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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

 

When we thus analyze and investigate the the three main streams of expert 

opinions in regard to this question of sexual abstinence--the opinions in 

favor of it, the opinions in opposition to it, and the opinions which take 

an intermediate course--we can scarcely fail to conclude how 

unsatisfactory the whole discussion is. The state of "sexual abstinence" 

is a completely vague and indefinite state. The indefinite and even 

meaningless character of the expression "sexual abstinence" is shown by 

the frequency with which those who argue about it assume that it can, may, 

or even must, involve masturbation. That fact alone largely deprives it of 

value as morality and altogether as abstinence. At this point, indeed, we 

reach the most fundamental criticism to which the conception of "sexual 

abstinence" lies open. Rohleder, an experienced physician and a recognized 

authority on questions of sexual pathology, has submitted the current 

views on "sexual abstinence" to a searching criticism in a lengthy and 

important paper.[95] He denies altogether that strict sexual abstinence 

exists at all. "Sexual abstinence," he points out, in any strict scenes of 

the term, must involve abstinence not merely from sexual intercourse but 

from auto-erotic manifestations, from masturbation, from homosexual acts, 

from all sexually perverse practices. It must further involve a permanent 

abstention from indulgence in erotic imaginations and voluptuous reverie. 

When, however, it is possible thus to render the whole psychic field a 

_tabula rasa_ so far as sexual activity is concerned--and if it fails to 

be so constantly and consistently there is no strict sexual 

abstinence--then, Rohleder points out, we have to consider whether we are 

not in presence of a case of sexual anaesthesia, of _anaphrodisia 

sexualis_. That is a question which is rarely, if ever, faced by those who 

discuss sexual abstinence. It is, however, an extremely pertinent 

question, because, as Rohleder insists, if sexual anaesthesia exists the 

question of sexual abstinence falls to the ground, for we can only 

"abstain" from actions that are in our power. Complete sexual anaesthesia 

is, however, so rare a state that it may be practically left out of 

consideration, and as the sexual impulse, if it exists, must by 

physiological necessity sometimes become active in some shape--even if 

only, according to Freud's view, by transformation into some morbid 

neurotic condition--we reach the conclusion that "sexual abstinence" is 

strictly impossible. Rohleder has met with a few cases in which there 

seemed to him no escape from the conclusion that sexual abstinence 

existed, but in all of these he subsequently found that he was mistaken, 

usually owing to the practice of masturbation, which he believes to be 

extremely common and very frequently accompanied by a persistent attempt 

to deceive the physician concerning its existence. The only kind of 

"sexual abstinence" that exists is a partial and temporary abstinence. 

Instead of saying, as some say, "Permanent abstinence is unnatural and 

cannot exist without physical and mental injury," we ought to say, 

Rohleder believes, "Permanent abstinence is unnatural and has never 

existed." 

 

It is impossible not to feel as we contemplate this chaotic mass of 

opinions, that the whole discussion is revolving round a purely negative 

idea, and that fundamental fact is responsible for what at first seem to 

be startling conflicts of statement. If indeed we were to eliminate what 

is commonly regarded as the religious and moral aspect of the matter--an 

aspect, be it remembered, which has no bearing on the essential natural 

facts of the question--we cannot fail to perceive that these ostentatious 


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