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PREFACE
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-1.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-1.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.4
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.5
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.4
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.5
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-4.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-4.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-4.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-5.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-5.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-5.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-6
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.3
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.4
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.3
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.4
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-3.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-3.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-4.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-4.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-4.3
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-1
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-2
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-3
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-4
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-1.1
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-1.2
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-2.1
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-2.2
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-3-4
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-5.1
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-5.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

the most famous of ancient gynaecologists, states the matter in the most 

precise manner, with instances in proof. The belief continued to persist 

unquestioned throughout the Middle Ages. The first author who denied the 

influence of maternal impressions altogether appears to have been the 

famous anatomist, Realdus Columbus, who was a professor at Padua, Pisa, 

and Rome at the beginning of the sixteenth century. In the same century, 

however, another and not less famous Neapolitan, Della Porta, for the 

first time formulated a definite theory of maternal impressions. A little 

later, early in the seventeenth century, a philosophic physician at Padua, 

Fortunatus Licetus, took up an intermediate position which still finds, 

perhaps reasonably, a great many adherents. He recognized that a very 

frequent cause of malformation in the child is to be found in morbid 

antenatal conditions, but at the same time was not prepared to deny 

absolutely and in every case the influence of maternal impression on such 

conditions. Malebranche, the Platonic philosopher, allowed the greatest 

extension to the power of the maternal imagination. In the eighteenth 

century, however, the new spirit of free inquiry, of radical criticism, 

and unfettered logic, led to a sceptical attitude toward this ancient 

belief then flourishing vigorously.[190] In 1727, a few years after 

Malebranche's death, James Blondel, a physician of extreme acuteness, who 

had been born in Paris, was educated at Leyden, and practiced in London, 

published the first methodical and thorough attack on the doctrine of 

maternal impressions, _The Strength of Imagination of Pregnant Women 

Examined_, and exercised his great ability in ridiculing it. Haller, 

Roederer, and Soemmering followed in the steps of Blondel, and were either 

sceptical or hostile to the ancient belief. Blumenbach, however, admitted 

the influence of maternal impressions. Erasmus Darwin, as well as Goethe 

in his _Wahlverwandtschaften_, even accepted the influence of paternal 

impressions on the child. By the beginning of the nineteenth century the 

majority of physicians were inclined to relegate maternal impressions to 

the region of superstition. Yet the exceptions were of notable importance. 

Burdach, when all deductions were made, still found it necessary to retain 

the belief in maternal impressions, and Von Baer, the founder of 

embryology, also accepted it, supported by a case, occurring in his own 

sister, which he was able to investigate before the child's birth. L.W.T. 

Bischoff, also, while submitting the doctrine to acute criticism, found it 

impossible to reject maternal impressions absolutely, and he remarked that 

the number of adherents to the doctrine was showing a tendency to increase 

rather than diminish. Johannes Mueller, the founder of modern physiology in 

Germany, declared himself against it, and his influence long prevailed; 

Valentin, Rudolf Wagner, and Emil du Bois-Reymond were on the same side. 

On the other hand various eminent gynaecologists--Litzmann, Roth, Hennig, 

etc.--have argued in favor of the reality of maternal impressions.[191] 

 

The long conflict of opinion which has taken place over this opinion has 

still left the matter unsettled. The acutest critics of the ancient 


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