Practical Importance Of A Study Of Sexual Evolution
( Originally Published 1940 )
It is of the greatest importance to study Evolution because through it we gain a more objective foundation for our judgment; for we may see to what extent our theories correspond with the line of progress of Evolution, and this is the best criterion as to how far we are right, and to what extent we may expect the fulfillment of our ideals in the future.
Such an objective standard is especially needful in the sexual sphere, because here opinions are so divergent. To one man the sexual life is the chief motive of his existence, to another it is, with equal exaggeration, only a temptation of the senses, except when it aims at reproduction, for which it is indispensable.
We have already decided that the extraordinary intense feeling of pleasure is the result of the great internal and external obstacles which are always attached to the sexual function and which must always be overcome. And it is just through the victory over these obstacles that our energy is so greatly sublimated, and that ethically speaking, happiness depends so much upon our sexual life.
We will now consider the sexual life in its general biological significance for the whole organic world and in its development. We shall also briefly review the pre-historic and historical details of the love-life in both man and animals, and we shall see how the sexual impulse was originally only an impulse to detumescence directed to the secretion of the reproductive cells for the relief of a local internal tension, and that it was only much later that it broadened into the impulse to contractation-to a desire to hold another in the love-embrace. This broadening of the Material to the Spiritual is nowhere seen so beautifully as in the history of sexual evolution.