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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

vigor. We have further to consider that (3) in most countries an important 

and usually essential element of beauty lies in the emphasis of the 

secondary and tertiary sexual characters: the special characters of the 

hair in woman, her breasts, her hips, and innumerable other qualities of 

minor saliency, but all apt to be of significance from the point of view 

of sexual selection. In addition we have (4) the factor of individual 

taste, constituted by the special organization and the peculiar 

experiences of the individual and inevitably affecting his ideal of 

beauty. Often this individual factor is merged into collective shapes, 

and in this way are constituted passing fashions in the matter of beauty, 

certain influences which normally affect only the individual having become 

potent enough to affect many individuals. Finally, in states of high 

civilization and in individuals of that restless and nervous temperament 

which is common in civilization, we have (5) a tendency to the appearance 

of an exotic element in the ideal of beauty, and in place of admiring that 

kind of beauty which most closely approximates to the type of their own 

race men begin to be agreeably affected by types which more or less 

deviate from that with which they are most familiar. 

 

While we have these various and to some extent conflicting elements in a 

man's ideal of feminine beauty, the question is still further complicated 

by the fact that sexual selection in the human species is not merely the 

choice of the woman by the man, but also the choice of the man by the 

woman. And when we come to consider this we find that the standard is 

altogether different, that many of the elements of beauty as it exists in 

woman for man have here fallen away altogether, while a new and 

preponderant element has to be recognized in the shape of a regard for 

strength and vigor. This, as I have pointed out, is not a purely visual 

character, but a tactile pressure character translated into visual terms. 

 

When we have stated the sexual ideal we have not yet, however, by any 

means stated the complete problem of human sexual selection. The ideal 

that is desired and sought is, in a large measure, not the outcome of 

experience; it is not even necessarily the expression of the individual's 

temperament and idiosyncrasy. It may be largely the result of fortuitous 

circumstances, of slight chance attractions in childhood, of accepted 

traditions consecrated by romance. In the actual contacts of life the 

individual may find that his sexual impulse is stirred by sensory stimuli 

which are other than those of the ideal he had cherished and may even be 

the reverse of them. 

 

Beyond this, also, we have reason for believing that factors of a still 

more fundamentally biological character, to some extent deeper even than 

all these psychic elements, enter into the problem of sexual selection. 

Certain individuals, apart altogether from the question of whether they 


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