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Table of contents
PREFACE
TOUCH-1
TOUCH-2
TOUCH-3 (begin)
TOUCH-3 (end)
TOUCH-4 (begin)
TOUCH-4 (end)
SMELL-1
SMELL-2
SMELL-3.1
SMELL-3.2
SMELL-3.3
SMELL-3.4
SMELL-3.5
SMELL-4 (begin)
SMELL-4 (end)
SMELL-5
HEARING-1
HEARING-2
HEARING-3
VISION-1.1
VISION-1.2
VISION-1.3
VISION-2.1
VISION-2.2
VISION-2.3
VISION-2.4
VISION-3
VISION-4
VISION-5
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

 

At the same time, the stimuli to sexual excitement received through the 

sense of hearing, although very seldom of exclusive or preponderant 

influence, are yet somewhat more important than is usually believed. 

Primarily the voice, and secondarily instrumental music, exert a distinct 

effect in this direction, an effect representing a specialization of a 

generally stimulating physiological influence which all musical sounds 

exercise upon the organism. There is, however, in this respect, a definite 

difference between the sexes. It is comparatively rare to find that the 

voice or instrumental music, however powerful its generally emotional 

influence, has any specifically sexual effect on men. On the other hand, 

it seems probable that the majority of women, at all events among the 

educated classes, are liable to show some degree of sexual sensibility to 

the male voice or to instrumental music. 

 

It is not surprising to find that music should have some share in arousing 

sexual emotion when we bear in mind that in the majority of persons the 

development of sexual life is accompanied by a period of special interest 

in music. It is not unexpected that the specifically sexual effects of the 

voice and music should be chiefly experienced by women when we remember 

that not only in the human species is it the male in whom the larynx and 

voice are chiefly modified at puberty, but that among mammals generally it 

is the male who is chiefly or exclusively vocal at the period of sexual 

activity; so that any sexual sensibility to vocal manifestations must be 

chiefly or exclusively manifested in female mammals. 

 

At the best, however, although aesthetic sensibility to sound is highly 

developed and emotional sensibility to it profound and widespread, 

although women may be thrilled by the masculine voice and men charmed by 

the feminine voice, it cannot be claimed that in the human species hearing 

is a powerful factor in mating. This sense has here suffered between the 

lower senses of touch and smell, on the one hand, with their vague and 

massive appeal, and the higher sense, vision, on the other hand, with its 

exceedingly specialized appeal. The position of touch as the primary and 

fundamental sense is assured. Smell, though in normal persons it has no 

decisive influence on sexual attraction, acts by virtue of its emotional 

sympathies and antipathies, while, by virtue of the fact that among man's 

ancestors it was the fundamental channel of sexual sensibility, it 

furnishes a latent reservoir of impressions to which nervously abnormal 

persons, and even normal persons under the influence of excitement or of 

fatigue, are always liable to become sensitive. Hearing, as a sense for 

receiving distant perceptions has a wider field than is in man possessed 

by either touch or smell. But here it comes into competition with vision, 

and vision is, in man, the supreme and dominant sense.[129] We are always 

more affected by what we see than by what we hear. Men and women seldom 


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