Notwithstanding the personality gulf between men and women, the sex urge is sufficient to insure their coming together for the reproduction of the species. This instinct operated effectively long before humans experienced much of what was later called love, devotion, and marital loyalty. Mating is an innate propensity, and marriage is its evolutionary social repercussion.
Sex interest and desire were not dominating passions in primitive peoples; they simply took them for granted. The entire reproductive experience was free from imaginative embellishment. The all-absorbing sex passion of the more highly civilized peoples is chiefly due to race mixtures, especially where the evolutionary nature has been stimulated by the associative imagination and beauty appreciation of the Nodites and Adamites. But this Andite inheritance was absorbed by the evolutionary races in such limited amounts as to fail to provide sufficient self-control for the animal passions thus quickened and aroused by the endowment of keener sex consciousness and stronger mating urges. Of the evolutionary races, the red man had the highest sex code.
The regulation of sex in relation to marriage indicates:
1. The relative progress of civilization. Civilization has increasingly demanded that sex be gratified in useful channels and in accordance with the mores.
2. The amount of Andite stock in any people. Among such groups sex has become expressive of both the highest and the lowest in both the physical and emotional natures.
The Sangik races had normal animal passion, but they displayed little imagination or appreciation of the beauty and physical attractiveness of the opposite sex. What is called sex appeal is virtually absent even in present-day primitive races; these unmixed peoples have a definite mating instinct but insufficient sex attraction to create serious problems requiring social control.
The mating instinct is one of the dominant physical driving forces of human beings; it is the one emotion which, in the guise of individual gratification, effectively tricks selfish man into putting race welfare and perpetuation high above individual ease and personal freedom from responsibility.
As an institution, marriage, from its early beginnings down to modern times, pictures the social evolution of the biologic propensity for self-perpetuation. The perpetuation of the evolving human species is made certain by the presence of this racial mating impulse, an urge which is loosely called sex attraction. This great biologic urge becomes the impulse hub for all sorts of associated instincts, emotions, and usages—physical, intellectual, moral, and social.
With the savage, the food supply was the impelling motivation, but when civilization insures plentiful food, the sex urge many times becomes a dominant impulse and therefore ever stands in need of social regulation. In animals, instinctive periodicity checks the mating propensity, but since man is so largely a self-controlled being, sex desire is not altogether periodic; therefore does it become necessary for society to impose self-control upon the individual.
No human emotion or impulse, when unbridled and overindulged, can produce so much harm and sorrow as this powerful sex urge. Intelligent submission of this impulse to the regulations of society is the supreme test of the actuality of any civilization. Self-control, more and more self-control, is the ever-increasing demand of advancing mankind. Secrecy, insincerity, and hypocrisy may obscure sex problems, but they do not provide solutions, nor do they advance ethics.