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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

nor aesthetic, adequately covers the sexual regions of the body, 

while leaving the arms, waist, hips, and legs entirely free. 

 

There finally remains the moral aspect of nakedness. Although this has 

been emphasized by many during the past half century it is still 

unfamiliar to the majority. The human body can never be a little thing. 

The wise educator may see to it that boys and girls are brought up in a 

natural and wholesome familiarity with each other, but a certain terror 

and beauty must always attach to the spectacle of the body, a mixed 

attraction and repulsion. Because it has this force it naturally calls out 

the virtue of those who take part in the spectacle, and makes impossible 

any soft compliance to emotion. Even if we admit that the spectacle of 

nakedness is a challenge to passion it is still a challenge that calls 

out the ennobling qualities of self-control. It is but a poor sort of 

virtue that lies in fleeing into the desert from things that we fear may 

have in them a temptation. We have to learn that it is even worse to 

attempt to create a desert around us in the midst of civilization. We 

cannot dispense with passions if we would; reason, as Holbach said, is the 

art of choosing the right passions, and education the art of sowing and 

cultivating them in human hearts. The spectacle of nakedness has its moral 

value in teaching us to learn to enjoy what we do not possess, a lesson 

which is an essential part of the training for any kind of fine social 

life. The child has to learn to look at flowers and not pluck them; the 

man has to learn to look at a woman's beauty and not desire to possess it. 

The joyous conquest over that "erotic kleptomania," as Ellen Key has well 

said, reveals the blossoming of a fine civilization. We fancy the conquest 

is difficult, even impossibly difficult. But it is not so. This impulse, 

like other human impulses, tends under natural conditions to develop 

temperately and wholesomely. We artificially press a stupid and brutal 

hand on it, and it is driven into the two unnatural extremes of repression 

and license, one extreme as foul as the other. 

 

To those who have been bred under bad conditions, it may indeed seem 

hopeless to attempt to rise to the level of the Greeks and the other finer 

tempered peoples of antiquity in realizing the moral, as well as the 

pedagogic, hygienic, and aesthetic advantages[44] of admitting into life 

the spectacle of the naked human body. But unless we do we hopelessly 

fetter ourselves in our march along the road of civilization, we deprive 

ourselves at once of a source of moral strength and of joyous inspiration. 

Just as Wesley once asked why the devil should have all the best tunes, so 

to-day men are beginning to ask why the human body, the most divine melody 

at its finest moments that creation has yielded, should be allowed to 

become the perquisite of those who lust for the obscene. And some are, 

further, convinced that by enlisting it on the side of purity and strength 

they are raising the most powerful of all bulwarks against the invasion of 

a vicious conception of life and the consequent degradation of sex. These 

are considerations which we cannot longer afford to neglect, however great 

the opposition they arouse among the unthinking. 

 

"Folk are afraid of such things rousing the passions," Edward 

Carpenter remarks. "No doubt the things may act that way. But 

why, we may ask, should people be afraid of rousing passions 

which, after all, are the great driving forces of human life?" It 

is true, the same writer continues, our conventional moral 


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