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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

expected to take in insuring it, on the ground of woman's special 

child-bearing functions, is from the present point of view subsidiary. 

There can be no doubt, however, as to the reality of the movement in that 

direction, whatever doubt there may be as to the final adjustment of the 

details. It is only necessary in this place to touch on some of the 

general and more obvious respects in which the growth of woman's 

responsibility is affecting sexual morality. 

 

The first and most obvious way in which the sense of moral responsibility 

works is in an insistence on reality in the relationships of sex. Moral 

irresponsibility has too often combined with economic dependence to induce 

a woman to treat the sexual event in her life which is biologically of 

most fateful gravity as a merely gay and trivial event, at the most an 

event which has given her a triumph over her rivals and over the superior 

male, who, on his part, willingly condescends, for the moment, to assume 

the part of the vanquished. "Gallantry to the ladies," we are told of the 

hero of the greatest and most typical of English novels, "was among his 

principles of honor, and he held it as much incumbent on him to accept a 

challenge to love as if it had been a challenge to fight;" he heroically 

goes home for the night with a lady of title he meets at a masquerade, 

though at the time very much in love with the girl whom he eventually 

marries.[303] The woman whose power lies only in her charms, and who is 

free to allow the burden of responsibility to fall on a man's 

shoulder,[304] could lightly play the seducing part, and thereby exert 

independence and authority in the only shapes open to her. The man on his 

part, introducing the misplaced idea of "honor" into the field from which 

the natural idea of responsibility has been banished, is prepared to 

descend at the lady's bidding into the arena, according to the old legend, 

and rescue the glove, even though he afterwards flings it contemptuously 

in her face. The ancient conception of gallantry, which Tom Jones so well 

embodies, is the direct outcome of a system involving the moral 

irresponsibility and economic dependence of women, and is as opposed to 

the conceptions, prevailing in the earlier and later civilized stages, of 

approximate sexual equality as it is to the biological traditions of 

natural courtship in the world generally. 

 

In controlling her own sexual life, and in realizing that her 

responsibility for such control can no longer be shifted on to the 

shoulders of the other sex, women will also indirectly affect the sexual 

lives of men, much as men already affect the sexual lives of women. In 

what ways that influence will in the main be exerted it is still premature 

to say. According to some, just as formerly men bought their wives and 

demanded prenuptial virginity in the article thus purchased, so nowadays, 

among the better classes, women are able to buy their husbands, and in 

their turn are disposed to demand continence.[305] That, however, is too 

simple-minded a way of viewing the question. It is enough to refer to the 

fact that women are not attracted to virginal innocence in men and that 

they frequently have good ground for viewing such innocence with 

suspicion.[306] Yet it may well be believed that women will more and more 

prefer to exert a certain discrimination in the approval of their 

husbands' past lives. However instinctively a woman may desire that her 

husband shall be initiated in the art of making love to her, she may often 

well doubt whether the finest initiation is to be secured from the average 

prostitute. Prostitution, as we have seen, is ultimately as incompatible 


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