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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

III. 

 

Beauty not the Sole Element in the Sexual Appeal of Vision--Movement--The 

Mirror--Narcissism--Pygmalionism--Mixoscopy--The Indifference of Women to 

Male Beauty--The Significance of Woman's Admiration of Strength--The 

Spectacle of Strength is a Tactile Quality made Visible. 

 

 

Our discussion of the sensory element of vision in human sexual selection 

has been mainly an attempt to disentangle the chief elements of beauty in 

so far as beauty is a stimulus to the sexual instinct. Beauty by no means 

comprehends the whole of the influences which make for sexual allurement 

through vision, but it is the point at which all the most powerful and 

subtle of these are focussed; it represents a fairly definite complexus, 

appealing at once to the sexual and to the aesthetic impulses, to which no 

other sense can furnish anything in any degree analogous. It is because 

this conception of beauty has arisen upon it that vision properly occupies 

the supreme position in man from the point of view which we here occupy. 

 

Beauty is thus the chief, but it is not the sole, element in the sexual 

appeal of vision. In all parts of the world this has always been well 

understood, and in courtship, in the effort to arouse tumescence, the 

appeals to vision have been multiplied and at the same time aided by 

appeals to the other senses. Movement, especially in the form of dancing, 

is the most important of the secondary appeals to vision. This is so well 

recognized that it is scarcely necessary to insist upon it here; it may 

suffice to refer to a single typical example. The most decent of 

Polynesian dances, according to William Ellis, was the _hura_, which was 

danced by the daughters of chiefs in the presence of young men of rank 

with the hope of gaining a future husband. "The daughters of the chiefs, 

who were the dancers on these occasions, at times amounted to five or six, 

though occasionally only one exhibited her symmetry of figure and 

gracefulness of action. Their dress was singular, but elegant. The head 

was ornamented with a fine and beautiful braid of human hair, wound round 

the head in the form of a turban. A triple wreath of scarlet, white, and 

yellow flowers adorned the head-dress. A loose vest of spotted cloth 

covered the lower part of the bosom. The tihi, of fine white stiffened 

cloth frequently edged with a scarlet border, gathered like a large frill, 

passed under the arms and reached below the waist; while a handsome fine 

cloth, fastened round the waist with a band or sash, covered the feet. The 

breasts were ornamented with rainbow-colored mother-of-pearl shells, and a 

covering of curiously wrought network and feathers. The music of the hura 

was the large and small drum and occasionally the flute. The movements 

were generally slow, but always easy and natural, and no exertion on the 

part of the performers was wanting to render them graceful and 

attractive."[168] We see here, in this very typical example, how the 

extraneous visual aids of movement, color, and brilliancy are invoked in 


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