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Table of contents
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

In all but 2 of these 21 the defect was referred to an impression 

occurring within the first three months of pregnancy. This is an important 

point as showing that the assigned cause really falls within a period when 

a defect of development actually could produce the observed result, 

although the person reporting the cases was in many instances manifestly 

ignorant of the details of embryology and teratology. There was no such 

preponderance of early impressions among the defects of skin and hair 

which might well, so far as development is concerned, have been caused at 

a later period; here, in 7 out of 15 cases, it was distinctly stated that 

the impression was made later than the fourth month.[196] 

 

It would seem, on the whole, that while the influence of maternal 

impressions in producing definite effects on the child within the womb has 

by no means been positively demonstrated, we are not entitled to reject it 

with any positive assurance. Even if we accept it, however, it must 

remain, for the present, an inexplicable fact; the _modus operandi_ we can 

scarcely even guess at. General influences from the mother on the child we 

can easily conceive of as conveyed by the mother's blood; we can even 

suppose that the modified blood might act specifically on one particular 

kind of tissue. We can, again, as suggested by Fere, very well believe 

that the maternal emotions act upon the womb and produce various kinds and 

degrees of pressure on the child within, so that the apparently active 

movements of the foetus may be really consecutive on unconscious maternal 

excitations.[197] We may also believe that, as suggested by John Thomson, 

there are slight incooerdinations _in utero_, a kind of developmental 

neurosis, produced by some slight lack of harmony of whatever origin, and 

leading to the production of malformations.[198] We know, finally, that, 

as Fere and others have repeatedly demonstrated during recent years by 

experiments on chickens, etc., very subtle agents, even odors, may 

profoundly affect embryonic development and produce deformity. But how the 

mother's psychic disposition can, apart from heredity, affect specifically 

the physical conformation or even the psychic disposition of the child 

within her womb must remain for the present an insoluble mystery, even if 

we feel disposed to conclude that in some cases such action seems to be 

indicated. 

 

In comprehending such a connection, however at present 

undemonstrated, it may well be borne in mind that the 

relationship of the mother to the child within her womb is of a 

uniquely intimate character. It is of interest in this 

connection to quote some remarks by an able psychologist, Dr. 

Henry Rutgers Marshall; the remarks are not less interesting for 

being brought forward without any connection with the question of 

maternal impressions: "It is true that, so far as we know, the 

nervous system of the embryo never has a direct connection with 

the nervous system of the mother: nevertheless, as there is a 

reciprocity of reaction between the physical body of the mother 

and its embryonic parasite, the relation of the embryonic nervous 

system to the nervous system of the mother is not very far 


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