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seventeen years; but a servant-girl can destroy that long work by
a word, even by a gesture."
The great part played by servant-girls of the lower class in the
sexual initiation of the children of the middle class has been
illustrated in dealing with "The Sexual Impulse in Women" in vol.
iii, of these _Studies_, and need not now be further discussed.
I would only here say a word, in passing, on the other side.
Often as servant-girls take this part, we must not go so far as
to say that it is the case with the majority. As regards Germany,
Dr. Alfred Kind has lately put on record his experience: "I have
_never_, in youth, heard a bad or improper word on
sex-relationships from a servant-girl, although servant-girls
followed one another in our house like sunshine and showers in
April, and there was always a relation of comradeship between us
children and the servants." As regards England, I can add that my
own youthful experiences correspond to Dr. Kind's. This is not
surprising, for one may say that in the ordinary well-conditioned
girl, though her virtue may not be developed to heroic
proportions, there is yet usually a natural respect for the
innocence of children, a natural sexual indifference to them, and
a natural expectation that the male should take the active part
when a sexual situation arises.
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