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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

the outcome of a voluntary resolve to treat the question of the creation 

of the race with the jealous care and guardianship which so tremendously 

serious, so godlike, a task involves, it has much to be said in its favor 

and nothing against it. 

 

But it is quite another matter when the attempt is made to regulate such 

an institution as marriage by law. In the first place we do not yet know 

enough about the principles of heredity and the transmissibility of 

pathological states to enable us to formulate sound legislative proposals 

on this basis. Even so comparatively simple a matter as the relationship 

of tuberculosis to heredity can scarcely be said to be a matter of common 

agreement, even if it can yet be claimed that we possess adequate material 

on which to attain a common agreement. Supposing, moreover, that our 

knowledge on all these questions were far more advanced than it is, we 

still should not have attained a position in which we could lay down 

general propositions regarding the desirability or the undesirability of 

certain classes of persons procreating. The question is necessarily an 

individual question, and it can only be decided when all the circumstances 

of the individual case have been fairly passed in review. 

 

The objection to any legislative and compulsory regulation of the right to 

marry is, however, much more fundamental than the consideration that our 

knowledge is at present inadequate. It lies in the extraordinary 

confusion, in the minds of those who advocate such legislation, between 

legal marriage and procreation. The persons who fall into such confusion 

have not yet learnt the alphabet of the subject they presume to dictate 

about, and are no more competent to legislate than a child who cannot tell 

A from B is competent to read. 

 

Marriage, in so far as it is the partnership for mutual help and 

consolation of two people who in such partnership are free, if they 

please, to exercise sexual union, is an elementary right of every person 

who is able to reason, who is guilty of no fraud or concealment, and who 

is not likely to injure the partner selected, for in that case society is 

entitled to interfere by virtue of its duty to protect its members. But 

the right to marry, thus understood, in no way involves the right to 

procreate. For while marriage _per se_ only affects the two individuals 

concerned, and in no way affects the State, procreation, on the other 

hand, primarily affects the community which is ultimately made up of 

procreated persons, and only secondarily affects the two individuals who 

are the instruments of procreation. So that just as the individual couple 

has the first right in the question of marriage, the State has the first 

right in the question of procreation. The State is just as incompetent to 

lay down the law about marriage as the individual is to lay down the law 

about procreation. 

 

That, however, is only one-half of the folly committed by those who would 

select the candidates for matrimony by statute. Let us suppose--as is not 

indeed easy to suppose--that a community will meekly accept the abstract 

prohibitions of the statute book and quietly go home again when the 

registrar of marriages informs them that they are shut out from legal 

matrimony by the new table of prohibited degrees. An explicit prohibition 

to procreate within marriage is an implicit permission to procreate 

outside marriage. Thus the undesirable procreation, instead of being 

carried out under the least dangerous conditions, is carried out under the 

most dangerous conditions, and the net result to the community is not a 


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