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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

 

An obvious result of reducing the feeling about nakedness to an 

unreasoning but imperative convention is the tendency to 

prudishness. This, as we know, is a form of pseudo-modesty which, 

being a convention, and not a natural feeling, is capable of 

unlimited extension. It is by no means confined to modern times 

or to Christian Europe. The ancient Hebrews were not entirely 

free from prudishness, and we find in the Old Testament that by a 

curious euphemism the sexual organs are sometimes referred to as 

"the feet." The Turks are capable of prudishness. So, indeed, 

were even the ancient Greeks. "Dion the philosopher tells us," 

remarks Clement of Alexandria (_Stromates_, Bk. IV, Ch. XIX) 

"that a certain woman, Lysidica, through excess of modesty, 

bathed in her clothes, and that Philotera, when she was to enter 

the bath, gradually drew back her tunic as the water covered her 

naked parts; and then rising by degrees, put it on." Mincing 

prudes were found among the early Christians, and their ways are 

graphically described by St. Jerome in one of his letters to 

Eustochium: "These women," he says, "speak between their teeth or 

with the edge of the lips, and with a lisping tongue, only half 

pronouncing their words, because they regard as gross whatever is 

natural. Such as these," declares Jerome, the scholar in him 

overcoming the ascetic, "corrupt even language." Whenever a new 

and artificial "modesty" is imposed upon savages prudery tends to 

arise. Haddon describes this among the natives of Torres Straits, 

where even the children now suffer from exaggerated prudishness, 

though formerly absolutely naked and unashamed (_Cambridge 

Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits_, vol. v, p. 271). 

 

The nineteenth century, which witnessed the triumph of timidity and 

prudery in this matter, also produced the first fruitful germ of new 

conceptions of nakedness. To some extent these were embodied in the great 

Romantic movement. Rousseau, indeed, had placed no special insistence on 

nakedness as an element of the return to Nature which he preached so 

influentially. A new feeling in this matter emerged, however, with 

characteristic extravagance, in some of the episodes of the Revolution, 

while in Germany in the pioneering _Lucinde_ of Friedrich Schlegel, a 

characteristic figure in the Romantic movement, a still unfamiliar 

conception of the body was set forth in a serious and earnest spirit. 

 

In England, Blake with his strange and flaming genius, proclaimed a 

mystical gospel which involved the spiritual glorification of the body and 

contempt for the civilized worship of clothes ("As to a modern man," he 

wrote, "stripped from his load of clothing he is like a dead corpse"); 

while, later, in America, Thoreau and Whitman and Burroughs asserted, 

still more definitely, a not dissimilar message concerning the need of 

returning to Nature. 

 

We find the importance of the sight of the body--though very 

narrowly, for the avoidance of fraud in the preliminaries of 

marriage--set forth as early as the sixteenth century by Sir 

Thomas More in his _Utopia_, which is so rich in new and fruitful 

ideas. In Utopia, according to Sir Thomas More, before marriage, 

a staid and honest matron "showeth the woman, be she maid or 

widow, naked to the wooer. And likewise a sage and discreet man 

exhibiteth the wooer naked to the woman. At this custom we 

laughed and disallowed it as foolish. But they, on their part, do 

greatly wonder at the folly of all other nations which, in buying 

a colt where a little money is in hazard, be so chary and 


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