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attribute a curious complementary relationship between the face and the
sacro-pubic region as centres of anatomical modesty. The women of some
African tribes who go naked, Emin Bey remarked, cover the face with the
hand under the influence of modesty. Martial long since observed (Lib.
iii, LXVIII) that when an innocent girl looks at the penis she gazes
through her fingers. Where, as among many Mohammedan peoples, the face is
the chief focus of modesty, the exposure of the rest of the body,
including sometimes even the sacro-pubic region, and certainly the legs
and thighs, often becomes a matter of indifference.
This concealment of the face is more than a convention; it has a
psychological basis. We may observe among ourselves the well-marked
feminine tendency to hide the face in order to cloak a possible blush, and
to hide the eyes as a method of lulling self-consciousness, a method
fabulously attributed to the ostrich with the same end of concealment.
A woman who is shy with her lover will sometimes experience little or no
difficulty in showing any part of her person provided she may cover her
face. When, in gynecological practice, examination of the sexual organs is
necessary, women frequently find evident satisfaction in concealing the
face with the hands, although not the slightest attention is being
directed toward the face, and when an unsophisticated woman is betrayed
into a confession which affects her modesty she is apt to turn her back to
her interlocutor. "When the face of woman is covered," it has been said,
"her heart is bared," and the Catholic Church has recognized this
psychological truth by arranging that in the confessional the penitent's
face shall not be visible. The gay and innocent freedom of southern women
during Carnival is due not entirely to the permitted license of the season
or the concealment of identity, but to the mask that hides the face. In
England, during Queen Elizabeth's reign and at the Restoration, it was
possible for respectable women to be present at the theatre, even during
the performance of the most free-spoken plays, because they wore masks.
The fan has often subserved a similar end.
All such facts serve to show that, though the forms of modesty may change,
it is yet a very radical constituent of human nature in all stages of
civilization, and that it is, to a large extent, maintained by the
mechanism of blushing.
 Melinaud ("Pourquoi Rougit-on?" _Revue des Deux Mondes_, 1 Octobre,
1893) points out that blushing is always associated with fear, and
indicates, in the various conditions under which it may arise,--modesty,
timidity, confusion,--that we have something to conceal which we fear may
be discovered. "All the evidence," Partridge states, "seems to point to
the conclusion that the mental state underlying blushing belongs to the
fear family. The presence of the feeling of dread, the palpitation of the
heart, the impulse to escape, to hide, the shock, all confirms this view."
 G. Stanley Hall, "A Study of Fears," _American Journal Psychology_,
 Men are also very sensitive to any such inquisitiveness on the part
of the opposite sex. To this cause, perhaps, and possibly, also, to the
fear of causing disgust, may be ascribed the objection of men to undress
before women artists and women doctors. I am told there is often
difficulty in getting men to pose nude to women artists. Sir Jonathan
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