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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

that are opposed to the vital needs of human societies is not a morality 

but an immorality. 

 

The reason why the gradual evolution of moral ideals, which is always 

taking place, tends in the sexual sphere, at all events among ourselves, 

to reach a stage in which there seems to be an opposition between 

different standards lies in the fact that as yet we really have no 

specific sexual morality at all.[266] That may seem surprising at first to 

one who reflects on the immense weight which is usually attached to 

"sexual morality." And it is undoubtedly true that we have a morality 

which we apply to the sphere of sex. But that morality is one which 

belongs mainly to the sphere of property and was very largely developed on 

a property basis. All the historians of morals in general, and of marriage 

in particular, have set forth this fact, and illustrated it with a wealth 

of historical material. We have as yet no generally recognized sexual 

morality which has been based on the specific sexual facts of life. That 

becomes clear at once when we realize the central fact that the sexual 

relationship is based on love, at the very least on sexual desire, and 

that that basis is so deep as to be even physiological, for in the absence 

of such sexual desire it is physiologically impossible for a man to effect 

intercourse with a woman. Any specific sexual morality must be based on 

that fact. But our so-called "sexual morality," so far from being based on 

that fact, attempts to ignore it altogether. It makes contracts, it 

arranges sexual relationships beforehand, it offers to guarantee 

permanency of sexual inclinations. It introduces, that is, considerations 

of a kind that is perfectly sound in the economic sphere to which such 

considerations rightly belong, but ridiculously incongruous in the sphere 

of sex to which they have solemnly been applied. The economic 

relationships of life, in the large sense, are, as we shall see, extremely 

important in the evolution of any sound sexual morality, but they belong 

to the conditions of its development and do not constitute its basis.[267] 

 

The fact that, from the legal point of view, marriage is 

primarily an arrangement for securing the rights of property and 

inheritance is well illustrated by the English divorce law 

to-day. According to this law, if a woman has sexual intercourse 

with any man beside her husband, he is entitled to divorce her; 

if, however, the husband has intercourse with another woman 

beside his wife, she is not entitled to a divorce; that is only 

accorded if, in addition, he has also been cruel to her, or 

deserted her, and from any standpoint of ideal morality such a 

law is obviously unjust, and it has now been discarded in nearly 

all civilized lands except England. 

 

But from the standpoint of property and inheritance it is quite 

intelligible, and on that ground it is still supported by the 

majority of Englishmen. If the wife has intercourse with other 

men there is a risk that the husband's property will be inherited 

by a child who is not his own. But the sexual intercourse of the 

husband with other women is followed by no such risk. The 

infidelity of the wife is a serious offence against property; the 

infidelity of the husband is no offence against property, and 

cannot possibly, therefore, be regarded as a ground for divorce 

from our legal point of view. The fact that his adultery 

complicated by cruelty is such a ground, is simply a concession 

to modern feeling. Yet, as Helena Stoecker truly points out 


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