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English population are darker-eyed than the men; but the difference
is scarcely so great as this; so that even if wives are not so dark-eyed
as women generally it would appear that the ideal admiration for the
dark-eyed may still to some extent make itself felt in actual mating.
While we have to recognize that the modification and even total inhibition
of sexual ideals in the process of actual mating is largely due to psychic
causes, such causes do not appear to cover the whole of the phenomena.
Undoubtedly they count for much, and the man or the woman who, from
whatever causes, has constituted a sexual ideal with certain characters
may in the actual contacts of life find that individuals with other and
even opposed characters most adequately respond to his or her psychic
demands. There are, however, other causes in play here which at first
sight may seem to be not of a purely psychic character. One unquestionable
cause of this kind comes into action in regard to pigmentary selection.
Fair people, possibly as a matter of race more than from absence of
pigment, are more energetic than dark people. They possess a sanguine
vigor and impetuosity which, in most, though not in all, fields and
especially in the competition of practical life, tend to give them some
superiority over their darker brethren. The greater fairness of husbands
in comparison with men in general, as found by Karl Pearson, is thus
accounted for; fair men are most likely to obtain wives. Husbands are
fairer than men in general for the same reason that, as I have shown
elsewhere, created peers are fairer than either hereditary peers or
even most groups of intellectual persons; they have possessed in higher
measure the qualities that insure success. It may be added that with the
recognition of this fact we have not really left the field of sexual
psychology, for, as has already been pointed out, that energy which thus
insures success in practical life is itself a sexual allurement to women.
Energy in a woman in courtship is less congenial to her sexual attitude
than to a man's, and is not attractive to men; thus it is not surprising,
even apart from the probably greater beauty of dark women, that the
preponderance of fairness among wives as compared to women generally,
indicated by Karl Pearson's data, is very slight. It may possibly be
accounted for altogether by homogamy--the tendency of like to marry
like--in the fair husbands.
The energy and vitality of fair people is not, however, it is probable,
merely an indirect cause of the greater tendency of fair men to become
husbands; that is to say, it is not merely the result of the generally
somewhat greater ability of the fair to attain success in temporal
affairs. In addition to this, fair men, if not fair women, would appear to
show a tendency to a greater activity in their specifically sexual
proclivities. This is a point which we shall encounter in a later _Study_
and it is therefore unnecessary to discuss it here.
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