RcABonable and Humane Basis — Summary and Cod- 
cliukiii 4 


Tbi Awr OF Lots, 

Marriage Not Only for Procreation — Theolopans on the Sacra- 
mentum Bolationi» — Importance .of the Art of Love— The Basis 
of Stability in Marriage and the Condition for Bight Procrea- 
tion — The Art of Love the Bulwarlc Against Divorce — The Unity 
of Love and Marriage a Principle of Modern Morality — Christian- 
ity and the Art of Love — Ovid — 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 — 
ThQ Husband's Education for Marriage — The Injury Done by the 
Ignorance of Husbands — The Physical and Mental Itesults of 
Unskilful Coitus — Women Understand the Art of Love Better 
Than Men — Ancient and Modern Opinions Concerning Frequency 
of Coitus — Variation in Sexual Capacity — The Sexual Appetite — 
The Art of Love Based on the Biological Facts 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 Interruptus — 
Coitus Reservatus — 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 — Jealousy — The Primitive Func- 
tion of Jealousy— Its Predominance Among Animals, Savages, 
etc, and in Pathological States — An An ti Social Emotion — 
Jealousy Incompatible With the Progress of Civilization — The 
Poiaibllity of Loving More Than One Person at a Time — Platonic 
Friendship— The Conditions Which Make It Possible— The Ma- 



temal Element in Woiumi'b Love— The Final Derelopment of 
Conjugal Love — The Problem of Love One oi ttie Greatest of 
Social Questiooa 607 


The Science of Piocbbation, 

The Relationship of tlie Science of Procreation to the Art of Love- 
Sexual Desire and Sexual Pleasure as the ConditioDS of Con- 
ception — Reproduction Formerlj Left to Caprice and Lust — The 
Question of Procreation as a Religious Question — The Creed of 
Eugenics — Ellen Key and Sir Francis Galton — Our Debt to Pos- 
terity — The Problem of Replacing Natural Selection— The Origin 
and Development of Eugenics — 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 Civilized Coun- 
tries — The Fallacy of "Racial Suicide" — Are Large Families a 
Stigma of Degeneration T — Procreative Control the Outcome of 
Natural and Civilized Progress — The Growth of Neo-Malthusian 
Beliefs and Practices — Facultative Sterility as Distinct from 
Neo-Malthuaianism — The Medical and Hygienio Necessity of 
Control of Conception — Preventive Methods — Abortion — The 
New Doctrine of the Duty to Practice Abortion — How Far is this 
JustifiableT — Castration as a Method of Controlling Procreation 
— Negative Eugenics and Positive Eugenics — The Question of Cer- 
tiBcates for Marriage — The 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 Artiflcial Fecundation — The Best Age of Procreation — 
The Question of Early Motherhood— The Best Time for Pro- 
creation — The Completion of the Divine Cycle of Life GTS 



The Child's Right to Chixise Ita Ancestry— How Thii U Effected— 
The Mother the Cbild'a Supreme Parent — Motherhi»d and the Woman 
Movement — The Immense Importance of Motherhood — Infant Mortality 
and Its Causes— The Chief Cause in the Mothcr^-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 Sucltle Her Child— The Economic Question— The Duty of the 
State — Recent Progress in the ProtecUon of the Mother — The Fallacy 
of Slats Nurseries. 

A man's sexual nature, like all else that is most eesential 
in him, is rooted in a soil that was fonned very long before his 
birth. In tliis, as in every other respect, he draws the 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 serious 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 rule his fate. 

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

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


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been guided by an instinct which, on the whole, has worked out 
fairly well, or controlled by economic intereBta of the results of 
which Bo 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 hare 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 &e race has, on the whole, been moulded by a 
natural, and in part sexual, selection, that was unconscious qf 
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 Mature becoming self-conscious in the civilized brain 
of man. This is not a faith wliich 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 as we 
ponder the individual questions we are here concerned with, that 
at all points they ultimately converge towards this same racial 

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 , 
jilready determined, be 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 iMan, 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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abroad and stand on guard when at home in the antechamber of 
the family. When she haa once been impregnated the female 
animal angrily rejects the careesee she had welcomed so coquet- 
tishly before, and even in Man the place of the father at the birth 
of his child is not a notably dignified or comfortable one. 
Nature accords the male but a secondary and comparatively 
humble place in the home, the breeding-place of the race; be may 
compensate himself if he will, by seeking adventure and renown 
in the world outside. The motbei- 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 work 
throngh 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 aeem to all those who have 
traversed the volumes of these Studies np to the present point, 
it most 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 mixed 
influences of the exuberantly vital times which preceded the 
outburst of the fienaissance, the fdeally beautiful woman, as 
pictures still show, was the pregnant woman. But it haa not 
always been eo. At the present time, for instance, there can be 
no doubt that we are bnt 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 ia 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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in woman's life ? In England, by a curiously perverted form of 
sexual attraction, women were so fascinated by the glamour that 
surrounded men that they desired to suppress or forget all the 
facta of organic constitution which made them unlike men, 
counting their glory as their shame, and sought the same educa- 
tion aa men, the same occupations as men, even the same sports. 
As we know, there wag at the origin an element of rightness in 
thia 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 
when 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 is only good when it 
18 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 e.xert serious influence. 
Yet its practical results are still prominently exhibited in Eng- 
land and the other countries in which it has been felt. Infantile 
mortality is enormous, and in England at all events ie only 
beginning to show a tendency to diminish ; motherhood is with- 
out dignity, and the vitality of mothers is speedily crushed, so 

1 It Hhonld Bcarcelf be necessary Ui say that to assert that mother- 
hood is a woman's Bupreme function Is by no means to assert that her 
activities should be confined to the home. That is an opinion which 
nay now be regarded as almost extinct even among those who most 
glorify the function of woman as mother. As Friedrich Naumann and 
others hava very truly pointed out, a woman is not adequately equipped 
to fulfil her functions as mother and trainer of children unless she has 
lived in the world snd exercised a vocation. 

a "Were the capacities of the brain and the heart equal in the 
sexes," Lily Braun (Die Frauenfrage, page 207) 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 man, that it signifies 
a new vivifying principle in human life, makes the women's movement, 
in spite of the misconception of its enemies and its friends, a social 
revolution" (nee also Havelock Ellis, Man and Woman, fourth edition, 
1904, especially Ch. XVUI). 



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

It would be out of place, and would lead ua too far, to discuM 
bere these various practical outcomes of the foolish attempt to belittle 
the immense racial importance of motherhood. It is enou^ here to 
touch on the one point of the eicesH of infantile mortality. 

In England — which is not from the social point of view in a very 
much worse condition than most countries, for in Austria and Russia 
tiie infant mortality 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 of age. In 
the opinion of medical officers of health who are in the best position to 
form an opinion, about one-half of this mortality, roughly speaking, is 
absoIut«ly preventable. Moreover, it is doubtful whether there is any 
real movement of decrease in this mortality; during the past halt cen- 
tury it has sometimes slightly risen and sometimes slightly fallen, and 
though during the past few years the general movement of mortality for 
children under five in England and Wales has shown a tendeuey to 
decrease, in London (aceording to J. F. J. Sykes, although Sir Shirley 
Murphy has attempUd to minimize the significance of these figures) 
the infantile mortality rate for the first three months of life actually 
rose from 60 per 1,000 in the period 18S8-1802 to 75 per 1,000 in the 
period IS08-100I. (This refers, it must be remembered, to the period 
before t^e introduction of the Notification of Births Act.) In any case, 
although the general mortality shows a marked tendency to improve- 
ment there is certainly no adequately corresponding improvement in the 
Infantile mortally. This Is scarcely surprising, when we realize that 
there has been no change for the better, but rather for the worse, in the 
oondttions under which our infants are bom and reared. Thus William 
Hall, who has had an intimate knowledge ext«nding over fifty-six years 
of the slums of Leeds, and has weighed and measured many thousands 
of slum children, besides examining over 120,000 boys and girls aa to 
their fitness for factory labor, states (Britifh Medical Joumat, October 
14, 1905) Uiat "fifty years ago the slum mother was much more sober, 
cleanly, domestic, and motherly than she is to-day; she was herself 
better nourished and she almost always suckled her children, and after 
weaning they received more nutritious bone-making food, and she waa 
able to prepare more wholesome food at home." The system of com- 
pulsory education has had an unfortunate influence in exerting a strain 
on the parents and worsening the conditions of the home. For, excellent 

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as edttc&Uoii is in itself, it in not (he primary need of life, and has been 
made compulurj before tbe more eesential tilings of life liave been mads 
equally compulaory. Bow absolutely unnecesBary this great mortality 
la may b« shown, without evoking the good example of Australia and 
New Zealand, by merely comparing Bmall English towns; thus while 
in Guildford tbe infantile death rate is 66 per thousand, in Burslem it 
is 205 per thousand. 

It ie sometimes said that Infantile mortality is an economic ques- 
tion, and tbat with improrement in wages it would cease. Tliis 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 {Brititk Uedieal Jounml. 1008, vol. ii, 
p. 889), being due to the ignornnce of mothers and the dislike to suck- 
ling, is easily preventable. The employment of married women greatly 
diminishes the poverty of a family, but nothing can be worse for the 
welfare of the woman as mother, or ior the welfare of her child. Reid, 
the medical officer of health for Staffordshire, where there are two 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-birtliB are three times as frequent as in the 
•outhem centre, where there are practically no trade employments tor 
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 tbe fact that Jewesses 
are better mothers. "The Jewish children in the slums," says William 
Hall {Brititk Medical Journal, October 14, 1000), 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 fact was, their chil- 
dren were much better nourished. The pregnant Jewess was more cared 
for, and no doubt supplied better nutriment to the f<etns. After tbe 
children were bom 90 per cent, received hreast-mllk, and during later 
childhood they were abundantly fed on bone-making material; e|^ and 
oil, flah, fresh vegetables, and fruit entered largely into their diet." 
O. Newman, in his important and comprehensiTe book on Infant Mor- 
tality, emphasiies the conclusion that "first of all we need a higher 
standard of physical motherhood." The problem of infantile mortality, 
he declares (page 260), is not one of sanitation alone, or housing, or 
indeed of poverty as sacb, "hut is mainly a quetlion of mothtrhood." 

The fundamental need of the pregnant woman is rest. 
Without a large degree of maternal rest there can be no pueri- 



culture.! The taBk of creating a man needs the whole of a 
woman's best energies, more especially duiing the three months 
before birth. It cannot be subordinated to the tax on strength 
involved by manual or mental labor, or even strenuone 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 190P, 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 Hiat Uiat rest is duly secured. The woman herself, and 
her employer, we may be certain, will do their best to cheat the 
commtmity, but it is the community which suffers, botii 
economically and morally, when a woman casts her inferior 
children 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's 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 

Pinard, who must always be honored as one of the founderB of 
eugenics, has, together with his pupils, done much to prepare the way 

1 The word "puericulture" was invented by Dr. Caron in 1866 to 
signify the culture of children after birth. It was Pinard, the distin- 
guished French obstetrician, who, in IBB5, gave it a larger and truer 
signiflcaQce by applying it to include the culture of children before birth. 
It Is now defined as "the science nhich has for its end the search for 
the knowledge relative to the reproduction, the preservation, and the 
amelioration ot the human race" (P6;bin, La PuSriculture avant ta 
TiaiManee, Thtse de Paris, 1908). 

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for the kcceptauM of this simple but important principle bj nuking clear 
the grounds on which it is baaed. From prolonged observatione on the 
pregnuit women of all dasBea Pinard has shown conclusively that women 
who rest during pregnancy have finer children than women who do not 
rest. Apart front the more general evils of work during pregnancy, 
Pinard found that during the later months it had a tendency to press 
the uterus down into the pelvis, and so cause the premature birth of 
undeveloped children, while labor was rendered more difficult and dan' 
gerous (see, e.g., Pinard, Oazelte dM BOpitiuui, Nov. 28, 1896, Id., 
Annates de Oynioologie, Aug., 1898). 

Letoumeux haB_ studied tiie question whether repose during preg- 
nancy is necessary for women whose professional work is only slightly 
fatiguing. He investigated T3S successive confinements at the Clinique 
Baudelocque in Paris. He found that 137 women engaged in fatiguing 
occupations (servante, cooks, etc.) and not resting during pregnancy, 
produced children with an average weight of 3,081 grammes; IIS women 
engaged in only slightly fatiguing occupations [dressntakers, milliners, 
etc.) and also not resting during pregnancy, had children with an aver- 
age weight of 3,130 grammes, a slight but significant 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 pregnancy, it was found 
tliat the women accustomed to fatiguing work had children with an 
average weight of 3,319 granunee, while those accustomed to less 
fatiguing work had children with an average wei^t of 3,318 grammes. 
The difTerence 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," Letoumeux 
concludes, "must guarantee rest to women not well off during a part 
of pregnancy. It will be repaid the cost of doing so by the increased 
vigor of the children thus produced" (Letoumeux, De VInftuence de la 
Profemion de la Mtre »ur U Pmdt de VEnfant, Thtae de Paris, 1897). 

Dr. Dweira-Bernson {Revue Pratique d'Obatetrique el ife Ptdiatrie, 
1903, p. 370), compared four groups of pregnant women (servants with 
light work, servants with heavy work, farm girls, dressmakers) who 
rested for three months before confinement with four groups similarly 
composed who took no rest before confinement. In eveiy group he found 
that the diJTerence in the average weight of the child was markedly in 
favor of the women who rested, and it was notable that the greatest 
difference was found in the case of the farm girls who were probably the 
moat robust and also the hardest worked. 



The UBual time of gestation rangefl between 274 and 2S0 d&js (or 
2S0 to 290 days from the last menstrual period), and occaaiooally a tew 
iaja longer, thon^ there is dispute as to the length of tbe extreme 
limit, which some authorities would extend to 300 dajrg, or even to 320 
days (Pinard, in Richet'a DietioaiuUre de Phytiologie, vol. vii, pp. ISO- 
IBS; Tajlor, Medical Juriaprudence, tilth edition, pp. 44, 9S et teq.; 
L. M. Allen, "Prolonged Qeatation," i,meTitntn Journal Obatetrics, April, 
1007). It is possible, aa MUller suggeBted in I8B8 in a Tbdee dc Nancy, 
that civilization tends to shorten the period of gestation, and that in 
earlier ages it was longer than it is now. Such a tendency to prema- 
ture birth under the exciting nervous influences of civilization would 
thus correspond, as Bouchacourt has pointed out ( La OnumeBse, p. 113), 
to the similar effect of domestication in animals. The robust country- 
woman becomes transformed into the more graceful, but also more fragile, 
town woman who needs a degree of care and hygiene which the country- 
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 effects 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 shown by the fact that SCropian {Friqiieao9 
Comparie det Causes de rAccowchemettt PrimatUTi, These de Paris, 
1907) found that about one-third of French births (32. ?S per cent.) are 
to a greater or less extent premature. Pregnancy Is not a morbid con- 
dition; on the contrary, a pregnant woman is at the climax of her most 
normal physiological life, but owing to the tension thus involved she is 
specially liable to suffer from any ali^t shock or strain- 
It must be remarked that the increased tendency to premature 
birth, while in part it njay be due to general tendeDcles of civilization, 
is also in part due to very definite and preventable causes. Syphilis, 
alcoholism, and attempts to produce abortion are among the not uncom- 
mon causes of premature birth (see, e.g., G. ¥, McCleary, "The Influ- 
ence of Antenatal Conditions on Infantile Mortality," BHtiah Medical 
Journal, Aug. 13, 1904). 

Premature birth ought to be avoided, because the child bom too 
early is inauffieiently equipped for the task before him. Astengo, deal- 
ing with nearly 19,000 cases at the Lariboisiere Hospital in Paris and 
the Matemitfi, found, that reckoning from the date of the last menstrua- 
tion, there ia a direct relation between the wei^t of the infant at birth 
and the length of the pregnancy. The longer the prcgnani^, the finer 
the child (Astengo, Rapport du Poid» dea Enfania d la Durie de la 
(hvttease. These de Paris, 1905). 

The frequency of premature birth is probably as great in England 
as in France. Ballantyne atates {Manual of Antenatal Pathology; The 

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Fatut, p. 436) that for practical purposes tlie frequency of premature 
labore in materoity boapitaU may be put at 20 per cent, but that if 
all infants weighing less than 3,000 grammes are to be regarded as 
premature, it riaea to 41.5 per cent That premature birth ie increaBing 
in England seema to be indicated by the fact that during the past 
twenty'flve years there baa been a steady rise in the mortality rate from 
premature birth. McCleary, who discuBsea this point and oonsidera the 
increase real, concludes that "it would appear that there has been a 
diminution in the quality aa well as in the quantity of our output of 
babies" (see also a discussion, introduced by Dawson Williams, on 
"Pbysical Deterioration," BHttih Medical Journal, Oct. 14, 1905). 

It need scarcely be pointed out that not only is Immaturity a 
cause of deterioration in the infanta that survive, but tbat it alone 
serves enormously to decrease the number of infants that are able to 
survive. Thus 6. Newman states (loo. cit.) that in most large English 
urban districts immaturity is the chief cause of infant mortality, fur- 
nishing about 30 per cent of tlie infant deaths; even In London (Isling- 
ton) Alfred Harris (British Medical Journal, Dec. 14, 1907) Onds 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 infanta dying 
of immaturity suffer from marked ill'health and poor physique; they 
are not, therefore, fitted to be mothers. 

Best during pregnancy is a very powerful agL-ut in preventing pre- 
mature birth. Thus Dr. Sarraute-LouriS has compared 1,650 pregnant 
women at the Asile Micbelet who rested before confinement with 1,6S0 
women confined at the HOpital Larlboiei^re who had enjoyed no such 
period of rest. She found that the average duration of pregnancy was 
at least twenty days aborter in the latter group (Mme. Sarraute-LourM, 
De VInfluenm du Repoa tur la Duri« de la Qeitation, Thtee de Paris, 

Leyboff has inaiated on the absolute necessity of rest during preg- 
nancy, as well for the aalce of the woman herself as the burden she 
carries, and shows the evil results which follow when rest ia neglected. 
Railway traveling, horse'riding, bicycling, and aea-voyages are also, Ley- 
botr believea, liable to be injurious to the course of pregnancy. Leyboff 
recognizes the difficulties which procreating women are placed under by 
present industrial conditions, and concludes that "it fa 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." Be adda 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 that no children under aixteen should be 
allowed to work (E. Leyboff, L'Eygiine de la Orotaeate, These de Paris, 

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F«rnia atatec that at least two monthe' rest before maBDemeDt 
■bonld be made compulaoiy, and that during this period the womui 
should receive an indemnitj regulated by the State. He is of opinion 
tiiat it sliould take the form of compulsor; assurance, to wliich ihe 
worker, the employer, and the State alilce contributed (Pernie, Aaaitt- 
once aiu) Femmet Efuxmieg, These de Paris, 190S). 

It is probable that during the earlier months of pregnancy, work, 
if not exceoaively heavy and exhausting, has little or no bad effect; thus 
Bacchiumnt {Documentt pour tervir A VBistoire de la Puiriciitturt 
Intra-titirine, Thtse de Paris, 189S) found 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 periods. 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. Ncwmsn. content to- demand 
two months as a minimum; Balvat only asks for one month's rest 
before conOneroent, the woman, whether married or not, receiving a 
pecuniary indemnity during tliis period, with medical care and drugs 
free. Ballan^e {Manual of Anienaiat Pathalogy: The Fattis, p. 475), 
■B well as 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: Its Care and Its Rights" {British Medical 
Journal, Aug. 24, 1P07), "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 siiould include the early 
aa Uie late months of pregnancy." 

In England little progress has yet been made as regards thia 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 <190T) A Plea for EstaUiih- 
tng Municipal Maternity Eome», Ballantyne, a great British authority 
on the embryology of the child, has published a "Plea for a Pre-Matern- 
ity Hospital" {British Medical Journal, April 6, 1901), has since given 
an Important lecture on the subject (British Medical Journal, Jan. II, 
IMS) , and has further discussed the matter in his Manual of Ante-Katal 
Pathology: The Ftrtut (Ch. XXVII) ; 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 pr^piant women. 
In England there are, indeed, a few institutions which receive unmar- 
iled women, with a record of good conduct, who are pregnant for the 

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firat Ume, for, aa Bouchmcourt remarks, ancient British prejudices are 
opposed to naj mercj being shown to women who ore recidivistB in 
committing the crime of conceptiou. 

At present, indeed, it is onlj in France that the urgent need of 
rest during the latter months of pregnancy has been clearly realized, and 
any serious and official attempts made to provide for it. In an interest' 
ing Paris thesis (De la Puiricultttre avant le Naiatance, 1907) Clappicr 
has brought together much information bearing on the cfTorta navi being 
made to deal practically with this question. There are many Aaileg in 
Paris for pregnant women. One of the best is the Asile Michelet, 
founded in 1893 by the Assistance Publique de Paris. This is a sana- 
torium for pregnant women who have reached a period of seven and a 
half months. 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 parta 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 expecUd 
baby. Harried and unmarried women are admitted alike, alt women 
being equal from the point of view of motherhood, and indeed the 
majority of the women who come to the Asile Michelet are unmarried, 
some being girls who have even trudged on foot from Brittany and other 
remote parta 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 offspring from the manifold evils to which they are exposed, 
and thus tend to decrease crime and suffering. 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 be no manner of doubt that when, as is the case 
to-day in our own and some other supposedly civilized countries, motlier- 
hood outside marriage is accounted as almost a crime, there is the very 
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 preserve their self-respect and social position. This is 
necessary not only in the interests of humanity and public economy, but 
also, as is too often 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 provision for (he secret reception and care of 
illegitimate Infants was undoubtedly most beneficial. The suppression 
of the medisval method, which In France took place gradually between 
1833 and 1S62, led to a great increase in infanticide and abortion, and 
waa a direct encouragement to crime and immorality. In 1887 the 



Conseil GfnerAl of the Seine sought to replace the prevailing neglect of 
this matter bj the adoption ol more enlightened ideas and founded a 
bureau secret d'admiagion for pregnant women. Since then both the 
abaodonnient of infants and infanticide have greatly diminished, though 
they are increasing in those parts of France which poHsess no facilitiea 
of this kind. It is widely held that the State should unify the arrange- 
ments 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 secret, 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, Refvget, Maternitia, Bureawt ^AdmitaUm Beerets, comme Moyem 
PritervaUves de» Infanticide, Th^se 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 iadustrial system which aubordinat^g 
the human body and the human soul to the thirst for gold, has, for 
a time, dismissed from social consideratinn the int^restB of the 
race and even of the individual, but it nmst be remembered that 
this has not been always and everywhere eo. 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 
work in savage life do not resemble the strenuous and contiiiuous 
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 bo, 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 leas excellent rulefl. It is true 
that the assigned cause for these rules ia 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 health of their women when preg- 


14 P8TCH0L0OY OF 8BX. 

Dant, and so are the ChiueEe.' Even in Europe, in the thirteenth 
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 miKt lead a quiet life, avoid 
tight garments, 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, 
save them from worry and always bear with them patiently.' 

It is necessary 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 greatnees. 

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 

n China a thousand years ago, Thua Madame Cheng wrote at that tima 
concerning the education of the ctiild; "Even before birth his education 
may begin; and, therefore, the prospective mother of old, when lying 
down, i&y straight; when sitting down, sat upright; and when stand- 
ing, stood erect. She would not taste strange flavors, nor have any- 
thing to do with Bpiritualiam; if her food were not cut straight sha 
would not eat it, and if her mat were not set straight, she would not 
sit upon it. She would not look at any objectionable sight, nor listen 
to any objectionable sound, nor utter any rude word, nor handle any 
impure thing. At night she studied some canonical work, 1^ day she 
occupied herself with ceremonies and music. Therefore, her sons wera 
upri^t and eminent for their talents and virtues; such was the result 
of antenatal training" (H. A. Giles, "Woman in Chinese Literature." 
Hintteenfh Ceniury, Nov., 1904). 

2 Max Bartela, "Island ischer Brauch," etc., Zeittchrift fur Etknot- 
opie. 1900, p. «5. A summary of the customs of various peoples in 
regard to pregnancy is given by Floss and Bartels, Daa Weib, Sect. 

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are reaL On the reproductive process especially, on the mam- 
maiy glandfl, and on the child, alcohol has an arresting and 
degenerative influence without any compensatory advantages. 
It has been proved by experiments on animala and observations 
on the human subject that alcohol taken by the pregnant woman 
passes freely from the maternal circulation to the foetal circula- 
tion. FM 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 

What is true of alcohol is equally true of other potent drugs 
and poisons, which should all be avoided so far as possible 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 inltuence of alcohol during pregnancy on the embryo, see, 
e.g., G. Newman, lnfa»t MortalUff. pp. 72-77. W, 0. Sullivan (Alcohol- 
iam, 1906, Ch. XI), iummkrizes the evidence Bhowing that alcohol is a 
factor in human degeneration. 

S There is even reason to believe that the alcoholism o( the mother's 
father may impair her ability as a mother. Bunge (Die Zunehmtitde 
Unfahigkeit der Frauen ihre Kinder 211 SHllen, flflh edition, 1B07), from 
an investigation extending over 2,000 families, Dnds that chronic alco- 
holic poisoning in the father is the chief cause of the daughter's inability 
to Buclcle, this inability not usually being recovered in subsequent gen- 
erations. Bunge has. however, been opposed by Dr. Agnes Bluhm, "Die 
Stlllungsnot," Zeittohrift fUr Boxiale Mediein, 1008 (fully Bummarized 
by herself in Bexual-Probleme, Jan., 1909) . 



believe not only that a rich meat diet tends to cause sterility but 
that it is also unfavorable to the development of the child in 
the womb.* 

How far, if at all, it is often asked, should sexual intercourse 
be continued after fecundation baa 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 sown the field must be left till harvest. 
But it may be concluded that, as a rule, the Church was inclined 
to regard intercourse during pregnancy as at most a venial sin, 
provided there was no danger of abortion, Augustine, Gregory 
the Great, Aquinas, Bens, for instance, seem to be of this mind ; 
for a few, indeed, it is uo sin at all.^ Among animals the rule is 
simple and uniform; as soon as the female is impregnated at 
the period of cestrus she absolutely rejects all advance of the 
mate until, after birth and lactation are over, another period of 
(cstrus 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 

The Talmud is unfavorable Ut coitus during pregnancy, and the 
Koran prohibits it during the whole of the period, as well ab during 
suckling. Among the Hindus, on the other hand, intercourse is con- 
tinued up to the last fortnight of pregnancy, and it is even believed that 
the injected semeo helps to Dourish the embryo {W. D. Sutherland, 

1 See, e.g., T. Arthur Helme, "Tlie Unborn Child,"" Britith Medical 
Journal, Aug. 24, 1907. Nutrition should, of course, be adequate. 
Noel Paton has shown {Lancel, .Tuly 4, 1S03) that defective nutrition 
of the pregnant woman diminishes the weight of the ofTspring. 

S Debreyne, SIfivhialogie, p. STT. And from the Protestant Bide 
see Northcote IChriatianity and Sex ProhTemg, Ch. IX), who permits 
sexual intercourse during pregnancy. 

I See Appendix A to the third volume of these 8tudie»; also Floss 
and Bartels, loo. oit. 

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"Ueber <Ub Alltagsleben und die Volkamedidn untei den Bauem Briti- 
echoBtindiens," Munchener Medixinisaie WoehenachHll, Nos. 12 ttnd 13, 
1906). The great Indian pbyaician Suaruta, however, was oppoaed to 
coitus during pregnancy, and the Chinese are emphaticalljr on the some 

As men have emerged from barbarism in the direction of 
civilization, the animal instinct of refusal after impregnation 
has been completely lost in women, while at the same time both 
seses tend to become indifferent to those ritual restraints which 
at an earlier period were almost as binding as iuBtinct. 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 intereourse at this time, it is argued, he 
will seek extra-marital intercoorse, 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 continnation 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 interconrse may be enjoyed with 
impunity. From a higher point of view such intercourse may 
also be justified, 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 bo far as it aids individual 

iTbuB one lady writes; "I haTs only had one child, but I maj 
saj that during pregnancy the deaire for union was much atronger, for 
the whole time, ttian at any other period." . Bouchacourt { La Orotaeaae, 
pp. ISO-183) states that, as a rule, sexual desire is not diminished by 
pr^nancy, and is occasionally increased. 

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18 P8TCH0L00T OF BEX. 

developmeDt and the mutual good and harmony of the united 
couple, it becomes morally right during pregnancy. 

Frcan an early period, however, great authorities have 
declared themselves in opposition to the custom of practicing 
coitus during pregnancy. At the end of the first century, 
Soranus, the first of great gynfficologists, stated, in his treatise 
on the diseases of women, that sexual 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 hands 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 embryos, 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" renuiiDS to-da^ a gtumbling-block vrith many 
excellent authorities. "Except when tliere is a. tendency ta miscar- 
riage," saya KoMimann (Senator and Kaminer, BeaUh and Diseanc in 
Relatiort to Marriage, vol. i, p. 257), "we miiBt be very guarded in 
ordering abstinence from intercourne during pregnancy," and Ballantyne 
{The Firlua, p. 475) cautiously remarkii that the question in difficult 
to decide. Forel also {Die SexuelU Frage. fourth edition, p. SI), who 
ja not prepared to advocate complete nexual Bbstinenee during a normal 
pregnancy, adinita that it ia a rather difficult queation. 

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during the early stages of pregnancy it is posBible that such 
coitus has acted on the embryo 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 cauaea premature birth; it 
sometimes happens that labor pains begin a few minutes after 
the act.^ 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. 

Pinard, the greatest of authoritieB on puericulture, asaerU that 
there muBt be complete cessation of sexual intercourse during the whole 
of pregnancy, and in his consulting room at the CTinique Baudelocque 
he has placed a large placard with an "Important Notice" to this elTect. 
FSre 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 
otherwise free from all morbid infection during gestation and develop- 
ment; he recorded in detail a case which he considered conclusive 
("L'lnfluence de 1' Incontinence Sexuclle pendant la Gestation sur la 
Descendance," Archives de Keurologie, April, 190S). Bouchacourt dis- 
cusses the subject fully (La Groasease, pp. 177-214), and thinks that 
eexual intercourse during pregnancy should be avoided as much as pos- 
sible. Filrbringer (Senator and Kaminer, Health and Diaeate in Rela- 
tion to Marriage, vol. i, p. 220) recommends abstinence from the sixth 
or seventh month, and throughout the whole of pregnancy where there 
is any tendency to misearriage, while in all cases much care and gentle- 
ness should be exercised. 

The whole subject has been investigated in a Paris Thesis by H. 
Brfinot (De Vlnfluence de la Copulation pendant la Oroaaeate, 1903) ; he 
concludes that nexual relations are dangerous throughout pregnancy, 
frequently provoking premature confinement or abortion, and that th^ 
are more dangerous in primipane than in multipara. 

1 This point is discuEised. for instance, by S^ropian in a Paris 
Thesis (Friquenee comparie dea Cauaea dt ("Aceouehemenl Prematurt, 
1007); he concludes that coitus during pregnancy is a more frequent 
cause of premature confinement than is commonly supposed, especial^ 
in primipane, and markedly so by the ninth montji. 

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Nearly everything that haa been said of the bygieoe of preg- 
nimcy, and the need for rest, applies also to the period 
immediately folloTing the birth of the child. Best and hygiene 
on the mother's part continue to be necessary 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 comitries make compul- 
sory a period of rest 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 so 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, concemB the community as 
a whole, and the community cannot afford to be slack in asserting 
its authority over it. The State needs healthy 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 efficiency 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-bom and healthy it would be 
better to abandon education. There hare 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 Qer- 
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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diBastrooB results. The interest of the employed woman tends to 
become oae with that of her employer j between them they com- 
bine to crush the interests of the child who repreeente the race, 
and to defeat the laws made in the intereeta of the race which are 
those of the community as a whole. The employed woman wishes 
to earn as mnch wages as she can and with as little interraption 
as she can; in gratifying that wish she is, at the same time, 
acting in the interests of the employer, who carefully avoids 
tlivarting her. 

This impulse on the employed woman's part is by do meaoB 
always and entirely the result of poverty, and would not, there- 
fore, be removed by raisiDg her 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 ber 
work, she enjoys a certain position and what to her are high 
wages; she is among her friends and companions; the noise 
and hustle and excitemeait of the work-room or the factory have 
become an agreeable stimulant which she can no longer do with- 
out. On the other band, 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 abont in her own home like a strange and 
awkward child. The mere act of marriage cannot change this 
state of things; however willing she may be at marriage to 
become a domesticated wife, she is destitute aUke of the inclma- 
tion or the skill for domesticity. Even in spite of herself she is 
driven bock to the work-shop, to the one place where she feels 
really at home. 

In Oermtaay women are not allowed to work for four weak* alter 
conflneaeiit, nor during the following two weeka exMpt 1^ medical 
oertificate. The obligatory insurance ogainit disease which covers 
women at ooDflnement assures them an Indemni^ at this time equiTolent 
to a large part of their wage*. Married and unmarried mothers benefit 
alike. The Austrian law is founded on the same model. This measure 
has led to a veij great decrease in infantile mortality, and, therefore, 
a great increase in health among those who survive. It is, however, 
r^arded as very inadequate, and there is a movement in Germany for 
ext«nding the time, for applying the nyntem to a larger number of women, 
and for ""^'"B it still more definitely compulsory. 

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In SwiUerland it b&a been illegal aince IST7 for any woman to be 
received into a factory after confiDement, unless abe baa rested in all 
for eight weeka, six weeks at least of tbis period being after conflne- 
nient. Since 1S9S Swiss working women have been protected by l&w 
from exercising bard work during pregnancy, and from varioui other 
inSuenccB likely to be injurious. But this law is evaded in practice, 
because it provides no compensatory indemnity for tbe woman. An 
attempt, in 1899, to amend the law by providing for such indemnity 
was rejected by tbe people. 

In Belgium and Holland there are laws against women working 
inunediately after confinement, but no indemnity is provided, so that 
employers and employed combine to evade the law. In France there ia 
no such law, although its necessity has often been emphatically asserted 
(see, e.g., Salvat, La Dipopviaiion de la France, Thj^e de Lyoa, 1903). 

In England it is illegal to employ a woman "knowingly" in a 
workshop within four weeks of the birth of her child, hut no provision 
is made by the law for the compensation of the woman who is thus 
required to sacrifice herself to tlie interests of the State. The woman 
evades the law in tacit collusion with her employers, who can always 
avoid "knowing" that a birth has taken place, and so escape all respon- 
sibility for the mother's employment. Tlius the factory inspectors are 
unable to take action, and the law becomes a dead letter; in 1906 only 
one prosecution for tbis 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 recoguiited by the framers of legal codes 
even as far back as the days of the Ten CommandmentB and the laws of 
Hamnrabi. It is the business of the Court, of those who administer tlie 
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 so 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 taken belonged to the person 
he 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 m far been powerless to effect any change. These 
reports show, moreover, that the difficulty is increasing in magnitude. 
Thus Miss ^fartindale, 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 ia rapidly increasing; they have 
worked in mills or factories all their livea and are quite unaccustomed 
to cooking, housework and the rearing of children, so that after mar- 

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riage, even when not compelled by povertj, they prefer to go on working 
as before. MiM 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 
Btajing at home," while another woman said, "1 would rather be at 
work a hundred times than at home. I get lost at home" {AnntMl 
Report Chiff Inapeclor of Factoriet and Workthopt for 1906, pp. 326, 

It may be added that not only is the English law enjoining (our 
weeks' rest on the mother after childbirth practically inoperative, but 
the period itself is absurdly inadequate. As a rest lor the mother it is 
indeed sufficient, but the State la still more interested in the child than 
in its mother, and the child needs the mother's chief care for a much 
longer period than four weeks. Helme advocates the State prohibition 
of women's work for at leaat six months after confinement. Where nur- 
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 that it is by no means only the women 
in factories wbo are induced to vork as usual during the whole period 
of pregnancy, and to return to work immediately after the brief rest of 
confinement. The Research Committee of the Christian Social Union 
(London Branch) undertook, in 1905, 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 household duties, in home industries, and in casual work. It was 
found that the majori^ cany on their employment right up to the time 
of confinement and resume tt from ten to fourteen days later. The 
infantile death rate for the children of ivomen engaged only in household 
dnUee was greatly lower than that for the children of the other women, 
while, as ever, the band-fed infants had a vastly higher deatli rate than 
the breast-fed infante (Britith Medical Journal, Oct. 24, 1908, p. 1297). 

In Uie great French gun and armour-plate works at Creuzot (SaOne 
et Loire) the salaries of expectant mothers among the employees are 
raised; arrangemente are made tor 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 fitness. 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 general prevalence of breast- 
feeding. It would probably be hopeless to expect many employers in 
Anglo-Saxon lands to adopt this policy. They are too "practical," they 
know how small is the money-value of human lives. With us it is neces- 
sary for the State to intervene. 

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



conditiona now tending mora And mora to pranil, they miut in Uuir 
own interMta insure that the mother*! beet energy and vitsli^ «Te 
devoted to tiie child, both before and after its birth. Th^ ue al«> 
realising that they cannot carry out their duty in this respect imleM 
they make adequate provieion for the mothera viio ara tiiDB oompelled 
to renounce their employment in order to devote themwlvea to their 
children. We here reach a point at which IndividiMlism is at one with 
Socialism. The individualist cannot fail to see that it ie at all ooet 
necessary to remove social conditions which crush out all individuality; 
the Socialist cannot fail to see that a society which neglecta to intro- 
duce order at this central and vital point, the production of the individ- 
ual, tnust speedily perish. 

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

No woman is sound, healthy, and complete unless she possesses 
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^iay 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 wif^ 
"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 College Hospital that thirty<nine had never suckled 
at all, seven hundred and forty-seven had suckled all their ohildren, and 

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two hundred and (aurt«en had Miekled only Kime. The chief T«>Bon 
given for ttot Buckling wu Abaenoe or iiuufflcieiK^ of milk; oUier rea- 
Bons being inability or diaiiiclinatiOD to suvkle, and refusal of the diild 
to take the breast (Blacker, tledioai Chronich, Feb., 1900). Tbeae 
results amoDg Uie London poor are certainljr verj inucb better than 
conld be found in many manufuturing towns where women work after 
marriage. In the other large oountrles of Europe wiually umat i s f ae- 
tory reaulta are found. In Paris Madame DluBka haa shown that of 
EOS women who came for their conftnement to the Ciinique Baudelocque, 
only 74 suckled their children; of the 13S who did not suckle, 36 were 
prevented by pathological causes or absence of milk, 100 by the naceasi- 
tiM of their work. Gv«n those who suckled could seldom continue more 
than seven months on account of the physiolt^cal strain of work 
(Dlnska, Ooniribulion i I'Eludt d« VAllaitemettt Matemel, These de 
Paris, 1894). Many statistics have been gathered in the Qerman coun- 
triea. Thus Wiedow {Centralblatt far OytULlcoUtgie, No. 20, 1895) 
found that of 5Z9 women at the Freiburg Maternity only half could 
suckle thoroughly during the first two weeks; imperfect nipples were 
noted in 40 cases, and it was tonnd that the development of the nipple 
bore a direct relation to the value of Uie brcAst as a secretory organ. 
At Munich Escherich and BUUcr found that nearly 60 per cent, of women 
of the lower class were unable to suckle their children, and at Stuttgart 
three-quarters of the child-bearing women were in this condition. 

The reasona why childrea should be Buckled at their 
mothere' 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 Bensitive nipple, 
vibrating in harmony with the sexual organs, furmshes the 
normal mechanism by which maternal love is developed. No 
doubt the woman who never suckles her child may love it, but 
such 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 

A more generally recognized and certainly fundamental 
reason for suckling the child is that the milk of the moQier, 
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 



as good or better than mother's milk ; they fancy that the milk 
which is best for the calf is equally best for so different an 
animal as the baby. These are delusions. The infant's beet 
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 variouB 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 
oiabled from the outset to learn and to understand the child's 

The inability to suckle acquiree great signiflcanee if we realise 
that it is associated, probably in a large measure as a direct cause, with 
infantile mortality. The mortality of artificially-fed infants during the 
first year of life is sellom leas than double that 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 monthB, but only 8.0 per cent, of breast-fed infants. Those who 
furvive are by no means free from Buffering. At the end of the first 
year they are found to weigh about 25 per cent less than the breast- 
fed, and to be much shorter; they are more liable to tuberculosis and 
rickets, with all the evil results that flow from these diseasesi and 
there is some reason to believe that the development of their teeth is 
injnriounly affected. The degenerate character of the artificially-fed is 
well indicated by the fact that of 40,000 children who were brought for 
treatment to the Children's Hospital in Munich, M 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 influence persists even up to 
adult life. In some parts of France where the wet-nurw industry 



Souriibra so greatly that nearly all the children are brought up by band, 
it has been found that the percentage of rejected conscripts is nearly 
double that for France generally. Corresponding results have been 
found by Friedjung in a large German athletic association. Among 
135 members, 65 per cent, were found on inquiry to have been breait- 
fed aa infants (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), nhile for the group of S6 trho Btood 
lowest in athletic power the percentage of breast'fed fell to 67 (for an 
average of only three months). 

rhe advantages for an infant of being suckled by its mother are 
greater than can be accounted for by the mere fact of being suckled 
rather than band'fed. This baa been shown by Vitrey (De la Morlaliti 
Infantile, ThSse de Lyon, 1607), who found from the statistics of the 
Hfttel'Dieu at Lyons, that infants suckled by their mothers have a mor- 
tality of only 12 per cent., but if 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 
sake of the mother's health also. (Some important statistics are sum- 
nuirixed in a paper on "Infantile Mortality" in Briti»h Medioal Journal, 
Nov. 2, 1S07, while the various aspects of suckling have been thoroughly 
discussed by Bollinger, "l.'eber ^ug1inga-St«rhlichkeit und die Erbliche 
functionelle Atrophic der menschlichen Milchdrilse" [Correapondenz- 
hlatt Devttchen GeaelUchaft Antltrapologie, Oct., 189B). 

It appears that in Sweden, in the middle of the eighteenth century, 
it was a punisbabte offense for a woman to give her baby the bottle 
when she was able to suckle it. In recent years Prof. Anton von Uen- 
ger, of Vienna, has argued (in his Burgerliche Reckt und die Beaitilosen 
Klasten) that the future generation has the right to make this claim, 
and he proposes that every mother shall be legally bound to suckle her 
child unless her inability to do so baa been certiflpd by a physician. 
E. A- Schroeder {Dot Recht ire der aeachUchllichea Ordnung, 1893, p. 
34Q) also argued that a mother should be legally bound to suckle her 
infant for at least nine months, unless solid grounds could be showTi to 
the contrary, and this demand, which seems reasonable and natural, 
since it is a mother's privilege as well as 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 side by Weinberg {JIuttcrehutg, Sept., 
1907). In France the Loi Roussel forbids a woman to act as a wet- 
nurse until her child is seven months old, and this has had an excellent 
effect in lowering infantile mortally (A. Allfe, PuiricuUure et la Loi 
RottMtl, These de Paris, 1908). In some parts of Germany manufact- 
urers are compelled to set up a suckling-room tn the factory, where 
mothers can give the breast to the child in the inter>-als ol work. The 

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oontiol and upkeep of these rooms, with prorUioD of doctors and nurses, 
i* undertaken hy the mnuicipalitj' {Semtal-Probleme, Sept., 1008, p. 

As thiagB are to-day in modem 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 officer of health for Huddersfield, heard of 
this village, and Mr, Benjamin Broadbent, the Mayor of Hud- 
dersfield, visited Villiers-le-Due. 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 iq splendid results. The points 

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of the Hnddersfield scheme are: (1) compulsory Qotification of 
births within forty-eight hours; (2) the appointment of lady 
assistant medical officers of help to visit the home, inquire, advise, 
and assist; (3) the organized aid of volimtary 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 thrive. The infantile mortality of 
Hnddersfield has been very greatly reduced by this scheme. ^ 

Th« Huddersfield Beheme may be said t« be the origin of the Eng- 
lish Notifitttion of Births Act, which came into operation in 1908. This 
Act repreaents, in En^and, the national inauguration of a scheme for 
the betterment of the race, the ultimate results of which it is impossible 
to foresee. When this Act cornea into universal action everj babj of 
the land will be entitled — legally and not bj individual caprice or phil- 
anthropic condesceneion — 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 enormouB saving of public and private money will thus be 
effected. The Act is adoptive, and not compulsory. This was a wise 
precaution, for an Act of this kind cannot be effectual unless it is 
carried out thoroughly by the community adopting it, and it will not 
be adopted until a community has clearly realised its advantages and 
the methods of attaining them. 

An important adjunct of this organization is the School for 
Uothers. Such schools, which are now beginning to spring up every- 
where, may be said to have their origins in the Congultaliona de Vour- 
Hssona (with their offshoot the Ooutte de Lait ) , established by Professor 
Budin in 1B02, which have spread all over France and been widely 
inHuential for good. At the Conaultationa infants are examined and 
weighed weekly, and the mothers advised and encouraged to suckle their 
children. The Qouttes 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 the same 
scheme, covering a variety of subjects which it is necessary for a mother 
to know. Some of the first of theae schools were established at Bonn, 
at the Bavarian town of Welssenberg, and in Ghent. At some of the 

1 "Infantile Mortality: The Huddersfield Scheme," Britiak Medical 
Journal, Deo., 1907) Samson Moore, "Infant Mortality," tb., August 
29, IMS. 

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Schools for Mothers, and notably at Ghent (described by Mrs. Bertrand 
Husaell in the Nineleenth Century, 1900), the iraportAQt Btep 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 milk, in weighing children, in taking temperatures and 
making charts, in managing cr^hes, and after two years are able to 
earn a salary. In various parts of England, schools for young mothers 
and girls on these lines are now being established, first in London, under 
the auspices of Dr. F. J. Syhea, Medical Officer of Health tor St. Pan- 
creas (see, e.g., A Sehool For Mothers. 1B08, describing an eafaWishment 
of this kind at Somers Town, with a preface by Sir Thomas Barlow; an 
account of recent attempts to improve the care of infants in London will 
also be found iu the Lanoet, Sept. 26, 1008). 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 more 
mischievous than benelicinl if they promote the substitution of hand-feed- 
ing for suckling. They should never be estnblished except in connection 
with Schools for Mothers, where an educational influence may be 
exerted, and no mother should l>e supplied witli milk unless she presents 
a medical certificate showing that she is unable to nourish her child 
(Bjers, "Medical Women and Public Health Questions," Briti»h Uedical 
Journal. Oct. 8, 190B). It is noteworthy that in England the local 
authorities will shortly be empowered by law to establish Schools for 

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 thi^es by G. Chaignon (OrganUalion div ConauUa- 
tiont de Tiourrusoni i la Campagne, 190B), and Alclde Alexandre (Con- 
Bultation dr. YourrMSOnH c( (louttc de Lait d-Arques, 190B). 

The movement is now spreading throughout Europe, and an Inter- 
national Union has been formed, including ail the institutions specially 
founded for the protection of child life and the promotion of puericul- 
lure. The permanent committee is in Brussels, and a Congress of Infant 
Protection {Ooutte de Lait) is held every two years. 

It will be seen that all the movements now being set in 
action for the improvement of the race through the chiH and 
the child's mother, recognize the intimacy of the relation between 
tlie mother and her child and are designed to aid her, even if 
necessary by the exercise of some pressure, in perfonning 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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simpler than to cure the present evils of child-rearing by setting 
up State nurseries which are at once to relieve mothers of every- 
thing connected with the production of the men of the future 
beyond the pleasure — if such it happens to be — of conceiving 
tbem 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 fimdamental psychological standpoint nothing is falser. 
The idea of a State which is outside the community is but a 
survival in another form of that antiquated notion which com- 
pelled Louis XIV to declare "L'Etat c'eet 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 them 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 functiqps 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 is reducing philanthropy to absurdity. It is 
easy to realize this if we consider the inevitable course of cir- 
cumstances under a system of "State-nurseries." The child 
would be removed from its natural mother at the earliest age, 
but some one has to perform the mother's duties; the substitute 
must therefore be properly trained for such duties; and in 
exercising them under favorable circumstances a maternal rela- 
tionship is developed between the child and the "mother," who 
doubtless possesses natural maternal instincts but has no natural 

I Ellen Key bag admirably dealt with proposals of thia kind (as 
put forth by C, P. Stetson) in her Esaays "On Love and Marriage." In 
opposition to such propoKaU Ellen Key BUggeeta that such women as 
have been properly trained tor maternal duties and are unable entirely 
to support themselves while exercising them should be subsidized by the 
State during the child's first three years of life. It may be added that 
in Leipzig the plan of subsidiiing mothers who (under proper medical 
and other supervision) suckle their infants has already been introduced. 


82 F8YCH0L00T OF SEX. 

maternal bond to the child she ia mothering. Such a reUtion- 
Bhip tends to become on both eidee practically and emotionally the 
real relationship. We very often have opportunity of •seeing how 
unsatisfactory such a relatiouBhip becomes. The artificial mother 
is deprived of a child she had begun to feel her own; the 
child's emotional relationships 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 Century of tht Chiid, and elsewhere) has adTO- 
eated for ftll young women a year of compulsory "service," analogous to 
tbe eorapulBOry military serrice imposed in most countries on young 
men. During thia period the girl would be trained in rational house- 
keeping, in tbe principles of hygiene, in tbe care of the sick, and espe- 
cially in the care of infants and all that concerns the physical and 
psychic development of children. The principle of this proposal has 
since been widely accepted. Marie von Schmid (in her MuUerdientt, 
1907) goes so far as to advocate a gi^eral training of young women in 
such duties, carried on En 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 dufy. 
There is certainly much to be said for such a proposal, considerably 
more than is to be said for compulsory military service. For while it 
is very doubtful whether a man will ever be called on to flght, most 
women are liable to be called on to exercise household duties or to look 
after children, whether for themselves or f<iT other people. 

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Nurture Neceaaarf as Well as Breed — Precocious ManifestatioDs 
of the Sexual Impulse — Are They to be Regarded aa Normal T — Tlie 
Sexual Pla; of Children — The Emotion of Love in Childliood — Are Town 
Children More Precocious Sexually Than Country Children I — Children's 
Ideas Concerning the Origin of BabieB— Need for Beginning the Sexual 
Education of Children in Early Years — The Importance of Early Traio- 
ing in Reeponsibility — 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 Enlightenment of the Young — Nature 
of the Mother's Task— Sexual Education in the School— The Value of 
Botany — Zojllogy — Sexual Education After Puberty— The Necessity of 
Counteracting Quack Literature — Danger of Neglecting to Prepare for 
the First Onset of Menstruation — The Right Attitude Towards Woman's 
Sexual Lite — The Vital Necessity of the Hygiene of Menstruation Dur- 
ing Adolescence — Such Hygiene Compatible with the Educational and 
Social Equality of the Bexes — The Invalidism of Women Maiuly 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 
tnflnence of Literature — The Sexual Infiuence of Art. 

It may seem to some that in attaching weight to the anceatry, 
the parentage, the conception, the gestation, even the first 
infancy, of the child ve are wandering away from the sphere of 
the psychology of sex. 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 
' (38) 



early momente when care counts for most, to preserve the fine 
quality of thoee stocks. 

It muBt, of course, be remembered that the influence* of both breed 
and nurture are alike influential on the &kt« of the individual. The 
influence of nurture is bo obvious that few are likely to under-rate it. 
The influence of breed, however, ia less obviouB, and we may atill meet 
with persons bo ill informed, and perhaps so prejudiced, as to denj it 
altogether. The growth of out knowledge in this matter, bj showing 
how subtle and penetrative is the influence of heredity, cannot tail to 
dispel this mischievous notioD. No sonnd civilization is possible except 
in a community which in the mass is not only well-nurtured but well- 
bred. And in no part of life so much as in the sexual relationships is 
the influence of good breeding more decisive. An instructive illustra- 
tion may be gleaned from the minute and precise history of his early 
life furnished to me by a highly cultured Russian gentleman. He was 
brought up in childhood with bis own brothers and sisters and a little 
girl of the same age who had been adopted from infancy, the child of a 
prostitute who bad died soon after the infant's birth. The adopted child 
was treated as one of the family, and all the children supposed that she 
was a real aister. Yet from early years she developed instincts unlike 
those of the children with whom she was nurtured; she lied, she was 
cruel, she loved to make mischief, and she developed precociously vicious 
sexual Impulses; thou^ carefully educated, she adopted the occupation 
of her mother, and at the age of twenty-two was 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 some cbhcb, may neutralize all the influences 
of good nurture. 

When we reach the period of infancy we have already passed 
beyond the foiindatione and potentialities of the sexual life; we 
are in some cases witneseing its actual beginnings. It is a 
well-established fact that auto-erotic manifestations may some- 
times be observed even in infanta of lese than twelve months. 
We are not now called upon to discusa the disputable point as to 
how far such manifestations at this age can be called normal.^ 
A slight d^p*ee of maistrual and mammary activity sometimes 

1 These manifestations have been dealt with in the study of Auto- 
erotism in vol. i of the present 8lti4iea. It may be added that the sexual 
life of the child has been exhaustively investigated by Moll, Doa iSe«uaI- 
teben ilea Kindet, 1(KW. 

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occnn it birtk^ It seema clear that nervoiiB and pBjchic sexaal 
activity tuB its fint springs at this early period, and as the yean 
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 poeaibly, even probably, true that the 
soundest and healthiest indiTidnals show no definite signs of 
nervous and psychic sexuality in childhood, such manifestations 
are atill snfGciently frequent to make it impossible to say that 
sexual hygiene may be completely ignored until puberty is 

Preoocious phyiical developineitt occura sa m Mmewluit rare varla- 
tion. W. Uoger Williain* ("Preoociou* S«xua.l DeTelopment with 
Abstracts of over One Hnndred Cases," Brititk Ojfiurcologioal JotiriMl, 
M*7, 1002) haa furnished an important contribution to the knotrledge 
of this anomalj' which is much commoDer in girls than in bojs. Roger 
WiUUms's easel include onlj' twent]' boya to eighty girls, and precocity 
is not (Oily more frequent but more pronounced in girls, wbo liaTe been 
known to nmceire at ei^t, while thirteen is stated to be the earliest 
age at which boys have proved able lo b^et children. This, it may be 
remarked, is also the e*rl lest age at which spermatozoa are found in the 
seminal fluid of boys; before that age the ejaculations contain no sper- 
matozoa, and, as FQrbringer and Moll hsTe found, they may even be 
abaent at eizteen, or later. In female children precocious sexual devel- 
opment is leu commonly associated with general increase of bodily 
development than in boys. (Aa individual case of early sexual develop- 
ment in « girl of five has been completely described and figured in the 
Z«Hte\Tift fUr Ethnologic 1808, Heft 4, p. 262.) 

Precocious sexual impulses are generally vague, occasional, and 
more or less innocoit. 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 his thoughts and actions to sexual 
attempts on them, has been described by Herbert Rich, of Detroit 
(AUenitt and Jitarologut, Nov., 1905). General evidence from the 
literature of the subject as to sexual precocity, its fT«quency and signifi- 
cance, has been brought together by L. M. Terman ("A Study in Pre- 
cociiy," Ameriean Journal Ptychology, April, lOOB). 

1 This genital efflorescence in the sexual glands and breasts at 
birth or in esrly infancy has been discussed in a Paris thesis, by Camille 
Renouf {La Crite Qinital et Jea Uanifeataliona Conneaie* ehee le Fteliu 
et le yoiiv«aH-n4, lOOS) ; be is unable to offer a aatisfactory explanation 
of Umm phenomena. 

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The erections that are liable to occur in male intants have usuallj' 
no aexual eigniflcance, though, as Moll TemBrks, the^ may acquire it bj 
attracting the child's attention; the; are merely reflex. It is believed 
hj some, however, and notably by Freud, that certain manifestations of 
infant activity, especially thumb-eucking, are of sexual causation, and 
that Uie sexual impulse constantly manifests itselt at a very early age. 
The belief that the sexual instinct is absent in childhood, Freud regards 
as a eeriouB error, eo easy to correct by observation that he wonders 
how ft can hare arisen. "In reality," he remarks, "the new-born infant 
brings sexuality with it into the world, sexual sensations accompany it 
through the days of lactation and childhood, and very few children can 
fail to experience sexual activities and feelings before U)e period of 
puberty" (Freud, "Zur Sexuetlen AuflclBrung der Kinder," 8osial« 
Mtdiein iind BygUne, Bd. ii, 1007; of., for detaila, the same author's 
Drei Abhandtvngen xur Bemualtheorie, IBOd). Moll, on the other hand, 
considers that Freud's views on sexuality in infamy are exaggerations 
which must be decisively rejected, thou^ he admits thnt it is difficult, 
if not impossible, to differentiate the feelings in childhood (Moll, Daa 
BemtalUben dei Kindei, p. 154). Moll believes also that psycbo-sexual 
manifestations appearing after the age of eight are not pathological; 
children who are weakly or of bad heredity are not seldom sexually pre- 
cocious, 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 tbej 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 
lend to produce no evil results, and are strictly of the nature of play. 
Play, both in animals and men, aa Groos has shown with marvelous 
wealth of illustration, is a beneficent process ot education ; the young 
creature Is thereby preparing itself for the exercise of those functions 
which in later lite it must carry out more completely and more seri- 
ously. In his Spiele der Menachen, GrooB applies this idea to the sexual 
play of children, and bringa forward quotations from literature in evi- 
dence. Keller, in his "Romeo und Juliet auf dcm Dorfe," has given an 
admirably truthful picture of these childish love-relation ships. Emil 
Schultze-Malkowsky {Geachlecht und Geeell»ch4>St, Bd. ii, p. 370) repro- 
duces some scenes from the life of a 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 
Blocb has remarked. {BeitrSge, etc., Bd. ii, p. 2-14), occurs in many parts 
of the world, and is recognised by their elders as play. This is, for 

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ioBtADce, the case among the Bawenda of Uie Tnuuvkal {ZeiUchrift fiir 
BIhnologie, 1BS6, Heft 4, p. 3M|, and kmong the Papuana of Kaiier- 
Wilh elms-Land, with the approval of the parenta, although much 
reticence U obwrved («., 1888, Heft 1, p. 16). Godard (Bjrypf* el 
Patestina, 1867, p. lOfi) noted the sexual play of the boys and girl* in 
Cairo. In New Mexico W. A. Hammond {Semutl Impotence, p. 107) 
has seen boy« and girU attempting a playful sexual conjunction with 
the encouragement of men and women, and in New York be haa seen 
boys and girls of three and four doing the same in the presence of their 
parents, with only a laughing rebuke. "Playing at pa and ma" ia 
indeed extremely common among children in genuine innocence, and with 
a complete absence of viciouaneis; and is by no means confined to chil- 
dren of low social class. Moll remarks on its frequ«n^ {Libido 
BamaUi, Bd. i, p. 277), and the committee of evangelical paatora. In 
their investigation of German rural morality [Die Oe»chleoktlioh«- 
Bitttiohe VerMltnitte, Bd. i, p. 102} found that children who are not 
yet of school age make attempts at coitus. The Beiusl play of children 
is by no means conflned to father and mother games; frequently there 
are games of school with the climax in exposure and smackings, and 
occasionally there are games of being doctors and making examinations. 
Thus a young En^ish 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 ua 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'a clothee and leel each other." 

These games do not necessarily involve the coSperation of the 
sexual impulse, and atill lees have they any element of love. But emo- 
tions of love, scarcely if at all diatinguiehable from adult sexual lore, 
frequently appear at equally early ages. They are of the nature of play, 
in so tar as play Is a preparation for the activities of later life, though, 
unlike the games, they are not felt as play. Bamdohr, more than a 
century ago (Vetuit Urania, 1798), 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 a basis of as many as 2,300 cases 
(S, Bell, "A Preliminary Study of the Emotion of Love Between the 
Sexes," American Journal Paycluilogy, July, 1002). Bell 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, aculBing, sitting 
close to eadi other, confessions to each other and to others, talking about 
eych other when apart, seeking each other and excluding the reet, grief 
at separation, giving gifts, showing special courtesies to each other, mak- 
ing sacriflcea for each other, exhibiting jealousy. The girta are, on the 

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whole, more aggreraiTe than the boya, and less nnxious to ke«p the nuit- 
ter secret. After the age of ei^t, the giila increase in modesty and 
the boys become still more secretive. The physical sensations are not 
UBUAlly located in the sesual organs; erection of the penis and hyper* 
Mmia ot the female sexual parts Bell regards as marking undue pre- 
cocity. But there is diffused vascular and nerrous tumescence and a 
state of exaltaUon comparable, tbou^ not equal, to that experienced in 
adolescent and adult age. On the whole, as Bell soundly concludes, 
"love between children of opposite sex bears much the same relation ia 
that between adults as the flower does to the fruit, and has about as 
little of physical sexuality In it as an apple-blossom has of the apple 
that develops tnaa it." Moll also (op. oit., p. 76) considers that kissing 
and other similar superfleial contacts, which he denominates the phe- 
mnnena of contrectation, constitute most frequently the first and sols 
manifestation of the sexual impulse in childhood. 

It Es often stated that 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 intelUgenoe often qombine 
to keep the rural lad chaste in thou^t and act until the period of 
adolsecenoe Is completed. Ammon, 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 lend 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 lite 
offers the young no gratification for their desires and curiosities. The 
publicity ol a city, the universal surreillance, the studied decorum of a 
population eonscions that it is continually exposed to the gase 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, effectually oonceals, for the most part, the gratifications of 
those stimuli. In the country, however, these restraints do not exist in 
any corresponding degree; animals render the elemental facta of sexual 
life clear to all; there is less need or regard for decorum; speech is 
plainer; supervision is impossible, and the amplest opportunities for 
sexual intimacy are at hand. If the city nuty perhaps' be said to favor 
unchastity of tbon^t in the young, the country may certainly be said 
to favor unchasUI? of act. 

The elaborate investigations of the Committee of Lutheran pastors 
Into sexual morality (Die Oeachltekttich-*iltliohe Terhaltnitte >m 
DeutfcKen Retefte), published a few years ago, demonstrate amply the 
■exual freedom in rural Germany, and Moll, who is decidedly of opinion 

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thftt the country enjoys no reUtive freedom from Mxuality, atAtcB {op. 
cit., pp. 137-130, 230) that eren the cifcuUtiou of obscene books and 
pictures omoi^ school-children seema to be more frequent in small towns 
and the countrj' than in Urge cities. In Russia, where it might be 
Uiought that urban and rural conditions offered less contrast than in 
many countries, the same difference has been observed. "I do not 
know," a Russian correapondeDt writes, "whether Zola in 1m Terrt cor- 
rectly describes Vie life of French villages. But the ways of a Russian 
village, where I pasaed part of my childhood, fairly resemble those 
described by Zola. In the life of the rural papulation into which I was 
plunged everything was impregnated with erotism. One was surrounded 
by animal lubricity in all its immodesty. Contrary to the generally 
received opinion, I believe that a child may preserve his sexual innocence 
more easily in a town than in the country. There are, no doubt, many 
exceptions ta this rule. But the functions of the sexual life are gen- 
erally more concealed in the towns than in the fields. Modesty (whether 
or not of the merely superficial 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 hU presence. It may be said that the corruption of towns, though 
more concealed, is all the deeper. Maybe, but that concealment pre- 
serres children from it. The town child sees prostitutes in tbe 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 bam or a ditch making 
love with such and such a youth, or that the servant girl slips every 
ni^t Into the coachman's bed, the facta 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 fleldwork, which falls to interest him, he hears only of 
the reproduction of animals and t^e erotic exploits of girls and youths. 
When we say that the urban environment is more exciting we are Uiink- 
ing of adulta, 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 beat, abandoning 
themselves to the arms of robust youths. He cannot fail to remark 
tliese frank manifestations of sexualify, though the subtle and perverse 
refinements of tbe town would escape bis notice. I know that in the 
countries of exaggerated prudery there Is 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 becaote of all these little concealments which excite tbe mali- 



doiu amuMmoit of torelgnerB, there are reallj many mon young 
people in England who remain chaato than in the countries which 
treat sexual relations more frankly. At all events, it I have known 
Englishmen who were very del>auched 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, or 
Spaniard of whom this conld be said." There is undoubtedly truth 
in this statement, though it must be remembered that, excellent aa 
chastity Is, If it is based on mere ignorance, its poaseasor is exposed 
to terrible dangers. 

The question of serual hygiene, more especially in its special 
aspect of sexual enlightenment, ie not, however, dependent on the 
fact that in some childrgi 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 
and most imiversal of these desires is the desire to know where 
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 misstatements, 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 ("Cont^nta of Children's Minds on Entering School," 
Ptdagogical Seminary, June, 1891 ) has collected some of the beliefs of 
young children as to the origin of babies. "God makes babies in heaven, 
though the Boly Mother and even SantA Claus make some. He lets 
them down and drops them, and the women or doctors catch them, or 
He leaves them on the sidewalk, or brings 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 balloon, or tbey fly down and lose 
off their wings tn 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 Ood puts them in water, perhaps in the sewer, and 
the doctor gets them out and takes them to sick lolks that want them, 

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or the milkman bringB them e&rly in the morning; the; are dug out of 
the grounil, or bought at the baby store." 

In England and America the inquioittTe child is often told that tha 
babj was found in the garden, under a goooebeny bosh or elsewhere; or 
more commontj it is Bald, vith what Is doubtless (elt to be a nearer 
approach to the truth, that the doctor brought it. In Qennanjr the oom- 
moQ story told to children is that the stork bringB Uie baby. Various 
theories, mostly based on folk-lore, have been put forward to explain 
this atoiy, but none of them aeem qult« couTincing {see, €.ff., 0. Herman, 
"Sexual-Mythen," Ottoklecht und OeaelUchaft, vol. i. Heft G, IB06, p. 
17«, and P. Nftcke, Neurologitclus Centralblatl, No. IT, 1807). Nftcka 
thinks there is some plauBibility In Professor Petermann's sugges- 
tion that a frog writhing in a stork's bill resembles a tinj human 

In Iceland, according to Max Bartels { "IslSndischer Branch nnd 
Volkaglsube," etc., Zeiischrift fiir Etknologie, 1900, Heft 2 and 3) we 
find a transition between tha natural and the fanciful in the stories told 
to children of the origin of babies (the stork is here precluded, for it 
only extends to the southern border of Scandinavian lands) . In North 
Iceland it is said that Ood 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 baby and the midwife brought it, the mother only being in )>ed 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 the 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 the navel is seemingly n 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) as the gate of 
birth, since it already appears to be monopolized by the urinary excre- 
tion. This belief concerning the navel is sometimes preserved through 
the whole period of adolescence, especially !n ^rls of the so-called edu- 
cated class, who are too well-bred to discuss the matter with tlieir 
married friends, and believe indeed that they are already sufficiently 
well informed. At this age the belief may not be altogether harmless. 
In so far as it leads to the real gate of sex being left unguarded. In 
Elaasa where girls commonly believe, and are taught, that babies oome 
through the nave), popular folk-tales are current {Anlkropophj/teia, vol. 



lit, p. S9} which represent the mistakes reBulting from this belief as 
leftding to tlie losi of virginity. 

Freud, who believes that children give little credit to the stork 
fable and Himilar stories inveoted for their mTstiflcation, has made an 
intoreating psychological investigation into the real theories whioh chil- 
dren themselveB, as the result of observation and thought, reach con- 
cerning the sexnal facts of life (S. Freud, "Ueber InfanUle Sexual- 
theorien," Sewwil-Prohteme, Dec., 1B08). Such theories, he remarks, 
correspond to the brilliant, but defective hypotheses which primiUTa 
peoples arrive at concerning the nature and origin of the world. There 
are three theories, which, as Freud quito trulj concludes, are very com- 
mouly formed by children. The first, and the most widely disseminated, 
is that there is no real anatomical difference between boys and 
girls; if the boy notices that hia little sister has no obvious penis he 
even concludes that it is because she is too young, and the little ^rl 
herself takes the same view, llie fact that in early life the clitoris is 
relatively larger and more penis-like helps 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 
grovrth of homosexuality when its germs are present. The second 
theory is the fiscal 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 consists 
in violence has In it a trace of truth, but seems to be arrived at rather 
obscurely. The child's ovm sexual feelings are oft«n aroused for the 
first time when wrestling or struggling with a companion; he may see 
his mother, also, resisting more or lees playfully a sudden caress from 
his father, and if a real quarrel lakes place, the impression may be 
fortified. As to what the state of marriage consists in, Freud finds that 
It is usually regarded as a state which abolishes modesty; the most 
prevalent theory twtng that marriage means that people can make water 
before each other, while another common childish theory is that mar- 
riage is when people can show each other their privato parts. 

Thus it is that at a very early stage of the child's life we are 
brought face to face with the question how we may most wisely 
begin his initiation into the knowledge of the great central facta 
of sex. It is perhaps a little late in the day to regard it as a 
qneetion, but eo it is among qb, although three thoosand five 

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hundred jears ago, the Egyptian father spoke to his child : "I 
have given yoa a mother vho has carried you within her, a heavy 
burden, for yonr sake, and without resting 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. Tour 
excrements 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 yoa marry and have a child, bring up your 
child as your mother brought yon up."* 

I take it for granted, however, that — whatever doubt there 
may be as to the how or the when — no doubt is any longer 
possible as to the absolute necessity of taking deliberate and 
active part m 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 lollcltude parental jcaniing can beatow," writes 
Dr. G. F. Bntler, of Chicago {Lom and Us AffinitiM, 1S9S, p. 83), "all 
that the moat refined religionB influence can offer, all that the most 
cultivated asaociatiouB can accomplish, in one fatal moment ma^ be 
obliterated. There is no room for ethical reasoning, indeed oftentimes 
no eonocioaeneM of wrong, but only Hargaret'i "Ea war ao bQbb'." The 
same writer adds (oh bad been previoualf remarked by Mra. Craik and 
othera) that among church membera it ia the finer and more aensitive 
organizations that are the moat susceptible to aexua] emotions. 80 far 
aa boja are concerned, we leave inatructton in matters of aei, the moat 
aacred and central fact in the world, as Canon Ljttelton remarks, to 
"diiiy-minded achool-boya, grooma, garden'boya, anyone, in abort, who at 
an early age may be sufficiently defiled and aufficiently reckless to talk 
of them." And, so far aa girls are concerned, as Balz&o 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-girla of the lower class in the 
sexual Initiation of the children of tbe middle class has been illustrated 
in dealing with "The Sexual Impulse in Women" in vol. iii, of these 

I AmAllDeau, La Morale dei Bgypti^ta, p. 64. 

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SttMltea, and need not now b« further discussed. I would only here aa,j 
a word, in pftsaiug, on the other side. Often na servant-girls take this 
part, we must not go so far as to saj that it is the caae wltli the 
nujorily. Ah regards Germanj, Dr. Alfred Kind has lately put on 
record his experience i "I have n«t>efv in jouth, beard a bad or Improper 
word on sex-relationships from a servant-girl, although serrant-girla 
followed one another in out house like sunshine and showers in April, 
and there was always a relation of comradeship between us children and 
the servants." As regards England, I can add that my own youthful 
experiences correspond to Dr. Kind's. This is not surpriaing, for one 
may say that in the ordinary well-condittoned girl, though her virtue 
may not be developed to heroic proportions, there is yet usually a 
natural respect for the innocence of children, a natural sexual indiffer- 
ence to them, and a natural expectation that the male should take tiie 
active part when a sexual situation arises. 

It is also beginning to be felt that, especially aa regards 
women, ignorant innocence is not merely too fragile a poBseBsion 
to be worth preservation, but that it is poeitirely miBchievoos, 
since it involves the lack of necessary knowledge. "It is little 
short of criminal," writes Dr. F. M. Goodchild,* "to send our 
yonng 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 sympathy with other women. The 
nnsympathetic 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 
«omen brought np with such a profound ignorance of their 
own and especially other women's natures F They do not know 
half aa much about other women as a man of the moat average 
capacity leama in hia day's 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 Social Evil in Philadelphia," Arena, March, 1696. 

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and policemen, but largely in women's knowledge of the dangers 
of sex and in the cultivation of their sense of reeponaibility.* 
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 inefEectual. 
Tbej can for the most part only be invoked when the damage is 
already done. We have to learn to go to the root 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.^ 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 unfeminine. "But," she said, 
"suppose I was drowning." "In that 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 

It la difficult novadajB to And any BeriouB argumenta ftgainet the 
d«sirabl1itf of earlj sexual eolightenmeDt, and it Is almost with amuse- 
ment that we read how the novelist Alphonse Daudet, when asked his 
opinion of such enlightenmeDt, protested — in a spirit certainly common 
Among the men of his time — that it was unnecessary, because boys oould 
learn ereiything from the streets and the newspapers, while "as to 
young i^rls — nol I would teach them 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 much as to say that Uiere is no need to 
supply sources of pure water when there are puddles in the street that 
anyone can drink of. A contemporary of Daudet's, who possessed a far 
finer spiritual insight, Coventry Patmore, tlie poet, in the essay on 
"Ancient and Modem Ideas of Purity" in his beautiful book, Religto 
Poet<E, had already finely protested against that "disease of impurity" 

1 HoII, Konlrdre Smmaiempfindvng, third edition, p. 692. 

SThia powerlessneaa of the law and the police is well recognised 
by lawyers familiar with the matter. Thus F. Werthauer {BittUch- 
lieittdelikte der Qroaatadt, ISOT) insists throughout on the importaaes 
of parents and teachers imparting to children from their early years a 
progressively increasing knowledge of sexual matters. 

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which comM of "our modeni nndiTine silenoM" for whi<A Dandet 
pleaded. And Metchnikoff, more recently, from the Mientific Bide, •peak- 
ing eapedttlly m regards women, declare* that knowledge is wo isdispen- 
iable for moral conduct that "igDOrance must be oount«d the moat 
immoral of acta" {Eaaait OptimUtea, p. 420). 

The diatinguiahed Belgian mveliat, Camille Lemonnier, ia hia 
L'Bomme «m Amour, deals with the queatlon of the aezual ednoation of 
the young by presenting the history of a young man, lirou^t np under 
the influence of the conventional and hypocritical Tiews which teach 
that nudity and sex are shameful and diaguating things. In this way 
he pasaea by the opportunities of innocent and natural love, to become 
bopelesHly enslaved at last to a aensual woman who treats him merely 
aa the instrument of her pleaaure, the last of a long succession of lorera. 
The book is a powerful plea tor a sane, wholesome, and natural educa- 
tion in matters of sex. It was, however, proseAited at Bruges, in 1901, 
though the trial finally ended in acquittal. Such a verdict ia In har- 
mony with the gmieral tendency of feeling at the present time. 

The old ideas, expressad t:^ Dandet, that the facta of »ex. 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 guilelese delicacy, is nothing short of a revelation 
of the never-ceasing bean^ of nature. People sometimes apeak of the 
indescribable beauty of children's innocence. But I venture to say that 
no one quite knows what it is who has foregone 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 chauM of learn- 
ing something that must be divine." In the same way, Edward Car- 
penter, stating that it Is easy and natural for the child to learn from 
the first its physical reTation to its mother, remarks ( Lor^i Coming of 
Age, p. 6) : "A child at the age of puberty, with the unfolding of its 
far-down emotional and sexual nature, is eminently capable of the most 
sensitive, afTectlonal and serene appreciation of what tea means (gen- 
erally more so as things are to-day, than its worldling parent or 
guardian) ; and can absorb the t«aching, if sympathetically given, with- 
out any shock or disturbance to its sense of shame — that sense which ia 
so natural and valuable a aaf^uard of early youth." 

How widespread, even some years ago, had become the conviction 
that the sexual facts of life should be taught to ^rls-as well as boya, 
was shown when the opinions of a very mlseellaneous assortment of 
more or lees prominent persons were sought on the question (The Tree 
of Knowledge," Tiltw Review, June, 1804). A small minority of two only 

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(Babbi Adler and Mrs. Ijatt Lfoton) were ag&iiut such knowledge, 
whUe among the nwjoritf in favor of it were Mme. Adam, Thomaa 
Htirdf, Sir WalUr Besant, BjSmBon, Hall Caine, Bamli Grand, Nordau, 
Lady Ueniy Somereet, Baroness von Suttner, and Miss Willard. The 
leaders of the wotnaa's movement are, of course, in favor Of such knowl- 
edge. Thus a meeting of the Bund fUr Mutterschutz at Berlin, in 1005, 
almost uuanimoualj passed a resolution declaring tliat the earl; sexual 
enlii^tenment of childien in the facts of the sexual life is urgeutlf 
necessary (Mntterachute, 1903, Heft 2, p. 91). It may be added that 
medical opinion has long approved of this enlightenment. Thus in Eng- 
land it was editorially stated in the BHtith Uedioal Journal some jeaTs 
ago (June 9, 1894) : "Most medical men of an age to beget con&dence 
in such affairs will be able to recall instances in whi<^ an ignorance, 
which woald have been ludicrous if it had not been so sad, has been 
displayed on matters regarding which every woman entering on married 
lite ought to have been accurately Informed. There can, we think, be 
little douht that much unhappinesg 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 tJie 
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 imapnings of ignorance." In America, also, 
where at an annual meeting of the American Medical Association, Dr. 
Denslow Lewis, of Chicago, eloquently urged the need of teaching sexual 
hygiene to youths and ^rls, all the subsequent nine speakers, some of 
them physicians of worldwide fame, expressed their essential agreement 
{Medieo-Legal Journal, June-Sept, 1B03). Howard, again, at the end 
of his elaborate BUtory of Malritiuynial InaMutione (vol. iii, p. 2S7) 
asserts the necessit}' 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 hold an honorable place." 

While, however, it ia now widely recognized that children 
are entitled to sexual enlightenment, it esnnot be said that this 
belief is widely put into practice. Many persona, who are fully 
persuaded that children should sooner or later be enlightened 
concerning the sexual sources of life, are somewhat nervously 
anxious as to the precise age at which this enlightenment should 
begin. Their latent feeling seems to be that sex is an evil, and 
enlightenment concerning sex also an evil, however necessary, 
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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attitude is, however, altogether wrong-headed. The child's 
desire for knowledge concerning the origin of himself is a per- 
fectly natural, hoDest, and hannleas deeire, bo long as it is not 
perverted by being thwarted. A child of four may ask questions 
OQ this matter, simply and spontaneously. As eoon as the 
questions are put, certainly as soon as they become at all 
insistent, they ehould be answered, in the same simple &nd 
spontaneous spirit, truthfully, though according to the measure 
of the child's intelligence and his capacity and deeire for knowl- 
edge This period should not, and, if these indicationa 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 
sepsrated 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. Xor 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 Rutfaoritiea, both men and women, in all the coun- 
tries where thle matter is attracting attention, there seenu now to be 
naaniini^ of opinion in favor of the elementaiy facts of the bab}''s rela. 



tkmBhip to ita mother b«ing explained to the child hj the mother as 
soon BB the child b^iu to ask queations. Thus in Qermanf Moll has 
repeatedly argued in this sense; he insists that sexual enli^tenment 
should be mainly a private and individual matter; that in schoola there 
should be no general and personal warnings about masturbation, etc 
(though at a later age he approves of instruction in regard to venereal 
diseases), but that the mother is the proper person to impart Intimate 
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. oit, p. 264). 

At the Mannheim meetjng of the Congress of the Oerman Society 
for Combating Venereal Disease, when the question of sexual 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 reeponsible for the child's clear understanding of 
sexual things, so often lacking," said Fran Krukenberg ("Die Aufgabe 
der Mutter," Se»ualpddagogik, p. 13), while Max Bndcrlin, a teacher, 
said on l^e same occasion ("Die Sexuelle Frage in die Volksschule," 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 firat naturally comes with his 
questions." In England, Canon Lyttelton, who is distinguished among 
the heads of public schools not least by his clear and admirable atate- 
ments on these questions, states (Mothert and Sons, p. 99) that the 
mother's part in the sexual enlightenment and sexual guardianship of 
her son is of paramount importaii:^, and should begin at the earliest 
years. J. H. Badley, another schoolmaster ("The Sex DiBicuIty," Broad 
Yietci, June, 1904), also states that the mother's part comes first 
Northcote iChrittianity and Ben Problems, p. 25) 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 ChUd-Confidenoe Rewarded, 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 ita happy results 
in promoting a sweet confldenre between the child and his mother. 

If/as a tew believe should be the case, the first initiatloa is 
delayed to the tenth year or evcE later, there ia the difficulty that 
it is no longer bo easy to talk aimply and naturally about such 
things; the mother is beginning to feel too shy to speak for the 
first time about these difficult subjects to a bod or a daughter 
who is nearly as big as herself. She feels that she can only do it 

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awkwardly and ineffectively, and she probably decides not to do it 
at ail. Thus an atmosphere of mystery ia created with all the 
embarraaGing and perverting influences which mystery encourages. 

There can be no doubt that, more eBpecially in higbl; intelligent 
children with vague and unapecialized jet insistent sexual impulses, the 
artificial mystery with which aex is too often clothed not only accen- 
tuates the natural curiosity but also tends to favor the morbid intensity 
and even prurience of the sexual impulse. This has long been reco^ 
nized. Dr. Beddoes wrote at the beginning of the nineteenth century: 
"It is in vain that we dissemble to ourselves the eagerness with which 
children of either sex seek to satisfy themselves concerning the confor- 
matiou of the other. No degree of reserve in the heads of families, no 
contrivances, no care to put books of one description out of si^t and U> 
garble others, has perhaps, with any one set of children, succeeded in 
preventing or stifling this kind of curiosity. No part of the history of 
human thought would perhaps be more singular than the stratagems 
devised by young people in different 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, Bygeia, 1802, vol. iii, p. S9). Kaan, again, in one of the 
earliest books on morbid sexualitj, sets down mystery as one of the 
causes of paycAopothia aexualia. Marro {La Pubertd, p. 299) points 
out how the veil of mystery thrown over sexual matters merely serves 
to concentrate attention on them. The distinguished Dutch writer Mul- 
tatuli, in one of his tetters (quoted with approi'al 1^ Freud), remarks 
on the dangers of hiding things from boys and girls in a veil of mystery, 
pointing out that this must only heighten t^e curiosity of children, and 
so far from keeping them pure, which mere ignorance can never do, 
heats and perverts their imaginations. Mrs. Mary Wood Allen, also, 
warns the mother [op. pit., p. E) 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 to be the teacher, for the feeling of embarrassment will, in 
some subtle way, communicate itself to tbe child, and he will experience 
an indefinable sense of offended delicacy which ia both unecessary and 
undesirable. Purification of one's own thought is, then, the first step 
towards teaching the truth purely. Why," 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 aoytliing else, that it Is the secrecy that 

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Bnrroimds certain partii of the hoiy and their functions tiiat gives them 
their danger in the child's thought. Little children, from earlieat years, 
are taught to think of these parts of their body as mysterious, and not 
only so, but that th^ are myatrrious because they are unclean. Chil- 
dren have not even a name for them. If j'ou have to speak to your 
child, you allude to them mysteriously and in a half-whisper as that 
little part of you that you don't speak of,' or words to that efTeot. 
Before e\-ei7thing ft is important that your child should have a gimd 
working name for these parts of his body, and for their fUDCtions, and 
that he should be taught to use and to hear the names, and that as 
naturally and openly as though he or you were speaking of his head or 
his foot. Convention hss, for various reasons, made it impossible to 
speak in this nay in public. But you can, at any rate, breslc 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; Ijook 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 aay tcAat things] 'in public' Only 
let your child make the remark in public before you speak (never mind 
the shock to your caller's feelings), don't warn him against doing bo" 
(Ennis Richmond, Boyhood, p. 60). Sex must always be a mystery, but, 
as Mrs. Richmond rightly says, "the real and true mysteries of genera- 
tion and birth are very diiTerent from the vulgar secretiveness with 
which custom surrounds them." 

The question as to the precise names to be given to the more pri- 
vate bodily parts and functions Is sometimes a little difficult to solve. 
Every mother will naturally follow her own instincts, and probably her 
own traditions, in this matter. I have elsewhere pointed out (in the 
study of "The Evolution of Modes^'} 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 naturally, 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 dignified and expressive words. Many 
persons are of opinion that on this account they should be rescued from 
the mud, and their sacrednesa taught to children. A medical friend 
writes that be always taught his son that the vulgar sex names are 
really beautiful words of ancient origin, and that 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 causa 
obAcene mirth. An American man of science, who has privately and 
anonymoualj printed some pamphlets on sex questions, alM takes this 



Tiew, and consistently and methodically uses the Ancient and simple 
words. I am of opinion that tbis is the ideal to be aou^t, but tliat 
there are obvious diCBcuities at present in the way of attaining it. In 
any case, liowever, the mother should be in posaessioa of a veiy precise 
vocabulary for all tbe bodily parts and acts which it concerns her ehil' 
dren to know. 

It is BometimeB said that at tbis early age childreo should 
not be told, even io a simple and elementary form, the real facts 
of their origin but should, instead, bear a fairy-tale having in it 
perhapB 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 tbe imagination of 
yonng children. Fairy-tales have a real value to the child ; they 
are a mental food he needs, if he is 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 tbe real facts 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, however, if there were no other reasons against telling 
children fairy-tales of sex instead of the real facts, there is one 
reason which ought to be decisive with every mother who values 
her infiuence over her child. He will very quickly discover, 
either by information from others or by bis 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 in 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 
questions on this matter; he will not confide in her; be 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 sufter the punishment, as 
Henriette Fiirth puts it, of seeing "the love and trust of her son 



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

The number of little books and pamphlets dealing with the ques- 
tion of tbe sexual eolig^tenment of the j^ning — whether intended to be 
read by the young or offering guidance to mothers and teachers in the 
task of imparting knowledge — has iMcome veiy large indeed during 
recent years in America, England, and especially Germany, where there 
has been of late an enormous production of such literature. Tbe late 
Ben Elmy, writing under the pseudonym of "Ellis Ethelmer," published 
two booklets. Baby Bade, and The Human Flower (issued by Mrs. Wol- 
stenbolme Elmy, Buxton House, Congleton), which state the facta iu a 
simple and delicate manner, though tbe author was not a notably 
reliable guide on the scientlftc aspects of these questions. A chaimiag 
conversation between a mother and child, from a French source, is 
reprinted by Edward Carpenter at the end of his Love's Coming of Age. 
Bow We Are Born, by Mrs, N. J. (apparently a Ruagian lady writing 
in English), prefaced by J. H. Badley, ii satisfactory. Mention may 
also be made of The Wonder of Life, by Mary Tudor Pole. Margaret 
Morley's Song of Life, an American book, which I have not seen, has 
been highly praised. Most of these books are intended for quite young 
children, and while they explain more or less clearly the origin of babies, 
nearly always starting with the facte of plant life, they touch v«ry 
slightly, if at all, on the relations of the sexes. 

Mrs. Ennis Richmond's books, largely addressed to mothers, deal 
with these questions In a very sane, direct, and admirable manner, and 
Canon Lyttelton's books, discussing such questions generally, are also 
excellent. Most of the books now to he mentioned are intended to be 
read by boj's and girls who have reached the age of puberty. They refer 
more or less precisely to sexual relationships, and they usually touch 
on masturbation. The Story of Life, written by a very accomplished 
woman, the late ElUce Hopkins, is somewhat vague, and introduces too 

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nuMij eiftlted religious ideas. Arthur Trewby's Healthy Boyhood U « 
Uttk book of wholesome tendencf; it deals speciallf with mBsturbation. 
A Talk with Boya About Themselves and A Talk tcith Oirls About 
Thenuelces, both bj Edward Bruce Kirk (the latter book written in 
conjunction with a lady) deal with general aa well un eexual hygiene. 
Tli«re could be no better book to put into the hands of a boy or girt at 
puber^ than M. A. Warren's Almott Fourteen, written by an American 
school teacher in 1892. It was a most charming and delicately written 
book, which could not have offended the innocence of the most aenaitive 
maiden. Nothing, however, is sacred to prurience, and ft was easy for 
the prurient to capture the law and obtain (in 1SB7) legal condenma- 
tioQ of this book as "obscene." Anything which sexually excites a 
prurient mind is, it ie true, "obscene!' for that tnind, for, aa Mr. Theo- 
dore Schroeder remarks, obscenity is "the contribution of the reading 
mind," but we need auch 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 Speech and Preas Estential to 
Purity Propaganda, p. 34) that the author was compelled to resign his 
position OS a public school principal. Maria LJschnewska'a Oetchlecht- 
tiche Belehrung der Kinder (reprinted from Mtitterschuta, 1905, Heft 
4 and S) is a most admirable and thorough discussion of the whole 
question of sexual education, though the writer is more interested fn 
the teacher's share in this question than in the mother's. Su^estions 
to mothers are contained in Hugo Solus, Wo komtiien die Kinder herT, 
E. Stiehl, Eine Uutferpficht, and many other books. Dr. Alfred Kind 
strongly recommends Ludwig Gurlitt's Der Verkehr mit meinem Kin- 
dern, more especially in its combination of sexual education witli artistic 
education. Many similar books are referred to by Bloch, in his Srwual 
Life of Our Time, Ch. xxvi. 

I have enumerated the names of these little books because they are 
frequently issued in a semi-private manner, and are seldom easy to pro- 
cure or to hear of. The propagation of such books seems to he felt to 
be almost a disgraceful action, only to be performed by stealth. And 
auch % feeling seems not unnatural when we see, as in the case of the 
author of Almoet 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 
U» 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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The eeiual education which it is the mother'a 3uty and 
privilege to initiate during her child's early years cannot and 
ought not to be technical. It is not of the natme of formal 
inetniction but is a private and intimate initiation. No doubt 
the mother must herself be taught.^ But the education she 
needs is mainly an education m love and insight. The actual 
facts wliich she requires to use at this early stage are very simple. 
Her main task is to make clear the child's own intimate relations 
to heraelf and to show that all young things have a similar 
intimate relation to their mothers; in generalising on this point 
the egg is the simplest and most fundamental type to explain the 
origin of the individual life, for the 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 bis 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 sexual, or as they seem to bim 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 
uncommon 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 be able to lead the child 
into a reverential attitude towards bis 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 have 
initiated him both in sexual knowledge and in sexual hygiene. 

1 "P«rentB muBt be taught how to impart information," remarks 
G. li. K^8 ("Education npon Sexual Matters," New York Medical 
Journal, Feb. 10, 1906), "and this te&ching of the parent should begin 
when be is himself a child." 



The mother who establishes a relationship of confidence with 
her child dmiug these first years will probably, if she poBeesses 
any measure of wisdom and tact, be able to preserve it even after 
the epoch of puberty into the difGcult years of adolescence. But 
as an educator in the narrower sense her fonctions will, in most 
cases, end at or before puberty. A somewhat more technical and 
completely 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 wme extent a 
pupil of RouMeau, was an early pioneer in both the theory and the 
practice of giving school children instruction in the facts of the sexual 
life, from the age of ten onwards. He insiata much on this subject in 
his great treatise, the Elemenlarwerk (1770-1TT4). The questions of 
children are to be answered truthfully, he states, and they must be 
taugbt never to jest at anything so lacred and serious as the sexual 
relations. They are to be shown pictures of childbirth, and the dangers 
of sexual irregulBrities are to be clearly expounded to them at the outset. 
Boys are to be taken to hospitals 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 hooks and in his practical peda- 
gogic work, hut such people, he declares, ought to be shocked at the 
Bible (see, e.g., Pinloche, La Riforme de VEducation en A.Uemagne au 
duchititi^e »iiole: Ba$edow e( le Philanthropiniame, pp. 126, 2(8, 260, 
272). Basedow was too far ahead of his own lime, and even of ours, 
to exert mudi influence In this matter, and be had few immediate 

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, Hygeia, published in 1802 (vol. i. Essay IV) he seta 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 importonce of lectures on natural history which, he had found, 
could be given with perfect propriety to a mixed audience. Bis experi- 
ences bad shown that botany, the amphibia, the hen and her egge, human 
anatomy, even disease and sometimes the sight of it, are salutary from 
this point of view. Hs thinks it is a happy thing for a child to gain 
his first knowledge of sexual difference from anatomical subjects, the 
dignity of death being a noble prelude to the knowledge of sex and 



depriving it forever of morbid prurience. It is searcelj necesBary to 
remark that tbia method of teaching chitdreo the elementa of sexual 
Bnatomjr in the pott-moriem room has not found maiif advocate* or 
followers', it is undeairable, for It fails to take into account the anui- 
tivenese of children to such impreBsions, and it is unnecessary, for it is 
just aa eaey to teach the dignity of life as the dignity of death. 

The dut]r of the school to impart educatiOD in matters of sex to 
children has in recent years been vigorously and ably advocated by 
Maria Liachnewska (op. oil.), who speaks with thirfy years' experience 
as a teacher and an intimate acquaintance with children and their home 
life. She argues that among the mass of the population to-day, while 
in the home-life there is every opportunity for coarse familiarity with 
sexual matters, there is no opportunity for a pure and enlightened intro- 
duction to Uiem, parents being for the most part both morally and 
intellectually incapable of aiding their children here. That the school 
should assume the I««ding part in tiiis task is, shs believes, in accord- 
ance with tha whole tendent^ of modem 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 
higher mammals, the bull and cow being selected by preference. The 
facts of gestation would of 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 some way as the calf develops in the cow so the 
child develops in the mother's body." 

It is difficult not to recognize the force of Maria Lischnewska'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 he 
given not as specific instruction In matters of sex, but simply as a part 
of natural history. It would supplement, so far aa mere knowledge is 
concerned, the information the child had already received from its 
mother. But ft 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 ft may not be possible among the 
ill-educated masses of to-day, nothing else will adequately take its place. 

There can be no doubt, however, that while ia the future 
the school will most probably be regarded aa the proper place in 
which to teach the elements of physiology — and not as at present 
a merely emasculated and effeminated physiology — the intro-- 
duction of such reformed teaching ia aa yet impracticable in many 
^itm^ja&iS6, A coarse and ill-bred community moves in a 

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Ticious circle. Its membere are brought up to believe that sex 
matters are filthy, and when they become adults they protest 
violently against their children being taught this filthy knowl- 
edge. The teacher's task is thus rendered at the best difficult, 
and under democratic conditions impoeaible. We cannot, there- 
fore, hope for any immediate introduction of sexual physiology 
into schools, even in the unobtrusive form in which alone it 
could properly be introduced, that is to say as a natural and 
inevitable part of general physiology. 

This objection to animal physiology by no means applies, 
however, to botany. There can be little doubt that botany is of 
all the natural sciences that which best admits of this incidental 
instruction in the fundamental facts of sex, .when we are con- 
cerned 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 sex. In the second place, in dealing with plants the 
facts of sex can be 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, bad 
education, and false associations which have made it so difficult 
either to see or to show the beauty of sex in animals. From 
the sex-life of plants to the eex-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 
Bcxual enlightenment of children by first teaching them botany, to b? 
followed by loology. In modern times the method of Imparting etx 
knowledge to children by means, in the first place, of botany, has been 
generally advocated, and from the most various quarters. Thus Marro 
■ (La PuhertA, p. 300) recomendt this plan. J. Hudrey-Menos ("La 
Question du Sexe dans I'Education," Revue BocialUte, June. 1895) , ^ves 
the same advice. Rudolf Sommer, in a paper entitled "M&dchenerzieh- 
ung Oder Menschenbildungt" iOetchleoht vnd QetteUchaft, Jahrgang 



I, H«tt 3) Tecommendi tbat the flrat introduction of sex knowledge to 
children ahould be made by talking to them on simple natural biatory 
■ubjecta; "there are endleaa opportimitieH," he remarkB, "over a fairy- 
tale, or a walk, or a fruit, or an egg, the Bowing of seed or the nest- 
building of birds." Canon Lyttelton (Training of tke Young in Latsa 
of Bern, pp. 74 et »eq.) advises 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 to prevent the new facts from being viewed in isola- 
tion, but the main emphasis is laid on his feeling for his mother and 
the instinct which exists in nearly all children of reverence due to the 
maternal relation;" he adds that, however difficult the subject may 
seem, the essential facts of paternity must also bf explained to boys and 
girls alike. Keyes, again (^Veio York Medical Journal, Feb. 10, 1906), 
advocates teaching children from an early age the sexual 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 it« 
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 acquainted with the general 
facts of the natural world, but also with the sexual lives of animals, 
learning things which it is difficult to teach verbally. Karina Karin 
("Wie erdeht man ein Kind zQr wissenden Kcnschheitt" GeKhlechI und 
OesellgehafI, Jahrgang 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 flsh and birds, and Anally 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 
sex teaching of children with the facts of botany was repeatedly empha- 
sized by various speakers at the special meeting of the German Congress 
for Combating Venereal Disease devoted to the subject o( sexual instruc- 
tion (BantalpSda^gik, especially pp. 36, 47, 76). 

The tranaition from botany to the elemeotarj zoology of the 
lower animals, to human anatomy and physiology, and to the 
science of anthropology based on these, is pimple and natural. 
It is not likely to be taken in detail until the age of puberty. 
Sei enters into all these subjects and should not be artificially 
excluded from them in the education of either boys or girla. 
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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testicles, the meaning of the ovaries and of menstrnation, as 
well as the sigDificance of metabolism and the urinary excretion, 
should be clear in their main lines to all 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 appearapce 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 imaccustomed and sometimes acute recognition of 
sexual desire accompanied by new sensations in the sexual organs 
and leading perhaps to masturbation; all these arouse, aa we 
cannot fail to realize, a new anxiety in the boy's or girl's mind, 
and a new curiosity, all 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 thus caused may be keen and proI<mged. 

A doctor of philosophy, prominent in hia profession, wroU to SUd- 
Uy Ball {Adole«cencc, vol. i, p. 452) : "My entire youth, from six to 
eighteen, was mode miserable from lack of knowledge that any one who 
knew anything of the nature of puberty night have given; this long 
•ense of defect, dread of operation, shame and worry, liaa left an indeli- 
ble mark." There are certainty many men who oould say the same. 
Lancaster ("Psychology and Pedagogy of Adolescence," Pedagogioal 
Bf minor]/, July, 1867, pp. 123-5) spoiks strongly regarding the evils 
of ignorance of sexual hygiene, and the terrible fact that millioni of 
youths are always in the hand* of quacks who dupe them Into the belief 
that they are on the road to an awful destiny merely because th«7 have 
occasional emissions during sleep. "This is not a light matter," Lan- 
caster declarei. "It strikes at the very foundation of our inmost life. 
It deals vrith the reproduetory part of our natures, and must have a deep 
hereditary influence. It is a natural result of the foolish false modesty 
ahown regarding all sex instruction. Every boy should be tought the 

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rimple physloli^cal facta before hie life ia forerer blighted b^ this 
cmnse." LancaHter has had in his hands one thousand Utters, mosOj 
written hy young people, who were usuallj' normal, and addressed to 
quacks who were duping them. From time to time the suiddea of 
youths from thia cause an reported, and in many mysterious suicides 
this has undoubtedly been the real cause. "Week after week," writes 
the Sritiah Uedical Jouiital in an editorial ("Dangerous Quack Litera- 
ture: The Moral of a Recent Suicide," Oct. I, 18S2}, "we leceive 
despairing letters from those victims of foul birds of prey who have 
obtained theii Aret hold on those thej rab, torture and often ruin, by 
advertisements inserted by newspapers of a. respectable, naj, even of a 
valuable and respected, character." It ia added that the wealthy pro- 
prietors of such newspapers, often enjoying a reputation for benevolence, 
even when the matter is brought before them, refuse to interfere as they 
would therel^ lose a source of income, and a censorship of advertise- 
ments is proposed. This, however. Is difficult, and would be quite 
nnneoessary 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, is a common source of auxietj to boys. 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 parente warning their children 
against masturbation, while three speakers were decidedly against that 
course, mainly on the ground that it was possible to pass through even 
a public school life without hearing of masturbation, and also that tiie 
warning against masturbation might encourage the practice. It is, 
however, becoming more and more clearly realized that ignoranoe, even 
if it can be maintained, Is a perilous poBsesaion, while the teaching that 
consists, aa i( 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 irreslEtibly impelled to 
it. Most of the aex manuals for boys touch on masturbation, sometimes 
exaggerating its dangers; such exaggeration should be avoided, for it 
leads to for worse evils than those it attempts to prevent. It seems 
undesirable that any warnings about masturbation should form part of 
school instruction, unless under very special circumstancea. The seicual 
InstrucUon imparted in the school on sexual as on other subjects should 
be absolutely impersonal and objective. 

At tbla point we approach one of the difficulties in the way of 
sexual oiligbtenment: the ignorance or unwisdom of the would-be 
teachera. ^Hiis diffioul^ at present exists both In the home and the 



Mbool, wbit« it defltroya tfa« value of mmay maniiala written for the 
wxiuU Instruction of the young. The niotheT, who ou|^t to be the 
child's confidant and guide in mattere of sexual education, and could 
naturally be so if kft to her own heftlthy inatincts, has usually been 
brought up in false traditions which it requires a hi^ degree of intelli- 
gence and character to escape from; the school-teacher, even if only 
called upon to give instruction in natural history, is oppressed by the 
same traditions, and by false shuue concerning tiie whole subject of sex; 
the writer of manusls on sex has often only freed himself from these 
bonds in order to advocate dogmatic, unscientific, and sometimes mis- 
chievous opinions which have been evolved in entire ignorance of the 
real facts. As Moll says {Da* Baeualleben dts Kindea, p. 2T6), neces- 
sary as sexual enli^tenment is, we cannot help feeling a little skeptical 
as to its results so long At those who ought to cnlif^ten are themselves 
often in need of enlightenment. 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 Brst development of the sexual impulse end how far sexual 
abstinence is beneficial. But it is evident that the difficulties due to 
false tradition and ignorance nil] diminish as sound traditions and bet- 
ter knowledge become more widely diffused. 

The girl at puberty is usually less keenly and definitely 
conscious of her sexual nature than the boy. But the riskB ehe 
runfl from sexual ignorance, though for the most part different, 
are more subtle and less easy to repair. She is often extremely 
inquiaitive concerning 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, Oblci and Marchesini were told by ladies who had formerly been 
pupils in Italian Normal Schools, are the order of the day in schools 
and colleges, and specially circle around procreation, the most difficult 
mystery of all. In England, even in the best and most modern colleges, 
in which games and physical exercise are much cultivated, I am told 
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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der about them, «nd talk about them conatantl}'" (see Appendix D, "The 
School -Friendships of Qiils," in the second volume of these Sivdiet), 
"The restricted life and fettered mind of girls," wrote a well-kDown 
pbfsiciau some fears ago (J. Milner Fothergill, AdoU»cence, 18S0, pp. 
20, 22) "leave them with less to actively occupy their thoughts than is 
the case wiUi boys. They are studiously tauf^t concealment, and a prl 
may be a perfect model of outward decorum and yet have a very SIthy 
mind. The prudishnesa with which she is brought up leaves her no 
alternative but to view her pasaions from the nasty side of human 
nature. All healthy thought on the subject is rigorously 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 falU 
without any palpable resistance; she has no trained educated power of 
resistance within herself) her whole future bangs, not upon herself, but 
upon tbe perfection of the social safeguards by which she is hedged and 
surrounded." Under the free social order of America to-day much the 
same results are found. In an instructive article ("Why Girls Oo 
Wrong," Ladies' Bomt Journal, Jan., I90T) B. B. Lindsey, who, as 
■fudge of the Juvenile Court of Denver, is able to speak with authorit;, 
brings forward ample evidence on this head. Both girls and boys, h« 
has found, sometimes possess manuscript books in which they had writ- 
ten down the crudest sexual things. These children were often sweet- 
faced, pleasant, reflned and intelligent, and they had respectable par- 
ents; but no one had ever sptdcen to them of sex matters, except the 
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 fnm) 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 
wiiat 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 girl 

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I have talked to hu Msured me of this truth." He coDsidere that nine- 
tenths of Bchool-boya aad Bchool-girls, in town or country, ate very 
inquiBitive regarding matters of sex, and, to liis own nmuement, tie 
baa found that In tlie girls this is as marked aa in the hoys. 

It IB the business 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 
Bei. With these aspects 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 dutyof 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 elements of the educa- 
tion of girla. 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 tnenstraal flow, sometimes with disastrous results 
both to their bodily and mental health. ^ 

"I know of no large girl's school," wrote a distinguished gyne- 
cologist. Sir W. 8. Flayfair ("Education and Training of Girls at 
Puberty," Briliah Medical Journal, Dec. T, 1896), "in which the abso- 
lute distinction which exists between boys and girU aa regards the 
dominont menstrual function Is systematically cared for and attended 
to. Indeed, the feeling of all school mi stresses is distinctly antagonistic 
to such an admission. The contention is that there is no real difference 
between an adolescent male and female, that what is good for one is 
good for the oUier, and that such aa there is ia due to the evil customs 
o( the past which have dented to women the ambitions and advantages 
open to raen, and that this will disappear when a happier era ia inaug- 
urated. If this be so, how comes it that nhile every practical physician 
of experience has seen many cases of anemia and chlorosis In girls, 
accompanied by ameuorrhixa or menorrhagia, headaches, palpitations, 
emaciation, and all the familiar accompaniments of breakdown, an 
analogous condition in a school-boy is so rare tliat it may well he 
doubted if it is ever seen at all!" 

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 oB. 

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It iB, however, oulj' tlie excubes for this almoat cTiminal negligence, 
U it OUj^t to be considered, wbicb are new; the negligence itself Ib 
ancient. Half a century earlier, before the new em of feminine educa- 
tion, another diatingniBhed gTUtecologist, Tilt (Clemenlc of Bwilth and 
Prineiplea o[ Female Hygiene, 1862, p. 18) stated that (roro a statistfcal 
inquiry regarding the onset of menstruation in nearly one thousand 
women he found that "26 per cent, were totally unprepared for its 
appearance; that thirteen out of the twenty-ftve were much frightened, 
screamed, or went into hysterical fits; and that six out of the thirteen 
thought themselves wounded and washed with cold wat«r. Of those 
frightened the general 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," Trantaetiona of the Southern Burgieal and Qynacologieal Society, 
.1800); "To innumerable women has fright, nervous and emotional 
excitement, exposure to cold, broui^t injury at puberty. What more 
natural tlian that the anxious girl, surprised by the sudden and unex- 
pected loss of the precious life-fluid, should seek to check the bleeding 
wound — as she supposes t For this purpose the use of cold wsahes and 
applieatkinB is common, 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 leam — 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 apeak to each other concerning 
the menstrual fuuctions. "Thirty-sis 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 stoted 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 tills most important matter!" (Helen Kennedy, "Effects of 
High School Work upon Girls During Adolescence," Pedagogiatl Semi- 
nary, June, 1S06.) 

The Mmc state of things probably also prevails In other countries. 
Thus, as T^ards France, Edmond de Goncourt in ChMe (pp. 137-139) 
described the terror of his young heroine at the appearance of the first 

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menstrual period for which she had never been prepared. Hb adds: 
"It is very seldom, indeed, tiiat women speak of this erentuali^. 
Mothers fear to warn their dau^tors, elder sisteri dislike confidence* 
with their younger sisters, governesses are generally' mute with giria 
who have no mothers or sisters." 

Sometimes this leads to suicide or to attempts at suicide. Thus ■ 
few years ago the ease was reported in the French newspapers of a jroung 
girl of fifteen, who threw herself into the Seine at Saint-Ouen. She waa 
rescued, and on being brought before the police commissioner said that 
she had been attacked bj sn "unknown disease" which bad driven her 
to despair. Discreet inquiry revealed that the mysterious malady was 
one common to all women, and the girl waa restored to her Inaufliciently 
punished parents. 

Half a century ago the sexual life of giils wae ignored by 
their pareota and teachers from reasons of pnidishneBs; at the 
present time, vhen quite diSerent ideas prevail regarding 
feminine education, it is ignored on the ground that girls should 
be as independent of their- physiological sexual life as boys are. 
The fact that this mischievous neglect has prevailed equally 
under such different conditions indicates clearly that the vary- 
ing reasons assigned for it are merely the cloaks of igDorance. 
With the growth of knowledge we may reasonably 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 imanimoue on this point. Some years ago, indeed, Dr. 
Mary Putnam Jacobi, in a very able book. The Quesiion 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 
diamiesed as a negligible quantity. Qirb themselves, indeed. 

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carried away by the ardor of their pursuit of work or amuBe- 
ment, are usually recklessly and ignorantly indifferent to the 
serious risks they run. But ttie opinions of teachers are now 
tiding to agree with medical opinion in recognizing the 
importance of care and rest during the years of cdoleacence, 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 
eatabliehcd, while it may ensure her health and vigor, is not even 
a djeadvantage 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 
diBtinguished an educator as Principal Stanley Hall looks for- 
ward with confidence to such a time. In his exhaustive work on 
Adolescence be 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 cliange 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, Adole»cence, vol. i, p. 611. Many iraare ago, in 1S7S, 
the lat« Dr. Clarke, In hie 8ex in Edaoation, kdviaed menitmd rest for 
girls, and thereby aronsed a violent ODposition which would certainly 
not be found noinidays, when the special risks of womanhood are becom- 
ing more dearly underatood. 

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These wise words cannot 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 ia 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 is the physical equal of man, and constantly 
point to the primitive woman, the female of savage peoples, as 
an 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 surrounding 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, wtiich, out^owing 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 senae.^ 

In Gennany Tobler Iuib inveetigated the meuBtrual histories of 
over one thousand women {MonatsKhrift fur Qeburtthulfe vnd Qynd- 
kologie, July, 190S). He find* that in the great majority of wora^n at 

1 For a Bumnuirj' of the phvBical and mental ] 
menstrual period, see Havelock £llis: Man- and Womwt, Ch. XI. Tha 
primitive conception of menstruation Is briefly discussed in Appendix 
A to the first volume of these Btudiea, and more elaborately 1^ J. Q. 
Prater In The Oolden Bough. A large collection of facta with regard 
to the menstruBl secItiBion of women throughout the world will be found 
In PlosB and Bartele, Dot Weib. The pubertal seclusion of girls at 
Torres Straits has been especially studied t>y Seligmann, Report* Anthro- 
pological Eapedition to Torre* Btraita, vol. v, Ch. VI. 



Uie preunt day menstriution is uaociated with dUtinet datoriontion of 
the general health, and dimiaution of functional energy. In 24 per cent 
local pain, general malaise, and mental and nervoua anomaliea eoexisted ; 
in larger proportion come tha caaea in which local pain, general weak 
health or paychic almoniutlity was ezpericnoed alone at this period. In 
16 per cent, only none of these symptoms were experieDoed. In a very 
Bmall separate group the physical and meutftl functions were stronger 
during this period, but in halt of these cases there was distinct diaturl>- 
ance during the intermenstrual period. Tobler concludes that, while 
menBtruation itself is physiological, all these disturbances are patbo- 

As far as England is concerned, at a discussion of normal and 
painful menstruation at a meeting of the British Association of Regis- 
tered Medical Women on the 7th of July, 1008, it was stated by Him 
Beutbam that 50 pfr cent, of girls in good position suffered from pain- 
ful menBtruation, 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 years, and Mrs. Grainger Evana bad 
found that this condition was very common among elementary schanl 
teachers who had worked hard for examinations during early girlhood. 

In America variouB inveBtigatinns have been carried out, showing 
the preralence of diaturbance in the sexual health of school girls and 
young women. Thus Dr. Helen P. Kennedy obtained elaborate' data con- 
cerning the menstrual lite of one hundred and twenty-flve high school 
girls of the average age of eighteen ("Effect of High School Work upon 
Girls During Adolescence," Pedagogical Seminary, June, ISM). Only 
twenty-eight felt no pain during the period; half the total number 
experienced disagreeable symptoms before the period t^Qch as headache, 
malaise, irritability of temper), while forty-four complained of other 
symptoms besides pain during the period (especially headache and grent 
weakness). Jane Kelley Sabine (quoted in Boelon Medical and Burgioiil 
Journal, Sept. IS, IfKM) found in New England schools among two thou- 
sand girls that 73 per cent, had menstrual troubles, M per cent, had 
leucorrhoea and ovarian neuralgia, and 60 per cent, had to give up work 
for two days during each month. These results seem more than usually 
unfavorable, but are significant, as tbey cover a large number of cases. 
The conditions in the Pacific States are not much better. Dr. Mary 
Bitter (in a paper read before the California State Medical Society in 
1003) stated that of 660 Freshmen girls at the Universi^ of (California, 
6T per cent, were subject to menstrual disorders, 27 per cent to head- 
aclies, 30 per cent, to backaches, 29 per cent, were habitually constipated, 
16 per cent, had abnormal heart sounds; only 23 per cent, were free 
from functional disturbances. Dr. Helen MacMurcfaey, in an interesting 
paper on "Physiologieal Phenomena Preceding or Accompanying Men- 

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atnution" iLanoet, Oct. 6. ISOl), by inquiries among one hundred 
medical women, nurseB, and women teachers in Toronto concerning the 
presence or absence of twentj-one different abnormal menstrual phe- 
nomena, found that between 60 and SO per cent, admitted that thej 
were liabls at this time to disturbed sleep, to headache, to mental 
depression, to digestive disturbance, or to disturbance of the special 
senses, while about 25 to 50 per cent, were liable to neuralgia, to vertigo, 
to excessiTe nervous energy, to defective nervous and muscular power, 
to cutaneous hypenesthenia, to vasomotor disturbances, to constipation, 
to diarrhim, 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 affected 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, Uutterachaft und Oeislige Arheit (p. 312), failed to 
Sod, 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 lite, 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 Obatetrict, April, 1896), after giving cases in point, wrote: "It is 
my deliberate conviction that no girl should be conHned at study during 
the year of her puberty, but she should live an outdoor life." In an 
article on "Alumna's Children," by "An Alumna" (Popular Science 
Monthlg, May, 1004), 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 developmentT 
■lust as very young children should give all their strength for some years 

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Mlelj to pbjBieal growth before the brain is sllowed to make tmj con- 
siderable demands, so at tbii critical period in the life of the woman 
nothing flhould obstruct the right of way of this important ajstem. A 
year at the least should be made especially easy for her, with neither 
mental nor nervous strata; and throughout the rest of her school days 
she should have her periodical day of rest, free from any study or over- 
exertion." In another article on the same'subject in the Mme journal 
("The Health of American Girls," Sept, 1907), Nellie Comini Whitaker 
advocates a similar course. "I am coming to be convinced, somewhat 
against my wish, that there are many mms when the girl ought to be 
taken out of school entirely for some months or for a year at the period 
of paJtBTtj/." She adds that the chief obstacle in the way is the girl's 
own lilces and dislikes, and the ignorance of her moUier who has been 
accustomed to think that pain is a woman's natural tot. 

Such a period of rest from mental strain, while it would fortify 
the organism in its reeistance 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 lite. Nor should it by any means be reserved merely for 
the sickly and delicate girl. The tragic part of the present neglect to 
give girls a really sound and Stting 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 the strain of his life, and ia said 
to be worn out in twenty-five years. It is equally foolish to submit the 
finest flowers of ^rlhood to a strain which is admittedly too severe. 

It seems to be clear that the main factor in tlie commoD 
Bexiial and general iavalidism of giriB and young vomen is bad 
hygiene, in the first place consisting in neglect of the menstrnal 
functions and in the second place in faulty habits generally, 
in all the more essential 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, ^'omen are much more inclined than men 
to subordinate tbeee 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 innutritions and 
indigestible foods and drinks : they are apt to disregard the 
demands of the bowels and the bladder ont of laziness or 



iiiodeaty; tbey are even indifferent to physical cleanliueBS.^ In 
a great number of minor ways, which separately may seem to be 
of little importance, they play into the bands 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 souglit to guard themselves against it. It has 
been found in an American Women's College in which about half 
the Bcliolars wore corsets and half not, that nearly all the honors 
and prizes went to the non -corset- wearers. McBride, in bringing 
forward this fact, pertinently remarks, "If the wearing of a 
single style of drees will make this difference in the lives of 
young women, and that, too, in their moat vigorous and resistive 
period, how much difference will a score of unhealthy habits 
make, if persisted in for a life-time P^ 

"It Beema evident," A. E. Giles concludes ("Some Points of Pre- 
ventive Treatment in the Diseases of Women," The Hospital, April 10. 
1697) "that dysmenorrluea miglit be to a Xa-Tge extent prevented by 
attention to general health and education. Short honrs of work, eape- 

tiouB dread of water. Girls snould always be taught that at this period, 
above all, cleanliness is imperative); necessary. Iliere should be a tepid 
hip bath night and morning, and a vaginal douche (whit^h should never 
be cold) is always advantageous, both for oorofort 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 Journal with complete unanimity of opinion. A distineuished 
American obstetrician, also, Dr. J. Clifton Edgar, after a careful study 
of opinion and practif^e in this matter ("Bathing During the Menstrual 
Period," Amerioan Journal ObitetTict, Sept, 1900), concludes that it is 
poBsible and beneficial to take cold baths (though not aea-baths) during 
the period, provided due precautions are DtlBe^^■ed. and that there are no 
sudden changes of habits. Ruch a course should not be {ndiscriminately 
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 Bea in 
fishing has no evil results, and is even lieneficial. Houiel (Annaleg dt 
Oynicolagie, Dec., 1S04) has publisbed statistics of the menstrual life 
of 123 fisherwomen on the French coast. They were accustomed to 
shrimp for hours nt a time in the sra, 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 notablv regular, and their fertility is high. 

a J. H. McBride, "Tlie Lite and Health of Our Girls In Relation to 
Their Future," Alienvit anif yturologisi, Feb.. 1004. 

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cMly at aUndiDg; plenty of outdoor exeTcis« — tennla, bo&ting, cTcling, 
gymnasticB, uid walking for those who cannot afford thesei regularity 
of meab and food of Uie proper quality — not the incessant tea and bread 
and butter with variation of pastry; the avoidance of overexeTtion and 
prolonged fatigue; these are some of the principal things which require 
attention. Let girls 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 to the whole body is undoubtedly very great, 
both as r^ards 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 aronnd the chest, for it ia in respira- 
tory power and chest expansion more than in any other respect that 
girU tall behind boys {see, e.g., Havelock Ellis, Man attd 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 so 
fervently preached 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, tor it is by such free exercise of 
tbe whole body that the neuro-muscular system, the basis of all vital 
activity, 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 
County Council, found [BritUh Medioal Journal, May 28, 1904) among 
over 1,600 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 cnrvature of the spine, though such cases were very rnre among 
the boys. In the same way among a very similar class of select g^rls 
at the Chicago Normal School, Miss Lura Sanborn {Doctora' Magazine, 
Dec., ISOO) found 17 per cent, with spinal curvature, in some cases of 
n 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 snsmia. Here and there nowadays, among 
the better social classes, there is ample provision for the development of 
muacnlar power in girls, but in any generaliied way there is no adequate 
opportuni^ for such exercise, and among the working class, above 
all. In tiie aeetion of It which touches the lower middle class, althougfa 
tbsir lives are destined to be filled with a constant strain on the neuro- 
muBcular system from work at home or in shops, etc.. there is usually 
a mlnimtun of healthy exercise and physical development. Dr. W. A. 



B. Sellm&n, of Baltimort ("Cbub«b of PAioful Menstruation in UnmftT- 
ried Women," American Journal Obstetric!, Nov., 1907), empluMlzes the 
admirable reeults obtained by moderate physical exercise for young 
women, and in training them to care for their bodies and to rest their 
nervous ay atems, while £>r. Charlotte Brown, of San Francisco, rightly in- 
sists on tbe establishment in all towns and Tillages alike of outdoor gym- 
nastic flelds 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 
exercising of girls is so unfamiliar as to cause an embarrassing amount 
of attention from the opposite aex, 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 witli the physical vigor of 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, tliat the games adopted should be those of boys. In 
England especially, where the movements of women ara 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 w*e are in the presence of a lack of due neuromuscular 
coordination. Swimming, when possible, and especially some forms of 
dancing, are admirably adapted to develop the bodily movements of 
women both vigorously end harmoniously (see, e.g., Havelock Ellis, Man 
and Woman, Ch. VII). At the International Congress of School 
Hygiene in 1907 (see, e.g„ Brxtith Medioal Journal, Aug. 24, 1907} Dr. 
h, H. Oulidc, formerly Director of Physical Training in the Public 
Schools of New York City, stated that after many experiments it had 
been found in the New York elementary and hi^ schools that folk-danc- 
ing constituted the very best exercise for girls. "The dances selected 
im-olved many contractions of the large muRcular masws of the body and 
had therefore a great effect on respiration, circulation and nutrition. 
Such movements, moreover, when done as 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-danees 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 the 
physiologically selected. From the vsthetic point of view the sense of 
beaut; as shown in dancing was far commoner than the power to sing, 
paint or model." 

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It must always be remembered that in realiziDg the especial 
demancU 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 anxiety of the early leaders of 
feminine education to prove that girle can be educated exactly as 
if they were boys, and yield at least as good educational results. 
At the present time, indeed, that ansiety 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 aa 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 aeries of rhythmic 
sexual 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 is atieBs and strain in general, and not Dccessarily 
educational studiea, that are injurious to adolescent women, ia buITI- 
cieutly proved, if proof is neceflMry, by the fact that sexual arrest, and 
phjrsical or nervous breakdown, occur with extreme frequency in girls 
who work in shops or milla, 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 phj'slcal exercise — are bad. 
Cycling is beneficial 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, but excessive cycling is evil in its 
results on women, more especially by inducing rigidity of the perineum 
to an extent which may even prevent childbirth and neceaaitate opera- 
tion. I may add that the same objection applies to much hon»e-rid- 

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ing. In tim max wty eveiTtbing which caiuefl iboclu to the bodf 
Ib apt to be dangeroiu to n-omea, since in the womb they poueM 
* delicatdy poiaed organ wliich varies in weight at different times, and 
it would, for instance, be impossible to commend football as a game foi 
girls. "I do not believe," wrote Misa E. Ballantine, Director of Vaesar 
College Gymnasium, to Prof. W. Thomas (Bern and Society , p. 22) 
"women can ei'er, no matter what the training, approach men in their 
phTflical achievements; and," she wisely adds, "I see no reason why 
they should." There seem, indeed, as has already been indicated, to be 
reasons why they should not, especially if they look fonvard 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 veiy 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," Traneactions Southern Surgical and 
OynttooUtgical Aaaociation, 1990), he replied that he had himself made 
the same observation, and that instructors in physical training, both In 
America and England, had also told him of such cases among their 
pupils. "I hold," he wrote, "precisely the opinion you express [as to 
the unfavorable influence of muscular development in women]. Ath- 
letict, i.e., overdone physical training, causes the girl's system to 
approximate to the 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 diminishes, 
womanly qualities, although it is true that the peasant and Uie laboring 
woman have easy labor. I have never advocated muscular development 
for girls, only phyHical training, but have perhaps said too much lor it 
and praised it too unguardedly. In schools and colleges, so tar, bow- 
ever, it is insufficient rsther than too much; only the wealthy hsve 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. I am studying the point, and shall elaborate the explanation." 
Any publication on this subject was, however, prevented by Engelmann's 
death a few 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 she is anbjected in this matter have a suhtle and 



far-reaching Bignificance, according as they are good or evil. If 
she iB taught, implicitly or explicitly, contempt for the character- 
istics of her own sex, she naturally develops masculine ideale 
which may pennanently discolor her vision of life and distort her 
practical activities; it has been found that as many as fifty per 
cent, of American school girls have mascnline ideals, while fifteen 
per cent. American and no fewer than thirty-fonr 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, hag 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 dia- 
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- 
ness 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 possess, and the mere 
mention of which should cause a painful blush."^ The average 

1 W. G. Cbkmbers, "The Evolution of IdeaU," Pedagogioal Bemi- 
nary, March, 1903; Catherine Dodd. "School Children's Ideals," Na- 
tiotutl Review, Feb. and Dec., 1900, and June, 1901. No German girls 
acknowledged a wiah t« be men ; the;' said it would be wicked. Among 
Flemish g^rla, however, Varendonck found at Ghent (Archivea de Pay- 
cKologie, Julv, IBOS) that 20 per cent, had men as their Ideals. 

a A. Refbraajn-, Die En twicklvng»ge9e\icMe det Talenlet und Oeniet. 
1908, Bd. i, p. 70. 

I R. Hellmann, Ueber ChacMecklafreiheit, p. 14. 



II n th inkin g voman accepts the incongruity of this opposition 
withont C[U^tion, and grows accuetomed to adapt herself to each 
of the incompatibles according to circumstances. The more 
thoughtful woman works out a priyate 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. 

Thus Boris Sidis haa recorded a. case illuatrating the ditaEtrou» 
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 n vessel of vice and 
impurity. This seemed to have been imbued in ber by one of the nuns 
who was very holy and practiced self -mortification. With the onset of 
her perioda, 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 subaequent 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 house 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 
Psychopatholog;-," Boston iledicat and Surgical Journal, April 4, 1607). 
That is the logical outcome of much of the traditional teaching which 
is given to girls. Fortunately, the healthy mind offers a natural reaiat- 
ance to Its complete acceptation, yet it iinually, in some degree, persists 
and exerts a miachievoua 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, she 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 learn 

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it. To some extent tbat is quite inevitable it we are to insist that 
a woman should bind bereelf to marry a man before she has 
experienced the nature of the forces that marriage may unloose in 
her. A young girl believes she possesses a certain character ; she 
arranges her future in accordance with that character; she 
marries. Then, in a considerable proportion of cases (five out of 
six, according to the novelist Bourget), within a year or even a 
week, she 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 otherwise bring. Notwithstanding the decay of preju- 
dices, it is probable that even to-day the majority of women 
of the soHMlled educated class marry with only the vaguest and 
most inaccurate notions, picked up more or less clandestinely, 
concerning the nature of the sexual relationshipB. So highly 
intelligent a woman as Madame Adam has stated that she 
believed herself bound to marry a man who had kissed her (at 
the mouth, imagining tliat to be the supreme act of sexual union,i 
and it has frequently happened 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 auccessively married to the same woman, none of tbem 
apparently ever finding out the real sex of the "husband," "The 
civilized girl," as Edward Carpenter remarks, "is led to the 

> This belief seems frequent among jotmg ^rls in Continental 
Europe. It forms the subject of one of Marcel Prevost's Lettrea de 
Femmet. In Austria, according to Freud, it is not uncommon, exclu- 
sively among girls. 

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'altar* often in uttermost ignorance and nuBUodeTetonding of the 
eacrificial rites 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, oftoi 
heightened by the ecstasies depicted in sentimental novels from 
which every touch of wboleeome reality has been carefully 
omitted. "All the candor of faith is there," aa Senancour puts 
it in his book De I'Amour, "the desires of inexperience, 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. EverHhing expresses love and 
demands love: this hand formed for awect 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 bo 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 dictnteil. That intoxicating 
part, which she knows so well, which everything recalls, which the 
day inspires and the night commands, what joung, 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 Englieh law, rape is k crime which it is impos- 
sible for a buaband to commit on his wife (see, e.g., Nevill Gearv, The 
Law of Uarrtage, Cli. XV, Sect. V). The performance of the marriage 
ceremonjr, however, even if it neceBsarily involved a clear explanation of 
marital privileges, cannot be regarded aa adequate juBtification for an 
act ol Ksual Intercourse performed with violence or without the wife's 



appealed to her mother to e^iplam to her daughter the natore of 
"Vifely duties." But the young wife replied to her mother'B 
ezpostnlations, "If that is 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 thi§ case, mach in 
love with his wife, sought for eight years to over-persuade her, 
but in vain, 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 than 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 fur BewuelU ZioucAenatu/en, 1903, p. 88. 
It Duy be added that a horror of coitiu U not neCMMrily due to bed 
edueatioD, and ma; also occur In hereditarilf degenerate woideii, wbow 
ancmtars have shown aimilar or allied mental peculiarities. A case of 
iwcb "functional impotence" has been reported in a young Italian wife 
of twen^-one, wbo waa otherwise healthy, and strongly attached to her 
husband. The marriage waa annulled on the ground that "rudimenfaiy 
sexual or emotional paranoia, which renders a wife lavinclbljr refractory 
to sexual union, notwithstanding the integrity of the aexual organs, con- 
stitutes psychic functional Impotence" (IroAivfo M P^MatHa, IMK. 
fase, vi, p. 806). 

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aummarily, but definitely, with the sexual relationship, and 
ehould also comment, warningly but m no alarmist spirit, vith 
the chief suto-erotic 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 d<me, what the teacher may etill 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 sometioies 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-represaed 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, addreeoes, 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. 

Stanley Hall, Bft«r remarking that sexual educatioD should be 
chiefly from fathem to sons and from mothers to daughters, adds: "It 
may be that in the future thia kind of initiation will again become an 
art, and experts will tell us with more confidence how to do our duty 
to the mnnifold exigpncisH, typfs and tttagcR of youth, and inHtead of 
feoling bHiTled and defeated, wr shall see that this age and theme is the 
supreme opening for the highest pedagogy t« do its best aud most trans- 
fonning woi'k, as well aa being the greatest o( all opportunities for the 
teacher of religion*' (Stanley Hall, Adoleaoenee, vol. i, p. 400). "At 
Williams College, Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Clark," the same distin- 
guished teacher obsen'^x {16., p. 465), "I have made it a duty in my 
departmental teaching to speak very briefly, but plainly to young men 
under my instruction, personally if I deemed it wise, and often, though 
here only in general t^rms, before student bodies, and I believe I have 
nowhere done more good, but it is a painful duty. It requires tact and 
some degree of hard and strenuoiiB i^mmon sense rather than technical 

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It is scarcely neceesary to saj that the ordinary teacher of either 
sex is quite incompetent to apeak at sexual hygiene. It ie a task to 
whicli all, or Bome, teaehers muat be trained. A beginning in this 
direction has been made in Germany by the delivery to teachers of 
eounes of lectures on sexual hygiene in education. In Prussia the first 
attempt was made in Breelau when the central school suthorities 
requeBted Dr. Martin Chotzen to deliver such a eourae to one hundred 
and flf^ teachers who took the greatest interest in the lectures, which 
covered the anstomy of the Beiual organs, tlie development of the sexual 
instinct, its chief perversions, venereal diseases, and the importance of 
the cultivation of self-control. In Qesohlecht und QeaelUchaft (Bd. i. 
Heft 7) Dr. Fritz Reuther gives the substance of lectures which he has 
delivered to a cIibb of young teachers; they cover much the same ground 
as Chotun's. 

There is no evidence that in England the Minister of E!ducation 
has yet taken any steps to insure the delivery of lectures on eexual 
hygiene to the pupils who are about to leave school. In Prussia, how- 
ever, the Ministry of Education has 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 
1900), when it was proposed to deliver a series of lectures on sexual 
hygiene to the advanced pupils in Berlin schoola, under the auspices of 
a society for the improvement of morals, the muncipal authorities with' 
drew their permission to use the classroomB, on the ground that "such 
lectures would be extremely dangerous to the moral bcubc of an audience 
of the young." The 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 progresB has yet been 
nutde, 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 tor vice and immorality. 

Such lectures are also given to girls on leaving school, not only pris 
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 * lecture (8tmi«lle Belehrung der am den Volk»aokvIe eniUmenen 
MSthhen, I60T>, accompanied by anatomical tables, which he has deliv- 
ered to girls about to leave school, and which Is intended to be put into 
thdr hands at this time. Salvat, in a Lyons thesis (La Dipopulathn 
de la France, 1&03), insists tliat the hygiene of pregnancy and the care 
cf infants should form part of the subject of such lectures. TheBe sub- 
jects might well be left, however, to a somewhat later period. 

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^mething is clearly needed beyond lectures on these 
mattere. It ahoold be ttie busineea 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.^ In 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 technical form it cannot properly form the 
subject of lectures. In a private and individualized conversation 
between the novice in life and the expert, 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 impossible to put to parents, while the con- 
venient opportunity of putting them naturally to the expert 
otherwise seldom or never occurs. Most youths have their own 
special ignorances, their own special difficulties, difficulties and 
ignorances that could sometimes be resolved by a word. Yet it 
hy 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 

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, not 
always without reason. The end to be aimed at here is enlighten- 

1 The reaBOnableneBH of thit etep is so obvious that it should 
Kwrcelf need iniistenoe. "The instruction of school-boyB and scbool- 
girls is most adequately effected by an elderlj doctor," NUcke remarlcB. 
"Mtnetimei perhaps the (chool-doctor." "I strongly adrockte," says 
Clouston IThe Hygiene of Hind, p. 249), "tliat the family doctor, guided 
by the parent and the teacher, ia by far tiie beat instructor and monitor." 
Moll is of the same opinion. 

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ment. CerUml; knowledge can never be immoral, but nothing is 
gained by jnmbling up knowledge and morality together. 

In emphasizing the nature of the physician's task in this 
matter aa purely and simply that of wise practical enlightenment, 
nothiog is implied againgt tiie advantages, and indeed the 
immense value in sexual hygiene, of the moral, religious, ideal 
elements of life. It is not the primary business of the physician 
to inspire these, bat they have a very intimate relation with the 
sezuat life, and every boy and girl at puberty, and never before 
puberty, should be granted the privil^e — and not the duty or 
the task — of initiation into thoee elements of the world's life 
which are, at the same time, nataral functions of the adolescent 
soul. He>^, however, ia the sphere of the religions or ethical 
teacher. At puberty he has big 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 tiie soul. The churches from of old have 
recognized the religious significance of this moment, for it is this 
period of life that they have appointed as the time of confirm- 
ation and similar rites. With the progress of the ages, it is tme, 
such rites become merely formal and apparently meaningless 
fossils. Bat they have a meaning nevertheless, and are capiUile 
of being again vitalized. Nor in their spirit and essence should 
they be confined to those who accept Bupematurally 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 
Bpontaneoosly 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 

I and thr 

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but the emallest place." At the first rieing of the sun of sex the 
boy or girl sees, ae Blake said he saw at suDriee, not a round 
yellow body emerging above the horizon, or any other physical 
manifestation, but a great company of singing angels. With 
the definite eruption of physical sexual mapifestation and desire, 
whether at puberty or later in adolescence, a new turbulent dis- 
turbing influence appears. Against the force of this influence, 
mere intellectual enliglitennient, or even loving maternal counsel 
— the agencies we have so far been concerned with — ^may be 
powerlcGS. 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 ctmceptions 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 his 
development when he would otherwise naturally respond to them. 
Under natural conditions this is the period for spiritual 
initiation. Xow, and not before, is the time for the religions 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 tlie 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 flesh. 

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 
inaficniine even more thnn of the feminine virtues. This has 



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

Ceremoniea of initiation into manhood at puberty — involving 
ph}^ical and mental discipline, as well u inHtruction, lasting for weekn 
or months, and never identical tor both sexes — are common among 
uvagea in all parte 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 civiliiation has too foolishly allowed 
to drop, tor the ability fo endnrf hardncBs is an essential condiUon of 
all real manhood. It is as a corrective to this tendency io flabhinese 
in modem education that the teaching of NletzBohe is bo invaluable. 

The initiation of boys among the natives of Torres Straits has 
been elaborately dewn^ibed by A. C. Haddon (Reparta Anthropological 
Exptdition to Torre* Straitt, vol. v, Chs. VII and XII). It lasts a 
month, involves much severe training and power of endurance, and 
Includes admirable moral InstTurtion. 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, tiie Initiatory cere- 
monies, as deacribed by R. H. Mathews ("Some Initiation Ceremonies," 
Zeiiaehrift fUr BthnologU). 1906, 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, Mmetimes involving even the swallowing of urine and 
excrement, brought Into contact with strange tribes, taught flie laws 
and foIk.|oT«, and at the end meetings are held at which betrothals are 

Among the northern tribes of Central Australia the initiation 
ceremonies involve circumcision and urethral subincision, as well as 
liard 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 Glllcn (Northern Tribet of Central 
iuttralia, Ch. XI). Among various peoples in British East Africa 
(including the Hasal) pubertal initiation is a great ceremonial event 
extending over a period of many months, and it includes circumcision 
in hoys, and in girls clltoridectomy, as well as, among some tribes, 
removal of the nymph*. A girl who winces or cries out during the 
operation Is disgraced among the women and expelled from the settlo- 

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mcnt. When tiie Mremony baa been aaiiafactorily eonipletcd the boy or 
girl is marriageable (C. Mareb Beadnell, "CircumcisioD end Ctltoii- 
Aectomy aa Practiced by thp Natives of British East Africa," BritUh 
Uedieal Journal, April 29, tOOS). 

Initiation among the African Bau't'nds, ns described bf a mia- 
sionary, [■ in three stages: (1) A stage of instruction and discipline 
during vhich the traditione and sacred things of the tribe are rev«ftled, 
the art of warfare taught, aelt'rextraint and endurance borne; then the 
youths are counted as full-grown. (2) In the next stage the art of 
dancing is practiced, by each sex separately, during the day. {3) Id 
the final stage, which in that of complete sexual initiation, the two 
■exes dance together by night; the scene, in the opinion of the good 
missionaiy, "does not bear description;" the initiated are now coDiplel« 
adults, with all tbe privileges aod responsibilities of adults (Rev. E. 
Gottschting, "The Bawenda," Journal Anthropological /nsttfufion, July 
to Dec., IIWS, p. 372. Cf., an Interesting account of the Bawenda Tondo 
schools by another missionary. Wessmann. T\e Bateenda, pp. 60 et teq.). 

The initiation of girls in Aziroba Land, Central Africa, has been 
fully and interestingly described by H. Crawford Angus ("The 'Chen- 
samwali' or Initiation Ceremony of Oirls," Zeitachrift fiir Ethnologie, 
1898, Heft 6). At the first sign of menstniation the girl is taken by 
her mother out of the village to a grass hut prepared for her where 
only the women are allowed to rislt her. At the end of menstruation 
she is taken to a secluded spot 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 ^rl is then informed in regard to 
the hygiene of menstruation. "Many songs about the relations between 
men and women are sung, and the gfrl is instructed as to all her duties 
when she becomes a wife. . . . The girl is taught to he faithful 
to her husband, and to try and bear children. The whole matter Is 
looked upon as a matter of course, and not as a thing to be ashamed 
of or to hide, and being thus openly treated of and no secrecy made 
about it, you find In this tribe that the women are very virtuous, 
bacauM tiie subject of married life has no glamour for them. When a 
woman is pregnant she is again danced; this time all the dancers are 
naked, and she to tau^t how to behave and what to do when tbe time 
of her delivery arrives." 

Among the Yuman Indians of California, as described by Horatio 
Itust ("A Puberty Ceremony of the Mission Indians." American Anlhro- 
pologiat, Jan. to March, 1906, p. 281 the girls are at puberty prepared 
for marriage by a ceremony. They are wrapped in blankets and placed 
in a warm pit, where they lie looking very happy as they peer out 
through their eorers. For four days and nights they lie here (occasion- 
ally going away for food), while the old women of the tribe dance end 



•ing round the pit eonabuitly. At timea the old women throw eilver 
coina among ths crowd to teach the girls to be generoiu. They aim 
give away cloth and wheat, to teach them to be kind to the old and 
needj; and th^ sow wild seeds broadcast over the girle to cause them 
to be prolifle. Finally, all strangers are ordered away, garlands are 
placed on the girls' heads, and they are led to a hillside and shown the 
large and sacred stone, symbolical of the female organs of generation 
and resembling them, which is said to protect women. Then grain is 
thrown over all present, and the ceremony is over. 

The Thlinkeel Eskimo women were long noted for their flne 
qualities. At puberty they were secluded, Bometimes for a whole year, 
being kept in darkneas, suffering, and filth. Yet defective and unsatis- 
factory as this initiation was, "Langadorf suggests," says Bancroft 
[Native Races of Pacipo, vol. I, p. 110), referring to the virtues of the 
Thiinkeet woman, "that it may be during this period of confinement that 
the founilation of faer influence is laid; that in modest reserve and 
meditation her character is strengthened, and she comes forth cleansed 
in mind as well as body." 

We have lost these ancient and invaluable rites of initiation 
into manhood and womanhood, with their inestimable moral 
benefits; at the most we have merely preserved the sheila of 
initiation in which the core has decayed. In time, we cannot 
doubt, they will be revived in modern forma. 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 ia 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 distinftly penetrated by erotic and auto- 
erotic conceptions and impulses ; nearly all imaginative literature 
proceeds from the root of sex to flower in visions of beauty and 
ecatasy. 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. 



"the way to love among civilized peoples paeses through imagina- 
tioQ." All literature ie thus, to the adolescent soul, a part of 
sexual education,! It depends, to some 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 ie not of the large and humanizing order. 

All great liter«tiire touches nakedly and sanelj on the central facts 
of Bex. It is always consoling io remember this in en age of petty 
pruderies. And it is a. satisfaction to know that it nould not be pos- 
sible to emasculate the literature of the great agea, however desirable 
it might seem to the men of more degenerate ages, or to close the ave- 
nues to that literature against the young. All our religions 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 sexual 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 Aranon and Tamar, Lot and his daughters, Potiphar's 
wife and Joseph, etc., caused speculation and curiosity, apd gave them 
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 Bibl<!S to one another, with their Angers on the 
portions that interested them." In the same way many a young woman 
has borrowed Shakespeare in order to rend the glowing erotic poetry of 
VenUM and Adonis, 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 nominally 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 be a wholesome and 
tonic corrective to conventional pruderies. 

We must, indeed, ain-ays protest against the absurd confusion 

I The intimate relation of art and poetry to the sexual impulse 
has been realized in a fragmentary way by many who have not attained 
to any wide vision of auto-erotie activity in lite. "Poetiy is necessarily 
related to the sexunl function," says Metchnikoff (EsaitU Ootimislea, p. 
352), who also quotes with approval the statement of MSbius (pre- 
viously made by Ferrero and many others) that "artistic aptitudes must 
probably be considered as secondary sexual characters." 

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wkerebf nokednew of speech is regarded as equiv^ent 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 Bttou's statue from Westminster 
Abbey was under discussion. Lord Brougham "denied that Shakespeare 
vaa more moral than Bjron. He could, on the contrary, point out in a 
single page of Shakespeare more grossness than was to be found in alt 
Lord Byron's works." The conclusion Brougham thus reached, that 
Byron is an incomparably more moral writer than Shakespeare, ought 
to have been a sufficient rcduelio ad absardutn of h'u argument, but it 
does not appear that anyone pointed out the vulgar confusion into 
which be had fallen. 

It may be said that the special attractiveness which the nakedness 
of great literature sometimes possesses for young minds is unwholesome. 
But it most be remembered that the peculiar interest of this element is 
merely due to the fact that elsewhere there is an inveterate and abnoT' 
mal concealment. It must also be said that the statements of the great 
writers about natural things are never degrading, nor even erotically 
exciting to the young, and what Emilia Pardo Basan tells of herself and 
her 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 acioss her young imagination, is equally true of most children. 
It ia necessary, indeed, that these naked and serious things should be 
left standing, even if only to counterbalance the lewdly comic efforts to 
besmirch love and »ex, which are visible to ail in every low-class book- 
seller's shop window. 

This point of view was vigorously championed by the speakers on 
aexnal education at the Third Congress oF the German Gesellschaft zur 
BekSmpfuDg der Geschlechtakrankheiten in 1807. 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" { Sexual pudagogik, p. 00). Professor SchSfenacker 
{id., p. 9S) expresses himself in the same sense, and remarks that "the 
method of removing from school-books all those passages which, in the 
opinion of short-sighted and narrow-hearted schoolmasters, are unsuitcd 
for yoi'th, must be decisively condemned." Every healthy boy and girl 
who has reached the age of puberty may be safely allowed to ramble in 
any good library, however varied its contents. So fiir from needing 

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guidftuce they will luuatlj ahow t. much more refln«d taste than thdr 
elden. At this age, when the emotiona are still virginal and senaitive, 
the things that are realiitia, uglj, or morbid, jar on the yoting spirit 
and are east aside, though in adult lite, with the coarsening of mental 
texture which comes of years and experience, thia repugnance, doubtless 
by an equally sound and natural Instinct, may become much lesa acute. 
Ellen Key in Ch. VI of her Century of the Child well sonunarizeB 
the reaaons against the practice of selecting for children books that are 
"suitable" for them, a practice which ihe conBiders 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 
(or. His coaler senses are undisturbed by scenes that his elders find too 
aiciting, while even at a later stage it is not the nakedness of great 
literature, but much more the method of the modern novel, which is 
likely to stain the imagination, falsify reality and injure taste. It is 
concealment which misleads and coarsens, producing a state of mind in 
which even the Bible becomes a stimulus to the senses. The writings 
of the great masters yield the imaginative food which the child craTes, 
and the erotic moment in them is too brief to be overheating. It is the 
more necessary, Ellen Key remarks, for children to he Introduced to 
great literature, since they often have little opportunity to occupy them- 
selves with it in later life. Mi:ny years earlier Buskin, in Became and 
Liliet, had eloquently urged that even young girls should be allowed to 
range freely in libraHes. 

What has been said about literature applies eqitally to art. 
Art, as well as literature, and in the same indirect way, can be 
made a valuable aid in the task of sexual enlightenment and 
Bemal hygiene. Modem 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 
Bcnipture and in the paintings of the old masters of the Italian 
Bcbool. In this way they may be immunized, as Enderlin 
expresses it, against those representations of the nude which 
make an appeal to the baser instincts. Early familiarity with 
nudity in aii 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 remarks, "to enjoy peacefully nakedness in 
art, will be able to look on nakedness in nature as on a work of 

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CastH of elasaic nude statues and reproductiouH of the picturei of 
the old Venetiui and other Italian ma«terH may flttinglj be used to 
■dom schoolrooms, not so much as objects of iiutruction sb thingB of 
beautj' with which the diild cannot too early become familiarized. In 
Italy it la said to be usual for school olasses to be taken t^ their 
teachers to tb« art museums with good results; such visits form part 
of the ofDcEal scheme of education. 

There can be no doubt that such early familiarity with the beauty 
of nudity in classic art is widely needed among all social classes and in 
many countries. It is to this defect' of our education that we must 
attribute the occasional, and indeed in America and England frequent, 
occurrence of such incidents as petitions and protests against the 
exhibition of nude statuary in art museums, the display of pictures so 
inoffensive as Lei^^ton's "Bath of Psyche" in shop windows, and the 
demand for the draping of the naked per«>Difications of abstract virtues 
in architectural street decoration. So imperfect is still the education of 
the multitude that in these matters the ill-bred fanatic of pruriency 
usually gains his will. Such a state of tilings cannot but have an 
nnwholeaonne reaction on the moral atmosphere of the community in 
which it is possible. Even from the religious point of view, prurient 
prudery is not justifiable. Northcote has very temperately 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 
be condemned without qualiflcatton, and that the nude is by no means 
necessarily the erotic, but he also adds that eveu erotic art, in its best 
and purest manifestations, only arouses emotions that are the legitimate 
object of man's aapiratiooB. It would be impossible even to represent 
Biblical stories adequately on canvas or in marble if erotic art were to 
be tabooed (Rev, H. Northoote, Chrittianiti/ and Seas Problems, Ch, XIV). 

Early familiaril^ 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 procnre. Now this diffi- 
culty nq longer exists. Dr. C. H. Strati, of Tlie Hague, has been the 
pioneer in this matter, and In a series of beautiful books (notably in 
Der KoTper det.Kinde*, Die Schonheit dee WeiblfcAen Korpera and Die 
RMtenaehSnheit dee Weibes, all published by Enke in Stuttgart), he 
has brought together a large number of admirably selected photographs 
of nude but entirely chasU figures. Morerecently Dr. Shufeldt, of Wash- 
ington (who dedicates his work to Strati), has published his BtudUa 
of the Human Form In which, in the same spirit, he has brought 
together the results of his own studies of the naked human form during 
many years. It Is necessaiy to correct the impressions received from 



elaasic sources by good photographic illustratiooe on aoooimt of the falsi) 
conventloDB prevailing ia classic works, though those oonTentions were 
not necessarily false for the artists who originated them. The omission 
of tii« pudendal hair, in representations of the nude was, for instance, 
quite natural for the people of countries still under Oriental influence 
are accustomed to remove the hair from the hody. If, however, under 
quite different conditions, we perpetuate that artistic convention to-dtLf, 
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 HarriBOn [Nineteenth Century and 
After, Aug., 1907), "that its deliberate deflance to-day may arouse the 
bile of the least squeamish of men and should make women withdraw at 
once." It boys and girls were brought up at their mother's knees in 
familiarity with pictures of beautiful and natural nakedness, it would 
be impossible for anyone to write such silly and nhamefnl words as 

There can be no doubt tlist among ouiselves the simple and direct 
attitude of the child towards nakedness in so 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 ootmtrynifln with a grin, as he pointed to a photograph of one of 
Tintoret's most beautiful groups, "smoking cigarettes." And the mass 
of people in most northern eountries 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-hoy and the 

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The Greek Attitude Towards Nakednees — How the RomanB Modi- 
Bed That Attitude — The Influence of Christianity — Nakeduesa in Mediae- 
val Timea — Evolution of the Horror of Nakedness — Concomitant Change 
in the Conception of Nakedness — Prudery — The Romantic Movement — 
Rise of a New Peeling in Regard to Nakedness — The Hygienic Aspect . 
of Nakedness — How Children May Be Accustomed to Nakedness — ^Naked- 
ness Not Inimical to Modesty— The Instinct of Physical Pride— The 
Value of Nakedness in Education— The .-Esthetic Value of Nakedness — 
The Human Body as One of the Prime Tonics of Life — How Nakedness 
May Be Cultivated— The Moral Value of Nakedness. 

TuE diBcussion of the value of nakednesB in art leads ue on 
to the allied question of nakedness in nature. What is the 
psychological influence of familiarity with nakedness? How far 
should children be made familiar with the naked body? This is 
a question in regard to which different opinions have been held in 
different ages, and during recent years a remarkable change has 
begun to come over the minds of practical educationalists in 
regard to it. 

In Sparta, in Chios, and elsewhere in Greece, women at one 
time practiced gj-mna^tic 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. vili) a 
similar coeducation of tlie sexes and their cooperation in all the 
works of life, in part with a view to blunt the over-keen edge of 

- iThus Athemeus (Bk. «iii, 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 
■lao naked." 



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

It is noteworthy 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. Kudity to them was merely a licentious indulgence, 
to be treated with contempt even when it was enjoyed. It was 
confined to the stage, and clamored for by the populace. In the 

' Floralia, especially, the 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 Bomans, though 
thoy were eager to run to the theatre, felt nothing hut disdain 
for the performers. "Flagitii principium est, nudare inter cives - 
corpora," So tliought old Ennius, as reported by Cicero, and 
tiiat remained the genuine Boman feeling to the last. "Quanta 
perversitas t" as Tertullian exclaimed. "Artem magnificant, 
artificem notant."' In this matter the Bomans, 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 contrarj', 
had heightened it by imparting to it the additional fascination 

■ of a forbidden niysterj'. 

BurtOD, in his Analomn of Uelancholg (Part III, Sect II, Mem. II, 
Subs. IV), referring to tlie recommendations of Plato, adds; "But 
Eutebiua and Theodoret worthily Uah him for it; and irell they might: 



for ai one saith, the veiy eight of naked parte, oaiaeth enormous, 
exceeding eortcupitcenoes, and alin up both men and women to burnutf 
luet." Yet, as Burton himself adds further on in the same section of 
his work {Mem. V, Suba. Ill), without protest, "some are of opinion, 
that to BM ft woman naked, is able of itself to alter bis affection; and 
ft is worthjr of consideration, saith Montaigne, the Frenchman, in his 
Essays, that the skilfullest masters of amorous dalliance appoint for ft 
remedy of venereous passions, a full survej* of the body." 

There ought to be no question regarding the fact 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," says G. F. Scott Elliot (.1 
Kaluralitt in Mid-Africa, p. 30), "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 ornament and 
clothing was the stimulntion of sexual desire, and artists' models 
are well aware that when they are completely unclothed, they are most 
nafe from undesired masculine advances. "A favorite model of mine 
told me," remarks Dr. Shufeldt (Uedical Brief, Oct., 1904), the distin- 
guished author of Btudics of the Human Form, "that it was her prac- 
tice to disrobe as soon after entering the artist's studio as possible, tor, 
as men are not always responsible for their emotions, she felt that she 
was far less likely to arouse or excite them when entirely uude than 
when only semi-draped." This fact is, indeed, quite familiar to artists' 
models. If the conquest of sexual desire were the first and last oonsid- 
eratioD of life it would be more reasonable to prohibit clothing than to 
prohibit nakedness. 

When Christianity 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, thoroughly and completely, in the cloister. In the 
practice of the world outside, although tlie 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 "Tlie Evolution of Mod- 
esty," in vol. i of these Studie*. 



Even during the Christian era the impulse t« adopt nudity, often 
with the feeling that it wsa an especially sacred practice, has persierted. 
The Adamitea of tlie second centuiy, who read and prayed naked, and 
celebrated the sacrament naked, according to the statement quoted by 
Bt Augustine, seem to have caused little scandal m> long as they only 
practiced nudity in their sacred ceremonies. The Oennan Brethren of 
the Free Spirit, in the tliirteenth centuiy, combined so much chastity 
with promiscuous nalipdncxil tliat orthodox Catholics believed they were 
assisted by the Devil. The French Picards, at a much later dat«. 
insisted on public nakedness, believing that God had sent their leader 
into the world as a new Adam to reestablish the law of Nature; they 
were persecuted. and were finally e^tenninated by the Hussites. 

In daily life, however, a considerable degree of nakedness was 
tolerated during mediarel times. This was notably so in the public 
baths, frequented by men and women together. Thus Alwin Schultx 
remarlcs (in his Bii/itcke Lebm sur Zeit der iltnnei&nger) , that the 
women of the aristocratic classes, though not the men, were often naked 
in these baths except for b hat and a necklace- 
It is sometimes stated that in the medieval religious plan's Adam 
and Eve were absolutely naked. Chambers doubts this, and thinks they 
wore flesh-colored ti^ts, or were, ax in a later play of this kind, 
"apparelled in white leather" (E. K. Chambers, The Uedtwval Stage, 
vol. i, p. S). It may be so, but the public exposure even of the sexual 
organs was permitted, and that in aristocratic houses, for John of Salis- 
bury (in a passage quoted by Buckle, Commtmplo«« Book, S4I) protests 
against this custom. 

The women of the feminist sixteenth century in France, as R. de 
Maulde la Clavij^re remarks (Rcruc dc I'.lrf, Jan., IRDS), had no scruple 
in recompensing their adorers by admitting them to their toilette, or 
even their bath. Late in the century they became stilt less prudish, and 
many well-known ladies allowed themselves to be paints naked down to 
the waist, as we see in the portrait of "Oabrielle d'Gstrfes au Bain" at 
Chantiily. Uany of these pieturps, however, are certAinly not real 

Even in the middle of the seventeenth century in England naked- 
ness was not prohibited in public, for Pepys tells us that on July 29. 
1687, a Quaker came into Westminster Hall, crying, "RepentI RepentI" 
being in a state of nakedness, except that be was "very civilly tied 
about the privities to avoid scandal." (This was doubllcBs Solomon 
Eccles, who was accustomed to go about in this costume, both before and 
after the Restoration. He had been n distinguished musician, and, 
though eccentric, was apparently not insane.) 

In a chapter. "De In NuditC." and in the nppendices of his book, 
Dc I'imour (vol. i, p. 221), Senancour gives instances of the occasional 

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pT*ctice of nudity in Europe, and adds Bome interesting remarks of bis 
own; so, also, Dulaure [Dea Divinitf Oinirattio^ Ch, XV), It would 
SippeaT, as a rule, Uiat though complete nndi^ was allowed in other 
respects, it was usual to cover the sexual parts. 

Tlie movement of revolt against nakedness never became 
completely victorious until the nineteenth century. That cen- 
tury represented the triumph of all the forces that banned public 
nakedness everjTrhere and altogether. If, as Pudor insists, 
uakeduesB 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 ia in any case certainly interesting to observe 
that by this time the movement had entirely changed its char- 
acter. It had become general, but at the same time its founda- 
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 tlie 
spectacle of white limbs Sashing in the sunlight no longer felt 
like the medieval ascetic that he was risking the salvation of his 
immortal soul or even courting the depravation of his morals ; he 
merely felt tliat 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 sesthetics. 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 nakednecs was out of relation to the frivolous grounds on which 
he based it. 

Wo must not, however, under-rste 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 otJier word for it— with which Christian 
missionariee to savages all over the world, even in the tropics, insisted 
on their converts adopting the conventional clothing of Northern Europe. 
Travellers' narratives abound in references to the emphasis placed by 

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■niEsioDariea on thU change of custom, which was both injurious to tKe 
health of the people and degrading to their dignity. It ia sufficient to 
quot« one autiioritBtiTe witness. Lord Stanmore, formerly Governor of 
Fiji, who read a long paper to the Anglican Missionaiy Conference in 
1894 on the subject of "Undue Introduction of Western Ways." "In 
the centre of the village," he remarked In quoting a typical case 
[and referring not to Fiji but to Tonga), "is the church, a wooden 
bam-like 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 influ- 
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 
a visit be paid to the houses of the town, after the morning's work of 
the people is over, the family will be found nitting on chairs, listless 
and uncomfortable, in a room full of litter. In the houses of the 
superior native clergy there will be a yet greater aping of the manners 
of the West. Titers will be chairs covered with hideous anttmscassars. 
tasteless round worsted-work mats for absent fiower jars, and a lot of 
ugly cheap and vulgar china ehimne;- omements, 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 are 
Incurring any of the penalties entailed by Infraction of the long table 
of prohibitions, and whether they are living up to the foreign garments 
they wear. Their faces have, for the most part, an expression of sullen 
discontent, they move about silently and joylessly, rebels in heart to the 
restrictive code on them, but which they fear to cast off. partly from a 
vague apprehension of possible Rccular results, and partly because they 
suppose they will cease to be good Christians If they do so. They have 
good ground for their dissatisfaction. At the time when I visited thn 
villages I have specially in my eye, It was punishable by fine and impriji- 
onment to wear native clothing, punishable by fine and imprisonment to 
wear long hair or a garland of flowers; punishable by fine or imprison- 
ment U) wrestle or to play at ball; punishable by 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 obserration of the Salibath. 
it was punishsble bj' fine and imprisonment to bathe on Sundays. In 
some other places bathing on Sunday was punishable by flog^ng; and 

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to my knowledge women have been flogged for no other oflFense. Men in 
Bnch eircumatances are ripe for revolt, and sometimes the revolt comeB." 
An obvious result of reducing the feeling about nakedness to an 
unreasoning but imperative convention is the tendency to prudishness. 
This, as ire know, is a form of pseudo-modestj which, being a conven- 
tion, and not a natural feeling, is capable of unlimited extension. It is 
bj no means confined to modem times or to Christian Europe. The 
ancient Hebrews were not entirely free from prudishness, and we find In 
the Old Testament that by a curious euphemism the sexual organs nra 
sometimes referred to as "the feet." The Turks are capable of prudish- 
ness. So, indeed, were even the ancient Greeks. "Dion the philosopher 
t«ll8 US," remarks aement of Alexandria (Sfromofes, Bk. IV, Ch. XIX) 
"that a certain woman, Lysidica, through excess of modesty, bathed in 
her 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. becHuse they regard 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 "modesty" is imposed upon savages prudery tends to 
arise. Haddon describes this among the natives of Torres Straits, where 
even the children now suffer from exaggerated prudishness, though for- 
merly absolutely naked and unashamed (Cambridge Anthropological 
Expedition to Torret Btraitt, vol. v, p. 271). 

The nineteenth century, which witnessed the triumph ol 
limidity and prudery in this mtitter, also produced the first 
-fruitful germ of new conceptions of nakedness. To some 
extent these were embodied in the great Romantic moyement. 
Houaseau, 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 Ludnde of 
Friedrich Schlegel, a characteristic figure in the Romantic move- 
ment, a still unfamiliar conception of the body was set forth in 
a serious and earnest spirit. 

In England, Bleke with Ills strange and flaming genius. 

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

We find the importance of the eight of the body — though very nar- 
rowly, for the Kvoidanee of fraud in the preliminarieB of marriage — set 
forth as early as the sixteenth century hy Sir Thomas More in his 
Utopia, which is m rich in new and fruitful ideas. In Utopia, accord- 
ing to Sir Thomas More, before marriage, a staid and honest matron 
"ehoweth tha woman, be she maid or widow, naked to the wooer. And 
likewise a sage and discreet man exhibiteth the wooer naked to the 
woman. At this custom we laughed and disallowed it ae foolish. But 
they, on their part, do greatly wonder at the folly of alt other nations 
which, in buying a colt where a little money Is in hazard, be' so chary 
and circumspect that though he be almost all bare, yet they will not 
buy him unless the saddle and all the harness be taken off, lest imder 
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 after, 
tiiey be so reckless that all the residue of the woman's body being cov- 
ered with clothes, they estimate her scarcely 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, if anything in her body after- 
ward should chance to offend or mislike them. Verily, so foul deformity 
may be hid under these coverings that it may quite alienate and take 
away the 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 is nor 
remedy but patience. But it were well done that a law were made 
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 pnri^ng and ennobling function of beauty — is of much later 
date. It is not clearly expressed until the time of the Komantic move- 
ment at the beginning of the nineteenth century. We have it admirably 
set forth in Senancour's De VAmovr (first edition, 1806; fourth and 
enlarged edition, 1834), 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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nudity. "Let us Buppoee," be rem&rkB, somewhat in the spirit of 
Plato, "a country in which at certain general festivale the women 
should be aboolutelf free to be nearly or even quite naked. Swinuning, 
waltsiDfb walking, those who thought good to do bo might remain 
unclothed in the presence of men. No doubt the illusions of love would 
be little known, and passion would see a diminution of its transports. 
But is it passion that in general ennobles human affairsT We need 
honest attechmenta and delicate delights, and all these we may obtain 

while still preserring our common-sense Such nakedness 

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

From that time onwards references to the value and desirabiUfy 
of nakedness become more and more frequent in all civilized countries, 
sometimes mingled with sarcastic allusions to the false conventions W6 
have inherited in this matter. Thus Thoreau writes in his journal on 
June 12, 1852, as he looks at boys bathing in the river: "The color of 
tbeir 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 a singular fact for an angel visitant to this earth to carry back 
in his not«-book, that men were forbidden to espose their bodies under 
the severest penalties." 

Iwan Bloeh, in Chapter VII of his BeDmal Life of Our Time, dis- 
cuMes this question of nakedness from the modem point of view, and 
concludes; "A natural conception of nakedness; that is the watchword 
of the future. All the hy^enic, Kstbetic, and moral efforts of our time 
are pointing in that direction." 

Stratz, as befits one who has worked so strenuously in the cause 
of human health and beaut?, admirably seta forth the stage which we 
have now attained in this matter. After pointing out (Die Frauen- 
klmdung, 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 heights of the Cross, the naked 
body of the Saviour. L'nder that protection there has gradually disen- 
gaged itself from the confusion of ideas a new transHgiired form of 
nakedness made free after long struggle. I would call this artittie 
nakednett. for as it was immortalized by the old Greeks through art, so 
also among lis it has been awakened to new life '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 aen- 
sual irritation. But at the highest standpoint man consciously returns 
to Nature, and recognizes that under the manifold coverings of human 



fabrication ttaeie is hidden the moat aplendid creature that God haa 
creat«d. One may ataad in silent, worshipping wonder before the eight; 
another may be impelled to imitate and show to hja fellow-man what 
in that holy moment he has Been. But both enjoy the spectacle of 
human beauty with full consciouenesB and enlightened purity of 

It was not, however, so much on these more spiritual sidea, 
but on the side of hygiene, that the nineteenth century furnished 
its chief practical contribution to the new attitude towards 

Lord Monboddo, the Scotch judge, who was a pioneer in regard to 
many modem ideas, had already in the eighteenth century realized the 
hygienic value of "air-baths," and he invented that now familiar name. 
"Lord Monboddo," snya Boawell, in 1777 ILife of Johnion, edited by 
Hill, vol. iii, p. 168} "told me that be awaked every morning at four, 
and then for hia health got up and walked in bis room naked, with the 
window open, which he called taking ait aii-balA." It is said also, I 
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 hts study on hygienic grounds, and, it is recorded, once 
affrighted a servant-girl 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 established 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 phyaical and moral health." Man is not a fish, 
he declared; light and air are the first conditiona of a highly organized 
life. Solaria for the treatment of a number of different 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 ia beginning to be recognized that such influenecs can by 
no means be neglected. Dr. Fernand Sandoz, in his introduction A la 
Tkirapeatique Natariste par lea agenla PHj/iiquvt et Dielitiqaes (1907) 
aets forth such methods comprehensi\'eIy. In Germany sun-baths have 
become widely common;, thus Lenkei (in a paper summarized in Brtluh 
iledical Journal, Oct. 31, 1908) prescribes them with much benefit in 
tuberculosis, rheumatic conditions, obesity, annmia, neurasthenia, etc. 
He considers tliat 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 pRoriBHls," Briiitk Medioal Journal, Oct. 6, 1900), that 

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pBoriaaia is caused by deAciency of Buntight, and it best cured by the 
application of light This belkf, which has not, however, be«n generally 
accepted in its unqualified form, he ingeniously supports by the fact that 
psoriasis tends to appear on the most 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 nith the fact that (as Fvnes Moryson'a 
Itinerary shows) both sexes, even among persons of high social class, 
were accustomed to go naked except for a mantle, especially in more 
remote parts of the eouutrj-, as late as the seventeenth century. Where- 
evei 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 of other bad habits. "Nakedness is the only condition 
universal among vigorous and healthy eavages; at every other point per' 
haps they differ," remarks Frederick Borle in n paper {"Savages and 
Clothes," ilonthly Bevietc, Sept., 1B05) in which he brings together 
much evidence concerning the hygienic advantagea of the natural human 
state in which man is "all face." 

It is in Germany that a return towards nakedness has been moat 
ably and thoroughly advocated, notably by Dr. H. Pudor in his Tfackt- 
CuUur, and by R. Ungewitter in Die yacktheit (first published in 1005), 
a 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. Pudor insists more especially that 
"nakedness, both in gj-mnastics and in sport, is a method of cure and 
a method of regeneration;" he advocates co-education in this culture of 
nakedness. Although he makes large claims for nakedness — believing 
that all the nations which have ditreganipd these claims have rapidly 
become decadent — Pudor is leas hopeful than Ungewitter of any speedy 
■victory over the prejudices opposed to Ihc culture of nakedness. He 
considers that the immediate task is education, and that a practical com- 
mencement may best be made with the foot which is specially in neeii 
of hygiene and exercise; a lar^ pnrt of the first volume of his book is 
devoted (o the foot. 

Ab the matter is to-day viewed by those educationalists who 
are equally alive to sanitary and sexual considerations, the claims 
of nakedness, bo far as concerns the young, 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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the body; familiarity with the sight of the body sbolishea petty 
pnirieDcies, trains the sense of beauty, and makes for the health 
of the soiil. This double aspect of the matter has undoubtedly 
weighed greatly with those teachers who now approve of customs 
which, a few years ago, would have been hastily dismissed as 
"indecMit." There is still a wide difference of opinion as to the 
limits to which the practice of nakedness may be 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 cheek on any revolu- 
tionary changes in these matters. 

Maria Lischnewska, one of the ablest advocates of tbe methodical 
enlightenment of children in mattere of aez (op. oil.), clearly Tealizes 
that a sane attitude towards the body lies at the root of a sound educa- 
tion for life. She finds that the chief objection encountered In such 
education, as applied In the higher classes of schools, is "the horror of 
the civilized man at bis own body." She shows that there can be no 
doubt that those who are engaged in the difficult task of working 
towards the abolition of that euperstitioua 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, OetehleeKt und 
Qetellachaft, 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. He 
records his own early life in a tropical land and accustomed to naked- 
ness from the 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 
eonatantly told that there was something improper behind clothes, that 
I was able to understand this. L'i\til then I bad not known 

that a naked body, by the mere fact of being nak^, could arouse erotjc 
feelings. I bad known erotic feelings, but they bad not arisen from the 
sight of the naked body, but gradunllj blossomed from the union of our 
souls." And he draws the final moral that, if only for the sake of our 
children, we roust team to educate ourselves. 

Forel (Die RexvflU Frage, p. 140), speaking in entirely the same 
wnse as Oerhard, remarks that prudery may be either caused or cured 



in ohildren. It ta^y be caiued by undue aoxietj in covering their bodies 
«nd hiding from them the bodice of others. It may be cured hy nuikiDg 
them realize th&t there ie nothing in the body that is unnatural and 
that we need be aehamed of, and by encouraging bathing of the sexea in 
common. He points out (p. 512) the advantages ot allowing children 
to be acquainted with the adult forms which they will themselves some 
day aseume, and condemns the conduct of those foolish persons who 
assume 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 ap«rt from their 

At the Mannheim Congress of the Qerman Society for Combating 
Venereal Diseases, specially derated to sexual hygiene, the spesliers con- 
stantly referred to the necessity of promoting familiarity with the naked 
body. Thus Eulenburg and Julian Marcuse (SeieualpSdagogik, p. 2d4) 
cmphasiKe 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. Heller, a teacher, speaking at the same congress {op. eit, p. 
85), aftet insisting on fomiliarit}' with the nude in art and literature, 
and protesting against the ttowdlerising 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 fs only stirred by the naked in nature as by a work of art." Endcr- 
lin, another teacher, speaking in the same sense (p. 58), 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, Enderiin adds, for faroiliitrity with the nude in art to be 
learnt at school, for most of us, as Siebert remarks, have to learn purity 
through art. 

Kakedness iu bathing, remarks BOlsche in his lAebealeben in der 
Natttr (vol. iii, pp. 130 et seq.], we already in some measure possesst 
we need it in physical exercises, at first for the sexes Beparately, 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 other 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 (Z){« \acktkeit, p. 57) also advocates boys and girls 

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engaging in plaf and gymnaslics together, entirely naked in air-baths. 
"In this wa.v," be believes, "the gjtnuasiiim would become a school of 
morality, in which young growing things would be able to retain their 
purity as long as possible through becoming naturallj 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 those 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. Kudolf Sommer, 
similarly, in an excellent article entitled "Madclieneidehung oder Men- 
sclienhildungT" {Oeschlecht uiid Geaelhchaft, Bd. i, Heft 3) advises that 
children should be made aecustomed to each other's nakedness from an 
early age in the family life of the house or the garden, in games, end 
especially in t>athing; he remarks that parents having children of only 
one sex should cultivate for their childreu's sake intimate relations with 
a family having children of like age of the opposite sex, so that they 
may grow up together. 

It is scarcely necessary 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 the young 
to experience a diminished reverence for their own or others' per- 
sonalities the advantages of it would be too dearly bought. This 
is, in part, a matter of wholesome instinct, in part of wise train- 
ing. We now know that the absence of clothes has little relation 
with the absence of modesty, such relation as there is being of 
the inverse order, for the savage races which go naked are usually 
more modest than those which wear clothes. The saying quoted 
by Herodotus in the early Greek world that "A woman takes off 
her modesty with her shift" was a favorite text of the Christian 
Fathers. But Plutarch, who was also 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 estab- 

1 See "The Evolution of Modesty" in the first volume of these 
Btudie), where this question of the relationship of nakedness to modes^ 
is fully discussed. 

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lished traditions of rigid concealment have fostered a pruriency 
which is an offendve insult to naked modesty. In many lands 
the women who are accustomed to be almost 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, and 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 se.vual 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. 

Stanley Hall, who emphasizes the importance of nakedness, remarks 
that at puberty we have much reason to assume that in a etAte of nature 
there Js a certain instinctive pride and ostentation that accompanies the 
new local development, and quotes tbe otoervation of Dr. Seerley that 
the impulM to conceal the sexual organs is especially marked in young 
men who are underdeveloped, but not evident in those n-ho are developed 
beyond the average. Stanley Hall [Adolescence, vol. ii, p. 67), also 
refers to the frequency with which not only "virtuous young men, but 
even women, rather glory in occasions when they can display the beauty 
of their forms without reserve, not only to themselves and to loved ones, 
but even to others with proper pretexts." 

Many have doubtless noted this tendency, especially in women, and 

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110 P8TCH0L00T OF SEX. 

ehjeflj in thoM wbo are conscious of beautiful pbj'sieal development 
Madame Celine RenooE believe* tliat the tendency coiresponda to a really 
deep-rooted instinct in women, little or not at all manifested in men 
wlio have consequently aought to impose artificially on women their own 
masculine coneeptiouB of modesty. "la the actual life of the young girl 
to-day there is a moment when, by a secret atavism, she teela the pride 
of her lex, 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 conventions, 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" (Celine RenooE, 
Psychotogie Comparte de VUomme et de Ja Femme, pp. 85-87). Perhaps 
this was obscurely felt by the Oerman girl (mentioned in Kalbeck's lAfe 
of Brahma), who said: "One enjoys music twice as much as dfcolUtCe." 

From the point of view with which we are here eBsentially 
coDceined there are three ways in which the cultivation of 
nakedness — so far as it is permitted by the slow education of 
public opinion — tendt> 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 pmriency. (2) The effect 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 niled 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 girts concerning the problem of the physical conformation 
of the other eox, and the time, patience, and intellectual energ)' 
which they are willing to expend on the solution of this problem. 
This is mostly effected in secret, but not seldom the secret 
impulse manifests itself with a sudden violence which in the 
blind eyes of the law is reckoned as crime. A German lawyer. 
Dr. Werthauer, has lately stated that if there were a due degree 

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of familiarity with the natumt organs and fimctione of the 
opposite Bex ninety per cent, of tlie indecent acts of youths with 
girl children would disappear, for in most eases these are not 
assaults but merely the innocent, though uncontrollable, out- 
come of a repressed natural curioBity. It in quite true that not a 
few children boldly enlist each others' cooperation in the 
settlement of the question end resolve it to their mutual satis- 
faction. But even this is not altogether eatisfaetory, for the 
end is not attained openly and whole»>me]y, with a due sub- 
ordination of the specifically sexual, but with a consciousness of 
wrong-doing and an exclusive attentivenees to the merely • 
physical fact which tend directly to develop sexual excitement. 
When familiarity with the nailed 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 gymnastics, in running or in 
bathing, from a child's earliest yean:, no unwholesome results 
accompanying the knowledge of the essential facts of physical 
conformation thus naturally acquired. The prurience and 
prudery which have poisoned sexual life in the past are alike 
rendered impossible. 

Nakedness has, however, a hygienic value, as well as a 
spiritual significance, far beyond its influences in allaying the 
natural inquisitiveness of the young or acting as a preventative 
of morbid emotion. It is an inspiration to adults who have long 
outgrown any youthful cariosities. 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 Tlinton, "is no more bodily than the power of music is a 
power of atmospheric vibrations." It is more than all the 
beautiful and atimulatiog 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 nnd even disgusting spectacle 

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— IB witnessed by the eagerue^s witii whicb they seek after the 
spectacle of even its imperfect and meretricious forms, altliough 
these 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 Kladagascar 
at the annual Fandroon, or feast of the bath, laid aside their 
royal robes and while their subjects crowded the palace courtyard, 
descended the marble steps to the bath in complete nakedness. 
Wlien we make our conventions of clothing rigid we at once 
spread a feast for lupt and deny ourselves one of the prime tonics 
. of life. 

"I was feeling in despair and walking desponJently along a Mel- 
bourne street," writes the Australian aiitlior of a yet unpubliahed auto- 
biography, "when tiiree children came running out of a, lane and crossed 
the road in full daylight. The beauty and texture of their legs in the 
open air filled me with joy, so that I forgot alt my troubles whilst 
looking at them. It wna a bright revelation, an unexpected glimpse of 
Paradise, and I have never ceased to thank the happy combination of 
shape, pure blood, and fine skin of these poverty-stricken children, for 
the wind seemed to quicken their golden beauty, and I retained the rosy 
vision of their natural young limbs, so much more divine than those 
Btways under cover. Another occasion when naked young limbs made 
me forget all my gloom and despondency was on my first visit to 
Adelaide. I eamc 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 iiith joy and renewed hope. The tears came to my eyes, and I 
said to mj'self, 'While there is beauty in the world I will continue to 
struggle.' " 

Wb must, as BSlsche declares (loo. oit), ifbcustom ourselves to gaie 
on the naked human body exactly as we gaze at a beautiful flower, not 
merely with the pity with which the doctor looks Rt the body, but with 
joy in its strength and health and beauty. For a fiower, as BOlsche 
truly adds, is not merely "naked body." it is the most sacred region of 
the body, the sexual organn of the plant. 

"For girts to dance naked," said Hinton, "is 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 Greece, he elsewhere remarks, a« 
it is to-day in Japan (as more recently descriljed by Stratz). It is 
nearly forty years since these prophetic words were written, but Hinton 
himself would probably have been surprised at ttie progress which has 

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already been made slowly {for all tru« progms muat be slon) tovrardi 
this goal. Even on the stage new and more natural traditions are begin- 
ning to prevail in Europe. It ia not many years since an Englbb actreas 
r^arded as a calumny the statement that she appeared on the stage 
bare-foot, and brought an action for libel, winning Bubstantial damages. 
Sucb a result would scarcely be possible to-day. The movement in which 
Isadora Duncan was a pioneer hafl led to a partial disuse among dancers 
of the offensive device of tights, and it is no longer considered indecor- 
ous to show many parts of the body which It was formerly usual to 

It should, however, be added at the same time that, ivhile dancers, 
in BO far as they are genuine artists, are entitled to determine the con- 
ditions most 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 perfomiances, but 
tbey have nothing whatever to Jo with either Nature or art. Dr. Pudor, 
writing as one of the earliest apostles of the culture of nalcedness, has 
energetically protested against these performances (Beteual-Proileme, 
Dec., IB08, p. 828). He rightly points 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 artificial light, in the presence of 
spectators who are themselves clothed, has no eltment of morality atx>ut 
it Attempts have here and there been quietly 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 yaektkeit. 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 as comf6rtable as possible, the men laying aside their 
coats, waistcoats, boots and socks; the women their blouses, slcirta, 
shoes and stockings, Qraduatly, as the moral conception of nakedness 
developed in their minds, more and more clothing fell away, until the 
men wore nothing but bathing-drawers and the women only their 
chemises. In this 'costume' games were carried out In common, and a 
regular camp-life led. The ladies (some 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 light- and 
air-bath, and passed these splendid hours in joyous singing and dancing, 
in wantonly childish fashion, freed from the burden of a false civillza' 
tion. It was, of course, necessary to seek spots as remote as possible 
from higfa-roada, for fear of being disturbed. At the same time we by 

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114 P8YCH0LO0V OP 8EX. 

no meaiu failed in natural modesty and oonsideration towards one 
another. Children, who can be entirely naked, may be allowed to take 
part in mch meetings of adults, and will thus be brought up free from 
morbid prudery" (R. Ungewitter, Die Naokth^t, 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 is not based on 
any natural instinct. Dr. Shufeldt narrates In his Btudie* of the 
Human Form that once in the course of a photographic expedition in 
Uie woods he came upon two bOTE, naked except for bathing-drawers, 
engaged in getting water lilies from a pond. He found tbem 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 caught and arrested. We 
hare to recognize thut at the prFSent day the general popular aentiment 
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 roust show a due regard for this requirement. As 
concerns women, Valentin Lehr, of Freiburg, in Breisgau, has invented 
a costume (figured in Ungewhter's Die Nacktheit) which Is suitable for 
either public water-batha or nir-baths, because it meets the demand of 
those whose minimum requirement ia 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 ideal nor (esthetic, adequately covers the 
sexual regionn of the body, while leaving the arms, waist, hips, and legs 
entirely tree. 

There finally remains the moral aspect of nakedness. 
Although this has been emphasizecl by man}' during the past half 
century it is still unfamiliar to the majority. The human body 
ran never be a little thing. The wise educator may see to it 
that boys and girls are brought up in a natural and wholesome 
familiarity with each other, but a certain terror and beauty 
mnet always attach to the spectacle of the body, a mixed attrac- 
tion and repulsion. Because it lias this force it naturally calls 
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 papsion it is still 

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a challenge that calls out the ennobling qualities of eeli-control. 
It is but a poor sort of virtue that lies in fleeing into the deaert 
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 ue in the midst of civilization. We cannot dispense with 
passions if we would; reason, as Holhach said, is the art of 
choosing the right passions, and education the art of sowing and 
cultivating them in human hearts. The spectacle of nakedness 
has its moral value in. teaching us to leam to enjoy what we do 
not possess, a lesson which l^^ an esBentinl 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 learn to look at a 
woman's beauty and not desire to possess it. The joyoua 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 difficult. But it is not so. 
This impulse, like other human impulses, tends under natural 
conditions to develop temperately and wholesomely. We ari;i- 
fieially press a stupid and brutal hand on it, and it is driven into 
the two unnatural extremes of repression and licenae, 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 Greeks 
and the otlier finer tempered peoples of antiquity in realizing the 
moral, as well as the pedagogic, hygienic, and aesthetic advan- 
tages^ of admitting into life the spectacle of the naked human 

1 1 have not conBtdered it in place here to emphasize the Ksthetfc 
iofluence of familiarity with nakedness. The moBt testheUc nations (not- 
nblj the Greeks and the .Tapanese) have heen those that preserved n 
pertain degree of familiarity 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 nakedness." Ungcwitter insist on the advantage to the artist 
of being able to study the nnksd body in movement, and it may be worth 
mentioning that Fidus (Hugo Happcner), the German artist of to-day 
who has exerted great influence Yiy his fresh, powerful and yet reverent 
delineation of the naked human form in all its varying aspects, 
attributes his inspiration and vision to the fact that, as a pupil of 
Diefenbach, he was accustomed with his companions to work naked In 
the Bolitndes outside Munich which tiiey frequented (P. Enzensberger, 
"Ftdna," Deutaehe Eultur, Aug., 1S06). 

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body. But unless we do we hopelessly fetter ourselves 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, 
so to-day men are beginning to ask why the human body, the 
most divine melody at its finest moments that creation has 
yielded, should be allowed to become the perquisite of those who 
lust for the obscene. 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 
vicious conception of life and the consequent degradation of aex. 
These are considerations which we cannot longer afford to neglect, 
however great the opposition they arouse among the unthinking. 

"Folk are afraid of such things rousing the paBsions," Edward 
Carpenter remarks. "No doubt the things ma^ act that way. But whj, 
we may aak, should people be afraid of rousing passions which, after all. 
are the great driving forces of human life I" It is true, the same writer 
continues, our coDventional moral forroulM are no longer strong enough 
to control paesion adequately', and that we are generating steam in a 
boiI(!r that in cankered with rust. "The cure is not to cut ofT the pan. 
Hioiia, or to be weakly afraid of them, but to find a new, sound, healthy 
engine of general morality and common sense within which Uiey will 
work" (Edward Carpenter, Albang Review, Sept., 1907). 

So far as I am aware, however, it was James Hinton who chiefly 
nought to make clear the possjbilit;^ ol a positive morality on the basis 
of nakedness, beauty, and sexual influence, regarded as dynamic forces 
which, when suppressed, make tor corruption and when wisely used 
serve to inspire and ennoble life. Re worked out his thoughts on this 
matter in MSS., written from about 1870 to his death two years later, 
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 passagps: "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 
mi^t have sight of a pineapple unless he were rich enough to purchase 
one for hie particular eating, the sight and the eating being so indls- 
solubly joined. What lustfulness would surround them, what constant 

pruriency, what BtealingI .... Miss told us of her 

Syrian adventures, and how she went into a nv>od-carver's shop and he 

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would not look kt her; wai how she took up a tool tnd worked, till *i 
last he looked, and they both buiat out laughing. Will it not b« even 
wi with our looking at women altogether! There will oome a work — 
and at last we shall look up and both burst out laughing. .... 
When men eee truly what is amiBH, and act with reason and foretbought 
in respect to the sexual relatione, will they not insist on the enjoyment 
of women's beauty by youths, and from the earliest age, that the first 
feeling may be of beaufyT Will they not say, "We must not allow the 
false purity, we must have the true.' The false has been tried, and it 
is not good enough; the power purely to enjoy beauty must be gained; 
attempting to do with less Is fatal. Every instructor of youth shall 
say: This lieauly of woman, God'a chief work of beauty, it is good you 
see it) it is a pleasure that serves good; all beauty serves it, and above 
all this, for its ofSce is to make you pure. Come to it as 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 so. But if any ol you 
are impure, and make of it the feeder of impurity, then you should be 
ashamed and pray; It is not for yon our life can be ordered; it is for 
men and not for beasts.' This must come when men open their eyes, 
and act coolly and with reason and forethought, and not in mere panic 
in respect to the aexnal passion in its moral relations." 

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The CoDceptioD at Sesual Love — The Attitude of Mediteval Asceti- 
cism — St. Bernard and St, Odo of Cluny — The Ascetic Insistence on the 
Proximity of the Sexual anil Excretory Centres — Love aa a Sacrament 
of Nature — The Idea of the Impurity of Sex in Primitive Religions 
Generally— TheoTiee of the Origin of This Idea— The Anti-Ascetic Ele- 
ment in the Bible and Early Christianity-— Clement of Alexandria — St. 
Augustine's Attitude — The Recognition of the Sacredness of the Body 
by TertuUian, Ruflnua and Athanasiua — The Refonnstion — The Sexual 
Instinct r^arded aa Beastly — The Human Sexual Instinct Not Animal- 
like — Lust and Love — The Definition of Love — Love and Names for Love 
Unknown in Some Parts of the World — Romantic Lore of Late Develop- 
ment in the White 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 Ijore. 

It will be seen that the preceding discuesion of nakedness 
has a Bignificance beyond vhat it appeared to possess at the out- 
set. The hygienic value, physically and mentally, of familiarity 
with nafcedneea during the early years of life, however con- 
siderable it may be, is not the only value which such familiarity 
possesses. Beyond its testhetic value, also, there lies in it a moral 
value, a eouice of dj-namic energy. And now, taking a still 
further step, we may eay that it has a spiritual value in relation 
to our whole conception of the sexual impulse. Our attitude 
towards the naked human body is the test of our attitude towards 
the instinct of se."t. If our own and our fellows' bodies seem to 
ue intrinsically shameful or disgusting, nothing will ever really 
ennoble or -purify our conceptions of sexual love. Love craves 
the flesh, and if the flesh is shameful the lover must be shameful. 
"Se la coaa amata i vile," as Leonardo da Vinci profoundly 
said, "I'amante se fa vile." However illogical it may have been, 
there really was a justiflcation for the old Christian identification 
of the flesh with the sexual instinct. They stand or fall 

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together; we caimot d^^ade the one and ezalt the other. Ab 
our feelings towards nakedness are, so will be our feelings towards 

"Man is nothing else than fetid sperm, a sack of dung, the 
food of worms. . . . You have sever seen a viler dung-hill." 
Such was the outcome of St. Bernard's cloistered Mediiaiiones 
Piitsima.^ Sometimes, indeed, these mediieval monks would 
admit that the skin possessed a certain superficial beauty, but 
they only made that admission in order to emphasize the bideous- 
ness 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 skin, 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 
mediieval 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. 

1 Meditationt« PiititMC de Coffniiione Bumana Oottditionis, Mione's 
Patroloffia, vol. clzxiv, p. 489, cap. Ill, "De Dignitat« Aninu* et VilUaU 
Corporii." It may be worth while to quote more «t length the vigorous 
language ol the original. "Si diligenter considerea quid per os et uares 
caterosqne corporis meatus egrediatur, villus aterquilinum numquam 
vidiati. .... Attende, homo, quid fuiati ante ortum, et quid ea ab 
ortu usque ad oecaaum, atque quid eria jwet banc vitam. Profecto fuit 
quand non eras: postea de vili materia factua, et viliBsimo panno 
tnvolutus, menatruali sanguine in utero matenio fuiati nutritua, et 
tunica tua fuit peLlia secundtna. Nihil aliud est homo quam aperma 

fetidum, sBccue stercorum, cibus vermium Quid auperbis, 

puhia et cinis, eujus conceptua cula, naaci miseria, vivere pcena, mori 

2SeA (in Mifcnea' edition) 8. Odonit ablatU Cluniaeemia Colla- 
tionet, lib. il, cap. IX. 

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Even men of science accepted these conceptions and are, 
indeed, only now beginning to emancipate themaelveB from such 
ancient superstitions. R. de Graef in the Preface to his famoua 
treatise on the generative organs of women, De Mvlierum Organis 
Oeneratione Inservientibus, dedicated to Cosmo III de Medici in 
1673, considered it necessary to apologize for the subject of his 
work. Even a century later, Linnseus in hie great work. The 
System of Nature, dismissed as "abominable" the exact study 
of the female genitals, although he admitted the scientific 
interest of such investigations. And if men of science have 
found it diihcult to attain an objective vision of women we 
cannot be sui^trised that mediieval 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 hut not quite legitimately, 
based their asceticism largely on aesthetic 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 fseces et urinam nascimur," and 
Btill persistfl among many who by no means always associate it 
with religious asceticism.^ "As a result of what ridiculous 
economy, and of what Mephietophilian irony," asks Tarde,^ 
"haa 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 vilest 
corporal fimctions?" 

It may, however, be pointed out that this 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 DUhren (.Veue Forshntigen iiher die Marqait de Bade, pp. 432 <■( 
teq.) shown how the BBcetic view of woman's body persisted, for iDStance, 
in Schopenhauer and De Sade. 

2 In "The Evolution *f Modeaty." in the first volume of these 
Sludiea, end again in the fifth volume in discuaaing urolagnia in the 
study of "Erotic Rymboliam.'' the mutual reactions of the sexual and 
ewretory centres were fully dealt with. 

8"I« Morale Seiuelle," ArcMvra d' Anthropologic Criminette, Jan.. 

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metabolic processes of the body from one end to the other, 
whether regarded chemicallj or psychologically, are all inter- 
woven and all of equal dignity. We cannot separate out any 
particular chemical or biological process and declare : This is 
vile. Even what we call excrement still stores up the stuff of our 
lives. Eating has to some persona seemed a disgusting process. 
But yet it has been possible to say, with Thorean, that "the gods 
have really intended that men should feed divinely, as themselves, 
on their own nectar 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 
with are indeed first of all chiefly good to eat and drink with. 
So accumulated and overlapped have tlie centres of force become 
in the long course of development, that the mucous 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. T'ltimately 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 s'uch divinely gracious insignia 
of womanhood because of the potential child that hangs at them 
and sucks ; the large cui-ves 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 races — 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 passage through this channel of 
birth is a sacrament of Nature's more sacral 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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glimpses of such an inBight dow and again, first among the poets 
and later among the physicians of the Renaissance. In 1664 
Rolfinciiie, in his Ordo et Methodus Oenerationi Partium etc., at 
the outset of the second Part devoted to the sexual organs of 
women, sets forth what ancient writers have said of the Eleusinian 
and other mysteries and the devotion and purity demanded of 
those who approached these sacred rites. 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 histologist's 
microscope and the physiological chemist's test-tube have fur- 
nished them with a rational basis. It is no longer possible to 
cut Natnre in two and assert that here she is pure and there 

There thus appears to Le no adequate ground for agreeing with 
thosa who consider that the proximi^ of the generative and ezcretoiy 
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 
feelings have become morbidly unnatural. It may further be remarked 
that the anus, which is Uw more testheticaUy unattractive of tlie excre- 
tory centres, is comparatively remote from the sexual centre, and that, 
as R. Hellmann remarked many years ago in discussing this qneHtlon 
(Uehtr Oetchleohttfreihtil, p. 82): "In the first place, freshly voidod 
urine has nothing specially unpleasant about it, and in the second place, 
even if it bad, we mi|^t reflect that a roey moutb by no means loses its 
charm merely because it fails to invite « kiss at the moment when Its 
posMssor is vomiting." 

A clergyman writes suggesting that we may go further and find ■ 
positive advantage in this proximl^: "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 teluilogical or theological 
grounds I could not follow that line of reasoning. I think there is no 
need for disgust concerning the urinary organs, though I feel that the 

1 The above passu 
unpublished part of an 
issued in 1689. 

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■inus COD never be attractive to the normal mindi but th« uiiu is quit« 
separate from the genitals. I would suggest that the proximity serve* 
a good end in making the organs more or less secret except at times of 
Kxual emotion or to those in love. The result is acme degree of repul- 
sion at ordinary times and a strong attraction at times of sexual 
activity. Hence, the ordinary guarding of the parts, 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 everything is clean and good. The ascetic feeling 
of repulsion, if we go back to origin, is due to other than Christian 
influence. Christianity came out of Judaism which had no sense of the 
impurity of marriage, for 'imclean' in the Old Testament simply means 
■sacred.' The ascetic side of the religion of Christiani^ 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 Manldueans." I may add, however, that, as Northcot« paints 
out {ChriitiatUt]/ oiul 8ai Proltemt, p. 14), side by side in the (Hd 
Testament with the frank recognition of sexuality, there is 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 something impure and sinful in the things 
of sax, so Uiat those who would lead a religious life must avoid sexual 
relationships; even in India celibacy has commanded respect (see, e.g., 
Westermarok, Marriagt, pp. ISO et »eq.). As to the original 'foundation 
of this notion — which it is unnecessary to discuss moro fully here — 
many theories have been put forward; St. Augustine, in his f>e OMtat» 
Dei, seta 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 «-as thus banished from the sphere of domestic 
life a notion of its general impurity aross; Korthoote 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 an easy transition that sex came to be 
regarded as a tiling that ouj^t to be concealed, and, therefore, a sinful 
thing. (Diderot, in his BuppUment an 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 eirment In life, and, therefore, sinful. 

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It would, howeveT, be a miBtake to think that sacb men as 
St. Bernard and St. Odo of Cluny, admirably as they represented 
the ascetic and even the general Gbristian views of their own 
time, are to be r^rded aa altogether typical exponents of the 
genuine and primitive 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, mediieval Christianity reached the 
climax of its conquest over the souls of European men, in the 
establishmeitt 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 e.xhort to chastity and modesty than to 
direct a deliberate and systematic attack on the whole body ; they 
concentrated their attention rather on spiritual virtues than on 
physical imperfections. And if we go back to the Gospels we 
find little of the mediaeval ascetic spirit in the reported sayings 
and doings of Jesus, which may rather indeed be saifl to reveal, 
on the whole, notwithstanding their underlying asceticism, a 
certain tendemesa 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 the 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 eentut;, however, when the monaetic movement 
wag rapidl; developing, there were some who withstood the tendencies 
of the new naceticB. Thus, in 850, Ratramnus, the monk of Corbie, 
wrote a treatise (Li5er de eo quod ChrUtna em Yirgine natua ett) to 
prove tJiat Marj reallj gave birth to Jesus through her sexual organs, 
and not, as some high-strung persons were beginning to think could 
alone be possible, through the more conventionally decent breasts. The 
sexual organs were sanctified. "Spiritua sanctus . . . . et tbala- 
mum tanto dignum sponso aanctiflcavit et portam" (Acherv, Bpicikgium, 
vol. i, p. 68). 

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anily discouraged nakedness. The fact that familiarity with 
nakedneBs was favorable, rather than opposed, to the chastity to 
which it attached so 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 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 contrarj', indeed, some of the most distinguished 
of the Fathers, especially those of the Eastern Church who had 
felt the vivifying breath of Greek thought, occasionally expressed 
themselves on the subject of Nature, sex, and the body in a' 
spirit which would have won the approval of Qoethe or Whitman. 

Clement of Alexandria, with all the eccentricities of his over- 
subtle intellect, was yet the most genuinely Greek 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, had begun to overshadow life. 
**We should not be ashamed to name," be declared, "what God 
has not been ashamed to create."* It was a memorable declara- 
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 
religious basis harmonious to 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 he always strongly 
asserts the dignity of women, and also proclaims the holiness of 
marriage, a state which he sometimes places above that of 

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

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North African, but of Roman Cari^hage aud not of Greek Alex- 
andria — tbonght that he had a convincing answer to the kind of 
argument which Clement presented, and so great waa the force 
of his passionate and potent genius that he was able in the end to 
make his answer prevail. For Augustine sin was hereditary, and 
sin had its special seat and symbol in the sexual organe ; the fact 
of sin has modified the 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 moied by lust. At the same time 
Augustine by no means takes up the medieval ascetic position of 
contemptuous hatred towaj-da the body. Xothing can be further 
from Odo of Cluny than Augnstine's enthusiasm about the body, 
' even about the exquisite harmony of the parts beneath the skin. 
"I believe it may be concluded," he even says, "that in the cre- 
ation of the human body beauty was more regarded than 
necessity. In truth, necessity is 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 sex he would be 
willing to admit purity and beauty, apart from the inherited 
influence of Adam's sin. In Paradise, he says, had Paradise con- 
tinued, the act of generation would have been as simple and free 
from shame as the act of the 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 menstnial 
fluid is now ejected. There would not have been any words 
which could be called obscene, but all that might be said of these 
members would have been as pure as wliat is said of the other 
parts of the body,"^ That, however, for Augustine, is what 

>D€ CiEtlate Dei, lib. sxn, cap. XXIV. "There is no need." he 
BSjH again (id., lib. xiv, cap. V) "that in our eiaa and vice* we necuBe 
tlie nature of the flesh to the injiirj' of the Creator, for in its oivn kind 
and degree the flesh is good." 

2 St. Augustine, De Civilatc Dfi, lib. xiv, cap. XXIII-XXVI. 
ChiyBostom and Gregory, of Nyaaa, thought that in Paradise human 
beings would have multiplied bv special creation, but such is not th« 
accepted Catholic doctrine. 

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might have been in Paradise where, as be belieTed, sexoftl desira 
had no existence. As 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 ahould have gone 
further on tliis road and believed that while God made man down 
to the navel, the rest was made by another power; Buch heretics 
have their deeceodante among us even to-day. 

Alike in the Eastern and Western Churches, however, both 
before and after Augustine, though not so often after, great 
Fathers and teachers have uttered opinion? which recall those 
of Clement rather than of AugUBtlne. We cannot lay very much 
weight on the utterance of the extravagant and often contradic- 
tory Tertulliaa, but it is worth noting that, while he declared 
that woman is the gate of hell, he also said that we must approach 
N'ature with reverence and not with blushes. "Xatura veneranda 
est, non erubescenda." "No Christian author," it has indeed 
been said, 'Tias so energetically spoken against the heretical con- 
tempt of the body as Tertullian. Soul and body, according to 
Tertullian, are in the closest association. The soul is the life- 
principle of the body, but there is no activity of the soul which is 
not manifested and conditioned by the flesh.''^ More weight 
attaches to Eufinug Tpannius, the friend and fellow-student of 
St. Jerome, m the fourth century, who wrote a commentary on 
the Apostlefl' Creed, which was greatly esteemed by the early and 
medissval 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, 
Itufinus replies that Clod created the sexual organs, and that "it 
is not Nature but merely human opinion which teaches that these 
parts are obscene. For the 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 

I W. Capitainr. Die Jloral det CUmeta von Ahavndrien, pp. 112 tl 
leg. Without the body, Tertullian declared, there could be no virrinity 
and no salvation. The mul itself is corporeal. He carries. Indeed, hit 
ideft of the omnipresence of the body to the absurd. 

SBuSnua, Cotnmentariut in Bymbolvnt Apogtoloriim, cap. XII. 

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indeed, but naturally and simply, like Clement, and not, like 
Augustine, through the distorting medium of a theological sys- 
tem. Athanasius, in the Eastern Church, spolie in the same sense 
as Rufinus in the Western Church, A certain monk named 
Amun had been muck grieved by the occurrence of seminal emis- 
sions during sleep, and he wrote to Athanasius to inquire if such 
ctnissions are a sin. In the tetter 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? JIan is the hand- 
work of God. There is certainly nothing in us that is impure."* 
We feel as we read these utterances that the seeds of prudery and 
pruriency are already ahve in the popular mind, but yet we see 
also that some of the most diatinguislied thinkers of the early 
Christian Church, in striking contrast to the more morbid and 
narrow-minded mediaeval 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 
first 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 mediasval 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 condenmed 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. There are many, it may be added, 
who find it a matter of consolation that in following the natural 

1 Migne, Patrologia Grava, vol. xxvi, pp. 1170 et aeq. 

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

It is Bcaroelf necesaaiy to renuirk that when we turn from Chrla- 
tianity to the other great world- religions, we do not luuallf meet with 
so ambiguoua an attitude towards sex. The Mahommedaaa were as 
emphatio in asserting the sanctity of aex as they were ia asserting 
physical cleanliness; the? were prepared to carry the fimctioDS of sex 
into the future life, and were never worried, as Luther end so many 
other Christians hare been, ooncerning tfae 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 seema never to 
have entered into the heads of the Hindu iegisiators." said Sir William 
Jones long since (Worki, vol. ii, p. 311), '^that anything natural could 
be offensively obecene, a singnlarity which pervades all their writings, 
but is no proof of the depravity of Uieir morals." The sexual act has 
often bad 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- 
alok^eal sexual characters of women been studied with such minute and 
adoring reverence. "Lore in India, both as regards theory and practice," 
remarks Richard Schmidt [Beitrage mir litdUohen Erotik, p. 2) "pos- 
sesses an importance which it is impossible for us even to conceive." 

In Proteetant coantries the infinence of the Beformation, by 
rehabilitating sex as oatural, indirectly tended to substitute in 
popular feeling towards eex the opprobriom of sinfulness by the 
opprobrium of animality. Henceforth the sexual impulse must 
be disguised or adorned to become respectably human. This may 
be illustrated by a passage in Pepys's Diary in the seventeenth 
century. On the morning after the wedding day it was cus- 
tomary to call up new married couples by music; the absence of 
this music on one occasion (in 1667) seemed to Pepys "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 
disguises 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 



not so much that it is "sinful" as that it is ''beastly." It is 
regarded as that part of man which most closely allies him to the 
lower animals. 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 animals, for in animals nnder 
natural conditions the sexual instinct is strictly subordinated to 
reproduction and very little susceptible to deviation, so that from 
the standpoint of tliose who wish to minimize sex, animals are 
nearer to the ideal, and such persons must say with Woods Hutch- 
inson: "Take it altogether, our animal ancestors have quite as 
good reason to be ashamed of us 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 impulses of sex 
are among the least animal-like acquisitions of man. The human 
sphere of sex differs from the animal sphere of sex to a singularly 
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 r^rds vision and hearing, there are many animals that 
are more keen-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 so sensitive, so highly 
developed, so varied in its manifestations, so constantly alert, so 
capable of irradiating the highest and remotest parts of the 
organism. The sexual activities of man and woman belong not 
to that lower part of our nature which degrades us to the level of 
the "brute," but to the higher part which raises us 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 

> Even in physical conformatioii tbe human sexual organs, when 
compared with tliose of the lower aniuialH, show marked differences (see 
"The Mechanism of Detumescence," in the fifth volume of these Studiet). 

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that we find sex referred to as "beetial" or "the animal part of 
our nature."' But since vomen are the mothers and teachers of 
the human race this is 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 the matter, if they admit that 
semal love may be either beautiful or disgusting, and that either 
view is equally normal and legitimate. "Listen 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 thing: 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 the other the golden nails from which all the 
rest of conduct and existence is suspended, the things that alone 
give humao 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, b 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 he 
haa personally set before himself. He may still remain theoreti- 
cally in harmony with the universe to which he belongs. But to 

1 It may perhaps be as we)l to point out, with Fotel (Die Bexuelle 
Frage, p. 208), that the word "bestial" is generally used quite incorrectly 
in this conneclion. Indeed, not only for the higher, but also for the 
lower manifeetation of the aexual impulse, it would UBUally be more 
correct to use instead the qualification "human." 

^hoo. tnt., Anliivet d'A.nthropologie Criminelle, Jan., 1907, 

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132 PsTcaOLOoY ot sex. 

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

There are many vbo seek to concilate prejadice and reason 
in their valuation of sex by drawing a sharp diatinction between 
'luaf and "love," rejecting the one and accepting the other. It 
is quite proper to make such a diatinction, but the manner in 
which it is made will by no means usually bear examination. We 
have to define what we mean b; "luBt" and what we mean by 
"love," and this is not easy if they are regarded as mutually ex- 
clusive. It is sometimes said that "lust" must be underatood as 
meaning a reckleBs indulgence of the sexual impulse without 
r^rd to other considerations. So understood, we are quite safe 
in rejecting it. But that is an entirely arbitrary definition of the 
word. "Lust" is really a very ambiguoiu 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, 
"lust" 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 
same as though we should always aaaume that the word "hungry" 
had the ofFensive meaning of "greedy." The result baa been that 
sensitive minds indignantly reject the term "lust" in con- 
nection with love.^ In the early use of onr 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 haa, however, become colored and susppct from an early period 
in the hiatory of Chrigtianitv. St. Augustine [De Civitate Dei, lib. xiv, 
cap. XV), while admitting that libido or luet 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. 

SHinton wetl illuatrates this feeling. "We call by the name of 
Inst," he declares in his MSS., "the most simple and natural desires. 
We mig^t BB well term hunger and thirst 'lust' as so call sex-passion, 
when eipreeaing simply Nature's prompting. We miscall it 'lust.' cruelly 
libelling those to whom we ascribe it, and introduce absolute disorder. 
For, by foolishly confounding Nature's demands with lust, we insist upon 
rMtraint upon her." 

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original and proper place, which still remains vacant, the attempt 
at Boch a reetoratioa scarcely eeems a hopeful task. We have 
so deeply poisoned the springs of feeling in these matters with 
mediasTal 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 80 extensive in its range that in Knglish and French and 
most of the other leading languages of £arope, it is equally cor- 
rect to "love" God or to "love" eating. 

Love, in the sexnal sense, is, summarily considered, a syn- 
thesis of lust (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 other 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 ttntil lust is expanded 
and irradiated that it develops into the exquisite and enthralling 
fiower 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 phaner- 
gamous and expanded enormously into form and color and 

While "lust" is, of course, known all over the world, and there are 
•verjwhere wordi to deBignate it, "iove" is not universallj known, and 
in mxoj lapguagea there are no words for 'love." The failures to find 
love are often remarkable and unexpected. We ma,j find it where we 

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least expect it. Sexual desire became idealised (as 8ergi has pointed 
out) even by aome animala, eapecially birds, for when a bird pines to 
death for the loss of its mate tbls cannot be due to the uncomplicated 
instinct of sex, but must involve the interweaving of that instinct with 
the other elements of life to a d^ree which Is rare even among the most 
civilised men. Some savage races aeem to have no fundamental notion 
of love, and {like the American Nahuas) no primary wnrd for it, while, 
on the other hand, in Quichua, the language of the ancient Peruvians, 
there are nearly six hundred combinations of the verb miinay, to love. 
Among some peoples lore seems to be confined to the women. Letoumeau 
{L'Evoliition Littfraire, p. 529) points out that in various 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 chiefly among women (Zeitachrift fiir 
8oeialu>i»»enaehaft, 1899, p. S7S). Not a few savages possess love- 
poems, as, for instance, the Suahali (Velten, in his Proaa und Poeiie 
der Buahali, devotes a section to love-poems reproduced in the Suahall 
language). D. G. Brinton, In an intereuting paper on "The Concep- 
tion of Love in Bome American Languages" (Prooeedingg American 
Philosophical Bociety, vol. xxiii, p. 646, 1886) states that the words 
for lore in these languages reveal four main waye 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 same 
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 in developing their 
conception of sexual love, Brinton remarks that the American Mayas 
must be placed above the peoples of early Aryan culture, in that they 
possessed a radical word for the joy of love which was in significance 
purely psychical, referring strictly to a mental state, and neither to 
similarity nor desire. Even the Greeks were late in dei'eloping any ideal 
of sexual love. This has been well brought out by E. F. M. Benecke in 
his Anlimachua of Colophon and the Potilion of Women in Greek Poetry, 
a book which contains some hazardous Bssertions, but is highly instruc- 
tive from the present point of view. The Greek lyric poets wrote prac- 
tically no love poems at all to women before Anacreon, and his were 
only written in old age. True love for the Greeks wae nearly always 
homosexual. 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." ^schylus makes even a father assume that his daughters 
will misbehave it left to themselvea. There Is no sexual love in Sopho- 

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dee, and in Euripides it is oiiI]r the women who fall in lore. Benecke 
concludes (p. 6T) that in Greece sexual love, down to a comparatively 
later period, was looked down on, and held to be unworthy of public dis- 
cussion and representation. It was in Magna Orscla rather than in 
Greece itself that men took interest in women, and it was not until the 
Alexandrian period, and notably In Aaclepiadea, Benecke maintains, that 
the love of women was regarded as a matter of tifa and deatb. There- 
after the conception of sexual love, in ita romantic aspects, appears in 
European life. With the Celtic story of Tristram, as Gaston Paris 
remarks, it Anally appears in the Christian European world of poetiy 
ai 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 the ballad of "Glas- 
gerion" was written, we see it is assumed that a churl's relation to his 
mistress is confined to the mere act of sexual intercourse; he fails to 
kiss her on arriving or departing; it is only the knight, 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, Bloch states (Se»ueIIe6en unserer Zeil, p. 29), following E. 
B. Meyer, that the word "love" is unknown among the masses, and only 
its coarse counterpart recognieed. 

On the other side of the world, in Japan, sexual love seems to be 
in as gjeat disrepute as it was in ancient Greece; thus Misa Tsuda, a 
Japanese head-mistresa, and herself a Christian, remarks (as quot^ by 
Mrs, Fraser in World'a Work and Play, Dec., 1906); "That word 
'love* has been hitherbi a word unknown among our girls, in the foreign 
sense. Duty, aubmlssion, kindneas — these were the sentiments which a 
girl waa expected to bring to the huaband who had been chosen for her — 
and many happy, harmonious marriages were the result. Now, your 
dear sentimental foreign women say to our girls: 'It is wicked to marry 
without 'lore; the obedience to parents in such a case is an outrage 
against nature and Christianity. If you love a man you must aacriflce 
eveTything to marry him.' " 

When, however, love is fully developed it becomes an enormoualy 
extended, highly complex emotion, and luat, even in the best sense of 
that word, becomes merely a coSrdinated element among many other 
elements. Herbert Spencer, in an interesting passage of his Principlea 
of Psychology (Part IV, Ch. VIII), haa analyzed love into as many as 
nine distinct and important elemente; (1) the physical impulse of 
sex; (2) tlie feeling for beauty; (3) affection; (4) admiration and 
respect; (5) love of approbation; (6) sel[-est«em; (7) proprietary 
feeling; (S) extended liberty of action from the absence of personal 
barriers; (9) exaltation of the sympathies. "This passion," he con- 
cludes, "fuses into one inimenae aggregate most of the elementary excita- 
tions of which we are capable." 

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It is scarcely necessary to say that to define sexual lore, or 
even to analyze its composente, is by do means to explain its 
mystery. We seek to satiafy 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 Bonstetten many years ago, "yet there is no subject 
more mysterious. Of that which touches us most nearly we 
know least. We measure the march of the stare 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. 
We 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 a 
kind of magnetism, or as a variety of chemical afiOnity, 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, ^close 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: "Everything that touches you becomes 
to me mysterious 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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particular woman — what ioBanity ! And yet that is what I feel."* 
That love is a natural ineanity, a temporary delusion which 
the individual is compelled to suffer for the sake of the race, ia 
indeed an explanation that haB suggested itself to many who have 
been baffled by this myatery. 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 ecetacy of love they imagine that they are 
seeking their own happiness. But it is not so, said Schopen- 
hauer ; they are deluded by the genius of the race into the belief 
that they are 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 
paeaion and renouncing the counsels of cautious prudence the 
youth and the girl are really sacrificing their chances of 
seltish 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 lees 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 imdone, 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 Sevaml centuries earlier another French writer, the diatinguiBhed 
phTsician, A. Idurentius (Dee LaurenB) in his Hialoria Anatomica 
Eumani CorporU (lib. viii, QtUMtio Til) had likewise puiiled over "the 
incredible deaire of coitus," and asked how it was that "that divine 
animal, full of resBon and judgment, which we call Man, Bhonld he 
attracted to those ohscene 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 mysterj of this problem has peculiarlj' appealed 
to the French mind. 

a Schopenhauer, Die Welt aU WUle Hnd Vwatellung, toI. il, pp. «08 

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the qualities that Bbe possesaee or fails to poesees. In first love, 
occurring in youth, such deception is perhaps entirely normal, 
and in certain suggestible and infiammable types of people it ia 
peculiarly apt to occur. This kind of deception, although far 
more frequent and conspicuous in matters of love — and more 
EeriouB because of the tightness of the 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.^ 

Borne writers seem to confuM the liability in mBtters of love to 
deception or diBappointment with the Urger question of b met&phjBical 
illuaion in Schopenhauer's sense. To Bome extent this coofiuion per- 
haps exists in the discussion of love bj Renouvier «nd Prat in Im 
youvelle Monadoloffie (pp. 218 et teq.). In considering nhetber love ia 
or is not a delusion, they answer that it is or is not according as we 
are, or are not, dominated bj Belfishness and injustice. "It waa not an 
essential error which presided over the creation of the idol, for the idol 
is only what in all things the ideal is. But to realise the ideal in love 
two persona are needed, and therein iB tiie great difficulty." We are 
never juatiSed. they conclude, in casting contempt on our love, or even 
on its object, for if it ia true that we have not gained possession of the 
Hovereign bean^ of the world it is equally true that we have not 
attained a degree of perfection that would have entitled ns justly to 
claim BO great a prize." And perhaps moBt of us, it may be added, must 
admit in the end, if we are honest with ourselves, that the prizes 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 arc illusions. In that sense 

1 "Perhaps there is wnrcely a man," wrote Malthua, a clergyman 
as well as one of the profoundest thinkers of his day {Ettag on lh« 
Principle of Population, 1798, Ch, XI), "who has once experienced the 
genuine delight of virtuous love, however great his intellectual pleasurea 
may have been, that does not look back to the period as the sunny spot 
in his whole life, where his imagination loves tJi beak, which he recol- 
lects nnd contemplates with the fondest regrets, and which he would 
most wish to live over again. The superiority of Intellectual to sexual 
pleasurei consists rather in their fllllng up more time, in their having 
a larger range, and in their being less liable to aatiate, than in their 
being more real and eBsential." 

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the Gospel of Buddha ia justified, and we may recognize the in- 
epiration of Shakespeare (in the Tempest) and of Calderon (in 
La Vida es Sueho), who felt that ultimately the whole world is 
an insubstantial dream. But short of that large and ultimate 
viBion we cannot accept illusion ; we cannot admit that love is a 
delusion in some special and peculiar sense that men's other 
crarings and aspirations escape. On the contrary, it is the most 
solid of realities. All the progressiTe forms 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 aoimal 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 social feelings, our morality, our religion, our poetry and 
art — are, in some degree at least, also built up on the impulse of 
ses, and would have been, if not non-existent, certainly altogether 
diSerent 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 fill into the trap of 
a shallow cynicism. Love is only a delusion in so far as the 
whole of life is a delusion, and if we accept the fact of life it is 
unphiloBophical to refuse to accept the fact of love. 

It is unneceaiBij here to magnify the functions of love in the 
world; it is sufficient to inveBtigat« its workings in its own proper 
sphere. It may, however, be worth while to quote a few expressions of 
thinkers, belonging to various schools, who have pointed out what 
seemed to them the far-ranging significance of the sexual eraotiona for 
the moral life. "The passions are the heavenly Are which gives life to 
the moral world," wroto Helvetius long since in De VEtprit. "The 
activity of the mind depends on the activity of the passions, and it is 
at the period of the passions, from the age of twenfy-flve to thirty-five 

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or forty that men sre capable of the greatest efTorti of virtue or of 
geniua." "What touches Bex," wrote Zola, "touches the centre of BOcEal 
life." Even our regard for the praise aod blame of others has a sexual 
origin, Profeasor Thomas argues {Psychological Revieui, Jan., 1904, pp. 
61-67), and it is love wbicb is the source of suaceptjbilitj' generally and 
of the altruistic side of life. "The appearance of sex," Professor Woods 
Hutchinson attempts to show ("Lore as a Factor in Evolution," Moniat, 
18B8), "th« development of maleneas and femaleness, was not onl7 the 
birthplace of affection, the well-spring of all morality, but an enormous 
economic advantage to the race and an absolute necessity of progress. 
In it first WB find any comeious longing for or active impulse toward a 
fellow creature." "Were man robbed of the instinct of procreation, and 
of all that spiritually springs therefrom," exclaimed Maudsley in his 
Phytiologg of Mind, "that moment would all poetry, and perhaps also 
his whole moral sense, be obliterated from his life." "One seems to 
oneself transfigured, stronger, richer, more complete; one is more com- 
plete," says Nietzsche {Der Wille ear Maoht, p. 3S9), "we find here art 
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 is worth 
more, is stronger. In animals this condition produces new weapons, 
pigments, colors, and forms, above alt 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 I L'Art poor Fart perhaps, the quacking vir- 
tuosity of cold frogs who perish in their marsh. All the rest is created 
by love." 

It would be easy to mulUply citations tending to show how many 
diverse thinkers have come to the conclusion 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 undoubtedly true that, as we have Been when diacussing 
the erratic and imperfect dietributioD 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 sexual exaltation. The difference between 
the knight and the churl still subsistB, and both may sometimes 
be found in all social strata. Even the refinements of sexual 
enjoyment, it is unneceeeary to insist, quite commonly remain on 

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a merely pbyeical baeis, 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 feeling. The personal reality of love, its importance 
for the individual life, are facts that have heen testified to by 
some of the greatest thini^ers, after lives devoted to the attain- 
ment of intellectual labor. The experience of Benan, who 
toward the end of his life set down in his remarkable drama 
L'Ahbesse de Jouarre, hia 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 
htB 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 his death, took up a volume of hia own Mecantque 
Celeste, and said: "All 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 Kowalewsky, 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 than most women, and yet the most insignificant 
women are loved and I am not." Love, they all seem to say, is 

." Forel remarka {Die Semielle Frage, 
p. 307), "are but slightly receptive to the intoxication of love; thej ar« 
at most on the level of the gourmet, which te b; no means necessarily 
an inunoTat plane, but is certainly not that of poetry." 

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the one thing that is supremely worth while. The greatest and 
moat brilliant of the world's intellectual giants, in theit moments 
of final insight, thus reach the habitual level of the hnmble and 
almost anonymoQs persons, cloistered from the world, who wrote 
The Imitation of Christ or The Letters of a Portuguese Nun. 
And how many others ! 

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Chastitj EsBCntial to the Dignity of Love— The Eighteenth Century 
Revolt Agttiuat the Ideal of Cfaaedty — Uonatural FonuB of Chastity — 
The Psychological Basis of Asc«ticlBm — Asceticism and Chastify as 
Savage Virtues — The BigniGcance of Tahiti — Chastity Among Barbarous 
Peoples — Chastity Among the Early Christiana — Struggles of the Saints 
with the Flesh— The Romance of Christian Chastity — Its Decay in 
dediaval Times — Auciuain et yieolette and the new itomance of Chaste 
Love — The Unchastity of the Northern Barbarians — The Penitentials — 
Influence of the Renaissance and the Reformation — The Revolt Against 
Virginity as a Virtue— The Afodem Conception of Chastity as a Virtue 
— The Influences That Favor the Virtue of Chastity — Chastity as a Dis- 
cipline — The Value of Chastity for the Artist — Potency and Impotence 
in Popular Estimation — The Correct Definitions of Asceticism and 

The supreme ImportaDce of chastity, and even of asceticism, 
has sever at aoj time, or in any greatly vital hnmaa society, 
altogether failed of recognition. Sometimes chastity has been 
exalted in human estimation, sometimes it has been debased; it 
bae frequently changed the nature of its manifestations; but it 
has always beai 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 his 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 ia in the last stages of degeneration. 
Chastity has for sexual love an importance which it can never 
lose, least of all to^ay. 

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 Buffon refused to recognize chastity as an 




ideal and referred Bcomfully to "that kind of insanity which has 
turned a girl's virginity into a thing with a real exiBtence," while 
William Morris, in hia downright manner, once declared at a 
meeting of the Fellowship of the New Life, that asceticism is "the 
most disgusting vice that afflicted human nature." Blake, 
though he seems 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 sexual 
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 said of James Hmton.' 

But all these men — with other men of high character who 
have pronounced similar opinions — ^were reacting against false, 
decayed, and conventional forms 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 mthlesBly 
cast aside all the unnatural and empty forms of chastity. If 
chastity is merely a fatiguing effort to emulate in the seicual 
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 abstineice it involves, then 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 OD 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 forms, then it is 
simply an unreality based on misconception. And if it is merely 
an external acceptance of conventions without any further 

I For Blake and for Shelley, as vk\l as, it may be added, for Hin- 
ton, chastfty, as Todhunter remarkB in his Study of Shelley, ia "a type 
of aubtnJBsion to the actual, a renunciation of the inllnite, and is there- 
fore hated by them. The chaBf« man, i.e., the man of prudence and arlf- 
oontrol, ia the man who has lost the nakedness of hia primitive 



acceptance, even in act, then it is a coutemptible farce. These 
are the forms of chastity which during the past two centuries 
many fine-souled men have vigorouely rejected. 

The fact that chastity, or aBceticism, is a real virtue, with 
fine uses, hecomes evident when we realize that it haa 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 important ends. The ability to bear pain and 
restraint is nearly always a main element in the initiation of 
youths 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 
energy. 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 dUBcult 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 Anthropological Inatitule. Jan.-June, 
190S, pp. 143'14S) gives ftn intereating account of the self-discipline 
undergone by those among the Saiish Indians of British Columbia, who 
seek to ju^uire eharaanistic powers. The psycbio 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 Studiet, "The Sexual Instinct in 
Savages." Cf. also Chs. IV and VII of Westermarck's BUiory of 
Human Marriage, and also Clis. XXXVIII and XLI of the same author's 
Origin and Development of the Moral Ideat, vol. iij Frazer's Oolden 
Bough contains much bearing on this subject, as also Crawley's Mystie 

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ing on these meu, ujs Hill Tout, is undoubted. "It enables them 
to undertake and uscompHsh fe«ts of abnonnal strength, agilitj, and 
endurance; and gives them at times, besides a general exaltation of the 
senses, undoubted clairvojant and other supernormal mental and bodily 
powers." At the other end o( the world, as shown by the Reports of 
the Anthropological E^iedition to Torret Btraita {roL t, p. 321), closely 
analogous methods of obtaining supernatural powers are also customary. 
There are fundamental psychological reasons for the wide prev- 
alence of asceticism and for the remarkable manner in which it involves 
self-morti&eation, 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 I hold 
my hands on the stove, or when I pour boiling water on my feet; it is 
a violent act and it awakens me: I 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 bum myself I make my mind freer, lighter and more active for 
several days. Why do you speak of my desire for mortification T BIy 
parents believe that, but it is absurd. It would be a mortification if 
it brought any suffering, but I enjoy this suffering, it gives me back my 
mind; it prevents my thoughts from stopping; what would one not do 
to attain such happiness?" (P. Janet, "The Pathogenesis of Some Impul- 
sions," Journal of Abnormal Fnychology, April, IBOQ.) If we under- 
stand this psychological process we may realize how it is that even in 
the higher religions, however else they may differ, the practical value 
of ascetioiBm 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-Biraben 
remarks at the outset of an interesting paper on Mahommedan mysti- 
cism ("L'Eztase dans le Myaticisme Musulman," Revue Pkiloaophigve, 
Nov., 1906). Asceticism is the necessary ante-chamber to spiritual per- 

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

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the scrupulous observances of savages, whether in sexual 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 because 
they seem baseless or even ridiculous, need a etill 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 have 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 r 

In considering the moral quality of chastity among savages, we 
must carefully separate that chastity which among semi-primitive peo- 
ples is exclusively imposed upon women. This has no moral quality 
whatever, for it ia not exercised as a useful discipline, but merely 
enforced in order to heighten the economic arid erotic value of the 
women. Many authorities believe that the regard for women as prop- 
erty furnishes the true reason for the widespread insistence on virginity 
in brides. Thus A. B. Gllis, speaking of the West Coast of Africa 
(Toraba-Speatiing Peoples, pp. 1S3 et aeq.), says that girls of good class 
are betrothed 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 chastity found not 
only among the tribes of, the Gold and Slave Coasts, but also among 
many other uncivilised peoples in different parts of the world." In a 
very different part of the world, in Northern Siberia, "the Yakuts," 
Sieroshevski states {Journal Anthropological InBtitule, 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-tjme our tapu ramified the whole social system. The 
head, the hair, spots where apparitions appeared, places which the 
tokmtgas proclaimed as sacred, we have forgotten and disregarded. Who 
nowadays thinks of the saeredness of the head? See when the kettle 
boils, the young man jumps up, whips the cap oIT his head, and uses it 
for a kettle- holder. Who nowadays but looks on with indifference when 
the bdrber of the village, if he be near the flre, shakes the loose hair off 
his cloth into it, and the joke and the laughter goes on as if no sacred 
operation had just been concluded. Pood is consumed on places which, 
in bygone days. It dared not even be carried over." 


148 pstchologt op bex. 

p. 9S), "see nothing immoral in illicit love, providing only that nobodj' 
suffers material loss bj 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 tJiey have lost hope of in&rrTing her off, or if the 
bride-price has been spent, they maniteBt complete indifference to her 
conduct. Maidens who no longer expect marriage are not restrained 
at all, if they observe decorum it is only out of respect to custom." 
Westermarck (ffttfory of Human Marriage, pp. 123 et geq.) also showa 
the connection between the high estimates of virginity and the concep- 
tion of woman aa property, and returning to the question in his later 
work. The Origin and Development of the Moral Idea» (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 parenta or family of the girl," 
and there ia no indication that it is ever held by savages that any wrong 
has been done to the woman herself. Westermarck recognizes at the 
same time that the preference given to virgins has also a biological basis 
in the instinctive masculine feeling of jealousy in regard to women who 
have had intercourse with other men, and especially in the erotic charm 
for men of the emotional state of shyness which accompanies virginity. 
(This point has been dealt with in the discussion of Modesty in vol. i 
of these Sdidicj.) 

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 that 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 civilised peoples who, like oiiraelves, 
inherit a form of marriagie to some eztenf based on wife-purchase. 
Under such conditions a woman's chastity has an important social func- 
tion to perform, being, as Mrs. Mona Caird has put it (The Morality of 
Marriage, 1807, p. 8B), the watch-dog of man's property. The fact that 
no element of ideal morally enters into the question is shoivn 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 prot»bly never 
happened anywhere among uncontajninsted savages. The rule probably 
is that, as among the tribes at Torres Straits (Reporlt Camhridge 
Anthropological Expedition, vol. v, p. 875), 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 what we generally consider low grades of 

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civil iiatioo. Tahiti, according to all wbo have visited it, from the 
earliest explorers down to that distioguiabed American surgeon, the late 
Dr. Nicholas Sean, is an island poBBeBsing qoalitieB of natural beauty 
and climatic excellence, which it is impOBsible to rate too highly. "I 
Beemed to be transported into the garden of Eden," aaid Bougainville in 
176S. But, mainly under the influence of the early English miMionaries 
who held ideaa of Uieoretical morality totally alien to those of the inhab- 
itants of the islands, the Tahitians have become the stock example of a 
population given over to licentiousness and all its awful results. Thus, 
in his valuable Polj/nesian lUtearchet (second edition, 1832, vol. i, Ch. 
IX) William Ellis says that 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 the 
early visitors to Tahiti, before the population became contaminated by 
contact with Europeans, it becomes clear that this view needs serioui 
modification. "The great plenty of good and nourishing food," wrote an 
early explorer, J. R, Forster {Obseniation» Made on a Voyage Round (A« 
World, 1778, pp. 231, 400, 422), "together with the fine climate, the 
beauty and unreserved behavior of their females, invito 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 luxury." Yet 
he is over and over again Impelled to set down facta which bear testi- 
mony to the virtues of these people. Though rather efll'eminate in 
build, they are athletic, he says. Moreover, in their wars they fight 
with great bravery and valor. They are, for 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 Xature," 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 
opuleuM and happiness of its inhabitonto," It is noteworthy also, that, 
notwithstanding the high importonce 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 marriage, but that men 
also who had refrained from sexual intorcourse 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 indicato a great 
openness and generosity of disposition. I never saw them, in any mis- 
fortune, labor under the appearance of anxiety, after the critical moment 

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w»8 past. Neither does care ever aeem to wrinkle their brow. On the 
GDntrai7, even the approach of death does cot appear t« alter their uaual 
vivaci^' {Third Voyage of Disooveiy, 1776-1780). Tumbull viaited 
Tahiti at a later period (J Voyage Round tke World in 1S09, etc., pp. 
3T4-5), but while finding al) aorta of vioei among them, he is jet com- 
pelled to admit their rirtues: "Their manner of Addreaaing strangers, 
from the king to the meanest subject, is courteous and affable in tlte 
extreme. .... Thej certainly live amongst each other in more 
harmony than is usual amongst European*. During the whole time I 
was amongst them I never saw such a thing a« a battle. .... I 
nerer remember to have seen an Otaheitean out of temper. They jest 
upon each other with greater freedom than the Europeans, but these 
jests are never taken in ill part. .... With retard to food, it 
is, I believe, an invariable law In Otaheite that whatever is possessed by 
one is common to all." Thus we see that even among a people who are 
commonly referred to aa the supreme example of a nation given up to 
uncontrolled lieentiousness, 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 has rarely, if ever, been known among 
those Christian nations which have looked down upon them as abandoned 
to unspeakable vices. 

As we tuni from savages towards peoples in the barbarous 
and civiti7.ed stages we lind a general tendency for chastity, in so 
far as it is a common possession of the common people, to be less 
regarded, or to be retained only as a traditional convention no 
longer strictly observed. The old grounds for chastity in primi- 
tive religions and tahu have decayed and no new grounds have 
been generally established. "Although the progress of civiliza- 
tion," wrote Gibbon long ago, "has midoubtedly 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- 
resfl 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 exist as a general hygienic measure or a general 
ceremonial observance, and, for the most part, becomes confined 

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to Special philoBOpbic or religions sects which cultivate it to an 
extreme degree in a more or less professional way. This state of 
things is well illustrated by the Koman Empire during the early 
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 imposed 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 st«m 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 Egj-pt 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, BO that in classic literature we find very little insistence 
on sexual details except in writers like Martial, Juvenal and 
Fetronius 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 
struggles, for the most part barren struggles, in the Epistles of 
St. Jerome, who had himself been an athlete in these ascetic con- 

"Oh, how man7 times," wrote SL Jerome to Euatochinm, the 
virgin to whom he addreesed one of the longest and moat iDteresting of 
his letters, "when in the desert, in that vast solitude which, burnt up 

iThuB, long before ChriBtian monks arose, the ascetic life of tie 
cloister on very similar lines esieted in Ggjpt in the worship of Serapis 
(Dill, Roman aooiett/, p. 79). 

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by the heart of the suit, offers but a horrible dwelling to monks, I 
imagined myself among the delighta of Rome I I was alone, for my soul 
was full of bittemeM. M7 limbs were covered bj* a wretched sack and 
my alcin was as black as an Ethiopian's. Everj day I wept and groaned, 
and if I was unwillingly orercome by sleep my lean body lay on the bare 
earth. I gay 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, ott«n seemed in imagina- 
tion among bands of girls. My fsce 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 that 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 his Ditcoune to Thote Who Keep Virgina 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 tasting, giving the example 
of the most austere discipline and forbidding all women to cross the 
thresholds of their humble dwellings; and yet, in spit« of all the severi- 
ties they have exercised on themselves, it was with ditBculty 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 fold in 
an interesting history of the Egyptian anchoritea, Palladius'a Paradise 
of the Holy Fathers, belonging to the fourth century (A. W. Budge, The 
Paradise, vol. ii, p. 129), "that AbbR 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, CssariuB 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 anxie^ about chastity still re- 
mained. One of the brothers, we are told In The Paradise (p. 132) said 
to Abbft Zeno, "Behold thou host grown old, how is the matter of forni- 
cation!" The venerable saint replied, "Tt 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 (see, 
e.g., Migne's Dictionnaire d'AscflisJne, art. "TKmon, Tcntation du"). 
Some saints, it is true, like Luigi di Oonzaga, were so angelically natured 
that they never felt the sting of sexual desire. These seem to have been 
the exception. St. BenedJct and St. Francis experienced the difficulty of 

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subduing the flesh. St. Magdaleua de Pozzi, in order U> 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, 
Baoerdotal Celibacg, vol. i, p. 124), On the other hand, the Blessed 
Angela de Fulginio tells us in her Yitiones (cap. XJX) that, until for- 
bidden bj her confessor, she would place hot coals in her secret parts, 
hoping hj material fire to extinguish the fire of concupiscence. St. 
Aldhelm, the holy Bishop of Sherborne, in the eighth ceotury, 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 anl'lle by him until he grew calm again; 
the method proved very successful, for the reason, it was thought, that 
the Devil felt he bad been made a fool of. 

In time the Catholic practice and theory of asceticism became 
more formalized and elaborated, and its beneficial effects were held to 
extend beyond the individual himself. "Asceticism from the Christian 
point of view," writes Brenier de Montmorand in an interesting study 
("Aac^tisme et Mystieisme," Revue Pkilosopkique, March, 1904) "is 
nothing else than all the therapeutic measures making for moral purifi- 
cation. The Christian ascetic is an athlete struggling to transform bis 
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 alone, 
but — by virtue of the reversibility of merit which compensates that of 
solidari^ in error — for the good and for the salvation of the whole of 

Thia ie the aspect of early Christian asceticism most often 
emphasized. 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 streuuouB 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 beliefs. 
If, indeed, it had not possessed the charm of a new sensation, of a 
delicions 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 sexual indul- 
gence, but in doing so they entered with a more delicate ardor 
into the more refined forms o{ sexual intimacy. They cultivated 

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a relationship of brothers and sisterB to each other, they kissed 
one another; at one time, in the spiritual orgy of baptism, they 
were not ashamed to adopt complete nakedness.* 

A very instructive picture of the forms which chastity 
assumed among the early Christians is given us in the treatise of 
Chrysoatom Against Those who Keep Virgins m their Houses. 
Our fathers, Chrysostom 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, respek:ting their virginity. "What," 
Chrysostom asks, "is the reason? It seems to me that life in 
common with a woman is sweet, even ontside 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 bo." 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 mea delighted 
to expend on their virginal sweethearts whether in public or in 
private. He cannot help thinking, however, that the man who 
lavishes kisses and caresses on a woman whose virginity he retains 

1 At nigbt, In the bapUatry, wiUi lamps dimly burning, the women 
were stripped even of tlieir tunics, plunged three times in the pool, then 
snointed, dreased in white, and Icissed. 



is putting biniBelf somewhat in the poeitioD of Tantalus. But 
this new refinement of tender chastitij', which came as a delicious 
iliBCOvery to the early Christians who had resolutely thrust away 
the liceDtiouanees of the pagan world, waa 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 sympathy.* 

There waa one form in which the new Christian chastity 
flourished 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 
erotic chastity — to some extent, it may well be, founded on fact 
— which are embodied to-day in the Acta Sanctorum. We can 
see in even the most simple and non-miraculous early Christian 
records of the martyrdom of women that the writers were fully 
aware of the delicate charm of the heroine who, like Ferpetua at 
Carthage, tossed by wild cattle in the arena, rises to gather her 
torn garment around her and to put up her disheveled bair.^ 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, "I'he Bride and Bridegroom of India" in Judas 
Thomas's Acts, "The Virgin of Antioch" as narrated by St. 
Ambrose, the history of "Acbilleus and Nereus," "Mygdonia 
and Karish," and "Two Lovers of Auvergne" as told by Gregory 
of Tours. Early Christian literature abonnds in the stories of 
lovers who had indeed preserved their chastity, and had yet 
discovered the most exquisite secrets of love. 

1 ThuB Jerome, in bis letter to Eustocbhim, refen to those oouplea 
who "Bbare th« «am« room, often even tha same bed, and call us sua- 
piciouB if we draw any conclusions," wliile Cyprian {EpUtola, 8d) 
la unable to approve of tbose men be hears of, one a deacon, who live 
in familiar inteTcouree with TirsjnB, even sleeping in the tame bed with 
them, for, he declares, the feminine sex is neak and youth is wanton. 

sPerpetua (A-cla Banotorum, Slarch 7) ie termed b^ Hort and 
Mayor "that fairest flower in the garden of post- Apostolic Christen- 
dom." She was not, however, a virgin, but a young mother with a baby 
at her breast. 

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Thekla's day is the twenty-third of September. There is a, very 
good Syriac version (by LipsiuB and others regarded as more primitive 
than the Greek version) ol the Actt of Paul and Thekla [see, e.g., 
Wright's Apocryphal Acts ) . These AcU belong to the iatter part of the 
second century. The story is that Thekla, refusing to yield to the pas- 
aion of the high priest of Syria, was put, naked but for a girdle (sufi- 
ligaculum) into the arena on the back of a lioness, which licked her 
feet and fought for her against the other beasts, dying in her defense. 
The other beasts, however, did her no harm, and she was finally released. 
A queen loaded ber with money, she modified her dresa to look like a 
man, travelled to meet Paul, and lived to old age. Sir W. M. Ramsay 
has written an interesting study of these Act» {The Church in the 
Roman Empire, Ch. XVI }. He is of opinion that the Acta are based on 
a first century document, and is able to disentangle many elements of 
truth from the atory. He states that it ia the only evidence we possess 
cf the ideas and actions of women during the first century in Asia 
Minor, where their position waa so bigli and their influence so great. 
Thekla represents the assertion of woman's rights, and she administered 
the rite of baptiam, though in the existing veraions of the Ada these 
features are toned down or eliminated. 

Some of the most typical of these early Christian romances are 
described as Gnostical in origin, with something of the germs of Mani- 
chnan dualism which were held in the rich and complex matrix of 
Unoaticism, while the apirit 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 markpd 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 Mdrc-Aartle, Chs. IX and XV, 
insists on the immense debt of Christianity to Gnostic and Montanist 
eontributioDs). A characteristic example is the story of "The Betrothed 
of India" in Judas Thomas's Ada (Wright's Apocryphal Acis). Judas 
Thomas was sold by his master Jesus to an Indian merchant who 
required a carpenter to go with him to India. On disembarking at the 
city of Sandaruk they heard the sounds of music and ainging, and learnt 
that it was the wedding-feast of the King's daughter, which all must 
attend, rich and poor, slaves and freemen, strangers and citizens. 
Judas Thomas went, with hia new master, to the banquet and reclined 
with a garland of myrtle placed on his head. When a Hebrew flute- 
player came and stood over him and played, he sang the songs of Christ, 
and It was seen that he was more beautiful than all that were there 
and the King sent for him to bless the young couple in the bridal cham- 
ber. And when all were gone out and the door of the bridal chamber 
closed, the bridegroom approached the bride, and saw, as It were, Judas 

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Thonus Btill tstking with her. But it waj our Lord who said to him, 
"I ftm not Judas, but his brother." And our Lord sat dowu on the I>ed 
beside the j'Oung people and began to Bay to them: "Remember, mj 
chihlrea, what mj brother spake with j-ou, and know to whom be com- 
mitted you, and know tliat if ye preserve yourselves from this filthy 
intercouree ye become pure temples, and are saved from afllictiona manl- 
feet and hidden, and from the heary care of children, the end whereof 
is bitter sorrow. For their sakes ye will become oppressors and rob- 
bers, and ye will be grievously tortured for their injuries. For children 
are the cause of many pains; either the King falls upon them or a 
demon lays hold of them, or paralysis befalls them. And if they be 
healthy they come to ill, either by adultery, or theft, or fornication, or 
covetousnesa, or vain-glory. But if ye wilt be persuaded by me, and 
keep yourselves purely unto God, ye ihal) have living children to whom 
not one of these blemishes and hurts 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 the bride 
was uncovered and the bridegroom was very cheerful. The mother of 
the bride saith to her: "Why art thou sitting thus, and art not 
ashamed, but art as if, lo, thou wert married a long time, and for many 
a day I" And her father, too, said: "Is it thy great love for thy hus- 
band that prevents thee from even veiling thyaelft" 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 which I have 
experienced this night. I am not veiled, because the veil of corruption 
is taken from me, and I am not ashamed, because the deed of shame ba« 
been removed far from me, and I am cheerful and gay, and despise this 
deed of corruption and the joys of this wedding-feast, because I am 
invited to the true wedding- feast. I have not had intercourse with A 
husband, 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 Kii^g, who sent for the sorcerer 
whom he had asked to bless his unlucky daughter. But Judas Thomas 
had already left the cily 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 jioung couple, and lived with them ever afterwards. 
The King also was finally reconciled, and all ended chastely, but happily. 
In these same Judos Thomaifs Act*, which are not later than the 
fourth century, we find (eighth actj the story of Mygdonia and Earish. 


168 P8TCH0L00T OF 9EX. 

Mygdonia, the wife of Kariah, is converted b; Thomas and flees from 
her husband, naked eave for the curtAin ol the chamber door which she 
has wrapped around her, to her old nurse. With the nurse she goes to 
Thomas, who pours ho\j 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 her; then she is clothed and he gives her the sacrament. The 
foung rapture of chastitf grows lyrical at times, and Judas Thomas 
breaks out: "Purity is the athlete who is not overcome. Puri^ is the 
truth that hlencheth not Purity ia worthy before God of being to Him 
a, familiar handmaiden. Puri^ is the messenger of concord which 
bringeth the tidings of peace." 

Another romance of chastity Is furnished by the episode of 
DruBiana in The History of the ApoatUt traditionally attributed to 
Abdias, Bishop of Babylon (Bk. v, Cb. IV, et aeq.]. Drusianft is the 
wife of Andronicus, and is so pious that she will not have intercourse 
with him. The youth Callimachus 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 the Brothel" (narrated 
in his De TirgMibua, Migne's edition of Ambrose's Works, vols, iil-iv, 
p. 211). A certain virgin, St. Ambrose tells us, who lately lived at 
Antiocb, was condemned either to sacriflce to the gods or to go to the 
brothel. She chose the Utter alteruatiTe. 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 the early documents of this romantic 
literature of chastity that chastity is insisted on by no means ehiefiy 
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. lis 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, supposed to be of third century origin, of the 
eunuchs Achilleua and Nereus, as narrated in the Acta Sanctorvm. May 
12th. Achilleua and Nereus were Christian eunuchs of the bedchamber 
to DomiUa, a virgin of noble birth, related to the Emperor Domltlan 

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and betrotfaed to Anreliwi, son of k Consul. One dkf , u their mUtna* 
waa putting on her jewels dod ber pnrple garments embroidered with 
gold, tiwy begnn in turn to t«lk to her about all the jojs and advantages 
of virgiDitf, as coupnred to marriage with a mere man. The oonveraa' 
tion is developed at grant length and with much eloqnence. Domitia 
was flnallj persuaded. She suffered much from Aurelian In oonse- 
queuoe, and when he obtained her bnniahment to an Island she went 
thither with Achilleus and Nereus, who were put to death. Incident- 
all7, the death of Felicula, another heroine of chastity, Is described. 
When elevated on the rack because she would not marry, sh« constantly 
refused to deny Jesus, whom she called her lover. "Ego non nego 
anutorem meum I " 

A special department of this litomture is concerned with stories 
of the converBion* or the penitence of oonrtesans. Bt Martinianns. for 
instance (Feb. 13), was tempted hy the courtesan Zos, but converted 
her. The story of St Margaret of Cortama {Feb. £2), a penitent 
courtesan, ia lato, for she belongs to the thirteenth century. The moat 
delightful document in this liUrature is probably the latest, the four- 
teenth century Italian devotional romance called The Life of Baint Uarj/ 
Magdalei\ commonly associated with the name of Frate Domenico 
Cavalca. (It has been translated Into English). It is the delicately 
and deliciously told romance of the ehait« 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 stato 
only to bs fully rewarded in a future life. Even, however, in Gregory 
of Tours's charming story of "The Two Lovers of Auvergne," in which 
this atttitnde is clear, the pleasures of chasto love in this life are 
brou^t out as clearly as in any of the early romances {Hiatoria Fran- 
eonim, lib. i, cap. XLII). Two senators of Anvergne 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 toll him what 
was the matter, and, turning towards him, she said that if she were to 
weep all her days she oould never wash away her grief for she had 
resolved to give her little body immaculato to Christ, untouched by men, 
and now instead of Immortal roses she had raly 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 had become the consort 
of a merely mortal man. She deplored her sad fate at considerable 
length and with much gentle eloquence. At length the hridegroora, 
overcome by her sweet words, felt that etomal 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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hands th^ fell^ asleep. For many years they thus lived together, 
chastely sharing the same bed. At lengUi ahe died and was buried, her 
lover restoring her immaculate to the hands of Christ. Soon after- 
wards h« 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, 
Gregory concludes (writing in the nxth century), the people of the 
place call them "The Two Lovers." 

Altitough Eenan (Uaro-Aurile, Ch. XV) briefly called attention to 
the existence of this copious early Christian literature setting forth the 
romance of chastity, it seems as yet to have received little or no study. 
It ie, however, of considerable importance, not merely for its own sake, 
but on account of its psychological significance in making clear th« 
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 iuterconrse. The early Church anathematized 
the eroticism of the Pagan world, and exorcized it in the most effectual 
way 1^ setting up a new and more exquisite eroticism of ita own. 

Ihiring the Middle Ages the primitive freehneBe of ChriBtian 
chastity began to loBe its charm. No more romances of chastity 
were written, aod in actual life men no longer sought daring 
adTentures in the field of chastity. So far as the old ideals sur- 
vived at all it was in the secular field of chivalry. The last 
notable figure to emulate the achievements of the early Christians 
vas Itobert of Arbrissel 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 they considered his 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 his 
influence over women was great. Once be went into a brothel to warm 
hta feet, and, Incideotelly, converted all the women there. "Who are 
youf asked one of them, "I have been here twenty-flve years and nobody 
has ever come here to talk about Ood." Robert's relation with his nuns 
at Fontevrault was very intimate, and he would often sleep with them. 
This is set forth precisely in lettere written by friends of his, bishops 
and abbots, one of whom remarks that Eobert had "discovered a new 

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but fruitless form of martyTdom." A rojal abbesa of Font«vrault in 
the seventeenth century, pretending that the venerated founder of the 
order could not possibly have been guill; of such scandalous conduct, 
and that the letters must therefore be spurious, had the originala 
destroyed, so far as possible. The BoUandista, in an nnscbolarly and 
incomplete acootmt of the matter {Ada Sanctorum, Feb. 2S), adopted 
this view. J. von Walter, however, in a recent and thorou^ study of 
Robert of Arbrissel {Die Eraten Wanderpredigcr Frankreicha, Theil I), 
shows that there is no reason ivliatever to doubt the authentic and 
reliable character of the impugned letters. 

The early Chnstian legends of ehaatity had, however, their 
aucceBSore. Aucasstn et Nicolette, which was probably written in 
Northern France towards the end of the twelfth century, ia above 
all the dcBcendant of tlie 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 causes which tended to extinguish 
the primitive Christian attraction to chastity, even apart from tiie 
in&uence 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 Christiana 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, 
WHS 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 it« 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 



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

The FenitentiiilB began to come into uh in the seventh centuiy, 
and became of wide prevalence and authoritj during the ninth and 
tenth centuriea. They were bodies of law, partly spiritual and partly 
secular, and were thrown into the form of catalogues of ofTencea with 
the exact measure of penance prescribed for each offence. They reprc' 
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 
Christian basis already existed, they were little needed. They had their 
origin in Ireland and England, and especially flourished in Germany; 
Charlemagne supported them (see, t.ff., Lea, Bittory of Anrviular Con- 
feMwn, vol. ii, p. 06, also Ch. XVII; Hugh Williams, edition of Gildas, 
Part If, Appendix 3; the chief Penitentials are reproduced in Wasser- 
schleben's BuK»ordnit«gen) . 

In I2I6 the Lateran Council, under Innocent III, vaaAe confession 
obligatory. The priestly prerogative of regulating the amount of pen- 
ance according to circumstances, with greater flexibility than the rigid 
Penitentials admitted, was first absolutely asserted by Peter of Poitlern. 

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 
great outburst of unchastity and crime; nunneries became brothels, nuns 
were frequently guilty of infanticide, monks committed unspeakable 
abominations, the regular clergy formed incestuous relations with their 
nearest female relatives (Lea, History of Stcerdotal Celibacy, vol. i, pp. 
155 et teq.). 

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Then Alain de Lille threw aside the PeniteutJals ae obsolete, and declared 
that the prieet blmaelf must inquire into the circumatancea of each sin 
and weigh precisely its guilt (Lea, op. cil., vol. ii, p. 171). 

Long before this period, however, the ideals of chasti^, so far as 
tiiey involved anj eonsiderablR degree of continence, although they had 
become firmly 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 ChriBtendom, Among tlia Northern barbarians, with 
different traditions of a more vigorous and natural order behind them, 
the demands of sex were often frankly exhibited. The monk Ordericus 
Vilalls, in the eleventh century, notes what he calls the "lasciviousness" 
of the wirea 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 was 
one unchaste priest in every five parishes, and even as regards the Italy 
of the same period the friar Salimbene in his remarkable autoblgraphy 
shows how little chastity was regarded in the reli^ous life. Chastity 
could now only be maintained by force, usually the moral force of 
ecclesiaBtical authority, which was itself undermined by unchastity, but 
sometimes even physical force. It was in the thirteenth century, in the 
opinion of some, that the girdle of chastity (eingula eaatitatia) first 
begins to appear, but the chief authority, Caufeynon {La Ceinture de 
Cfiaaleti, 1904) believes it only dates from the Kenaissanee (Schultz, 
Da« Hdfitche Leben eur Zeit der Mtnnesanger. vol. i, p. 595; Dufour, 
Hittoire de la Progtilalioit, vol. v, p. 272; Krauss, Anthropophytekt, 
vol. iii, p. 247). In the sixteenth century convents were liable to become 
almost brothels, as we learn on the unimpeachable authority of Burchard, 
a Pope's aecretary, in his Diarittm, edited by Thuasne who brings 
together additional authorities for this statement In a footnote (vol. ii, 
p. 79) ; that they remained so in the eighteenth century we see clearly 
in the pages of Casanova's Mimoirea, and in many other documents of 
the period. 

The Eenaissance and the rise of hamaBiBm imdonbtedly 
affected the feeling towards asceticism and chastity. On the one 
hand a new and ancient sanction was found for the disregard of 
virtnes which men began to look upon as merely monlcish, and on 
the other hand the finer spirits affected by the new movement 
began to realize that chastity might be better cultivated and 
obseired by those who were free to do as they would than by 



those who were under the compulBion of priestly authority. 
That is the feeling that prevaile in Montaigne, and that is the 
idea of Babelais when he made it the only rule of his Abbey of 
Tbel^e : "Fay ce qne vouldras." 

A little later this doctrine was repeated in varying tones bj man; 
writers more or lesa tinged hy the culture brou^t into fashion hy the 
Renaissance, "Ae long as Danae was free," remarks Ferrand in his six- 
teenth century treatise, De ta Italadie d'Amour, "she was chaste." And 
Sir Eenelm Digby, the latest representative of the Rennissance apirit, 
insists in his Private Memoirs that the tibertf which Ljcurgus, "the 
wisest human law-maker that ever was," gave to women to communicate 
their bodies to men to whom they were drawn by noble affection, and 
the hope of generous offspring, was the true cause why "real chastity 
flourished in Sparta more than in any other part of the world." 

In Protestant coimtriee the ascetic ideal of chastity was still 
further discredited by the Reformation movement which was in 
considerable part a revolt against compulsory celibacy. Keligion 
was thus no longer placed on the side of chastity. In the 
eighteenth century, if not earlier, the authority of Nature also 
was commonly invoked against chastity. It has thus happened 
that during the past two centuries serious opinion concerning 
chastity baa 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 
lovC) "if virtue were made less laboriona. The merit would not 
be so 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 
the idea of chastity began to fall from the eighteenth century 

1 Senancour, De I'Amour, vol. 11, p. 233. Islam has placed much 
less stress on chastity than Christianity, but practically, it would appear, 
there is often more regard for chastity under Mohammedan rule than 
under Christian rule. Thus ft is stated by "Viator" {Fortnight^ 
Revieiiy, Dec., 1908) that formerly, under Turkish Moslem rule, it was 
impossible to buy the virtue of women in Bosnia, but that now, under 
the Christian rule of Austria, it ih everywhere possible to buy women 
near the Austrian frontier. 

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onwards was largely due to the esistence of that merely esternal 
and conventional physical chastity which was arbitrarily enforced 
so far as it could be enforced, — and is indeed in some degree still 
enforced, nominally or really, — upon all respectable women out- 
aide marriage. The conception of the physical virtue of vir- 
ginity had degraded the conception of the spiritual virtue of 
chastity. A mere rontine, it was felt, prescribed to a whole sex, 
whether they would or not, could never possees 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 ia bound up with qualities which are no longer 
r^arded as of high value.' 

"How arbitrftiy, artificial, contr&rf to Nature, ia the life now 
imposed upon nomen in this matter of eliastitf I" irrote James Hinton 
fort7 Teara ago. "Think of that line: 'A woman who delibentea ia 
lost.' We make danger, making all womanhood hang upon a point like 
thia, and surrounding ft with unaatural and preternatural dangers. 
There is a wanton unreason embodied in the life of woman now; the 
preeent 'virtue* ia a morbid unhealthy plant. Nature and God never 
poised the life of a woman upon such a needle'a point. The wbole mod- 
em idea of chastity haa in it sensual exaggeration, aurely, in part, 
remaioing to ua from other tJmea, with what was good in it in great 
part gone." 

"The whole grace of vir^nity," wrote another philosopher, Guyau, 

■ The basis of thia feeling waa atrengthened when it was shown by 
scholars that the physical virtue of "virginity" had been maaquerading 
under a Ailse name. To remain a virgin seems to have meant at the 
first, among peoples of early Aryan culture, by no means to take a vow 
of chastity, but to refuse to aubmit to the yoke of patriarchal marriage. 
The women who preferred to stand outside marriage were "virgins," 
even though mothers of large families, and jEsohylua apeaks of tha 
Amamns as "virgins," while in Greek the child of an unmarried fprl waa 
alwaya "the virgin's aon." The history of Artemis, the most primitive 
of Greek deities, ia instructive from this point of view. She was origin- 
ally only virginal in the sense that ahe rejected marriage, being the 
goddess of a nomadic and matriarchal hunting people who had not yet 
adopted marriage, and she was the goddesa of childbirth, worshipped 
with orgiastic dances and phallic emblems. It was by a lata tranafor- 
mation that Artemis became the goddess of chastJtT (Famell, CuKt of 
tht Greek fttaitM, vol. ii, pp. 442 e( Kq.: Sir W. M. Ramsay, Citiea of 
Pkrygia, vol. I. p. flfl; Paul Lafargue, "Lea Mythes Historiques," Rerme 
(h* f<UM, Dec., 1904). 



"is ignorance. Virginity, like certain fruits, can only be preserved by 
a proecBS of desiccation." 

MerimCe pointed out the same desiccating influence of virginity. 
In a letter dated 186B he wrote: "I thiok that nowadays people attach 
far too much Importance to chastity. Not that I deny that chastity la 
a virtue, but there are degrees in virtues just as there are in vices. It 
seems to be absurd that a woman should be banished from society for 
having had a lover, while a, woman who 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. Nowadaya dry hearts are stuck up on a pin- 
nacle" (Revue ie» Deua Mondea, April, I89S). 

Dr. E. 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 unknown 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 evidencel And 
If another girl, who has passed her childhood in complete purity, now, 
with awakened senses and warm impetuous womanliness, gives herself 
to a man in love or even only in passion, they all stand up and scream 
that she is 'dishonored!' And, not least, the prostituted girl with the 
hymen. It ia she indeed who screams loudest and throws the biggest 
stones. Yet the 'dishonored' 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 as one human being to another. She has no need to 
blush, she has exercised her human rights, and no reasonable man will 
on that account esteem her the leas" (Dr. H. Paul, "Die L'eberschStEung 
der Jungfemschaft," Oeschlecht und QeselUchaft, Bd. ii, p. U, 1907). 

In a similar spirit writes F. Erhard (OetcAIecftf und QetelUahaft, 
Bd. i, p. 408) : "Virginity in one sense has its worth, but in the ordi- 
nary sense it is greatly overe»timat«d. Apart from the fact that a girl 
who possesses it may yet be thoroughly perverted, this overestiniation 
of virgin!^ leads to the girl who is without It being despised, and ha< 
further resulted in the development of a special Industry for the prepara- 
tion, by means of a pnidishly cloistral education, of girls who will bring 
to their husbands the peculiar dainty of a bride who knows nothing 
about anything. Naturally, this can only be achieved at the expense of 
any rational education. What the undeveloped little goose may turn 
Into, no man can foresee." 

Preud (Sexual-ProbUme, March, 1B08) also points out the evil 
results of the education for marriage which ia given to girls on the 
basis of this ideal of virginity. "Education undertakes the task of 
represaing the girl's sensuatify until the time of betrothal. It not only 

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forbids Kiiul relations kod seta a high premium on innocence, but it 
also withdraws the ripening womanlj individunlity from temptation, 
maintaining a staU of ignorance concerning 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 suddenly 
permitted to fall in lore by the authority of her elders, the girl cannot 
bring her psjichic 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 hi« deHires upon her, and manifeats frigiditj in her 
physical relations with him." 

Scnancour {De VAmouT, vol. i, p. 2S5) even believes that, when 
it is possible to leave out of consideration the question of offspring, not 
only will the latv of chastity become equal for the two sexes, but there 
will be a tendency for the situation of the sexes to be, to aome extent, 
changed. "Continence becomes a counsel rather than a precept, and it 
is in women that the voluptuous inclination will be regarded with most 
indulgence. Man is made for work; he 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 roust always, in p«rt, 
restrain their desires." 

Ab, however, we liberate ourselves from the bondage of a 
compuleory physical chastity, it becomes possible to rehabilitate 
chastity as a virtue. At the present day it can no longer he 
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 he regarded as a pseudo- 
chaatity. The only positive virtue which Aristotle could have 
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 aa an instru- 
ment for enabling the spirit to gain power over the flesh. St. 
Angustine declared that continence is only excellent when prac- 

1 8ee, e.g., Nicomachean Ethics, Bk. iii, Ch. XIII. 



tised in the faith of the highest good,^ and he regarded chastity 
as "ao orderly movement of the Boul subordinating lower thinga 
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 
object or the conditions.^ But for a time the voices of the great 
moralists were unheard. The virtue of chastity vras Bwamped in 
the popular Christian passion for the annihilation of the flesh, 
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 matrim<my. ITowadays 
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.* 

ifle Civitale Dei, lib. xv, cap. XX, A little further on (lib. xvi, 
cap. XXV) he refers to Abraham as a man able to use women as a man 
should, his wife temperatelj, his concubine compliantly, neither immod- 

^Bumrna, Migne's edition, toI. iii, qu. 154, art I. 

8 See the Studj of Modesty in the first volume of these Btudiet. 

* The majority of ch«Bt« youths, remarks nu acut« critic of modern 
life (Hellpfich, NervotilSt und Knltur, p. 17E), are merely actuated 1^ 
traditional principles, or by shynesB, fear of venereal infectious, lack of 
self-confidence, want of money, very seldom by any cousideration for a 
future wife, and that indeed would be a tragi-comic 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 
clergymen — the chastest clans — that moat unhappy marriages are made- 
Milton had already made this fact an argument for facili^ of divorce. 

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The chastity that ia regarded by the moralist of to-day ae a 
virtue has its worth by no meanB in its abetinence. 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, because it helps to fortify the character 
and will, and because it is directly favorable to tlie cultivation of 
the most beautiful, exalted, and effective sexual life. So viewed, 
chastity may be opposed to the demands of debased mediseval 
Catholicism, but it is in harmony with the demands of our 
civilized life to-day, and by no means at variance witi the re- 
quirements of Xature. 

There is always an analogy between the instinct of repro- 
duction and the instinct of nutrition. In the matter of eating it 
ia 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."* 

Many 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 
unfavorable to the finest sexual satisfaction. It could not even 
claim to be natural in any broad sense of the word, for, in Nature 
generally, sexual gratification tends to be rare and difficult.' 
Courtship is 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 uaually maintained by a fine asceticism; the 

1 '^n eating," «aid Hintoii, "we have achieved the task ot combin- 
ing pleaaiire with an absence of 'lust.' The problem for man and woman 
ie BO to use and poaaeaa the sexual paasion as to make it the minister 
to hiriier thin^, with no rcBtraint on it but that. It Is essentiallj' 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 Se« "Analysis of the Sexual Impulse." and Appendix, "The Sesiuit 
Instinct in Savages," in vol. iii of these Sludtea. 

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endurance of hardehip, self-control and restraint, tempered by 
rare orgjee, constitute a discipline which covers the sexual as 
veil as eyery other department of savage life. To preserve the 
same virility in civilized life, it may well be felt, we must 
deliberately cultivate a virtne which nnder savage conditions of 
life is natural.' 

The influence of Nietzsche, direct and indirect, has been on 
the side of the virtue of cliastity in its modem sense. The com- 
mand: "Be bard," as Nietzsche used it, was not so 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 up and hold in the forces 
of the soul for expenditure on deliberately accepted ends. "A 
relative chastity," he wrote, "a fundamentaJ and wise foresight 
m 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 softness m 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 Bay 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 bug 
circuits, to charge the whole organism so highly that the final 
climax of gratified love is not the trivial detumescence of a petty 
desire but the immense consummation of a longing in which the 
whole soul as well as the whole body has its part. "Only the 

1 1 have elsewhere diacusBCd more at length the need id mcNlera 
civilized Ufa of a natural &nd flincere aeceticUm Isee A^rmafiofW, 189S) 
"St Francis and Others." 

1 Der WilU iur Macht, p. 392. 



chaste can be really obsceoe," said Huysmaos. And on a higher 
plane, only the chaste can realty love. 

"Phyaical purity," wmarka Hana Menjago ("Die UeberachHtmng 
der PhyaiBcben Reinlieit," Qetchkeht und Qetelltchaft, vol. ii, Part 
VIII) "waa ori^nallj' valued as a sign of greater strength of ^rill and 
flrraness of character, aud it marked a riae above primitive coaditions. 
This puri^ waa difficult to preserve in those unsure day^i it was rare 
and unusual. From this rarity rose the superstition of supernatural 
power residing in the virgin. But this has no meaning as soon as such 
purity becomes general and & specially conspicuous degree of firmness of 

character ia 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 

Konrad HOUer, who has given special attention to the aeiual ques- 
tion in schools, remarks in relation to physical exercise: "The greateat 
advantage of physical eserciaea, however, is not the development of the 
active and paaaive atrength of the body and ita skill, hut the establiah- 
ment and fortification of the authority of the will over the body and ita 
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 he the better able to withstand sexual impulses and the temptation 
to gratify them, when better insight and lesthetic feeling have made 
clear to him, as one used to maintain authority over hia body, that to 
yield would be injurious or disgraceful" (K. Heller, "Die Aufgabe der 
Volksschule," BtteualpSdagogik, p. 70J. Professor Schfifenacker (id., p. 
102), who also emphasizes the importance of self-control and self-re- 
straint, thinks a youth must bear in mind his future mission, as citizen 
and father of a family. 

A subtle and penetrative thinker of to-day, Jides da Gaultier, 
writing on morals without reference to this specific question, has dis- 
cussed what new internal inhibitory motives 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 peraiata. "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 fren^ of instinct reveal Itself as a useful attitude adopted 
by instinct Itself for Ita own conservation, as a symptom of the force 
and health of ineUnetf 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 the 



Iiutincta sa w&i once posseseed bj religious fear and the pret«iided 
imperatives of reMOnl" (Jules de Gaultier, La Dipendanoe de la Moral* 
tt I'ltidipendanee det Maurs, p. 153.) 

H. Q. Wells (in A Modem Utopia), pointing out Ota iuportance 
of chastity, though rejecting celibacy, invokes, like Jules de Gaultier, 
the motive of pride. "CiTiliiation has developed far more rapidly thau 
man has modified. Under the unnatursl perfection of iecurity, liberty, 
and abundance our civilization has attained, the normal untrained 
human being is disponed to excess in slmost every direction; he tends 
to eat too much and too elaborately, to drink too much, to become la^ 
faster than his work can be reduced, to waete his interest upon displays, 
and to noake 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 foree 
to give men self-control is pride. Pride may not be the noblest thing 
in the soul, 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, they held no appetite must be glutted, no 
appetite must have artificial whets, and also and equally that no 
appetite should be starred. A man must come from the table satisfied, 
but not replete. And, in the matter of love, a straight and clesn 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 precisest sort to prevent that uxorious Insepar- 
ableness, that connublality, 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) : "Tliere is a 
kind of illusion about physical desire similar to that which a child 
suffers from when, seeing a beautiful flower, it inntantly snatches the 
same, and destroys in a few moments the form and fragrnnce which 
attracted it. He only gets 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 life who, accepting the grosser desires as they -oome 
to his body, and not refusing them, knows how to transform them at 
will Into Uie 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 
fulfilment of family and social duties, cltastity 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 is wanton, but their lives chaste. It is certainly true, how- 

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ever, that a relationship of tliis kind teodB to occur. The stuff 
of the eesual life, as Nietzsche says, is the stuff of art; if it is 
expended in one channel it is lost for the other. The masters of 
all the more intensely emotional arts have frequently cultivated 
a 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 is not seldom disguised by the resounding reverberations 
which 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 his attachments long and profoundly affected his 
emotional life and his work, and that with most of the women 
he has immortalized he never bad 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 mnch smaller 
part in Goethe's life than in that of many an average man on 
whom it leaves no obvious emotional or intellectual trace what- 
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 de^ 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 veil to remember that, while the auto-erotic manifes- 
tations through the brain are of infinite variety and importance. 

woman, though lie looged for love and marriage, 
to marry, he would not eeduce an innocent girl, a 
repiiUive to him. 

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the brain and the sexual organs are yet the great rivals in using 
up bodily energy, and that there is an antagonism between ex- 
treme brain Tigor and extreme sexual vigor, even although they 
may eometimes both appear at different periods in the same 
individual. 1 In this sense 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 or 
in sexual activity, is unfavorable to the display of energy in 
other directions. Every high degree of potency has its related 

It maj be added that we maj find a curiously inconeiBtent proof 
of the ezcewive importance attached to nexual function hy a Bocie^ 
which Bj'itematically tries to depreciate sex, in the disgrace nhich is 
attributed to the lack of "virile" potency. Althou^ civilized life offers 
immense scope for the activities of semaltj impotent persons, fbe 
impotent man is made to feel that, while he need not be greatly con- 
cerned if he suffers from nervous disturbances of digestion, if he should 
suffer just as innocently from neri'ous 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 Carlyle'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 "disgraceful" charge; they were more 
shocked than if it had been alleged that he was a syphilitic Yet 
impotence is, at the most, an infirmity, whether due to some congenital 
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 t«mpeTaitient. It is no more disgraceful to suffer from it than from 
dyspepsia, with which, indeed, it may be associated. Many men of 
genius and high moral character have bees sexually deformed. This 
was the case with Cowper (though this signiflcant 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 point I have been considering the quality of 
chastity and the quality of asceticism in their most general sense 

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and without any attempt at precise differeiitiation.1 But if we 
are to accept these ae modem virtues, valid to-day, it is necessary 
that we should be somewhat more precise in defining them. It 
aeems most convenient, and moat strictly accordant also with 
etymology, if we agree to mean by asceticism or ascesis, the 
athlete quality of self-discipline, controlling, by no means neces- 
sarily for indefinitely prolonged periods, the gratification of the 
sexual impulse. By chastity, which is primarily the quality of 
purity, and secondarily that of holiness, rather than of abstinence, 
we may best understand a due proportion between erotic claims 
and the other claims of life. "Chastity," as Ellen Key well saye, 
"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 hy no means necessarily 
involves perpetual continence. Properly understood, asceticism 
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 
hasia, 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 he 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 

1 We ma^ exclude altogether, it is scarcel;^ necessary to repeat, the 
quality of virginity — tliat ia to say, the poasesBion of an intact nymen — 
since thfB is a merely physical quality with no neceasary ethical rela- 
tionahlpi. The demand for virginity in women is, for the most part, 
either the demand for a better marketable article, or (or a more power- 
ful stimulant to masculine desire. Virginity involves no moral qualitiea 
In its posseasor. Chastity and asceticism, on the other hand, are mean- 
ingless terms, except bh demands made by the spirit on itself or on the 
body it controls. 

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In the same way cbaBtity, far from involviBg sexual ab- 
stinence, only has its value when it is brou^t within tlie erotic 
sphere. A purity that is ignorance, when the age of childish 
itmocence is once passed, is mere stapidit}' ; it is nearer to vice 
than to Tiitue. Xor is purity consonant with effort and struggle ; 
in that respect it differs from asceticism. "We conquer the 
bondage of sex," Bosa Mayreder says, "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 chastity." Chastity in a healthily developed person can thus 
be beautifully exercised only in the actual erotic life; in part it 
is 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 of 
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 iieeii that the deflnition of ehastit^ remainB somewhSit 
lacking in precision. That is inevitabltt. We i^Dnot grasp purity 
tightly, for, like anow, it will merely melt iu our hands. "Purity itself 
forbids too minute a q'E(«m of rules for the observance of purit;," well 
«ay« Sidgnick (Melhodif of Elliws, Bk. iii, Ch. IX). Elsewhere (op. 
cit., Bk. iii, Cb. XI) he attempta to answer the question; What sesual 
relations are easentially impuret and concludes that no answer is pos- 
sible. "There appears to be no distinct principle, having any claim to 
self .evidence, upon which the question can be 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 condemned as impure, 
for it seems paradoxical to distinguish purity from impurity merely by 
less rapidity of transition." 

&foll, from the standpoint of medical psychology, reaches the sa^e 
conclusion as Sidgwick 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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(1899) of his Eontrare Bewuakmpfindtmg, the distinguished Berlin phy- 
Biciat) discusses the matt«r with much vigorous eonunon Bense, insisting 
tliat "cliaate and uncbaate are relative ideas." We must not, he states, 
SB is so often done, identify "chaste" witJi "sesuallj' ahstinent." He 
adds that we are not justified in describing all extra-marital sexual 
intercourse as unchaste, for, if we do so, we shall be compelled to 
regard nearly all men, and some very estimable women, as unchaste. 
He rightly insists 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 intereourse is not necessarily nn- 
ehaste. Be takes the case of a |^rl who, at eighteen, when still mentally 
immature, is married U> a man with whom she finds it impossible to 
live and a separation consequently occurs, although a divorce may be 
impossible to obtain. If she now falls passionately in love with a man 
her love may be entirely chaste, though it involves what is technically 

In thtiB ODderstanding asceticiam and chastity, and their 
beneficial fuuctiODB in life, ve see that they occupy a place mid- 
way between the artificially exaggerated ppsition they once held 
and that to which they were degraded by the inevitable reaction 
of total indifference or actual hostility which followed. Asceti- 
ciam and chasti^ are not rigid categorical imperatives; they are 
asefal means to desirable ends ; they are wise and beautiful arts. 
They demand our estimation, but not our OTer-estimation. For 
in over-eetimating them, it is too often forgott^, we orer-esti- 
mate the sexual instinct. The instinct of sex ia indeed extremely 
important. Yet it baa 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 
the restraints on that impulse. 




The Influence of Tradition — The Theological Conception of Luat— 
Tendency of These Influences to Degrade Sexual Mo»li^ — Their Result 
in Creating the Problem of Sexual Abetinenee — The Protests Against 
Sexual Abstinence — Sexual Abatinence and Genius— Sexual Abstinence 
in Women — The Advocates of Sexual Abstinence — InUrmediate Attitude 
— Unutisfactorjr Nature of the Whole Discussion — Criticism of the Con- 
ception of Sexual Abstinence — Sexual Abstinenee as Compared to 
Abstinence from Food^-No Complete Analogy— The Morality of Sexual 
Abstinence Entirely Kegative — Is It the Physician's Duty to Advise 
Extra- Conjugal Sexual Intennunet — 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 .4ge— 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 I^itive Ideal. 

When we look at the matter from & 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 necessary to say. That, however, is 
very far from being the case. We soon realize here, as at every 
point in the practical application of sexual psychology, that it is 
not sufficient to determine the abstractly right course along bio- 
logical lines. We have to harmonize our biological demands with 
social demands. We are ruled not only by natural instincts but 
by inherited traditions, that in the far past were solidly baaed on 
intelligible grounds, and that even still, by the mere fact of their 
existence, eiert a force which we cannot and ought not to ignore. 

In diacussing 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 


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contradictioD being h^re involved, love and chastity are inter- 
twined in all their finest developments, and that there is thm a 
perfect harmony in apparent opposition. But vhen we come to 
conBider the matter in detail, in its particular personal applica- 
tions, we find that a new factor aeserts 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 
"sexnal 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 flesh," 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 the sexual relation- 
ship. If a man made sexual advances to a woman outside 
marriage, and thus brooght 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 sexnal relationships were, by the ecclesiastical traditions, 

1 This view was an ambiguous improvement on the view, universally 
prevalent, as Westermarck hAs shown, among primitive peoples, that the 
sexuAl act involves indlgnit; to a tvoman or depreciation of her on1,v in 
BO far as she is the proper^ of another person who is the really injured 

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180 P8TCH0L00T OF BEX. 

placed on a pecuniary basis, on the same level as prostitntion. 
B7 its vell-meant intentions to support the theological morality 
which had developed on an ascetic basis, the Church was thus 
really undermining even that fonn of sexual relationahip which 
it sanctified. 

Gregory tbe Or«at ordered that the seducer of a virgin shatl many 
ker, or, in case of refusal, be Beverely punished corpDrall; and shut up 
in a moD«at«ry to perform penance. According t^ other ecclesiastical 
rules, the seducer of a virgin, though held to no responsibility by th« 
civil forum, was required to marry her, or to Sad a husband and furnish 
a dowry for her. Such rules had their good side, aod 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 
neeesaary because the ecclesiastical conception of lust caused her value 
to be depreciated by contact with Inrt, and the reparation might be said 
to constitute a part of penance. Aquinas held that lust, in however 
•light a degree, in a mortal sin, and most of the more influential 
theologians took a. view nearly or quite as rigid. Some, however, held 
that a certain degree of delectation ia possible in these matters without 
mortal sin, or assertM, 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 distiuctions are impossible, 
and that all pleasures of this kind are sinful. TomAs Sanchex 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 such matters must be left to the judg- 
ment of a prudent man. At that point casuistry dissolves and the 
modem point of view emerges fsee, e.g., Lea, Htilory of Auricvlar Con- 
fetiion, vol. ii, pp. 67, 115, 246, etc.). 

Even to-day the influence of the old traditions of the Church 
still unconsciously sarvives among us. That is inevitable as 
regards religions 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 impolse are 
emphatically condemned as both unnecessary and evil; on the 
other handi marriage, which is fundamentally (whatever else it 
may also be) a manifestation of the sejcual impulse, receives 
equally emphatic approval as the only proper and moral form of 

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liviog.^ There can be no reasonable doubt whateTer that it is to 
the Burviring and pervading influence of the ancient traditional 
theological conception of libido that we must largely attribute 
the sharp difference of opinions among physicians on tlie question 
of seznal abstinence and the otherwise unnecessary acrimony with 
which these opinions have sometimes been stated. 

On the one side, we And the emphatic statement that sexual 
int«TcouTEe 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 the enjoyment of fair growth and of 
long youth, by the fulfilment of that use, and by their appropriate 
esercise 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 Prot«stantiBm 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 Table Talk, "will not become 
chaste by fasting and vigils. For my own part I was not 
excessively tormented [though elsewhere be speaks of the great 
fires of lust by which he had be^i 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 
different Protestantism, took the 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. No one thinks of 

1 This Implicit contredietlon haa been acutely pointed out fTom the 
rdi^ous Bide bj the Rev, H. Northoote, OhrUtianiti/ and S«e Problentt, 
p. fi3. 

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questioning it. Terrible evils and a remedy in a delight and joy 1 
And man has chosen bo to muddle bis life that he must say: 
"There, that would be a remedy, but I cannot use it. / must 
be virtuous!" 

If we confiDe ouraelveB to modem times and to fairly precise med- 
ical statementa, we And in Schurig'e Spermatologia (1720, pp. 274 et 
»eq.), not only a discuBsion of the advantages of moderate sexual 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— which were believed to have been due to sexual 
abstinence. This extreme view of the possible evils of sexual abstinence 
seems to have been part of the Renaissance traditions of medicine stiff- 
ened by a certain opposition between religion and science. It was still 
rigorouBly stated by Lallemand early in the nineteenth century. Subse- 
quently, the medical statements of the evil results of sexual abstinence 
became more temperate and meanured, though still often pronounced. 
Thus Gyurkovechky believes that these results may be as serious as those 
of sexual excess. Krafft-Ebing showed that sexual abstinence oould pro- 
duce a state of general nervous excitement [Jahrhuch fiir Ptj/chialrie, 
Bd. viii. Heft 1 and 2). Schrenck-Not^ing regards sexual abstinence as 
a cause of extreme sexual byperBsthesia and of various perversions (in 
a chapter on sexual abstinence in his Kriminalpsyohologiache und 
Psychopalhologitche 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 
to enter marriage a chaste man, but now for years has suffered greatly 
from extreme sexual hyperesthesia and concentration of thought on 
sexual subjects, notwithstanding a strong 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 MB," he wrote (Briftsh Medical Journal, Aug. 2, 1884) "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;" he gives the ease of a man who suffered after prolonged chastity 
from inflammatory conditions of knees and was only cured by marriage. 

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Pearce Gould, it may be added, finds tbst "excessive uitgratified sexual 
deHire" ia one of the causes of acute orchitis. Remondino ("Some 
Observations on Continence as a Factor in Health and Disease," Paoifia 
Medical Journal, Jan., 1800) records the case of a gentleman of nearly 
seventy who, during the prolonged illness of his wife, suffered from fre- 
quent and extreme priapism, causing insomnia. He was very certain 
that his troubles were not due to his continence, but all treatment failed 
and there were no spontaneous emissions. At last Remondino advised 
him to, as be expresses it, "imitate Solomon." He did so, and all the 
^mptoms at once disappeared. This case is of special interest, because 
the symptoms were not accompanied by any conscious sexual desire. It 
is no longer generally believed that sexual abstinence t^ids 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 less vague 
character, as well as neurasthenia and hysteria, are by no means infre- 
quently due to sexual abstinence. Thus Freud, who has carefully studied 
angstneurosia, the obsession of anxiety, finds tbat It is a result of sexual 
abstinence, and may indeed be considered as a vicarious form of such 
abatinence (Freud, Sammlung Kleiner Sohrtften eur JfeurosenlekTt, 
1906, pp. 76 et seq.). 

The whole subject of sexual abatinence has been discussed at 
length by NystrOm, of Stockholm, in Dim tfetehlechtaletien uttd aeine 
Qeittae, Cb. III. He concludes that it ia desirable that continence 
should be preserved as long ns possible in order to strengthen the phys- 
ical health and to develop the intelligence and character. The doctrine 
of permanent aeiuHl abstinence, however, he regards as entirely false, 
except in the case of a small number of religious or philosophic persons. 
"Complete abstinence 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, be has done so, and still suffers from 
unsatisfied normal sexual desires, and if be sees no possibility of mar- 
riage within a reasonable time, no one should dare to say tbat he is 
committing a sin if, with mutual understanding, he entera into aexual 
relations with a woman friend, or forms temporary sexual relationships, 
provided, that is, that he takes the honorable precaution of begetting no 
children, unless his partner ia entirely willing to become a mother, and 
he is prepared to accept all the responsibilities of fatherhood." In an 
article of later date ("Die Einwirkung der Sesuellen Abatinenz aof die 
Geaundheit," Bexuai-ProbUme, July, 1B08) NyatrOm vigorously sums up 
bis views. He includes among the results of sexual abatinence orchitis, 

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frequent inToluntuy KDiinal emissions, impotence, neuractlienia, depres- 
Bion, and a great variety of nervous dieturbancefl of vaguer eharaeter, 
involving diminished pover of work, limited enjoyment of life, sleepleea- 
ness, nervousness, and preoccupation with sexual desires and imagina- 
tions. More especially there is hei^tened seznal irritability with erec- 
tions, or even seminal emisaiona on the slightest occasion, as on gaiing 
at an attractive woman or in social intercourse with her, or in the pres- 
ence of works of art representing naked figures. NystrSm has had the 
opportunity of investigating and recording nine^ eases of persona who 
have presented these and similar symptoms as the result, he t>e1ieves, of 
sexual abstinenoe. He has published some of these cases {Zeittekrift 
fUr BemualtciaaenmilUifl, Oct, IBOB), but it may be added that Bohleder 
("Die Ahatinentia Bexualis," ib., Nov., 1908) has critiefEcd these cases, 
and donbta whether any of them are conclusive. Kohleder believea that 
the bad resnlta of sexual abstinenoe are never permanent, and also that 
no anatomically pathological states (such as orchitis) can be thereby 
produced. But he considers, nevertheless, that even incomplete and 
temporary sexual abstinence ma^ produce fairly serious results, and 
especially neurasthenic disturbances of varioiu kinds, such as nervous 
irritability, anxiety, depression, disinclination for work; also diurnal 
emissions, premature ejaculations, and even a state approaching saty- 
riasis; and in women hysteria, hystero-epilepsy, and nymphomaniacal 
manifestations; all these symptoms may, however, he believes, be cured 
when the abstinence ceasea. 

Many advocates of sexual abstinence have attached importance to 
the fact that men of great genius have apparently been completely con- 
tinent throughout life. This is 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. P. Scott 
Belecta Jesus, Newton, Beethoven, and Eant as "men of vigor and mental 
acumen who have lived chastely ae bachelors." It cannot, however, be 
said that Dr. Scott has been happy in the four figures whom he has been 
able to select from th« 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 Bioet-Sangle 
(in his FolU de Jeaua) 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; Newton, agtart from his stupendous 
genius in a special fleld, was an incomplete and unsatisfactory human 
being who ultimately reached a condition very like Insani^; Beethoven 
was a thoroughly morbid and diseased nun, who led an intensely un- 
happy existence; Eant, from first to last, wa« a feeble valetudinarian. 
It would probably be difficult to find a healthy normal man who would 
voluntarily accept the life led by any of these four, even as the price 

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of their fame. J. A. Godfre; {Boienoe of 8e», pp. 13E»-147) disiiassea 
at length the question whetiier sexual Bbatinence ie favorable to ordinary 
intellectual vigor, deciding that it is not, and that we cannot argue 
from the occaaional sexual abstinence of men of geniu«, who are often 
abnormally conatitutcd, and physically below the average, to the nor- 
mally developed man. Sexual abstinence, it may be added, is by no 
means always a favorable sign, even in men who stand intellectually 
above the average. "I have not obtained the impression," remarks 
Frend {Beamal-Probleme, March, 1603), "that sexual abstinence is help- 
ful to energetic and independent men of action or original thinkers, to 
courageous liberators or reformers. The sexual conduct of a man la 
often symbolic of his whole method of reaction in the world. The 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, tbongh not all, who deny that prolooged eeznal 
abstiDence is hannless, include women in this statement. There 
are some authorities indeed who believe that, whether or not any 
conscions sexual desire is present, sexual abstinence is lees easily 
tolerated by women than by men.* 

Cabanis, in his famous and pioneering work, Rapports <fu Physique 
ti du Moral, said in 1802, that women not only bear sexual excess more 
easily than men, but eexual privations with more difficulty, and a cau- 
tious and experienced observer of to-day, Lfiwenfeld (SemialUben und 
ServenMden, IS99, p. S3 ) , while not considering that normal women bear 
sexual abstinence less easily than men, adds that this is not the cose 
with women of neuropathic disposition, who suffer much more from this 
cause, and either masturbate when sexual intercourse is impossible or 
fall into hyetaro-neurasthenic states. Busch sl«ted {Daa QeachlechU- 
leben dea Weibea, 1S39, vol. i, pp. 69, 71) that not only is the working 
of the eexual functions in the organism stronger in women than in men, 
hut that the had results of sexual abstinence are more marked in women. 
Bir Benjamin Brodie said long ago that the evils of continence to women 
are perhaps greater than those of incontinence, and to-day Hammer (Die 
OeaundMtlichen Oefahren der OeaohlecMlichen EnthalUamkeit, 11)04) 
states that, so far ^s reasons of health are concerned, sexual abstinence 
is no more to be recommended to women than to men. NystrOm is of 
the same opinion, though he thinks that women bear sexual abstinence 
better than men, and has discussed this special quesUon at length in a 
section of his QeaoMecfUBkboTt nnd seine Oesetzt. He agrees with the 

I "The 

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experienced Erb that a large number of completely chaste women of high 
character. And possessing distinguished qualities of mind and heart, are 
more or less 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, NyBtrOtn remarks, that 
women definitely realise their sexual needs. 

A great many women who are healthy, chaste, and modest, feel at 
times such powerful sexual desire that they can scarcely resist tha 
temptation to go into the street and solicit the first nan they meet. 
Not a few such women, often of good breeding, do actually offer them- 
selves to men with whom they may have perhaps only the slightest 
acquaintance. Routh records such casea {Briliah Ctynacologioal Jour- 
nal, Feb., 18S7), and most men have met with them at some time. When 
a woman of high moral character and strong passions is subjected for 
a very long period to the perpetual strain of such sexual 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 as the passion was gratified. Lauvergne long 
since described a case. A fairly typical caee of this kind was reported 
in deteil by Brachet (i>« I'Bypoohandrie, p. 69) and embodied by Grie- 
singer in his classic work on "Mental Pathology." It concerned a 
healthy married lady, twenty-sis years old, having three children. A 
dsiting acquaintance completely gained her affections, but she strenu- 
ously resisted the seducing influence, end concealed the violent passion 
that he had aroused in her. Various serious symptoms, physical and 
mental, slowly began to appear, and the 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 she again met the object 
of her passion, succumbed, abandoned her husband and children, and 
fled with him. Six months later she was scarcely reoogniiable; 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 caee is recorded by Camill Lederer, of 
Vienna (MonaUschrift fiir Hamkrankheiten und Bexuelle 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 disesse. Treatment and change of climate proved entirely unavail- 
ing to effect a cure. Two years later, as no signs of disease had 
appeared in the lungs, thon^ the symptoms continued, slie married 
again. Within a very few weeks all symptoms had disappeared, and 
she was entirely fresh and well. 

Numerous distinguished gynecologists have recorded their belief 

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that sexual excitement is a remedy for various diaoTdera of the sexual 
HfBtem in women, and that abstinence ia a cauae of such disorders. 
Matthews Duncan said that sexual excitement is the only remedy for 
omenorrhtea; "the only emmenagogue medicine that I know of," he 
WTot« {Medical Times, Feh. 2, 1884), "is not to be found in the Fhar- 
macoptcia : it is erotic ezeitemenL Of the value of erotic excitement 
there is no doubt." Anstie, in bis work on neuralgia, refers to the 
beneficial effect of sexual intercourse on dyunenorrhtes, remarking that 
the necessity 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 all authorities find 
dyamenorrbtpa benefited by marriage, and some consider that the disease 
is often thereby aggravated; see, e.g., Wythe Cook, American Journal 
Obstetrioa, Dec., 1893.) The distinguished gyoKcologist, Tilt, at a some- 
what earlier date (On Uterine and Ovarian Inflammation, 1802, p. 309), 
insisted on the evil results of sexual abstinence in producing ovarian 
irritation, and perhaps subacute ovaritis, remarking that this was spe- 
cialty 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 be quenched by their legitioiate satis- 
faction, are still further heightened by the erotic influence of thoughts, 
books, pictures, music, which are often even more sexually stimulat- 
ing than social intercourse with men, but the excitement thus produced 
is not relieved by that natural collapse which should follow a state of 
Tital turgescence. After referring to the biological facta which show 
the effect of psychic influences on the formative powers of the ovario- 
uterine organs in animals. Tilt continues: "I may (airly 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- 
lleld, of Cincinnati (Medical Standard, Dec., 18B6), considers that unsat- 
isfled sexual desire is an important cause of catarrhal endometritis. It 
is well known that uterine fibroids bear a definite relation to 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 sh01^-^ by an analysis by A. G. Gilea iLartcet, 
March 2, I&07) of one hundred and fifty cases. As many as fifty-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, 
thirty-four had never been pregnant; of those who had been pregnant, 
thirtf-six had not been so for at least ten years. Thus eighty-four per 

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cent, had either not been pregnant at all, or had had no pregnanfy for 
at least ten jeari. It ia, Uierefore, evident that deprivation of sexual 
function, whether or not involving abstinence from sexual intercourse, is 
an important cause of uterine fibroid tumors. Balls-Eeadlef, of Vic- 
toria {BvoUition of the Diseases of Women, 1894, and "Etiology of Dis- 
eases of Female Genital Organs," Allbutt and Playfair, System of 
OyiMooloffy) , believes that unsatisfied sexual desire is a factor In very 
many disorders of the sexual organs in women. "My views," he writes 
In a private lett«r, "are founded on a really special gyn«coI<^cal prac- 
tice of twen^ years, during which 1 have myself taken about seven 
thousand most careful records. The normal woman is sexually well- 
formed and her sexual feelings require satisfaction in the direction of 
the production of the next generation, but under the restrictive and now 
especially abnormal conditions of civiliiation some women undergo 
hereditary atrophy, and the uterus and sexual feelings are feeble; in 
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 is no more occasion for bewit- 
derment than to the methematidan studying conic sections, when hia 
knowledge has grown from the basis of the science. The problem is 
su(^ested: Has a crowd of unassociated diseases fallen as through a 
sieve on woman, or have these afTections almost necessarily ensued from 
the circumstances of her unnatural environment?" It may be added 
that Kisch {Bexuat Life of Woman), while protesting against any exag- 
gerated estimate of the effects of sexual abstinence, considers that in 
women it may result, not only in numerous local disorders, but also in 
nervous disturbance, hysteria, and even insanity, white in neurasthenic 
women "regulated sexual intercourse has an actively beneficial effect 
which is often striking." 

It is important to remark that the evil results of sexual abstinence 
in women, in the opinion of many of those who insist upon their impor- 
tance, are I^ no means merely due to unsatisfied sexual desire. They 
may be pronounced even when the woman herself has not the slightest 
consciousness of sexual needs. This was clearly pointed out forty years 
ago by the sagacious Anstie (op. cit). In women, especially, he re- 
marks, "a certain reitless hyperactivity of mind, and perhaps of body 
also, seems to be the expression of Nature's unconscious resentment of 
the neglect of semual functions." Such women, he adds, have kept them- 
selves free from masturbation "at the expense of a perpetual and almost 
tierce activity of mind and muscle." Anstie had fonnd that some of the 
worst cases of the form of nervosity and neurasthenia which he termed 

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"spinftl irritAtiim," often aecomp&nied bj irritable stomach and anMnia, 
get well on marriage. "There can be no queation," he eontiuuea, "that 
a very large proportion of these cases In single women {wbo form b; 
far tbe greater number of subjects of spinal irritation) are due to this 
conscious or unconscious irritation kept up by an unsatiflfied aexual 
want. It is certain that ytry many young persons (women more 
eepeciallj) are tormented by the irritability of the sexual organs with- 
out having the least conBciousnesB of seznal desire, and present the sad 
spectacle of a vie manquie 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 sams kind of nervous organization, both tormented 
with the symptoms of spinal irritation and both probably suffering 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- 
siders 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 
civiliietion 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' Sexualmoral und die Modems Nervositat," in Seitual- 
ProbUme, March, lOOR, reprinted in the second series of Freud's 
Sammlung Kleiner Bohriftfn zur Xeurotenlehre, 1909). We possess the 
aptitude, he says, of sublimating and transforming our sexual activities 
into other activities of a psychically related character, but non-s«cual. 
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 r^nrd as morbid. The process of sublimation, under the influence 
of civilization, leads both to sexual perversions and to psycho-neuroses. 
These two conditions are cloaely related, as Freud views the process of 
their development; they stand to each other as positive and negative, 
seroal perversions being the positive pole and psycbo-neuroses the 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 aexual impulse there Is yet the same pressure of civilized 

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190 peTOHOLOar of sex. 

moralitj pushing them into neurotic states. It is a terribljr serious 
injustice, Freud remarkB, tha.t the civilized HtandArd of sexual life is 
the same for all persons, because thou^ Bome, hy their organization, 
maj easily accept it, for others it involTes the most difficult p^cbio 
sacrifices. The unmarried girl, who has become nervously weak, can- 
not be advised to seek relief in marriage, for she must be strong in 
order to "Ijear" 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 been 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 
semai morality on women, Freud finds that it is not limited to the 
production of neurotic condiUons; it affects 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 terrified 
from thinking, and knowledge is deprived of worth. The prohibition 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 suppoaed 
by Mdbiue. I am 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 years that this problem has been realized and 
faced, though solitary thinkers, like Hinton, have been keenly conscious 
of its existence; for "sorrowing virtue," as Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox 
puts it, "is more ashamed of its woes than unhappy sin, because the 
world has tears for the latter and only ridicule for the former." "It is 
an almost cynical trait of our age," HellpSch 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 bvm- 
ing questions." 

On the other hand we find medical writers not only asserting 
with much moral fervor that sexual intercourse outside marriage 
is always and altogether unnecessary, hut declaring, moreover, the 
harmleBsness or even the advantages of sezaal abstinence. 

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Ribbing, the Bwedieh professor, in his Hygiine BeruelU, advocates 
■exual abstinence outside maniage, and asserts its hannlesaiie&s. Gillea 
de la Tourette, FfirS, and Augagneur in France agree. In Geraiaii}' FOr- 
bringer (Senator and Kuniner, Health and Diaeaae in Relation to Mar- 
riage, vol. i, p. 228) asserts that continence is possible and necessary, 
though admitting that it may, however, mean serious mischief in excep- 
tional (saes. Eulenburg {Semiale HeuropathU, p. 14) doubts whether 
anj'one, who otherwise lived a reasonable life, ever became ill, or more 
precisely Deurtuthenic, through sexual abstinence. Hegar, replying to 
the arguments of Bebel in his well-known book on women, denies that 
sexual abstinence can ever produce satyriasis or nymphomania. NScke, 
who has frequently discussed the problem of sexual abstinenee (e.g., 
Arohiv fiir Kriminal-Anlhropoloffie, 1903, Heft 1, and Bestual-Prohleme, 
June, 190S), maintains that sexual abstinence can, at most, produce rare 
and slight 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, bo far as his own 
observatJons 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 qualification. Acton, in his Repro- 
ductive Organ*, sets forth the traditional English view, as well as Beale 
in his Morality and the Moral Question. A more distinguished repre. 
sentative of the same view was Paget, who. In his lecture on "Semial 
Hypochondriasis," coupled sexual intercourse with "theft or lying." Sir 
William Qowers (Byphilig and the Nervous System, 18S2, p. 126) also 
proclaims the advantages of "unbroken chastity," more especially as a 
method of avoiding Frypbilis. He is not hopeful, however, even as regards 
his own remedy, for he adds; "We can trace small ground for hope 
that the disease will thus be materially reduced." He would still, how- 
ever, preach chastity to the individual, and he does so with all the ascetic 
ardor of a mediieval 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 
majorify ars 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 Uie 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 Barual-Inetinct 
(second edition, 1908, Cb. Ill), argues very vigorously and at great 
length in favor of sexual abstinence. He will not even admit that there 

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192 F8TCH0L00T OP SEX. 

an two Bide* to the ^nesUoii, tboui^ if Uut w«re the cue, the length 
and the energj' of hia srguiii«ntfl would be unneceoMry. 

Among medical authorities who have discuMed the question of 
sexual abetinenee at length it is not, indeed, usually possible to find 
■uch unqualified opinioiu in its favor as those I have quoted. There can 
be no doubt, however, that a Urge proportion of physicians, not exclud- 
ing prominent and distinguished authorities, when casually oontronted 
with the question whetiter sexual abstinence is harmless, will at once 
adopt the obvious path of least resistance and reply: Yes. In only a 
few cases will they even make any qualification of this affirmative 
answer. This tendency is very well illustrated by sn inquiry made by 
Dr. Ludwig Jaoobsohn, of St. Petersburg ("Die'Sexuelle Enthaltsam- 
keit im Licbte der Medizin," 8t, Petersburger Medicinitche Woc)ien- 
lehrift, March 17, 1007). He wrote to over two hundred distinguiiihed 
Russian and German profeasors of physiology, neurology, psychiatry, 
etc., asking them if they regarded sexual abstinence as harmless. 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-flve. Of these E. PfiOger, of 
Bonn, was skeptical of the advantage of any propaganda of abstinence: 
"if all the authorities in the world declared the harmleasness of absti- 
nence that would have no inllnence on youth. Forces are here in play 
that break through all obstaclet." The hannleflaness of abstinence was 
afllnncd by Krtpelin, Cramer, Oftrtuer, Tuczek, Schottelius, OalTky, 
Finkler, Selenew, Laaaar, Seifert, Gruber; 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 Icnew cases of abstinence 
without harmful results, but himself thought that no general opinion 
could be given. JDrgensen said that abstinence in itself is not harmful, 
but that in some cases intercourse exerts a more beneficial influence. 
Hoffmann said that abstinence is harmless, adding that though it cer- 
tainly leads to masturbation, that is better than gonorrhiea, to say noth- 
ing of syphilis, and' is easily kept within bounds. Strtlmpell replied 
that sexual abstinence is harmless, and indirectly useful as preserving 
from the risk of venereal disease, but 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 tliirty, but after that age tliere was 
a tendency to mental obsessions, and marriage should take place at 
twenty-flve. Leyden also considered abstinence harmless until towards 
thirty, when it leads to psychic anomalies, especially states of anxiety, 
and a certain affectation. Hein replied that abstinence is harmless for 
moat, but in some leads to hyeterical manifestations and Indirectly to 

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bod results from iDssturbatJon, while for the normal man abstinence 
cannot be directl; beneflcinl, since intercourse is natural. QrOtzoer 
thought that abstinence U almost never harmful. Nescheda said it is 
harmless in itself, but harmful in so far as it leads to unnatural modes 
of gratification. Neisser believes that more prolonged abstinence than 
ia now usual would be beneHcial, but admitted the sexual excitations of 
our civilizationi he added that of course he saw no harm for healthy 
men in intercourse. Hoche replied that Bbstineoce is quite harmless in 
normal persona, but not always so in abnormal persons. Weber thought 
it had a useful influence in increasing will-power. Tamowsky said it 
is good in early manhood, but Hkcly to be unfavorable after twenty-five. 
Orlow replied that, especially in youth, it is harmless, and a man should 
be as chaste as hia 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 disorders; but that even 
masturbation is better than syphilis. Tschlriew saw no harm in 
abstinence up to thirty, and thought sexual wealtnesa more likely to 
follow excess than abstinence. Tachish regarded abstinence as beneficial 
rather than harmful up to twenty-five or twenty-eight, but thought it 
diOicult to decide after that age when nervous alterations seem to be 
caused. Darkscliewltcz regarded abstinence as harmbss up to twenty- 
five. Frllnkel said it was harmless for most, but that for a considerable 
proportion of people intercourse is a necessity. Erb's opinion Is 
regarded by Jacobsohn as standing alone; he placed the age below 
which abstinence is harmless at twenty; after that age he regarded it 
as injurious to health, seriously impeding work and capacity, while in 
neurotic persons it leads to still more serious results, Jacobsohn con- 
cludes that the general opinion of those answering the inquii? nay thus 
be e:(pressed: "Youth should be abstinent. Abstinence can in no way 
injure them; on the contrary, it is benelicial. If our young people will 
remain abstinent and avoid extra -conjugal intercourse they will main- 
lain a high ideal of love and preserve themselves from venereal diseases." 
The harmlessness of sexual abstinence was likewise affirmed in 
.\merica in a resolution passed by the American Medical Association in 
1906. The proposition thus 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 rooan nothing. Every sane person, when confronted by the demand 
to boldly afflrm or deny the proposition, "Continence is not incompati- 
ble with health," is bound to afllrm it. He might Armly believe that 
continence is incompatible with the health of most people, and that pro- 
longed continence is incompatible with anyone's health, and yet, if he 
is to be honest in the use of language, it would be impossible for him 

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(o denf the vagne and abstract propcwition that "Continenoe is not 
incompatible witii health." Buch pn^aitiona are therefore not only 
without value, but actually misleading. 

It ia 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 oonaiderations. Moreover, as the aame writers 
are usually equally emphatic in regard to the advantages of sexual inter- 
course in marriage, it is dear that they have committed themaelres to 
a contradiction. The same act, as Nlicke ri^tly points out. cannot 
become good or bad according as it is performed in or out of mar- 
riage. There is no magic elAcac? in a few words pronounced by a priest 
or a government official. 

Remondino (loc. ct(-) remarks that the authorities who have com- 
mitted themaelves to declarations in favor of the unconditional advan- 
tages of sexual abstinence tend to fall into three errors: (I) they 
generalize unduly, instead of considering each case individually, on its 
own merits; (2) they fail to realize that human nature is influenced 
by highly mixed and complex motives and cannot be assumed to be 
amenable only to motives of abstract morality; (31 they ignore the 
great army of maBturbators 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 afBrm or deny the harm- 
leaanesa of sexual abstinence we find an intermediate party of 
authorities whose opiniona are more qualified. Many of those 
who occupy thia 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 afiirmative. It ia 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 Lawenfeld (Semtalleh^n ttnd Nervm- 
leiden, second edition, p. 40). Sexual abstinence ts certainly often 
injurious to neuropathic persons. (This is now believed by a large 
number of authorities, and was perhaps first decisively stated by Krafft- 
Kbing, "lleber Neurosen durch Abstinenz," JahrbUch fSr Ptgchiatrie, 
1889, p. 1). LOwenfeld finds no special proclivity to neurasthenia 

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among the Catholic clergy, and nhen it dcrea occur, there is no reason 
to suppose • Bexua) causation. "In healthy and not hereditarily neuro- 
pathic men complete abstinence is possible without injury to the nervous ' 
system." InjnriouB 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, pain in testes or 
rectum, hypenesthesia in the presence of women or of sexual ideas. If, 
however, conditions arise which specially stimulate the sexual emotions, 
neurasthenia may be produced. LSwenfeld agrees with Freud and 
Gattel that the neurosis of anxiety t^nda 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 appeartng during the first years of marriage. 
Under special circumstances, therefore, abstinence can be injurious, but 
on the whole the difficulties due to such abstinence are not severe, and 
tbey only exceptionally call forth actual disturbance in the nervous or 
psychic spheres. Moll takes a similar temperate and discriminating 
view. He regards sexual abstinence before marriage as the ideal, but 
points out that we must nvoid any doctrinal extremes in preaching 
sexual 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 roust no 
more be exaggerated than the dangers of sexual intercourse (Moll, 
Libido Scxvalia, IS08, vol. I, p. 848; id., Kontrare BetntaUmpfinduttg, 
1806, p. 588). Bloch also (in a chapter on the question of sexual 
abstinence in his Semialleben uiuerer Zeit, 1608) takes a similar stand- 
point. He advocates abstention during early life and temporary absten- 
tion in adult life, such abstention being valuable, not only for the 
conservation and transformation of energy, but also to emphasize the 
fact that life contains otber matters to strive for beyond the ends of 
sex. Bedlich {Mediztniache Klinik, 1808, No. 7) also, in a careful 
study of the medical aspects of tlie 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 i» true that for the majority of healthy adult persons regular 
sexual intercourse is advantageous, and sometimes is even to be recom- 

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



Thus, in England, an Anglican clergymaD, the Rev. H. Northcote 
^Chriglia^ils and Setr Problems, pp. 68, 40) deals temperately and 
sympathetically with the ditGculties of sexual abstinence, and ia by no 
means convinced that such abstinence is alnaya an unmixed advan- 
tage; while in Gennany a Catholic priest, Karl Jentsch {Sexwilethik, 
Sexualjuatiz, Scxualpolizei, 1900) sets hiniseU to oppose the rigorous 
and unqoallfled assertions of Ribbing in favor of sexual abstinence. 
Jentsch thus expresses what he conceives ought to be tbe 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, it you can- 
not succeed, it is unnecessary to cast reproaches on yourself and t^ 
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 sexnal 
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 imeatisfactorj' 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 abstinence" 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 moat fundamental criticism to 
which the conception of "sexual abstinence" lies open. Rohleder, 
an 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 masturha- 

1 "Die Abstinentia Sexualis," Zeitechrift fUr BexualioiMenclutft, 

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tion, from homosexual acts, from all sexually perverse practices. 
It must further involve a permanent abstention from indulgence 
in erotic imaginations and voluptuous reverie. When, however, 
it is possible thus to render the whole psychic field n 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, Kohleder points out, we have to consider whether we are not 
in presence of a case of sexual anesthesia, of anaphrodisia 
sexualis. That is a question which is rarely, if ever, faced by 
those who discuss sexual abstinence. It is, however, an extremely 
pertinent question, because, as Bohleder insists, if sexual anes- 
thesia exists the question of sexual abstinence falls to the ground, 
for we can only "abstain" from actions that are in our power. 
Complete sexual ansesthesia 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 ph}'siologica1 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. Eohleder 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 attempt 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 re^rded as the 
religions and moral aspect of the matter — an aspect, be it 

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remembered, which has do bearing on the esseatial natural facts 
of the queetioB — we cannot fail to perceive that these ostenta- 
tiona differences of conviction would be rednced within very 
narrow and triding 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 placiug 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, tliough 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 young 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 so long a persistence in this regime. 
At times, indeed, she had been so hungry that slie 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 resisting so long. "Sometimes," she told 
Janet, "I passed whole hours in thinking about food, I was so 



hoDgry. I swallowed my ealiva, I bit my haadkerchief, I rolled 
on tiie ground, I wanted to eat bo badly. I eearched bookB 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 being somewhat more positive and per- 
sonal, for the idea of the person who wishes to avoid sesual 
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 outbursts 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 eelf-righteousnesB 
which often marks the sexually abstinent. 

If we turn to Freud's penetrating and suggestive 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. 

' Revue PhiUuophiiiue, May. 



Most others become neurotic or otherwise come to grief. Ex- 
perience shows that the majority of people constituting our 
society are constitutionally unequal to the task of abstinence. 
We say, indeed, that the struggle with this powerful impulse and 
the emphasis the struggle involveB on the ethical and esthetic 
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 so marked 
in our time only becomes possible through sexual limitations. 
But in by far the majority of cases the struggle with sensuality 
uses up the available energj' of character, and this at the very 
time when the young man needs all his strength in order to win 
his place in the world."' 

When we have put the problem on this negative basis of 
abstinence it ia 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 harmonious play of all 
the organic impulses of the soul and body, if asceticism, properly 
understood, is the athletic striding 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 fniitless striving for a negative end, 
whether imposed artificially from without, as it usually is, or 
voluntarilv chosen bv the individual himself. 

1 S. Freud, Sexual-Piobhitta. March, 190B. As Adele Schreiber also 
poinU out lMutter»ohutz, Jan., 1907, p. 30), it i» not enough to prove 
that abatinenee ia not dangerous; ne have to remember that the Bpiritual 
and physical energy used up in repressing this mighty instinct often 
reduces a joyous and energetic nature to a weary and faded shadow- 
Similarly, Helene StScker (Die Liebe unit die Frauen, p. 105) anys: 
"The question whether abstinence is harmful ia, to say the truth, a 
ridiculous question. One needs to be no nervous specialist to know, aa 
a matter of course, that a life of happy love and marriage ia the healthy 
life, and its complete absence cannot fail to lead to severe psychic depres- 
»ion, even if no diiect physiological disturbances con be demonstrated." 

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For there ia really no complete analogy between eexual 
desire and hunger, between abstinence from sexual relations and 
abstinence from food. When we put them both on the basis of 
abstinence we put them on a baais which covers the impulse for 
food but only half covers the impulse for sexual love. We con- 
fer no pleaBure and no service on our food when we eat it. But 
the half of aexusl love, perhaps the moat 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 ask : 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 ennoblingly altruistic and mutual 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 confronts 
any person, and especially the physician, who may he called upon 
to give professional advice to his fellows on this matter. If 
sexual relationships are sometimes desirable for unmarried per- 
B<m8, 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. 



VariouB diBtiDguished phyaiciana, especiAlly in Gemuui]', have 
proclaimed the duty of the doctor to recommend sexual Intereoune to 
hia patient whenever he eon aiders it deai Table. Gyurkovechky, for 
inatance, has fully diseuBBed this question, snd anawered it In the 
affirmative. NjBtrOm {SemialFrobleme, July, I90S, p. 413) atatea that 
it la the physician's duty, in some cases of sexual weakneas, when all 
other methods of treatment have failed, to recommend aesusl inter- 
eourae as the beat remedy. Dr. Max Marcuse stands out aa a con- 
spicuous adTOcat« of the unconditional duty of the physician to 
advocate sexual intercourse in some caees, both to men and to women, 
and has on many occasions argued in this sense {e.g^ Darf der Arzt 
turn Ausaereheluihen OewMechltverkehr ratettt 1904). Marcuse is 
BtroD|^7 of opinion that a physician who, allowing himself to be 
influenced by moral, sociological, or other considerations, neglects to 
recommend sexual intercourse when he considers it desirable for the 
patient's health, is unworthy of his profession, and should either give 
up medicine or send his patients to other doctors. This attitude, though 
not usually so emphatically stated, seems to be widely accepted. 
Lederer goes even further when he states {MonatstBhrift fUr Bam- 
krankheiten ttnd Bemielle Hygiene, 1908, Heft 3) that it is the physi- 
cian's duty in the ease of a woman who is sulTering from her husband's 
impotence, to adviBe her to hhve intercourse with another roan, adding 
that "whether she does so with her husband's consent is no affair of 
the physician's, 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, so far as I am aware, no physician 
of eminence hsB openly proclaimed the duty of the doctor to advise 
sexual intercourse outside marriage, although, it Is scarcely necessary 
to add, in England, as elsewhere, it happens that doctors, including 
women doctors, from time to time privately point out to their unmu- 
ried and even married patients, that sexual intercourse would probably 
be beneficial. 

The dul^ of the physician to recommend sexual intercourse has 
been denied as emphatically as it has been affirmed. Thus Eulenburg 
{Bexuale Keuropalhie, p. 43), would hy no means advise extra-coajugvl 
relations to his patient; "such advice is quite outside the physician's 
competence." It is, of course, denied by those who regard sexual 
abstinence aa always harmless, if not beneficial. But it is also denied 
by many who consider that, under some circumstances, sexual inter- 
course would do good. 

Moll has especially, and on many occasions, discussed the duty of 
the physician in relation to the question of advising sexual intercourse 
outside marriage t^.g., in his comprehensive work, Aergtlicke Bt\ik, 
1902; also Zeiltehrift fur Aertelicke Fortbildung, 190S, Noa. 12-15; 

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Mutter»chuls, lOOS, Heft 3; aetckkcht und QeaelUehaft, vol. ii. Heft 
8). At the outset Moll had been dispoBed to assert the right of the 
ph^ician to reoonmmid sexual intertwuTBe under some circumstances; 
"so long as marriage is unduly delayed and aexual intercourse outside 
marriage exists," he wroto {Dit ContrSre Bevualempftndung, a^cond 
edition, p. 297), "so long, I think, we may use such interconrsa 
therapeutically, provided that the rights of no third person (husband 
or wife) are injured." In all his later writings, however, Moll rangea 
himself clearly and deciaively on the opposite aide. 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, pregnancy, on 
his patient, and he believes that these eerioua resulta are far morv 
likely to happen than is always admitted by those who defend the 
legitimacy of such advice. Nor nitl 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 hin 
health by stealing, but he cannot advise him to steal. Moll takes the 
ease ol a Catholic priest who is suSering from neurasthenia due to 
■extial abstinence. Even although tiie phyBician 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 
remnnber that in thus causing a priest to break his vows of chasti^ 
he may induce a mental conflict and a bitter remorse which may lead 
to the worst results, even on bis patient's physical health. Similar 
mnlta, Moll remarks, may follow such advice when given to a married 
man or woman, to say nothing of possible divorce proceedings and 
accompanying evils. 

Robleder ( Vorte»ungen iiber QetchUchtstritb und Qeaamtet Oeseh- 
Iechttl«ben dor MenaoJien) adopts a somewhat qualified attitude In this 
matter. As a general rule he is decidedly against recomnModing 
sexual intercourse outside marriage to thoae who are suffering from 
partial or temporary abstinence (the only form of abstinence be recog- 
nises), partly on the ground that the erils of abstinence are not serioua 
or permanent, and partly because the patient is fairly certain to exer- 
cise hie own judgment in the matter. But in some classes of cases he 
recommends such intercourse, and notably to bisexual persona, on the 
ground that he is thua preserving hb patient from the criminal riaks 
of homosexual practices. 

It seemB to me that there should be no doubt whatever as to 
the correct professioDal attitude of the physiciao 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 PflTOHOLOaY OF 8BI. 

intercourse outaide 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 onght 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 be admitted, it 
must still be said that the physician knows that the champagne, 
however obtained, is not likely to be poisonous. When, however, 
he prescribes aexual intercourse, with the same lofty indifference 
to practical considerations, he has 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 be giving 
his patient a venereal disease; he may be giving the anxieties and 
responsibilities of an illegitimate child ; the preacriber 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 
mnst 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 opiniOD that this impartial presentation of the case 
for and against sexual intercourse corresponds to the physician's duly 
in the matter. It is. indeed, a duly which can scarcelj be escaped b; 
the physician in many cases. Moll points out that it can by no means 
be assimilated, as some have supposed, with the recommendation of 
sexual intercourse. It is, on the contrary, he remarks, much more 
analopus 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 tbe patient's judgment to accept or reject the 
operation. Lewitt also (Geschlechtlichc Eitihattaamkeit und Oesiind- 
heiltalorungen. 1906), after discussing the various opinions on this 



question, comes to the conclusion that the physician, it he thinks thkt 
intercourse outside marriage might be beneficial, should explain the 
diEBculties and leave the patient himself to decide. 

There ia anotlier reaeon why, having regard to the prevailing 
moral opinions at all events among the miclctle classes, a physician 
should refrain from advising extra-conjugal intercourse: he 
places himself in a false relation to his social environment. He 
ia recommending a remedy the nature of which he could not 
publicly avow, and ao destroying the public confidence in himself. 
The only physician who is 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 efEorta 
at social reform to his public activities. The voice of the physi- 
cian, as Professor Max Flesch of Frankfort observes, ia more and 
more heard in the development and new growth of social institu- 
tions ; he is a natural leaders in such movements, and proposals 
for reform properly come from him. "But," as Fleech 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 ia in accord- 
ance with the interests of the community as a whole, and those 
interests require that sexual relationships should be entered into 
between healthy men and women who are able and willing to 
accept the results of their union. That should be the physician's 
rale of conduct. Only so can he become, what to-day he is often 
proclaimed to be, the leader of the nation.*" This view ia 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 hie advice on social conduct. The 
patient's interests are primary, but they are not entitled to be 

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placed in antagonism to the interests of society. The advice 
given by tlie wise physician must always be in harmony with 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 
refonn— a tendency wliich exists not only in Germany where sueli 
interests have long been acute, but also in so conservative a land 
as England — is full of promise for the future. 

The physician is usually content to consider his duty to his 
patient in relationship to sexual abstinence as sufficiently ful- 
filled when he attempts to allay sexual hypera-sthesia by medical 
or hygienic treatment. It csn 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 
so closely intertwined with the other organic activities, erotic 
exuberance is so much a flower which is rooted in the whole 
organism, thst 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 tbey liave dulled all the finest energies of the 
organism. Physical exercise is universally recommended to 
sexually hj-penesthetic 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 fiomctimes spend a large part of 
their time in the vain attempt to lull their activity by long walks. 
Physical exercise only proves efficacious in this respect when it is 
carried to an extent which produces general exhaustion. Then 
indeed the sexual activitv is lulled, but so are all the mental and 



physical activiticB. It is undoubtedly true that exercises aud 
gamee of all eorts for young people of both sexes have a sexually 
hygienic as well as a generally hygienic influence which is 
undoubtedly beneficial. They are, on all grounde, to be preferred 
to prolonged sedentary occupations. But it is idle to suppose 
that games and exercises will suppress the sexual impulses, for 
in BO far as they favor health, they fav'or all the impolses 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 svstem.^ 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. Pood 
and drink are, further, powerful sexual stimulants. This is 
true even of the simplest and most wholesome nourishment, hut 
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 8«e the Redion on Touch in the fourth volume of these Bludin. 



two fires of lust. Vihy add oil to the flame ?"' Idleness, again, 
especially when combined with rich living, 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. 

Mental exercise, like physical exercise, has sometimes been 
odvocated as a method of calming sexual excitement, but it seems 
to be equally equivocal in its action. If it is profoundly inter- 
esting and exciting it may stir up rather than lull the sexual 
emotions. If it arouses little interest it is unable to exert any 
kind of influence. This is true even of mathematical occupations 
which have been advocated by various authorities, including 
Broussais, as aids to sexual hygiene.^ "I have tried mechanical 
mental work," a lady writes, "such as solving arithmetical or 
algebraic problems, but it does no good ; in fact jt seems only to 
increase tlie excitement." "I studied and especially turned my 
attention to mathematics," a clergyman writes, "with a view to 
clieck my sexual tendencies. To a certain extent I was success- 
ful. But at the approach of an old friend, a voice or a touch, 
these 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 tlian religious exercises 
which I tried when younger (twenty-two to thirty)." At the 
best, however, such devices are of merely temporary efficacy. 

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

1 "I hare bad two years' cloae experience and coDnexion with the 
Trappiata," wrote Dr. Butterfleld, of Nata) {British Medical Journal, 
Sept. 15, leoB. p. 688), "both aa medical attendant and ob being • 
Catholic in creed myself. I have studied them and investigated their 
life, habits and diet, and though I should be very backward in 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 vaat 
work, mental and physical. Their life is very simple and very regular. 
A healthier body of men and women, with perfect equanimi^ of tem- 
per — this latter I lay great stress on — it woiild be difficult to find. 
Health beams in their eyes and countenance and actions. Only in sick- 
ness or prolonged journeys are they allowed any strong foods — meats, 
eggs, etc. — or any alcoliol. 

- F^r^, L'Inslinet Srxwl, second edition, p. 3.12. 

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arooae^. It is, therefore, in childhood and youth that all these 
measures may be most reasonably observed in order to avoid any 
premature sexual excitement. In one ^oup 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 infiuences. 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 be 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 OF no sexual gratification, to be succeeded by a jieriod of 
comparative calm. It must be remembered that in many, and 
perhaps most, individuals, men and women, the aexual appetite, 
unlike hunger or thirst, can after a prolonged struggle, be reduced 
to a more or less quiescent state which, far from injuring, may 
even benefit the physical and psychic vigor generally. This may 
happen whether or not aexual gratification has been obtained. If 
there has never been any such gratiflcation, the struggle is less 
severe and sooner over, unless the individual is of highly erotic 

> Rural life, as we have seen when discuning ita relation to sexual 
precoeitf, is on one side the reverse of a aafeguard against sexual 
lofiuencea. But, on the other hand, in so far as it involves hard worlc 
and simple living under conditians that are not nervously Htimulating, 
it is favorable to a considerably delayed sexual activity in youth and 
to a relative continence. Ammon, in the course of his anthropological 
inveatigations of Baden conscriptg, found that sexual intercourse was 
rare in the countty before twenty, and even sexual emiasions during 
sleep rare before nineteen or twen^. It is said, alio, he repeats, that 
no one has a rif^t to run after girls wKo does not yet cany a gun, 
and the elder tads aomeUmes bruUdly ill-treat any younger boy found 
going about with a girL No doubt this is often preliminary to much 
license later. 



temperament. If there hag been gratification, if the mind is 
filled not merely with desires but with joyous esperi^ce 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 mu(^ of their lives, at the time when life is most vigorous, is 
wasted. With women, if they happen to be of strong passions 
and reckl^s impulses to abandonment, the results may be highly 
enervating, if not disastrous to the general psychic life. It is to 
this cause, indeed, tliat 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- 

1 The numerical preponderance which celibate women teachers have 
now gained in the Ainericftn school system has caused much misgiving 
among many gagacious observers, and is said to be unsatisfactory in its 
results on the pnpits of both seiea. A distinguished authority. Pro- 
fessor McKeen Cattell ("The School and the Family," Popular Soience 
Monthly, Jan., 1909), referring to this preponderance of "devitalized 
and unsexed spiDsters," goes bo 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 oould be scrapped." 

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The extent to which hcxubI abBtineiice and the struggles it involves 
maj hamper and absorb the iodlvidual throughout life is well illustrated 
in the following caae. A ladj, vigorous, robust, and generally healthy, 
of great intelligence and Mgii character, has reached middle life without 
marrying, or ever having sexual relationships. She was an only child, 
and when between tiiree and four years of age, a playmate some six 
years older, initiated her into the habit of playing with her sexual . 
parts. She was, however, at this age quit« devoid of sexual feelings, 
and the habit dropped naturally, without any liad effects, as Boon as she 
left the neighborhood of this girl a year or so later. Her health was 
good end even brilliant, and she developed vigorously at puberty. At 
the age of sixteen, however, a mental shock caused menstruation to 
diminish In amount during some 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 hpr 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 saise of ribratlon, tension, pressure, 
dilatatjon and tickling, accompanied, it may be, by some ovarian con- 
gestion, for she felt that on the left side there was a network of sexual 
nerves, and retroversion of the uterus was detected some years later. 
Her life was strenuous with many duties, hut no occupation could be 
pursued without this undercurrent of sexual hyperasthesia involving 
perpetual self-control. This continued more or less acutely for many 
years, when menstruation suddenly stopped altogether, much before the 
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 t>oth accompanied by the 
relief of excitement. This lasted for two years. Then, for the treat- 
ment of a trifling degree of anemia, she waa subjected to a long, and, 
in her case, injudicious course of hypodermic injections of strychnia. 
From that time, five years ago, up 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 1^ the 
fact that her traditions make it impossible for her (except under rery 
exceptional circumstances) to allude to the cause of her sufifcrings. "A 
woman is handicapped," she writes. "She may never apeak to anyone 
on such a subject. She must 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, she felt impelled to resort to masturbation, and 
has done so about once a month since; this not only brings no real 
relief, and leaves irritability, wakefulness, and dark marks under the 
eyes, but is a cause of remorse to her, for she regards masturbation as 

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entirely abnormal and uimatural. She baa tried to gain benefit, not 
merely by the usual methods of physical hygiene, but by auggestion, 
Christian Science, etc., but all in vain. "I may say," she writei, "that 
it is the most passionate desire of my heart to be freed from this bond- 
age, that I may relax the terrible years'Iong tension of resistance, and 
be happy in my own way. If I had this affliction once a month, once 
a weelc, even twice a week, to stand against it would be child's play. I 
should scorn to resort to tinnatnral means, however moderately. But 
self-control itself has its revenges, and I sometimes feel as if it Is no 
longer to be borne." 

Thus while it is an immense benefit in physical and psychic 
development if the eruption of the disturbing sexual emotions can 
be delayed imtil 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 crush altogether the sezual 
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, 'T 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 tenned a 
virtue, it is hut a negative virtue. The persons who achieve it, 
as the result of congenitally feeble sexual aptitudes, merely (as 
Gyurkovechky, Fiirbringer, and Lowenfeld have all alike re- 
marked) made a virtue of their weakness. Many 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.^ 

iCorre [lies CHminels, p. 351) mentions that of thirteen priests 
convicted of crime, sis were guilty of sexual attempts on children, and 
of eigbty-thres convicted lay teachers, forty-eight hsd committed similar 
offenses. This was at a time when lay teachers were in practice almost 
compelled to live a celibate lite; altered conditions have greatly dimin- 
ished thin class of offense among them. Without going so far as crime, 
many moral and leligioua men, clergymen and others, who have led 
severely abstinent lives in youth, sometimes experience in middle age 
or later the eruption of almost nnoontrol labia sexual impulses, normal 
or abnormal. In women such manifestations are apt to take the form 
of obsessional thoughts of sexual character, as e.g., the case (Comptea- 
Rendta Congria International de MMecine, Moscow, ISBT, vol. iv, p. 27) 
of a chaste woman who was compelled to think about and look at tbe 
sexual organs of men. 

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The conception of "sexual abstinence" is, we see, an entirely 
falae and artificial conception. It is 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 transfonn it into the altruistic virtue of self- 
sacrifice. When we have done so 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. Coarage, 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 sexual 
intimacy. Thus the deliberate adoption of a consistently celibate 
life implies the narrowing 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 is more especially the needs of the female which are 
the determining factor; for those needs are more various, com- 
plex and elusive, and ia his attentiveness to their gratification 
the male finds a source of endless erotic satbfaction. 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 

1 J. A. Godfrey, The Bcience of Se», p. 138. 

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

While from the point of view of society, as from that of 
Natuce, the end and object of the sexual impulse is procreation, 
and nothing beyond procreation, that is by no means true for the 
individual, whose main object it must be to fulfil himself bar* 
monionsly with that dne regard for others which the art of living 
demands. Even if sexual relationships had no connection wiUi 
procreation whatever — as some Central Australian tribes believe 
— they would still be justifiable, and are, indeed, an indispensable 
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 — bad stored up in their past all the experiences that go to 
the complete realization of life, and if it were not so they would 
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, betweoi 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 abatinenee" 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 

1 See, e.g., Hmvelook ElIU, "St. Frnncis and OtherB," AffiTmaiiont. 

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there is nothing but barmoDy. The development of one involvee 
the development of the other. 

It has been neeesBary to treat serioualy this problem of 
"sexual abstinence" because we have behind us the traditions of 
two thousand years based on certain ideals of sexual law and 
sexual 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 most 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 
imderlying 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 scxoal 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 dispates have been introduced where no matter of real 
dispute need exist. A ccmtest has been earned 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 eadi side was right and each 
side was wrong. 

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It Ib necesBary, we see, that the balance should be held even. 
An absolute license is bad ; an abBolnte abstinence— even though 
Bome by nature or circumstances are urgently called to adopt it — 
is also bad. They are both alike away from the gracious equilib- 
rium of Nature. And the force, we see, which naturally holds 
this balance even is 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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L The Orsi/.— The Keligioua Origlii ot the Orgy— The Feast of 
Fools — Recognition of the Or^ t^ the Qreeka and Romaiu — The Orgy 
Among Savages — The Drama — The Object Subseired bj the Orgy. 

IL The Origin and Development of Pro«tituti<m: — The Deflaition 
of Prostitution — Prostitution Among Savages — The Conditions Under 
Which Professional Prostitution Arises — Sacred Prostitution — The Rite 
of Mylitta — The Practice 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 
Medinval Brothel — The Appearance of the Courtesan — Tullia D'Aragona 
— Veronica Franco — Ninon de Lenclos — Later Attempts to Eradicate 
Prostitution — The Regulation of Prostitution — Ita Futility Becoming 

ni. The Causes of Proalitution : — Prostitution as a Part of the 
Marriage System — l^e Complex Causation of Prostitution — The Motives 
Assigned by Prostitutes — (1) Economic Factor ot Prostitution — Poverty 
Seldom the Chief Motive for Prostitution — But Economic Pressure Exerts 
a Real Influence — The Irge Proportion of Prostitutes Recruited from 
Domestic Service — Significance of This Fact — [2) The Biological Factor 
of Prostitution — The So-called Bom-Prostitute — Alleged Identity witb 
the Bom-Criminal — The Sexual Instinct in" Prostitutes — The Physical 
and Psychic Characters of Prostitutes — (^) Moral Necessity as a Factor 
in the Existence of Prostitution — The Moral Advocates ot Prostitution — 
The Moral Attitude ot Christianity Towards Prostitution— The Attitude 
of Protestantism — Recent Advocates ot 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 Civilisation 
Attracts Women to Prostitution — The Corresponding Attraction Felt by 
Men — The Prostitute as Artist and Leader ot Fashion — The Charm of 

IV. The Freaent Social Atlitude Totcardt Pros tihi (ion .-—The Decay 
of the Brothel — The Tendency to the Humanization of ProBtitution — 
The Monetary AspeoU of ProstituUott— The Geisha— The Hetaira— The 




Monti ReToIt Againat Prostitution — Squalid Vice Baaed on Luxurious 
Virtue— The Ordioary Attitude Towards Prostitutes— Its Cruelty Absurd 
— The Need of Reforming Prostitution — The Need of Belormiog Mar- 
riage—These Two Needs Closely Correlated— The Dynamic Belationships 

/. The Orgy. 

Traditional morality, religion, and established convention 
combine to promote not only the extreme of rigid abstinence but 
also that of reckless license. They preach and idealize the one 
extreme; they drive those vho cannot accept it to adopt the 
opposite extreme. In the great ages of religion it even happens 
that the severity of the mle of abstinence is more or less deliber- 
ately tempered by the permlBSion for occasional ontbursts of 
license. We thus have the orgy, which flourished in mediaeval 
days and is, indeed, in its largest sense, a universal manifestation, 
having 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 vrider region which 
belongs to religion. The Greek orgeia referred originally to 
ritual things done with a religious purpose, though later, when 
dances of Bacchanals and the like lost their sacred and inspiring 
character, the idea was fostered 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 bad done, the need for 
an occasional orgy. It appears that in 743 at a Synod held in 
Hainault reference was made to the February debauch {de Spur- 
calibus in febntario) 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 

1 See, e.g., Cheethara's Hulsean Lectures, The Mysteries, Pagan atu| 
ChrUtian, pp. 123, 136. 

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year, the gteat Camtral prefixed to the long fast of Lent. The 
celebration on Shrove Tuesday and the previous Sunday con- 
stituted a ChristiaD Bacchanalian festival in which all classes 
joined. The greatest freedom and activity of physical movement 
vas encouraged; "some go about naked without shame, some 
crawl on all fours, some on stilts, some imitate animals."! ^g 
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 Mediceval Feast of 
Fools — a New Tear's Revel 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 the 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 to 
the men of that age, as M^ray remarks, "the temple offered the 
complete notes of the human gamut; they found there the 
toaching of all duties, the consolation of all sorrows, the satis- 

on mcdiwval festivala in his 8uddeul»ohe» Bauernleben tm Mittekuter, 
shows how, in Uiese Christian oi^ea which were really of pagan origin, 
the German people reacted with tremendous and boisterous energy 
against the laborious end monotonous existence of everyday life. 

2 This was clearly realized by the more intelligent upholders of the 
Feast of Fools. Austere persons wished to abolish this Feast, and in a 
remarkable petition sent up to the Theological Faculty of Paris (and 
quoted by Flogel, Oeschichte dea Oroleik-Komiscken, fourth edition, p. 
204) the case for the Feast Is thus presented: "We do this aceordiDg to 
ancient custom, in order that folly, which is second nature to man and 
seems to be inborn, may at least once a year have free outlet. Wine 
casks would burst if we failed sometimes to remove the bung and let in 
air. Now we are al! ill-bound casks and barrels which would let out 
the wine of wisdom if by constant devotion and tear of Qod we allowed 
it to ferment. We must let in air so that it may not be spoilt. Thus 
on some days we rive ourselves up to sport, so that with the greater zeal 
we may afterwards return to the worship of God." The Feast of Fools 
was not Buppreeeed until the middle of the sixteenth eentnry, and relics 
of It persisted (as at Aix) till near the end ot the ei^teentb century. 



factioD of all joys. The Bacred festivals of mediffival Christianity 
were not a survival from Roman times; they leapt from the very 
heart of Christian society."! But, as M6ray admits, all great 
and vigorous peoples, of the East and the West, have found it 
necessary Bometimea to play with their sacred things. 

Among the Greeks and Bomans this need is everywhere 
visible, not only in their comedy and their literature generally, 
but in everyday life. As Nietzsche truly remarks (in his Oeburt 
der Tragodie) the Greeks recognized all natural impulses, ev^ 
those that are seemingly unworthy, 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 most influential of the 
Greek moralists, well eays, when advocating festivals (in his 
essay "On the Training of Children"), that "even in bows and 
harps we loosen their strings that we may bend and wind them 
up again." Seneca, perhaps the most influential of Roman if 
not of European moralists, even recommended occasional drunk- 
enness. "Sometimca," 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 carca 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 imdertakings." The 
Romans were a sterner and more serious people than the Greeks, 
but on that very account tliey 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 

1 A Mfray, La Vie ati Temps dm Litres Prfchcura, vol. Ji, Ch. X. 
A good and ncliolarly awouiit of the Fe^st of Foola in given by B. R. 
Chambers, The Sfedi'(rial flage, Cli. XIII. It ii true that tbe Cliurch 
and the early Fathers often anatheraatized the theatre. But Gregoty 
of Nazianwn wUhed to found a Christian theatre; the Medisval Myi- 
teries were certainly under the proteetion of the clergy ; and St. Thotnaa 
AquiniLs, the greatent of the schoolmen, only condemns tbe theatre witli 
CHUtiouB qualifieationa. 

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PB08TITUTI0N. 221 

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

All over the world, and not ezceptmg 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 Qillen 
describe^ the Nathagura or fire-ceremony of the Warramunga 
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 Indians, 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 Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribe* of Central Australia, C\t. XII. 

'Journal Anthropologioal liutilute, July-Dec., 1804, p. 329. 

3 Westemuirck {Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, vol. 
il, pp.'283-0) shows bow widespread ia the cuatom of setting apart a 
periodical rest daj. 

4 A. E. Crawley, The Mystic Rote, pp. ET3 et aeq., Crawley brings 
into association with this function of great festivals the custom, found 
in some parts of the world, of exchanging wives at tbene times. "It has 
nothing whatever to do with the marriage system, except as breaking it 
for a season, women of forbidden degree being lent, on the same grounds 
aa conventions and ordinary relations are broken at festivals of the 
Saturnalia type, the object being to change life and start afresh, by 
exchanging evervthing one can. while the very ai-t of exohnnge ooincidea 
with the other desire, to weld the community tDgether" (/6., p. 479). 


222 PsYOHOLOaT of bkX. 

The orgy is an institution which by no means has its signifi- 
cance only for the past. On the contrary, the 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. Aa Wilhelm von Humboldt said, "just as men need 
suffering in order to become strong so they need joy in order to 
become good." Charles Wagner, insisting more recently (in his 
Jeunesse) on the same need of joy in our modem life, regreta that 
dancing In the old, free, and natural manner has gone out of 
fashion or become unwholesome. Dancing is indeed the most 
fundamental and primitive fonn of the orgy, and that which most 
completely and healthfully fulfils its object. For while it is 
undoubtedly, as we see even among animals, a process by whioh 
aexual tumescence is accomplished,' it by no means necessarily 
becomes focuesed in sexual detumescence 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 fimction of tragedy as "purgation" seems to he a recognition 
of the beneficial effects of the orgy.^ Wagner's music-dramas 
appeal powerfully to this need; the theatre, now as ever, fulfils 
a great function of the same kind, inherited from the ancient 
days when it was the ordered expression of a sexual festival,^ 

tSee "The Analfsia of the SemiBl Impulse" in vol. i!i of thne 

SQ. Murray, Ancient Greek Literalure. p. 211. 

8 The Qreek drama probably arose out of a tolk-testival of more or 
leas sexual character, and it is even posftible that tbe mediKral drama 
had a somewhat similar origin (see Donaldson, The Greek Theatre; Gil- 
bert Murray, loo. «7.; Karl Pearson, The Ckanctt of Death, vol. ii, pp. 
13S-e, 280 e(«^.). 

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1>B08TITCTI0I1. 223 

The theatre, indeed, tende at the present time to aesume a larger 
importance and to approximate to the more seriouB 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 perfomumces, analogous to the Dionysiac festivals of 
antiquity and the Mysteries and MoralitiftS of the Middle Ages. 
The movement began some years ago at Orange. In 1907 there 
were, in France, as many as thirty open-air theatres (Th^tres de 
la Nature," "Th^&tres do 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 he associated the more occasional celebrations, "Maffekings," 
etc., often called out by comparatively insignificant national 
events but still adequate to arouae orgiastic emotions as genuine 
as those of antiquity, though they are lacking in beauty and 
religious consecrati<Hi. 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 these 
moments of joyous exercise and expressicm, 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. .Canndo, "Lm Cboreg«s Francois," MercMrt de France, May 1, 

1907, p. leo. 

B"ThiB is, in fact," Cypln d«larea (The Froces» of Human 
Emperienct, p. 743), "Art's grot fuDctioD — to rehearse within ub grestpr 
egoistic pOBBtbilities, to habituate us to larger actualizations of persooal- 
ity In a rudimentary raanner," and so to arouse, "aimlessly but splen- 
didly, the sheer u yet unfulfilled possibilities witliiii as." 



//. The Origin and Development of Prostitution. 

The more refined forms of the orgy flourish in civilization, 
although on account of their mainly cerebral character they are 
not the most beneficent or the most efifective. The more 
primitive and muscular forms of the orgy tend, on the other 
hand, imder the influence of civilization, to fall into discredit 
and to be 80 far as possible suppressed altogether. It is partly 
in this way that civilization encourages prostitution. For the 
orgy in its primitive forms, forbidden to shov itself openly and 
reputably, seeks the darkness, and allying itself with a funda- 
mental instinct to which civilized society ofEers 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- 

What b prostitution? There has been considerable discna- 
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 
modern definitions have been so satisfactory. It is sometimes 
said a prostitute is 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 thereby pro- 
tected againHt dc^ading orgiaatic reoctiona. Prof. L. Gurlitt shows 
{Die Tieue Generation, Januarj, 1909, pp. 31-S) how the strenuous, 
unremitting intellectual work of Prussian seminaries leads among both 
teachers and scholars to the worst forms of the orgy. 

2Rabutaux discusses various deflnitious of prostitution, De la 
Prottitution en Europe, pp. 110 et »eq. For the origin of the names to 
designate the prostitute, see Schrader, RealUtoioon, art. "BeiarhlBferin." 

s Dige»t, lib. xxiil, tit, if, p. 43. If she onl; gave herself to one or 
two persons, though for numey, it was not prostitution. 

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sejces alike and we should certainly hesitate to describe a man who 
had aexaal intercourse with many women as a prostitute. The 
idea of venality, the intention to sell the favore of the body, is 
essential to the conception of prostitution. Thus Quyot defines 
a prostitute as "any person for whom sexual relationships are 
Bubordinated 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 livelihood, yet, immoral as this conduct may be from any 
high ethical standpoint, it would be inconvenient and even mis- 
leading to call it prostitution.* 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";^ Richard again states that "a prostitute is a woman 
who publicly gives herself to the first comer in return for a 
pecimiary remuneration."^ As, 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 Gufot, La Prottitutian, p. 9. The element of venalit; is essential, 
and religious writers (like Robert Wardlaw, D.D., of Edinburgh, in his 
LecUtret on Female Prostitalion, 1B42, p. 14) who deflne proatitution ai 
"the illicit intercourae of the aexei," dud anonymous with theological 
"fornication," fall into an absurd confusion. 

s"Such marriagea are sometimes atigmatiEed as lenilized prosti- 
tution/" remarks Sidgnick (Method» of EthUx, 6k. iti, Ch. XI), "but 
the phrase is felt to be extravagant and paradoxical." 

s Bonger, Criminality et Conditiotu Bmmomiquei, p. 379. Bon- 
ger believes that the act of prostitution is "intrinsically equal to that 
of a man or woman who contracts a marriage for economical reasons." 

* E. Richard. La ProsUtulitnt d Pari*, 1800, 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 clients. Rensi states that she mnst, in addition, be absolutely 
withont means ot subeisteuce; that Is certainly not essential. Nor is 
it neeesBary, as l^e Digrat insisted, that the act should be performed 
"without pleasure;" that majr be as It will, without alTecting the 
prostttutionnl nature of the act. 

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to gratify the lust of varioUB peraons of the opposite sex or the 
eame sex. 

It is essential tliat Ihe act of proBtitution aliould l*e lutbituall; per- 
formed with "various persoua." A woman wlio gainx her living by being 
mistress to a man, to whom she is faitliful, is not a prostitute, altltough 
she often becomes one afterwards, and may have been <we ttefore. The 
exact point at whicli a woman begins to be a prostitute is a question of 
considerable importance in countries in wliieh prostilutea are subject to 
regiatration. Thus in Berlin', sot long aj^, a girl who was mistress to 
a rich cavatrf oflicer and aupporteil by him, during the illness of the 
officer accidentally met a man whom she had formerly known, and once 
or twice invited him to aec her, receiving from him presents in money. 
This 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, tbe sentence was annulled. I.iiut. in hia SIrofrecht, 
lays it down that a girl who (Stains whole or part of her income from 
"fixed relationships" ia not practicing uncliastity for gain in the aenae 
of the German law (OeaehheM und OeseJlachaft, Jatargang 1, Heft 0. p. 

It is not altogether easy to explain the origin of the syatem- 
atized profeEsional prostitution with the existence of which ve 
are familiar in civilization. Tbe amateur kind of prostitution 
which has sometimes been noted among primitive peoples — the 
fact, that is, that a man may give a woman a present in seeking 
to persuade her to allow him to have intercourse with her — is 
really not prostitution na we understand it. The present in such 
a case is merely part of a kind of courtship leading to a temporarv 
relationship. The woman more or leiis retains her social position 
and is not forced to make an avocation of selling herself because 
henceforth no otlier 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 was as innocent." The consent of tbe woman'? 
friends was necessary, and when tbe preliminaries were settled 
it was also necessan,- to treat this "Juliet of a night" with "the 
same delicacy aa is hero required with the wife for life, and the 
lover who presumed to take any liberties by which this was 

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violated was sure to be disappointed.''' In some of tLe Melan- 
esian lElandf, 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 could marr}' well, after which it 
would not be proper to refer to their former career 2 

When prostitution first arises among a primitive people tt 
sometimes happens that little or no stigma is attached to it for 
the reason that the community has not vet 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 iinds his wife a virgin 
he says to her: 'If you were worth anything men would have 
loved j'ou, and yon would have chosen one who would have taken 
away your vii^inity.' Then lie drives her away and renounces 
her." It is a feeling of this kind wliich, among some peoples, 
leads a girl to be proud of the presents she has received from her 
lovers and to preserve them as a dowrj- for her marriage, knowing 
that her value will thus be still 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 tliese peoples, 
declares, is fundamentally different from vice, licentiousness, or 
immodesty. 3 

Prostitution tends to arise, as Schurtz has pointed out, in 
every society in wliich 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 

I Hawkeaworth, Aocount of the Voyages, etc., 1775, vol. ii. p. 254. 

! R. W. Codringfon, The ilclanoians, p. 233. 

3F. S. KrnHRs, Romanitcke Forachiiagen, 1903, p. 290. 



impeded by unneually early marriagee.'"' The repreeeion of 
sexual intimacies outside marriage is a pheDomenon 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 — though 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 as a professional matter, without 
any thought of love or passion, and who, by virtue of her pro- 
fession, belongs to a pariah class deflnitely 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, they are rarely truly promiscuous and etill more 
rarely venal. When savage women nowadays sell themselves, or 
are sold by their husbands, it has usually been found that we are 
concerned with the contamination of European civilization. 

The definite ways in which 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 difiicult prostitution must certainly arise. There are, how- 
ever, different ways in which this principle may take shape. So 
far as our western civiiizntion is concerned— the civilization, that 

1 H. Schurtz, AlttrakUuaen ttn4 MUnnerbUnde, 1902, p. 190. In 
this work Schurtz brings together (pp. 189-201 ) some examples of the 
germs of prostitution among primitive peoples. Many facta and refer, 
encea are given by Westennarck (fftstory of Human Marriage, pp, 60 
ct teq., and Orirjiit and Development of the Moral Ideai, toI. ii, pp. 441 

3 Bachofen (more especially in his Mutterrecht end Sage ron 

Tanaquil] argued that ei-en religious jiTontitution sprang from thi> 

resintance of primitive instincts t^ the individualization ol love. Cf. 
Robertson Smith, Rrligion of Bemtleit, second edition, p. 59. 



IB to say, which hae its cradle in the Mediterranean basin — it 
would eeem that the origin of prostitution ia to bo found pri- 
marily in a religious custom, religion, the great conserrer 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 Uylitta, the Babylonian Venus, 
where every woman once in her life bad 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 other parts of Western Asia, in Xorth 
Africa, in Cyprus and other islands of the Enistcm Mediterranean, 
and also in Greece, where the Temple of Aphrodite on the fort at 
Corinth possessed over a thousand hierodiiles, dedioatctl to the 
service of the go<l<les8, from time to time, as Strnbo states, by 
those who desired to make thank-offering for mercies vouchsafed 
to them. Pindar refers to the hflspitabte young Corinthian 
women ministrnnts whose thoughts often turn towards Ourania 

1 Whatever the reaaon may be, there can be no doubt that there li 
a wideapreBd tendency for religion mid prostitution to be associated; it 
is pMBibly to some extent a special case of that gi-iieral connection 
between the religious and sexual impulnes wlijch has been discussed else' 
where (Appendix C to vol. i of these Stiidif*). Thus A. B. Ellis, tn tils 
book on The Bu>e-ap«aking Peoplet of Wrst Africa (pp. 124, HI) etaten 
that here women dedicated to a god become promiscuous prostitutes. 
\V. O. Sumner {Folhiraifii, Ch. XVI| bringtn togptlier many (nets concern- 
ing the wide distribution of religious prostitution. 

a Herodotus, Bk. I, Ch. CXCIX; Baruch, Ch. VI, p. 43. Modern 
scholars confirm the statements of HerodotuR from the study of Babylon- 
ian literature, though inclined to deny that religious prostitution 
occupied BO large a place as he givee it. A tablet of the Qilgamaib epic, 
according to MorriH Jastrow, refers (o prostitutes as attendants of the 
goddess Ishtar in the city Uruk (or Erech), which was thus a centre, and 
perhaps the chief centre, of the rites described bv HETodotua (Morrli 
Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and AB»yria. 1898, p. 475). Ishtar 
was the gwddess of fertilfiy, the great mother goddess, and the prostitutes 
were priestesses, attnchpif to her worship, who took part in ceremonies 
intended to symlwIiEe fertility. These priestesses of Tshtar were known 
by the general name Kadishtu, "the holy ones" {op. cit., pp. 4H.i. 660). 

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Aphrodite' in whose temple they burned incense; and Athenieus 
mentioDB the importance that vas attached to the prajers of the 
Corinthian prostitutee in any national calamity.^ 

We seem here to be in the presence, not merely of a relig- 
iously preserved survival of a greater sexu&I freedom formerly 
existing,^ but 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 eesual intercourse which thus 
acquire a religious significance. . At a later stage acts of sexual 
intercourse haviug a religious significance become specialized aud 
localized in temples, and b,v a rational transition of ideas it 
becomes believed that^such acts of eexual intercourse in the serv- 
ice of tile 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 
BcasoDal festivals, but among the peoples of Western Asia who had 
ceased to be primitive, and among wliom traditional priestly and 
hieratic influences had acquire<l very great influence, the earlier 

1 It is usual aiuoiig modem writers to aBSoclate Aphri>dit« Pan- 
demos, rather than Ourania, with venal or promiscuous sexuality, but 
this ia a complete mistake, for the Aphrodite Pandemos was purely polit- 
ical and had no sexuni aignidcance. The mistalce was introduced, per- 
hapa intentional ly, by Plato. It has been sug^aUd that that arcb-jug- 
gler, who disliked democratic ideas, purposely nought to pervert and 
vulgarize the conception of Aphrodite PandemoH (Parnell, CuU» of Oreek 
Statet, vol. ii, p. 660). 

SAtbenEeiis. Bk. xiii, cap. XXXII. It appears tliat tbe only other 
Hellenic community where the temple cult Involved uncbastity was a 
city of the Locri Epizephyrii (Famell, op. nil., vol. ii, p. 636). 

S I do not say an earlier "promiaeuity," for the theory of a primi- 
tive sexual promiscuity is now widely discredited, tliough there can be 
no reasonable doubt that tbe early prevalence of mother-right was more 
favorable to the aexual freedom of women than the later patriarchal 
system. Thus in very early Egyptian days a woman could give her 
favors to any man she chose bv sending bim her garment, even if she 
were married. In time tbe growth of the rights of men led to this^ being 
reftarded as criminal, but the priest*sHes of Amen retained the privilege 
to tbe last, as being under dirine protection (Flinders Petrie. Et/yplian 
Tales, pp.10. tH). 

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PK08T1TCTI0N. '261 

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

The theory ^^'■l- religious prostitution developed, as a general rule, 
out oi the belief that the generative activity of human beings posseBsed 
a mysterious and sacred influence in promoting the fertility of Nature 
generally seetns to Iiave been first set forth by Alannhardt in his Aattke 
WaUI- and Feldkulte (pp. 283 et seg.). It is supported by Dr. F. S. 
Krauss ("BeischlnfausUbung hIb Kulthandlung," Anihropophyteia, vol. 
iii, p. 20), who refers to the nigniflcant fact that in Baruch's tine, at a 
period long anterior to Herodotus, sacred prostitution took place under 
tlie trees. Dr. J. G. Fraier has more especially developed this concep- 
tion of the origin of sacred prostitution in his Adonii, Attia, Osiris. He 
thus summarizes his lengthy discussion: "We may conclude that b. great 
Mother Goddess, the personification of all 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 corameree being deemed 
essential to the propagation of animals and plants, each in their several 
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 seites at the sanctuary of the goddess for 
the sake of tJierebj ensuring tiie fruitfuliiees of the ground and the 
increase of man and betiiit. 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 accordingly they resorted to various expedients 
for eroding 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 tJie old way. These became 
prostitutes, either for life or for a term of years, at one of the temples: 
iledieiUeil to the service of religion, they were invepted with a sacred 

lit should be added that Farnell ("Tlie Position of Women In 
Ancient Religion." Archiv fur ReUgionttrissenschafl, 1904, p. 88) seeks 
to explain the religious prostitution of Babylonia as a apedal religious 
modification of the ciisfom of destroying virginity before marriage in 
order to safeguard the husband from the mvsHe dangers of defloration. 
E. S. Hartland. also ('Tonceming the Bite" at the Temple of Mylltta," 
Anthropological Ewayt Prrntntrd to E. B. TyUr. p. 18fl), su^eets that 
this was a puberty rite connected with c*>remo^iBl defloration. This 
theory Is not, however, generally accepted by Semitic scholars. 

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character, and their vocation, (ar from being deemeti infamouB, i 
prohablf long regarded 1^ the laity as an exercise of more than ci 
virtue, and rewarded with a tribute of mixed wonder, reverence, and 
pitj, not unlike that which in some parte of the world is still paid to 
women who seek to honor their Creator in a different waj by renouncing 
the natural functions of their sex and the tenderest relatione of human- 
ly' (J. G. Frawr, Adonis, Atlia, Osiris, 1»07, pp. 23 et aeq.). 

It ie difficult to resist the conclusion that this theory representB 
the central and primitive idea which led to the development of sacred 
prostitution. It seems equally clear, however, that as time went on, and 
especially as temple cults developed and priestly influence increased, this 
fundamcnt«l and primitive idea tended to become modlBed, and even 
transformed. The primitive conception became specialized in the belief 
that religious benefits, and especially the gift of fruitfulness, were 
gained fty the toorshipper, who thus sought the goddess's favor by an 
act of uncbastity which might be presumed to be agreeable to an 
unchaste deity. The rite of Mylitta, as described by Herodotus, was a 
late development of this kind in an ancient civilisation, and the benefit 
sought was evidently for fJie worshipper herself. This has been pointed 
out by Dr. Westennarck, who remarks that the words spoken to the 
woman by her partner as he gives her the coin — ^"Jfay the goddess he 
auspicious to thee!" — themselves indicate that the object of the act was 
to insure her fertility, and be refers also to the fact that strangers fre- 
quently had a Berai-supematural character, and their benefits a -specially 
eflleacious character (Westermarck, Origin and Development of the Moral 
Ideat, 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 representative of a god, or his image, 
ensured a woman's fertility. This is the rite practiced by the Egyptians 
of MendcH, in which a woman went through the ceremony of simulated 
intercourse with the sacred goat, regarded as the representative of a 
deity of Pan-tike character (Herodotus, Bk. ii, Ch. XLVI; and see 
Dulaure, Dfs Diviniti» Oiniratricea, Ch. II; o/. vol. v of these Studies, 
"Eirotic 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 Civiiale 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 simulate act of intercourse, to confer on the 
worshipper a portion of its own exalted generative activity. 

At 8 later period, in Corinth, prostitutes were still the 
prieetessea of Venus, more or lees loosely attached to her 

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templee, and so bug as that was the eaite they enjoyed a con- 
siderable degree of eeteem. At this stage, however, we realize 
that religioua prostitution was developing a utilitarian side. 
Theee temples flourished chiefly in sea-coast towns, in islands, in 
large cities to which many strangers and sailors came. The 
priestessea 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 religioua 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 pori^ion 
which they may dispose of as they think fit (Bk. 1, Ch. 93) may 
very well have developed (as Frazer also believes) o\it of religious 
prostitution ; we can indeed trace its evolution in Cyprus where 
eventually, 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 cheat to form marriage-portions for 
them. It IB a custom to be found in Japan and various other 
parts of the world, notably among the Ouled-Sail 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 llylitta furnished *a 
natural basb for it.^ 

1 The girU of this tribe, wlio are remarkably pretty, after spending 
two or three years in thus amassing a little dowry, return home to marry, 
and are said to make model wives and mothers. They are described by 
Bertherend in Parent-Duchfitelet, La Proatitittioa d Paris, vol. ii, p. 530. 

I In Abyasinia (according to Fiaschi, Britigh Medical Journal, 
March 13, 1697), where prostitution has always been held in high esteem. 
the prostitutes, who are now subject to medical examination twice a 
week, still attach no disgrace to tbeir profession, and easily find hus- 
bands afterwards. Potter (Bohrab and Rusfem, pp. 16S et teq.) gives 
references as regards peoples, widely dispersed in the Old World and t)ic 
New, among whom the young women have practiced prostitution to 
obtain a dowry. 



As a more Bpiritual conception of religion diaveloped, and 
as the growth of civilization tended to deprive sexual intercourse 
of ita sacred halo, religious prostitution in Greece was slowly 
abolished, though on the coasts of Asia Minor both religious 
prostitution and prostitution for tlie purpose of obtaining a 
marriage portion persisted to the time of Constantine, who put an 
end to these ancient customs.' Superstition was on the side 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 — a legend which eeeins 
to point to a certain antagonism between sacred and secular pros- 
titution — this was the case with the women who first became 
public prostitutes. The decay of religious prostitution, doubtles^^s 
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 forms part, was completed. The 
Athenian dikterion is the modem brothel; the dikleriade is the 
modem etate-regulatcd prostitute. The free hetairce, indeed, 
subsequently arose, educated women having no taint of the dik- 
lerion, but they likewise had no official part in public worshij).- 
The primitive conception of the sanctity of sexual intercourse in 
the divine service had been utterly lost. 

A fairly topical example of the conditionB existing amoog savages 
is to be found in the South Sea Island of Rotuma, where "prostitution 
for money or gifts was quite unknown." Adulterj* after marriage was 

1 At Tralles, in Lydia, even in Ufe secoDd century A. D., Ba Sir 
W. M. Ramsay notei {CUiei of Phrj/gia, vol. i, pp. B4, 115), sacred 
prostitution waa still an honorable pracUce 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 form has been traced by vmiiouB writers (see, e.g., Dupouey, La 
Fro»tiluticm dane I'AntiquiU) . The earliest complimentury reference to 
Hie Hetairo in literature is to be found, according to Bcnecke (.Inft- 
morhiia of Colophon, p. 36), in Bncchjlides. 

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PB08T1TUTION. . 235 

also unknown. But there was great treedom in the formation of aesual 
relationships before marriage (J. Stanley Gardiner, Journal Anthro- 
pological Institute, February, ISOS, p. 409). Much Ute same is said of 
tlie Bantu Ba mbola of Africa {op. cit., July-December, lOOG, p. 410). 

Among the early Cymri of Wales, representing a more advanced 
social stage, prostitution appears to have been not absolutely unknown, 
but public prostitution was punished by loss of valuable privileges (R. 
B. Holt, "Marriage Laws and Customs of the Cymri," Journal Anthro- 
pohgioal Inatitule, August-November, IS9S, pp. 101-163). 

Prostitution was practically unknown in Burmab, and regarded as 
shameful before the coming of the English and the example of the mod' 
em Hindus. The missionaries have unintentionally, but inevitably, 
favored the growth of prostitution by condemning free unions [Arohivea 
d'Anthropologie 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 ti)e passerby. We had, 
and we have, castes of singers and dancers who are married to trees — 
yes, to trees — hy touching ceremonies which date from Vedic times; our 
priests bless them and receive much money from them. They do not 
refuse themselves to those who love them and plesse them. Kings have 
made them rich. Tliey represent all tlie arts; they are the vinible 
beaut; of the unirerse" (Jules Bois, Fwiona de I'Inde, p. 6B). 

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 ascred calling Iium tbeir earliest years, and it is 
their chief business to dance before the image of the god, to whom they 
are married (though in Upper India profe^ional dancing girls are mar- 
ried to inanimate objects), but they are also trained in arousing and 
assuaging the desires of devotees who come on pilgrimage to the shrine. 
For the betrothal rites by which, in India, sacred prostitutes are con- 
secrated, see, e.g., A. Van Oennep, Ritet de Passage, 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. Jcphtha was the son of a 
prostitute, brought up with the legitimate children, and the story of 
Tamnr is instructive. But the legal codes were extremely severe on 
Jewish maiden* who became prostitutes (the offense was quite tolerable 
in strange women), while Hebrew moralists Ncercised their invectives 
against prostitution; it is sufficient to refer to a well-known passage in 
the Book of Proverbs (see art. "Harlot," by Cheyne. In the Encglopcedia 
Biblica). Mabomed also severely condemned prostitution, though some- 

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what more tolerftnt to it in slave women; according to Haleby, however, 
prostitution waa practically unkDown in Islam during the first centuriei 
after the Propliet's time. 

The Persian adherents of the somewhat ascetic Ztitdaveita also 
knew prostitution, and regarded it with repulsion: "It is the Qahi [the 
courtesan, as an incarnation of tlie female demon, Oahi], Spitama 
Zarathuatral who mixes in her the seed of the faithful and the unfaith- 
ful, of the worshipper of Mazda and the worshipper of the Dtevas, of the 
wicked and the righteous. Her look dries up one-third of the mighty 
floods that run from the mountains, Zarathustra; her look withers 
one-third of the beautiful, golden-hued, growing plants, Zarathustra; 
her look withers one-third of the strength of Spenta Armaiti [the earth] ; 
and her touch withers in (he faithful one-third of his good thoughts, of 
his good words, of liis good deeds, one-third of hi-i strength, of his vic- 
torious power, of his holiness. Verilj- I say unto thee, Spitama 
Zarathustra! such creatures ought to be killed even more than gliding 
snakes, than howling wolves, than the she-wolf that falls upon the fold, 
or than the sbe-frog that falls upon the n-aters with her thousandfold 
brood" I Zend-Avesta, the Tefulidad, translated hv James Darmesteter, 

In practice, however, prostitution is well established in the modem 
East. Thus in the Tartar- Turcoman region houses of prostitution lying 
outside the paths frequented by Christians have been described by a 
writer who appears to be well informed ( "Orients lische Prostitution," 
Qetchleeht and OeaellachafI, 1907, Bd. ii. Heft 1 ) . These houses are not 
regarded as immoral or forbidden, but as pkeet in which the visitor will 
find a woman who gives him for a few hours the Illusion of being in his 
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 mopcy 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 eoHrseness of speedi occurs, 
"There is no obseerily in the Oriental brothel." At the same time there 
is no artiflcial pretence of Innocence. 

Tn Eastern .\sia, 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 is, 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! frequently also 
slide into a life of prostitution. Chinese prostitutes often end through 
opium and the ravages of syphilis (see, e.ij., Coltman's Th« C/ktnese, IBOO, 
Ch. VII). In ancient China, it is said prostitutes were a superior 



class and occupied a poBition aomewbat similar to that of the helairw in 
Greece. Even in modem China, bowerer, where they are veiy numeroug, 
and the flower boats, in which in towns by the sea they usually live, 
very luxurious, it ie chiefly for eatertainmeot, according to Home vrriters, 
that they are resorted to. Tscbang Ki Tong, military attache in Paris 
(aa quoted by Plosi and Bartels), detcribes the flower boat as leas 
analogoua to a European brothel than lo a cafi ehantant ; the young 
Chinaman comes here for music, for tea, for agreeable conversation with 
the flower-maidens, who are by no means necessarily called upon to min- 
inter to the lust of their visitors. 

In Japan, the prostitute's lot is not so degraded as in China. The 
greater reflnement of Japanese civilization allows the prostitute to 
retain a higher degree of self-respect. She Is sometimes regarded with 
pi^, hut less often with contempt. She may aasociste openly with men, 
ultimately be married, even to men of good social class, and rank aa a 
respectable woman. "In riding from Tokio to Yokohama, the past win- 
ter," Coltman observes (op. cif., p. 113), "I saw a party of four young 
men and three quite pretty and gaily-painted prostitutes, in the same 
car, who were having a glorious time. They had two or three bottles of 
various liquors, oranges, 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 whole length of the Chinese Empire and never wit- 
ness such a scene." Yet the history of Japanese prostitiit«s (which has 
been written in an interesting and well-informed book, The yighlle»t 
Citjf, 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 be well edurated. Vet even to-day, says 
Matignon ("La Prostitution au Japon," .Ircftire* d'Antkropologxe Crimi- 
nelle, October, 190RI. 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 
telegraph service, there is also much clandestine prostitution. The 
prostitution quarters are clean, beautiful and well-kept, but the Japanese 
prostitutes have lopt much of their native good taste in costume by try- 
ing to imitate European fashions. It was when prostitution began to 
decline two centuries ago. that the geishas first appeared and were 

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organized in such n wny tliat they should not, if possible, compete aa 
proatitutes wUb the recognized and licensed inhabitants of the Yoehi- 
wara, as the quarter is called to which prostitutes are confined. The 
geiahas, of course, are not prostitutes, though their virtue may not 
always be impregnable, and in social position they correspond to 
octreaseB in Europe. 

In Korea, at nil events before Korea fell into the hands of the 
Japanese, it would seem that there was no distinction between the 
class of dancing girls and prostitutes. "Among the courtesans." Angui 
Hamilton states, "the mental abilities are trained and developed nith a 
view to making them brilliant and entertaining companions. These 
'leaves of sunlight' are called giaaingy and correspond to the gejalias of 
Japan. Officially, they are attached to a department of government, and 
are controlled by a bureau of their own, in common with the Court 
musicians. They are supported from the national treasury, and they are 
in evidence at oflkial dinners and all palane entertain men tn. Tliey read 
and recite; they dance and sing; they become accomplished artista and 
musieians. They dress witli exceptional taste; they move with exceed- 
ing grace; they are delicate in appearance, very frail and very .human, 
very tender, sympathetic, and imaginative." But though they are oer- ' 
tainly the prettiest women in Korea, move in the highest society, anil 
might become concubines of the Emperor, tliey are not allowed to 
marry men of good class (Angus Hamilton, Korea, p. 52). 

The history of European prostitution, as of bo many other 
modem institutioDB, may properly be said to begin in £ome. 
Here at the outset we already find that inconsistently mixed 
attitude towards prostitution whicli to-day ia still preserved. In 
Greece it was in many respects different. Greece was nearer to 
the days of religious prostitution, and the sincerity and refine- 
ment of Greek civilization made it possible for the better kind of 
prostitute to esert, and often be worthy to exert, an influence in 
all departments of life which she has never been able to exercise 
since, 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 carr}' that 
toleration to its logical results ; he never felt bound to harmonize 
inconsistent facts of life. Cicero, a moralist of no mean order, 
without expressing approval of prostitution, yet could not under- 
stand how anyone should wish to prohibit youths from commerce 

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with prostitutes, such severity being out of harmony with all the 
ciiBtoma of the past or the present.' But the superior class of 
Koman prostitutes, the bonce muHeres, had no anch dignified 
position as the Greek ketaira. Their influence vas indeed 
immense, but it was confined, as it is in the case of their European 
successors to-day, to fasliiong, customs, 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 Roman matron.^ 

The rise of Cliristianity to political power produced on the 
whole less cliange of policy than might have been anticipated. 
The Christian rulers had to deal practically as best they might 
with a very mised, 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 
their pagan predecessors, were willing to derive a tax from pros- 
titution. The right of prostitution to exist was, however, no 
longer so unquestionably recognized aa 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 tliat 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 

I Cicero, Oratio pr6 Coelio, Cap, XS. 

» Pierre Dufour, Eiatoire de la Prostitution, vol. ii, CliB. XIX-XX. 
The real author of this well-known history of prostitution, which, thougli 
not «eholar1f in its methodn, brings together a great ma^s of interesting 
information, is snid to be Paul Lacrois, 

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Visigoths, punished with death those wlio promoted prostitution, 
and Becared, a Catholic king of the same people in the sixth 
century, prohibited prostitution altogether and ordered that a 
prostitute, when found, should receive tliree hundred strokes of 
the whip and be driven out of the city. Charlemagne, as well 
as Qenserich in Carthage, and later Frederick Barbarossa in 
Germany, made severe laws against proi>titution which were alt 
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. Slost notable of all were the 
efforts of the King and Saint, Louis IX. In I'Zoi 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 1256 he repeated this ordinance and in 1269, before 
setting out for the Crusades, he ordered the destruction of all 
places of prostitution. The rejwtition of those decrees shows liow 
ineffectual they were. They even made matters worse, for pros- 
titutes were forced to mingle with the general population and 
their influence was thus extended. St. Ijjuib 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 1.560 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 unsuspected shapes and were more dangerous than 
the more recognized brothels which had been suppressed.^ In 
spite of all such legislation, or because of it, there has been no 
country in which prostitution has played a more conspicuom 

1 lUbutaux, in his Hittoire de la Proslitution en Europe, descril>e$i 
manj attempts to euppreea proetitution ; c/. Dufour, op.cit., vol. iii. 

SDufour, op. eit„ vol. vi, Ch, XLI. It w«8 in the reign of tha 
homosexual Henry III that the tolerance of brothels was established. 

S In the ei^teentb century, especially, houses of prostitution in 
Paris attained to an astonishing degree of elaboration and prosperi^. 

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At Mantua, so great was the repulBion aroused by proBtitutes 
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 in AvigDon in 1343. In Catalonia they could not 
sit at the same table as a lady or a knight or kies 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 Maria Theresa at Vienna in the middle of the 
eighteenth century. Although of such recent date it may be 
mentioned here because it was medioeval alike in its conception 
and methods. Its object indeed, was to suppress not only prosti- 
tution, but fornication generally, and the means adopted were 
tines, imprisonment, whipping and torture. The supposed causes 
of fornication were also dealt with severely ; short dresses were 
prohibited; billiard rooms and caf^s were inspected; no wait- 
resses were allowed, and when discovered, a waitress was liable 
to be handcuffed and carried ofE by the police. The Chastity 
Commission, 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 tiie general opinion that this severe legislation 
was really ineffective, and that it caused much more serious evils 
than it cured.^ It is certain in any case that, for a long time 

On'ing to the constant watchful attention of the police a vast amount of 
detailed information concerning theee establishmenta was accumulated, 
and during recent years much of it has been published. A aumma^ of 
this literature will be found in Dflhren's Neue Forshungeti Uber den Mar- 
quis de Bade and seine Zeit, 1904, pp. 97 et aeq. 

1 Rnbutaux, op. cil., p. 54. 

3 CalzB has written the historjr of Venetian prostitution; and some 
of the documents he found have been reproduced by Sfantegaiza, Oli 
Amort degli Vomimi, cap. XIV. At the beginning of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, a comparatively late period, Coryat visited Venice, and in his 
Crudities gives a full and interesting account of ita courtesans, who then 
numbered, lie says, at least 20,000; the revenue they brought into the 
State maintained a dosen gall^rs. 

S J. Schrank, Die Proxtilvtion in Wien, Bd. I, pp. 152-206. 



past, Ulegitimacy has beea more prevalent in Vienna than in any 
other great European capital. 

Yet the attitude towards proBtitutea was always mixed and 
inconsistent at different places or different times, or even at the 
same time and place. Dufour has aptly compared their position 
to that of the mediieval Jews ; they were continually persecuted, 
eccleBiastically, 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.i 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 Rometimes 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 Ulm 
in 1434 the streets were illuminated at such times as he or his 
suite desired to visit the common brothel. Brothels under 
municipal protection are found in the thirteenth century in 
Augsburg, in Vienna, in Hamburgh In France the best known 
ahhayes of prostitutes were those of Toulouse and Montpellier.'' 
Durkbeim is of opinion that in tiie early middle ages, before this 
period, free love and marriage were less severely differentiated. 
It was the rise of the middle class, he considers, an^Eious 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 r. Robert. Les Signee d'lnfamie an Mof/en Age, Ch. IV. 

SRudeck {Ge»ckiohte der djfennichen Sittlichl.eit in Deutachtand. 
pp. 20-36) gives many details ranceming the impOTtant part played by 
pnntituteH and brotheln in mediieval Oerman life. 

8 They are described by RabiitHii\. op. rit.. pp. 00 ft geq. 

*L'Annte Bociologiqiie, seventh year, 1904. p. 440. 

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PHOStlTLTlOX. 243 

this kind lasted for three centuries. It was, in part, perhaps, the 
impetus of the new Protestant 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 mediteval 

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, fiurchard, 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 his chamber; after supper, in the presence of Csesar Borgia 
and his young sister Lucrezia, tiiey danced with the servitors and 
others who were present, at first clothed, aftenvards naked. The 
candlesticks with lighted candles were then placed upon the floor 
aud chestnuts thrown among them, to he 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 phiries dictos meretrices camaliter agnoscerent," 
the victor in the eontert being decided according to the judgment 
of the spectators,^ This scene, enacted publicly in the Apostolic 

1 Bloch, Der Vrtprvng der Sypkilii. As reg&rdH the German 
"Frauenhausen" see Max Bauer, Diu Qeacklechtaltben in der Deultoken 
Vergangenkeit, pp. 133-214. In Paris, Dufour states lop. cit., vol. v, 
Ch. XXXIV), brothelH under the ordinnnces of St. Louis liad manj' rights 
which they lost at last in 1560, when .they became merely tolerated 
houses, without statutes, special costumes, or confinement to special 

* "Cortegiana, hoc est meretrix honesta," wrote Burchard, the 
Pope's Secretary, at the bef^nnfng of the aixteeath century, Diarium, ed. 
Thuasne, vol. ii, p. 442; other authorities are quoted by Thoasne in a 

"Burohard. Diarium. vol. iii, p. Ifl7. Thuasne quotes other au- 
thorities In confirmation. 


244 psyohology of bez. 

palace and serenely set lorth by the impartial secretary, ia at once 
a notable episode in the history of modem prostitution and one of 
the most illuminating illuBtrations we possess of the paganism of 
the Senaiasance. 

Befora the term "courteaan" came into repute, proatitutee were 
«veit in Italy eommcmly called "sinners," peccatrice. The change, Grsf 
remarks in a very interesting study of the Renaissance prostitute ("Una 
Cortigiana fra Mille," Altrai>erso il Cinquecento, pp. 217-361), "reveals a 
profound alteration in ideas and in life;" a. tfrm 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 aeem 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 de Pisa which are marked by genuine passion, in Lothar 
Schmidt's Frauenbriefe der Aenaifsonce. The famous Imperia, called 
t^ a Pope in the early years of the sixteenth century "nobilissimum 
Bonus scortum," 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 hetaire, finds a very considerable likeness, especially in culture 
and influence, though wUh some diETerencea due to the antagonism 
between religion and prostitution at the later period. 

The most distinguisbed figure in every respect among the courtesans 
of that time was certainly Tullia D'Aragona. She was probably the 
daughter of Cardinal lyAragona (an illegitimate scion of tiie Spanish 
royal family) by a Perrarese courtesan who became his mistress. Tullia 
has gained a high reputation by her verse. Her bent sonnet is addressed 
to a youth of twenty, whom she passionately loved, but who did not 
return her love. Her Querrino ilenchiao, a translation from the Span- 
ish, is a very pure and chaste work. She was a woman of refined 
instincts and aspirations, and once at least she abandoned her life of 
prostitution. She was held in high esteem and respect. When, in 1544, 
Osimo, 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 sclenzia di poeeia 
et fllosofia." She dedicated her Rime to the Duchess. Tullia IHAragona 
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 unusuni respect ((5. Biagi, "Vt! Etera Romann," 

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tfuova Antologia, vol, iv, I8SS, pp. 6oS-711i S. Bongi, RioUta oHtica 
della Ltlleratttra liatiana, 1686, IV, p. 186). 

Tullia CAragona was clearly not a courtesan at heart. Perhaps 
the most typical example of the Kenaissance courtesan at her best is 
fnmiBhed by Veronica Franco, bom in 1544 at Venice, of middle class 
family and in early life married to a doctor. Of her also it has been 
said that, while by profession a prosUtut«, 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 hftTe been studied by 
Arturo Graf, and more slightly in a little book by Tageini. She was 
highly cultured, and knew several languages; she also aang well and 
played on many instrumente. In one of her letters she advises a youth 
who was madly in love with her that if he wishes to obtain her favors 
he must leave off importuning her and dei-ote himself tranquilly to 
study. 'Tfou know well," she adds, "that all those who claim to be able 
to gain my love, and 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 Diotimas 
and Aspasias tit antiquify, as Graf comments, would not have demanded 
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 anoOier woman may approach her beloved. Once 
she fell in lore with en ecclesiastic, possibly a bishop, with whom she 
had no relationships, and after a long absence, 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 promised 
to dedicate a book to him; she so far fulfilled this as to address some 
sonnets to him and a letter; "neither did the King feel ashamed of his 
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 Journal, though 
they do not appear to have met. Tintorct whs one of her many distin- 
guished friends, and she was a strenuous advocate of the high qualities 
of modem, as compared with ancient, art. Her friendships were affec- 
tionate, and she even seems to have had various grand ladies among her 
friends. She nvs, 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: 

"Cost dolce e gustei-ole divento, 
Quando mi trovo con persona In letto 
Da cui amata e gradlta mi sento." 

In a certain catatogo of the prices of Venetian courtesans Veronica 
is assigned only 2 seudi for her favors, while the courtesan to whom the 

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csUli^e IB dedicated is set down at 26 acudi. Graf thinks there majr 
be some mistaks or maLice here, and an Italian gentleman of the time 
etAte* that she required not lesa than 60 acudi from thoea to whom Bh« 
was willing to accord what Montaigne called the "negotiation entiGre." 

In regard to this matter it maj be mentioned tiiat, as stated bj 
Baadello, it was the custom for a Venetian prostitute to have six or 
seven geotlemen at « time as her lovers. Each was entitled to come to 
sup and tileep 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 
rig^t to receive a stranger passing through Venice, if 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 t« Venice as, onee in 
the sixteenth ceutuiy, Montaigne came. 

In 15S0 (when not more than thirty-four) Veronica confessed to 
the Holy Office that she had had six children. In the same year she 
formed the design of founding a borne, which should not be a monastery, 
where prostitutes who wished to abandon their mode of life could find a 
refuge with thdr children, it they had any. This seems to have led to the 
establishment of a Casa del Soeoorso. In 16S1 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 courte- 
sans who revived Greek hetairism (Graf, Attravereo il Cinquccento, pp. 
217-351). Even in sixteenth century Venice, however, it wilt be seen, 
Veronica Franco seems to have been not altogether at peace in the career 
of a courtesy. She was clearly not adapted for ordinary marriage, yet 
under the most favorable conditions that the modern world has ever 
offered it may still be doubted whether a prostitute's career can offer 
complete satisfaction to a n-nmon of large heart and brain. 

Ninon d« Lendos, who is frequently called "the last of ths great 
courtesans," may seem an exception to the general rule as to the inabil- 
ity of a woman of good heart, hi^ character, and fine 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 r^^rd her 
as in any true sense a prostitute at all. A knowledge of even the barest 
outlines of her life ought to prevent such • mistake. Bom early in the 
MT«nteenth century, she was of good family on both sides; bar mother 
was a woman of severe lite, hut her father, a gentleman of Touraine. 
inspired licr with his own Epicurean philonophy as well as his love of 
music. Slie was extremely nell educated. At the age of sixteen or 
seventeen she had her first lover, the noble and valiant Gaspard de 
Coligny; he was followed for half a century by a long succession of 
other lovers, sometimes more than one at a time; three years was the 
longest period during which she was faithful to one lover. Her attrac- 

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PR08T1IUTI0X. 247 

tloni lasted BO long thftt, it is uid, three generatioiu of Sevign^fl were 
among her loverR. Tallemant des R£anx enables ua to study in detail 
her tiaiaom. 

It i» not, however, the abundance of lovers which nukes a woman 
a proBtitute, but the nature of her relationships with them. Sainte- 
Benve, in an otherwise admirable studj uf Ninon de Lenclos {Cauaeriea 
dv Lundi, vol. iv), seems to rnikon her among the courteaans. But no 
woman is a prostitute unless she uses men as a source of pecuniary 
gain. Not onlj is there no evidenee 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." Tallem&nt, indeed, says that she sometimes 
took money from her lovers, but this statement 'probably involves noth- 
ing beyond what is contained in Voltaire's remark, and, In any ease, 
Tallemant's gossip, though usually well-informed, was not always re- 
liable. All are agreed as to her extreme disinterestedness. 

When we hear precisely of Ninon de Lenclos in connection with 
money, it is not as receiving a gift, but only as repaying a debt to an 
old lover, or restoring a large sum left with her for safe keeping when 
the owner was exiled. Such incidents are far from' suggesting the pro- 
fessional prostitute of any age; they are rather the relationships which 
might exist between men friends. NtnoD de Lenclos'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 she was never influ- 
enced by pecuniary considerations. She was, 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, as 
Sainte-Beuve has remarked, the first to realize that there must be the 
same virtues for men and for women, and that it fs absurd to reduce all 
feminine virtue* to one. "Our sex has been burdened with all the 
frivolities," she wrote, "and men have reserved to themselves the essen- 
tial qualities: I have made myself a man." She sometimes dressed as a 
man when riding (see, e.g.. Correspondence Authentique of Niuon 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 aMo to retain or 

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to conquer th« Affection aud the esteem of auuty of the best men and 
women of ber time; eren to the austere Saint-Simon it seemed that 
there reigned in her little court a decorum which the greatest princeues 
cannot achieve. She was not a prostitute, hut a woman of unique per- 
■onalit; vith a little streak of geniiu in it. Tliat she was inimitable 
■ we need not perhape greatlj regret. In her old age, in 1099, her old 
friend and former lover, Saint-Bvremond, wrote to her, with only a little 
exaggeration, that there were few princesses and few Mints who would 
not leave their courts and their cloisters to change places with her. "If 
I had known beforehand what my 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 cipresaion of a momentary mood; one may make 
too much of it. More truly characteristic Is the fine saying in which 
her Epicurean philosophy seems to stretch out towards NietEsche: "La 
joie de 1'esprit en marque la force." 

The frank acceptance of prostitution by the spiritual or even 
the temporal power has since the Kenaissance 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 h 
worse than the dieease. 

In 1800 a Mayor of Portsmoutii felt it his duty to attempt to sup- 
press prostitution. "In the early part of his mayoralty," according to 
a witness before the Select Committee on the Contagious Diseases Acts 
(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 l^e streets, and they formed up in a large body, many of them 
with only a shift and a petticoat on, and witb a lot of drunken men and 
boys with a fife and fiddle they paraded the streets for several days. 
They marched in a body to the ^-orkhouse, but for many reHsons they 

were refused admittance These women wandered about tor 

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 
tlieir 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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closed, tbe Inmatea turned out upon the Btreets, and vere refused lodg- 
ing ind even food by the citizena of tbat place. A wave of popnUf 
remonatrance, all over the countr;, at the outrage on humanitj', created 
a reaction which resuUed in & last conditioa by no means better than 
Oie first." In the same year also a Bimilar incident occurred in New 
York with the same uoiortunate resulta (Isidore Dyer, "The Municipal 
Control of Frostitnttou 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 semi-official toleration which enabled the authorities 
to exercise ft control over it, and to guard as far as possible 
against its evil by medical and police inspection. The new 
brothel system differed from the ancient medieeval bouses 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 liis Modest Defense of 
Publiclc Stews, he argues that "the encouraging of public whoring 
wilt not only prevent most of tiic 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 tn 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 commissioners 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 
Xapoleon, eighty years later, to Mtablish the system of "maisona 
de toUrance," 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 forma 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 



to the past. Many great battles have been fought over this 
question ; the most important is that which raged for many years 
in England ovur the Contagious Diseases Acts, and is embodied in 
the 600 pages of a Beport by a Select Committee on these Acta 
issued in 1882. The majority of the members of the Committee 
reported fayorably to the Acta 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 system 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 inefficacy while the psychologist and the 
sociologist are constantly becoming more convinced that it is 

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 diaeaae and misery which proceeds directly from the 
spread of svphilis and gonorrhcea, 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 some large citie« have adopted the 
regulation of proetitulion aod others have not, is inBtnictive as regards 
the lIlusoTf nature of the advantages of regulation. In 1883 Dr. Despres 
brou^t forward figures, supplied by Dutch official!, showing that in 
Rotterdam, where prostitution was regulated, both prostitution and 
venereal diseases were more prevalent than in Amsterdam, a city with- 
out regnlatJoD (A. Despr^, La ProiUtution en France, p. 122). 


PB08TITUTI0S, 251 

proBtitutee has been established for over a century,' and where 
coDseqaently ite advantages, if such there are, should be clterly 
realized, it meets with almost impassioned opposition from able 
men belonging to every section of the community. la Qermany 
the opposition to regularized control has long been led by well- 
equipped experts, headed by Blaschko of Berlin. Precisely the 
earns conclasions are being reached in America. Gottheil, of 
New York, finds that the municfpal control of prostitution ia 
"neither successful nor desirable." Heidingsfeld concludes that 
the regulation and c<mtrol system in force in Cincinnati has done 
little good and much harm ; under the system among the private ' 
patients in his own clinic the proportion of cases of both syphilis 
and gonorrhoyi has increased; "suppression of prostitutes is 
impossible and control is impracticable.''^ 

It is in Gemi&ny that tlie attempt to regulate proatitutioii still 
remains most persistent, with results that in Germanj' itself are regarded 
as unfortunate. Thus the German law inflicts a penalty on householders 
who permit ill^timate sexual intercourse in their faousee. This is 
meant to strike the unlicensed prostitute, but it re&lly encourages pros- 
titution, for a decent jouth and girl n'ho 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 hj tht 
anUqoated laws of several American States, a punishable ofTense), are 
subjected to so much trouble and annoyanee 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 those 
who live on the profits of prostitution. But in practice it works out dif- 
terently. 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," Qetohlecht und Oetelltchaft, vol. ii, 1607, p. 294). 

In Italy, opinion on this matter is much divided. The regulation 
of prostitution has been successively adopted, abandoned, and readopted. 
In Switierland, the land of governmental experiments, various plans are 

1 It was in 1B02 that the medical inspection of prostitutes in Paris 
brothels was introduced, though not until 182S fully estaUished and 
made general. 

SM. L. Heidingsfeld, "The Control of Prostitution," Journal .Imert- 
oan IfecUoal Aaiociatwn, January 30, 1004. 

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tried in different cnntons. In some there ia bo attempt to interfere 
with ■ proatitution, except under apecial circumstADces ; in others all 
prostitutioD, and even fomicstion generally, ib punishable; in Geneva 
only native prostitutes are permitted U> practice; in Zurich, since 1897, 
prostitution is prohibited, but care is taken to put do difficultieH in t^e 
path of free sexnal relationships which are not for gain. With theM 
different regulations, morals in Switzerland generally are said to be 
much on the asms level as elsewhere (Moreau-Christophe, Du Problime 
de la Miaire, vol. iii, p. 259). The same conclusion holds good of Lon- 
don. A disinterested observer, Felix Remo (La Vie Qalante en Angle- 
tare, I88B, p. 237), concluded that, notwithstanding its free trade in 
prostitution, its alcoholic excesses, its vices of all kinds, "London is one 
of the most moral capit4tls in Europe." The movement towards freedom 
in this matter has been evidenced io recent years by the abandonment of 
the system of regulation by Denmark in 1906. 

Even the most ardent advocates of the regiatratioa of pros- 
titutes recognize that not only is the tendency of civilization 
opposed rather than favorable to the system, but that in the 
numerous countries where the eyatem 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 
is decreasing but because lov-class brasseries and small cafes- 
chantanlsj which are really tmlicensed brothels, are taking their 

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 under special circumstances.^ 
Even those who would still be glad to see prostitution thoroughly 

1 See, e.g., G, B^rault, La Maiton de Toliraruie, These de Paris, 

9 Thus the circumstaDces of the English army in India are of a 
special character. A number of etatcments (from the reports of com- 
mittees, official publications, etc.) regarding the good influence of 
regulation in reducing venereal diseases in India are brought together 
by Surgeon-Colonel F. H, Welch, "The Prevention of Syphilis," Lancet, 
August 12, 1899. The system has been abolished, but only as the result 
of a popular outcry and not on the question of its merits. 

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PE08T1TUTI0N. 26S 

in the control of the police now recognize that experience Bhowe 
this to be impossible. As mauy girls begin their career as pros- 
titutes at a very early age, a aonnd system 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 he 
inscribed as prostitutes until 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 estah- 
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 scandaloya 
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 for the Paris Municipal Council, would not have girU 
iDBcribed as proferaional prostitutes until thej are of age and able to 
realize what thqr are binding themselves to (E. Richard, La Prostitu- 
tion d Parit, p. 147) . But at that age a large proportion of prostituttvi 
have been practicing their profession for years. 

3 In Qermanj, where the cure ot infected prostitutes under regula- 
tion is nearly everywhere compulsory, usually at the cost of the com- 
munity, it is found that IS is the average age at which they are affected 
by lyphilis; the average age of prostitutes in brothels is higher than 
that of those outside, and a much larger proportion have therefore become 
immune to disease (Blaschko. "Hygiene der Syphilis," in Weyl's Raiut- 
bueh der Bj/giene, Bd. ii, p. ft2, inOO). 



tion is undeeiiable, on moral grounds for the oft-«mpIiaeized 
reason that it is only applied to one sex, and on practical grounds 
because it is ineffective. Society allovs the police to harass the 
prostitute with petty persecutions under the guise of charges of 
"solicitation," "disorderly conduct," etc., hut it is no longer con- 
vinced that she ought to be under the absolute control of the 

The problem of prostitution, when we look at it narrowly, 
^eems to be in the Bame 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, ive must look at it from a broader 
point of view; we must ronsider 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 ehall find that there i» no conflict between the 
claims of ethicB and those of social hygiene, and that the co- 
ordinated activity of both is involved in the progressive refine- 
ment and purification of civilized Rcxual relationships. 

IJT. The Causes of Prostitution. 

The history of the rise and development o£ 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 Iier carefully until a 
husband appeared wJio 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 tmnsferrcl from her father to a husband, she 

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was etill guarded with the Bame care; husband and father alike 
found their interest in preserving their womeo from unmarried 
men. The situation thus produced resulted In the existence of a 
large body of young men who were not yet rich enough to obtain 
vivee, and a large number of young women, not yet chosen as 
wives, and many of whom could never expect to become wivee. 
At Buch a point in social evolution prostitution is clearly 
inevitable; it is not so much the indispen8able concomitant of 
marriage as an essential part of the whole system. Some of 
the superfluous 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 the complete circle formed. 

But while the history of the rise and development of prosti- 
tution ehows us how indestructible and essential an element 
prostitution is of the marriage system which has long prevailed in 
Europe — under very varied racial, political, social, and religious 
conditions — it yet fails to supply ub 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 
s}'st«m, it is necessary that we should analyze the chief factors of 
prostitution. We may most conveniently learn to understand 
these if we consider prostitution, in order, under four aspects. 
These are: (1) economic necessity; (2) biological predisposi- 
tion; (3) moral advantages; and (4) what may be called its 
civiUzaUonat value. 

While these four factors of prostitution seem to me those 
that here cliiefly concern us, it is scarcely necessary to point out 
that many other causes contribute to produce and modify prosti- 
tution. Prostitutes themselves often seek to lead other girls to 
adopt the same paths; recruits must be found for brothels, 
whence ve have the "white slave trade," which is now being 
energetically combated in many parte of the world ; while all the 
forms of seduction towards this life are favored and often pre- 
disposed to by alcoholism. Tt will generally be found that several 

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266 psTCHOLOflY or ses. 

causes have conibiDed to puah a girl into the career of prosti- 

The wafs in nhich various factorg of eovironment and suggestion 
unite to lead a girl into the paths of prostitution are indicated in the 
following statement in which a correspondent has set forth bis own con- 
cluBions on this matter as a mas of the world: "I have had a some- 
what varied experience araong loose women, and can say, without 
hesitation, that not more than 1 per cent of the women I have known 
could be regarded as educated. This indicates that almost invariabljr 
they are of humble origin, and the terrible cases of overcrowding that 
are dailj brought to light suggest that at very early ages the sense of 
modesty becomes extinct, and long before puberty 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, thty consort with man- 
agers and foremen. Then the love of finery, which forms so large a part 
of the feminine character, tempts the gjirl to become the Ttept' woman 
of some man of means. A remarkable thing in this connection is the 
fact that they rarely enjoy excitement with their protectors, preferring 
rather the coarser embraces of some man nearer their own station in 
life, very often a soldier. T 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 ranks of prostitu- 
tion, largely on account of their addiction to drink; drunkenness 
invariably leads to laxuess of moral restraint in women. Anotlier 
potent 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 
gpt enough to est. 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 considering 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 with 
prostitutes. In other countries, it is the rule for girls, before they are 
registered as prostitutes, to state the reasons for which they desire to 
enter the career. 

Parent-Duehfttelet, whose work on prostitutes in Paris is still an 
authori^, presented the first estimate of this kind. He found that of 
over five thousand prostitutes, 1441 were influenced by poi-erty. 1425 by 

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seduction ot lovers who had abandoned them, 125S hy the low of parents 
from death or other eause. By sttch an estimate, nearl; the whole num- 
ber are accounted for bj wretchedness, tiiat is by economic causes, alone 
<Parent-Dnchntelet, De la Proatituiion, 1857, vol. i, p. 107). 

In Brusaela during a period of twen^ years (1S6S-1BS4) 3506 
women were inscribed as prostitutes. The causes they assigned for 
desiring to take to this career present a different picture from that 
shown by Fnrent-Ducbfttelet, hut perhaps a more reliable one, although 
there are some marked and curious discrepancies. Out of the 3505, 1623 
explained that eictreme poverty was the cause of theil degradation; 
Ills 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 ^ 
small; 101 had been abandoned by their lovers; 10 had quarrelled with 
their parents; 7 were abandoned by their husbands; 4 did not agree 
with tbeir guardians; 3 had family quarrels; 2 were compelled to 
prostitute themselves by their husbands, and 1 by her parents (Laneet, 
June 28, 1800, p. 1442). 

In London, Merrick found that of 16,022 prostitutes who passed 
through his bands during the years be was chaplain at Millbank prison, 
EOel voluntarily left home or situation for "a life ot pleasure;" 3363 
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, Merrick states, 4790, 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 those 
pleading poverty a large number were indolent and incapable (Q. P. 
Merrick, Work Among the Fallen, p. 38), 

Logan, an English city missionary with an extensive acquaintance 
with proatitutea, divided them into the following groups; (1) One- 
' fourth of the girls 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 final group includes, on the one hand, 
those who are induced to become prostitutes by destitution, or indolence, 
or a bod 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 Bwl, 1871, p. 53). 

In America Sanger has reported the results of inquiries made of 
two thousand New York prostitutes as to the eauees which Induced them 
to take up their avocation: 

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Destitution 62S 

Inclination S13 

Seduced and abandoned 26S 

Drinlt and deaire for drink 181 

Ill-treatment by parents, relations, or husbands. 164 

As an easy life 124 

Bad company 84 

Persuaded by prostitutes 71 

Too idle to work 29 

Violated 27 

Seduced on emigrant ship 16 

Seduced In emigrant boarding homes d 

(Sanger, Biitory of Prottilutioit, p. 488.) 

In America, again, more recently. Professor Woods Hutchin»on put 
himself into communication with some thirty representative men in 
various great metropolitan centres, and thna summariies the answers as 
regards the etiology of prostitution; 

Per cent. 

Love of display, luxury and idlmesa 42.1 

Bad family surroundings 23.8 

Seduction in which they were innocent victims. 11,3 

lack of employment 9.4 

Heredity 7.8 

Primary sexual appetite 5.6 

(Woods Hutchinson, "The Economics of Prostitution," American 
OynuEcologia and Obatetrio /oumal, September, 18B5; Id., The Ootpet 
Aocording to Dancia, p. 1B4.) 

In Italy, in 1881, among 10,422 inscribed prostitutes from the age 
of seventeen upwards, the causes of prostitution were classiAed as fol- 

Vice and depravity 2,752 

Death of parents, husband, etc 2,130 

Seduction by lover 1,653 

Seduction by emplc^er 927 

Abandoned by parents, husband, etc 794 

Love of luxury 698 

Incitement by lover or other persons outside 

family 068 

Incitement by parents or husband 400 

To support parents or children 393 

(Ferriani, Minorenni Delinquenli, p. 193.) 

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The reasons aeeigned by Kusaian prostitutes for taking up their 
rarecT are (according to Federow) as follows: 
3B.5 per cent, insufficient wages. 
21. " " desire for amoBement. 
14. " " loBB of place. 
9.5 " " persuaaioD by women friends. 
0.5 " " loss of habit of work. 
5.5 " '' chagrin, and to puninh lover. 
.5 " " drunkenneBS. 
(Sununarited in Archives d'AntJiTXtpologie CrimineUe, Nov. 15, 1601.) 
1. Tke Economic Causation of Prostitution, — Writers on 
proBtitutioD frequently assert that eeonomic conditioDB 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 proetitution," Parent- 
I>uch4telet wrote a century ago, "particularly in Paris, and 
probably in all large cities, none is more active than lack of work 
and the misery which is the inevitable result of insufficient 
wages." In England, also, to a large extent, Sherwell states, 
"morals fluctuate with trade."' It is equally bo in Berlin where 
the number of registered prostitutes increases during bad years.^ 
It is so also in America. It is the same in Japan ; "the cause 
of causes is poverty."' 

Thus the broad and general statement that proetitution is 
largely or mainly an economic plienomenon, due to the low wages 
of women or to sudden depressions in trade, is everywhere made 
by investigators. It must, however, be added that these general 
statements are considerably qualified in the light of the detailed 
investigations made by careful inquirers. Thus Strohmberg, 
who minutely investigated 462 prostitutes, found that only one 
assigned destitution as the reason for adopting her career, and on 
investigation thin was found to be an impudent lie.* Hammer 

1 A. Sherwell, Life in West London, 1897, Cb. V. 

3 Bonger brings together statistics illustrating this point, op. cit., 
pp. 402-6. 

S Th« Nightlesf City, p. 125. 

4 BtrOhmberg, aa quot«d by AschafTenburg, Dtu Terbrechen, 190.1, 
p. 77. 

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found that of uinety registered German prostitutes not one had 
entered on the career out of want or to support a child, while some 
went on the street while in the possession of money, or without 
wishing to be paid.^ Pastor Buscbmann, of the Teltow Mag- 
dalene Home in Berlin, finds that it is not want but indifference 
to moral considerations which leads girls to become prostitutes. 
In Germany, before a girl is 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 — out 
of thousands — were willing to take advantage of this opportunity. 
The difficulty experienced by English Eescue Homea in finding 
girls who are willing to be "reBcued" is notorious. The same 
diflScuIty is found in other cities, even where entirely different 
conditions prevail ; thus it is found in Madrid, according to 
Bemaldo de Quiros and Lianas Aguilaniedo, that the prostitutes 
who enter the Homes, notwithstanding all the devotion of the 
nune, on leaving at once return to their old life. While the 
economic factor in prostitution undoubtedly exists, the nndue 
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 
girls, domestic servants, shop girls, and waitresses. In some 

1 Monatuchrift fur Harnkrankheittrt vnd Bcamelle Bygient, 1806. 
Heft 10, p. 4Q0. But thia PAuse ia undoubtedly elTective in some cages 
of unmarried women in Crermany unable to get u-ork (see article by Sis- 
ter Henrietta Arendt, Pol ice- Assistant at Stuttgart, 8e!t\talrProl>Umc, 
December, 1908). 

!t Thus, for instance, we And Irma voq Troll -Boroatydni saying in 
her book, Im Freien Reich (p. 176) : "Go and ask tliese unfortunate 
creatures if they willingly and freely devoted themselves to vice. And 
nearly all of them will tell you a. story of need and destitution, of hunger 
and lack of work, which compelled them to tt. or else of love and seduc- 
tion and the (ear of the discovery of their false step which drove them 
out of their homes, helpless and forsaken, into the pool of vice from 
which there is hardly any salvation." It is, of course, quite true that 
the prostitute is frequently ready to tell such stories to philanthropic 
persons who expect to hear them, and sometimes even put the words Into 
tier mouth. 

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pRosTiTunys. ^oi 

of these occupations it is difficult to obtain employment all th« 
year round. In this way many milliners, dressmakers and 
tailoreeeea become pioetitutea when business is slack, and return to 
business when the season begins. Sometimes 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 this kind is extremely prevalent in England, as it 
is not checked by the precautions which, in countriee where prosti- 
tution is regulated, the clandestine prostitute must adopt in order 
to avoid registration. Certain public lavatories and dressing- 
rooms in central London arc said to be used by the girls for 
putting on, and finally washing off before going home, the 
customary paint.^ It is certain that in England a large 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 own 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 centur}', said that prostitution is 
"a transitory stage, through which 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 agaiuj respectably safe 
and soimd. 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 nsually during the first year; very 

I C. Booth, lAfe and Labour, flnal volume, p. 12S. Similarly in 
Sweden, Ku11b«rg states that glris of tliirt«en to seventeen, living at 
home with their parents In comfortable circumstances, have often be^ 
found on the dtreets. 

2W. Acton, ProatiluUon, 1870, pp. 3», «. 

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few prostitutes contione 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 eatima- 
tion,i and it ia impossible 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 foDowing case, thou|^ uot«d down over twenty years ago. Is 
fairly typical of a certain clase, among the lower ranks of proatitution, 
in which the economic factor counts for much, but in which we ou^t 
not too hastily to assume that it is the sole factor. 

Widow, aged tiiirty, with two children. Works in on umbtvlU 
manufactory in the East End of London, earning eighteen shillings a 
week by hard work, and increasing her income bv 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 short. 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 Riled with 
warehouses, or will take him home with her. Rhe is willing to accept 
any sum the man may be willing or able to give; occasionally it is a 
sovereign, sometimes it is only a sixpence; on an average she earns a 
few shillings in an evening. She hnd only been in London for ten 
months; before that she lived in Newcastle. She did not go on the 
streets tliere; "circumstances alter cases," she sagely remarks. Tbougb 

1 In Lyons, according to Potton, of 3884 prostitutes, 3104 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 (Farent-DuchDtelet, 
De la Prostitution. 18S7, vol. i, p. 884; vol. ii, p. 451). Sloggett (quoted 
by Acton) stated that at Davenport, 250 of the ITTS prostitutes there 
married. It is well known that prostitutes occasionally marry extremely 
well. It was remarked nearly a century ago that marriages of prosti- 
tutes to rich men were especially frequent in England, and usually turned 
out well ; the same seems to be true still. In their own social rank they 
rot infrequently marry cabmen and policemen, the two classes of men 
with whom they are brought most closely in contact in the streets. As 
regards Germany. C. K. Schneider (Die PrMlituirte und die Ofxell- 
tohaft), states that young prostitutes take up all sorts of occupations 
and situations, sometimes, if they have saved a little money, establiBhing 
a business, while old prostitutes become procuresses, brothel -keepers, 
lavatory women, and so on. Not a few pro.ititutes marry, he adds, but 
the proportion nmong inscribed German prostitutes ia very small, less 
than 3 per cent. 

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fro8TI1'i;tion. 263 

not Bpeaking well of the police, slie Mja they do not interfere with her 
u they do with some of the girle. She never gives them money, but 
hints that it ia Bometimea neceeeaiy to grotily their desires in order to 
keep on good terms with them. 

It muBt always be remembered, for it ia sometimes forgotten 
by socialists and social reformers, that while the pressure of 
poverty exerts a markedly modifying influence on prostitution, in 
that it increases the ranks of the women who thereby seek a 
livelihood and may thus be properly regarded as a factor of 
prostitntion, no practicable raising of the rate of women's wages 
could possibly serve, directly and alone, to abolish prostitution. 
De Molinari, 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 
so frequently attracted to prostitution, proceeds to point out that 
that by 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 oSer. It is the need and the demand that we 
must act on, and perhaps science will furnish ua 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 — whicb alone can render 
a rise of women's wages healthy and normal — involves a rise iu 
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 

1 a. de Molinari, La Tirioullure, 1897, p. 16S. 

2 Reuse and other writers have reproduced trpical extracts from 
the private account ImmIcs of proetftutes, showing the high rate of their 
earnings. Kvrn In the common brothels, in Philadelphia {according to 
Ooodchild, "The Social Rvil in PhiUdelphift." Arena, March, 1906), girls 
earn twenty dollars or more a week, which U far more than the; could 
earn In any other occupation open to them. 


264 psYCHOLoax of bez. 

gives back with one hand what it takes with the other. To so 
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 vrith wealth,* and as a departement rises in 
wealth and prosperity, so the number both of ita inscribed and its 
free prostitutes riaes also. There is indeed a fallacy here, for 
while it is true, as Despr4a argues, that wealth demands prostitu- 
tion, it is also true that a wealthy community involTcs 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 snd 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 wliich many 
young girle grow up, the result of the physical and psychical 
wretdiednesB 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 consideration of prostitution 
can hy no means bring us to the root of the matter. 

One cireuniBtance alone should have tufficed to indicate that the 
Inability of many women to secure "e living wage," is far from being 
the most fundamental cause of prostitution; a large proportion of 
prostitutes come from the ranks of domestic service. 0( all the great 
groups of female workers, domestic servants are the freest from economic 
anxietieH) they do not pay for food or for lodging; they often live as 
well ag their mistresses, and in a large proportion of cases they have 
fewer money anxieties than their mistresses. Moreover, they supply an 
almost universal demand, so that there Is 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 domestEe 

1 A. Desprte, La Protlilution en France. 1893. 

2 Bonger, Criminaliti et Condition* Economiquet, 1006, pp. 3TS-4U. 



MTvice is the chief reaervoir from which prosUtutei *re dnwn, it should 
be dear that the eiUTing for food »nd shelter is by no means the chief 
cause ol prostitution. 

It may be added that, althou^ the BigDiQeance of this predomi- 
nance of serrants among prostitutes is seldom realized bj those who 
fui<7 that to remove poverty is to abolish prostitution, it has not been 
ignored 1^ the more thoughtful students of social questions. Thus Sher- 
welt, while pointing out truly that, lo a large extent, "morals fluctuat« 
with trade," adds that, againat the importance of the economic factor, 
it is A Huggeetive and in every way impressive fact that the majority 
of the girts who frequent the West End of London (88 per cent., accord- 
ii^ to the Salvation Army's B^^ters) are drawn from domestic serTiee 
where the economic stru^le is not severely felt (Arthur Sberwell, Life 
in We*t London, Ch. V, "Prostitution" ) . 

It is at the same time worthy of note that by the conditions of 
their lives servants, more than any other class, resemble prostitutes 
(Bemaldo de Quiros and Lianas Agnilaniedo have pointed this out in 
La MaUt 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 usiwlly paid to other women ; in some countries they are even 
registered, lilce prostitutes; it is scarcely Hurprising that when they 
suffer from so many of the disadvantages of the prostitute, th^ should 
sometimca desire to possess also some of her advantages. Lily Braun 
(Frauenfrage, pp. 389 et aeq.) has set forth in detail these unfavorable 
conditions of domestic labor as tliey bear on the tendency of servant- 
girls to become prostitutes. R. de Ryekfire, in his important work. La 
Bervanle CrimineUe ( 1007, pp. 460 et teg,; ef., the some author's article, 
"Ia Criminality Ancillaire," Arehit>et d'Anlhropologie CrimineUe, July 
and December, 1906). 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. Ue Ryck^re estimates the 
proportion of former serrants among prostitutes generally as fif^ per 
cent., and adds that what is called the "white slavery" here finds its 
most complacent and docile victims. He remarks, however, that the 
servant prostitute is, on the whole, not ao much immoral as non-moral. 

In Paris Parent -DuchHt^Iet found that, in proportion to their num- 
ber, servants furnished the largest contingent to prostitution, and his 
editors also foond that they head the list (Parent-Duchatelet, edition 
1857, vol. i, p. 93). Among clandestine proBtitut«s at Paris, Commenge 
has more recently found that former servants constitute for^ per cent. 
In Bordeaux Jeaunel {De le Prottitulion Pullique, p. 102) also found 
that in 1860 forty per cent, of prostitutes had been servants, seamstresses 
coming next with thirty-seven per cent. 

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In G«niiuiy and AustrU it hu long been reoogniied that dometUc 
Kn-ice fumishea the chief number of recruit* to prostitution. Lippert, 
in Germany, nnd Orota-Hofflnger, in Austrin, pointed out thla predoml- 
nunce of maid-Rcrvante and its significance before the middle of the nine- 
teenth century, and more recently Blascbko haa stated ("Hygiene der 
Sypbilia" in Weyl'a Handbuch der Hypiene, Bd. ii, p. 40) that among 
Berlin proatitutes in 1B98 roaid-aervaots stand at the head with flfty-ona 
per cenL Baumgarten has stated that in Vienna tbe proportion of 
■ervanta is Bfty-eight per eent. 

In England, according to the Report of a Sdect Committee of tbe 
Lords on the laws for the protection of children, aii^ per cent, of pros- 
titutes have been servants. F. Remo, in hla Fi« Oalaate en Angleterre, 
states the proportion aa eighty per cent It would appear to be even 
higher as regarda the West End ot London. Taking Loudon as a whole 
the exfenaiTo atatiatica of Merrick (Work Among the Fallen), chaplain 
of the Millbank Friaon, ahowed that out of 14,790 prostitutea, 6823, or 
about forty per cent., had previously been servanta, laundreaaes coming 
next, and then dressmakers; classifying hia data somewhat more sum- 
marily and roughly, Merrick found that the proportion of servants was 
Qfty- three per cent. 

In America, among two thousand proatitutes, Sanger states that 
forty-three per cent, bad been servants, dresamakera coming next, but 
at a long interval, with six per cent. (Sanger, BUtor^ of Froaiitution, 
p. S84). Among Philadelphia prostitutea, Qoodcbild states that "do- 
mestics are probably in largest proportion," although some recruits may 
be foimd from almost any occupation. 

It ia the same in other countries. In Italy, according to Tammeo 
(La pToatituxione, p. 100), servants come first among prostitutea with a 
proportion of twenty-eight per cent., followed by the group of dress- 
makers, talloresses and milliners, seventeen per cent. In Sardinia, A. 
Mantegazsa states, moat prostitutea are servanta from tbe country. In 
Ruaaia, according to Piaux, the proportion is forty-Ave per cent. In 
Madrid, according to Eslnva (as quoted by Bemaldo de Quiros and 
Lianas Aguilaniedo (La Mala VuUien iladrid, p. 839), servants come at 
the head of registered prostitutes with twenty-seven per eent. — almost 
the same proportion as in Italy — and are followed by dreaamakers. In 
Sweden, according to Welander (ifonatiithefte fSr Praktitche Derma- 
lologie, 1899, p. 47T> among 2541 inscribed prostitutes, 1686 (or sixty- 
two per cent) were domestic eervsnta; at a long interval followed 210 
aeamatreasea, then 168 factory workers, etc. 

2. The Biological Factor of Prostitution. — Economic con- 
eiderations, as we see, have a highly important modificatory 

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influence on prostitution, although it is b; no means correct 
to assert that they form its main cause. There is another 
question which has exercised many inveetigators : To what 
extent are prostitutes predestined to this career by organic con- 
stitution? It is generally admitted that economic and other 
conditions are an exciting cause of prostitution ; in how far are 
those who succumb prediepoeed by the possession of aboormal 
personal characteristics? 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 instiDctively turn to crime, the women 
instinctively turn to prostitution. Others have as strenuously 
denied this conclusion. 

Lombrou has more eepecUlIf advocated the doctrine thftt proe- 
titutloa is tbe vicarious equivalent of criminality. In thia he was 
developing the results reached, in the important studj of the Jukes 
family, hy Dugdale, who found that "there wliere the brothers commit 
crime, the sisters adopt prostitntloni" the fines and Imprisonments of 
the women of the family were not for violations of the right of property, 
but mainly for oflences against public decency. "The psychological as 
well as anatomical identity of the criminal and the horn prostitute," 
LomhnMO and Fcrrero concluded, "could not be more complete: both ara 
Identical with Uie moral insane, and therefore, according to the axiom, 
equal to each other. There ia the same lack of moral sense, the same 
hardnesa of heart, the same precocious taste tor evil, the aame indiffer- 
ence to social infamy, the same volatility, love of idleness. And lack of 
foresight, the same tast« for facile pleasures, for Ihe orgy and for alcohol, 
the same, 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 commita no offensee It is because her physical weak- 
ness, her small intelligence, the facility of acquiring what she wants by 
more ea^ methods, dispenses her from the necessity 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 for masculine sexuality and a preventive of 
crime" (LombroM and Ferrero, Aa Donna DeHn^enM, 1893, p. 571). 

Those who have opposed this view have taken various grounds, and 
by no means always understood the position they are attacking. Thus 


268 . FaYCUOLOUY of BE2. 

W. Fisch«r (in Die Proalilution) vigorouslf argues that prMtitution is 
not an inoffentive equivalent of crimiDalitf, but a factor of criminality, 
Fer6, agKin (in Dtg6nire«oenae el CHminalili) , asaerts that eriminalit; 
and prostitution are not equivalent, but identical. "Profltitutes and 
criminals," he holds, "have as a common character their unproductive- 
new, and consequently they are both nnti-social. Prostitution thus 
constitutes a form of criminality." The easenttal character of criminals 
is not, however, their unproductivene&a, for that they share with a con- 
siderable proportion of the wealtbieet of the upper claaaeB; it must bs 
added, also, that tiie prostitute, unlike the criminal, is exercii^ing an 
activity for which there is a demand, for which she is willingly paid, and 
for which she bai to work (it had BOmetimes been noted that the pros- 
titute looka 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. Aschaffenburg, also believing 
himself In opposition to Lombroso, argues, somewhat difTerently from 
F6r6, that prostitution is not indeed, as FSrS said, a form of criminality, 
but that it is too frequently united with criminality to be regarded as 
an equivalent. MSnkerafiller baa more recently supported the same 
view. Here, however, as usual, there is a wide difference of opinion 
as to (he proportion of prostitutes of whom this is true. It is recog- 
nised by all investigators to be true of a certain number, but while 
Baumgarten, from an examination of eight tliousand prostitutes, only 
found a minute proportion who were criminals, StrSbmberg found that 
among 462 prostitutes there were as many as 170 thieves. From another 
side, MorasBo (as quoted in ArcJiivio di Ptiehiatria, 1896, 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 assimilato them with 

Tlie question of the aexBality of prostitutea, which haa a 
certain hearing od the question of their tendency to d^neration, 
has been settled hy different writers in different senseB. While 
some, like Moraeeo, 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 sexual frigidity among prosti- 
tutes.' In London, Merrick, speaking from a knovledge of 
over 16,000 proatitutea, states that he has met with "only a very 

' IjO Donna Delinqucnte, p. 401. 

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few cases" in which gross sexual desire has been the motive to 
adopt a life of prostitution. Id Paris, BaciborBki 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 student of the Parisian prostitute, cannot admit 
that sozual desire is to be claseed among the eeriouB causes of 
prostitution. "I have made inquiriea of thousands of women on 
this point/' he stateB, "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 franlmess, on this point, I believe, they have 
no wish to deceive. When they have sesual needs thej do not 
conceal them, but, on the contrary, show a certain am(nir-pTopre 
in acknowledging them, as a sufBcient sort of justification for 
their life; eo 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 Rnciboraki, Trailt de rimpuittaTice, p, 20. It may be added that 
BcTgh, a leading authority on the anatomical pecnliarltiei of the eztemal 
female sexual organs, who believe that atrong development of the eztemal 
genital organs accompanies libidinous tendencies, has not found aoeh 
deTelopment to be common among proetitut«e. 

3 Hammer, who has had much opportunity of studying the paTcboI- 
ogy of prostitutes, remarks that he has seen no reason to suspect sexual 
coldness (MonalaKhnft fSr Hamkrankheilen i«id BexuelU Eygittxe, 
1906, Heft 2, p. 85), although, as he has elsewhere sUted, he is of opin- 
ion that Indolence, rather than excess of aensuality, ia the chief eauM 
Of pnMtftution. 



become strong, has yet arrived.' It may also be said that an 
indifference to sexual relationBhips, a tendency to attach no per- 
Bonal value to them, ie often a prediapoaing cause in the adoption 
of a proBtitute'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 tbeir 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 
Bome 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 tlie 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 boy" or "bully."* It is quite true t)iat 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 

1 See "The Sexual Impulse in Women," in the third volume of 
these Btudiet. 

3 Tait stated that in Edinburgh nianj married women living with 
their husbands in comfortable circumstances, and haring children, were 
found to be acting as prostitutes, that is, in the regular habit of making 
assignations with strangers (W. Tait, MagdalenUm in Edinhurgh, 1B42, 
p. 16). 

BJanke brings together opinions to this effect. Die WillkurUolie 
Hervorbringen dea Geschleehts, p. 275. "It wo compare a prostitute of 
thirty-flve with her respectable aiater," Acton remarked [ProstiKtiion, 
1870, p. 39), "we seldom find that the constitutional ravages often 
thought to be necessary consequences of prostitution exceed those attrib- 
utable to the cares of a family and the heaTt-wearing struggles of 
virtuous labor." 

iRirscbfeld states (Weaen der Ltehe, p. 3G) that the desire for 
intercourse with a sympathetic person Is heightened, and DOt decreased, 
by a professional act of coitus. 

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and will defend them if neceeaary, 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 becauae he appeals to her personally and she wants him 
for herself. The motive of her attachment ie, 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 German prostitute; 
'^hy should we not have a husband like other women? I, too, 
need love. If that were not so we should not wuit a bully." 
And he, on his part, reciprocates this feeling and is by do means 
merely moved by self-interest.' 

One of taj correapoDdents, wlio hsa had much experience of proeti- 
tutes, not only in Britain, bnt aleo in Oennanj, France, Belgium and 
Holland, hae found that the normal manifeatationB of sexual feeling are 
much more common in British than in continental prostitutes. "I should 
say," be writes, "that in normal coitus foreign women are generally 
unconscious of sexual excitement. I don't think I have ever known a 
foreign woman who had any semblance of orgaiun. British women, on 
the other hand, if a man is moderately kind, and ahows that he has 
some feelings beyond mere sensual gratiflcatioo, often abandon them- 
selves to the wildest delights of sexual excitement. Of course in tJiis 
life, as in others, there is keen competition, and a woman, to vie with 
her competitors, must please her gentlemen friends; hut a man of the 
world can always distinguish between real and simulated passion." (It 
is possible, however, that he may be most Huccesaful 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 for the 
enjoyment of their temporary consorts and to ascertain what pleases 

1 This haa been clearly shown by Hans Oatwald ( from whom I take 
the above-quoted observation of a prostitute), one of the best authorities 
on prostitute life and character; see, e.g., his article, "Die erotisehen 
Beuebungen iwischen Bime und ZuhHlter," Beaval-Proileme, June, 
IBOS. In the subsequent number of the same periodical (July, 1EH)8> 
p. 393) Dr. Uax Uarcuee 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 jealoiisy; these relationships, he remarks, often prove very 
enduring. The prostitute author of the Tageiueh einer Verlorentn (p. 
147) also has some remarks on the prostitute's relations to her bully, 
stating that it ia simply the natural relationship of a girl to her lover. 

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them. "The foreigner seems to make it the busiDeM of her life to dia- 
eorer some nbaormBl mode of sexual gTAtiflcation for her oonsort" For 
their own pleasure also foreign prostitutes frequently aak for tmnni- 
Itncfua, in preference to normal eoitas, while anal coitus is aim com- 
mon. The difference evidently U that the British women, when tfaey 
seek gratiflcatioD, find it in normal coitus, while the foreign women 
prefer more abnormal methods. There is, however, one class of British 
prostitutes which this correspondent Ands to be an exception to the 
general rule: the class of those who are recruited from the lower walks 
of the stage. "Such women are generallf more licentious — that is to 
say, more acquainted with the bizarre in sexTiaHsm — than girls who 
come from shops or bars; they show a knowledge of fellatio, and even 
anal coitus, ai)d during menstruation frequently suggest inter-mammary 

Od the whole it would appear that prostitutes, though not 
nenallj impelled to their life by motives of eenauality, on entering 
and during the early part of their career posseee a fairly average 
amotint of sexnal impulse, with variations in both directions of 
excess and deficiency as well as of perversion. At a somewhat 
later period it is nseleSB to attempt to measure the sexual impulse 
of prostitutes by the amount of pleasure they take in the pro- 
fessional performance of sexual intercourse, It is neceesary to 
ascertain whether they possess sexual instincts which are 
gratified in other va}'a. 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 sexnal 
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 

> Thus Moravia found that among 180 proatitntea in North Italian 
brothels, and among 23 el^aut Italian and foreign cocottes, every one 
admitted that she masturbated, preferably by friction of the clitoris; 
113 of them, the majority, declared that they preferred solitary or 
mutual masturbation to normal coitus. Hammer states (Zehn Le&ens- 
Idafe Berliner EontrollmMchen in Ostwald's series of "Oroeatadt 
Dokumente," 1906) that when in hospital all but three or fonr of six^ 
prostitatcs masturbate, and those who do not are laughed at by the rest. 

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s. 278 

said that it occurs more often among prostitutes than amuug any 
other claes of women. It is favored hy the acquired distaste for 
normal coitus due to professional intercourse with men, which 
leads homosexual relationships 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 accompanying 
indifference to intercourse with men, being a predisposing cause 
of the adoption of a prostitute's career. Kurella even regards 
prostitutes as constituting a sob-variety of congenital invertB. 
Anna Riiling in Germany states that about twenty per cent, 
prostitutes are homoBe;:ual; when asked what induced them to 
become piostitutes, 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 the 
same sex.^ 

The occurrence of congenital inversion among prostitutes — 
although we need not regard prostitutes as necessarily degenerate 
as a class — suggests the question whetlier 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 
bom. 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.^ 

I Jahrhuch fur SemielU ZwUehenttufen, Jahrgsng ¥11, 190S, p. 
148; "Sexual InverBiOD." vol. ii of these Btvdies, Ch. IV. Hammer 
found that of twenty-Bve proetitutcH in a reformatory at manj as twenty- 
three were hoinosexual, or, on good groundi, auBptcted to be nich. 
Hirschfeld (Berliiu Drittet Oeschlecht, p. G5) mentions that prostitutes 
aometimM accost better-class women who, from their man-like air, they 
take to be homosexual; from persona of their own sex prostitutes will 
accept a smaller rpmunpratlon, and sometimes refuse payment altogether. 

'With prostitution, as with criminality, it is of course difllmit to 
disentangle the element of heredity from that of environment, even when 
we have good grounds for believing that the factor of heredity here, s« 
throughout the whole of life, cannot fall to carry much wet^t. It is 



Baumgarten, in Vienna, from » knowledge of over BOOO proetitutei, 
concluded that only a very minute proportion are either criminal or 
psjchopathic id temperament or organization ^Archiv fiir Krimin^ 
Antkropologie, vol. xi, 1902). It ie not dear, bowerer, tluit Baumgar- 
teu carried out any detailed and precise iDvestigations. Mr. I^ne, a 
London police magistrate, has stated as the result of hi» own 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, petty thieves, and professional beggars, of 
whom the prostitute is in general the female analogue" (Ethnological 
Journal, April, I(H)5, p. 41). This estimate is doubtless correct aa 
regards a considerable proportion of the women, often enfeebled by drink, 
who pass through the police courts, but it could scarcely be applied with- 
out qualification to prostitutes generally. 

Morasso {Archirio di Ptichmtria, 1806, fase. I) has protested 
against a purely degenerative view of prostitutes on the strength of bis 
own observations. There is, he states, a category of prostitutes, un- 
known to scientific inquirers, which he calls that of the proatitnte di 
alto hordo. 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. Th^ reveal alt sorts of characters, some of them 
showing great refinement, and are chiefly marked off by the possession 
of an unusual degree of sexnal appetite. Even among the more degraded 
group of the batsa proatiluxione, he asserts, we find a predominance of 
sexual, as well as professional, characters, rather than the signs of degen- 
eration. It is Ruflicient to quote one more testimony, as set down many 
years ago by a woman of high intelligence and character, Mrs, Craik, the 
novelist: "Tlie wt>raen who fall are by no means the worst of their 8t»- 
tion," she wrote, "I have heard it affirmed by more than one lady — by 
one in particular whose experience was as large as her benevolence — that 
many of them are of the very best, refined, intelligent, truthful, and 
affectionate. 'I don't know 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 this theory will 
shock many people, other virtues can exist and flourish 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 Gefallenen, p. ISO) "that when in a family a girl 
enters this path, her sister soon afterwards follows her; I have met 
with innumerable cases; sometimes three sisters will all be on the r^ 
ister, and I knew a case of four slBters, whose mother, a midwife, had 
been in prison, and the father drank. In this case, all four sisters, who 
were very beautiful, married, one at least very happily, to a rich doctor 
who took her out of the brothel at sLtteen and educated her." 



from, and after the loss of, that which we are accuBtomed to believe the 
inilispeiuable prime virtue of our Bex — cbastity. I canaot explain it; 
I cau only say that it ia bo, that some of my most promising village girls 
have been the flrat to come to harm; and some of the best and moat 
faithful aervants I ever had, have been girls who have fallen int<i Bhamc, 
and who, hod I not gone to the rescue and put tbera in the way to do 
well, would infallibly have become 'lost women' " (A Woman's Thoughta 
About Women, 1S5S, p. 291). Various writers have insisted on the good 
moral qualities of prostitutes. Thus in France, Despine first euumeratea 
their vices as (I) greediness and love of drink, (2) lying, (3) anger, 
(4) want of order and untidiness, (S) mobility of character, (3) need 
of movement, (T) tendency to homosexuality; and then proceeds to 
detail their good qualities: their maternal and Stial aETection, their 
charity to each oUier; and their refusal to denounce each other; while 
they are frequently religious, sometimes modest, and generally very hon- 
est (Despine, Ftyckologie yatvrelle, vol. iii, pp. 207 et aeq.; as regards 
Sicilian prostitutes, of. C&llarj, Archivio di Psichiatria., fasc. IV, 1903). 
The charity towards each other, often manifested in distress, is largely 
neutralized by a tendency to professional suspicion and jealousy ot each 

LombroBo 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 Tammeo 
has shown (La Proatil-uinone, 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 bluntnesa 
of perception for the ordinary moral considerations of civilization which, 
while it is largely due to the hardening influence of an unfavorable early 
environment, may also rest on a congenital predisposition — there can 
be no doubt that moral imbecility of slight degree is very frequently 
found among prostitutes. It would be plausiblp, doubtless, to say that 
every woman who gives her vir^nit^ in exchange for an inadequate 
return is an Imbecile. If she gives herself for love, 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 ease is altered. The experiences of 
Commenge In Paris are instructive on this point. "For many young 
girts," he writes, "modesty has no existence, they experience no emotion 
in showing themselves completely undressed, they abandon themselves to 
any chance individual whom they will never see again. They attach no 
importance to their virginity; they are deflowered under the strangest 
conditions, without the lettst thonght or care about the act they are 

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accompli ahing. No sentiment, no calculation, pusbcB them Into a mkn'a 
arms. Thef let themselves go without reflexion and without motive, in 
an almost animal manner, from indifference and without pteasure^i'' He 
was acquainted with forty-flTe girls between the ages of twelve and seven- 
teen who were deflowered by chance strangers whom they never met 
again; t^ej lost their virginity, in Dumas's phrase, as they lost their 
milk-teeth, 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 virginity by naually 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 henieforth begun to associate with pros- 
titutes. Anotlier girl of the same age, at a local fCte, 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 ^rl, of fifteen, 
at another fCte, offered her virgini^ in return for the same momentary 
joy (Commenge, Proalihilion Clandentine, 1BB7, pp. 101 et aeq.). In the 
United States, Dr. W. Travis Gibb, examining physician to the New 
Vork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, bears similar 
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 (ifAl- 
tool Reeord, April 20, 1907), "to learn how far a nickel or a quarter 
will go towards purchasing the virtue of these children." 

In estinuting the tendency of prostitutes to display congenital 
physical anomalies, the emdest and most obvious test, though not a, 
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 be said to possess youth and beauty (Jeannel, De la Prostitution 
Publique, ISBO, p. 168). Woods Hutchinson, again, judging from an 
extensive acquaintance with London, Paris, Vienna, New Yoric, 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 beau^ may be responsible for, it has nothing to do with 
prostitution" (Woods Hutchinson, "The Economics of Prostitution," 
Ameriean Oyntreotoffical and Obstetric Journal, September, 1S96), It 
must, of course, be borne in mind that these estimates are liable to bs 
vitiated through being based cl^efly on the inspection of women who 
most obviously belong to the class of prostitutes and have already been 
coarsened by their profession. 

If we may conclude — and the fact is probably undisputed — that 

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Ijeautiful, agreeable, and hannoniousl}' formed faces are rare ratlier than 
commoa among prostitutes, we la&j ceitainlj saj that minute examina- 
tion will reveal a large number of phyaical abnormalitiea. One of the 
earliest important physical investigations of prostitutes was tikat of Dr. 
Pauline Tarnowsky in SuBsia ( flrat published in the Vrateh in 1887, and 
afterwarda as Elttdea anthropomitriqaet «ur let Prottiluiea et let 
Tolevaei). She examined fifty St. Petersburg prostitutes who had been 
inmat«s of a brothel for not less than two years, and also fifty peasant 
women of, so far as possible, the same age and mental development She 
found Uiat (1) the prostitute showed shorter anterior-posterior and 
transverse diameters of skull; (2) a proportion equal to eighty-four per 
cent, showed various signs of physical degeneration (irr^jular skull, 
asymmetry of face, anomalies of hard palate, teeth, ears, etc.). This 
tendency to anomaly among the prostitutes was to some extent explained 
when it was found that about tour-fltths of them had parents who were 
habitual drunkards, and nearly one-fifth were the last survivors of large 
families; such families have been often produced by degenerate parents. 

The trequeniy of hereditary degeneration has been noted t^ Bon- 
hoeffer among German prostitutes. He investigated IIH) Breslan prosti- 
tutes in prison, 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 drunkards; 53 also showed feeble- 
mindedness {Zeiltehrift fur die Oeiamte 8traftoiasen»ohaft, Bd. sxiii, p. 

The most detailed examinations of ordinary non-criminal prosti' 
tntce, both anthropometrically and as regards the prevalence of anom- 
alies, have been made in Italf, though not on a sufficiently large 
number of subjects to yield absolutely decisive results. Thus Fomasari 
made a detailed examination of sixty prostitutes belonging chiefly to 
Emilia and Venice, and also of twenty-seven others belonging to Bologna, 
the latter group being compared with a third group of twenty normal 
women belonging to Bologna {Arehivio di Paichiatria, 1B92, fasc. VI). 
The prostitutes were found to be of lower type than the normal in- 
dividuals, having smaller heads and larger faces. As the author himself 
points out, bis subjects were not sufBciently numerous to justify far- 
reaching generalizations, but it may be worth while to summariEe some 
of hie results. At equal heights the prostitutes showed greater weight; 
at equal ages tbey were of shorter stature than other women, not only 
of well-to-do, but of the poor class: height of face, bi-zygomatie diameter 
{though not the distance between iTgomas), the distance from chin to 
extemal auditory meatus, and the b(7« of the jaw 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 prostitutes, and 
the thigh, as compared to the calf, was larger. It is noteworthy that in 

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278 rsvcHOLOoY of sex. 

most particulars, and especially in regard to head messurementB, the 
rftriations 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 aligfatlj greater number of th« former. 

Ardu (in the same number of the Arohivio) gave the result of 
olMervations (undertaken at Lombroso's suggestion) as to the frequency 
of abnormalitieB among prOBtJtutea. The Bubjects were seventj-tour in 
number and belonged to ProfesBor Giorannini's Clinioa Bifilopatica at 
Turin. The abnormalities investigated were virile distribution of hair 
on pnbea, chest, and limba, hypertrichosia on forehead, lett-handedness, 
atrophy of nipple, and tattooing (which was only found once). Com- 
bining Ardu's observationB with another series of observatiouB on flfty- 
five prostitutes examined by LombroBO, it is found that Tirile dlBpoBition 
of hair is found in fifteen per cent, aa against six per cent, in normal 
women; some degree of hypertrichosiB in eighteen per cent.; left-banded- 
ness in eleven per cent, [but in normal women aa high as twelve per 
cent, according to Gallia) ; and atrophy of nipple in twelve per cent. 

GiulTrida-Ruggerl, again iAtti delta EocietA Romana di Antro- 
pologia, 1397, p. 216), on examining eighty-two prostitutes found 
anomalies in the following order of decreasing frequency: tendency of 
eyebrows to meet, lack of cranial symmetry, depression at root of nose, 
defective development of calves, hypertrichosis and other anomalies of 
hair, adherent or absent lobule, prominent eigoma, prominent forehead 
or frontal bones, bad implantation of teeth, Darwinian tubercle of ear, 
thin vertical lips. These signs are separately of tittle or no importance, 
though together not without significance as an indication of general 

More recmtly Ascarilla, in an elaborate study {Archicxo di P»i- 
ohiatria, 1906, fasc. VI, p. 812) of the linger 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 patterns 
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, Atlt 
SocielA Romana AntropoJogia, vol. viii, 1901, fasc. II), 

In Chicago Ih-. Harriet Alexander, in conjunction with Dr. E. S. 
Talbot and Dr. J. G. Riernan, 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 veri- marked stigmata of degeneracy. In 
race nearly half of those examined were Celtic Irish. In sixteen the 
zygomatic processes were unequal and very prominent. Other facial 
asymmetries were common. In three cases the heads were of Mongoloid 
types sixteen were epignathic, and eleven prognathic; Ave showed arrest 

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o( development of face. Brachjcephaly predomiiuited (fteventeen CMei) ; 
the rest were meBaticephalic ; there were no dolichocephala, Abnormali' 
ties in shape of tlie skull were numerous, and twen^-nine had defective 
eais. Four were demonstrabl; msaue, and one was an epileptic (H. C. 
B. Alexander, "Physical Abnormalities in Proatitutea," Chicago Academy 
of Medicine, April, 18Q3; E. S. Talbot, Degeneraoy, p. 320; Id., Irreg- 
vlaritiet of the Teeth, fourth edition, p. 141). 

It would seem, on the whole, bo far ae the evidence at present 
goes, that proBtitutes 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 nonnal average and are, correspondingly, slightly inapt for 
nonnal 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 
selfish — ^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 
exclusively 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 remembered that the special condi- 
tions of the lives of prostitutes tend to cause in them the appear- 
ance of certain 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 

■ This fact is not contradicted by the undoubted fact that proHti 
tutes are by no means always contented with the life they choose. 

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sexual cliaracters, and the appearance of niasculiDe cliaracters, 
Buch as the frequent deep voice, etc.* But with all due allowance 
for these acquired characters, it remains true that such compara- 
tive investigations as have so far been made, although inconclu- 
sive, seem to indicate that, even apart from the prevalence of 
acquired anomalies, the professional selection of their avocation 
tends to separate out from the general population of the same 
social clft66, individuals who possess anthropometrical characters 
varj'ing in a definite direction. The observations thus made seem, 
in this way, 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 found alike 
in Italy and Russia) ; 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 Bussia) ; the 
cheek-bones are usually prominent and the jaws developed ; the 
hair is darker than in respectable women though less so than 
in thieves ; it is also nnusually abundant, not only on the head 
but also on the pudenda and elsewhere; the eyes have been 
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- 
tutes tend to approximate to the tj'pe which, as was shovmin 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 Justification of Prostitution, — ^There.are and 
always have been moralists — many of them people whose opinions 
are deserving of the most serious respect — who consider that. 



allowing for the need of improved hygienic conditions, the 
e^ietence of pr(»titutioi) preeents no serious problem for solution. 
It is, at most, they say, a necessary evil, and, at best, a beneficent 
institution, the bulwark of the home, the inevitable reverse of 
which monogamy is the obverse. "The immoral guardian of 
public morality," ia the definition of prostitutes given by one 
writer, who takes the humble view of the matter, and another, 
taking the loftier ground, writes : "The prostitute fulfils a social 
misBion. She is the guardian of virginal modesty, the channel 
to carry off adulterous desire, the protector of matrons who fear 
late maternity ; it is lier part to act as the shield of the family." 
"Female Decii," said Balzac in his Pht/siologte du Manage of 
prostitutes, "they sacrifice themselves 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 botti 
the higher and the lower view of the prostitute's mission in 
human society, to which he even seeks to give a hieratic character. 
"The supreme type of vice," he declared, "she is ultimately the 
most efficient guardian of virtue. But for her, the unchallenged 
purity of countlesB 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 aijd 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 

I am not aware tliat the Greeks were greatly concerned with 

1 Biatory of European Moralt, vol. iii, p. 283. 

8 SImitarlj Lord Morely has written (Diderol. vol. ii, p. 20t ; "The 
purity of the family, ko lovely and de*r as it ii, has Htill only been 
secured hitherto by retaining a vast and dolorous host ot temnle out- 
fits .... upon whose heads, as upon the scapegoat of the 
Hebrew ordinance, we put all the Iniquities of the children of the bouse, 
and all their tran^esslons in all their sins, and then bi niith them with 
maledictions into the foul outer wilderness and the land not inhabited." 

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the moial justification of prostitutiou. Tliey bad not allowed 
it to assume very offensive forms and for the most part they 
were content to accept it. The Bomaps 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 is 
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 Mb neighbor's wife.* 

The social necessity of prostitution is the most ancient of 
all the 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; remove 

< Horoce. (fatirm, lib. i. 2. 

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FR08TITUI10K. 283 

prostitutes from human afbirs and you would pollute the world 
with lust : "Aufer meretricea de rebus humanis, turbaveris omnia 
libidinibus."^ Aquinas, the only theological thinker of Christen- 
dom who can be named with Augustine, was of the same mind 
with him on this question of prostitution. He maintained the 
sinfulness of fornication but be accepted the necessity of prosti- 
tution 83 a beneficial part of tlie social structure, comparing it to 
the sewera which keep a palace pure,'' "Prostitution in towns is 
like the eewer in a palace; take away the sewers and the palace 
becomes an impure and stinking place." Liguori, the most 
influential theologian of more modem times, was of the like 

This wavering and semi-indulgent attitude towards prosti- 
tution was indeed generally maintained by theologians. Some, 
following Augustine and Aquinas, would permit prostitution for 
tlie 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 difficulty in maintaining 
that there is no sin in renting a bouse 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 veri- severe on those 

1 Augustine, De Ordine, Bk. II, Ch. IV. 

^ De Regimine Prinoipum {Oputcula XX), Mb. W, cap. XTV. lam 
indebted to the Rev. H. NoTthc4>te for the reference to the precise place 
where this atatement occurs; it ii usually quoted more vaguely, 

BLea, History of Avrioular Oonfeaaion, toI. ii, p. 69. There was 
even, it seems, an eccentric decision of the SalBmanca theologians that 
a nun might so receive money, "iicite et valide." 

* Lea, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 263, 399. 

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who lived on the profits of promoting prostitution, on the lenones. 
Thus the Council of Elvira, which was ready to receive without 
penance the prostitute who married, refused reconciliation, even 
at death, to persons who had been guilty of lenociniam.^ 

Protestantism, in this as in many other matters of sexual 
morality, having abandoned the confesaional, was usually able to 
escape the necessity for any definite and responsihle utterances 
concerning the moral status 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 
Geneva and New 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 imcertainty 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 Eeformation. He refers with mitigated approval to 
"our Pseudo- Catholics," who are severe with adultery but 
indulgent to fornication, being perhaps of Cato's mind that it 
should be encouraged to avoid worse mischiefs at home, and who 
holds brothels "as 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, so many servants, monks, friars, to live honest, too tyran- 
nical a burden to compel them to be chaste, and most unfit to 
suffer poor men, younger brothers and soldiers at all to marry, 
as also diseased persons, votaries, priests, servants. Therefore as 
welt 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 

1 Rabutniix. Dc la Proelilulion fii Buropr, pp. 22 cl seq. 

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PuosriTLTJON, 285 

toleration of tbem, 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 moral justification 
of prostitution was boldly and deciBirely stated in Protestant 
England, by Bernard Mandeville in hia Fable of the Bees, and at 
its first promulgation it seemed bo offeneive to the public mind 
that the book was suppressed. "If courteaane and Btnimpets were 
to be prosecuted with as much rigor as some silly people would 
liave it," Mandeville wrote, "what locks 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 filthineas of a 
more heinous nature. From whence I think I may justly con- 
clude that chastity may he supported by incontinence, and the 
best of virtues want the assistance of the worst of viceB."^ After 
llandeville's time this view of prostitution began to become com- 
mon in Protestant as well as in other countries, though it was 
not usually bo clearly expressed. 

It may be of interest to gather together a few more modem 
eiamplcB of statements brought fontard for the moral jUBtiAcation of 

Thus in France Meusnier de Querlon, in his story of Psaphion. 
written in the middle of the eighteenth century, puts into the mouth of 
a Greek courtesan many interesting reflections concerning the life and 
position of the prostitute. She defends her profession with much skill, 
aad argues that while men imagine that prostitutes are merely the 
despised victims of their pleasures, tbese 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 they 
bestow. "We return disgust for disgust, as they must surety perceive. 
We often abandon to them merely a statue, and while inHamed by tbeir 
own desires they consume themselves on insensible charms, our tranquil 
ootdness leisurely enjoys their sensibility. Then it is we resume all our 

'Burton, Analomu of Melanoholu, Part III, Sect. Ill, Mem. IV, 
Subs. II. 

>B. Mandeville, Remarka to FabU of the Bee», 17U, pp. 03-9; of. 
P. Sakmann, Bernard de Mandeville, pp. 101-4. 



rights. A little hot blood haa brou^^t theK proud CTeftturee to our fe«t, 
Rnd rendered us mietresses of their fat«. On which aide, I ask, is the 
advantage t" But all men, she adds, are not bo unjust towards the pros- 
titute, and she proceeds to pronounce a eulogy, not without a slight 
touch of irony in it, of the utility, facility, and convenience of the 

A large number of the modern 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" (La Prostitution decant le PMUMophe, 1892. 
p. 171). "To make marriage permanent is to make it difficult," an 
American medical writer observes; "to make it difficult is to defer it; 
to defer it is to maintain in the community an increasing number of 
sexually perfect indidduals, with normal, or, in cases where repression 
Is prolonged, excessive seitual appetitee. 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 Bocial 
Evil," Medicine, August and September, 1908). Woods Hutehinson, 
while speaking with strong disapproval of prostitution and regarding 
prostitutes as "the worst specimens of the ses," yet regards prostitution 
ns a social agency of the highest value. "From a medico-economic point 
of view I venture to claim it as one of the grand selective and eliminative 
agencies of nature, and of highest value to the community. It may be 
roughly characterieed as a safety valve for the institution of marriage" 
(The Qospel According to Daririn, p. 193; of. the ssme author's article 
on "The Economies of Prostitution," summarised in Boston iledical atui 
Surgical Journal, November 21, 1805). Adolf Gerson, in a somewhat 
similar spirit, argues ("Die Ursache der Prostitution," Sexmat-Probteme. 
Reptember, lOOR) that "prostitution is one of the means used by Nature 
to limit the procrestive activi^ 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 
sterilizing, for instance, the more excessive manifestationa of the sexual 
impulse prostitution suppressed the necessity for the infanticide of super- 
fluous children, and led to the prohibition of that primitive method of 
limiting the population (G. de Molinari, La Viriculturc, p. 45). In quite 
another way than that mentioned by Molinari, prostitution has even in 
very recent times led to the abandonment of infanticide. In the Chinese 
province of Ping- Yang, Matignon 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 too expensive to rear and brought 
nothing in, since men who wished to marry could easily obtain a wife 


PR08TITCTI0S. 287 

in the neighboring province of Wenchu, where women were very way to 
obtain. Now, however, the line of steanuhipa along the coast makes it 
\try easj for girls to reach tlie brotheU of Slkang-Hai, where they can 
earn money for their familieB; the custom of killing them baa therefore 
died out (Matjgnon, Archivet d'Anlhropologie CHminelle, 190B, p. 72). 
"Under present conditions," writes Dr. F. Erhard ("Auch ein Wort mr 
Ebereform," OeachlecKt vnd OeielUohaft, Jahrgang I, Heft 9), "prosti- 
tution (in the broadest sense, including free relationships) is necessary 
in order that young men may, in some degree, learn to know women, for 
conventional conversation cannot suflice for this; an exact knowledge of 
feminine thought and action is, however, necessary for a proper choice, 
since it is seldom possible to rely on the certainty of instinct. It is good 
also that men abould wear off their horns l>efore 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 unl)^ptten children may have cause 
to thank him." Neisser, N9cke, 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 itnragest 
upholders of the moral advantages of prostitution, believe that some 
improvement in method is stilt desirable. Thus B^rault looks forward 
to a time when regulated brothels will tiecome less contemptible. Vari- 
ous improvements may, he thinlis, in the near future, "deprive them of 
the barbarous attributes which mark them out for the opprobrium of the 
skeptical or ignorant multitude, while their recognizable kdvanlAges will 
put an end to the contempt aroused by their cynical aspect" (La Maiton 
de ToUraafc, These de Paris, l»04) . 

4. The CiviiizaUonal Value of Prostitution. — ^The moral 
argument for prostitution in based on the belief that our 
marriage system is so infinitely precious that an institution 
which serves as its buttress must be kept in existence, however 
ugly or otherwise objectionable it may in itself be. There 
is, however, another argument in support of prostitution which 
scarcely receives the empbasis 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 ae an outlet for 
superfluous sexual energy, and may even affect those who have 




little or no conunerce with prostitutes. This element may be 
said to coQBtitute the civtlizational value of prostitution. 

It la not merely the general conditions of civilizatioD, but 
more apecifically the conditions of urban life, which make this 
factor ineisteot. Crban life imposes by the streBs of competition 
a very severe and exacting routine of dull work. At the same 
time it makes men and women more sensitive to new impreeaions, 
more enamored of excitement and change. It multiplies the 
opportunities of social intercourse; it decreases 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 cannot 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. Xor, 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 he 
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 tprnporary frpc unions, but they also favor 
prostitution. The reason in. according to Adolf Gerwn I8exual- 
Prohleme, September, 1B08), Uiat the woman of good elasa will not have 
free unions. Partly moved by moral traditiona. and partly by the feel- 
ing that a man should be let^llv her property, alie will not give herself 
out of lore to a man; and he therefore turns to the lower-class woman 
who gives herself for money. 



tion.' In America Sanger foimd that "inclination" came almost 
at the head of the camee of prostitution, while Woods Hutchinson 
found "love of display, lusury and idleneaa" by far at the head. 
"Disgusted and wearied witli 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 Bussia "desire for 
amusement" comes second among the causes of prostitution. 
There can, I thiuk, be little doubt that, as a thoughtful student 
of London life has concluded, the problem of prostitution ia "at 
bottom a mad and irresistible craving for excitement, a serious 
and wilful revolt against the monotony of commonplace ideals, 
and the iminspired drudgerj' of everyday life."^ It is this factor 
of prostitution, we maj 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 Be«ms to be of the lame opinion, and quotes {Life 
end Labor of th« People, Third Series, vol. vii, p. 304) from a Rescue 
Committee Report: "The popular idea is, that these women are eager 
to leftve & life of sin. The plain and simple truth is that, for the moat 
part, they have no desire at all to be rescued. So many of these women 
do not, and will not, regard prostitution as a. sin. 'I am taken ont to 
dinner and to some place of amusement every night; why should I give 
it upT'" Merrick, who found that Ave per cent, of 14,000 prostitutes 
who pasBed through Millbank Prisoii, were accustomed to combine re- 
ligious observance with the practice of their profession, also remarks in 
regard to their feelings about morality : "I am convinced that there are 
many poor men and women who do Dot in the least understand what i» 

I Many girls, said Ellice Hopkins, get into mischief merely because 
they have in them an element of the "black kitten," which must frolic 
and play, but has no desire to getinto danger, "Do you not think it a 
little bard," she added, "that men should have dug hy the side 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-witt«d 
thing she is, without a single false step dashing her over the brink, and 
leaving her with the very womanhood dashed out of her!" 

a A. Sherwell, Life in Weet London. 1897, Ch. V. 

3 As quoted by Bloch, Bewaalleben Unterer Zeit. p. 358. 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 
doubt probable that the supply tends to increase the demand. 

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implied in the term 'inunOTalitj.' Out of courtesf to ^u, Oitj DU7 
assent to what 70U sftj, but thej do not comprehend your meaning when 
you talk of virtue or parity; j^u are simplj talking over their heads" 
(Merrick, op. ott., p. 28). The same atttitude ma; be lound Bnwng 
prostitutes ererywhere. In Italy Ferrianj mentions B girl of fifteen who, 
when accused of indeceney with a man in a public garden, denied with 
tears and much indignation. Be finally induced her to oonfesa, and then 
ask«d her: "Why did you try to make me believe you were a good 
girll" She hesitated, smiled, and said: "Becauso they lay ^rls ought 
not to do what I do, but ought to work. But I am what I am, and it 
is no concern of theirs." This attitude is often more than an Instinctive 
feeling; in intelligent proHtitutes it frequently becomes a reasoned con- 
viction. "I can bear everything, if bo it must be," wrote the author of 
the Tagebuch einer Terlorenen (p. 201), "even serious and honorable 
contempt, but I cannot bear scorn. Contempt — 3>eB, if it is justified. If 
a poor and pretty girl with sick and bitter heart stands alone in lite, cast 
off, with temptations end seductions offering on every side, and, in spite 
of that, out of inner conviction she chooses the grey and monotonous 
path of renunciation and middle-class morality, I recognize in that girl 
a personality, who has a certain juatiffeatlon in looking down with con- 
temptuous pity on weaker girls. But those geese who, under the eye* 
of their shepherds Bnd life-long owners, have always been pastured [n 
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 
Is necessarily any sophistry in the prostitute's jiietiflcation of herself. 
Some of our best thinkers and observers have reached a conclusion that 
is not dissimllsT. "The actual conditions of society are opposed to any 
high moral feeling in women," Marro observes ILa PuberIA, p. 462), "for 
between those who sell themselves to prostitution and those who sell 
themselves to marriage, the only difference is in price and duration of 
the contract." 

We have already seen how very large a part in proptitution 
is fumiehed by those who have left domestic aervice to adopt this 
life {ante p. 264). 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, 

lOoncourt. Journal, vol. lii, p. 49. 



even half a century- ago, we already find the same statements 
concerning the servant's position : "domestic serrice is a complete 
slavery," with early hours and late hours, and constant running 
up and down stairs till her legs are swollen; "an amount of 
ingenuity appears too often to be exercised, worthy of a better 
cause, in obtaining the largest possible amount of labor out of the 
domestic machine" ; in addition she is "a kind of lightning con- 
ductor," to receive tlie ill-*temper and morbid feelings of her 
mistress and the young ladies ; so that, as 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 relationships; 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 
is 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 sometimes Btat«d that the prevalence of prostitution among 
g^rls who were formerly ser^'ants is due to tlie immense niimt>ers o[ 
servants wlio are seduced by tbeir masters or the young men of the 
ltnni\y, and are thus forced on to the streets. T'ndoubtedly in a certain 
proportion of cases, perhaps sometimes a fairly considerable proportion, 
this is a decisive factor in the matter, but it scarcely eeeras to be the 
chief factor. The existence of relationships between servants and mas- 
ters, it must be remembered, by no means necessarily implies seduction. 

1 Vanderkiste, The Dent of London, 1854, p. 242. 

SBonger {Criminalili et CondiUont Eoonomiques, p. 406) 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 m) 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 wonid themselves act In the same way if placed under the same 

3 H. Lippert, in his book on prostitution in Hamburg, laid much 
stress on the craving for dress and adornment as a factor of prostitution, 
and BToch (Daa SetmalUben itnturer Zeit, p. 37S) considers that this 
factor is usually underestimated, and that it exerts an especially power- 
ful innneoee on Mrvants. 

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292 rsTCHOLiXiY op bex. 

In a large number of esses the. servant in s household is, in Bexoal mat- 
tere, the teacher rather than the pupil. (In "The Sexual Impulse in 
Women," in the third volume of these Studies, I have discuBsed the part 
played by serranta as sexual initiators of the young boys in the honse- 
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 t\Fenty per cent, of cases, though this is 
obvionaly one of the most easily avovable motives (see ante, p. 256). 
Seduction by any kind of employer eonstitufee only a proportion (usually 
leaa than half) even of these cases. The special case of seduction of 
servants by masters can thus play no very considersble part as a factor 
of prostitution. 

The statistics of the parentage of illegitimat« children have some 
bearing on this question. In a series ot 180 unmarried mothers assisted 
by the Berlin Bund fOr Mutterschutz, particulars are given of the 
occupations both of the mothers, and, as far a« possible, of the fathers. 
The former were one-third servant-prls, 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 to 25) could be 
described as "gentlemen," and even this proportion loses some of its 
signiflcance when it ia pointed out that Bome ot the girls were also of 
the middle-class; in nineteen cases the fathers were married men {Mut- 
terschute, January, 1907, p. 45). 

Most authorities in most conntries are of opinion that girls who 
eventually (usually between the ages of fifteen and twenty) 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 ot the peo- 
ple falls by the people," stated Reuss in France {La Prostitution, p. 
41). "It is her like, workers like herself, who have the first fruits of 
her beauty and virginity. The man of the world who covers her with 
gold and jewels only has their leavings." Martlneau, again (De la 
Protlitvtion Clan4e»lin«, IS85), showed that prostitutes are nsnally 
deflowered by men of their own class. And Jeannel. in Bordeaux, found 
reason for believing that it is not chiefly their masters who lead servants 
astray; they often go into service because they have been seduced in the 
country, while lazy, greedy, "and unintelligent girls are sent from the 
country into the town to service. In Edinburgh, W. Tait (Maffdaleniam, 
IR42) found that soldiers more than any other class in the community 
are the seducers of women, the Highlanders being especially notorious in 
this respect. Soldiers have this reputation everywhere, and in (Jennany 
especially it is constantly found that the presence of the soldiery in a 
country district, as at the annual manceuvres, is the cause of unchastity 
and illegitimate births; it is so slso in Austria, where, long ago, Oroao- 

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PR08TI10T10N. 296 

HofBnger Btated tbat H>ldi«r8 were Tesponsible foi at least a third of all 
ill^timste birthB, a share ont of all proportion to their numbers. In 
Italy, Harro, inTestigating the ocearion of the loss of virginity in twenty- 
two prostitutes, fouod that ten gave thranselves more or less spontane- 
ously to lovers or masters, t«n yielded in the expectation of marriage, 
and two were outraged (Lo FuhertA, p. 461). The loss of Tirginity, 
Marro adds, thou^ it may not be the direct cause of prostitution, oft«ii 
leads on to it. "When a door has once been hmken in," a prostitute said 
to him, "it is difficult to keep it closed." In Sardinia, as A. Mantegazza 
and Ciuffo found, prostitutes are very largely servanta from the conntry 
who have already been deflowered by men of their own class. 

This civilizational factor of proBtitution, the influence of 
luxury and excitement and refinement in attracting the girl of 
the people, as tlie fiame attracts the moth, is indicated by the 
fact that it is the country-dwellers who chiefly succumb to the 
fascination. The girls whose adolescent explosive and orgiastic 
impulses, sometimes increased by a slight congenital lack of 
nervous 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 
gratification in the career of a prostitute. To the town girl, 
bom and bred in the town, this career has not usually much 
attraction, unless she has been brought up 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 facts of the prostitute's life to be very anxious to 
adopt her career. Beyond this, also, it is probable that the 
stocks slie 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 Iife.i 

1 Since this was written tlie influence of several generations of 
town-life in immunizing a stock tn the eviU of that life (though with- 
out reference to prostitution) has been set forth by Relbmayr, Die 
EnlvHckUmffsffetohiekte dea Talentes tind Oemea, 1008, vol. ii, pp. 73 et 

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In all great cities a large proportion, if not the majority, of the 
inhabitants have usually been bom outside the citjr (in London only 
ftlMut flftf per cent, of heads of households are definit«)3' report«d aa 
born in London); and it ia not therefore surpriaing that proetitutea 
also should often be outsiders. Still it remains a significant fact that 
so t7picall7 urban a phenomenon as proetitution should be so largely 
recruited from the country. Tliis is eretywhere the case. Merridc 
eniuneratee the regions from which came some 14,000 prostitutes who 
passed through Millbank Prison. Middlesex, Kent, Surrey, Essex and 
Devon are the counties that stand at the head, and Aferrick estimates 
that the contingent of London from the four counti^ which malce up 
London was 7000, or one-half of the wholp; military towns lilce Col- 
chester and naval porta like Pl^'moutli supply many prostitutes to 
London; Ireland furnished many more than Scotland, and Germany far 
more than any other European country, France being scarcely repre- 
sented at all (Merrick, Work Among the Fallen, IBDO, pp. U-]G). It is, 
of course, possible that the proportions among those who pass through a 
prison do not accurately represent the proportions among prostitutes 
generally. The registers of the London Salvation Army Rescue Home 
show that sixty p^r cent of the girls and women come from the provinces 
(A. Sherwell, Life in WeH London, Ch. V). Thin ia exactly the same 
proportion as Tait found among prostitutes generally, half a century 
earlier, in Edinbnr^. Sanger found that of SOOO prostitutes in Kew 
York as many as 1238 were born abroad (TOS in Ireland), while of the 
remaining 782 only half were bom in the 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 prevoil — 
much more than from the South ; thus IMaine, a cold bleak maritime State, 
sent twenty-four of these prostitutes to New York, while equidistant Vir- 
ginia, which at the same rate should have sent seventy-tivo, only sent 
nine; there was a similar difference between Rhode Island and Maryland 
(Sanger, Hittory of Prostitution, p. 452). It is instrurtive to see here 
the ioftuence of a dreary climate and monotonous labor in Btimulatiug 
the appetite for a "life of pleasure." In France, as sbotvu by a map in 
Parent-DuchAtelct'a work (vol. 1, pp. 37-04, 1S57), if the country is 
divided into Ave zones, on the whole running east and west, there is a 
steady and progressive decrease in the number of prostitutes each zone 
sends to Paris, as we descend southwards. Little more than a third 
seem to belong to Paris, and, as in America, it is the serious and hard- 
working North, with its relatively oold climate, which furnishes the 
largest contingent; even in old France, Dufour remarks <op. oil., vol. 
iv, Ch. XV), prostitution, as the fabJiaua and romant show, was less 
infamous is tlie langiu cPoH than in the langue (Poo, so that they were 

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PB08TITCTI0K, 295 

doubtlMS nire in the South. At a kt«r period RausB states (La Protii- 
tution, p. 12) that "nearly all the prostitutee of Paris come from the 
provincee." Jeannel found that of one thousand Bordeaux proatitutes 
only forty-six belonged to the city itself, and Potton (Appendix to 
Parent-BuehSteiet, toI. ii, p. 446) states that of nearly four thousand 
Lyons prostitutes only 376 belonged to Lyons. In Vienna, in 1873, 
Scfarank remarlcs that of over 1600 prostitutes only 616 were born in 
Vienna- The general rule, it will be seen, though the Tsriations are 
wide, is that little more than a third of a city's prostitutes are children 
of the city. 

It is InUresting to note that this tendency of the proHtitute to 
reach cities from afar, this migratory tendency — which they nowadays 
share with waiters — Is no merely modern phenomenon, "There are few 
cities in Lombardy, or France, or Oaul," wrote St. Boniface nearly twelve 
centuries ago, "in which there is not en adulteress or prostitute of the 
English nation," and the Saint attributes this to the custom of going 
on pilgrimage to foreign shrines. At the present time there is no marked 
En^ish element among Continental prostitutes. Thus in Paris, accord- 
ing to BeusB (La Prostitution, p. 12), the foreign prostitutes in decreas- 
ing order are Belgian, Qerman (Alsace-Lorraine), Swiss (especially 
Geneva), Italian, Spanish, and only then English. Connoisseurs in this 
matter say, indeed, that the English prostitute, as compared with ber 
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 ia finest 
and best in civilization, which more than any other motive, calls 
women to the career of a prostitute. It is now necessarj to point 
out that for the man also, the same appeal makes itself 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 that if he is taught to bridle gross 
sexual impulse or induced to marry early the prostitute must be 
idle, ia 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 off superfluous sexual energy, and 
her attraction by no means ceases when men are married, for a 
large number of the men who visit prostitutes, if not the majority, 

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are married. And alike whether tliey are married or unmarried 
the motive is not one of uncomplicated lust. 

In England, a well-informed writer remarka that "the ralue of 
marriage aa a. moral agent is evidenced hj the fact that all the better- 
cIbbb proBtituCes in London are almost entirely supported bj married 
men," irhile in Germany, as stated in the Interesting aeripa of reminis- 
cences by a former prostitute, Hedwig Hard's Beichte einer Oefallenea, 
(p. 209), tlie majority of the men who visit prostitutes are nisrried. 
The estimate is probably escesaive. Neisaer Rt«te« that only twentj-flve 
per cent, of casps of gonorrhiea 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, Hedn-ig Hard narrates from her 
own experiences an incident which is instructive and no doubt Epical. 
In the town in which she lived quietly as a prostitute a man of the best 
social class was introduced by a friend, and visited her habitually. She 
had often seen and admired his wife, who was one of the beauties of the 
place, and had two charming children; huriiand and wife seemed devoted 
to each other, and every one envied their happiness. He wks a man of 
intellect and culture who encouraged Hednig's love of books ; she became 
greatly attached to him, and one day ventured to ask him how he could 
leave his lovely and charming wife to come to one who was not worthy 
to tie her shoe-lace. ''Yes, my child," he answered, "but all her beauty 
and culture brings nothing to my heart. She ia cold, cold as ic?, proper, 
and, above all, phlegmatic. Pampered and spoilt, she lives only for her- 
self; we are two good comrades, and nothing more. If, for instance, I 
come back from the club in the evening and go to lier bed, perhaps a 
little excited, she becomes nervous and she thinks it improper to wake 
hec 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 as 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 alone and come to you." There can be no doubt whatever that 
tills is the experience of many married men who would be well content 
to find the sweetheart aa well as the friend in their wives. But the 
wives, from a variety of causes, have proved incapable ct becoming the 
eexual mates of their husbands. And the husban^ls, without being car- 
ried away by any impulse of strong passion or any desire tor infldelity, 
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 alt cliief respects fitted 
to them, are apt to find, after some years of married life, a mysterious 

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craving for variety. Tbej are not tired of Uieir wives, tbey have not 
the least wish or intention to abandon them, they will not, if they oan 
help it, give them the 8Hght«st pain. But from time to time they are 
led by an almost irreBlBtible and involuntary impulse to eeA a. temporary 
intjmacy with womeo to whom nothing would penuade them to join 
themselves permanently. Pepys. whose Diary, in addition to its other 
claims upon us, is a psychological document of unique importance, fnr- 
niahes a very characteristic example of this kind of impulse. He had 
married a young and charming wife, to whom hs is greatly attached, and 
he lives happily with her, save for a few occasional domestic quarrels 
soon healed by kisses; his love is witnessed by his jealousy, a jealousy 
which, as he admits, is quite unreasonable, for she ia a faithful and 
devoted wife. Yet a few years after marriage, and in the midst of a 
life of strenuous of^ial activity, Pepys cannot resist the temptation to 
seek the temporary favors of other women, seldom prostitutes, but nearly 
always women of low social class — shop women, workmen's wives, 
superior servant-girls. Often he ia content to 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 Ood (as he makes his entrj- in his Diary at ni|^t) that he 
has been saved from tomptation and from loss of time and money; In 
any case, he is apt to vow that it shall never occur again. It always 
does occur again. Pepys is quite sincere with himself; he makes no 
attempt at Justification or excuse; he knows that he has yielded to a 
tomptation; it is an impulse that oomes over hira at intarvals, an im- 
pulse that he seems unable long to resist. Throughout it all he remains 
an estimable and diligent official, and in most respects a tolerably 
virtuous man, with a genuine dislike of loose people and loose talk. 
The attitude of Pepys is brought out with incomparable simplicity and 
sincerity because he is setting down these things for his own eyes only, 
but his case is substontially that of a vast number of other men, per- 
haps indeed of the typical homme mof/en scnsuel (see Pepys, Diary, ed. 
Wbeatley; e.y., vol. iv, poastm). 

There is a third class of married men, less considerable in number 
but not unimportant, who are Impelled to visit 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 sexudl gratifi- 
cation they crave. But in a large proportion of cases tliis is not 
possible. The conventionally bred woman often cannot bring herself to 
humor even some quite innocent tetishistie whim of her husband's, tor 
it is too alien to her feelings and too incomprehensible to her ideas, even 
though she may be genuinely In love with hira; )n many cases the hus- 
band would not venture to ask, and scarcely even wish, that his wife 

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should lend herself to pl«7 the fantastic or poeaiblj' degrading part his 
desires demand. In such a case he turns uaturall; to the prostitute, the 
only womao whose business it is to fulBl his peculiar needs. Marriage 
has brought no relief to these men, arid the; constitute a noteworthy 
proportion of • prostitute's clients in every great city. The most ordi- 
nary prostitute of any experience can supply cases from among her own 
visitors to illustrate a treatise of psychopathic sexuality. It may suffice 
here to quote a passage from the confessions of a young London (Strand) 
prostitute as written down from her tips by a friend to whom I am 
indebted for the document; I have merely turned a few colloquial terms 
into more technical forms. After describing how, when she was still > 
child of thirteen in the country, a rich old gentleman would frequently 
come and exhibit himself before her and other girls, and was eventually 
arrested and imprisoned, she spoke of the perversities she bad met with 
since she had become a prostitute. Bhe knew a young man, about 
twenty-five, generally dressed in a sporting style, who always came with 
a pair of live pigeons, which he brought in a basket. She and the girl 
with whom she lived had to undress and take the pigeons and wring 
their necks; he 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 her boots. She agreed, sod he 
took her to a hotel, paid half a guinea for a room, and, when she sat 
down, got under the table and licked her boots, which were covered with 
mud; he did nothing more. Then there were some thin^, she said, that 
were too dirty to repeat; well, one man came home with her and her 
friend and made them uriuate into his mouth. She also had storiea of 
flagellation, generally of men who whipped the girU, more rarely of men 
who liked to be whipped by them. One man, who brought a new birch 
every time, liked to whip her friend until he drew blood. She knew 
snother man who would do nothing but smack her nates violently. Now 
all these things, which come into the ordinary day's work of the prosti- 
tute, are rooted in deep and almost irreaistible impulses (as will be clear 
to any render of the dlscusEtion of Erotic Symbolism in the previous 
volume of these Studies). They must find some outlet But it is only 
the prostitute who can be relied upon, through her interests and train- 
ing, to overcome the natural repulsion to such actions, and gratify 
desires which, without gratification, might take on other and more dan- 
gerous forms. 

Although Woods Hutchinson quotes witli approval the 
declaration of a friend, "Out of thousands I have never seen one 
with good table manners," there is still a real sense in which the 
prostitute represents, however inadequately, the attraction of 

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civilization. "There was no houBe in which I could habitually 
Bee a lady's face and hear a lady's voice," wrote the novelist 
Anthony TroUope in hia Autobiography, concerning his early life 
in London. "Ho allurement to decent respectability came in my 
way. It seems to me that in such 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 she is, in her way, an artist, 
an expert in the art of feminine exploitation, a leader of feminine 
fashions. For she is this, and there are, as Simmel has stated in 
Ilia Pkilosophie 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 this intimacy is embodied in tile deliciouB privilege of 
ttitoiemenl. "The mystery of tvtoimenl!" eKclaims EmcBt La JeuuesM 
in L'llolocauate: "Barriers broken down, veils drawn away, and the ease 
of exietencel At a time when I was very lonelv. and trying to grow 
accustomed to Paris and to misfortune, I would go milea — on foot, nat- 
urally — to see a girl cousin and an .lunt, merely to have something to 
lutoger. Somettmes they were not at home, and I had to come back 
with my (u, my thirst for oonfldenee and familiarity and brotherlinesH." 

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"Uawever surprising it tuay seem to some," & modem writer 
remarks, "prostitutes must be put on the same level as artists. Both 
use their gifts and talents for the joj and pleasure of others, and, as a 
rule, for pajment. What is the essential difference between a singer 
who gives pleasure to bearers by her throat and a prostitute wbo gives 
pleasure to those who seek her by another part of her bodyT All art 
works on the senses." He refers to the significant fact that aetora, and 
especiallj actresses, were formerlj regarded much as prostitutes are now 
{R. Bellmanu, Debtr OeaehleOittfreiheit, pp. 245-252). 

Bemaldo de Quiros and Llanan Aguilaniedo (La ilala Tida en 
Madrid, p. 242) trace the same influence still tower in the Bodal scale. 
They are describing the more squalid kind of cafi chantattt, in which, in 
Spain and elsewhere, the most vicious and d^enerate feminine crsaturee 
become waitresses (and occasionally singers and dancers), playing the 
part of amiable and distinguished hetairie 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, affable and at times ban^^, 
superior in charm and in finery to the other women be Is able to know, 
the waitreeses become the most elevated example of the femme galant« 
whom he is able to contemplate and talk to, the courtesan of his sphere." 

But while to tlie simple, Iguor&nt, and hungry youth the 
prostitute appeals as the embodiment of many 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 coarseness, her frauk 
familiarity with the crudest facts of life ; and so lifts them for 
a moment out of the withering atmosphere of artificial thought 
and onreal 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 
is said to have used in explaining her incomprehensible influence 
over him ; "She is bo splendidly vulgar !" 

In illustration of this aspect of the appeal of prostitution. I may 
quote a passage in which the novelist, Hermant, in his Confca»ion d'un 
Enfant d'Eier (Lettre VII), has set down the reasons which may lea4 
the snper-refined child of a cultured age, yet I^ no means radically or 
completely vicious, to find satisfaction in commerce with proetitntea: 
"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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liberty, which Is only possible in the circle of these anonjimous creAturet 
and in their rcMrved dwelling. There everything became permiseible. 
With other women, however low we may seek them, certain convenances 
must be observed, a kind of protocol. To these one can eay everything: 
one is protected by incognito and aaeured that nothing will be divulged. 
J profited by this freedom, which suited my age. but with a perverse 
fancy which waa not characteristic of my years. I scarcely know where 
I found what I said to them, for it was tlic opposite ol my tastes, which 
were simple, and, if I may venture to say so, classic. It is true that, 
in matters of love, unrestrained naturalism always tends to perversion, 
a fact that can only seem paradoxical at first sight. Primitive peoples 
have many traits in common with degenerates. It was. however, only 
in words that 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 seems to be just, but it may perhaps occur to some 
leaders that a commerce which led to "the action of the flesh" being 
regarded as of no consequence can scarcely be said to have left no taint. 

In a somewhat similar manner, Henri de R^gnier, in his novel, Le» 
Rmeontret lie Monaieur Brfot (p. 50), represents Bercailld as delib- 
erately preferring to take his pleasures with servant-girls rather than 
with Indies, for pleasure was, to hie mind, a kind of service, which could 
well be accommodated with the sen-ices they are accustomed to give; 
and then they are robust and agreesble, they possess the naiveti which 
is always charming in the common people, and they are not apt to be 
repelled by those tittle accidents which might offend the fastidious sensi- 
bilities of delicately bred ladies. 

Bloch, who has especially emphasired this side of the appeal of 
prostitution {Dag Beirualieben unaerer Zeil, pp. 359-362), refers to the 
delicate and sensitive young Danish writer, J. P. Jakobsen, who seems ta 
have aentely felt the contrast between the higher and more habitual 
Impulses, and the occasional outburst of what he felt to be lower 
inatincts; in his yi«I« Lyhne he describes the kind of double life in 
which a man is true for a fortnight to the god he worships, and Is tJien 



overcome bj otlier powers which madly bear him in their grip towards 
what he feels to be humiliating, peirene, and Bltby. "At such momenta," 
Bloch remarks, "the man is another being. The 'two souls' in the breast 
become a reali^. Is tlut the famous scholar, the loft; idealist, the fine- 
souled (BBtbetieian, tJie artist who has given us so many splendid and 
pure worlis in pocti^ and paintingT We no longer recognize him, for- 
at such momenta another being Itas come to the surface, another nature 
is moving within him, and with the power of an elementary force Is 
impelling him towards things at which his 'upper consciousness,' the 
civiliied man within him, would shudder." Bloch believes that we are 
here concerned with a kind of normal masculine masochism, which 
prostitution serves to gratify, 

IV. The Present Sockl Altitude Towards Prostitution. 

We have now surveyed tlie complex fact of prostitution in 
some of its most various and typical aspects, seeking to realize, 
intelligently and sj-mpathetically, the fundamental part it plays 
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 number of persons not only an 
unsatisfactory method of sexual gratification but a radically bad 

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 most credited and best established prostitu- 
tional manifestation, the brothel. The 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 their clients. The distaste on 
the one side increases the diBtaste 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-keeper is forced 
to resort to extraordinary methods for entrapping victims, and 
even to take part in that cosmopolitan trade in "white slaves" 



which exists solely to feed brothels,^ This state of things has a 
natural reaction in prejudicing the clients of prostitution against 
an institution which is going out of fashion and out of credit. 
An even more fuudaniental 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' 
demands 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 influence on that 

The changing feeling in regard to prostitution seems to 
express itself mainly in two waj's. 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 eome faetB and re/erences to the extensive literature ODntwni- 
ing this trade, see, e.g., Bloch, Das Sexualleben Unaerer Zeit, pp. 374-376; 
also K. M. Baer, Zeitichrift fUr BexualwUacnscluift, Sept., 1908; Pdu- 
lucpi de Calboli, Kuova AnMogia, April. 1B02. 

> These cons J derations do not, it is true, apply to many kinds of 
sexual perverts who form an important proportion of the clienta of 
brothels. These can frequently find what they crave inside a hrothel 
much more eaeily than outKide' 

3 Thus Charles Booth, in hig great work on Life and Labor «n Lon- 
don, final volume (p. 128), recommends that "liouaea of aceommodation," 
instead of being hunted out, should be tolerated as a step towards the 
Buppreaaion of brothels. 

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and they know no reason why a woman ehonld not freely do as 
she will with her own person. But they believe that, if prostitii- 
tioQ is necewary, the relationships of men with prostitutes should 
be humane and agreeable to each party, and not degrading to 
either. It most be remembered that under the cooditionB of 
civilized urban life, the discipline of work ia often too severe, 
and the excitements of urban existence too constant, to render 
an abandonment to orgy a desirsble 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 ja 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, althou^ that may 
be open to them. For a very large number of men under urban 
conditions of existence the prostitute is ceasing to be the degraded 
instmment 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 

I "Towns like Woolwich, A1der«hot, Portsmouth, Plymouth," it has 
been eald, "ahonnd w)th wretched, flithy monBt«r8 that bear no resem- 
blance to women; but It Is drink, ecorn, brutality and disenae which 
hav« reduced them to this state, not the mere fact o( aMociating with 

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be pointed out that, though it ia usual to epeak of the prostitute 
as a woman who "eells herself," this is rather a crude and iaexact 
way of expreBsing, in its tj-pical form, the relatiouBhip of a 
prostitute to her client. A prostitute ia not a commodity with a 
market-price, like a loaf or & 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 vith the client's means, 
and under special circumstances may be graciously dispensed 
with altogether. Frontitution 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 
is scarcely even a pardonable rhetorical exaggeration ; it is both 
inexact and unjust.^ 

This teiideiK7 in an advanced civilization towards the humaniea- 
tion at prostitution is the reverse process, we may note, to that which 
takes place at an earlier stage of civilization when the ancient concep- 
tion of the religious dignity of prostitution begins to fall into disrepute. 
When men cease to rererence women who are prostitutes in the service 
o( a goddess they set up in their place prostitutes who are merely abject 
slarei. Battering themselves that they are thereby working in the cause 
of "progress" and "morali^." On the shores of the Mediterranean this 
process took place more than two tliousand years ago, and is aaaaciated 
with the name of Solon. To-day we may see Uie same process going on 
in India. In some parts of India (as at Jejuri, near Poonah) first born 
girls are dedicated to Kbandoba or other gods-, tiiey are married to the 
god and termed muralia. They serve in the temple, sweep it, and wash 

I "The contract of prostitution in the opinion of prostitutes them- 
selves," Bernaldo de Quiros and Lianas Aguilaijiedo remark (La MtUa 
Vida en Madrid, p. 204), "cannot be assimilated to a sale, nor to a con- 
tract of work, nor to 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 vhtch no payment 
eould be adequate. 'A woman's body is without price' is an axiom of 
prostitution. The money placed in the hands of her who procures the 
satisfaction of sexual desire ia not the price of the act, but an offering 
which the prleetesB of Venus applies to her maintenance." To the Span- 
lard, It la true, eveir transaction which resembles trade is repugnant, 
but Hie principle underlying this feeling holds good of prostitution gen- 

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the holy vewelfl, aim tbry dance, sing and pniBtitut« th^tuelves. The; 
are forbidden to marrf, and they live in the homes of their parents, 
brothers, or sisterB; being consecrated to religioui Mrviee, thej are 
untouched hy degradation. Nowadays, however, Indian "refonnerB," in 
the name of "civilization and science," seeic to persuade the muralU that 
the]' are "plunged In a career of degradation." No doubt jn time the 
would-he moralists will drive the muratit out of their temples and their 
homes, deprive them o( all seU-reapect, and convert them into wretched 
outcast!, all in the cause of "science and civilization" (see, e.g., an arti- 
cle by Mra. Kashibai Deodhar, The Keio 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 the actual civilized life of 
Europe. Thus in writing of prostitution in Paris, Dr. Robert, Michels 
("Erotische StreifiUge," Uulterschulx, I9M, Heft 9, p. 308) remarks: 
"\Thile 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 proititute plays in many respects the 
part which once give signifleance and fame to the hetairm of Athens." 
And after describing the consideration and respect which the Parisian 
prostitute is often able to 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 herself 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-sexual coropaniona 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 lost for the moral worth 
of humanity." All prostitution is bad, Michels concludes, but we should 
have reason to congratulate ourselves if love-relfttitmships of this 
Parisian species represented the lowest known form of eitra-conjugsl 
sexuality. (As bearing on the relative consideration accorded to prosti- 
tutes I may mention that a Paris prontitute remarked to a friend of 
mine that Englishmen would ask her questions which no Frenchman 
would venture to ask.) 

It is not, however, only in Paris, although here more markedly and 
prominently, that this humanizing change in prostitution is beginning 
to make itself felt. It is manifeated, for instance, in the greater open- 
ness of a man's sexual life. "While he formerly slinked into a brothel 
in a remote street," Dr. Willy Hellpach remarks (.Ven!0*i(a( «nd Kvltvr. 
p. 169), "be now walks abroad with his 'liaison,' visiting the theatres 
and cafes, without indeed any anxiety to meet his acquaintences, but 
with no embarrassment on that point. The thing is becoming more com- 

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monplace, more — natural." It is also, Hellpach proceeds to point out, 
thus becoming more moral also, and much unwholesome prudery and 
pruriency is being done atraj with. 

In England, where change ie slow, this tendency to the humanica' 
tion of prostitution maj be leas pronounced. But it certainly exists. 
Id the middle of the last century Lecky wrote (Hintory of European 
Morula, vol. li, p. 283) thnt habitual prostitution "is in no other Euro- 
pean country so hopelessly vicious or so irrevomble." That statement, 
which was also made by Parent'Duchfttelet and other foreign observers, 
is fully confirmed by the evidence on record. But it is a statement 
which would hardly be made to-day, except prehaps, in reference to spe- 
cial conAned areas of our cities. It Is the same in America, and we 
may doubtless find this tendency reflected in the report on The Boeiat 
Eril {1902), drawn up by a committee in New York, who gave it (p. 
1T6) as one of their chief recommendations thnt prostitution should no 
longer be regarded as a crime, in which light, one gathers, it had formerly 
been regarded in Kew York. That may seem but a imall ■t«p in the 
path of humanization, but it is in the right direction. 

It is by no means only in lands of European civilization that wb 
may trace with developing culture the refinement and humanizatiou of 
the slighter bonds of relationship with women. In Japan exactly the 
same 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 ( .Vine (cent fc Century, April, 1904): "The geisha is in 
no sense necessarily a caurtrnan. She is a woman educated 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 she ia broken into an inviolable charm of manner incomprehensible 
to the finest European, yet she ia almost Invariably ■ blossom of the 
lower classes, with dumpy claws, and squat, ugly nails. Ber education, 
physical and moral, is far harder than that of the Itnllerina, and her 
success is achieved only after years of struggle and a bitter agony of 

torture And the geisha's social position may be compared 

with that of the European actress. The Qeisha-bouse offers prizes as 
desirable as any of the Western stage. A great geisha with twenty 
nobles sitting round her, contending for her laughter, and kept In con- 
stant check by the QaHhing bodkin of her wit, holds a poaitlon no less 
high and famous than that of Sarah Bernhardt in her prime. She is 
equally sought, equally flattered, quite as madly adored, that quiet little 
elderly plain girl in dull blue. But she is prised thus primarily for her 
tongue, whose power only ripens fully as her physical charms decline. 
She demands va«t sums for her owners, and even so often appears and 
dances only at her own pleasure. Few, If any, Westerners ever see a 


308 P8T0H0L0GT OF 8EX. 

leali; famous geiaba. She in too great to come before a Europe*ii, 
exwpt for an auguit or imperial oommand. Finally she may, and tre- 
qnentl; doea, marry into exalted placet. In all tJiis there is not the 
•lighteat necntity for any illicit relatiOD." 

In Bome respects the position of the Hticieot Gre«k hetairv waa 
more analogua to that of the Japanese geitha than to that of the prosti- 
tnta in the strict senne. For the Greeks, indeed, the hetaira, Traa not 
■trictly a pome or proetitute at all. The name meant friend or com- 
panion, and the woman to whom the name was applied held an honorable 
position, which oould not be accorded to the mere prostitute. Atlienieiw 
(Bk. siii, Cha. XXVIII-XXX) brings together passages showing that 
the hetaira could be regarded as an independent citizen, pure, simple, and 
virtuous, altogether distinct from the common crew of prostitutes, 
though these might ape her name. The hetaira "were almost the only 
Oreek women," says Donaldson (Woman, p. 60), "who exhibited what 
was best and noblest in women's nature." This fact renders it more 
Intelligible why a woman of such intellectual distinction as Aspaeia 
should have been a hetaira. There seems little doubt as to her intel- 
lectual distinction. ".Eschines, in his dialogue entitled 'Aspasia,' " writes 
GompeTK, the historian of Greek philosophy ( Oreek Thinkers, v6L iii, 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," Gomperz adds, in arguing that an inference may thus 
be drawn concerning the historical Aspasia, "if three authors — Plato, 
XenophoQ and jSechines — had agreed in fictitiously enduing the com- 
panion of Pericles with what we might very reasonably hare expected 
her to possess — a highly cultivated mind and intellectual influence." It 
is even possible that the movement for woman's right which, aa we dimly 
dlTins throuf^ the pages of Aristophanes, took place in Athens in the 
fourth c«ntury B. C, was led by htlatrW. According to Ivo Bruns 
(Fraitenemaacipation in Athen, 1900, p. 19) "the most certain informa- 
tion which we possess concerning Aspasia bears a strong rcsemblanoe to 
the picture which Euripides and Aristophanes present to ua of the 
leaders of the woman movement." It was the existence 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 hi^er plane that lote of distruc- 
ti<m, or, as we should better say, that spirit of revolt and aspiration, 
which SImmel finds to mark the intellectual and artistic activity of those 
who are unclassed or dubiously classed in the social hierarchy. Ninon 
de Lenclos, as we have seen, was not strictly a courtesan, but she was a 
pioneer in the assertion of woman's rights. Aphra Behn who, a little 
later in Eugland, occupied a similarly dubious social position, was like- 
wise a pioneer in generoua humanitarian aspirations, which have sinee 
been adopted in the world at large. 

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PB08TITUTI0N. 809 

TheH reflnemenU of proBtitution may be taid to be chiefly the out- 
come of the late and more developed stages in civilization. As Schurtz 
has put it {AlterakUuMan und UdnnerbUnde, p. 191) : "The cheerful, 
skilful and tutistically accomplished hetaira frequently Btunds as an ideal 
figure in opposition to the intellectuaUj uncultivated wife banished to 
the interior of the house. The courtesan of the Italian Renaissance, 
Japanese geishas, Chinese flower-girls, and Indian bayaderBB, all show 
some not unnoble features, the breath of a tree artistic ezietence. They 
have achieved — with, it is true, the sacrifice of tlieir 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 
(tomes in them to brilliant development. Prostitution in Its best form 
may thus offer a path by which these feminine charact«ri8tiC8 may esert 
a certain influence on the development of civilisation. We may also 
believe that the artistic activity of women is in some measure able to 
offer a connterpoise to the otherwise less pleasant results of sexual 
abandonment, preventing the coarsening and destruction of the emotional 
life; in his Magda Sudennaon 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 
recognise," In his Sex and Character, Weinlnger has developed in a 
more estreme 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 numberB, who 
approach the problem of prostitution not from an eeethetic stand- 
point but from a moral standpoint. This moral attitude is not, 
however, that conventionalized morality of Cato and St. Augus- 
tine and Lecky, set forth 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, "the most luxurious articles of women's 
trovaseaux, the bridal chemises of girls with dowries of six 
hundred thousand francs, are made in the prison of Clairvaui,"^ 
they see the gvmbol of the intimate dependence of our luxurious 

IJoumal det (loucouil, vol. iii; this waa in 18fl6. 



virtue on our squalid vice. And while they accept the hlBtorical 
and aociological evidence which shows that prostitution is an 
inevitable part of the marriage ayatem which still survives among 
ufl, they ask whether it is not possible so 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. 

Prostitutes, a diatin^ished man of sdence has said (Duclaux, 
L'Eygiine Bornale, p. 243), "have become thingi which the public uses 
when it wants them, and tlirows on the dungheap when it has mode Uiem 
vile. In its phHrisaiam it even has the insolence to treat their trade as 
shameful, as though it were not just as afaameful to bu7 aa to sell in 
this marlcet." Bloch {Stxaellehen un«erer Zeit, Ch. XV) inaista that 
prostitution must Ik ennobled, and that onl}- so can it tie even diminished. 
Isidore Dj'er, of New Orleans, also argues Uiat we cannot checlt prostitu- 
tion unless we create "in the minds of men and women a spirit of 
tolerance instead of intolerance of fallen women." This point may be 
illustrated b; a remark by the prostitute author of the Tagehaeh einer 
Verlorenen. "If the profession of yielding the body ceased to be a shame- 
ful one," she wrote, "the army of 'unfortunates' would dimiuish by four- 
fifths — I will even say nine-tentha. Myself, for examplel How gladly 
would I take a situation as companion or governess!" "One of two 
things," wrote the eminent sociologiBt Tarde ("Ia Morale Souelle," 
irchivet d'Anthropologie Criminelle, Januarj-, 1907), "either prostitu- 
tion 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 respectable, that 
is to say, Iqr making itself respected, whether liked or disliked." Tarde 
thought this might perhaps come about by a better organization of pros- 
titutes, a more careful selection among those who desired admission to 
their ranks and the cultivation of profes'iional virtues which would raise 
their moral level. "H courtesans fulfil a need," BalMc had already said 
in his Phgnotogie du Manage, "they must become an institution." 

TIlis 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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the young Qerman prostitute of to-day, "and what I do with it ia 
nobody else's concern." When the proetitute was literally a 
slave moral duty towarda her was by no meana 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, tliat 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 proetitutes, it has been said, is "simply cruelty of a 
peculiarly brutal kind," not to be discerned in any other relation 
of life.' And if this attitude is cruel even in speech Jt ia still 
more cruel in action, whatever attempts may be made to disguise 
its cruelty. 

CanOD LTttleton'a remarks may be taken lo refer obiefl; to young 
men of the npper middle class. Concerning what ia perb«ps the usual 
attitude of lower middle class people towards prostitution, I ma^ quote 
from a remarkable communication which has reached me from Austnlia: 
"What are the views of a young man brought up in a middle-clau Chris- 
tian Engliah family on prostitutes r Take my father, for inat^n^, He 
tirat mentioned prostitutes to me, if I remember rightly, when speaking 
of his life before marria^. And he spoke of than an he would speftk of 
ft horse he had hired, paid for, and dismissed from his mind when it 
had rendered him serriee. Although mj mother wae so kind and good 
she spoke of abandoned women with disgunt and scorn as of some unclean 
animal. As it flatters vanity and pride to be able with good counte- 
nance and nniveraal consent to look down on something, I soon grasped 
the situation and adopted an attitude which is, in the main, that of most 

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middle-class Christian Engliahmen towards prostitutes. But as puberty 
develops this attitude has to be accommodated with the wish to make 
use of this scum, these moral lepers. The ordlDaiy young man, who likes 
a spice of immorality and has it when in town, and thinks it is not likely 
to come to his mother's or sisters' ears, does not get over his. arrogance 
and disgust or abate tfaem in the least He takes them with him, more 
or less disguised, to the brothel, and tiiey color his thoughts and actions 
all the time he is sleeping with prostitutes, or kissing them, or pasaiog 
his hands over them, as he would over a mare, getting as much as he 
can for his money. To tell the truth, on the whole, that was my attitude 
too. But if anyone had asked me for the smallest reason for this 
attitude, for this feeling of superiority, pride, hautettr, and prejudice, I 
should, like any other 'respectable' young man, have been entirely at « 
loss, and could only have gaped foolishly." 

From the modem moral Btandpoint which now concerns ne, 
not only is the cruelty involved in the dishonor of the prostitute 
abeurd, 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, the betrothed women in these cases are equally justified in 
seeking relief from other men, and the vicious circle of absurdity 
might thus he completed. 

From the point of view of the modem moralist there is 
another consideration which was altogether overlooked in the 
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 
is a large third class of women who are neither wives nor prosti- 

ISee, e.g., R. W. Taylor, TreatUe on Semial Disorder*, 1897, pp. 
74-5. Georg HirUi (Wege sur Heimat, 1B09, p. 010) narrates the case 
of a young officer who. being excited by the caresses of his betrothed and 
having too much respect for her to go further than this, and too much 
respect for himself to resort to masturbation, knew nothing better than 
to go to a prostitute. Syphilis developed a few days after the wedding. 
Hirtb adds, briefly, that the results were terrible. 

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tutes. For this group of the immanied virtuous the traditional 
morality had no place at all ; it simply ignored them. But the 
new moralist, who Ib learning to recognize both the claims of the 
individoal 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 is not entitled to encourage every 
healthy and ahle-bodied woman to contribute to maintain the 
birth-rate when she bo 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 
refinem^t of urban life, the ugly contrast of extremes 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 consideratious 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 tlie 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-honored 
position of the prostitute, and moreover, by no means sure that 
the wife in the home may not be fully as much in need of 
reecoiug as the prostitute in the street; he is prepared to con- 
sider whether refonn in this matter is not most likely to take 
place in the shape of a fairer apportionment of sesual privileges 
and sexual duties to women generally, with an inevitably resultant 
elevation in the sexual lives of men also. 

The revolt of niaDy Berioue refonnera agaiiiBt tlie injustice and 
degradfttion now involved by our sreatem of prostitution ia so profound 
that some have declared themaelvea ready to accept an; revolution of 

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idMB nhich would bring about a more wholetome tranamutation of moral 
values. "Belter indeed were a saturnalia of p-ee men and women," 
exclaims Edward Carpenter {Loo^t Coming of Age, p. 62), "than tho 
■pactade which, as it is, our great cities preeeDt at night." 

Even those who would be quite content with as oonaervattve a 
treatment as possible of social institutions still cannot fail to realize 
that prostitution is unsatistactoty, unless we are content to make very 
bumble clalma of the sexual act. "The act of prostitution ," Godfrey 
declares {The Bcitnee of Sew, p. 202), "may be phj^iologically complete, 
but it is complete in no other sense. All the moral and intelleetusl fac- 
tors which combine with physical desire to form tlie perfect sexual 
attraction are absent. All the higher elements of love — adiniration, 
respect, honor, and self-sacriflclng devotion — are as foreign to prostitU' 
tion as to the egoisUc act of masturbation. The principal drawbacks to 
the morality of the act lie in its associations more than in the act itself. 
Any affectionsl quali^ which a more or less promiscuons connection 
might possess is at once destroyed by the intrusion of the monetary ele- 
ment Id the resulting degradation the woman has the largest share, 
since it makes her a pariah and involves her in all the hardening and 
depraving influences of social ostracism. But her degradation only 
Mrres to render her influence on her partners more demoralizing. Pros- 
titution," he concludes, "has a strong tendency towards emphasizing the 
naturally selfish attitude of men towards women, and encouraging them 
in the delusion, bom of unregulated passions, that the sexual act itself 
is tbe aim and end of the sex life. Prostitution can therefore make no 
claim to afford even a temporary solution to the sex problem. It fulfils 
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 tbe cost of a considerable amount of physical and moral deterioration, 
mucb of which Is undoubtedly due to the action of society in oompleting 
the degradation of the prostitute by persistent ostracism. ProstitutioR 
was not BO great an evil when it was not thought so great, yet even at 
its best it was a real evil, a melancholy snd sordid travesty of sincere 
and natural passional relations. It Is an evil which we are bound. to 
have with us so long as celibacy is a custom and monogamy a law." It 
is the wife as we'l as the prostitute who is degraded by a system which 
makes venal love possible. "The time has gone past," the same writer 
remarks elsewhere (p. 185) "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 humanity. It is a disgrace under the mar- 
riage bond just as much as apart from the hypocritical blessing of the 
church or the law. If the public prostitute is a being who deserves to 
be treat«d as a pariah, it Is hopelessly Irrational to withhold every sort 

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ol moral oppTobrinin from the woman who leads » similar life Diider a 
different set of external circumBtaucea. Either the prostitute wife miut 
come under the moral ban, or there must be an end to the completo 
OBtracism under which the prostitute labors." 

The thinker who more clearly aitd fundamentall; than others, and 
first of all, realized the dTnamical relationships of prostitution, as 
dependent upon a change in the other social relationships of life, was 
James Hinton. More than thirtf years ago, in fragmentary writings 
that still remain unpublished, since he never worked them into an 
orderly form, HintoD 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 feel 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 tt ten- 
sion, a crushing of the soul, by our modem life, and it is ready for a 
sudden spring to a difTerent order in which the forces shall rearrange 
themselves. It is a dynamical question presented In moral terms. 
.... Keeping a portion of the woman population without prospect 
of marriage means having prostitutes, that is women as instruments of 
man's mere sensuali^, 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 consiuned 
by her want of love, a case of threatened utter misery; now see the 
price at which we purchase her ill-health; 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 for 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 luatT The happy Christian 

homes are the true dark places of the earth Prostitution 

(or man, restraint for woman — they are two sides of the same tiling, 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 The Future of Marriage; An 
Eirenicon for a Question of To-day, by a Respectable Woman (1S85). 
"ttTien once the conviction is forced home upon the 'good' women," tha 
writer remarks, "that their place of honor and priviUge rests upon the 
degradation of others as its basis, they will never rest till t^ey have 
either abandoned it or sought for it some other pedestal. If our inHeii- 
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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titutioo must be shown to be compatible witb tite well-being, moral uid 
physical, of the women who practice It, or out marriage Bystem miut be 
condemned. It it was clearly put before anyone, he could not Bcrioiuly 
assert that to be 'virtue' which could only be practiced at the expense 

of another'a Tie* Whilst the laws of physics are becoming 

so nniversally recogniied that no one dreams of attempting to annihi]at« 
a particle of'matter, or of force, yet we do nut instinctively apply the 
aame conception to moral forces, but think and act aa if we could aimpt; 
do away with an evil, while leaving unchanged that which gives it its 
strength. This la the only view of the social problem which can give us 
hope. That prostitution should aimply cease, leaving everything else aa 
it is, would be disastrous if it were possible. But it is not possible. 
The weakness of all existing efforts to put dovm prostitution is that th^ 
are directed sigainst it as an Isolated thing, whereas it is only one of 
the symptoms proceeding from a common disease." 

Ellen Key, who during recent years haa been the chief apostle of 
a gospel of sexual morality based on the needs of women as the mothers 
of tlte race, has, in a somewhat aimilar spirit, denounced atilte prostitu- 
tion and rigid marriage, declaring {in her Ettat/i on Lotw afid itatriage) 
that "the development of erotic personal oonaciousness 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 gradnatly become 
impoesible, because with the conquent of the Idea of aotie uni^ they 
trill no longer correspond to humnn needs." 

We may BUm up the present situation as regards prostitution 
by saying that on the one hand 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 prostitutes and 
those men who seek them; on the other hand, but perhaps 
through the same dynamic force, there is a tendency towards the 
slow elimination of prostitution by the successful competi- 
tion of higher and purer methods of sexual relationship freed 
from pecuniary considerations. This refinement and humaniza- 
tion, this competition by better forma of sexual love, are indeed 
an eBsential part of progress as civilization becomes more truly 
sound, wholesome, and sincere. 

This moral change cannot, it seems probable, fail to be 
accompanied by the realization that the facts of human life are 

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mor« important than the forme. For all changee from lower lo 
higher social forms, from savagery to civilization, are accom- 
panied — ^in eo 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, ee 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 acta 
of love for which the reasonable, and not merely the conventional, 
conditioua 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 further the statement 
of the moral question as it ia to-day beginning to shape itself in 
the sphere of sex. In a psychological discussion we are only 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 
aseless. Spacer 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 Eb an oft-quoted pasaag?, but can scarcely be quoted too often: 
'^ou Bee that thin wrought-iron plate is not quite flat; it sticks up a 
little, here towards the left — 'cockles,' as ws say. How shall we flatten 
Itt ObriouBlj, you reply, by hitting down on thepart that is prominent. 
Well, here is a hanuner, and I give the plats a blow as you adviso. 
Harder, you say. Biall no effect Another stroke T Well, there Is one, 
and anotiier, and another. The prominence remains, yon see: the evil 
is as great as ever — greater, indeed. But that is not all. Look at the 
warp whidi the plata has got near the oppodte edge. Where it was 

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law has not been understood by moralists. The plain, prac- 
tical, common-seiiBe reformer, as he fancied himself to he — 
from the time of Charlemagne onwards — haa over and over again 
brought hia 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 rceponsibilities of women aa 
well as of men, by attaining, eocially as well as economically, a 
higher le*el of human living — it is only by such methods as these 
that we can reasonably expect to see any diminution and allevia- 
tion of the evil of prostitution. So long as we are incapable of 
such methods we muRt be content with the prostitution we 
deserve, learning to treat it with the pity, and the respect, which 
so intimate a failure of our civilization is entitled to. 

flat before it is now curved. A pretty bungle we have mode of it 
Instead of curing tlie original defect we have pTOduc«d a second. Had 
we asked an artisan practiced in 'planishing.' afi it in called, he would 
have told us that no good waa to be done, but only miMhief. by bitting 
down on the projecting part. He would have Uught us how to mve 
variously-directed and specially-adjusted blowe with » hammer else- 
where : so attacking the evil, not by direct, but by indirect actions. The 
required proees<i is less simple than you thought. Even a sheet of metal 
is not to be succes.i fully dealt with after those common-senHp methods 
In which you have so muph confidence. What, then, shall we say about 
a society? .... Is humanity more readily stroi^tened than an 
iron plater {The Study of Sooiolojw, p. 270.) 

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The Signiflcaoce of the Venereal Diseases — The Hiatoi? of Syphilis 
—The Problem of Its Origin— The Social Gravity of Syphilis — The Social 
Dangers of Gonorrhiea — The Modem Change in the Methods of Combat- 
ing Venereal Diseases — Causes of the Decay of the System of Police 
. KeguUtlon — Necessity of Facing the Facts — The Innocent Victims of 
Venereal Diseases — Diseases Not Crimes — The Principle of Notification — 
The Scandinavian System — Gratuitous Treatment — Puniahment for 
Transmitting Venereal Diseaaes — Se^iual Education in Relation to Ven- 
ereal Diseases — Lectures, Etc, — Discussion in Novels and on the Stage — 
The "Disgusting" Not the "Immoral." 

It may, perhaps, escite surprise that in the preceding dis- 
cussion of prostitution scarcely a word has been said of venereal 
diseases. In the ej'es of many people, the question of prostitution 
is simply the question 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 so 
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. 
Ifot only would venereal diseases still persist even though prosti- 
tution bad 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. 

Poumier, one of the leading authorities on this subject, has 
. well said that syphilis, alcoholism, and tuberculosis are the three 


, Google 


modern plagues. At a much earlier period (1851) Scliopen- 
hauer in Parerga und Paraliponena 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 hoetile and even 
diabolical element into the relations of the sexes, which has 
indirectly affected alt other social relationships. ^ It is like a 
merchandise, says Havelburg, of syphilis, which civilization has 
everywhere carried, so that only a very few remote districts of the 
globe (aa in Central Africa and Central Brazil) are to-day free 
from it.2 

It is undoubtedly true that in the older civilized countries 
the manifestations of syphilis, though still severe and a cause of 
physical deterioration in the individual and the race, are less 
severe than tbey were even a generation ago,^ This is partly the 
result of earlier and better treatment, partly, it is posaibte, 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 Schopenbauer felt a more than merely Bpeeula- 
tjve interest in this matter. Bloch has shown good reason for believing 
that Schopenhftuer himself contracted sfphilia in 1813, and that this was 
ft factor in constituting his conception of the world and in confirming 
hit constitutional pessimism (Mediziniaoke KUnik; Nos. 25 and 26, 1006). 

3 Havelburg, in Senator end Kaminer, Health and Disease in RcUs- 
lion to Marriage, vol. i, pp. 186-189. 

B This is Uie ver^ definite opinion of Lowndes after an experience 
of flfty-four years in the treatment of venereal diseases in Liverpool 
(Britith Medical Jownal, Feb. 9, 1907, p. 334). It is further indicated 
by the fact (if it Is a reel fact) that since 1876 there has been a decline 
of both the infantile and general mortality from svphilia in England. 

* "There is no doubt whatever that syphilis is on the increase in 
London, judging from bospitsl work alone," savs Fernet (BritiaK Medical 
Journal, March 30, 1907). Syphilis was evidently very prevalent, how- 
ever, B century or two ago. and there is no ground for asserting poiltively 
that It is more prevalent tiydty. 



According to the belief which is now tending to prevail, 
Byphilis was brought to Europe at the end of the fifteenth century 
by the firet discoTerera of America. In Seville, the chief 
European port for America, it was known as the Indian disease, 
but when Charles VIII and his army 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 Cataneus, "never seen in previous centuries and altogether 
unknown in the world." 

The synonyms of syphilis were at first almost innnmeTable. 
It was in hia Latin poem Syphilis give Morbus Oallicus, 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 its origin. 

Althongb the weight of auUioritatlTe opinion now MemB to incline 
towards Ute belief that Bypliilit waa brought to Europe from America, 
on the diflcovery of the New World, It is only within quite reoent years 
that that belief haa gained ground, and it scarcely even yet seems cer- 
tain that what the Spaniards brought back from America was really a 
disease absolutely new to the Old World, and not a more virulent form 
of an old disease of which the manifestations had become benign. Buret, 
for instance (Le Byphilia AujouriThtii et cn«u >e« Ancient, 1S90), wlio 
some years ago reached "the deep conviction that syphilid dates from the 
creation of man," and believed, from a minute study of classic authors, 
that syphilis existed in Rome under the Ciesars, was of opinion that it 
has broken out at dUferent places and at different time», in epidemic 
bursts exhibiting different combinations of its manifold sj'mptoms, so 
Oiat it passed unnoticed at ordinary times, and at the times of its more 
intense manifestation was looked upon as a hitherto unknown disease. 
It was thus regarded in classic times, be considers, as coming from 
Egypt, though he looked upon its real home as Asia. Leopold GlClck 
has likewise quoted {Arohiv fiir Dermatologie uad Bypkiiw, January, 
1869) passages from the medical epigrams of a sixteenth century phy- 
sician, Gabriel Ayala, declaring that syphilis is not really a new disease, 
thou^ popularly supposed to be so, hut an old disease which has broken 
out with hitherto unknown violence. There is, however, no conclusive 
reason for believing that syphilis was knovpH at all in classic antiquity. 
A. v. Nottbaft ("Die Legende von der Althertums-syphilie," in the 
RindAeiscb FatKhrift, 1907, pp. 377-592) has critically investigated 
the passages in elasMC authors which were supposed by Rosenbaum, Buret, 



Proksch and others to refer to ej'philia. It is quite true, Nottiuft 
admits, that many of Uteae paaeagei might possibly refer to syphilis, 
and one or two would even better fit syphilis than any other disease. 
But, on the whole, they furnish no proof at all, and no syphilologist, he 
concludes, has ever succeeded in demonstrating 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 them 
gives any description of the primary, secondary, tertiary, and congenital 
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, baa shown (Moruitgachrift fur praktiack« 
Dermatologie, vol. xxviii, pp. 208 et seq.) that Chinese records reveal 
nothing relating to sj-philis earlier than the sixteenth century. At the 
Paris Academy of Medicine in 1900 photographs from Bgypt were ex- 
hibited by Fouquet of human remains which date from B. C. 8400, show- 
ing bone lesions which seemed to be clearly syphilitic; Foumier, however, 
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 {British Medical Journal, 
September 29, 1900, p. »«) . 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 be any- 
thing else than syphilitic {e.g., British Medusal Journal, November 20, 
1897, p. 1487), though it may be noted that so recently as 1899 the cau- 
tious Virchow stated that pre-Colurabian syphilis in America was still for 
him an open question {Zeilschrifl fiir Ethnologie. Heft 2 and 3, 1899, p. 
216). From another side, Seler, the distinguished authority on Mexican 
antiquity, shows {ZeitachHfi fiir Ethnologie, 1895, Heft 5, p. 449) that 
the ancient Mexicans were acquainted with a disease which, as they 
described it, might well have been syphilis. It is obvious, however, that 
while the dithcutty of demonstrating sj^hilitic diseased bones in America 
is as great as in Rurope, the demonstration, however complete, would not 
sufAce to show that the disease had not already an existence also in the 
Old World. The plausible theory of Ayala thsfc 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," 
New York Medical Journal. October 31, 1B08) suggests that though not 
new in fifteenth century Europe, it was then imported afresh in a form 
rendered more a^ravated by coming from an exotic race, as is believed 
often to be the case. 

It was in the eighteenth century that Jenn Astruc b^an the 
rehabilitation of the belief that syphilis is really a comparatively mod- 
em disease of American origin, and since then various authorities of 

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w«i^t hMve given their ■.dhereoce to thia view. It ib to the energy and 
l^ining of Dr. Iwan Bloch, of Berlin (the flrit volume of whose impor- 
tant work, Der Vraprung der ByphilU, was published in 1001) that we 
owe the fullest statement of the evidence in favor of the American origin 
of syphilis. Bloch regards Ruy Diaz de Isla, a distinguished Spftnish 
physician, as the weightiest witness for the Indian origin of the disease, 
and concludes that it was brought to Europe b; Columbus's men from 
Central America, more precisely from the Island of Haiti, to Spain in 
1403 and 1494, and immediately afterwards was spread by 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 tiiat syphilis has spread In the North 
American continent 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 thirty 
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 rare or unknown refuse 
sexual intercourse with strangers, while those among whom such disease 
is prevalent are morally lax. It is the whites who are the source of 
infection among these tribes (A. B. Holder, "Oynecic Notes Among the 
American Indiana," Amwioan Journal of Obttetrkt, 1S92, No. 1). 

Sjphilifl is only one, certainly the most important, of a group 
of three entirely distinct "venereal diseases" which 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 
known in antiquity. It is but seventy years ago since Ricord, the 
great French syphiiologist, following Bassereau, first taught the 
complete independence of syphilis both from gonoirhcea and soft 
chancre, at the same time expounding clearly the three stages, 
primary, secondary and tertiary, through which syphilitic mani- 
festations tend to pass, while the full extent of tertiary gyphilitic 
symptoms is scarcely yet grasped, and it is only to-day beginning 
to be generally realized that two of the most prevalent and serious 
diseases of the brain and nervous system — geieral paralysis and 

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824 F8TCE0L00Y OF SEX. 

tabee doTsalia or locomotor ataxia — have their predominant 
though not sole and exclusive cause in the invasion of the 
syphilitic poiaoa many years before. In 1879 a new stage of 
more precise knowledge of the venereal diseases began with 
Neisser's discovery of the gonococcus which is the specific cause 
of gonorrhoea. This was followed a few years later by the dis- 
covery by Ducrey and Unna 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 Spirockata 
pallida (since sometimes called Treponema pdlHdum), which is 
now generally regarded as the cause of syphilis, and thus revealed 
the final hiding place of one of the most dangerous and insidious 
foes of humanity.* 

There is no more subtle poison than that of syphilis. It is 
not, like small-pox 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 manifeetations, and 
no tissue is safe from its attack. And so subtle is this all-per- 
vading poison that though its outward manifestations are 
amenable to prolonged treatment, it is often difficult to say that 
the poison has been finally killed out.^ 

The immense importance of syphilis, and the chief reason 

ISee, e.g., A. Neisaer, Die eaperimentelle Syphilisforschung, 190Q, 
and E. UofTmaDii (who waa asaocittted with Schaudinn's discovery), Die 
Aelioiogie der SyphilU, 1906; D'Arcj Power, A Syatem of &yphais, 1908, 
etc.; F. W. Mott, "Pathology of Syphilis in the Light of Modern Re- 
search," British Medical Journal, February 20, 1909; also, Architie* of 
Neurohgy and Pgyohiatry, vol. iv, 1909. 

I There is some difTerence of opinion on this point, and though it 
seema probable that early and thorough treatment uiually eurea the dis- 
ease in a few years and renders further <x " " •-■■•-■ -■• 
it is not possible, even under the most fai 
with absolute certainty as to the future. 

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why it iB necCBeary to conaider it hete, lies in the fact that its 
results are not confined 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 afEects the offspring, and 
it afEects 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 escapee infection, 
and the cliild 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, but 
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 goieral 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 asylums, and tabes dorsalis which is the most 
important disease of the spinal cord. Even to-day it can scarcely 

' "That ijphilis has been, nnd is, one of the chief causes o( pbTsical 
de^neratton in England cannot be denied, and it is a tact that is 
acknowledged on all sidea," writes Lieutenant-Colonel Lambkin, the 
medical officer in comniattd of the London Militaiy 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 phvaical degeneration of onr race" 
{Britieh Medical Journal, August 19, 1905). 

» F. W. Mott, "Svphilis as a Canee of Inaanify," Brititk Hedioal 
Jowmal, October 18, 1902. 

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be said that there is 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 
while general paralysis is very rare. It is, as Krafft-Ebing was 
accustomed to say, syphilization and civilization working together 
wliich produce general paralysis, perhaps in many casea, there ia 
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 others, "Paralj-tieua naaeitur atque 
fit," according to tlie dictum of Obersteiner. Once undermined by 
syphilis, the deteriorated brain is unable to resist the jars and 
strains of civilized life, and the result is general paralysis, truly 
described aa "one of the most terrible scourges of modem times," 
In 1902 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 shonid be 
called to the necessity for immediate action in view of the 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 boon made in various countries, and it would appear that 

n more than eight; per cent, of cases, 
, ,<hilitic cases it is commonly impossible 
a find traces of the diaeaae or to obtain a, histor; of it. Crocker found 
that it was only in eighty per cent, of cases of absolutely certain syphi- 
litie (dtin diseases that be could obtain a history of syphilitic infection, 
and Mott found exactly the same percentage in absolutely certain syphi- 
litic lesions of the brain; Mott believes (f.fl,, "Syphilis in Relation to 
the Nervous System," BritUh Medical Journal, January 4, 1908) that 
syphilis is the essential cause of general paralysis and tabes. 



from five to twenty per cent, of the population in European 
countries is eyphilitic, while about fifteen per cent, of the 
syphilitic cases die from causes directly or indirectly due to the 
disease.' lu France generally. Foamier estimates that seventeen 
per cent, of the whole population have had syphilis, and at 
Toulouse, Audry considers that eighteen per cent, of all his 
patients are syphilitic. 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 as 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 thousand cases of venereal disease are by one 
authority estimated to occur yearly, and in the larger universities 
twenty-five per cent, of the students are infected every term, 
venereal disease beiDg, 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.2 The British army, however, being professional and not 

1 Audrj, La Stmairte Midioale, June 2S, IQOT. When Suropeans 
carry syphilia to lands inhabited by people of lower race, the leaulte are 
often very much worae tban this. Thua Lambkin, oa a result of a ape- 
cial mission to investigate ayphilia in Uganda, found that in some 
diatricta as many as ninety per cent, of the people suffer from syphilis, 
and fifty to sixty per cent, of the infant mortality is due to this cause. 
• These people are Baganda, a highly intelligent, powerful, and well-organ- 
Jzed tribe before they received, in the gift of Byphilis, the full benefit of 
civilization and Christianity, which (Lambkin points out) has been 
largely the cauae of the spread of the diaeaae by breaking down social 
customs and emancipating the women,- Christianity is powerful enough 
to break down the old moralitv. bat not powerful enough to build up a 
new morality (British lledical Journal, October 3, 1908, p. 10.17). 

3 Even within the limits of the English army it is found in India 
(H. C. Prench, SjfpkilU in the Army, 1907) that Tenereal diaeaae is ten 
tiroes more frequent among British troops than among Native troops. 



national, is less represeatative of the people than is the case in 
countries where some form of conscription prevails. At one 
London hospital it could be ascertained that ten per cent, of the 
patients had had syphilis; tliis probably means a real proportion, 
of about fifteen per cent., a high though not extremely high ratio. 
Yet it is obvious that even if the ratio is really lower than this the 
national loss 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. Stritcb 
estimates that the cost to the British nation of venereal diseases 
in the army, navy and Qovemment departments alone, amoimts 
annually to £3,000,000, and when allowance is made for super- 
annuations and sick-leave indirectly occasioned through these 
diseaseB, though nnl; appearing in the returns as such, the more 
accurate estimate of the cost to the nation is stated to be £7,000- 
000. Tbe adoption of simple hygienic measures for the preven- 
tion and the speedy cure of venereal diseases will be not only 
indirectly but even directly a source of immense wealth to the 

Syphilis is the most obviously and conspicuously appalling 
of the venereal diseases. Yet it is less frequent and in some 
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 gonorrhcea, 

Outside of national armies it ie found, by adinisdon to hospital and 
death rates, that the United 6tat«s stands far away at tbe head for fre- 
quency of venereal disease, being followed by Great Britain, then France 
and Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Germany. • 

1 There is no dispute concerning the antiquity of gonorrhiGa in the 
Old World as there is regarding syphilis. The disease was certainly 
known at a very reniotp period. Even Esarhaddon, the famous King of 
AasjTia, referred to in the Old Testament, was treated by the priests for 
a disorder which, as described in the cuneiform docun^ents of the time, 
could only have been gonorrh<Ea. The disease was also well known to 
the ancient Egyptians, and evidently common, for they recorded many 
■prescriptions for its treatment (Oefele, "Gonorrhoe 1350 vor Christ! 
GebuTt," Monattltefte fur Praktiache Dermatologie, 1899, p. 2S0). 

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even aometimee on the part of the medical profeeeion — so that it 
hae been popularly looked upon, in Orandin's words, as of little 
more significance than a cold in the nose — has led to a reaction 
on the part of eomc towards an opposite extreme, and the riska 
and dangers of gonorrhcea hare been even unduly magnified. 
This ia notably the case as regards sterility. The inflammatory 
results of gonorrha>a are indubitably a potent cause of sterility in 
both sexes; some authoritiea have stated that not only eighty per 
cent, of the deaths from inflammatory diaeases of the pelvic 
organs and the majority of the cases of chronic invalidism in 
women, but ninety per cent, of involuntary sterile marriages, are 
due to gonorrhcea. Neisser, a great authority, ascribes to this 
disease without doubt fifty per cent, of auch 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 e.\perience, and Kiach speaks 
still more strongly in the same sense. Bumm, again, although 
regarding gonorrhcea as 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 reached results which are fairly con- 
cordant with BuDim'a. 

With regard to another of the terrible results of gonorrhoea, 
the part it plays in producing life-long blindness from infection 
of the eyes at birth, there has long been no sort 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 Reinhard found that thirty per cent, lost their 
sight from the same cause. The total number of persons blind 
from gonorrhceal infection from their mothers at birth is 

1 Cf. Memoranduin by Sydney Bt«pheii8on, Report of Ophthalmia 
Neonatorum Cominitt«e, Bn'fifft Medical Journal, Uay 8, 1909. 



enormouB. The British Koyal Commission on the Condition of 
the Blind estimated there were about seven tbouaand persons ia 
the United Kingdom alone (or tventy>two per cent, of t^e blind 
persons in the comitry) who became blind as the result of this 
disease, and Mookerji stated in his address on Ophthalmalogy at 
tlie Indian Medical Congress of 1894 tliat in Bengal alone there 
were six hundred thousand totally blind beggars, forty per cent, 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- 
rhoea! persons escape either suffering or inflicting any very 
serious injury. The special reason why gonorrhtea has become 
80 peculiarly serious a scourge is its extreme prevalence. It 
is difficult to estimate the proportion of n)cn and women in 
the general population who have had gonorrhcea, and the estimates 
vary within wide limits. They are often set too high. Erh, of 
Heidelberg, anxious to disprove exaggerated estimates of tbe 
prevalence of gonorrhoea, went over the records of two thousand 
two hundred patients in bis private practice (excluding all 
hospital patients) and found the proportion of those who bad 
suffered from gonorrhoea was 48.5 per cent. 

Among the working classes tbe disease is much less prevalent 
than among higber-class people. In a Berlin Industrial Sick 
Club, 412 per 10,000 men and 69 per 10,000 women had gonor- 
rhcea in a year ; taking a series of years the Club showed a steady 
increase in 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 glrls.^ In America Wood 
Buggies has given (as bad Noggerath previously, for New York), 
tbe prevalence of gonorrhoia among adult males as from 75 to 80 
per cent. ; Tenney places it much lower, 20 per cent, for males 

1 The extent of thcae evih is set forth, e.g.. in a comprehensive 
esiaj by Taylor, American Journal 06s(e(rtc8, Januitry, 1&08. 

2 Neisser brings tojjether figures bearing on the prevalence of 
gonorrhtsa in Gennanj', Senator and Kaminer, Health and Diaeate in 
Relation to Marriage, vol. 11, pp. 486-4&2. 

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and 5 per cent, for femalea. In England, a writer in the Lancet, 
some years ago,^ found as the result of experience and inquiries 
that 75 per cent, adult males have had gonorrhoea 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. 

Gonorrhoea in its prevalence is thus only second to measles 
and in the gravity of its results scarcely second to tuberculosis. 
"And yet," aa Qrandin 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 reraarks, 
that "gonorrhoea is a pest that concerns its highest interests 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 efEectual;* they have never been modified to changed condi- 

I Lancet, September 23, 1882. Ab regards women. Dr. Frances 
Ivens {British Medical Journal, June 19, 1009) has found st Liverpool 
that 14 per cent, of gynecological cases revealed the presence of gooor- 
rhoea. They were raoatl^v poor respectable married women. This is 

Erobably a high proportion, as Liverpool is a busy seaport, but it ia 
isB than Sanger's estinuite of 18 per cent. 

a E. H. Grandin, Medical Record, May 26, 1908. 
B E. W. Cushing, "Sociological Aspects of Gonorrh<Ea," Traiuactiona 
American Oj/necological Society, vol. xxii, 1897. 

* It is only in very small communitips ruled by an autocratic power 
with absolute authority to control conditions and to examine persona of 
both seiea that reglementation becomes in any degree effectual. This is 
well shown by Dr. W, E. Hanvood, who describes the system he organized 
in the minea of the Minnesota Iron Company (Journal American Med- 
ical Association, December 22, 1908). The women in the brothels on 
the company's estate were of the loweat class, and diseaae was very 
prevalent. Careful examination of the women W8h establiahed, and con- 
trol of the men, who, immediately on becoming diseased, were bound to 
declare by what woman they had been infected. The woman was 
responsible for the medical bill ot the man she infected, and even for his 
board, if incapacitated, and the women were compelled to maintain > 
fund for their own hospital expenses when required. In this way ven- 
ereal disease, though not entirely uprooted, was very greatly diminished. 



tion; at the present day they are hopelessly unscientific and 
entirely opposed alike to the social and the individual demands 
of modem peoples. At the various conferences on this question 
which have been held during recent yeara the only generally 
accepted conclusion which has emerged is that all the existing 
systems of interference or non-interference with prostitution are 

The character of prostitution has changed and the methods 
of dealing with it must change. Brothels, and the systems of 
official regulation which grew up with special reference to 
brothels, are alike out of date ; they have about them a mediieval 
atmosphere, an antiquated spirit, which now render them 
unattractive and suspected. The conspicuously distinctive 
brothel is falling into disrepute ; the liveried prostitute absolutely 
under municipal control can scarcely be eaid to e.tist. Prostitu- 
tion tends to become more diffused, more intimately mingled with 
social life generally, leas easily distinguiBhed 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 

The objection to the regulation of prostitution is still of slow 
growth, but it is steedily developing everywhere, and mny be traced 
equally in scipntific opinion and Id popular feeling. In France the 
munici pal i ties of some of the largest cities have either suppressed the 
system of regulation entirely or shon-n their disapproval of it, while an 
inquiry among several hundred medical men showed that less Uiaii one- 
third were in favor of maintaining regulation (Die Seue Oenomtion, 
June, 1909, p. 244). In Germany, where there is in some respects more 

I A clear and comprehensive statement of the present position of 
the question Is given by Iwan Bloch, Daa BemMlieben Unserer 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 1B03 
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 eases (nearly a quarter of the whole) were due to waitresses 
and barmaids; then followed servant-girls (Lion and Loeb, in Seamal- 
pddagogik. the Proceedings of the Third German Congress for Conibatii^ 
Venereal Diseases, 1907, p. 205). 

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patient endurance ot interference with the liberty of the individual tiian 
in France, England, or America, various elaborate Bystema for organ- 
izing prostitution and dealing with venereal disease continue to be 
maintained, but they cannot be completely carried out, and it ib gen- 
erally admitted that in any case they could not accomplish the objects 
sought. Thus in Boxony no brothels are officially tolerated, though as 
a matter of fact they neverthelesa eiiat Here, as in many other parts 
of Crermany, most minute and extenaiTe regulations are framed for the 
use of prostitutea. Thus at I^eipdg they must not sit on tbe benche« 
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 tbe street, nor emile, nor wink, etc., etc. In fact, a German 
prostitute who possesses the heroic eelf-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 Germsjiy. 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 segr^ated. But, it is atated, "everywhere, by far the 
larger proportion of the prostitutes belong to the so-called 'secret' clasa." 
In Hamburg, alone, are suspected men, when accused of infecting women, 
officially examined; men of every social class must obey e. summons of 
this kind, which is issued secretly, and if dtseaaed, they are bound to go 
under treatment, if necessary under compulsory treatment in the dt; 
hospital, until no longer dangerous to the community. 

In Germany it ia only when a woman haa been repeatedly observed 
to act suspiciously in the streets that she is quietly warned; if the 
warning is disregarded she la invited to give her name and address to 
the police, and interviewed. It ia not ujitil theae methoda fail that ahe 
is officially inscribed as ft prostitute. The inscribed women, in some 
cities at all events, contribute to a sick benefit fund which pays their 
expenses when in hospital. Tbe 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 t«nd to become infected very early after their 
careers 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 six tbousand inscribed prosUtutes, 
but it is estimated that there are over sixty thousand prostitutes who 
■re not Inscribed. (The foregoing facts are taken from a series of 
papers describing personal investigations in Germany made by Dr. F. 
BierbofT, of New York, "Police Methods for the Sanitary Control of 
Prostitution ," Yeio Tork Medical /ounuit, August, 1907.) The estima- 

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tion of the amount of cisndeatine proBUtution can indeed never be much 
more than guesswork; exactly the same Sgure of sixty thousand is com- 
monly brought forward as the probable number of prostitutes not only 
in Berlin, but also in London and in New York. It is absolutely impos- 
eible to say whether it is under or over the real number, for secret 
prostitution is quite intangible. Even if the fact« were miraculouely 
revealed there would still remain the difficulty of deciding what is and 
what is not prostitution. The avowed and public proetitute ia linked 
by various gradations on the one side to the respectable girl living at 
home who seeks some little relief from the oppression of her respectabil- 
ity, and on the other hand to the married woman who has married tor 
the sake of a home. In any case, however, it ia very certain that public 
prostitutes living entirely on the earnings of prostitution form but a 
small proportion of the vast army of women who may be said, in a wide 
sense of the word, to be prostitutes, i.e., who use their attractiveuesa to 
obtain from men not love alone, but money or goods. 

'The. struggle against syphilis is only possible if we agree to 

regard its victims as unfortunate and not as guilty 

We must give up the prejudice which has led to the creation of 
the term 'shameful diseases,' and which commands silence con- 
cerning this scourge of the family and of humanity." In these 
words of Duclanx, the distinguiBhed successor of Pasteur at the 
Pasteur Institute, in his noble and admirable work L'Hygiine 
Sociale, we have indicated to us, I am convinced, the only road 
by which we can approach the rational and successful treatment 
of the great social problem of venereal disease. 

Tlie 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. Thus a distinguished 
German authority. Professor Finger {OetohUchl und OeaelUchaft, Bd. 
i, Heft fi) declares that venereal disease must not be regarded as the 
well -merited punishment for a debauched life, but sa an unhappy 
accident. It aeems to be In France, however, that this truth haa been 
proclaimed with most courage and hiunanity, and not alone by the 
followers of science and medicine, hut 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 distinguiahed 
themselves by advocating a more humane attitude towards prostitutes, 
and a more modem method of dealing with the question of vaLereal 

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dUease. "The true method of prev^itioD is that which makes it clear 
b) all that Bfphilis is not b. myBterious and terrible thing, the penalty 
of the ein of the flesh, a sort of shameful evil branded by CaUiolic male- 
diction, but an ordinarjr disease which may b« 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; "maladies 
hontenses" Is a consecrated French term, just as "loathsome disease" 
is in English; "in the hospital," says Landret, "it requires much trou- 
ble to obtain an avowal of gonorrhtBa, and we ntay esteem ourselves 
happy if the patient acknowledges the fact of having had syphilis." , 

No evila can be combated until they are recognized, eimply 
and frankly, and honestly discussed. It is ft significant and even 
S}-mboIic fact that the bacteria of disease rarely flourish when 
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 the word 'venereal' itself in this connec- 
tion, with its reference to a goddess, alone suffices to show. Even 
the name "syphilis" itself, taken from a romantic poem in which 
Fracastonia sought a mythological origin for the disease, bears 
witness to the aame fact. The romantic attitude is indeed as 
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 welt 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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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 of 
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 the 
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 arc in any sense receiving their deserts. 
In a large number of cases the disease has 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 less 
absolute manner of a large proportion of persons infected in 
later life. 

Syphilis iasontium, 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 infante who inherit the disease 
from fatlier or mother; (3) the constantly occurring cases of 
syphilis contracted, in the course of their professional duties, by 
doctors, midwives and wet-nurses; (3) infection as a result of 

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affection, as in simple klESing; (4) accidental infection from 
casual contacts 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 responsible for an enormous infantile mortality.^ The 
risks of extragenital infection in the professional activity (if 
doctors, midwives and we(>-nursea is also universally recognized. 
In the case of wet-nurses infected by their employers' syphilitic 
infanta 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 course 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. But 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 sixth leas numerous cIbm might be added of the young eirh. 
often no more t^an childien, who have been practically raped by 
men who believe that intercourse with a virgin is a cure for obstioAte 
venereal diseaie. In America this belief is frequently held by Italiana, 
Chinese, negroes, etc W. Travis Gibb, Examining Physician of the 
New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, has ex- 
amined over 900 raped children (only a small proportion, he Htetes, of 
the cases actually occurring), and flnda 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, estimates that 
in Baltimore alone from 800 to 1,000 children between the ages of one 
and fifteen are venereally inferted every year. The largest number, she 
finds, is at the age of six, and the chief cause appears to be, not lust, 
but superstition. 

2 For a discussion of inherited syphilis, see, e.g., Clement Lucas, 
Laneet, Februar; 1, 190S. 



ancee. Fairly typical examples, which have been reported, are 
thoee of a child, kisBed by a proetitnte, who became infected and 
Bubsequently infected its mother and grandmother; of a young 
French bride contaminated on her wedding-day by one of the 
guestB 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 dieease vhich she not long afterwards 
imparted in the same way to her mother and three sisters. The 
ignorant and unthinking are apt to ridicule diose who point out 
the serious risks of miscellaneous kissing. But it remains never- 
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 classes, is 
extremely common among the lower classes and among the less 
civilized nations; in Bussia, according to Tamowsky, the chief 
authority, seventy per cent, of all cases of syphilis in the rural 
districts are due to this cause and to ordinary kissing, and a 
special conference in St. Petersburg 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 he 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 womai generally contract syphilis innocently, chiefly 
from their husbands, while Foumier states that in France 
seventy-five per cent, of married women with syphilis have been 
infected by their husbands, most frequently (seventy per cent.) 
by husbands who were themselves infected before marriage and 
supposed that tliey were cured. Among men the proportion of 
s}'philitics 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 scmpulous moralist who is anxious that all should 
have their deserts cannot fail to be still more anxious to prevent 
the innocent from suffering in place of the guilty. But it is 

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abBoIately impossible for him to combine these two aims; 
B}-phili8 cannot be at the same time perpetuated for the guil^ 
and abolished for the innocmt. 

I hare been taking only syphilis into account, but nearly all that 
is said of the accidental infection of syphilis applies with equal or 
greater force to gonorrhtea, for though gonorrhiEa does not enter into 
the system by ao many channels as syphilis, it is a more eommon as well 
as a more subtle and elusive disease. 

The literature of Syphilis Insontium is extremely extensive. There 
is a bibliography at the end of Duncan Bulkley's Sypkilia in the 
Innocent, and a comprehensive summary of the question in a Leipzig 
Inaugural Dissertation by F. Moses, Zur KtuuUtik d«T Smtragenitalen 
Byphilia-infektion, 1904. 

Even, however, when we have put aside the vast number of 
venereally infected people who may be said to be, in the narrowest 
and most conventionaily moral aense, "innocent" victims of the 
diseases they have contracted, there is still much to be 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 "nice" girl, not indeed strictly virtuous but, it seemed 
to tliem, 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 
rockfl on which the system of police regulation of prostitution 
comes to grief, for the police cannot catch the prostitute at a 
sufficiently early stage. Of women who become syphilitic, accord- 
ing to Ponmier, 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 
ei^te^), and for men twenty-three years. In Germany Erb 

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finds that ae many as eighty-five per cent men with gonorrhoea 
contracted the diseaBc between the ages of sixteen and twenty- 
five, a very email percentage being infected after thirty. These 
young thingB for the most part fell into a trap which Nature had 
baited with her most 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. Prom 
a truly moral point of view they were scarcely less innocent than 

"I »Bk," sayB Dnclftuz, "whether wben a foung man, or a foUDg 
girl, abandon themselves to a dBngeroiu caress soeiet; has done what it 
can to warn them. Perhaps its intentions were good, but wben tbe need 
came for precise knowledge a sitly prudery has held it back, and it lias 
left its children without viaticum. ... I will go further, *nd pro- 
claim that in • large number of caeca the husbands who contaminate 
their wives are innocent No one is responsible for tbe evil which he 
commits without knowing it and without wilting ft." 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 (ond quacks fre- 
quently) contributed to this result by too sanguine an estimate of the 
period necessary to destrt^ the poison. So great an authority as 
Fournier formerly believed that the syphilitic could aafely be allowed 
to marry three or four years after the date o'f infection, but now, with 
increased experience, he extends the period to four or five years. It is 
undoubtedly true that, especially when treatment has been thorough and 
prompt, the diseased constitution, in a majority of crbcb, can be brought 
under complete control !n a shorter period than tITis, but there is always 
a certain proportion of cases In which the powers of infection persist 
for 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 hut 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 !" It is this fact which condemns the 

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pseudo-moraliet. If be had Been to it that mothers begao to 
expl&in the facte of sex to their little boys and giriB from child- 
hood, if he had (as Dr. Joseph Price urges) taught tbe risks of 
venereal disease in the Sunday-school, if he bad plainly preadied 
on tbe relations of tbe sexes from the pulpit, if he had seen to it 
that every youth at the beginning of adolescence received some 
simple tecbnieal instruction from his family doctor concerning 
sexual health and sexual disease — then, though there would still 
remain 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 diseases 
may still do well to remember that since tbe public mauifestaticm 
of their intolerance is mischievous, and at the best useless, it ia 
necessary for them to restrain it in the interests of society. They 
would not be the less free to order tbeir own personal conduct in 
tbe 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 tbey may consider 
tbe 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 wbicb can only be dissipated by 
openness. As Buclaux has so earnestly insisted, it js impossible 
to grapple successfully with venereal disease unless we consent 
not to introduce our prejudices, or even our morals and religion, 
into tbe question, but treat it purely and simply as a sanitary 
question. And if the pseudo-moralist still has difSculty 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 ^bilitic and 
gonorrhoeal persons 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 tbe attitude of those who plead 

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morality as a reason for ignoring the social necessity of combating 
venereal disease, because although there may not be many who 
seriously and imderstandingly adopt so anti-social and inhuman 
an attitude there are certainly many who are glad at need of the 
existence of so line an excuse for their moral indifference or their 
mental indolence.^ When they are confronted by this great and 
difificult 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 insinuate the thin working end. 

The general acceptance of the fact that syphilis and gonor- 
rhoea are diseases, and not necessarily 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 them averse to the bureaucratic 
police methods which have flourished 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 M)me countries by the foollefa and 
mischievouB practice of friendly eocietjea and sick cluba of igDoring 
venereal diseases, and not according free medical aid Or sick pay to 
those members who aufTer from them. This practice prevailed, (or 
instance, in Vienna until 1907. when a more humane and enli^tened 
policy was inaugurated, venereal diseases being placed on th« same level 
as other diseases. 

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generally recognized to be the methods of tlie future, and they 
have fully organized the system of putting venereal diseases under 
the ordinary lav and dealing with them as with other contagious 

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 inquiBition 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 loiow precisely the exact incidence, local variations, and 
temporary fluctuations 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 Pmseia, 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 but merely an auxiliary 
to police methods of dealing with prostitution. According to the 

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Scandinaviaa Eystcm, notificatiOD, though not an easential part of 
this system, rests on an entirely different basis. 

The Scandinavian plan in a modified fonn 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 Scandinavtan 
affinities of Denmark were, however, eventually asserted, and in 
190G, the system of regulation was entirely abandoned and Den- 
mark resolved to rely ou thorough and systematic application 
of the sanitary principle already accepted in the country, although 
something of German influence still persists in the strict 
regulation of the atreeta and the penalties imposed upon 
brothel-keepers, leaving prostitution itself free. The decisive 
feature of the present system is, however, that the sanitary 
authorities are now exclusively medical. Everyone, whatever 
his 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 
tliua, BO 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 eiipenses of treatment, as well as 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 mpasurea against venereal diaease were introduced In 
Sweden early in the last century, and compulsory and gratuitnua treat- 
ment established. Compulnory notification waa introduced many years 
ago in Norway, and by 1907 there was a great diminution in the 
prevalence of venereal diseases; there is compulsory treatment. 

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It can Bcarcely be said that the principle of notification has 
yet been properly applied on a large scale to venereal diseaBcs. 
But it is constantly becoming more widely advocated, more 
especially Id England and the United States,^ where national 
temperament and political traditione render the eystem 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 
recognised aa not only the best but the only possible system.^ 

In BBBOciation with this, it is necessary, as is also becoming 
ever more widely recognized, that there should be the most ample 
facilities for the gratuitoua treatment of venereal diseases; the 
general eatabliBhrnent of free dispenaariee, 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 gratuitoua treatment that the 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 dise^es as on the same level as other infectious diseases, 
and so long as we offer no full and fair facilities for their treats 

1 See, e.g.. Morrow, Social Ditecuet and Marriage, C\\. XXXVII. 

2 A committee of the Medical Society of New York, appointed in 
1(K>2 to consider this qiieiition, reported in favor of notitication without 
giving names And addreBHen. and Dr. C. R. Drysdale, who took an active 
part in the Brussels Intcmational Conference of 1S99. advocated a 
•imilar plan in England, Bntit\ Medical Journal, Febmaiy 3, 1900. 

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346 P8TCU0L00T OF 8KZ. 

ment, it is nnjiist to bring the individual to account for spreading 
them. But if we publicly recognize the danger of infectious 
venereal diseases, and if we leave freedom to the individual, we 
must inevitably declare, with Duclaux, that every man or wtnnan 
must be held responsible for the diseases he or she communicates. 

According to the Oldenburg Code of 1814 it was a punish- 
able offence 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 that he is diseased should be ptmishable 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 disease 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 is well recognized and actively 

In France, though the law is not definite and satisfactory, 
actions for the transmission of syphilis are successfully brought 
before the courts. Opinion seems to be more decisively in favor 
of punishment for this offense than it is in Germany. In 1883 
Deepris 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 
difllculties of tracing and proving infection are not greater, he 
points out, than those of tracing and proving paternity in the 
case of illegitimate children. Despr^s would punish with im- 
priponment for not more than two years any person, knowing him- 
self to be diseased, who transmitted a venereal disease, and would 

otnte of (ierman opinion to-day on thU aubject ie suninuiiized by BliKta 
Scxualleien ilnterer Zcil, p. 424. 

lTh«B in ^funi<•h, in 1908, a man who had given gonorrlicea to a 
it-((irl waa sent to prison for ten months on thin groimd. The 
■.f f*».4,.A» ^^i^i^^ tn.j... A., ti^ta atikiBflt Id ■unimariz^ by B|Q<;h, 

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merely fin© those who communicated the contagion by impru- 
dence, not realizing that tliey were dieeaBed.^ The question has 
more recently been discussed by Aurientis in a Paris thesis. He 
states that the present French iaw 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 hare 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 aa well as the mothers of syphilitic infants who hare 
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 give 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 
olfencea, 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, seems still to Sourish 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 vohmtary, 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 

1 A. DesprSe, La Prottitulioti i Paris, p. 191. 

2 F. Aurimtii, Etude Medico-lfrjale tur la juritprudfncc actucUe A 
propog de la Tranamisnon de» Maladiee Fen^rtennea, These de PiiriH, 



wife her husband.^ The "freedom" enjoyed in this matter by 
England and the United States is well illustrated by an American 
case quoted by Dr. Isidore Dyer, of New Orleans, in fais report to 
the BruseelB Conference on the Prevention of Venereal Diseases, 
in 1899 : "A patient with primary eyphllb 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 had reached two hundred and nineteen and 
that she 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 had 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 disease, to 
shorten many lives, to cause many deaths, to pile up incalculable 
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 oSence punishable 
by heavy fine or by imprisonment.^ In any enactmait no stress 

1 In England at present "a husband knowingly and wilfully Infect- 
ing his wife with the vpnereal disease, cannot he convicted criminally, 
either under a charge of assault or of inflicting grievous bodily harm" 
(N. Geary, The Laic of Marriage, p, 479). Tliis wag decided in 1888 In 
the case of R. v. Clarence by nine judgei to four judges in the Court 
for the Consideration of Crown Cases Reserved. 

2 Modem democratic sentiment is opposed to the sequestrfttion of 
a prostitute merely because she is diaeaaed. But there can be no rea- 
sonable doubt whatever that if a diseased prostitute infects another 
person, and is unable to pay the very heavy damages which should be 
demanded in such a. case, she ought 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 
R prostitute without means, tlmt she should be furnished with facilities 
for treatment in anv coae. 

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should be pat on the infection being conveyed "knowingly." Any 
formal limitation of this kind is unneceesary, aB in such a case the 
Court always takes into account the offender's ignorance or mere 
negligence, and it is mischievous because it tends to render an 
enactment ineffective and to put a premium on ignorance; the 
husbands wlio infect their wives with gonorrhcea immediately 
after marriage have usually done so from ignorance, and it 
should be at least necessary for them to prove that they have 
been fortified in their ignorance by medical advice. It is some- 
times said that 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 existing punish- 
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 ia 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 ia 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 
wife can obtain divorce from lier husband. In 1777 Restif de la 
Bretonne proposed in his Qynogmphes that the communication of 
a venereal disease should itself bean adequate ground for divorce; 
this, however, is not at present generally accepted.' 

It ia sometimes said that it is very well to make the 
indiTidual legally responsible for the venereal disease he com- 
municates, but that the difficulties of bringing that responsibiHty 

1 It haa, however, been decided by the Paris Court of Appeal that 
for a husband to marry when knowingly suffering from a venereal dis- 
case and to communicate that disease to hia wife is a sufficient cause for 
divorce {Bemaine Mtdioale, May, 1696). 

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home would still remain. Aod those who admit these difficultieB 
frequently reply that at the worst we ehould have in our hands 
a means of educating reepoosibility; the man who deliberately 
ran the risk of transmitting such infection would be made to feel 
that he 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 fU'cept 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 so intimate medical organization and legal resort 
can never be all-sufficing; knowledge is needed at every step in 
every individual to guide and even to awaken that sense of 
personal moral responsibility which must here always rule. 
Wherever the importance of tlieae questions is becoming acutely 
realized — and notably at the Congresses of the German Society 
for Combating Venereal Disease — the problem is resolving itself 
mainly 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 
les!! pronounced in all other civUiz^ed 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 sexual 
intercourse altogether, — is a further stage of that sexual education 
which, as we have already seen, must begin, so far as the elements 
are concerned, at a very early age. Youths and girls should be 
taught, as the distinguished .\ustrian economist, Anton von Men- 
ger wrote, shortly before his death, tn hia excellent little book, 
,Ye«6 Sittenlehre, that the production of children is a crime when 

1 The large yolumc. entitled Sexvalpiidagogik, containing the Pro- 
□eedingn of the Third of these Congresses, almost ignores the speeial 
RubJMt of venereal disease, and is devoted to the questions involved by 
the general sexual education of the young, which, as many of the speakers 
maintained, must begin with the child at his mother's knee. 

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the parents are ajphilitic or otherwise incompetent through trans- 
missible chronic dieeases. Information abont veDereal disease 
should not indeed be given until after puberty is veil established. 
It is unnecessary and imdesirable 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 
some circumstances, of yielding to it, need to he clearly present 
to the mind. No one who reflects 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 disease, 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 is 
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 facta 
concerning the evils that beset life is quite suilicient 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 as 
to believe that though it may be necessary to instruct the youth 
it is best to leave hia sister unsullied, as they consider it, by a 
knowledge of the facts of life. This is the very reverse of the 
truth. It is desirable indeed that all should he acquainted with 
facts so vital to humanity, even although not themselves per- 
sonally ctmcerned. 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 he 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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possibility which the educated woman, bo far from being dis- 
pensed from, is more liable to encounter than is the working-claas 
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, considerB it bis duty to inquire if he has bad 
syphilis, and the clergyman of most severely correct life recog- 
nizes the need of such inquiry and may perhaps smile, but seldom 
feeU 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 dispensed 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, 
die may be the means of saving him, before it is too late, from the 
guilt of premature marriage and its fateful consequences, eo 
deserving to earn his everlasting gratitude. Even if she fails In 
winning that, she still has her duty to herself and to the future 
race which her children will help to form. 

In most countries there it « growing feeling in favor of the enlight- 
enment of foiing women equally with jouug men as regards venereal 
diseases. Thus in German]' Max Flesch, in his Prottilutioa vnd Frauen- 
krankkeitea, considers that at the end of their school days all girls 
should receive instruction concerning the grave physical and social dan- 
gers to which women are exposed in life. In France Duclaux (in his 
L'Hjigiine Sooiale) is emphatic that women must be taughL "Alread;," 
he states, "doctors who by custom have been made, in spite of them- 
selves, the husband's accomplices, will tell you of the ironical gaze they 
sometimes enrounter when thpy seek to lead a wife astray oonceming 
the causes of her ills. The dny 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, Isidore 

1 "Workmen, soldiers, and so on," Neisser remarks (Senator and 
Eaminer, Health and Diseate in Relation to MirHage. vol. ii, p. 485). 
"can more easily find non-prostitute girls of their own class willing to 
enter into amorous relations with them which result in sasual inter- 

course, and they are therefore less exposed to the danger of infection 
than those men who have recourse almost exclusively to prostitutes" 
(see also Bloch, Seinialleben wnserer Zeit, p. 437). 

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Dyer declares, must emblazon on its Sag tbe motto, "Knowledge is 
Health," as well of mind as of body, for women as well as for men. 
In a discussion introduced by Denalow Lewis at the annual meeting of 
the American Medical Aaaociation in 1901 on the limitation of venereal 
diseases {iledioo-Legai Journal, June and September, 1903), there was 
a fairly general agreement among all tlie 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 diseaseB are, and what it will mean if she marries a man who has 
contracted tbem." "Educate father and mother, and they will educate 
their sons and daughters," exclaims Egbert Grandin, more especially in 
regard to gonorrhoea (Medical Record, May 26, 1906) ; "I lay stress on 
the daughter because she becomes the chief sufferer from inoculution, and 
it is her right to know that she should protect herself against the gonor- 
rbieic as well as against the alcoholic." 

We must fnllj face the fact that it is the woman herself who 
muBt be accoimted responsible, as much as a man, for securing the 
right conditions of a marriage she propoBes to enter into. In 
practice, at the outset, that responaibility may no doubt be in part 
delegated to parents or guardians. It ia unreasonable that any 
false delicacy should be felt about this matter on either side. 
Questions of money and of income are discussed before marri^e, 
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 



the wedding ni^t — and alvays with the bitter and abiding sense 
of having been duped. There can be no reaeonable doubt that 
snch concealment is an adequate cause of divorce. Sir Thomas 
More doabtlees 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 describee 
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 so 
mnch as seen. 

It^msy be necessary 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 coneciences 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 
useleas 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 esoteric knowledge. But after 
puberty the case is altered. The boy and the girl are becoming 
lesa amenable to parental induence, tliere is greater shyness 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 
proper qualities for the task, should be called in. The plan 
usually adopted, and now widely carried out, is that of lectures 
siting forth the main facts concerning venereal diseases, their 

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dangers, and allied topics.* This method is quite excellent. 
Such lectures EhouM be delivered at intervals by medical lecturers 
at all urban, educational, manufacturing, military, and naval 
centres, wherever indeed a large number of young persons arf 
gathered together. It abonld be the business 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 such lectures. The lectures should be free to ail who have 
attained the age of sixteen. 

In Germany the principle of instniction by lectures ooncemiDg 
venereal diaeftBes seeina to have become eatablisbed, at all events so far 
as young men are concerned, and such lectures are constantly becoming 
more uaual. In 1&07 the Minister of Education eatabllBhed courses of 
lectures by doctors on sexual hygiene and venereal diseases for higher 
Bchoole and educational institutions, though attendance was not made 
compulsory. The courses now frequently given by medical men to the 
higher classes in Qennan aecondary schools on tiie general principles of 
sexual anatomy and physiology nearly always include sezuo.! hygiene 
with special reference to venereal diseasea (see, e.g., B&malpddagogik, 
pp. 131-1S3). In Austria, also, lectures on personal hygiene and the 
dangers of venereal disease are delivered to students about to leave the 
gymnasium for the univeraityi and the working men's clubs have 
instituted regular courses of lectures on the same subjects delivered by 
phyeiciane. In France many distinguished men, both inside and outside 
the medical profession, are working for the cause of the instructioo of 
the young in sexual hygiene, though they have to contend against a 
more obstinate degree of prejudice and prudery on the part of tiie middle 
class than is to be found in the Germanic lands. The Comnilasion 
Extraparlementaire du Regime des Mtsurs, with the conjunction of 
Augagneur, Alfred Fournier, Yves Guyot, Gide, and other distinguished 
professors, teachers, etc., has lately pronounced in favor of the official 
establishment of instruction in sexual hygiene, to be ^ven in the highest 
elBBses at the lyc^es, or in the earliest class at higher educational col- 
leges; such instruction, it Is argued, would not only furnish needed 
enlightenment, but also educate the sense of mora] responsibility. There 
is in France, also, sn active and distinguished though unofficial SociGt^ 
Prancaise de Prophylaxie Santtaire et Morale, which delivers public 
lectures on secual hygiene. Foumler, Pinard, Bnrlureauz and other 

I The character and extent of such lectures are fully discussed In 
the Proceedings of the Third Congress of the German Society for Com- 
bating Venereal DiacMes, Beau^v&dagogik, 1907. 

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eminent pbTsicianH have written pamphlets on this eubjeet for popular 
distribution (see, e.g., he ProgrH Midical of September, 1907). In 
England and the United States very little has yet been done in this 
direction, but in the United StAt«9, at all events, opinion in favor of 
action is rapidlj growing (see, e.g., W. A. Funk, "The Venereal Peril," 
Medical Record, April 13, 1907). The American Society of Sanitary and 
Moral Prophylaxis (based on the parent society founded in Paris in 
1900 by Foumier) was established in New York in 1905. There are 
similar societies in Chicago and Philadelphia. The main object is to 
atudy venereal diseases and to work toward their social control. Doc- 
tors, laymen, and women are members. Lectures and short talks are 
now given under the anspices 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 excellent method of reaching the young women 
of the working classes. Both men and women physicians take part in 
the lectures (Clement Cleveland, Presidential Address on "Prophylaiis 
of Venereal Diseases," Trantaotione American Oynwcologiodt Sooietj/, 
Philadelphia, vol. xxxii. 1907). 

An important auxiliary metliod of carrying out the task of sexual 
hygiene, and at the same time of spreading useful enlightenment, is 
furnished by the method of giving to every syphilitic patient in climes 
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 ease 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 well to have a corresponding card for gonor- 
rh(Eal patients. This plan has already been introduced at some hospitals, 
and it is so simple and unobjectionable a precaution that it will, no 
doubt, be generally adopted. In some countries this neaanre is (carried 
out on a wider scale. Thus in Austria, as the result of a movement In 
^ich several university professors have taken an active part, leaflets 
and circulars, explaining briefly the chief symptoms of venereal dineases 
and warning against quacks and secret remedies, are circulated among 
young laborers and factory hands, matriculating students, and scholars 
who are leaving trade schools. 

In France, where great social questions are sometimen faced with 
a more chivalrous daring than elsewhere, the dangers of syphilis, and 
the social position of the prostitute, have alike been dealt with hy dis- 
tinguished novelists and dramatists. Huysmans inaugurated this move- 
ment with his first novel, Martke, which was Immediately suppressed 
by the police. Shortly afterwards Edmond de Goneourt published La 
FiUe EKta, the first notable novel of the kind by a distinguished author. 
It was written with much reticence, and was not indeed a work of hi^ 

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artiEtio value, but it boldly faced a great social problem and clearly set 
forth the evils of the ooniiDon attitude towards prostitution. It was 
draniBtized and played hj Antoine at the Theatre Libre, but when, in 
1861, Antoine wished to produce it at the Porte-Bain t-Martin Theatre, 
tbe censor interfered and prohibited tlie play on account 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. "Repugnance here is more moral than attraction," 
exclaimed M. Paul IMroulMe, and the newspapers criticized a censure 
which permitted on the stage all the trivial indecencies which favor 
prostitution, but cannot tolerate any attack on prostitution. In more 
recent years the brothers Uargueritte, both in novels and in journalism, 
hare largely devoted theii distinguished ahilities and high literary skill 
to the courageons and enlightened advocacy of many social reforms. 
Victor Margueritte, in hia Proatitvie (1807) — a novel which has at- 
tracted wide attention and been translated into various languages — has 
sought to represent the condition of women in our actual society, and 
more especially the condition of the prostitute under what he regards 
as tlie odious and iniquitous system still prevailing. The book is a 
faithful picture of the real facts, thanks to the assiatance the author 
received from the Paris Prefecture of Police, and largely for that reason 
is not altogether a satisfactory work of art, but it vividly and poignantly 
represents the cruelty, indiiferenoe, and hypocrisy 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 Brieur's Let 
Aimrid (1002). This distinguished dramatist, himself a medical man, 
dedicates his play to Foumier, the greatest of syphllographera. "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 
nor a punishment, and when those who Ruffer from Et, knowing wbat 
evils they may propagate, will better understand their duties towards 
others and towards theuiselves." Thp story developed in the drama is 
the old and typical story of the young man who has spent hia bachelor 
days in what he considers a discrete and r^ular 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 hia bachelor life, 
he commits a fatal indiscretion and becomes infected by uphills; his 
marriage is approaching and he goes to a distinguished specialist who 
warns him that treatment takes time, and that marriage is Impossible 
for eeverat years; he finds a quack, however, who nndertakes to cure 
him In six months; at the end of the time he marries; a syphilitic 
child is bom; the wife discovers the state of things and forsakei her 
home to return to her parents; her Indignant father, a deputy in Par- 
liament, arrives in Paris; the last word is with the great specialist who 

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bringi ftiMllr ■OHM degree of pc*oe and liope into the fuUtr- 1^ '^^^ 
■Dorals Brieuz points out are Ui*t it is the duty of the bride's parents 
before nwrriage to uoertain the ttfid^room's health; thst the bride- 
groom sboald have a. doctor's eertifieate; that at erar^ nuirriagi the 
part of the doctors is at least aa important as that of the lawTen. 
Even if it were a less aecomplished woric of art than it is, Let ABorit* 
is a pU7 which, from the social and educative point of view alone, all 
who have reached the age of adoleacoice should be compelled to we. 

Another aspect of the aame problem has been prMeoted in PIw 
Fort que le Mai, a book written in dramatic form (though not aa a 
properly oonetituted play Intended for tlie stage) by a distinguished 
French medical author who here adopts the name of Bep7 d« Hets. The 
author (who is not, however, pleading pro domo) calls for a more 1710- 
pathetic attitude towards those who suffer from ^^hilis, and thon^ 
be writes with much less dramatic skill than Brieui, and scarcely pre- 
sents his moral in so unequivocal a form, his work is a notable «mi- 
tribution to the dramatic literature of syphilis. 

It will probably be some time before theae 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 Uie Puritanic ele- 
ments which still exist in Ang^o-Saxoo thought and feeling generally, 
the Pnritanic aspect of life has never received embodiment in the Eng- 
lish or American drama. On the English stage it Is nevar permitted 
to hint at the tragic side of wantonness; vi«e must always he made 
seductive, even thongh a il«u« ae ouic&hmi oatuea ft to oollapse at the end 
of the performance. As Mr. 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. "Now, it is futile to plead that the stage Is not the proper 
place for the representation and discussion of illegal operations, incest, 
and venereal disease. If the stage is the proper place for the exhibition 
and discussion of seduction, adultery, promiscuity, and prostitution, it 
must be thrown open to all the consequences of these thlngn. or !t will 
demoralize the nation." 

The impulse to insist that rice sball always be made attractive is 
not really, notwithstanding appearances, a vicious impulse. It arises 
from a mental confusion, a common psychic tendency, which is hy no 
means confined to Anglo-Saxon lands, and Is even more well marked 
among the better educated in the merely literary aense. than among the 
worse educated people. The CMthetic is confused with the moral, and 
what arouses disgust fs thus regarded as Immoral. In France the novels 
of Zola, the most pedestrisnatly moralistic of writers, were for a long 
time supposed to be Immoral because they were often disgusting. Hm 

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■una fMling is atill more wid«8pTead in Englaad. If a. proBtituto ia 
brought on the stage, and she is pretty, well-dressed, seductive, she maf 
gAil7 sail through Uie play and erery one is satisfied. But if she were 
not particularly pretfy, well-dressed, or seductive, if it were made plain 
that she waa diseued and van reckless In infecting others with that 
disease, if it were hinted that she oould on occasion ba fonl-monthed. If, 
in short, a picture were shown from life — then w« should hear that the 
unfortunate dramatist had committed something that was "disgusting" 
and "immoral." Disguating it might be, but, on thai very account, it 
would be moral. There is a distinction here that the psychologist cannot 
too oft«n point out or the nuiratist too often emphoain. 

It is not for the physician to complicate and confuse his own 
task as teacher by mixing it up with considerations which belong 
to the apiritnal 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 spontaneons force working 
on the side of sexual hygiene. Those who believe that the 
adolescent mind is merely bent on sensual indulgence are not less 
false and mischievous in their influence than are tboee who think 
it possible and desirable for adolescents to be preserved in sheer 
sexnal ignorance. However concealed, suppressed, or deformed — 
usually by the misplaced and premature zeal of foolish parents 
and teachers — there arise at puberty ideal impulses which, even 
though they may be rooted in sex, yet in their scope transcend 
sex. These are capable of becoming far more potent guides of the 
physical sex impulse than are merely material or even hygienic 

It is time to summarize and conclude this discussion of the 
prevention of venereal disease, which, though it may seem to the 
superficial observer to be merely a medical and sanitary question 
outside the psycholt^st's sphere, is yet seen on closer view to be 
intimately related even to the most spiritual conception of the 
sexual relationships. Not 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 nndermined at their source. We cannot yet precisely 

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measure the interval which must elapee before, bo far as Europe at 
least is coQcenied, e^-philie and gonorrhcea are sent to that limbo 
of monstroua old dead diseases 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 must be brought the 
weapons of light and air, the sword 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 beginning 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 
shameful penalties of sin, from which relief is only to be sought, 
if at all, by stealth, but human calamities; (2) by adopting 
methods of securing official information concerning the extent, 
distribution, and variation of venereal disease, through the already 
recognized plan of notification 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 offence than 
if he or she bad used the knife or the gun or poison as the method 
of attack, and that it is necesaary to introduce special legal 
provision in every country to assist the recovery of damages for 
such injuries and to inflict penalties by loss of liberty or other- 
wise; (4) by the spread of hygienic knowledge, so that 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 Uie earliest stages. 

the auxiliary aids to the supprpsslon oF vener^ diBPasea fumiehed bj 
the promising new methods, onlv now beginning to l>e understood, of 
treating or even alrartiiig such diseases (see, e.g., Metebnikoff, TA« Veto 
Hygiene, 1S06). 

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A few years ago, when no method of combating venereal 
disease was known except that system of police regulation which 
is DOW in its decadence, it would have been impossible to bring 
forward such considerations as these; they would have seemed 
Utopian. To-day they are not only recognizable as practical, but 
they are being actually put into practice, although, it is true, with 
very varying energy and insight in different countries. Yet it 
18 certain that in the competition of nationalities, as Max von 
Niessen 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 sexual hygiene which have so wide and significant a bearing on 
its own future, and that of the human race generally.* 

1 Max vDn Niesaen, "Herr Doktor, darf ich heiratenT" Multertchutfs, 

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Proatitntion in ReUtioa to Our Marriage ^stem — Marriage and 
MoTftti^ — The Definition of tbe Term "Moralit;" — Theoretical Moralit; 
— lU IKriaion Into Traditional Morality sod Idenl Morality — Practical 
Morality — Practical Morality Baaed on Cuatoin — The Only Subject of 
Scientific Ethics — The Reaction Between Theoretical and Practical 
Morality — Sexual Morality in the Past an Application of Eoonomio 
Morality— The Combined Rigidity and Laxity of This Morality— The 
Growth of a Specific Sexual Morality and the Evolution of Moral Ideala 
— Manifestations of Sexual Morality — Disregard of the Forms of Mar- 
riage — Trial Marriage — Marriage After Conception of Child — Phenomeua 
in Germany, AnglO'Saxon Countries, Ruuia, etc. — The Status of Woman 
— The Historical Tendency Favoring Moral Equality of Women vith 
Men— The Theory of the Matriarchatc — ^Mother-Deacent— Women in 
Babylonia — Egypt — Rome — The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries — 
The Historical Tendency Favoring Moral Inequality of Woman — The 
Ambiguous Influence of Christianity — Influence of Teutonic Custom 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 Responaibility in Women — The Con- 
comitant Development of Economic Independence — The Increase of 
Women Who Work — Invasion of the Modern Industrial Field h^ Women 
— In How Far This Is Socially Justifiable — The Sexual Responsibility 
of Women and Its Consequences— The Alleged Moral Inferiority of 
Women— The "Self- Sacrifice" of Women — Society Not Concerned with 
Sexual Relationships — Procreation the Sole Sexual Concern of the Stat* 
— The Supreme Importance of Maternity. 

It haa been necessary to deal fully with the phenomena of 
prostitution because, however aloof we may personally choose to 
bold ourselves from those phenomena, they really bring ns to the 
heart of the sexual question in bo far as it constitutee a social 
problem. If we look at prostitution from the outside, as an 
objective phenomenon, 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 proetitutional 

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phenomena. There ia, however, more than this to be said. Not 
only is proetitution to-day, as it has been for more than two 
thousand years, the buttress of our marriage Bystem, but if we 
look at marriage, not from the ontside as a formal institution, 
bat from the inside with relation to the motivee that constitute 
it, we find that marriage in a large proportion of cases is itself 
in certain respects a form of proetitutioD. This has been 
emphasized so often and from so many widely different stand- 
points that it may seem 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 unfaTor- 
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 sells 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 outTBged with impunity provided that 
law and religion have been invoked. The essential principle of 
prostitution is thus legalized and sanctified among us. That is 
why it is so difficult to arouse any serious indignation, or to main- 
tain any reasoned objections, against our proetitution considered 
by itself. The moet plausible ground is that of those* who, bring- 
ing marriage down to the level of proetitution, maintain that the 
prostitute is a "blackleg" who is accepting lees 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 

1 E.y., E. Bellort Bax, Outtpoken Eatays, p. 8. 

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husband, she must give up, ae Ellen Key obserree, tboBe rights 
over her children, her property, her work, and her own person 
which she enjoys 8b 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 ia compelled to do; the prostitute, 
unlike the wife, retains her freedom and her personal rights, 
although these may not often he of much worth. It is the wife 
rather than the prostitute who is the "blackleg," 

It is by DO means only during recent years that our nutrriage sys- 
tem has been arraigned before the bar of morals. Forty years ago James 
Hinton exhausted the vocabulary of denunciation in deEcribing the 
immorality and selflsh licentiousness which our marriage system covers 
with the cloak of legality and sanctity. "Tliere is an unsoundness in 
our marriage relations," Hinton wrote. "Not only practically are they 
dreadful, but tliey do not answer to feelinga and convictions far too 
widespread to be wisely ignored. Take the case of women of marked 
eminence consenting to be a married man's mistress; of pure and simple 
girls saying they cannot see why they should have a marriage by law; 
of a lady saying that if she were in love she would not have any legal 
fie; of its being necessary — or thought so by good and wise men — to 
keep one sex in bitt«r and often fatal ignorance. Thpse things (and how 
many more) show «ome deep unsoundness in the marriage relations. 
Tliis must be probed and searched to the bottom." 

At an earlier date, in 1S4T, Qross-HoDlnger, in his Die Sohiokaale 
der Frawn und die Proetituiion — a remarkable book which Bloch, with 
little exaggeration, describes as possessing an epoch-marking signifl- 
cBDce — vigorously showed that the problem of prostitution is in reality 
the 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. Gross-HofRnger was a pioneering pre- 
cursor of Ellen Key. 

More than a century and a half earlier a man of very different 
type scathingly analy»d the morality of his time, with a brutal frank- 
ness, indeed, that seemed to his contemporaries a revoltiugly cynical 
attitude towards their sacred institutions, and they felt that nothing 
was left to them save to bum his books. Describing modem marriage 
In his Fable of the Bees (ITU, 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 latter acted 
more according to the taws of nature and sinceri^ than the first. The 
man that gratifies his appetite after the manner the custom of the coun- 

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try kIIowb of, has no censure to fear. If he is hotter than goata or 
bulla, as Boon as the ceremon]' is over, let him Bate and fatigue binisetf 
with joy and eCBtasies of pleasure, raise and indulge hia appetite hy 
turns, BB extravagantlj as hia strength and manhood will give him leave. 
He may, with safe^, laugh at the viae men that should reprove him: 
all the women and above nine in ten of the men are of his side; naj, 
be has the liberty of valuing himself upon the fury of his unbridled 
passiona, and the more he wallows in luat and strains every faculty to 
be abandonedly voluptuoua, the sooner he ahall hare the good-will and 
gain the aJTeetion of tlie women, not the young, vain, and lascivious only, 
but the prudent, grave, and moat sober matrona." 

Thus the charge brought against our marriage system from the 
point of view of morality is that it aubordinatea the sexual relatio