Sex in Relation to Society

Sex in Relation to Society

Studies in The Psychology of Sex, Vol. 6

1st Edition - January 1, 1945

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  • Author: Havelock Ellis
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483223735

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Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume VI: Sex in Relation to Society describes the social attitude and legal opinion toward sex. This volume is composed of 12 chapters, and starts with a survey on the maternal role in child's early knowledge about sex. The next chapters explore the principles of sex education, nakedness, sexual love, chastity, and sexual abstinence. Other chapters cover sex-related topics including the origin and development of prostitution, sexual morality, marriage, and the so-called ""art of love"". A chapter tackles the issue of acquiring venereal disease due to sexual malpractice and prostitution. The final chapter discusses the link between the art of love and the science of procreation. This book will be of value to psychologists, teachers, parents, and the general readers who are interested the allied fields.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    Chapter I. The Mother and Her Child

    The Child's Right to Choose Its Ancestry

    How This is Effected

    The Mother the Child's Supreme Parent

    Motherhood and the Woman Movement

    The Immense Importance of Motherhood

    Infant Mortality and Its Causes

    The Chief Cause in the Mother

    The Need of Rest during Pregnancy

    Frequency of Premature Birth

    The Function of the State

    Recent Advance in Puericulture

    The Question of Coitus during Pregnancy

    The Need of Rest during Lactation

    The Mother's Duty to Suckle Her Child

    The Economic Question

    The Duty of the State

    Recent Progress in the Protection of the Mother

    The Fallacy of State Nurseries

    Chapter II. Sexual Education

    Nurture as Necessary as Breed

    Precocious Manifestations of the Sexual Impulse

    Are They to be Regarded as Normal?

    The Sexual Play of Children

    The Emotion of Love in Childhood

    Are Town Children, More Precocious Sexually than Country Children?

    Children's Ideas concerning the Origin of Babies

    Need for Beginning the Sexual Education of Children in Early Years

    Early Training in Responsibility

    Evil of the Old Doctrine of Silence in Matters of Sex

    The Evil Magnified When Applied to Girls

    The Morbid Influence of Artificial Mystery

    Books on Sexual Enlightenment

    Nature of the Mother's Task

    Sexual Education in the School

    The Value of Biology

    Sexual Education after Puberty

    Preparation for the Onset of Menstruation

    The Right Attitude Towards Woman's Sexual Life

    Necessity of the Hygiene of Menstruation during Adolescence

    Such Hygiene Compatible with the Educational and Social Equality of the Sexes

    The Invalidism of Women Mainly Due to Hygienic Neglect

    Influence of Physical Training on Women

    The Evils of Emotional Suppression

    Influence of These Factors of a Woman's Fate in Marriage

    The Doctor's Part in Sexual Education

    Pubertal Initiation into the Ideal World

    The Place of the Religious and Ethical Teacher

    The Initiation Rites of Savages into Manhood and Womanhood

    The Sexual Influence of Literature

    The Sexual Influence of Art

    Chapter III. Sexual Education and Nakedness

    The Greek Attitude Towards Nakedness

    How the Romans Modified that Attitude

    The Influence of Christianity

    Nakedness in Medieval Times

    Evolution of the Horror of Nakedness

    Concomitant Change in the Conception of Nakedness


    The Romantic Movement

    Rise of a New Feeling in Regard to Nakedness

    The Hygienic Aspect of Nakedness

    How Children may be Accustomed to Nakedness

    Nakedness not Inimical to Modesty

    The Instinct of Physical Pride

    The Value of Nakedness in Education

    The Æsthetic Value of Nakedness

    The Human Body as One of the Prime Tonics of Life

    How Nakedness may be Cultivated

    The Moral Value of Nakedness.

    Chapter IV. The Valuation of Sexual Love

    The Conception of Sexual Love

    The Attitude of Medieval Asceticism

    St. Bernard and St. Odo of Cluny

    The Ascetic Insistence on the Proximity of the Sexual and Excretory Centres

    Love as a Sacrament of Nature

    The Idea of the Impurity of Sex in Primitive Religions Generally

    Theories of the Origin of This Idea

    The Anti-Ascetic Element in the Bible and Early Christianity

    Clement of Alexandria

    St. Augustine's Attitude

    The Recognition of the Sacredness of the Body by Tertullian, Rufinus, and Athanasius

    The Reformation

    The Sexual Instinct regarded as Beastly

    The Human Sexual Instinct not Animal-like

    Lust and Love

    The Definition of Love

    Love and Names for Love Unknown in Some Parts of the World

    Romantic Love of Late Development in the White Race

    The Mystery of Sexual Desire

    Whether Love is a Delusion

    The Spiritual as Well as the Physical Structure of the World in Part Built up on Sexual Love

    The Testimony of Men of Intellect to the Supremacy of Love

    Chapter V. The Function of Chastity

    Chastity Essential to the Dignity of Love

    The Eighteenth Century Revolt Against the Ideal of Chastity

    Unnatural Forms of Chastity

    The Psychological Basis of Asceticism

    Asceticism and Chastity as Savage Virtues

    The Significance of Tahiti

    Chastity Among Barbarous Peoples

    Among the Early Christians

    Struggles of the Saints with the Flesh

    The Romance of Christian Chastity

    Its Decay in Medieval Times

    Aucassin et Nicolette and the new Romance of Chaste Love

    The Unchastity of the Northern Barbarians

    The Penitentials

    Influence of the Renaissance and the Reformation

    The Revolt Against Virginity as a Virtue

    The Modern Conception of Chastity as a Virtue

    The Influences that Favour Chastity as a Discipline

    The Value of Chastity for the Artist

    Potency and Impotence in Popular Estimation

    The Definitions of Asceticism and Chastity

    Chapter VI. The Problem of Sexual Abstinence

    The Influence of Tradition

    The Theological Conception of Lust

    Tendency of these Influences to Degrade Sexual Morality

    Their Result in Creating the Problem of Sexual Abstinence

    The Protests Against Sexual Abstinences

    Sexual Abstinence and Genius

    Sexual Abstinence in Women

    The Advocates of Sexual Abstinence

    Intermediate Attitude

    Unsatisfactory Nature of the Whole Discussion

    Criticism of the Conception of Sexual Abstinence

    Sexual Abstinence as Compared to Abstinence from Food

    No Complete Analogy

    The Morality of Sexual Abstinence Entirely Negative

    Is it the Physician's Duty to Advise Extra-Conjugal Sexual Intercourse?

    The Conclusion Against Such Advice

    The Physician as Bound by the Moral Ideas of his Age and as Reformer

    Sexual Abstinence and Sexual Hygiene


    The Influence of Physical and Mental Exercise

    The Inadequacy of Sexual Hygiene in this Field

    The Unreal Nature of the Conception of Sexual Abstinence

    The Necessity of Replacing it by a More Positive Ideal

    Chapter VII. Prostitution

    I . The Orgy:

    The Religious Origin of the Orgy

    The Feast of Fools

    Recognition^of the Orgy by the Greeks and Romans

    The Orgy Among Savages

    The Drama

    The Object Subserved by the Orgy

    II. The Origin and Development of Prostitution:

    The Definition of Prostitution

    Prostitution Among Savages

    The Conditions under which Professional Prostitution Arises

    Sacred Prostitution

    The Rite of Mylitta

    The Practice of Prostitution to Obtain a Marriage Portion

    The Rise of Secular Prostitution in Greece

    Prostitution in Rome

    The Influence of Christianity on Prostitution

    The Effort to Combat Prostitution

    The Medieval Brothel

    The Appearance of the Courtesan

    Veronica Franco

    Later Attempts to Eradicate Prostitution

    The Regulation of Prostitution

    Its Futility becoming Recognized

    III. The Causes of Prostitution:

    Prostitution as a Part of the Marriage System

    The Complex Causation of Prostitution

    The Motives Assigned by Prostitutes

    IV. The Present Social Attitude Towards Prostitution:

    The Decay of the Brothel

    The Tendency to the Humanization of Prostitution

    The Monetary Aspects of Prostitution

    The Geisha

    The Hetaira

    The Moral Revolt against Prostitution

    Squalid Vice Based on Luxurious Virtue

    The Ordinary Attitude towards Prostitutes

    The Need of Reforming Prostitution

    The Need of Reforming Marriage

    These Two Needs Closely Correlated

    The Dynamic Relationships Involved

    Chapter VIII. The Conquest of the Venereal Diseases

    The Significance of the Venereal Diseases

    The History of Syphilis

    The Problem of Its Origin

    The Social Gravity of Syphilis

    The Social Dangers of Gonorrhoea

    The Modern Change in the Methods of Combating Venereal Diseases

    Causes of the Decay of the System of Police Regulation

    Necessity of Facing the Facts

    The Innocent Victims of Venereal Diseases

    Diseases not Crimes

    The Principle of Notification

    The Scandinavian System

    Gratuitous Treatment

    Punishment for Transmitting Venereal Diseases

    Sexual Education in Relation to Venereal Diseases

    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

    The Status of Woman

    The Historical Tendency Favouring Moral Equality of Women with.Men

    The Theory of the Matriarchate


    Women in Babylonia



    The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

    The Historical Tendency Favouring Moral Inequality of Woman

    The Ambiguous Influence of Christianity

    Influence of Teutonic Custom and Feudalism


    Woman in England

    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

    Invasion of the Modern Industrial Field by Women

    In How Far this is Socially Justifiable

    The Sexual Responsibility of Women and Its Consequences

    The "Self-Sacrifice" of Women

    Society not Concerned with Sexual Relationships

    Procreation the Sole Sexual Concern of the State

    The Supreme Importance of Maternity

    Chapter X. Marriage

    The Definition of Marriage

    Marriage among Animals

    The Predominance of Monogamy

    Monogamy a Natural Fact, not Based on Human Law

    The Tendency to Place the Form of Marriage above the Fact of Marriage

    The History of Marriage

    Marriage in Ancient Rome

    Germanic Influence on Marriage


    The Ring

    The Influence of Christianity on Marriage

    Origin and Growth of the Sacramental Conception

    The Church made Marriage a Public Act

    Canon Law

    Its Sound Core

    Its Development

    Its Confusions and Absurdities

    Peculiarities of English Marriage Law

    Influence of the Reformation on Marriage

    The Protestant Conception of Marriage as a Secular Contract

    The Puritan Reform of Marriage

    Milton as a Pioneer of Marriage Reform

    His Views on Divorce

    The Backward Position of England in Marriage Reform

    Criticism of the English Divorce Law

    Traditions of the Canon Law Still Persistent

    The Question of Damages for Adultery

    Collusion as a Bar to Divorce

    Impossibility of Deciding by Statute the Causes for Divorce

    Divorce by Mutual Consent

    Its Origin and Development

    Impeded by the Traditions of Canon Law

    Modern Advocates of Divorce by Mutual Consent

    The Arguments Against Facility of Divorce

    The Interests of the Children

    The Protection of Women

    The Present Tendency of the Divorce Movement

    Marriage not a Contract but a Fact

    Legal Disabilities and Disadvantages in the Position of the Husband and the Wife

    Only the Non-Essentials of Marriage a Proper Matter for Contract

    Contracts of the Person Opposed to Modern Tendencies

    The Factor of Moral Responsibility

    Marriage as an Ethical Sacrament

    Personal Responsibility Involves Freedom

    Freedom the Best Guarantee of Stability

    False Ideas of Individualism

    Modern Tendency of Marriage

    With the Birth of a Child Marriage Ceases to be a Private Concern

    Every Child must have a Legal Father and Mother

    How this can be Effected

    The Firm Basis of Monogamy

    The Question of Marriage Variations

    Such Variations not Inimical to Monogamy

    The Flexibility of Marriage holds Variations in Check

    Marriage on a Reasonable and Humane Basis

    Summary and Conclusion

    Chapter XI. The Art of Love

    Marriage not only for Procreation

    Theologians on the Sacramentum Solationis

    Importance of the Art of Love

    The Basis of Stability in Marriage and the Conditions for Right Procreation

    The Art of Love the Bulwark against Divorce

    The Unity of Love and Marriage a Principle of Modern Morality

    Christianity and the Art of Love


    Sexual Initiation among Primitive Peoples

    The Tendency to Spontaneous Development of the Art of Love in Early Life


    Sexual Ignorance in Women

    The Husband's Place in Sexual Initiation

    Sexual Ignorance in Men

    The Husband's Education for Marriage

    The Ignorance of Husbands

    Physical and Mental Results of Unskilful Coitus

    Women Understand the Art of Love Better than Men

    Ancient and Modern Opinions concerning Frequency of Coitus

    Variation in Sexual Capacity

    The Sexual Appetite

    The Art of Love Based on the Biological Facts of Courtship

    The Lover Compared to the Musician

    The Proposal as a Part of Courtship

    Divination in the Art of Love

    The Importance of the Preliminaries in Courtship

    The Unskilled Husband as a Cause of the Frigid Wife

    The Difficulty of Courtship

    The Evils of Incomplete Gratification in Women

    Coitus Interruptus

    Coitus Reservatus

    The Human Method of Coitus

    Variations in Coitus

    Posture in Coitus

    The Best Time for Coitus

    The Influence of Coitus in Marriage

    The Advantages of Absence in Marriage

    The Risks of Absence


    The Primitive Function of Jealousy

    An Anti-Social Emotion

    Jealousy Incompatible with the Progress of Civilization

    The possibility of Loving More than One Person at a Time

    Platonic Friendship

    The Maternal Element in Woman's Love

    The Final Development of Conjugal Love

    The Problem of Love One of the Greatest of Social Questions

    Chapter XII. The Science of Procreation

    The Relationship of the Science of Procreation to the Art of Love

    Sexual Desire and Sexual Pleasure as Conditions of Conception

    Reproduction as Left to Caprice and Lust

    The Question of Procreation as a Religious Question

    The Creed of Eugenics

    Ellen Key and Sir Francis Galton

    Our Debt to Posterity

    The Problem of Replacing Natural Selection

    The Origin and Development of Eugenics

    The Acceptance of Eugenical Principles

    The Two Channels by which Eugenical Principles become Embodied in Practice

    Sexual Responsibility in Women

    Compulsory Motherhood and Voluntary Motherhood

    Causes of the Degradation of Motherhood

    The Control of Conception

    Now Practised by the Majority of the Population in Civilized Countries

    The Question of "Racial Suicide"

    Are Large Families a Stigma of Degeneration?

    Procreative Control the Outcome of Natural and Civilized Progress

    The Growth of Contraception

    The Medical and Hygienic Necessity of Control of Conception

    Preventive Methods


    How Far Justifiable?

    Sterilization as a Method of Contraception

    Negative Eugenics and Positive Eugenics

    The Question of Certificates for Marriage

    The Inadequacy of Eugenics by Act of Parliament

    The Quickening of the Social Conscience in regard to Heredity

    Limitation to the Endowment of Motherhood

    The Conditions Favourable to Procreation


    The Question of Artificial Insemination

    The Best Age of Procreation

    The Question of Early Motherhood

    The Best Time for Procreation

    The Completion of the Cycle of Life

    Index of Subjects

Product details

  • No. of pages: 416
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 1945
  • Published: January 1, 1945
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483223735

About the Author

Havelock Ellis

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