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wrong in an unlimited indulgence of the sexual propensity during
married life. The marriage vow seems to be taken as equivalent to the
freest license, about which there need be no restraint. Yet, if there
is any truth in the law in reference to the enjoyment of the means only
when the end is possible, the necessity of the limitation of this
indulgence during married life is clearly as great as for that of any
other sensual pleasure.
"A great majority of those constituting the most highly civilized
communities, act upon the belief that anything not forbidden by sacred
or civil law is neither sinful nor wrong. They have not found
cohabitation during pregnancy forbidden; nor have they ever had their
attention drawn to the injury to health and organic development, which
such a practice inflicts. Hence, a habitual yielding to inclination
in this matter has determined their life-long behavior.
"The infringement of this law in the married state does not produce
in the husband any very serious disorder. Debility, aches, cramps, and
a tendency to epileptic seizures, are sometimes seen as the effects
of great excess. An evil of no small account is the steady growth of
the sexual passion by habitual unrestraint. It is in this way that what
is known as libidinous blood is nursed as well among those who are
strictly virtuous, in the ordinary meaning of the term, as among those
who are promiscuous in their intercourse.
"The wife and the offspring are the chief sufferers by the violation
of this law among the married. Why this is so, may in part be accounted
for by the following consideration: Among the animal kind it is the
female which decides when the approaches of the male are allowable.
When these are untimely, her instinctive prompting leads her to resist
and protect herself with ferocious zeal. No one at all acquainted with
the remarkable wisdom nature invariably displays in all her operations,
will doubt that the prohibition of all sexual intercourse among animals
during the period of pregnancy must be for a wise and good purpose.
And, if it serves a wise and good purpose with them, why should an
opposite course not serve an unwise and bad purpose with us? Our bodies
are very much like theirs in structure and in function; and in the mode
and laws that govern reproduction there is absolutely no difference.
The mere fact that we possess the power to act otherwise than they do
during that period, does not make it right.
"Human beings having no instinctive prompting as to what is right and
what is wrong, cohabitation, like many other points of the behavior,
is left for reason or the will to determine; or, rather, as things now
are to unreason; for reason is neither consulted nor enlightened as
to what is proper and allowable in the matter. Nature's rule, by
instinct, makes it devolve upon the female to determine when the
approaches of the male are allowable.
"But some may say that she is helpless in the matter. No one dare to
approach her without consent before marriage; and why should man not
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