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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

the age at which the population enters into sexual unions, it is 

undoubtedly too late. Beyer, a leading German neurologist, finds 

that there are evils alike in early and in late marriage, and 

comes to the conclusion that in temperate zones the best age for 

women to marry is the twenty-first year, and for men the 

twenty-fifth year. 

 

Yet, under bad economic conditions and with a rigid marriage law, 

early marriages are in every respect disastrous. They are among 

the poor a sign of destitution. The very poorest marry first, and 

they do so through the feeling that their condition cannot be 

worse. (Dr. Michael Ryan brought together much interesting 

evidence concerning the causes of early marriage in Ireland in 

his _Philosophy of Marriage_, 1837, pp. 58-72). Among the poor, 

therefore, early marriage is always a misfortune. "Many good 

people," says Mr. Thomas Holmes, Secretary of the Howard 

Association and missionary at police courts (in an interview, 

_Daily Chronicle_, Sept. 8, 1906), "advise boys and girls to get 

married in order to prevent what they call a 'disgrace.' This I 

consider to be absolutely wicked, and it leads to far greater 

evils than it can possibly avert." 

 

Early marriages are one of the commonest causes both of 

prostitution and divorce. They lead to prostitution in 

innumerable cases, even when no outward separation takes place. 

The fact that they lead to divorce is shown by the significant 

circumstance that in England, although only 146 per 1,000 women 

are under twenty-one at marriage, of the wives concerned in 

divorce cases, 280 per 1,000 were under twenty-one at marriage, 

and this discrepancy is even greater than it appears, for in the 

well-to-do class, which can alone afford the luxury of divorce, 

the normal age at marriage is much higher than for the population 

generally. Inexperience, as was long ago pointed out by Milton 

(who had learnt this lesson to his cost), leads to shipwreck in 

marriage. "They who have lived most loosely," he wrote, "prove 

most successful in their matches, because their wild affections, 

unsettling at will, have been so many divorces to teach them 

experience." 

 

Miss Clapperton, referring to the educated classes, advocates 

very early marriage, even during student life, which might then 

be to some extent carried on side by side (_Scientific 

Meliorism_, Ch. XVII). Ellen Key, also, advocates early marriage. 

But she wisely adds that it involves the necessity for easy 

divorce. That, indeed, is the only condition which can render 

early marriage generally desirable. Young people--unless they 

possess very simple and inert natures--can neither foretell the 

course of their own development and their own strongest needs, 

nor estimate accurately the nature and quality of another 

personality. A marriage formed at an early age very speedily 

ceases to be a marriage in anything but name. Sometimes a young 

girl applies for a separation from her husband even on the very 

day after marriage. 

 

The more or less permanent free unions formed among us in Europe are 

usually to be regarded merely as trial-marriages. That is to say they are 

a precaution rendered desirable both by uncertainty as to either the 

harmony or the fruitfulness of union until actual experiment has been 

made, and by the practical impossibility of otherwise rectifying any 

mistake in consequence of the antiquated rigidity of most European divorce 

laws. Such trial marriages are therefore demanded by prudence and caution, 


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