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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

deliberate control of the parents, shows, of course, no such 

tendency. 

 

These considerations, it will be seen, do not modify the tendency 

of the large family to be degenerate. We may connect this 

phenomenon with the disposition, often shown by nervously unsound 

and abnormal persons, to believe that they have a special 

aptitude to procreate fine children. "I believe that everyone has 

a special vocation," said a man to Marro (_La Puberta_, p. 459); 

"I find that it is my vocation to beget superior children." He 

begat four,--an epileptic, a lunatic, a dipsomaniac, and a 

valetudinarian,--and himself died insane. Most people have come 

across somewhat similar, though perhaps less marked, cases of 

this delusion. In a matter of such fateful gravity to other human 

beings, no one can safely rely on his own unsupported 

impressions. 

 

The demand of national efficiency thus corresponds with the demand of 

developing humanitarianism, which, having begun by attempting to 

ameliorate the conditions of life, has gradually begun to realize that it 

is necessary to go deeper and to ameliorate life itself. For while it is 

undoubtedly true that much may be done by acting systematically on the 

conditions of life, the more searching analysis of evil environmental 

conditions only serves to show that in large parts they are based in the 

human organism itself and were not only pre-natal, but pre-conceptional, 

being involved in the quality of the parental or ancestral organisms. 

 

Putting aside, however, all humanitarian considerations, the serious error 

of attempting to stem the progress of civilization in the direction of 

procreative control could never have occurred if the general tendencies of 

zooelogical evolution had been understood, even in their elements. All 

zooelogical progress is from the more prolific to the less prolific; the 

higher the species the less fruitful are its individual members. The same 

tendency is found within the limits of the human species, though not in an 

invariable straight line; the growth of civilization involves a 

diminution in fertility. This is by no means a new phenomenon; ancient 

Rome and later Geneva, "the Protestant Rome," bear witness to it; no doubt 

it has occurred in every high centre of moral and intellectual culture, 

although the data for measuring the tendency no longer exist. When we take 

a sufficiently wide and intelligent survey, we realize that the tendency 

of a community to slacken its natural rate of increase is an essential 

phenomenon of all advanced civilization. The more intelligent nations have 

manifested the tendency first, and in each nation the more educated 

classes have taken the lead, but it is only a matter of time to bring all 

civilized nations, and all social classes in each nation, into line.[429] 

This movement, we have to remember--in opposition to the ignorant outcry 

of certain would-be moralists and politicians--is a beneficent movement. 

It means a greater regard to the quality than to the quantity of the 

increase; it involves the possibility of combating successfully the evils 

of high mortality, disease, overcrowding, and all the manifold misfortunes 

which inevitably accompany a too exuberant birthrate. For it is only in a 

community which increases slowly that it is possible to secure the 

adequate economic adjustment and environmental modifications necessary for 

a sane and wholesome civic and personal life.[430] If those persons who 

raise the cry of "race suicide" in face of the decline of the birthrate 

really had the knowledge and intelligence to realize the manifold evils 


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