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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

moral justification of prostitution. Of this we have an example of the 

first importance in St. Augustine, after St. Paul the chief builder of the 

Christian Church. In a treatise written in 386 to justify the Divine 

regulation of the world, we find him declaring that just as the 

executioner, however repulsive he may be, occupies a necessary place in 

society, so the prostitute and her like, however sordid and ugly and 

wicked they may be, are equally necessary; remove prostitutes from human 

affairs and you would pollute the world with lust: "Aufer meretrices de 

rebus humanis, turbaveris omnia libidinibus."[194] Aquinas, the only 

theological thinker of Christendom who can be named with Augustine, was of 

the same mind with him on this question of prostitution. He maintained the 

sinfulness of fornication but he accepted the necessity of prostitution as 

a beneficial part of the social structure, comparing it to the sewers 

which keep a palace pure.[195] "Prostitution in towns is like the sewer in 

a palace; take away the sewers and the palace becomes an impure and 

stinking place." Liguori, the most influential theologian of more modern 

times, was of the like opinion. 

 

This wavering and semi-indulgent attitude towards prostitution was indeed 

generally maintained by theologians. Some, following Augustine and 

Aquinas, would permit prostitution for the avoidance of greater evils; 

others were altogether opposed to it; others, again, would allow it in 

towns but nowhere else. It was, however, universally held by theologians 

that the prostitute has a right to her wages, and is not obliged to make 

restitution.[196] The earlier Christian moralists found no difficulty in 

maintaining that there is no sin in renting a house to a prostitute for 

the purposes of her trade; absolution was always granted for this and 

abstention not required.[197] Fornication, however, always remained a sin, 

and from the twelfth century onwards the Church made a series of organized 

attempts to reclaim prostitutes. All Catholic theologians hold that a 

prostitute is bound to confess the sin of prostitution, and most, though 

not all, theologians have believed that a man also must confess 

intercourse with a prostitute. At the same time, while there was a certain 

indulgence to the prostitute herself, the Church was always very severe on 

those who lived on the profits of promoting prostitution, on the 

_lenones_. Thus the Council of Elvira, which was ready to receive without 

penance the prostitute who married, refused reconciliation, even at death, 

to persons who had been guilty of _lenocinium_.[198] 

 

Protestantism, in this as in many other matters of sexual morality, having 

abandoned the confessional, was usually able to escape the necessity for 

any definite and responsible utterances concerning the moral status of 

prostitution. When it expressed any opinion, or sought to initiate any 

practical action, it naturally founded itself on the Biblical injunctions 

against fornication, as expressed by St. Paul, and showed no mercy for 

prostitutes and no toleration for prostitution. This attitude, which was 

that of the Puritans, was the more easy since in Protestant countries, 

with the exception of special districts at special periods--such as Geneva 

and New England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries--theologians 

have in these matters been called upon to furnish religious exhortation 

rather than to carry out practical policies. The latter task they have 

left to others, and a certain confusion and uncertainty has thus often 

arisen in the lay Protestant mind. This attitude in a thoughtful and 


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