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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

_IV. The Present Social Attitude Towards Prostitution._ 

 

We have now surveyed the complex fact of prostitution in some of its most 

various and typical aspects, seeking to realise, intelligently and 

sympathetically, the fundamental part it plays as an elementary 

constituent of our marriage system. Finally we have to consider the 

grounds on which prostitution now appears to a large and growing number of 

persons not only an unsatisfactory method of sexual gratification but a 

radically bad method. 

 

The movement of antagonism towards prostitution manifests itself most 

conspicuously, as might beforehand have been anticipated, by a feeling of 

repugnance towards the most ancient and typical, once the most credited 

and best established prostitutional manifestation, the brothel. The growth 

of this repugnance is not confined to one or two countries but is 

international, and may thus be regarded as corresponding to a real 

tendency in our civilization. It is equally pronounced in prostitutes 

themselves and in the people who are their clients. The distaste on the 

one side increases the distaste on the other. Since only the most helpless 

or the most stupid prostitutes are nowadays willing to accept the 

servitude of the brothel, the brothel-keeper is forced to resort to 

extraordinary methods for entrapping victims, and even to take part in 

that cosmopolitan trade in "white slaves" which exists solely to feed 

brothels.[211] This state of things has a natural reaction in prejudicing 

the clients of prostitution against an institution which is going out of 

fashion and out of credit. An even more fundamental antipathy is 

engendered by the fact that the brothel fails to respond to the high 

degree of personal freedom and variety which civilization produces, and 

always demands even when it fails to produce. On one side the prostitute 

is disinclined to enter into a slavery which usually fails even to bring 

her any reward; on the other side her client feels it as part of the 

fascination of prostitution under civilized conditions that he shall enjoy 

a freedom and choice the brothel cannot provide.[212] Thus it comes about 

that brothels which once contained nearly all the women who made it a 

business to minister to the sexual needs of men, now contain only a 

decreasing minority, and that the transformation of cloistered 

prostitution into free prostitution is approved by many social reformers 

as a gain to the cause of morality.[213] 

 

The decay of brothels, whether as cause or as effect, has been associated 

with a vast increase of prostitution outside brothels. But the repugnance 

to brothels in many essential respects also applies to prostitution 

generally, and, as we shall see, it is exerting a profoundly modifying 

influence on that prostitution. 

 

The changing feeling in regard to prostitution seems to express itself 

mainly in two ways. On the one hand there are those who, without desiring 

to abolish prostitution, resent the abnegation which accompanies it, and 

are disgusted by its sordid aspects. They may have no moral scruples 

against prostitution, and they know no reason why a woman should not 

freely do as she will with her own person. But they believe that, if 

prostitution is necessary, the relationships of men with prostitutes 

should be humane and agreeable to each party, and not degrading to either. 

It must be remembered that under the conditions of civilized urban life, 

the discipline of work is often too severe, and the excitements of urban 

existence too constant, to render an abandonment to orgy a desirable 

recreation. The gross form of orgy appeals, not to the town-dweller but to 

the peasant, and to the sailor or soldier who reaches the town after long 


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