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GENERAL PREFACE
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-1.1
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-1.2
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-1.3
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-1.4
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-1.5
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-1.6
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-2.1
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-2.2
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-2.3
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-2.4
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-2.5
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-3
THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY-4
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-1.1
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-1.2
FOOTNOTES
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-2.1
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-2.2
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-2.3
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-3.1
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-3.2
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-3.3
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-3.4
THE PHENOMENA OF SEXUAL PERIODICITY-3.5
FOOTNOTES
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-1.1
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-1.2
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-1.3
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-1.4
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-1.5
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-1.6
FOOTNOTES
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-2.1
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-2.2
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-2.3
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-2.4
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-3.1
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-3.2
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-3.3
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-3.4
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-3.5
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-3.6
AUTO-EROTISM: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-3.7
FOOTNOTES
APPENDIX A-1.1
APPENDIX A-1.2
APPENDIX B-1.1
APPENDIX B-1.2
APPENDIX C-1.1
APPENDIX C-1.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

 

 

THE EVOLUTION OF MODESTY. 

 

I. 

 

The Definition of Modesty--The Significance of Modesty--Difficulties in 

the Way of Its Analysis--The Varying Phenomena of Modesty Among Different 

Peoples and in Different Ages. 

 

 

Modesty, which may be provisionally defined as an almost instinctive fear 

prompting to concealment and usually centering around the sexual 

processes, while common to both sexes is more peculiarly feminine, so that 

it may almost be regarded as the chief secondary sexual character of women 

on the psychical side. The woman who is lacking in this kind of fear is 

lacking, also, in sexual attractiveness to the normal and average man. The 

apparent exceptions seem to prove the rule, for it will generally be found 

that the women who are, not immodest (for immodesty is more closely 

related to modesty than mere negative absence of the sense of modesty), 

but without that fear which implies the presence of a complex emotional 

feminine organization to defend, only make a strong sexual appeal to men 

who are themselves lacking in the complementary masculine qualities. As a 

psychical secondary sexual character of the first rank, it is necessary, 

before any psychology of sex can be arranged in order, to obtain a clear 

view of modesty. 

 

The immense importance of feminine modesty in creating masculine 

passion must be fairly obvious. I may, however, quote the 

observations of two writers who have shown evidence of insight 

and knowledge regarding this matter. 

 

Casanova describes how, when at Berne, he went to the baths, and 

was, according to custom, attended by a young girl, whom he 

selected from a group of bath attendants. She undressed him, 

proceeded to undress herself, and then entered the bath with him, 

and rubbed him thoroughly all over, the operation being performed 

in the most serious manner and without a word being spoken. When 

all was over, however, he perceived that the girl had expected 

him to make advances, and he proceeds to describe and discuss his 

own feelings of indifference under such circumstances. "Though 

without gazing on the girl's figure, I had seen enough to 

recognize that she had all that a man can desire to find in a 

woman: a beautiful face, lively and well-formed eyes, a beautiful 

mouth, with good teeth, a healthy complexion, well-developed 

breasts, and everything in harmony. It is true that I had felt 

that her hands could have been smoother, but I could only 

attribute this to hard work; moreover, my Swiss girl was only 

eighteen, and yet I remained entirely cold. What was the cause of 

this? That was the question that I asked myself." 

 

"It is clear," wrote Stendhal, "that three parts of modesty are 

taught. This is, perhaps, the only law born of civilization which 

produces nothing but happiness. It has been observed that birds 

of prey hide themselves to drink, because, being obliged to 

plunge their heads in the water, they are at that moment 

defenceless. After having considered what passes at Otaheite, I 

can see no other natural foundation for modesty. Love is the 

miracle of civilization. Among savage and very barbarous races we 

find nothing but physical love of a gross character. It is 

modesty that gives to love the aid of imagination, and in so 

doing imparts life to it. Modesty is very early taught to little 

girls by their mothers, and with extreme jealousy, one might say, 


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