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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

 

 

We have seen that the modern tendency as regards marriage is towards its 

recognition as a voluntary union entered into by two free, equal, and 

morally responsible persons, and that that union is rather of the nature 

of an ethical sacrament than of a contract, so that in its essence as a 

physical and spiritual bond it is outside the sphere of the State's 

action. It has been necessary to labor that point before we approach what 

may seem to many not only a different but even a totally opposed aspect of 

marriage. If the marriage union itself cannot be a matter for contract, it 

naturally leads to a fact which must necessarily be a matter for implicit 

or explicit contract, a matter, moreover, in which the community at large 

has a real and proper interest: that is the fact of procreation.[366] 

 

The ancient Egyptians--among whom matrimonial institutions were so elastic 

and the position of woman so high--recognized a provisional and slight 

marriage bond for the purpose of testing fecundity.[367] Among ourselves 

the law makes no such paternal provision, leaving to young couples 

themselves the responsibility of making any tests, a permission, we know, 

they largely avail themselves of, usually entering the legal bonds of 

marriage, however, before the birth of their child. That legal bond is a 

recognition that the introduction of a new individual into the community 

is not, like sexual union, a mere personal fact, but a social fact, a fact 

in which the State cannot fail to be concerned. And the more we 

investigate the tendency of the modern marriage movement the more we shall 

realize that its attitude of freedom, of individual moral responsibility, 

in the formation of sexual relationships, is compensated by an attitude of 

stringency, of strict social oversight, in the matter of procreation. Two 

people who form an erotic relationship are bound, when they reach the 

conviction that their relationship is a real marriage, having its natural 

end in procreation, to subscribe to a contract which, though it may leave 

themselves personally free, must yet bind them both to their duties 

towards their children.[368] 

 

The necessity for such an undertaking is double, even apart from the fact 

that it is in the highest interests of the parents themselves. It is 

required in the interests of the child. It is required in the interests of 

the State. A child can be bred, and well-bred, by one effective parent. 

But to equip a child adequately for its entrance into life both parents 

are usually needed. The State on its side--that is to say, the community 

of which parents and child alike form part--is bound to know who these 

persons are who have become sponsors for a new individual now introduced 

into its midst. The most Individualistic State, the most Socialistic 

State, are alike bound, if faithful to the interests, both biological and 

economic, of their constituent members generally, to insist on the full 

legal and recognized parentage of the father and mother of every child. 

That is clearly demanded in the interests of the child; it is clearly 

demanded also in the interests of the State. 

 

The barrier which in Christendom has opposed itself to the natural 

recognition of this fact, so injuring alike the child and the State, has 

clearly been the rigidity of the marriage system, more especially as 

moulded by the Canon law. The Canonists attributed a truly immense 

importance to the _copula carnalis_, as they technically termed it. They 

centred marriage strictly in the vagina; they were not greatly concerned 

about either the presence or the absence of the child. The vagina, as we 

know, has not always proved a very firm centre for the support of 


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