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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

There cannot be the slightest doubt that the difficulty, the confusion, 

the inconsistency, and the flagrant indecency which surround divorce and 

the methods of securing it are due solely and entirely to the subtle 

persistence of traditions based, on the one hand, on the Canon law 

doctrines of the indissolubility of marriage and the sin of sexual 

intercourse outside marriage, and, on the other hand, on the primitive 

idea of marriage as a contract which economically subordinates the wife to 

the husband and renders her person, or at all events her guardianship, his 

property. It is only when we realize how deeply these traditions have 

become embedded in the religious, legal, social and sentimental life of 

Europe that we can understand how it is that barbaric notions of marriage 

and divorce can to-day subsist in a stage of civilization which has, in 

many respects, advanced beyond such notions. 

 

The Canon law conception of the abstract religious sanctity of matrimony, 

when transferred to the moral sphere, makes a breach of the marriage 

relationship seem a public wrong; the conception of the contractive 

subordination of the wife makes such a breach on her part, and even, by 

transference of ideas, on his part, seem a private wrong. These two ideas 

of wrong incoherently flourish side by side in the vulgar mind, even 

to-day. 

 

 

The economic subordination of the wife as a species of property 

significantly comes into view when we find that a husband can claim, and 

often secure, large sums of money from the man who sexually approaches his 

property, by such trespass damaging it in its master's eyes.[339] To a 

psychologist it would be obvious that a husband who has lacked the skill 

so to gain and to hold his wife's love and respect that it is not 

perfectly easy and natural to her to reject the advances of any other man 

owes at least as much damages to her as she or her partner owes to him; 

while if the failure is really on her side, if she is so incapable of 

responding to love and trust and so easy a prey to an outsider, then 

surely the husband, far from wishing for any money compensation, should 

consider himself more than fully compensated by being delivered from the 

necessity of supporting such a woman. In the absence of any false 

traditions that would be obvious. It might not, indeed, be unreasonable 

that a husband should pay heavily in order to free himself from a wife 

whom, evidently, he has made a serious mistake in choosing. But to ordain 

that a man should actually be indemnified because he has shown himself 

incapable of winning a woman's love is an idea that could not occur in a 

civilized society that was not twisted by inherited prejudice.[340] Yet as 

matters are to-day there are civilized countries in which it is legally 

possible for a husband to enter a prayer for damages against his wife's 

paramour in combination with either a petition for judicial separation or 

for dissolution of wedlock. In this way adultery is not a crime but a 

private injury.[341] 

 

At the same time, however, the influence of Canon law comes inconsistently 

to the surface and asserts that a breach of matrimony is a public wrong, a 

sin transformed by the State into something almost or quite like a crime. 

This is clearly indicated by the fact that in some countries the adulterer 

is liable to imprisonment, a liability scarcely nowadays carried into 

practice. But exactly the same idea is beautifully illustrated by the 

doctrine of "collusion," which, in theory, is still strictly observed in 

many countries. According to the doctrine of "collusion" the conditions 

necessary to make the divorce possible must on no account be secured by 


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