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The primary sexual characters of man and woman have thus never at any time
played a very large part in sexual allurement. With the growth of culture,
indeed, the very methods which had been adopted to call attention to the
sexual organs were by a further development retained for the purpose of
concealing them. From the first the secondary sexual characters have been
a far more widespread method of sexual allurement than the primary sexual
characters, and in the most civilized countries to-day they still
constitute the most attractive of such methods to the majority of the
The main secondary sexual characters in woman and the type which
they present in beautiful and well-developed persons are
summarized as follows by Stratz, who in his book on the beauty of
the body in woman sets forth the reasons for the characteristics
Delicate bony structure.
Rounded forms and breasts.
Long and abundant hair.
Low and narrow boundary of pubic hair.
Sparse hair in armpit.
No hair on body.
High and slender eyebrows.
Low and small lower jaw.
Soft transition from cheek to neck.
Small hand, with long index finger.
Straight, small clavicle.
Small and long thorax.
Prominent and domed nates.
Rounded and thick thighs.
Low and obtuse pubic arch.
Soft contour of knee.
Long second and short fifth toe.
Broad middle incisor teeth.
(Stratz, _Die Schoenheit des Weiblichen Koerpers_, fourteenth
edition, 1903, p. 200. This statement agrees at most points with
my own exposition of the secondary sexual characters: _Man and
Woman_, fourth edition, revised and enlarged, 1904.)
Thus we find, among most of the peoples of Europe, Asia, and Africa, the
chief continents of the world, that the large hips and buttocks of women
are commonly regarded as an important feature of beauty. This secondary
sexual character represents the most decided structural deviation of the
feminine type from the masculine, a deviation demanded by the reproductive
function of women, and in the admiration it arouses sexual selection is
thus working in a line with natural selection. It cannot be said that,
except in a very moderate degree, it has always been regarded as at the
same time in a line with claims of purely aesthetic beauty. The European
artist frequently seeks to attenuate rather than accentuate the
protuberant lines of the feminine hips, and it is noteworthy that the
Japanese also regard small hips as beautiful. Nearly everywhere else
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