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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

heightened, more especially during the earlier period of pregnancy. In 24 

cases of pregnancy in which the point was investigated by Harry Campbell, 

sexual feeling was decidedly increased in 8, in one case (of a woman aged 

31 who had had four children) being indeed only present during pregnancy, 

when it was considerable; in only 7 cases was there diminution or 

disappearance of sexual feeling.[199] Pregnancy may produce mental 

depression;[200] but on the other hand it frequently leads to a change of 

the most favorable character in the mental and general well-being. Some 

women indeed are only well during pregnancy. It is remarkable that some 

women who habitually suffer from various nervous troubles--neuralgias, 

gastralgia, headache, insomnia--are only free from them at this moment. 

This "paradox of gestation," as Vinay has termed it, is specially marked 

in the hysterical and those suffering from slight nervous disorders, but 

it is by no means universal, so that although it is possible, Vinay 

states, to confirm the opinion of the ancients as to the beneficial 

action of marriage on hysteria, that is only true of slight cases and 

scarcely enables us to counsel marriage in hysteria.[201] Even a woman's 

intelligence is sometimes heightened by pregnancy, and Tarnier, as quoted 

by Vinay, knew many women whose intelligence, habitually somewhat obtuse, 

has only risen to the normal level during pregnancy.[202] The pregnant 

woman has reached the climax of womanhood; she has attained to that state 

toward which the periodically recurring menstrual wave has been drifting 

her at regular intervals throughout her sexual life[203]; she has achieved 

that function for which her body has been constructed, and her mental and 

emotional disposition adapted, through countless ages. 

 

And yet, as we have seen, our ignorance of the changes effected by the 

occurrence of this supremely important event--even on the physical 

side--still remains profound. Pregnancy, even for us, the critical and 

unprejudiced children of a civilized age, still remains, as for the 

children of more primitive ages, a mystery. Conception itself is a mystery 

for the primitive man, and may be produced by all sorts of subtle ways 

apart from sexual connection, even by smelling a flower.[204] The pregnant 

woman was surrounded by ceremonies, by reverence and fear, often shut up 

in a place apart.[205] Her presence, her exhalations, were of extreme 

potency; even in some parts of Europe to-day, as in the Walloon districts 

of Belgium, a pregnant woman must not kiss a child for her breath is 

dangerous, or urinate on plants for she will kill them.[206] The mystery 

has somewhat changed its form; it still remains. The future of the race is 

bound up with our efforts to fathom the mystery of pregnancy. "The early 

days of human life," it has been truly said, "are entirely one with the 

mother. On her manner of life--eating, drinking, sleeping, and 

thinking--what greatness may not hang?"[207] Schopenhauer observed, with 

misapplied horror, that there is nothing a woman is less modest about than 

the state of pregnancy, while Weininger exclaims: "Never yet has a 

pregnant woman given expression in any form--poem, memoirs, or 


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