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That the influence exerted by a general knowledge of scientific methods
of Birth Control would suffice to entirely abolish prostitution it is
foolish to maintain, although it would undoubtedly tend to decrease the
social evil. And even the partial elimination of prostitution would be
in the interests of general morality, not only in the direction of
lessening the brutal demand of women to serve in the ranks of
prostitution, but also in many other ways of importance to society as a
whole. The decrease of venereal disease would follow a decrease in
prostitution caused by a general knowledge and practice of scientific
methods of Birth Control on the part of married people; and it must be
remembered that venereal disease spreads far beyond the patrons of
prostitution and is a perpetual menace to others who may become innocent
victims. And any influence that serves to decrease prostitution and the
spread of venereal disease, must be placed in the category of "moral,"
and certainly not in the opposite one.
The objection is frequently heard that the general knowledge of
scientific methods of contraception would lead to increased illicit
relations among unmarried persons, particularly among the young people.
This argument is apparently based upon the belief, or fear, that the
fear of conception is the only thing which prevents many persons from
indulging in illicit relations. It assumes that a large portion of our
womankind are chaste simply because of fear of pregnancy; and that this
fear once removed these women would at once plunge into such relations.
In other words, it assumes that mentally and in spirit these women are
already unchaste, but are restrained from physical unchastity by reason
of the fear of conception.
The answer of the advocates of Birth Control takes direct issue with the
above contention. On the contrary, it asserts that the chastity of our
women is the result of their general training, education, heredity,
observance of the accepted customs and standards of their community,
religious and moral training, etc. The woman who is chaste simply
through fear, usually manages to allay that fear in one way or another,
often by mistaken methods which work great harm to the woman and the
community in general. The general knowledge of scientific contraceptive
methods might result in such women manifesting their inclinations and
desires in a "safer" manner, but this "safety" would not consist of
protection against conception (for that they already think they have)
but rather of a protection against the dangers of abortion and similar
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