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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

 

 

Even those who may be unwilling to abandon an attitude of private moral 

intolerance towards the victims of venereal diseases may still do well to 

remember that since the public manifestation of their intolerance is 

mischievous, and at the best useless, it is necessary for them to restrain 

it in the interests of society. They would not be the less free to order 

their own personal conduct in the strictest accordance with their superior 

moral rigidity; and that after all is for them the main thing. But for the 

sake of society it is necessary for them to adopt what they may consider 

the convention of a purely hygienic attitude towards these diseases. The 

erring are inevitably frightened by an attitude of moral reprobation into 

methods of concealment, and these produce an endless chain of social evils 

which can only be dissipated by openness. As Duclaux has so earnestly 

insisted, it is impossible to grapple successfully with venereal disease 

unless we consent not to introduce our prejudices, or even our morals and 

religion, into the question, but treat it purely and simply as a sanitary 

question. And if the pseudo-moralist still has difficulty in cooeperating 

towards the healing of this social sore he may be reminded that he 

himself--like every one of us little though we may know it--has certainly 

had a great army of syphilitic and gonorrhoeal persons among his own 

ancestors during the past four centuries. We are all bound together, and 

it is absurd, even when it is not inhuman, to cast contempt on our own 

flesh and blood. 

 

I have discussed rather fully the attitude of those who plead morality as 

a reason for ignoring the social necessity of combating venereal disease, 

because although there may not be many who seriously and understandingly 

adopt so anti-social and inhuman an attitude there are certainly many who 

are glad at need of the existence of so fine an excuse for their moral 

indifference or their mental indolence.[242] When they are confronted by 

this great and difficult problem they find it easy to offer the remedy of 

conventional morality, although they are well aware that on a large scale 

that remedy has long been proved to be ineffectual. They ostentatiously 

affect to proffer the useless thick end of the wedge at a point where it 

is only possible with much skill and prudence to insinuate the thin 

working end. 

 

The general acceptance of the fact that syphilis and gonorrhoea 

are diseases, and not necessarily crimes or sins, is the condition for any 

practical attempt to deal with this question from the sanitary point of 

view which is now taking the place of the antiquated and ineffective 

police point of view. The Scandinavian countries of Europe have been the 

pioneers in practical modern hygienic methods of dealing with venereal 

disease. There are several reasons why this has come about. All the 

problems of sex--of sexual love as well as of sexual disease--have long 

been prominent in these countries, and an impatience with prudish 

hypocrisy seems here to have been more pronounced than elsewhere; we see 

this spirit, for instance, emphatically embodied in the plays of Ibsen, 

and to some extent in Bjoernson's works. The fearless and energetic temper 

of the people impels them to deal practically with sexual difficulties, 

while their strong instincts of independence render them averse to the 

bureaucratic police methods which have flourished in Germany and France. 

The Scandinavians have thus been the natural pioneers of the methods of 

combating venereal diseases which are now becoming generally recognized 

to be the methods of the future, and they have fully organized the system 


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