Main  Contacts  
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

Extragenitalen Syphilis-infektion_, 1904. 

 

Even, however, when we have put aside the vast number of venereally 

infected people who may be said to be, in the narrowest and most 

conventionally moral sense, "innocent" victims of the diseases they have 

contracted, there is still much to be said on this question. It must be 

remembered that the majority of those who contract venereal diseases by 

illegitimate sexual intercourse are young. They are youths, ignorant of 

life, scarcely yet escaped from home, still undeveloped, incompletely 

educated, and easily duped by women; in many cases they have met, as they 

thought, a "nice" girl, not indeed strictly virtuous but, it seemed to 

them, above all suspicion of disease, though in reality she was a 

clandestine prostitute. Or they are young girls who have indeed ceased to 

be absolutely chaste, but have not yet lost all their innocence, and who 

do not consider themselves, and are not by others considered, prostitutes; 

that indeed, is one of the rocks on which the system of police regulation 

of prostitution comes to grief, for the police cannot catch the prostitute 

at a sufficiently early stage. Of women who become syphilitic, according 

to Fournier, twenty per cent. are infected before they are nineteen; in 

hospitals the proportion is as high as forty per cent.; and of men fifteen 

per cent. cases occur between eleven and twenty-one years of age. The age 

of maximum frequency of infection is for women twenty years (in the rural 

population eighteen), and for men twenty-three years. In Germany Erb 

finds that as many as eighty-five per cent men with gonorrhoea 

contracted the disease between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five, a very 

small percentage being infected after thirty. These young things for the 

most part fell into a trap which Nature had baited with her most 

fascinating lure; they were usually ignorant; not seldom they were 

deceived by an attractive personality; often they were overcome by 

passion; frequently all prudence and reserve had been lost in the fumes of 

wine. From a truly moral point of view they were scarcely less innocent 

than children. 

 

"I ask," says Duclaux, "whether when a young man, or a young 

girl, abandon themselves to a dangerous caress society has done 

what it can to warn them. Perhaps its intentions were good, but 

when the need came for precise knowledge a silly prudery has held 

it back, and it has left its children without _viaticum_.... I 

will go further, and proclaim that in a large number of cases the 

husbands who contaminate their wives are innocent. No one is 

responsible for the evil which he commits without knowing it and 

without willing it." I may recall the suggestive fact, already 

referred to, that the majority of husbands who infect their wives 

contracted the disease before marriage. They entered on marriage 

believing that their disease was cured, and that they had broken 

with their past. Doctors have sometimes (and quacks frequently) 

contributed to this result by too sanguine an estimate of the 

period necessary to destroy the poison. So great an authority as 

Fournier formerly believed that the syphilitic could safely be 

allowed to marry three or four years after the date of infection, 

but now, with increased experience, he extends the period to four 

or five years. It is undoubtedly true that, especially when 

treatment has been thorough and prompt, the diseased 

constitution, in a majority of cases, can be brought under 

complete control in a shorter period than this, but there is 

always a certain proportion of cases in which the powers of 


Page 4 from 5:  Back   1   2   3  [4]  5   Forward