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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

claim divorce, they are told that it is out of the question, for in such a 

case there must be a "defendant." They are to be punished for their 

virtue. If each commits adultery and they again come forward to claim 

divorce, they are told that it is still out of the question, for there 

must be a "plaintiff." Before they were punished for their virtue; now 

they are to be punished in exactly the same way for their lack of it. The 

couple must humor the law by adopting a course of action which may be 

utterly repugnant to both. If only the wife alone will commit adultery, if 

only the husband will commit adultery and also inflict some act of cruelty 

upon his wife, if the innocent party will descend to the degradation of 

employing detectives and hunting up witnesses, the law is at their feet 

and hastens to accord to both parties the permission to remarry. Provided, 

of course, that the parties have arranged this without "collusion." That 

is to say that our law, with its ecclesiastical traditions behind it, 

says to the wife: Be a sinner, or to the husband: Be a sinner and a 

criminal--then we will do all you wish. The law puts a premium on sin and 

on crime. In order to pile absurdity on absurdity it claims that this is 

done in the cause of "public morality." To those who accept this point of 

view it seems that the sweeping away of divorce laws would undermine the 

bases of morality. Yet there can be little doubt that the sooner such 

"morality" is undermined, and indeed utterly destroyed, the better it will 

be for true morality. 

 

There is an influential movement in England for the reform of 

divorce, on the grounds that the present law is unjust, 

illogical, and immoral, represented by the Divorce Law Reform 

Union. Even the former president of the Divorce Court, Lord 

Gorell, declared from the bench in 1906 that the English law 

produces deplorable results, and is "full of inconsistencies, 

anomalies and inequalities, amounting almost to absurdities." The 

points in the law which have aroused most protest, as being most 

behind the law of other nations, are the great expense of 

divorce, the inequality of the sexes, the failure to grant 

divorces for desertion and in cases of hopeless insanity, and the 

failure of separation orders to enable the separated parties to 

marry again. Separation orders are granted by magistrates for 

cruelty, adultery, and desertion. This "separation" is really the 

direct descendant of the Canon law divorce _a mensa et thoro_, 

and the inability to marry which it involves is merely a survival 

of the Canon law tradition. At the present time 

magistrates--exercising their discretion, it is admitted, in a 

careful and prudent manner--issue some 7,000 separation orders 

annually, so that every year the population is increased by 

14,000 individuals mostly in the age of sexual vigor, and some 

little more than children, who are forbidden by law to form legal 

marriages. They contribute powerfully to the great forward 

movement which, as was shown in the previous chapter, marks the 

morality of our age. But it is highly undesirable that free 

marriages should be formed, helplessly, by couples who have no 

choice in the matter, for it is unlikely that under such 

circumstances any high level of personal responsibility can be 

reached. The matter could be easily remedied by dropping 

altogether a Canon law tradition which no longer has any vitality 

or meaning, and giving to the magistrate's separation order the 

force of a decree of divorce. 

 

New Zealand and the Australian colonies, led by Victoria in 1889, 


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