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Excerpts from the Staats-Lexikon: "Relations between the Sexes" (1845-1848)

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2) With the act of coition, with the creation of individual life, the man ends his immediate part in procreation. Moreover, his entire organization and life’s activity prior to this procreation is not destined for and engaged in the purpose of procreation to nearly the same degree as is the case with the woman, in whom, as Burdach has said, “the goal of life is love, and all powers relate to the preservation of the species.” The man therefore sees himself as freer and more dependent on other, external activity. Even after conception, woman’s destiny consists primarily in the continuing preservation of the species through inner development, that is to say, in fostering and keeping within her maternal bosom the conceived child as part of her own life, bringing it to development through the harmony of her own life with that of the child, nourishing and caring for it also after birth, and sending only the individual who has matured to an independent life out into the world, where the man then introduces him to the world.

In a most peculiar way, all other differences in the organic structure and the organic life functions of the two sexes harmonize with this two-fold, central difference. Drawing on Burdach’s evidence and detailed discussion, we shall highlight only a few main features by way of illustration.

While the direction toward individual creation and energetic external activity is paramount in the physical organization of the man, the direction toward inner improvement and preservation predominates in the female organization; a more active appropriation and bonding of matter against dissolution holds sway, as a result of which woman needs only a moderate, not very stimulating, mild, and easy diet, whereas man requires stronger secretions, stimuli, and renewals, more frequent and more vigorous breathing of fresh air, a more robust meat diet, spices, and spirituous liquors, and he cannot do without food to the same degree and for as long as woman. A larger portion of female organs and functions is directed toward the preservation of the species, and woman has a greater need for procreation than man; she suffers more from the unmarried state than he does. Blood is more easily created in the woman, cellular tissue and fat are more abundant and the external forms are therefore softer and gentler, while the excretions are smaller and, on the whole, life resists or preserves itself longer. – The female body is more delicate, the receptivity for stimuli is greater, the circulation of the blood and the pulse are quicker. Development progresses earlier and all stages follow upon each other more rapidly. – While muscle power predominates in the man, in the woman it is nervous activity, and the muscles are thinner, less externally defined, softer, and weaker. The joints are more flexible, the tendons and ligaments more supple, movements are less powerful but – given the preponderance of the central organs and her mastery over them – lighter, more lively, and more graceful. The bones are thinner, the limbs more delicate, the voice is weaker but higher, more supple and pliable. Everywhere the inner, the central is more powerful in the female organism compared to the external, the peripheral. The sensory organs are accordingly smaller and more delicate, and – with a more sensitive receptivity – more suited to the reception of subtler impressions than to activity in wider circles.

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