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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

which they are invoking they would deserve to be treated as criminals. 

 

On the practical side a knowledge of the possibility of preventing 

conception has, doubtless, never been quite extinct in civilization and 

even in lower stages of culture, though it has mostly been utilized for 

ends of personal convenience or practiced in obedience to conventional 

social rules which demanded chastity, and has only of recent times been 

made subservient to the larger interests of society and the elevation of 

the race. The theoretical basis of the control of procreation, on its 

social and economic, as distinct from its eugenic, aspects, may be said to 

date from Malthus's famous _Essay on Population_, first published in 1798, 

an epoch-marking book,--though its central thesis is not susceptible of 

actual demonstration,--since it not only served as the starting-point of 

the modern humanitarian movement for the control of procreation, but also 

furnished to Darwin (and independently to Wallace also) the fruitful idea 

which was finally developed into the great evolutionary theory of natural 

selection. 

 

Malthus, however, was very far from suggesting that the control of 

procreation, which he advocated for the benefit of mankind, should be 

exercised by the introduction of preventive methods into sexual 

intercourse. He believed that civilization involved an increased power of 

self-control, which would make it possible to refrain altogether from 

sexual intercourse, when such self-restraint was demanded in the interests 

of humanity. Later thinkers realized, however, that, while it is 

undoubtedly true that civilization involves greater forethought and 

greater self-control, we cannot anticipate that those qualities should be 

developed to the extent demanded by Malthus, especially when the impulse 

to be controlled is of so powerful and explosive a nature. 

 

James Mill was the pioneer in advocating Neo-Malthusian methods, though he 

spoke cautiously. In 1818, in the article "Colony" in the supplement to 

the _Encyclopaedia Britannica_, after remarking that the means of checking 

the unrestricted increase of the population constitutes "the most 

important practical problem to which the wisdom of the politician and 

moralist can be applied," he continued: "If the superstitions of the 

nursery were discarded, and the principle of utility kept steadily in 

view, a solution might not be very difficult to be found." Four years 

later, James Mill's friend, the Radical reformer, Francis Place, more 

distinctly expressed the thought that was evidently in Mill's mind. After 

enumerating the facts concerning the necessity of self-control in 

procreation and the evils of early marriage, which he thinks ought to be 

clearly taught, Place continues: "If a hundredth, perhaps a thousandth 

part of the pains were taken to teach these truths, that are taken to 

teach dogmas, a great change for the better might, in no considerable 

space of time, be expected to take place in the appearance and the habits 

of the people. If, above all, it were once clearly understood that it was 

not disreputable for married persons to avail themselves of such 

precautionary means as would, without being injurious to health, or 

destructive of female delicacy, prevent conception, a sufficient check 

might at once be given to the increase of population beyond the means of 

subsistence; vice and misery, to a prodigious extent, might be removed 

from society, and the object of Mr. Malthus, Mr. Godwin, and of every 

philanthropic person, be promoted, by the increase of comfort, of 

intelligence, and of moral conduct, in the mass of the population. The 


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