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Table of contents
PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

 

 

It is, however, not only in her relations to herself and to her sex that a 

girl's thoughts and feelings tend to be distorted by the ignorance or the 

false traditions by which she is so often carefully surrounded. Her 

happiness in marriage, her whole future career, is put in peril. The 

innocent young woman must always risk much in entering the door of 

indissoluble marriage; she knows nothing truly of her husband, she knows 

nothing of the great laws of love, she knows nothing of her own 

possibilities, and, worse still, she is even ignorant of her ignorance. 

She runs the risk of losing the game while she is still only beginning to 

learn it. To some extent that is quite inevitable if we are to insist 

that a woman should bind herself to marry a man before she has experienced 

the nature of the forces that marriage may unloose in her. A young girl 

believes she possesses a certain character; she arranges her future in 

accordance with that character; she marries. Then, in a considerable 

proportion of cases (five out of six, according to the novelist Bourget), 

within a year or even a week, she finds she was completely mistaken in 

herself and in the man she has married; she discovers within her another 

self, and that self detests the man to whom she is bound. That is a 

possible fate against which only the woman who has already been aroused to 

love is entitled to regard herself as fairly protected. 

 

There is, however, a certain kind of protection which it is possible to 

afford the bride, even without departing from our most conventional 

conceptions of marriage. We can at least insist that she shall be 

accurately informed as to the exact nature of her physical relations to 

her future husband and be safeguarded from the shocks or the disillusions 

which marriage might otherwise bring. Notwithstanding the decay of 

prejudices, it is probable that even to-day the majority of women of the 

so-called educated class marry with only the vaguest and most inaccurate 

notions, picked up more or less clandestinely, concerning the nature of 

the sexual relationships. So highly intelligent a woman as Madame Adam has 

stated that she believed herself bound to marry a man who had kissed her 

on the mouth, imagining that to be the supreme act of sexual union,[34] 

and it has frequently happened that women have married sexually inverted 

persons of their own sex, not always knowingly, but believing them to be 

men, and never discovering their mistake; it is not long indeed since in 

America three women were thus successively married to the same woman, none 

of them apparently ever finding out the real sex of the "husband." "The 

civilized girl," as Edward Carpenter remarks, "is led to the 'altar' 

often in uttermost ignorance and misunderstanding of the sacrificial rites 

about to be consummated." Certainly more rapes have been effected in 

marriage than outside it.[35] The girl is full of vague and romantic faith 

in the promises of love, often heightened by the ecstasies depicted in 

sentimental novels from which every touch of wholesome reality has been 

carefully omitted. "All the candor of faith is there," as Senancour puts 

it in his book _De l'Amour_, "the desires of inexperience, the needs of a 

new life, the hopes of an upright heart. She has all the faculties of 

love, she must love; she has all the means of pleasure, she must be loved. 

Everything expresses love and demands love: this hand formed for sweet 

caresses, an eye whose resources are unknown if it must not say that it 

consents to be loved, a bosom which is motionless and useless without 

love, and will fade without having been worshipped; these feelings that 

are so vast, so tender, so voluptuous, the ambition of the heart, the 


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