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Modern Views of Sexual Emotion - Alexander Bain

( Originally Published 1957 )

It is notable that the psychologist Alexander Bain's account of sexual love follows, on the whole, that of Spencer, with "appetite and personal charm" having the leading role as the basis of attraction. This emotion is further distinguished, he notes as Spencer did not by the concentration of interest upon one person. Bain observes that "there is a form of the love of the sexes that does not call forth the appetite." He anticipates findings to be later presented in the statement that "The interest awakened by one sex towards the other precedes sexual gratification, and goes on in its absence . . ." He adds that we need not suppose that these two "modes" of sexual interest have always, in past history, been thus independent. The psychologist is here not far behind the novelist in his judgment of the great power of amorous emotion, which is the "most furious and elated experience of human nature. By every test applied to estimate the force of a state of feeling, this condition ranks supreme."

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