The Sexual Question - A Scientific, psychological, hygienic and sociological study
by August Forel
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As to the manner in which it attains its object, while holding to its fundamental principles, that is its own affair, the business of the true artist. I cannot, however, in my capacity as a naturalist, refrain from giving a little modest advice to certain modern artists; that when they wish to take for the subject of their works the themes of social morality, medicine or science, they should avoid previous study of their subject in scientific books; that they should follow the example of de Maupassant and begin by living themselves the situations which they wish to depict, before beginning to model their work. Without this they will completely fail in artistic effect, and will become bad theorists, bad scientists, bad moralists and bad social politicians, at the same time ceasing to be good artists. If Maeterlinck's "Life of Bees" is a fine work of art, it is not only because the author is a distinguished writer, but because he was himself acquainted with bees, being an apicultor, and did not make his book a mere compilation of other scientific works.

Along with the struggle against the debasing influence of money and alcohol, the elevation of the artistic sentiment among the public will contribute strongly to condemn pornographic "aesthetics." The false and unnatural sentimentalism, spiced with erotic lewdness, which is displayed in the trash offered to the public under the title of "art," fills every man who possesses the least artistic sense with disgust. Disgust evidently constitutes a beneficial mental medicine in the domain of art, and we cannot agree with the severe and ascetic minds who think that true morality has nothing to do with art, or even that everything moral should be destitute of art. These people are completely deceived and unwittingly promote pornography, by repelling humanity with their austerity and driving it to the opposite extreme. The aesthetic and moral sentiments should be harmoniously combined with intelligence and will, each of these departments of the mind participating by its special energies in the elevation of man.

Anticonceptional Measures from the AEsthetic Point of View.—In conclusion, I will refer to a subject which is perhaps not quite in its place in this chapter. The anticonceptional measures recommended for reasons of social hygiene, which tend to regulate conceptions and improve their quality, have been often condemned, sometimes as immoral, sometimes as contrary to aesthetics. To interfere in this way with the action of nature is said to injure the poetry of love and the moral feeling, and at the same time to disturb natural selection.

There are several replies to these objections: In the first place, it is wrong to maintain that man cannot encroach on the life of nature. If this were the case, the earth would now be a virgin forest and a great many animals and plants would not have been adapted to the use of man. Our fields, our gardens and our domestic animals would die, instead of bearing fruit and multiplying as they do at present. The naturalist has much more fear of seeing rare and interesting wild plants and animals exterminated from the face of the earth by the egoistic and pitiless hand of man. He seeks in vain the means of checking this work of destruction.

We have proved without the least deference, often with a brutal hand, to the misfortune of art and poetry, that we are capable of successfully intermeddling with the machinery of nature, even in what concerns our own persons. I shall not return here to the subject of ethics. In Chapter XV, I have sufficiently shown how false is our present sexual morality, and I have proved in Chapter XIV the absolute necessity of measures to regulate conception in order to realize an efficacious social sexual morality.

The aesthetic argument appears at first sight more valid; it is unnecessary, however, to discuss matters of taste. Spectacles are certainly not particularly aesthetic; nevertheless the poetry of love does not suffer much from their use, and when one is shortsighted or longsighted one cannot do without them. Great artists wear spectacles. It is the same with false teeth, with clothes, with bicycles and a hundred other artificial things which man makes use of to make his life more easy. So long as they are novel and unusual they wound the aesthetic sentiment; but when we become accustomed to them we no longer take notice of them. Man has even come to regard as aesthetic, women's corsets which deform their chests, and pointed shoes which deform the feet. I am certain that the first man who mounted a horse was accused by his contemporaries of committing an act contrary to aesthetics!

From all points of view, the details of coitus leave much to be desired from the aesthetic point of view, and such a slight addition as a membranous protective does not appear to make any serious difference. It is impossible for me to recognize the validity of such an objection, which I attribute to the prejudice against anything which disturbs our habits.


[15] See also Lameere "L'Evolution des ornements sexuels," 1904.

[16] "Die Anfaenge der Kunst und die Theorie Darwins." Hessiche Blaetter fuer Volkskunde, Vol. III, Part 2.



Utopia and the Realizable Ideal.—The term Utopia may be applied to every ideal project elaborated by human imagination for the future welfare of society, which has no healthy and real foundation, is contrary to human nature and the results of experience, and has consequently no chance of success. Persons of conservative minds who live in prejudice and in the faith of authority apply the term Utopia to every ideal which has not been legalized and sanctioned by time, custom, or authority. This is a grave error, which, if it always prevailed, would bar the way to all social progress.

As regards the ideal, the future may realize much progress that the past has not known, and on this point Ben Akiba was wrong in saying that "there is nothing new under the sun." International communication, universal postage, the suppression of slavery in civilized countries, the artificial feeding of new-born infants, the telephone, wireless telegraphy, etc., are realized advances which had formerly never appeared on the horizon of humanity, and which would have been regarded as impossible fantasies, or Utopias.

Why should the common use of an international language and the suppression of war between civilized countries be Utopias? The most diverse races already speak English, and all might learn Esperanto. In the interior of countries such as France and Germany, etc., the old feudal wars ceased long ago. Why should a more and more international union between men be impossible?

Why should the suppression of the use of narcotic substances such as alcohol, opium, hashish, etc., which poison entire nations, be Utopian? Why should it be the same with the economic reform desired by socialists, that is the equitable division of wages; for example, by the aid of a cooperative system or by the reduction of capital to a minimum?

These things are all possible, and even necessary for the natural and progressive development of humanity. It is only the prejudice of old customs, based on the conservative tendency of sentiments, which opposes these projects and tries to ridicule them by calling them Utopian. In its shortsightedness, it does not see the change which occurs all over the world in the social relations of men, or does not estimate them at their true value, and it cannot abandon its old idols.

Lastly, why should rational reforms in the sexual domain be more difficult to realize than the artificial feeding of infants, than the actual triumphs of surgical operations, than sero-therapy, than vaccination, etc.? In the same way that shortsighted and longsighted persons wear spectacles, or those who have no teeth use artificial ones, so may men who are tainted by hereditary disease employ preventatives in coitus to avoid the procreation of a tainted progeny; and the same means may be employed to give women time to recover their strength after each confinement.

Resume.—Let us briefly recapitulate the matter contained in the chapters of this book:

(1). In the first five chapters I have given an account of the natural history, anatomy and functions of the reproductive organs, and the psychology of sexual life.

(2). In Chapter VI, I have given (chiefly according to Westermarck) a resume of ethnography and the history of sexual relations in the different human races.

(3). In Chapter VII, I have attempted to trace the zoological evolution of sexual life along the line of our animal ancestors, and to briefly describe the evolution of sexual life in the individual, from birth till death. I have thus endeavored to acquaint the reader with the two sources of our sexual sensations and sentiments—the hereditary or phylogenetic source, and the source acquired and adapted by the individual.

(4). In Chapter VIII, I have described the pathology of sexual life, because this concerns social life much more than is generally supposed.

(5). In Chapters IX to XVIII, I have explained the relations of sexual life to the most important spheres of human sentiments and interests, to suggestion, money and property, to the external conditions of life, to religion, law, medicine, morality, politics, political economy, pedagogy and art. Incidentally, I have glanced at the social organizations and customs which depend on these relations.

If we sum up the results obtained, we can draw from them a series of conclusions which we will divide into two groups:


Suppression of the Direct or Indirect Causes of Sexual Evils and Abuses, and the Social Vices which Correspond to Them

The corruption into which a semi-civilization has plunged humanity, by facilitating the means of obtaining satisfaction for its unbridled passion for pleasure, is maintained by the latter itself. But in the long run, the unlimited abandonment of the individual to pleasure cannot be in accord with the welfare and progress of society. This is the knotty point. It is necessary for a better social organization to artificially restrain the passion for pleasure, at the same time raising the social quality of men; that is to say, their altruism or instinct (social ethics). We can only expect immediately the first of these two objects; but we have seen that it is possible to prepare the second for the future, by neglecting none of the factors of social salvation.

We have become acquainted with the most important roots of sexual degeneration, due to semi-civilization. I use the word "semi-civilization" because our present culture is still very incomplete and has hardly done more than skim over the surface of the masses.

Men of higher culture have overcome the maladies of infancy of civilization much better than the uneducated masses, and it is precisely this fact which should give us courage and confidence in a future in which a true higher culture will be the appanage of all. The roots of degeneration are either directly or indirectly associated with sexual life. It is our duty to declare war of extermination against all of them, and not to cease this contest before reducing them to their natural primitive minimum. The following are the chief evils to be contended against.

1. The Cult of Money.—We have recognized the primary sources of degeneration in the historical development of humanity and its sexual life (Chapters VI and X). They consist in the exploitation of man by man, in the desire of possessing riches and power, which become the source of marriage by purchase and by abduction, of prostitution and all the modern requirements by the aid of which is cultivated the passion for sexual pleasures, thanks to the power of money.

The priests and disciples of Mammon lie when they say that their god—the golden calf—is the most powerful stimulus to work and the principal promoter of culture. If we look closer we see the contrary. Men of genius, thinkers, inventors and artists are urged to work by their hereditary instinct, by true love of the ideal and thirst for knowledge. The disciples of Mammon, on the watch for the discoveries and creations of these men, rob them not only of the fruit of their work, but often of the honors which belong to them. Intellectual robbery is added to pecuniary robbery.

These are the methods of "Mammonism," which must be seen to be appreciated; and we are told that this kind of industry should be the only stimulus to human work and culture! No doubt, the unbridled lust for gain urges men to feverish activity; but this kind of zeal, which is nearly always associated with the passion for pleasure, and only works to obtain the means of satisfying it, is unhealthy. It is necessary for other factors to act in stimulating human work. Fortunately these forces exist, and can be found, for without work there can be no culture, social progress nor happiness.

The worship of the golden calf, the utilization of accumulated wealth as a means of exploiting the work of others for individual interest, is therefore the primary and principal root of social degeneration, marriage for money, prostitution and all their corrupt associations. If this root is not torn out, humanity will never succeed in the sanitation of sexual matters. The struggle against the exaggerated modern legal rights of capital, and the abuses which result from it, is therefore one of the most important tasks to be accomplished in order to lead indirectly to the sanitation of sexual intercourse.

2. The Use of Narcotics.—The habit of using narcotic poisons, especially alcohol, leads to the physical and moral degeneration of men, a degeneration which not only affects the individuals concerned, but also their germinal cells and consequently their offspring. I have designated this degeneration by the term blastophthoria. Blastophthoria is intimately connected with sexual phenomena, and thanks to it, the individual influence of these poisons may extend to many generations.

A single radical remedy would be easy to apply, if men were not so much the slaves of their habits and prejudices, of capital and the passion for pleasure. All narcotic substances, especially distilled and fermented drinks, should be abolished as a means of pleasure and relegated to pharmacy, in which they may still be used as remedies, with special precautions. Alcohol may also be used for industrial purposes.

Science has proved that even the most moderate indulgence in alcohol disturbs the association of ideas, and renders them more superficial, without the subject being aware of it. This slight degree of alcoholic narcosis causes in man a temporary feeling of pleasure and gayety to which he soon becomes accustomed. In this way there is created in him a desire for more, too often with increasing doses.

Most narcotics, especially alcohol (either fermented or distilled), have the peculiarity of exciting the sexual appetite in a bestial manner, thereby leading to the most absurd and disgusting excesses, although at the same time they weaken the sexual power. The transient pleasure produced by these substances is, therefore, of no real and lasting advantage, while it results in the most terrible individual and social miseries.

Societies for total abstinence from all alcoholic drinks have undertaken a war of extermination against the use of all poisons used for purposes of pleasure, when experience has proved their social danger. Let us hope that they will succeed; then a second fundamental root of degeneration of sexual life will be destroyed.

3. The Emancipation of Woman.—A third source of sexual anomalies is due to the inequality of the rights of the two sexes. This can only be attacked by the complete emancipation of women. In no kind of animal is the female an object possessed by the male. Nowhere in nature do we find the slave-law which subordinates one sex to the other. Even among ants, where the male, on account of his great physical inferiority, is very dependent on the workers, the latter do not impose on him any constraint. We have already refuted the argument which is based on the intellectual inferiority of woman.

The emancipation of women is not intended to transform them into men, but simply to give them their human rights, I might even say their natural animal rights. It in no way wishes to impose work on women nor to make them unaccustomed to it. It is as absurd to bring them up as spoilt children as it is cruel to brutalize them as beasts of burden. It is our duty to give them the independent position in society which corresponds to their normal attributes.

Their sexual role is so important that it gives them the right to the highest social considerations in this domain. I will not repeat what I have said in Chapter XIII, but simply state categorically that, when women have acquired in society rights and duties equal to those of men (in accordance with sexual differences), when they can react freely according to their feminine genius, in a manner as decisive as men, on the destinies of the community, a third fundamental root of present sexual abuses will be suppressed. The complete emancipation of woman thus constitutes our third principal postulate, and in this I am in accord with Westermarck, Secretan and many other eminent persons.

The difference which exists between the two sexes does not give any reasonable excuse to man for monopolizing all social and political rights. The external world and our fellow beings, by whom and for whom we live in body and mind, are the same for woman as for man, so that even when the mentality of one sex is on the average a little higher than that of the other, the first cannot claim the right of refusing the second the liberty of living and acting from the social point of view according to her own genius. The two sexes differ in many respects it is true; on the other hand, all legal and consequently artificial constraint of one by the other has the effect of hindering the free development of both. Each sex has the right to look upon the world and assimilate it according to its nature. It can thus develop its personality so that it does not become etiolated and atrophied like a domestic animal. It is only the right of the stronger, cultivated by narrow-minded prejudice, that can deny or misunderstand these facts. The legal restrictions which we impose on woman, on her mentality and her whole life, especially her conjugal life, have nothing in common with the just restrictions which the law should provide against the encroachments of individual egoism, which injure the rights of others or those of society.

4. Prejudice and Tradition.—There is still another enemy opposed to reform, which is so deeply rooted in human nature that we can only hope for a slow improvement in the quality of men, by its progressive weakening. I refer to the host of prejudices, traditional customs, mystic superstitions, religious dogmas, fashions, etc. I should require many pages of moral preaching to deal with all the vices which are perpetually created and supported by the wretched tendency of the human mind to sanctify every ancient tradition and consider it as unalterable.

Prejudice, faith in authority, mysticism, etc., with conscious or unconscious hypocrisy, and by the aid of more or less transparent sophisms, place themselves at the service of the basest human passions—envy, hatred, vanity, avarice, lewdness, scandal, desire of domination and idleness—and clothe them all with the sacred mantle of ancient customs, the better to sanction their ignominy by relying on the authority of tradition. There is no infamy which has not been justified, glorified or even deified in this way.

I am convinced that it is only by the introduction of the scientific spirit, of an inductive and philosophical manner of thinking, into schools and among the masses, that we shall be able to contend efficaciously with the routine and parrot-like repetitions which are rooted in the worship of authoritative doctrines and prejudices based on the sanctity of what is old.

We have already sufficiently dealt with the superannuated prejudices and customs to be contended with in the sexual domain, and need not return to them. The whole of this category of causes of evil, a category which also plays a great part in all other domains of human life, can only, therefore, be contended with by true science combined with an integral and free education of the character of youth.

I must once again insist on the necessity of a fight to a finish on this ground. It is necessary for this that scientists should from time to time emerge from their sanctums, and let their lights shine in the whirlpool of human society. They must take part in social conflicts and avoid losing touch with what is and always will be human.

The following postulates relate to aberrations and dangers which are more partial or more local.

5. Pornography.—In Chapters V, X and XVIII, I have spoken of pornography, and in Chapter XVII, of its great danger to the development of a normal sexual life in youth. Although pornography owes much of its origin and development to the greed for gain, it must not be forgotten that, on the other hand, masculine eroticism tends to promote its mercantile interests. It is the duty of society to oppose the pornographic products of morbid eroticism, without imposing the least constraint on true art. The sexual appetite of man is on the average rather strong; we may even say that it is much too strong, compared with the social necessities of procreation. It is, therefore, quite superfluous to artificially stimulate it. The struggle against pornography must, therefore, be raised to the rank of a postulate.

We must not forget, however, that we shall contend with it much more successfully by fulfilling our first four postulates, and in raising the artistic ideal and feeling in man, than by direct measures of suppression. The latter should be limited to the most coarse and corrupt productions of pornography.

6. Politics and Sexual Life.—I need only remind the reader of the encroachments of politics on sexual life, and especially of the abuse of sexual influence in the domain of politics. It is needless to point out the necessity of opposing all useless intermeddling of the State in the sexual life of individuals by the aid of unjustifiable regulations, as well as all intervention in the natural sexual requirements of man (in marriage, etc.), when no individual or social interest is injured. What is much more difficult, is to prevent the pressure of sexual sympathies and antipathies, and especially of amorous passions in politics.

7. Venereal Disease.—There is need for a great combat with venereal disease and pathological corruptions of the sexual appetite. (Vide Chapters VIII, XIII and XIV.) Sexual criminals should be treated conjointly with the pathology of the sexual appetite, and in the same manner; for it is nearly always a question of anomalies of the human brain, which are impossible to improve or eliminate by punishment or other penal measures.

For the present, medical and administrative measures of restriction, undertaken by society against dangerous and degenerate individuals in the sexual domain, are the only possible remedy. We should also endeavor in the future to prevent such individuals from breeding and suppress the causes of blastophthoria, by the aid of our second postulate.

8. The Conflict of Human Races.—There remains a last postulate, extremely arduous and serious, which we have already mentioned. How is our Aryan race and its civilization to guard against the danger of being passively invaded and exterminated by the alarming fecundity of other human races? One must be blind not to recognize this danger. To estimate it at its proper value, it is not enough to put all "savages" and "barbarians" into one basket and all "civilized" into the other. The question is far more complicated than this. Many savage and semi-savage races become rapidly extinct on account of their comparative sterility. Europeans have introduced among them so much alcohol, venereal disease and other plagues, that they promptly perish from want of the power of resistance. This is the case with the Weddas, the Todas, the Redskins of North America, the Australian aboriginees, Malays and many others.

The question presents itself in another aspect with regard to negroes, who are very resistant and extremely prolific, and everywhere adapt themselves to civilized customs. But those who believe that negroes are capable of acquiring a higher civilization without undergoing a phylogenetic cerebral transformation for a hundred thousand years, are Utopians. I cannot here enter into the details of this question. It seems obvious to me, however, that in the already considerable time during which the American negroes have been under the influence of European culture, they ought to have often demonstrated their power of assimilating it and of developing it independently, according to their own genius, if their brains were capable of so doing. Instead of this, we find that negroes in the interior of the island of Haiti, formerly civilized by France, then abandoned to themselves, have, with the exception of a few mulattoes, reverted to the most complete barbarism, and have even barbarized the French language and Christianity, with which they had been endowed.

Compare with this the rapidity with which a civilized or civilizable race, depending on its innate energy, assimilates our culture with or without Christianity! We need only look at what has happened in Japan during the last thirty years, and what the Christian races of the Balkan countries have been doing after delivery from the yoke of the Turks—for example, the Roumanians, Bulgarians and Greeks.

It is by its fruits that we judge the value of the tree. The Japanese are a civilizable and civilized race, and must be treated as such. The negroes, on the contrary, are not so; that is to say, they are only by themselves capable of quite an inferior civilization, and only become adapted to our customs by a superficial veneer of civilization.

Up to what point can the Mongolian, and even the Jewish race, become mixed with our Aryan or Indo-Germanic races, without gradually supplanting them and causing them to disappear? This is a question I am incapable of answering. If it were only a question of the Japanese there would be no serious difficulty and the assimilation would be beneficial. But the Chinese and some other Mongolian races constitute an imminent danger for the very existence of the white races. These people eat much less than ourselves, are contented with much smaller dwellings, and in spite of this produce twice as many children and do twice as much work. The connection of this with the sexual question is not difficult to understand.

Possibly we might make a compact with the Mongols, and the Chinese in particular, which would allow both races to live on the earth without annihilating each other. I am quite convinced that we have more to fear from their blood and their work than from their arms. Some time ago experts in Far-Eastern questions predicted that the world would end by becoming Chinese.


The elimination of the abuses and dangers, pointed out under the heading of negative tasks, would prepare the soil for a healthier and more ideal development of the sexual relations of humanity in the future. These require the prevention of blastophthoric deterioration of germ cells, as well as all pathological degeneration of sexual intercourse. They also require true and natural affection, free from the influences of prejudice and money, and capable of surviving amorous intoxication. Lastly, they require a natural human organization, adapted to the social welfare, the duties of parents toward their children, and the rights they have over them.

Human Selection.—This is impossible to attain without recourse to artificial means, which have hitherto been generally condemned, or employed with an unhealthy and corrupt object. I refer to the distinction between satisfaction of the sexual appetite and the procreation of children.

Although it is true that the two things are inseparably connected in plants and animals, it is equally true that the culture and social development of humanity all over the world have given rise to conditions and necessities other than those which formerly existed, conditions which at the present day are so clearly evident that they cannot be disregarded.

The struggle for existence, as it obtains between the different animal species, hardly exists any longer in man. The latter has now to fight with microbes, and other infinitely small things of the same nature. The combat between man and man, in the form of international warfare, is approaching its end. The wars of the present day, as foolish as they are formidable, are rapidly becoming absurd. We may even hope that the supreme struggle which is impending between the Aryan and Mongolian races will end in peaceful agreement.

Is it, therefore, rational to abandon the quantitative and qualitative regulation of the procreation of children to natural selection—that is to say to brutal chance, disease, famine or infanticide—at a time of human evolution when science contends with the greatest success against accident, disease, infant mortality and famine?

Our strong sexual appetite is no longer in proportion to the exigencies of procreation, nor to the means of providing food for our descendants, nor to the right of the latter to better or even tolerable existence, for the simple reason that the weak, the diseased and the children are no longer eliminated as in former times among primitive races by infanticide, epidemics, wild-beasts, neglect or war (it is now the strong and courageous who are eliminated by the latter). But it is not in our power to modify our instinctive and hereditary sexual appetite, while we have always at hand the necessary means to regulate and improve procreation.

No prejudice, no dogma, no repetition of old maxims, based on so-called immutable natural laws, can stand against such simple and elementary truths. We like to call "natural laws" what to our limited knowledge appears regular in nature. We formulate a law, and too often make an idol, instead of always making further examinations, in the light of new truths, to see if these so-called laws hold good. But the new truths are there, crying for recognition. The sheet-anchor is in our hands, in the form of measures to prevent or regulate conception.

We must, therefore, have recourse to these measures, with prudence, employing them only at first where they are most necessary, and especially insisting on the procreation of numerous children wherever mental and moral strength is combined with bodily health. In this connection I am strongly opposed to the neo-Malthusians, who simply propose to diminish the number of births indiscriminately, as well as to the religious dogmas, especially Catholic, which, under the fallacious pretext of so-called divine inspiration, would hinder the progress of the social sciences.

Human selection is the principle which should lead us to the object to be attained in the remote future. It is not by legal constraint, but by universal instruction, that we shall obtain general recognition and acceptance of this principle. We have proved in Chapter VI, with regard to sexual selection, that women are much more exclusive in their choice than men, and that among savages they prefer courage and bodily strength. At the present day, owing to change of customs, cultured and intelligent women are, on the contrary, much less attracted by man's physical strength than by his intellectual superiority or genius. This gives us a very important indication of the selection we desire, and confirms the necessity of instructing women in sexual matters. I foresee that the enlightened and intelligent women are those who will support human selection with the greatest energy and success.

I repeat here that it is not our object to create a new human race of superior beings, but simply to cause gradual elimination of the unfit, by suppressing the causes of blastophthoria, and sterilizing those who have hereditary taints by means of a voluntary act; at the same time urging healthier, happier and more social men to multiply more and more.

A profound study of blastophthoria and all the phenomena of the mneme and normal heredity leaves no doubt on the possibility of attaining this object. Is not the quality of dogs improved by breeding from the good and eliminating the bad? Are not certain families distinguished in their character, work and intelligence, because for many generations their ancestors have preserved these qualities and maintained the family type by means of careful marriages? On the other hand, are not cowardice, falseness and meanness, etc., reproduced with quite as much certainty in other families? I refer the reader to the description given by Joerger of the disastrous effects of alcoholic blastophthoria and bad heredity produced during nearly two centuries in the numerous members of a family of vagabonds (vide Chapter XI).

One must be blinded by religious prejudice to deny such striking truths. No doubt, our pathological degenerations and our cross-breeding are so infinitely complex that at any time atavism may produce ecphoria of better children derived from bad parents, and that of inferior children derived from better parents. We have seen in the first chapter the complex relations which exist between these phenomena. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived by the appearances of certain particular cases.

What then are the types of men which we should endeavor to produce?

Types to Eliminate.—First of all we must understand that negative action is much easier than positive. It is more easy to mention the types which should not be allowed to multiply than those which should. These are, in the first place, all criminals, lunatics, and imbeciles, and all individuals who are irresponsible, mischievous, quarrelsome or amoral. These are the persons who do the most harm in society, and introduce into it the most harmful taints. It is the same with alcoholics, opium-eaters, etc., who, although often capable in other respects, are dangerous by their blastophthoric influence. Here the only remedy consists in the suppression of the use of narcotics, for it is no use eliminating a few narcotized individuals as long as a greater number is always being produced.

Persons predisposed to tuberculosis by heredity, chronic invalids, the subjects of rickets, hemophilia, and other persons incapable of procreating a healthy race owing to inherited diseases or bad constitution, form a second category of individuals who ought to avoid propagation, or do so as little as possible.

Types to Perpetuate.—On the other hand, men who are useful from the social point of view—those who take a pleasure in work and those who are good tempered, peaceful and amiable should be induced to multiply. If they are endowed with clear intelligence and an active mind, or with an intellectual or artistic creative imagination, they constitute excellent subjects for reproduction. In such cases certain taints which are not too pronounced may be passed over.

True will-power, i.e., perseverance in the accomplishment of rational resolutions, and not the tyrannical and obstinate spirit of domination, is also one of the most desirable qualities which ought to be reproduced. Will-power must not be confounded with impulsiveness, which is rather the antinomy of it, but often deceives superficial observers, and makes them believe in the existence of a strong will, because of the violent manner in which it tries to realize momentary impulsive resolutions.

Human Social Value.—We have seen that, owing to traditional routine, the intellectual merit of a young man is unfortunately judged by the results of examinations. To succeed in these, a good memory and strong mental receptivity are all that is necessary. It follows from this that nonentities often attain the highest social positions, while originality, creative power, perseverance, honesty, responsibility and duty take a back place. I refer the reader to what I have said on the estimation of human value, especially in the Landerziehungsheime (Chapter XVI). They should be estimated according to their utility in practical social life, where the qualities of will and creative imagination play a more considerable part than memory and rapidity in assimilating the ideas of others.

But we have seen that the standard of ordinary examinations is false, even as regards pure intelligence. Critical judgment and imaginative power of combination have a much greater intellectual value than memory or the power of assimilation. It is, therefore, not to be wondered at that the boy who is at the top of his class so often turns out a failure, while the dunce who failed in his examinations sometimes becomes a genius or at any rate a very useful and capable man. From such facts, which are extremely common, it is falsely concluded, by a kind of fatalism, that "one never knows what will become of a man, for personalities change so much." This false conclusion is simply due to the erroneous criterion which is used in the evaluation of childhood, combined with the disgust inspired in strong and original minds by our schools.

Diseases and other accidents may sometimes hinder the development of good dispositions, or even cause them to abort completely. Nevertheless, we shall rarely make false prophecies if we begin by avoiding the gross errors that we have pointed out in the mental evaluation of youth. It is also necessary to institute extensive psychological observations on the development of individuals, and in the value of their work at adult age compared with their peculiarities observed in childhood. I am certain that in this way the social value of a young man, or even a child, and in general all members of human society, could be calculated in advance in a more exact way.

Domestic Animals and Plants.—The weak constitution of the domestic varieties of plants and animals has been used as an argument against human selection. If the animal and vegetable varieties which we raise by artificial selection have not enough strength when left to themselves, this is due to the fact that in creating them we have not consulted their interests in the struggle for existence, but only our own. For example, we raise for our own use fat pigs which can scarcely walk, pear trees with succulent fruit which has very few seeds, etc. It is obvious that these monstrosities cannot be expected to maintain themselves in the struggle for existence. Human selection, on the contrary, is only concerned with what is advantageous for man, individually as well as socially. It is, therefore, not a question of a Utopian hypothesis, but of facts, the daily consequences of which we can observe in society, if we only look at them without prejudice.

Calculation of Averages.—Francis Galton has studied this question by the aid of the law of variations and by the calculation of probabilities. This law only deals with so-called fortuitous elements, due to thousands of minute causes which act to a great extent against each other and become mutually compensated in their general effect, so that the two extremes are always represented by small numbers and the average by large numbers. But, when certain special and greater forces come into play, the general resultant is deviated in one direction or the other.

Galton shows that this law applies to social relations and mental values as well as to the stature of the body. In a given society there are always some individuals who are very good, some very bad, and many mediocrities. When a powerful general factor, such as alcohol or corruption by money, lowers all the individual values, the total value of the whole scale of capacities is lowered. Galton shows that the average values can be appreciably raised by inducing the class of higher values to reproduce themselves, and by preventing the lower values from doing so.

Prof. Jules Amann has shown how the immigration of the Huguenots into Switzerland and Germany after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV (1685) contributed to raise the mental level in these countries and continues to do so at the present day.

Visions of the Past and Future.—It is always sad to see capable, hard-working men and women, very useful from the social point of view, remaining sterile, simply on account of our social or religious prejudices; whereas, for the benefit of the community, they ought to marry as young as possible and procreate numerous children.

I have already said (the idea is found in Andre Couvreur's La Graine) that, if the sterility of one of the conjoints in marriage unfortunately leads to sterility in the other conjoint, the law, to make good the loss, should allow bigamy or concubinage in favor of the second, when the latter is very capable. I cannot dwell too strongly on the necessity of compensating for the sterilization which is so necessary with ill-formed or incapable beings, as well as for the period of rest which is due to women between their confinements, by an energetic multiplication of all useful and capable individuals.

In the same way, it is a real pity to see so many healthy, active and intelligent girls become old maids, simply because they have no money and do not wish to throw themselves at the first scamp who comes. It would be far better to allow a little free polygamy, with complete equality of the two sexes and certain legal precautions, than to lose so much good seed and grow so many weeds. I refer the reader to what I have said on the duties of parents toward their children, and on the duties of society toward the procreators of healthy children. (Chapter XIII.)

It would certainly take a century to obtain any appreciable improvement in the quality of a race by this procedure, even if it were carried out in a methodical and general way. At the end of a few centuries our descendants might recognize the happiness that they owe to our efforts. They would also no doubt be astonished at being descended from such a race of barbarians, and at having so many drunkards, criminals and imbeciles among their ancestors. The mingling of mysticism in sexual life, which now exists under the name of religion, would appear to them almost the same as idolatry and the practice of "magicians" among savage races appears to us.

As to the effects of alcoholic drinks and prostitution, these would give them almost the same impression as the instruments of torture of the Middle Ages which we see exhibited in museums, or the horrors of the Inquisition, or burning at the stake for witchcraft.

Many of my readers will no doubt regard my comparisons as exaggerated or fanatical, because, imbued as we are with contemporary thought, we cannot, without a great effort of imagination and having at our disposal much experience and many objects of comparison, identify ourselves with the thought of the past or that of the future. I recommend persons who cannot appreciate this fact to read the "Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin," by Harriet Beecher-Stowe (not the novel itself). This book contains numerous documents relating to the time of negro slavery before the American war of secession. When they read what happened at that time, for example, advertisements in the public journals of dogs trained to track escaped slaves, they will perhaps agree with me. Pious pastors then gave their support to slavery, as they often do now to alcohol. What now appears to us as monstrous seemed then quite natural.

Reform in Education.—After human selection, I consider pedagogic reform in the sexual and other domains as the most important of positive reforms. (Vide Chapters XVII and XIII.) Although good quality in the germ is one of the fundamental conditions for man's happiness, it is not sufficient. Just as we can obtain by education comparatively useful individuals from comparatively defective germs, so can we more easily damage phylogenetically good germs, by evil influences during their ontogeny.

Society should devote all its care to the good general education of the body and mind of children. It should do everything possible to develop harmoniously the intelligence, sentiments, will, character, altruism and aesthetics, after the manner of the Landerziehungsheime, which we have described in Chapter XVII. Every good hereditary type should be given the opportunity for free expansion, by means of rational education and work.

With regard to individuals who are defective by heredity, their better dispositions might be developed up to a certain point and made to antagonize the bad dispositions, so that the latter should not predominate in the brain. (Vide Chapter XVII.)

In spite of the great importance of rational pedagogy, we must not forget that it is incapable of replacing selection. It serves for the immediate object, which is to utilize in the best possible way human material as it exists at present; but by itself it cannot in any way improve the quality of the future germ. It can, however, by instructing youth on the social value of selection, prepare it to put the latter in action.


The outward life of man is largely influenced by events of the moment; but his inner life is determined by memories of the past combined with heredity, and thus gives rise to efforts toward the future. The past should never be allowed to dominate the present or the future, but should combine past experience with new impressions, and constitute a prolific source of ideas and resolutions.

The marriage of the future pre-supposes people to be completely instructed from their childhood in natural sexual intercourse and its eventual dangers. It pre-supposes man brought up without alcohol or other narcotics, possessing the right to utilize the produce of his work for life and the maintenance of his own person, but not that of capitalizing for himself or his children, nor of making legacies to others, i.e., of founding by the aid of money a power for the exploitation of others. Everyone will know from his childhood that work is a necessary condition for the existence of all.

Brought up in common with absolutely equal rights, girls and boys will be aware of the differences in their life tasks, such as differences of sex and individuality indicate them. Till the age of sixteen, or perhaps longer, they will have been instructed in the schools by simultaneous development of intelligence, bodily and technical exercises, aesthetics, moral and social sentiments and will. Without frightening them with the specter of eternal punishment, and without alluring them by the promise of paradise after death, they will have been taught that the object of our transient individual existence is continual effort to attain a pure human ideal. They will have learnt to find the truest satisfaction in the accomplishment of their different duties, and in work in common for the benefit of society. They will also have learnt to despise frivolity and luxury, to attach no importance to personal property and to put all their ambition into the quantity and quality of their work.

The sexual appetite will manifest itself in different individuals at different ages. Trained from childhood not to yield to every desire, but to subordinate their appetites to the welfare of the community, they will not yield immediately. Moreover, they will know the signification of this appetite. They will also know that their patience will not be tried too long, and that they may speak openly on sexual subjects to their masters and parents and even to their companions of the opposite sex.

What will be the consequences of such a state of things? Attachments will be formed early. But, instead of making all kinds of calculations concerning money, social position, etc.; instead of concealing their thoughts in the form of conventional politeness; instead of avoiding an honest explanation of the knotty point, or, at the most passing over this explanation like a cat on hot cinders; instead of trying to dazzle by their charms the one they wish to capture, the lovers of the future will be much more frank because they will have less reason to dissimulate. They will exchange plans for the future, and will mutually test each other's constancy and loyalty without fear of scandal and slander.

The two sexes will be able to enter into free relations with each other, first of all because they will both be instructed in sexual life, and secondly, because manners and customs will be more free. Without actual sexual intercourse, two lovers will thus be able to see whether their temperaments are well adapted to each other.

Then, thanks to its liberty, the period of betrothal will allow a free interchange of ideas on life between the parties concerned, so that they will soon find out whether they are likely or not to live harmoniously in conjugal union. Questions of heredity, procreation and education will be dealt with calmly and freely. This will be certainly more moral than the present conversations between betrothed couples, "well-brought up," who, apart from certain conventional degrees of flirtation, hardly dare mention anything but commonplaces.

A young man of talent, who wishes to continue his studies, will not be prevented from marrying. He may, for example, marry at twenty-four a young girl of eighteen and continue his studies till he is twenty-six. The inconvenience will be slight, for the habits of life will be simpler, and he can easily, by anticonceptional measures, avoid having children for a year or two.

What will marriage be like? First of all, all useless luxury and conventional formality will be reduced to a minimum. The husband and wife will both work, either together, or each on their own account, according to circumstances. Part of the work will naturally be devoted to the children. As at present, the husband will be able to participate in the personal education of the children, if he is more disposed than the wife.

Equality in the rights of the two sexes and matriarchy (vide Chapter XIII) will not render conjugal relations less intimate, but will, on the contrary, deepen their roots by raising their moral value. There will be less time to shine in society; dinner-parties and society functions of all kinds will be unknown; these things are for the idle rich, who have time to kill and money to spend. If a friend comes, and there is time to receive him and something for him to eat, he will be invited to take "potluck" with his family.

Clothes will be simple, comfortable and hygienic. Dwellings will be artistic, aesthetic and scrupulously clean. Pomp and luxury are not art, and are sometimes so overdone that they wound the most elementary sense of aesthetics.

If the occupation of the married couple or the number of their children render domestic servants necessary, the latter will not have the same position in the family as our present servants. Their education and social position being the same as those of the members of the family, they will take the position of companions rather than servants. No domestic work will be considered as degrading.

If the marriage is sterile, the conjoints will adopt orphans or children from other large families. In certain cases, of which we have spoken, concubinage may be preferred which, with such a change in social organization, will amount to bigamy; but here everything will be done openly and by mutual agreement. In such cases any one who cannot overcome jealousy will be divorced.

If, in spite of everything, a marriage is not happy, owing to incompatibility of character, the marriage (or sexual contract) will be dissolved, after legal provision for the children and their education. After this each of the conjoints will be free to marry again. This last contingency will probably not be more frequent than it is as present, possibly less, especially when there are children, for divorce is always painful when there are children to be brought up.

Work, and the effort of striving toward the ideal of social life, are the best and most healthy distractions for the sexual appetite. It is the idleness, luxury and corruption of large cities which cause it to degenerate. Moreover, work revives love and leaves little time for family disputes.

With a little independence of character, and abandonment of old prejudices, we can even now realize our scheme to a great extent.

The Art of Loving Long.—The ideal true love often only shows itself after the first amorous intoxication has subsided. In order to remain harmonious, love requires above all things the higher psychic irradiation of intimate sympathetic sentiments associated with the sexual appetite, with which they should always remain intimately connected, or at any rate as long as the duration of the active sexual life of man. Later on, in the evening of life, the first are sufficient.

The great error into which most men fall who marry is to rely on the civil and religious bonds of matrimony. As soon as the union is sealed, they return to their usual habits and mode of life. Each expects much from the other and gives as little as possible. When amorous sexual intoxication is over, the husband no longer finds any charm in his wife, he becomes enamored of other women to whom he devotes his attention, reserving his bad temper for his wife, while the latter takes no more trouble to please him.

I agree that a man cannot for long conceal his true nature; we are what we are by heredity. Nevertheless, the art of being amiable may be acquired by habit and education, an art which the poorest may employ. Education should never cease during life. Along with the higher sentiments of love and mutual respect, lasting sexual attraction is a link of inestimable value in maintaining a long and happy union between man and woman in marriage.

The married couple should, therefore, avoid everything which may rupture this link. The wife should devote herself to making the home attractive to her husband. The latter, on his part, should neither regard his wife as a mere housekeeper, nor only as an object for the satisfaction of his sexual appetite. Such a conception of woman and marriage is unfortunately very common and is incompatible with true conjugal happiness.

On the other hand, it is not enough for the husband to esteem and respect his wife as a faithful companion, to whom he is united in a purely intellectual way. For the couple to find lasting and complete happiness in marriage, love, however ideal it may be, should be accompanied by sexual enjoyment. In short, intellectual and sentimental harmony should be combined with sensual harmony in a single and sublime symphony. The husband should not only regard his wife as the incarnation of all the domestic virtues, but should also continue to imagine her as the Venus of his early love.

This condition may be realized even when youth has passed away, provided the deep sympathetic sentiments of an ideal love have truly existed and are maintained. The wife will then continue to be for her husband the goddess she has always been. But if this condition is not realized it is not always easy for the husband, with his polygamous disposition, to remain insensible to the charms of other women. However, habit and imagination may do much to correct this tendency.

I think the following advice may be useful to the husband (and occasionally also to the wife). When his sexual passion is excited by another woman and he is in danger of succumbing, he should endeavor, by the aid of his imagination, to clothe his own wife with the charms of his would-be seducer. With a little determination this measure will often succeed; he will thus strengthen his sexual desire toward his own wife, and perhaps increase hers also. In this way, a flame which threatened to destroy conjugal happiness may sometimes serve to strengthen it, by reviving afresh the mutual feelings of love and desire. In the first part of his "Wahlverwandtschaften" (elective affinities), Goethe designates this phenomenon by the term mental adultery; but I am of the opinion that it is rather the expression of a mental conjugal fidelity which is strengthened by sensual substitution.

When there is true love and good-will on both sides, such experiences may often help toward the gradual consolidation of conjugal relations. Not only may a deviated passion be brought back to the conjugal bed, but certain discords may be restored to harmony, and the couple may find new desire and mutual affection which have been put to the test.

Matriarchism.—With regard to family relations there is an important point to consider, which we have already touched upon in Chapter XIII. The power of man and of patriarchism has had the result of giving the father's name to the family. This system is not only unnatural, but also has deplorable effects. If it is true that the germ of the individual (Chromosomes, Chapter I) inherits on the average as much from the father as from the mother, the latter is more closely connected with it from all other points of view. Races in which the maternal influence predominates in the family, not only in name but also in other respects, have better understood the voice of nature.

The fact that the mother carries the child for nine months in her womb, and for many years after birth is more intimately associated with it than the father, gives her a natural right which the father cannot claim. Children ought, therefore, to be named after the mother. Moreover, in case of divorce, it should be the rule for children to be restored to the mother, unless there are special reasons for another decision.

It is evident that in the conditions of modern civilization we cannot return to matriarchism in its primitive sense. An old patriarch cannot become the sole sovereign of all his descendants without the occurrence of grave abuses, no more can this power devolve on a grandmother. Apart from denomination in the maternal line, I mean by matriarchism, the legal privilege of the management of the family conferred on the wife, who is in reality the center of the family.

I will sum up what appears to me to be required, in the following propositions:

1. Denomination in the maternal line.

2. With the exception of cases in which the wife loses her maternal rights owing to incapacity, bad conduct or insanity, etc., or when the law is obliged to deprive her of them, she alone will possess the guardianship and the management of her children during their minority.

3. The wife will be proprietor and housekeeper of the house and household. Her work of housekeeping and her maternal duties will be estimated at their just value, and will have the right to compensation, equivalent to the husband's work in his business.

4. As long as conjugal union exists, the husband has the right to live in his wife's house, for the protection he gives to the family, for the work he gives toward the house and the education of the children, as well as for his pecuniary contributions toward the expenses of both.

5. With the exception of contributions to the house and education, and to the feeding and clothing of the children, the product of the husband's work and private fortune belong to him, just as the product and fortune of his wife are her own property. In the case of divorce there will then be no difficulty in separating the two properties. Excepting in cases mentioned in the second proposition, which will be decided by law, the children will belong to the mother only. But as long as he lives and is able to work, the divorced father must continue to contribute to the maintenance and education of the children he has procreated, till they come of age.

These propositions have only a legal value, and will only be required when the conjoints cannot come to a mutual understanding. They in no way concern those who are able to live together in mutual concord. A weak and passive woman will continue as before to subordinate herself to the advice and opinions of a husband stronger and wiser than herself.

It is needless to say that, after divorce or separation, things will not always go smoothly, although more so than at present. The husband will always have the right to have certain claims decided by law. When the law is not exclusively in the hands of men, it will be more capable of protecting the rights of women. Cases in which a mother is incapable of bringing up her own children, or where the father is capable of great devotion and sacrifice are not now so rare, but they are nevertheless exceptional.

The Present Day.—It is not to be expected that the above propositions will find much support at the present day among the majority of people, still less that they will soon be realized by the governing bodies, considering their conservative and idle tendencies and their inertia. It may be asked, on the other hand, whether the present laws do not already provide us with the ways and means of attaining the ideal that we propose. I already see two:

First of all, as pointed out in Chapter XIII, we may enter into contracts which make the properties entirely separate, and according to the local legislation in force, fulfill other of the above propositions. For instance, in some countries, the wife can preserve by contract the property and management of the house, etc.

In the second place, illegitimate children now bear the family name of their mother; this is exactly what we desire. When concubinage is not prosecuted and punished by law, a free marriage could be arranged by private contract which would fulfill the above conditions. Some persons, I admit, would require much courage to do this, for it is not every one who can brave public opinion when he has a good reputation to lose. Moreover, such unions would not enjoy the protection of the State. By a little perseverance, however, the public might be induced to call the woman "Mrs." instead of "Miss."

It is not impossible for unions of this kind between honorable persons to become more frequent, and gradually compel society to recognize free unions as the equivalent of traditional, or so-called legal, marriage, to accord them the same rights and recognize the children born of them. The conjoints could be named by combining both family names; for example, if Miss Martin enters into a free union with Mr. Durand, she might be called Mrs. Martin-Durand, and her husband Mr. Durand-Martin.

Conclusion.—It may perhaps be thought that I am imagining the existence of the purest ideal and the happiness of paradise in a world in which the hereditary quality of men will be no better than it is to-day. I hope that no reader who has followed me carefully will regard me as so ingenuous. Then as now there will be intrigues and disputes, hatred, envy, jealousy, idleness, impropriety, falsehood, negligence, temper, etc., but their power will be less. There will be less excuse for these bad qualities and those who possess them will be regarded as pathological individuals who should be eliminated as much as possible by means of proper selection, combined with good hygiene and thorough education.

On the other hand, men of originality and high ideals will be able to develop much more freely and naturally than at present. They will no longer be the slaves of power, money, prejudice and routine. They will not be obliged to conform to religious hypocrisy, but will be able to speak and act according to their convictions. Marriage, and sexual relations in general, will no longer be a perpetual conventional falsehood. The sentiments no longer fettered, will not be led astray into mischievous ways by artificial excitement, so long as they do not depend on unhealthy dispositions, for the pretexts and especially the pecuniary inducement to commit evil actions and contract bad habits will have been removed as far as possible.

For the same reason prostitution will become almost impossible, for it will cease to have any reason for existence. Immoderate sexual intercourse, like other excesses, will not cease to exist, but will be kept in certain limits by the work which no one will be able to escape.

At the end of his history of materialism (1874) F.A. Lange wrote as follows:

"We lay down our pen and terminate our criticism at a time when Europe is agitated by the social question. In the vast social domain, all the revolutionary elements of science, religion and politics meet together and seem prepared for a decisive battle. Whether this battle remains a simple contest of minds or whether it takes the form of a cataclysm which will bury thousands of unfortunates in the ruins of a disappearing period, one thing is certain:—the new epoch will only succeed by abolishing egoism, and placing the work of improvement of the human race in the hands of a human cooperative society, in place of our feverish work which has only personal interest at heart.

"The contests which are impending will be mitigated if the minds which are to direct the people are imbued with the knowledge of human evolution and historical phenomena.

"We must not abandon the hope that in the remote future great changes may take place without defiling humanity with fire and bloodshed. It would certainly be the finest reward for strenuous work of the human mind, if it could from this time prepare an easy way to that which a certain future reserves for us, avoiding atrocious sacrifices and saving the treasures of our civilization to be transmitted to the new epoch.

"Unfortunately, this prospect has little chance of realization, and we cannot disguise the fact that blind party passion goes on increasing, and that the brutal struggle of interests becomes more and more removed from the influence of theoretical research. However, our efforts will not all be in vain, and truth will prevail in the end. In any case the observer who thinks has no right to be silent, simply because at the present moment he has only a small number of listeners."

Thirty years ago Lange's pessimism would be comprehensible; but ideas have progressed since then, and the prospects of to-day give us more courage for social work.

The Utopian ideas which I have expressed have in no way the pretension to be new. Analyzing the facts in the most diverse domains, I have simply attempted to find those which seem to me suited to solve the sexual problem of the human race most advantageously under the present social conditions. Every one to-day admits that our sexual life leaves much to be desired, but is afraid of touching the crumbling edifice.

I leave it to my readers to decide whether my ideas are nothing more than Utopian, or whether they do not rather represent a realizable ideal, begging them to reflect as calmly and independently as possible before giving their judgment.

After all, we have to choose between pessimistic acceptance of the fatal decay of our race for the benefit of the Mongols, and an immediate and energetic effort toward selective and educational improvement, an effort which will alone be capable of reviving our hereditary vital energy. Whoever decides in favor of the latter alternative should occupy himself with the sexual question, and boldly declare war against the domination of private capital, the abuse of alcohol, and all the prejudices by which we are hampered. He should abandon the luxury and effeminate comfort of our time and return to the principles of Lycurgus and the Japanese—to the education of character and self-control by methodical training in continuous social work combined with voluntary fatigue and privation.


I shall no doubt be reproached for not having taken sufficient notice of other works on the subject of this book. I have, however, desired to express my own opinion without allowing myself to be unduly influenced by others. I will nevertheless make a few remarks on the bibliography of this subject.

I may mention the celebrated work of the Italian physician, Mantigazza, on the Physiology of Love. It is a curious fact that this author, after his poetic descriptions of love, is in favor of prostitution. The German socialist, Bebel, has written a very remarkable book on woman in the past, the present and the future. In spite of scientific errors, which are easily excused in a self-made man who became one of the leaders of the German Reichstag, this book remains a veritable social monument on the sexual question. With the exception of his strong political bias, and the errors I have just mentioned I am, on the whole, in accord with the ideas of Bebel.

Another German author, Boelsche, (Das Liebesleben in der Natur) has recently described love among all organized beings, including man, with a tone of forced pleasantry which spoils the profound knowledge of the author on the zoological and other subjects which he treats.

With regard to German literature, I recommend the Archiv fuer Rassen und Gesellschafts' Biologie, edited by Doctor Plotz of Berlin. This publication has for its object the study of the causes of degeneration in our race and the remedies for it. Among other articles which have appeared in this publication I may specially mention those of Shallmayer on Heredity and Selection in the Life of Races, and Thurnwald, Town and Country in the Life of the Race. I may also mention Plotz: Die Tuechtigkeit unserer Rasse und der Schutz der Schwachen, 1895, and Mutterschutz, a journal for the reform of sexual ethics, 1905.

France has always shone in the domain of the poetry of love and the art connected with it. Apart from the ancient classics I may refer to George Sand, Alfred de Musset, Lamartine, and Madame de Stael. In the practical conception of free love, George Sand was in advance of her time. Among modern authors there are Paul Bourget; Andre Couvreur, who in La Graine deals with the problem of human selection; Brieux, who in Les Avaries, attacks the social tragedies of venereal disease. The book of Vacher de Lapouge on social selection is full of interesting ideas, although too much influenced by the unstable hypothesis of Gobineau. To make distinct zoological species of dolichocephalics and brachycephalics, as Vacher de Lapouge attempts, is a grave error in zoology. Charles Albert: L'Amour Libre, and Queyrat: La Demoralization de l'idee sexuelle, give the note of contemporary change in ideas on the sexual question.

In Le Mariage et les Theories Malthusiennes (Paris, 1906) Dr. Georges Guibert recommends early marriage, but does not take account of human selection. Remy de Gourmont, Physique de l'amour; Essai sur l'instinct sexuel, Paris, 1903, describes, very pessimistically, love in the animal kingdom. Jeanne Deflou (Le Sexualisme, Paris, 1905) has written a virulent feminine complaint against the injustice of the stronger sex.

But the French author who has given the most profound, the truest descriptions of the psychology of love and the sexual appetite is undoubtedly Guy de Maupassant. No doubt his last illness caused him to produce certain more or less regrettable works in which certain pornographic traits appeared. He may, perhaps, be accused of having too often described the pathology of love, which, by the way, he admirably understood. Perhaps also, he has too often dealt with exceptional situations and irresponsible passions. But these are only details, and we must admit that by drawing attention to the unhealthy features of our modern sexual life, he compels the reader to reflect, and inspires him not only with disgust for evil but with profound sadness and a feeling of revulsion. He often reveals his predilection for the refined, hypersensitive love of the boudoir which we have regarded here as a symptom of social degeneration. But this does not prevent his clear insight into the love of the proletariat, the peasant or the healthy man. He knows man as well as woman, and if he has presented them most often under their least moral aspect it is because he has observed them closely. But occasionally he rises to the greatest heights of the truest, purest and most profound love.



Abolitionism, 316

Abortion, artificial, 408, 440

Abstinence, sexual, 114

Accouchement, 60

Adornment, 156

Adultery, 373, 412

Alcohol, effect on embryo, 37, 268, 462 effect on sexual appetite, 88, 100, 266, 332, 503

Altruism and Egoism, 448

Amorous Intoxication, 277, 288

Americanism, 331

Anaesthesia, sexual, 222

Anthropoid apes, 145, 195

Anticonceptional measures, 423, 497

Antipathy, 108

Antony and Cleopatra, 289

Ants, 194, 359

Art, moral effect of, 496 in sexual life, 489 of loving long, 520 and pornography, 491

Aspermia, 209

Assaults on minors, 403

Atavism, 29

Attraction, methods of, 156

Audacity, masculine, 115

Bachelors, old, 127

Bartholin's glands, 57

Beauty, 162

Becket, 352

Bees, 194

Bernheim, 277

Bestiality, 255

Bezzola, 268

Birth, 23

Blastophthoria, 36, 268

Braggardism, sexual, 120

Brain, weight of, 66, 190

Brieux, 407, 438

Brothels, 303 clandestine, 307 high class, 310

Budding, 9

Bullies, 303

Butterflies, 74

Caelius Aurelianus, 399

Caligula, 353

Castration, 25

Catherine de Medici, 353

Catholicism, Roman, 341

Cell division, 6

Celibacy, 153

Children and marriage, 377 civil rights of, 378 education of, 471 protection of, 487

Chiniqui, 342

Chauvin, de, 36

Civil law, 368

Civil marriage, 370

Climate and sexual life, 327

Clitoris, 55

Coeducation, 481

Coitus, 56

Commandments, 454

Conception, regulation of, 423

Concubinage, 322, 406

Confession, Roman Catholic, 342

Conjugation, 11

Consanguinity, 47

Constellations, 110

Continence, 81, 220, 422

Coquetry, 139

Corpus cavernosum, 53 luteum, 19

Correggio, 355

Correlative sexual characters, 25, 64

Council of Trent, 172

Cunnilingus, 230, 275

Darwin, 32, 34, 39, 480

Debreyne, 345

Decidua, 19

Demosthenes, 187

Divorce, 373

Domestic animals and plants, 514

Dubois, 46

Duty, 106

Ecphoria, 15

Ecstasy, 143 ecstasy and religion, 356

Education, 470, 516

Egoism, 361 dual, 113

Egoistic love, 125

Embryo, formation of, 9 rights of, 411

Embryology, 19

Endogamy, 164

Engram, 15

Environment and sexual life, 326

Epididymis, 52

Epispadias, 210

Erection, 53

Eroticism, 121, 485 and religion, 354

Erotomania, 258

Ethnology of sexual life, 144

Eunuchs, 25, 347

Evolution, 39 sexual, 192

Exhibitionism, 241, 405

Exogamy, 164

Expiation, 364

Factory life, 326

Fakirs, 239

Fertilization of eggs, 12

Fetichism, 142, 240

Fischer, 36

Flirtation, 99

Free love, 384

Free will, 365

Genital organs, female, 55 organs, male, 52

Germinal cells, 10

Goethe, 73, 131

Gonorrhea, 212

Grisettes, 98, 322

Guardianship, 384

Guillaume, 399

Haeckel, 10, 34, 40

"Hand-fasting," 150

Heredity, 14, 28 of acquired characters, 34

Hering, 14, 35

Hermaphrodites, 10

Hertwig, 11

Hetaira, 187, 323

Hirschfeld, 242

History, mental anomalies in, 350

Homophony, 16

Homosexual love, 241, 251

Hottentots, 347

Human selection, 412, 509

Hybridity, 47, 163

Hymen, 55

Hyperaesthesia, sexual, 225

Hypnotism, 277

Hypochondriasis, 232, 261

Hypocrisy, sexual, 123

Hypospadias, 210

Ideal Marriage, 517

Idealism, 132

Idiots, 410 moral, 261

Imaginary love, 263

Impotence, 85, 219

Incest, 402

Insane, sexual anomalies in, 256

Internats, 338

Inversion, sexual, 241, 251

Inverts, marriage of, 378

Irradiations of love, 115, 128

"Jack the Ripper," 234

Jealousy, 104, 117, 139, 260

Joan of Arc, 351

Joerger, 331

Jus primae noctis, 151

Keller, 356

Kinship, 107

Krafft-Ebing, 142, 208, 234, 404

Lamarck, 39

Landerziehungsheime, 477

Lesbian love, 275

Liguori, 341

Lorettes, 322

Love, 111

Love and sexual appetite, 104 maternal, 135 and religion, 143

Lubbock, 181

Lycurgus, laws of, 466

Marchal, 18

Mariage de convenance, 91

Marriage by purchase, 170 by rape, 170 consanguineous, 164, 387 duration of, 182 for money, 295 forms of, 173 hygiene of, 427 ideal, 517

Masochism, 237

Masturbation, 80, 220, 228

Maternal love, 135

Maternity, 62

Matriarchism, 378, 522

Maupassant, Guy de, 133, 140, 301, 308

Medical advice, 421, 434 secrecy, 435

Medicine and sexual life, 418

Medico-legal case, 413

Mendel, 30

Menstruation, 56

Mental Capacity, 67

Mercier, 67

Merrifield, 36

Messalina, 353

Meynert, 67

Mill, Stuart, 69

Mistresses, 323

Mitosis, 7

Mneme, 14

Modesty, 126, 141

Moebius, 65

Money, cult of, 502

"Monkey's love," 136

Monogamy, 173

Morality, 445

Mormons, 174

Moses, 454

Murillo, 355

Mysogynists' ball, 249

Napoleon, 352

Narcotics and sexual life, 503

Natural selection, 42

Neo-malthusianism, 463

Nero, 353

Nocturnal emissions, 79

Nudity, 157

Nymphomania, 97, 268

Old maids, 129

Onanism, 228

Ontogeny, 40 of sexual life, 200

Orgasm, veneral, 57

Ovulation, 19

Palaeontology, 39

Pangenesis, 34

Paradoxy, sexual, 221

Parthenogenesis, 9

Passiveness in woman, 130

Paternity, inquiry into, 383

Pathology of sexual organs, 209

Patriarchism, 159

Patriotism, 108

Paul, St, 352

Pedagogy and the sexual question, 470

Pederasty, 244

Pederosis, 254

Penal law in sexual matters, 396

Penis, 53

Phallus, 150

Phylogeny, 40 of love, 108 sexual life, 193

Pimps, 88

Pithecanthropus, 46

Placenta, 21

Police and prostitution, 308

Polities and sexual question, 461, 467, 506

Polyandry, 173

Polygamy, 173

Pornography, 85, 121, 140, 406, 506

Pregnancy, 23, 58, 433

Prejudice and tradition, 505

Preventive membranes, 425

Procreative instinct, 92, 116

Promiscuity, 148, 173

Prostate, 53

Prostitutes, fate of, 314 number of, 308 psychology of, 97, 308 training of, 306 varieties of, 312

Prostitution, 88, 97, 185, 298, 308, 377 regulation of, 316 and sexual perversion, 314

Protectors, 303

Protoplasm, 6

Proxenetism, 88, 298, 406

Prudery, 126, 141

Psychic impotence, 85, 219

Psychic irradiations of love, 115, 128

Psychopathology, sexual, 216

Puberty, 77

Race and sexual life, 189

Rape, 402

Rational selection, 464

Religion and love, 143

Religion and sexual life, 340

Religious eroticism, 347 prudery, 346

Reproduction in vertebrates, 51

Restriction in sexual life, 387

Retaliation, 364

Rights in sexual life, 358

Right to satisfaction of the sexual appetite, 373

Rousseau, 237, 352

Sade, Marquis de, 235

Sadism, 234, 404, 486

Satyriasis, 258

Schiller, 59

Schopenhauer, 65

Schwann, 6

Seguin, 327

Selection, contrary, 465 human, 412, 509 natural, 42 rational, 464

Semen, 53

Semon, 14, 32

Seminal vesicles, 52

Senile paradoxy, 265

Sexual appetite in man, 72 appetite in woman, 92, 130 disorders, 440 excitation, 86 hygiene, 420 morality, 445, 450 pathology, 208 perversion, 234, 273, 404, 482 power, 81, 203 selection, 161

Sexes, production of, 176

Shakespere, 267

Shame, sense of, 157

Social position, 334

Sodomy, 255

Soft chancre, 215

Solomon, 353

Spermatorrhea, 210

Spermatozoa, 11

Spinoza, 366

Standard of human value, 478, 513

Struggle for existence, 42

Succession, right of, 394

Suckling, 62

Suggestion in art, 291 in love, 284 in sexual life, 277 in sexual anomalies, 272, 291

Sympathy, 284

Syphilis, 213

Testicles, 52

Themis, 353

Tiberius, 365

Tolstoi, 352

Types to eliminate and perpetuate, 512

Urnings, 242

Uterus, 21

Utopia, 499

Vagabondage, 331

Vagina, 55

Van Beneden, 11

Venereal diseases, 211, 376, 507

Virgins, cult of, 154

Vitellus, 11

Vries, de, 17, 32, 43

War, 461

Weismann, 10, 17, 32, 34

Westermark, 145, 181, 196

Wealth and poverty, 333

White slavery, 305

Woman, emancipation of, 504

Womb, 21

Yolk, 11

Zeller, 355

Zola, 323, 407

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- Typographical errors corrected in text: Page 22: Kulliker replaced with Koelliker Page 52: Vericles replaced with Vesicles Page 256: exidence replaced with evidence Page 273: 'sexual perversion proflably exist' replaced with 'sexual perversion probably exist' Page 353: Medici replaced with Medici Page 404: psycopaths replaced with psyhcopaths Page 426: heriditary replaced with hereditary Page 442: Schrenk-Notzing replaced with Schrenck-Notzing Page 459: perseverence replaced with perseverance Page 490: Shakspere replaced with Shakespere Page 514: necesssary replaced with necessary Page 528: recommned replaced with recommend Page 529: Les Avaries replaced with Les Avaries Page 535: veneral replaced with venereal -

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