Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 Sex in Relation to Society

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Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Vol 6 of 6

With the air of scientific respectability, Ellis and subsequent researchers led people to believe that they were missing out on pleasures others were experiencing. The work of Ellis played a significant role in transforming attitudes and practices relating to sex, and thereby in laying the foundation for the sexual revolution. By exposing sexual practices in a value-free context, Ellis and other pioneers in the field of sexology provided a service in bringing greater equality and honesty into sexual relations.

Their demystification of sexual practice, however, also encouraged pursuit of the immediate gratification of self-centered, lustful desires alien to a long-lasting true love, and it challenged those who believe moral constraints on sexual behavior are needed to support stable, loving families for raising emotionally healthy adults. His father was a sea captain; his mother, the daughter of a sea captain, and many other relatives lived on or near the sea.

When Ellis was seven years of age, his father took him on one of his voyages, to Australia and Peru.

After his return Ellis went to a private school, the French and German College near Wimbledon, and afterward attended a school in Mitcham. In April , Ellis left London on his father's ship for Australia , and soon after his arrival in Sydney obtained a position as a master at a private school. It was discovered, however, that he had no training for this position, so he was forced to leave his post.

He became a tutor for a family living a few miles from Carcoar. He spent a happy year there, doing a lot of reading, and then obtained a position as a master at a grammar school in Grafton. Ellis returned to England in April He decided to take up the study of human sexuality and felt the best way to qualify for that was as a medical doctor.

He studied medicine at St Thomas' Hospital, from to At the same time, he started to work for the newspaper , Westminster Review, editing its theological and religion section. After receiving his M. The group later became known as the Fabian Society. Among the authors who worked on this project were Arthur Symons and A.

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Swinburne Ellis published his first works of non-fiction in the Contemporary Science Series, which he edited until In November , at the age of 32, Ellis married the English writer and proponent of women's rights, Edith Lees. From the beginning, their marriage was unconventional—Edith was openly lesbian and at the end of their honeymoon, Ellis went back to his bachelor rooms in Paddington, while she lived at Fellowship House.

Their "open marriage" was the central subject in Ellis' autobiography, My Life None of Ellis' four sisters ever married. In , Ellis published his famous Man and Woman, which was translated into many languages. Between and he wrote his masterwork, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, published in six volumes. The seventh volume was published in His Sexual Inversion , which was about homosexuals, was the most controversial of his works, and was banned from sale, pronounced as obscene.

The last years of his life Ellis spent in retirement near Ipswich, in Suffolk. He died on July 8, in Washbrook, England. Like some other members of the Fabian Society , Ellis was a supporter of sexual liberation. His personal experiences, including his unsuccessful marriage , love for another woman, and his own sexual problems, led him toward intense interest in human sexuality. In his first major work, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Ellis explored sexual relations from a biological and multicultural perspective.

Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 by Havelock Ellis - Free Ebook

Ellis was mostly interested in typical heterosexual behavior , but he also wrote on homosexuality , masturbation, and other sexual practices. He tried to demystify human sexuality. That, rightly considered, is the most vital of all vital facts. Every child thus has a right to choose his own ancestors.

Naturally he can only do this vicariously, through his parents. It is the most serious and sacred duty of the future father to choose one half of the ancestral and hereditary character of his future child; it is the most serious and sacred duty of the future mother to make a similar choice. In choosing each other they have between them chosen the whole ancestry of their child. They have determined the stars that will rule his fate. In the past that fateful determination has usually been made helplessly, ignorantly, almost unconsciously. It has either been guided by an instinct which, on the whole, has worked out fairly well, or controlled by economic interests of the results of which so much cannot be said, or left to the risks of lower than bestial chances which can produce nothing but evil.

In the future we cannot but have faith—for all the hope of humanity must rest on that faith—that a new guiding impulse, reinforcing natural instinct and becoming in time an inseparable accompaniment of it, will lead civilized man on his racial course. Just as in the past the race has, on the whole, been moulded by a natural, and in part sexual, selection, that was unconscious of itself and ignorant of the ends it made towards, so in the future the race will be moulded by deliberate selection, the creative energy of Nature becoming self-conscious in the civilized brain of man.


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This is not a faith which has its source in a vague hope. The problems of the individual life are linked on to the fate of the racial life, and again and again we shall find as we ponder the individual questions we are here concerned with, that at all points they ultimately converge towards this same racial end. Since we have here, therefore, to follow out the sexual relationships of the individual as they bear on society, it will be convenient at this point to put aside the questions of ancestry and to accept the individual as, with hereditary constitution already determined, he lies in his mother's womb.

It is the mother who is the child's supreme parent. Nature has tried various experiments in this direction, among the fishes, for instance, and even among birds. But reasonable and excellent as these experiments were, and though they were sufficiently sound to secure their perpetuation unto this day, it remains true that it was not along these lines that Man was destined to emerge.


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Among all the mammal predecessors of Man, the male is an imposing and important figure in the early days of courtship, but after conception has once been secured the mother plays the chief part in the racial life.

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