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

has taught them false ideas of "conjugal duty" and has failed to 

teach their husbands the art of love. 

 

Women, when their fine natural instincts have not been hopelessly 

perverted by the pruderies and prejudices which are so diligently 

instilled into them, understand the art of love more readily than men. 

Even when little more than children they can often completely take the cue 

that is given to them. Much more than is the case with men, at all events 

under civilized conditions, the art of love is with them an art that 

Nature makes. They always know more of love, as Montaigne long since said, 

than men can teach them, for it is a discipline that is born in their 

blood.[386] 

 

The extensive inquiries of Sanford Bell (loc. cit.) show that the 

emotions of sex-love may appear as early as the third year. It 

must also be remembered that, both physically and psychically, 

girls are more precocious, more mature, than boys (see, e.g., 

Havelock Ellis, _Man and Woman_, fourth edition, pp. 34 _et 

seq._, 200, etc.). Thus, by the time she has reached the age of 

puberty a girl has had time to become an accomplished mistress of 

the minor arts of love. That the age of puberty is for girls the 

age of love seems to be widely recognized by the popular mind. 

Thus in a popular song of Bresse a girl sings:-- 

 

"J'ai calcule mon age, 

J'ai quatorze a quinze ans. 

Ne suis-je pas dans l'age 

D'y avoir un amant?" 

 

This matter of the sexual precocity of girls has an important 

bearing on the question of the "age of consent," or the age at 

which it should be legal for a girl to consent to sexual 

intercourse. Until within the last twenty-five years there has 

been a tendency to set a very low age (even as low as ten) as the 

age above which a man commits no offence in having sexual 

intercourse with a girl. In recent years there has been a 

tendency to run to the opposite and equally unfortunate extreme 

of raising it to a very late age. In England, by the Criminal Law 

Amendment Act of 1885, the age of consent was raised to sixteen 

(this clause of the bill being carried in the House of Commons by 

a majority of 108). This seems to be the reasonable age at which 

the limit should be set and its extreme high limit in temperate 

climates. It is the age recognized by the Italian Criminal Code, 

and in many other parts of the civilized world. Gladstone, 

however, was in favor of raising it to eighteen, and Howard, in 

discussing this question as regards the United States 

(_Matrimonial Institutions_, vol. iii, pp. 195-203), thinks it 

ought everywhere to be raised to twenty-one, so coinciding with 

the age of legal majority at which a woman can enter into 

business or political relations. There has been, during recent 

years, a wide limit of variation in the legislation of the 

different American States on this point, the differences of the 

two limits being as much as eight years, and in some important 

States the act of intercourse with a girl under eighteen is 

declared to be "rape," and punishable with imprisonment for life. 

 

Such enactments as these, however, it must be recognized, are 

arbitrary, artificial, and unnatural. They do not rest on a sound 

biological basis, and cannot be enforced by the common sense of 

the community. There is no proper analogy between the age of 

legal majority which is fixed, approximately, with reference to 

the ability to comprehend abstract matters of intelligence, and 


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