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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

hopeless to attempt to legalize all sexual connection, but it is 

comparatively easy to legalize all children. 

 

There has been much discussion in the past concerning the particular form 

which marriage ought to take. Many theorists have exercised their 

ingenuity in inventing and preaching new and unusual marriage-arrangements 

as panaceas for social ills; while others have exerted even greater energy 

in denouncing all such proposals as subversive of the foundations of human 

society. We may regard all such discussions, on the one side or the other, 

as idle. 

 

In the first place marriage customs are far too fundamental, far too 

intimately blended with the primary substance of human and indeed animal 

society, to be in the slightest degree shaken by the theories or the 

practices of mere individuals, or even groups of individuals. 

Monogamy--the more or less prolonged cohabitation of two individuals of 

opposite sex--has been the prevailing type of sexual relationship among 

the higher vertebrates and through the greater part of human history. This 

is admitted even by those who believe (without any sound evidence) that 

man has passed through a stage of sexual promiscuity. There have been 

tendencies to variation in one direction or another, but at the lowest 

stages and the highest stages, so far as can be seen, monogamy represents 

the prevailing rule. 

 

It must be said also, in the second place, that the natural prevalence of 

monogamy as the normal type of sexual relationship by no means excludes 

variations. Indeed it assumes them. "There is nothing precise in Nature," 

according to Diderot's saying. The line of Nature is a curve that 

oscillates from side to side of the norm. Such oscillations inevitably 

occur in harmony with changes in environmental conditions, and, no doubt, 

with peculiarities of personal disposition. So long as no arbitrary and 

merely external attempt is made to force Nature, the vital order is 

harmoniously maintained. Among certain species of ducks when males are in 

excess polyandric families are constituted, the two males attending their 

female partner without jealousy, but when the sexes again become equal in 

number the monogamic order is restored. The natural human deviations from 

the monogamic order seem to be generally of this character, and largely 

conditioned by the social and economic environment. The most common 

variation, and that which most clearly possesses a biological foundation, 

is the tendency to polygyny, which is found at all stages of culture, 

even, in an unrecognized and more or less promiscuous shape, in the 

highest civilization.[371] It must be remembered, however, that recognized 

polygyny is not the rule even where it prevails; it is merely permissive; 

there is never a sufficient excess of women to allow more than a few of 

the richer and more influential persons to have more than one wife.[372] 

 

 

It has further to be borne in mind that a certain elasticity of the formal 

side of marriage while, on the one side, it permits variations from the 

general monogamic order, where such are healthful or needed to restore a 

balance in natural conditions, on the other hand restrains such variations 

in so far as they are due to the disturbing influence of artificial 

constraint. Much of the polygyny, and polyandry also, which prevails among 

us to-day is an altogether artificial and unnatural form of polygamy. 

Marriages which on a more natural basis would be dissolved cannot legally 

be dissolved, and consequently the parties to them, instead of changing 

their partners and so preserving the natural monogamic order, take on 


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