The English Victorians, as well as their Western European and American counterparts, strike us as quite puritanical and repressive in terms of their moral and socio-political stances. However, it is to their credit that they truly recognized the lower level of of female sexual desire for what it was, as well as the total absence of any tangible evidence for female sexual insatiability (nymphomania). Of all the observations made by the medical authorities of nineteenth century England and America, it cannot but help be noticed that they achieve a certain unanimity of opinion when speaking of the lack of female sexual impulse. Many of the most celebrated physicians of the day argued that women cannot be described as physical creatures amenable to the influence of any known sexual passion. Many even went so far as to suggest that the ascription of sexual passion to the woman was akin to making a vile calumny against an innocent bystander’s character. However, others disagreed and were grudgingly willing to concede that the majority of women possess a very slight sex drive, very much mild in comparison to the potency and urgency of the truly explosive male libido. Most were of the opinion that whatever the actual level of female sex drive itself, the overwhelming majority of women, with a characteristic uniformity that reflects the underlying psycho-physiological reality that sharply differentiates the two sexes, have considerably lower sex drives than men do. Indeed, it was frequently noted by many a physician of the late nineteenth century that all women, or atleast a significant majority of them, possessed no sex drive whatsoever and were incapable of expressing any truly urgent or autonomous level of sexual desire.
Amongst them, one of the more literary exponents of nineteenth century female passionlessness was an English physician named William Acton. He argued that God himself had personally created the woman as a being largely indifferent to the natural processes of human sexuality, patiently enduring the lustful advances of other men as so many tortures of the damned in hell. To Acton, this interpretation made sense, given the limited amount of vital fluid produced by the testis of each male, the complete drainage of which could prove devastating to the male temperament. In a textbook circulated throughout the length and breadth of the British Empire, Dr. William Acton writes:
I should say that the majority of women (happily for society) are not very much troubled by sexual feeling of any kind. What men are habitually, women are only exceptionally… there can be no doubt that sexual feeling in the female is in the majority of cases in abeyance, and that it requires positive and considerable excitement to be roused at all: and even if roused (which in many instances it never can be) it is very moderate compared with that of the male… I am ready to maintain that there are many females who never feel any sexual excitement whatever. Others, again, immediately after each period, do become to a limited degree, capable of experiencing it; but this capacity is often temporary, and may entirely cease until the next menstrual period. Many of the best wives, mothers, and managers of households, know little of or are careless of sexual indulgences. Love of home, of children, and of domestic duties are the only passions they feel. As a general rule, a modest woman seldom desires any sexual gratification for herself. She submits to her husbands embraces, but principally to gratify him; and, were it not for the desire for maternity, would far rather be relieved from his attentions… the married woman has no wish to be placed on the footing of a mistress. (The Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs, in Childhood, Youth, Adult Age and Advanced Life, pg. 162-164)
Many observers on the European continent also came to the conclusion that women were nonsexual creatures; the manifestation of sexual passion within any female was seen as a species of grave mental illness requiring institutionalization within a sanatorium specializing in intensive treatment. The distinguished German neurologist and pioneer in the art of hypnotism, Richard von Krafft-Ebbing eloquently stated quite succinctly in his book, Psychopathia Sexualis, that
Man has beyond doubt the stronger sexual appetite of the two. From the period of pubescence he is instinctively drawn towards woman. His love is sensual, and his choice is strongly prejudiced in favour of physical attractions. A mighty impulse of nature makes him aggressive and impetuous in his courtship. Yet the law of nature does not wholly fill his psychic being. Having won the prize, his love is temporarily eclipsed by other vital and social interests.Woman, however, if physically and mentally normal, and properly educated, has but little sensual desire. If it were otherwise, marriage and family life would be empty words. As yet the man who avoids women, and the woman who seeks men are sheer anomalies.(pg. 8)
In a similar vein, George Napheys observed that “only in very rare instances do women feel one tithe of the sexual feeling which is familiar to most men. Many of them are entirely frigid, and not even in marriage do they ever perceive any real desire.”( On the Transmission of Life, pg. 7)
The only passion women were psycho-physiologically capable of experiencing, these manuals argued, was maternal, with predictable consequences for the female character.To them, the ideal woman of the male erotic imagination, such as it was in late Victorian times, was as a frigid being, an angel on a pedestal, with little capacity for arousal and a strong natural repugnance to all forms of human sexuality. The more conspicuously intense the condition of anaesthesia sexualis, or complete extinction of sexual desire, in the woman, the greater her value as housewife and mother. Thus, having a reputation of great virtue became highly valued amongst a genteel female public. After all, it was the attainment of such a reputation that consequently led to the greater desirability of the female as a commodity within the bio-economic system of the heterosexual marketplace. By manipulating the imperiousness of male libido through the display of her feminine charms, she secures whatever money and power that can be had as the price for the full physiological realization of her maternal instinct. To the Romantics of the day, many of the most beautiful women were conceived of as creatures more frigid than ice, devoid of all erotic impulse. The more sanitized a woman was of her sexuality, the greater her worth and position in society.
If ever a stereotype had any truth, and many stereotypes do possess a grain of truth, there is none more true than this one. It is made seemingly inevitable by the psycho-physiological reality that teases apart the male libido and the frigid/oestral state of the female; it then takes both these halves and sets them up as two separate dimensions of the same reality. Many stereotypes can be highly rational in logical structure, such as being stylistically coherent, adhering to the principle of noncontradiction and internal self-consistency. The rational stereotype can also be based objectively on the sensory impressions derived from external reality. These can be rigorously evaluated according to the tools of scientific methodology and statistical analysis, those vital instruments which regularly guide investigations into natural phenomena. A stereotype need not be structured around such heights of incoherence as to wilfully posit that all the elements of a set are uniform in the possession of a certain trait in order to be considered a stereotypical judgment. All it need demonstrate is that a certain trait or collection of traits revolve around a number of statistical polarities along a bell curve distribution. It is this last property that renders such an assertion susceptible to any empirical evaluation as to its corresponding level of veracity, as can ultimately be discerned from its basic structure.
The notion of stereotype can be defined as a statistical generalization based on the relative probability of trait possession, whose validity can be verified mathematically by means of a series of Bayesian statistical formulae, typically of the form P x (A\B)= P x (B\A) x P x (A)/P x (B) where P x (A) and P x (B) is the marginal probability of A and B is the probability of one event not tied to the simultaneous occurrence of any other event, and that P x (A\B) and P x (B\A) is the conditional probability A or B, given the occurrence of B or A.
The stereotype that the generality of women hate sex is by no means irrational, but a statistical generalization based on a large amount of empirical information that lend a high degree of conditional probability to the factuality of the argument itself. It is a scientific fact that the overwhelming majority of women have significantly lower sex drives than men or are completely frigid; few women have strong passions so overwhelming as to be difficult to control. In addition, women have considerably lower levels of both sexual motivation and interest than men. Furthermore, it has been known for hundreds of years that women also demonstrate significantly lower levels of sexual physiological arousibility than men. There is an abundance of scientific data, drawn extensively from the disciplines of endocrinology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, neurology, evolutionary biology, and social psychology, pointing in this direction. If one defines sex drive as frequency and intensity of desire for sexual gratification for its own sake, then women possess very little or no sexual desire whatsoever.
"La Garde meurt mais ne se rend pas. Vive l'Empereur Napoléon, vive la France!"
- Monsieur Nicholas Chauvin
This blog was written in defence of male superiority and patriarchal dominance; it was written with the idea in mind that all women are breeders and homemakers who belong in the kitchen. The blog itself was initially conceived of as being a great counter-offensive against the twin evils of both feminism and liberal socialism.