Main  Contacts  
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

CHAPTER IX. 

 

SEXUAL MORALITY. 

 

Prostitution in Relation to Our Marriage System--Marriage and 

Morality--The Definition of the Term "Morality"--Theoretical Morality--Its 

Division Into Traditional Morality and Ideal Morality--Practical 

Morality--Practical Morality Based on Custom--The Only Subject of 

Scientific Ethics--The Reaction Between Theoretical and Practical 

Morality--Sexual Morality in the Past an Application of Economic 

Morality--The Combined Rigidity and Laxity of This Morality--The 

Growth of a Specific Sexual Morality and the Evolution of Moral 

Ideals--Manifestations of Sexual Morality--Disregard of the Forms of 

Marriage--Trial Marriage--Marriage After Conception of Child--Phenomena in 

Germany, Anglo-Saxon Countries, Russia, etc.--The Status of Woman--The 

Historical Tendency Favoring Moral Equality of Women with Men--The Theory 

of the Matriarchate--Mother-Descent--Women in Babylonia--Egypt--Rome--The 

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries--The Historical Tendency 

Favoring Moral Inequality of Woman--The Ambiguous Influence of 

Christianity--Influence of Teutonic Custom and Feudalism--Chivalry--Woman 

in England--The Sale of Wives--The Vanishing Subjection of 

Woman--Inaptitude of the Modern Man to Domineer--The Growth of Moral 

Responsibility in Women--The Concomitant Development of Economic 

Independence--The Increase of Women Who Work--Invasion of the Modern 

Industrial Field by Women--In How Far This Is Socially Justifiable--The 

Sexual Responsibility of Women and Its Consequences--The Alleged Moral 

Inferiority of Women--The "Self-Sacrifice" of Women--Society Not Concerned 

with Sexual Relationships--Procreation the Sole Sexual Concern of the 

State--The Supreme Importance of Maternity. 

 

 

It has been necessary to deal fully with the phenomena of prostitution 

because, however aloof we may personally choose to hold ourselves from 

those phenomena, they really bring us to the heart of the sexual question 

in so far as it constitutes a social problem. If we look at prostitution 

from the outside, as an objective phenomenon, as a question of social 

dynamics, it is seen to be not a merely accidental and eliminable incident 

of our present marriage system but an integral part of it, without which 

it would fall to pieces. This will probably be fairly clear to all who 

have followed the preceding exposition of prostitutional phenomena. There 

is, however, more than this to be said. Not only is prostitution to-day, 

as it has been for more than two thousand years, the buttress of our 

marriage system, but if we look at marriage, not from the outside as a 

formal institution, but from the inside with relation to the motives that 

constitute it, we find that marriage in a large proportion of cases is 

itself in certain respects a form of prostitution. This has been 

emphasized so often and from so many widely different standpoints that it 

may seem hardly necessary to labor the point here. But the point is one of 

extreme importance in relation to the question of sexual morality. Our 

social conditions are unfavorable to the development of a high moral 

feeling in woman. The difference between the woman who sells herself in 

prostitution and the woman who sells herself in marriage, according to the 

saying of Marro already quoted, "is only a difference in price and 

duration of the contract." Or, as Forel puts it, marriage is "a more 

fashionable form of prostitution," that is to say, a mode of obtaining, or 

disposing of, for monetary considerations, a sexual commodity. Marriage 

is, indeed, not merely a more fashionable form of prostitution, it is a 

form sanctified by law and religion, and the question of morality is not 


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