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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

adequate to undertake the responsibilities and anxieties involved in the 

rearing of children. While there have been variations at different times, 

it scarcely appears that, on the whole, the general opinion as to the best 

age for procreation has greatly varied in Europe during many centuries. 

Hesiod indeed said that a woman should marry about fifteen and a man about 

thirty,[463] but obstetricians have usually concluded that, in the 

interests alike of the parents and their offspring, the procreative life 

should not begin in women before twenty and in men before 

twenty-five.[464] After thirty in women and after thirty-five or forty in 

men it seems probable that the best conditions for procreation begin to 

decline.[465] At the present time, in England and several other civilized 

countries, the tendency has been for the age of marriage to fall at an 

increasingly late age, on the average some years later than that usually 

fixed as the most favorable age for the commencement of the procreative 

life. But, on the whole, the average seldom departs widely from the 

accepted standard, and there seems no good reason why we should desire to 

modify this general tendency. 

 

At the same time, it by no means follows that wide variations, 

under special circumstances, may not only be permissible, but 

desirable. The male is capable of procreating, in some cases, 

from about the age of thirteen until far beyond eighty, and at 

this advanced age, the offspring, even if not notable for great 

physical robustness, may possess high intellectual qualities. 

(See e.g., Havelock Ellis, _A Study of British Genius_, pp. 120 

et seq.) The range of the procreative age in women begins earlier 

(sometimes at eight), though it usually ceases by fifty, or 

earlier, in only rare cases continuing to sixty or beyond. Cases 

have been reported of pregnancy, or childbirth, at the age of 

fifty-nine (e.g., _Lancet_, Aug. 5, 1905, p. 419). Lepage 

(_Comptes-rendus Societe d'Obstetrique de Paris_, Oct., 1903) 

reports a case of a primipara of fifty-seven; the child was 

stillborn. Kisch (_Sexual Life of Woman_, Part II) refers to 

cases of pregnancy in elderly women, and various references are 

given in _British Medical Journal_, Aug. 8, 1903, p. 325. 

 

Of more importance is the question of early pregnancy. Several 

investigators have devoted their attention to this question. 

Thus, Spitta (in a Marburg Inaugural Dissertation, 1895) reviewed 

the clinical history of 260 labors in primiparae of 18 and under, 

as observed at the Marburg Maternity. He found that the general 

health during pregnancy was not below the average of pregnant 

women, while the mortality of the child at birth and during the 

following weeks was not high, and the mortality of the mother was 

by no means high. Picard (in a Paris thesis, 1903) has studied 

childbirth in thirty-eight mothers below the age of sixteen. He 

found that, although the pelvis is certainly not yet fully 

developed in very young girls, the joints and bones are much more 

yielding than in the adult, so that parturition, far from being 

more difficult, is usually rapid and easy. The process of labor 

itself, is essentially normal in these cases, and, even when 

abnormalities occur (low insertion of the placenta is a common 

anomaly) it is remarkable that the patients do not suffer from 

them in the way common among older women. The average weight of 

the child was three kilogrammes, or about 6 pounds, 9 ounces; it 


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