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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

 

As the Canon law grew rigid and the Catholic Church lost its 

vital adaptibility, sexual variations ceased to be recognized 

within its sphere. We have to wait for the Reformation for any 

further movement. Many of the early Protestant Reformers, 

especially in Germany, were prepared to admit a considerable 

degree of vital flexibility in sexual relationships. Thus Luther 

advised married women with impotent husbands, in cases where 

there was no wish or opportunity for divorce, to have sexual 

relations with another man, by preference the husband's brother; 

the children were to be reckoned to the husband ("Die Sexuelle 

Frage bei Luther," _Mutterschutz_, Sept., 1908). 

 

In England the Puritan spirit, which so largely occupied itself 

with the reform of marriage, could not fail to be concerned with 

the question of sexual variations, and from time to time we find 

the proposal to legalize polygyny. Thus, in 1658, "A Person of 

Quality" published in London a small pamphlet dedicated to the 

Lord Protector, entitled _A Remedy for Uncleanness_. It was in 

the form of a number of queries, asking why we should not admit 

polygamy for the avoidance of adultery and infanticide. The 

writer inquires whether it may not "stand with a gracious spirit, 

and be every way consistent with the principles of a man fearing 

God and loving holiness, to have more women than one to his 

proper use.... He that takes another man's ox or ass is doubtless 

a transgressor; but he that puts himself out of the occasion of 

that temptation by keeping of his own seems to be a right honest 

and well-meaning man." 

 

More than a century later (1780), an able, learned, and 

distinguished London clergyman of high character (who had been a 

lawyer before entering the Church), the Rev. Martin Madan, also 

advocated polygamy in a book called _Thelyphthora; or, a Treatise 

on Female Ruin_. Madan had been brought into close contact with 

prostitution through a chaplaincy at the Lock Hospital, and, like 

the Puritan advocate of polygamy, he came to the conclusion that 

only by the reform of marriage is it possible to work against 

prostitution and the evils of sexual intercourse outside 

marriage. His remarkable book aroused much controversy and strong 

feeling against the author, so that he found it desirable to 

leave London and settle in the country. Projects of marriage 

reform have never since come from the Church, but from 

philosophers and moralists, though not rarely from writers of 

definitely religious character. Senancour, who was so delicate 

and sensitive a moralist in the sexual sphere, introduced a 

temperate discussion of polygamy into his _De l'Amour_ (vol. ii, 

pp. 117-126). It seemed to him to be neither positively contrary 

nor positively conformed to the general tendency of our present 

conventions, and he concluded that "the method of conciliation, 

in part, would be no longer to require that the union of a man 

and a woman should only cease with the death of one of them." 

Cope, the biologist, expressed a somewhat more decided opinion. 

Under some circumstances, if all three parties agreed, he saw no 

objection to polygyny or polyandry. "There are some cases of 

hardship," he said, "which such permission would remedy. Such, 

for instance, would be the case where the man or woman had become 

the victim of a chronic disease; or, when either party should be 

childless, and in other contingencies that could be imagined." 

There would be no compulsion in any direction, and full 


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