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Apparent Independence of Amorous Emotion - Reports of Adults

( Originally Published 1957 )



Some of the data collected by G. V. Hamilton on the reported frequencies of "sex desires," and of "love affairs" at different ages have a bearing upon Moll's conclusion on the earlier appearance of amorous feeling.

Of the women studied by Hamilton, 38 per cent reported "First love affair between ages of 6 and 11 inclusive"; 40 per cent of the men gave the same report. By contrast, 95 per cent of the women and 68 per cent of the men reported "no conscious sex desire before puberty." Of the remaining men, in respect to the latter query, 21 per cent gave answers stating or implying sex desire before puberty, while 11 per cent gave inconclusive answers.

To the question: "When you first fell in love with the first (person of the opposite sex) whom you loved after puberty, and before you had begun to `spoon' with (that person), did you have sex feelings toward (that person), or was your love `pure' in the sense of being free from any conscious sex desire?", 60 per cent of the men and 67 per cent of the women answered that they "had no conscious sex feelings or desire," while 31 per cent of the men and 20 per cent of the women replied affirmatively. One per cent of the women and 15 per cent of the men placed their first longing for "an opportunity to have the sex act with a person of the opposite sex" between the ages of six and eleven, or "early," but 22 per cent of the men and 17 per cent of the women report a longing "for a love affair" with a person of the opposite sex at or before age eleven.

These findings suggest that, for this sampling, there was a tendency for amorous attraction to be experienced earlier than sex desire, and evidence that, after puberty, amorous feeling may be experienced independently of "conscious sex desire."



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