At a much later time, the necessity arose in property inheritance for a man to know who his children were. Before this, and partly as a result of polyandry, inheritance of names and property was always through the females, and it did not matter who the father was.* Indeed, a child's paternity was never known. In the gradual evolution of monogamic marriage, wifehood became restricted to the very best of the women and through the elimination of the least worthy, and transmission by inheritance of the characters of the most worthy, there has been evolved that high standard of morality which is the crowning glory of modern civilized women. Now, and for thousands of years, the best have been chosen wives, and the others rejected, for at the present time almost every fallen woman is a short-lived degenerate. In the lower races, without a single exception, women have not evolved this moral tone of the women of Northern Europe. All Latin races are amazed at the liberty and freedom of Anglo-Saxon women, and think it is a result of the civilization; so it is, but not in the way they think - by elevation of the women. It is by allowing those unfit for this freedom to destroy themselves. The Latin races preserve all types by special safeguards.
It is a sad thought that through natural selection civilized women have mounted to their high moral sexual level, so much higher than man's, only through the ruthless destruction and casting out of her weaker, or more passionate sisters. It is the same as our mental evolution, accomplished by killing the unfit, stupid men. Indeed, as so many female degenerates are forced into prostitution and kept from child bearing, it is one of the most powerful natural means of keeping the race normal. Efforts to stop it have been given up all over the world; we can not regulate it; we will not even notice it; and yet it is the safety valve of civilization, to last as long as civilization - one of the safeguards of the home, and a necessary means of keeping the families small. Woods Hutchinson has stated that our prostitutes are almost wholly supported by married men over forty years old.
* See "Evolution of Marriage," Contemporary Science Series.
Some years ago, 4,470 prostitutes were examined in Paris as to their literacy, with the following result: 2,392 could neither read nor write; 1,780 could barely read and write, and only 110 could do both well. In Manchester, England, not one per cent, could read or write* Does this mean simply ignorance or are these miserable creatures of that low order of intelligence which cannot be educated? The general trend of thought is in the latter direction - they are the unfit - the female representatives of the male criminal class - and, brutal as it may sound, their elimination is a racial benefit, if it is done in this way. Prostitution not only reduces the birth rate by removing an enormous number of women from child bearing, but these women are all infected by venereal diseases which they spread, and which thus cause an enormous sterility.
Medical literature is crowded with articles describing the awful destruction of life and reduction of birth rates due to gonorrhea. The disagreeable subject must be mentioned at this point, as it shows how the necessity for a small birth rate has developed prostitution which, in its turn, is causing an abnormally low birth rate in some, and thus necessitating an unduly large rate in others to balance the losses. The disease is dreadfully prevalent, and produces sterility in ten and five-tenths per cent, of those infected, but if there is a complication of onesided epididymitis, twenty-three and four-tenths per cent, are rendered sterile, and if both sides are affected, forty-two and seven-tenths per cent. Moreover, sterility in women is very commonly the result of this disease, which is so destructive of tissue as to cause a large percentage of all the operations on women - estimates varying from twenty-five to eighty-five, according to the locality of the clinic. Many young men think they are cured, but as the germs may remain quiescent for months or years, it frequently happens that the disease is transmitted to the bride, and that the first pregnancy is followed by serious complications causing sterility. This one-child sterility is found in seventeen per cent, of all cases of simple gonorrhea in men, and it has been estimated to be as high at forty per cent.
* Sanitarian, March, 1904.