The Sex Problem in Modern Society, An Anthology, The Modern Libray, New York (1931)

This book is a collection of what intellectuals were thinking about sex issues around the time that the various sex books were being written. Intellectuals, like everyone else, are subject to the beliefs of the time, no matter how irrational. And I can't say that none of them just make this stuff up, or that there aren't any statements in this book that would not be made in public anywhere today by anyone wishing to be taken seriously. But it is an interesting background.

I. Bertrand Russell - Why a Sexual Ethic is Necessary.

5-6 We come next to the question of the family. There have existed in various times and places many different kinds of family groups, but the patriarchal family has a very large preponderance, and, moreover, the monogamic patriarchal faily has prevailed more and more over the polygamic. The primary motive of sexual ethics as they have existed in Wstern civilization since pre-christian times has been to secure that degree of female virtue without which the patriarchal family becomes impossible, since paternity is uncertain. What has been added to this in the way of insistence on male virtue by Christianity had its psychological source is asceticism, although in quite recent times theis motice has been reenforced by female jealousy, which became influential with the emancipation of women. This latter motive seems, however, to be temporary, since, if we may judge by appearances, women will tend to prefer a system allowing freedom to both sexes rather than one imposing upon men the restrictions which hitherto have been suffered only by women.

6 Among human beings the cooperation of the father is a great biological advantage to the offspring, especially in unsettled times and among turbulent populations; but with the growth of modern civilization the role of the father is being increasingly taken over by the state, and there is reason to think that a father may cease before long to be biologically advantageous, at any rate in the wage earning class. If this should occur, we must expect a complete breakdown of traditional morality, since there will bo longer be any reason why a mother should wish the paternity of her child to be indisputable. Plato would have us go a step further, and put the state not only in place of the father but in that of the mother also. I am not myself sufficiently an admirer of the state, or sufficiently impressed with the delights of orphan asylums, to be enthusiastic in favor of this scheme.

II. George Jean Nathan - The New View of Sex

26-27 Sex, in the great majority of instances, is a much more casual and unimportant thing than it is customarily admitted to be. An idiotic conspiracy has sought, with almost uniform success, to make the workd accept it as something of paramount consequence in this life of man, the ground of his happiness or unhappiness, of his triumph or defeat, of his joy or his affliction. Yet the reflective man has long known that it is nothing of the kind, that it is, as a matter of fact, of considerably less importance in his general scheme of life than, say, his tobacco or his wine-cellar. Sex is, purely and simply, the diversion of man, a pastime for his leisure hours and, as such, on the same plane with his other pleasures. The civilized man knows little difference between his bottle of vintage champagne, his Corona Corona, his seat at the Follies, and the gratification of his sex impulse. ... I simply say that so long as men and women merely felt about sex, it was what it was yesterday. The moment they began instead to think about it, it dropped its mourning and wove vine leaves about its head and painted its nose red.

III. Will Durant - The Breakdown of Marriage

160 Free love is love free for the male; it is a trap into which emancipated woman falls with a very emancipated man. Some day woman may be master of her own life, and motherhood may not leave her at the mercy of a naturally promiscuous male; some day, far distant, we may find a way of caring for children without binding the man ot the woman wh ohas borne them by him. Then free love will be a boon to all, and the ideal state of a finally liberated race. till then we had better obey the law. ... Confused with free love in the popular mind is companionate marriage. Hysteria conceives this in various shocking ways; but we discover that it doughty protagonist defines it as 'legal marriage with legalized birth control, and with the right to divorce by mutual consent for childless couples, usually without payment of alimony.

IV. Franz Boaz - Eugenics

234 "The object of eugenics is to raise a better race and to do away with increasing suffering by eliminating those who are by heredity destined to suffer and to cause suffering. The humanitarian idea of the conquest of suffering, and the ideal of raising human efficiency to heights never before reached, make eugenics particularly attractive. ... I believe that the human mind and body are so constituted that the attainment of these ends would lead to the destruction of society.

V. Andre Siegfried - Race Consciousnes and Eugenics

237 The backward peoples of the world are the most prolific, just as they are often the most vigorous physically. They are attracted to civilized centers by high wages and better living conditions, but their advent spells disaster for they dislocate the established order of things and sterilize the original superior races. The mingling of the races is equally fatal, as it undermines the ethnic foundations of civilization and introduces a mongrel strain which leads to decadence.

VI. Phyllis Blanchard - The Instincts of the Adolescent Girl

310 The bi-pedal position, the loss of hairy covering, the intimate throwing aside of garments and the huddling together in the cave dwellings, and the use of the hand for the purpose of stimulating desire, all tend to focus the attention on the organs of reproduction, and to emphasize sexuality as it had never been emphasized. ... It was at this time that woman lost her place as the free and equal comrade or man, ... man came to see in woman, in place of the co-worker, an object witherwith to gratify his lust. There was produced, by the slow process of natural selection, a race of wives too weak to resit such treatment, together with a second type who came to possess the ability to feel the sexual impulse at all times, with only traces of the old periodicity.

314-315 In the face of so many terrors it is to be wondered that almost every girl dreams of marriage, and more especially is it astonishing that so many defy conventional morality to become mothers outside the sanction of wedlock. In order to understand this apparent courage, we must recollect the masochistic tendency which is to some extent a part of the female sexual nature. Through a long biological history, man has been the aggressor to whose advances woman passively yielded her charms; he has been the wooer, she the wooed. And this long accustomed compliance with the desires of the more ardent male, necessary for the continuation of the race, has become the natural heritage of woman, so that the impulse to yield to her mate, lawful or otherwise, is stronger than all the fears of present or future pains which may result.

VII. C.G. Jung - The Love Problem of the Student

331 As a rule when a woman marries she wants a child; whereas the man can manage well enough for a time without children. A marriage without children has no especial attraction for a women; hence she prefers to wait.

335 But a marriage that is kept childless by artificial means is always somewhat problematical, since children are a cement that holds where nothing else could.

336 It is different with the man; upon him sexuality forces itself as a brutal fact, filling him with the storm and stress of new struggles and needs. There is scarcely one who escapes the painful and anxious problem of onanism; whereas a girl is often able to masturbate for years without knowing what she is doing.

340 I am now speaking not of actual homosexuals who, as pathological figures, are incapable of a real friendship and, therefore, find no particular sympathy among normal individuals ...

343 The question has a certain similarity with the question of the injuriousness of onanism. Under circumstances where either from physical or psychical causes normal instercourse is impossible and it is used merely as a safety valve, masturbation has no ill effects. ... Onanism that involves psychic complications of this kind is harmful, but not the ordinary uncomplicated masturbation due to necessity. But when onanism is continued into that age of life when the physical, psychical, and social possibilities of normal intercourse are present, and masturbation is indulged in in order to evade the necessities and responsible decisions of mature life -- then it is harmful.

VIII. V.F. Calverton - Contemporary Sex Release in Literature

359 After an examination of cases and averages, it seems a conservative estimate to state that 50 per cent of high school boys have sex relations eihter with their girl friends or prostitutes.