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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 classical example of womanly modesty in the Medicean Venus, who 

withdraws the pelvis, at the same time holding one hand to guard the 

pubes, the other to guard the breasts.[9] The essential expression in each 

case is that of defence of the sexual centers against the undesired 

advances of the male.[10] 

 

Stratz, who criticizes the above statement, argues (with 

photographs of nude women in illustration) that the normal type 

of European surprised modesty is shown by an attitude in which 

the arms are crossed over the breast, the most sexually 

attractive region, while the thighs are pressed together, one 

being placed before the other, the shoulder raised and the back 

slightly curved; occasionally, he adds, the hands may be used to 

cover the face, and then the crossed arms conceal the breasts. 

The Medicean Venus, he remarks, is only a pretty woman coquetting 

with her body. Canova's Venus in the Pitti (who has drapery in 

front of her, and presses her arms across her breast) being a 

more accurate rendering of the attitude of modesty. But Stratz 

admits that when a surprised woman is gazed at for some time, she 

turns her head away, sinks or closes her eyes, and covers her 

pubes (or any other part she thinks is being gazed at) with one 

hand, while with the other she hides her breast or face. This he 

terms the secondary expression of modesty. (Stratz, _Die 

Frauenkleidung_, third ed., p. 23.) 

 

It is certainly true that the Medicean Venus merely represents an 

artistic convention, a generalized tradition, not founded on 

exact and precise observation of the gestures of modesty, and it 

is equally true that all the instinctive movements noted by 

Stratz are commonly resorted to by a woman whose nakedness is 

surprised. But in the absence of any series of carefully recorded 

observations, one may doubt whether the distinction drawn by 

Stratz between the primary and the secondary expression of 

modesty can be upheld as the general rule, while it is most 

certainly not true for every case. When a young woman is 

surprised in a state of nakedness by a person of the opposite, or 

even of the same, sex, it is her instinct to conceal the primary 

centers of sexual function and attractiveness, in the first 

place, the pubes, in the second place the breasts. The exact 

attitude and the particular gestures of the hands in achieving 

the desired end vary with the individual, and with the 

circumstances. The hand may not be used at all as a veil, and, 

indeed, the instinct of modesty itself may inhibit the use of the 

hand for the protection of modesty (to turn the back towards the 

beholder is often the chief impulse of blushing modesty, even 

when clothed), but the application of the hand to this end is 

primitive and natural. The lowly Fuegian woman, depicted by 

Hyades and Deniker, who holds her hand to her pubes while being 

photographed, is one at this point with the Roman Venus described 

by Ovid (_Ars Amatoria_, Book II):-- 

 

"Ipsa Venus pubem, quoties velamnia ponit, 

Protegitur laeva semireducta manus." 

 

It may be added that young men of the lower social classes, at 

all events in England, when bathing at the seaside in complete 

nudity, commonly grasp the sexual organs with one hand, for 


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