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Studies in the Psychology of Sex - Volume 1

Havelock Ellis

Book Overview: 

The first of six volumes, this volume covers in extensive detail the topics of "The Evolution of Modesty", "The Phenomena of Sexual Periodicity", and "Auto-Eroticism". Written as an anthropological and psychological study from the point of view of Havelock, the famous British sexologist of the late 19th century, who was also a physician and social reformer.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .equately accounted for by the statement that modesty tends to irradiate from the action to the words describing the action, for there is a tendency for modesty to be more deeply rooted in the words than in the actions. "Modest women," as Kleinpaul truly remarks, "have a much greater horror of saying immodest things than of doing them; they believe that fig-leaves were especially made for the mouth." (Kleinpaul, Sprache ohne Worte, p. 309.) It is a tendency which is linked on to the religious and ritual feeling which we have already found to be a factor of modesty, and which, even when applied to language, appears to have an almost or quite instinctive basis, for it is found among the most primitive savages, who very frequently regard a name as too sacred or dangerous to utter. Among the tribes of Central Australia, in addition to his ordinary name, each individual has his sacred or secret name, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

It's interesting for its time, but there is much better work out there now

Sound, balanced, unbiased information, thorough almost to the point of being exhaustive, but well worth a read, all the same. The organization particularly is poetically beautiful for such a plain, scientific volume. I also rather love the way he avoids arguing with authors with whom he disagrees...more