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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

have passed divorce laws which, while more or less framed on the 

English model, represent a distinct advance. Thus in New Zealand 

the grounds for divorce are adultery on either side, wilful 

desertion, habitual drunkenness, and conviction to imprisonment 

for a term of years. 

 

It is natural that an Englishman should feel acutely sensitive to this 

blot in the law of England and desire the speedy disappearance of a system 

so open to scathing sarcasm. It is natural that every humane person should 

grow impatient of the spectacle of so many blighted lives, of so much 

misery inflicted on innocent persons--and on persons who even when 

technically guilty are often the victims of unnatural circumstances--by 

the persistence of a mediaeval system of ecclesiastical tyranny and 

inquisitorial insolence into an age when sexual relationships are becoming 

regarded as the sacred secret of the persons intimately concerned, and 

when more and more we rely on the responsibility of the individual in 

making and maintaining such relationships. 

 

When, however, we refrain from concentrating our attention on particular 

countries and embrace the general movement of civilization in the matter 

of divorce during recent times, there cannot be the slightest doubt as to 

the direction of that movement. England was a pioneer in the movement half 

a century ago, and to-day every civilized country is moving in the same 

direction. France broke with the old ecclesiastical tradition of the 

indissolubility of matrimony in 1885 by a divorce law in some respects 

very reasonable. The wife may obtain a divorce on an equality with the 

husband (though she is liable to imprisonment for adultery), the 

co-respondent occupies a very subordinate position in adultery charges, 

and facility is offered for divorce on the ground of simple _injures 

graves_ (excluding as far as possible mere incompatibility of temper), 

while the judge has the power, which he often successfully exerts, to 

effect a reconciliation in private or to grant a decree without public 

trial. The influence of France has doubtless been influential in moulding 

the divorce laws of the other Latin countries. 

 

In Prussia an enlightened divorce law formerly prevailed by which it was 

possible for a couple to separate without scandal when it was clearly 

shown that they could not live together in agreement. But the German Code 

of 1900 introduced provisions as regards divorce which--while in some 

respects more liberal than those of the English law, especially by 

permitting divorce for desertion and insanity--are, on the whole, 

retrograde as compared with the earlier Prussian law and place the matter 

on a cruder and more brutal basis. For two years after the Code came into 

operations the number of divorces sank; after that the public and the 

courts adapted themselves to the new provisions (more especially one which 

allowed divorce for serious neglect of conjugal duties) and the number of 

divorces began to increase with great rapidity. "But," remarks Hirschfeld, 

"how painful it has now become to read divorce cases! One side abuses the 

other, makes accusations of the grossest character, employs detectives to 

obtain the necessary proofs of 'dishonorable and immoral conduct,' 

whereas, before, both parties realized that they had been deceived in each 

other, that they failed to suit each other, and that they could no longer 

live together. Thus we see that the narrowing of individual responsibility 

in sexual matters has not only had no practical effect, but leads to 

injurious results of a serious kind."[343] In England a similar state of 


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