280 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY
numbers of population adapted to a given region at a given time. Incidentally it was here worth noting that in the case of Great Britain, the present birth- rate of 28 per 1,000, with a death-rate of 15 per 1,000, giving an excess of 13 per 1,000, compared with a birth-rate of 36 per 1,000, and death-rate of 23 per 1,000, shown by the vital statistics of 1877 ; but yet the lower contem- porary birth-rate gave the same, or a rather higher, yearly increase, i. e., rather over 400,000 per annum, and with this annual increment of between 400,000 and 500,000, we had to remember that there fell upon the nation the burden of supporting over a million paupers, and a great number of able-bodied unemployed. It seemed, therefore, desirable that sociologists should investigate the conditions and criteria of an optimum increase of population. The remarkable local and class differences in the birth-rate were well known. If the birth-rate of 18 per 1,000 and death-rate of 15 per 1,000 which prevailed in Kensington could be made universal throughout the United Kingdom, it would give, from our total popula- tion of 42,000,000, a yearly increment beginning at 130,000. Incidentally she wished to call attention to a paper by M. Gabriel Giroud which went to show that the food-supplies of the human race are insufficient, and that one-third of the world's inhabitants exist habitually in a condition of semi-starvation.
The propositions which she desired to submit were (i) that sexual selection, as determined by the individuality of the natural woman, embodies eugenic ten- dencies, but that these tendencies are more or less countered and even reversed by a process of matrimonial social selection determined by the economic depend- ence of woman in contemporary occidental society in short, that eugenics may be promoted by assuring an income to young women ; (2) that artificial control of the birth-rate is a condition of eugenics.
MR. SKRINE said: Dr. Galton, in treating of monogamy, says that polygamy is now permitted to at least one-half of the human race. I have lived for twenty- one years among polygamists, and, having come home to Europe, I seem to see conditions prevailing which are not in essence dissimilar. The conclusion I have arrived at is that monogamy is purely a question of social sanction, a question, as it were, of police. In regard to endogamy, we may trace back its origin to periods before the dawn of history. The origin of caste and endogamous marriage is due, I believe, to the rise of powerful or intellectual families, which everywhere tend to draw to themselves less powerful families. The higher family was looked up to, and it was thought an honor to marry within it. And thus a small group was formed by a combined process of social and sexual election. The history of cer- tain group formations determined by this sort of marriage selection might be compiled from that royal stud-book, the Almanac de Gotha. There is, it is true, the method of evading the selective process by the custom of morganatic marriage, but that only proves the rule. Dr. Galton has not touched on polyandry ; that, I think, may be interpreted as one of the devices for limiting population, and can be accounted for, I believe, by scarcity of land.
DR. WESTERMARCK, speaking from the chair, said : Ladies and Gentlemen : The members of the Society have today had an opportunity to listen to a most important and suggestive paper, followed by a discussion in which, I am sure, all of us have taken a lively interest. For my own part, I beg to express my pro- found sympathy and regard for Mr. Galton's ardent endeavors to draw public attention to one of the most important problems with which social beings, like ourselves, could be concerned. Mr. Galton has today appealed to historical facts to prove that restrictions in marriage have occurred and do occur, and that there is no reason to suppose that such restrictions might not be extended far beyond the limits drawn up by the laws of any existing civilized nation. I wish to emphasize one restriction not yet touched upon. The husband's and father's function in the family is generally recognized to be to protect and support his wife and children, and many savages take this duty so seriously that they do not allow any man to marry who has not previously given some proof of his ability to fulfil it. Among various Bechuana and Kafir tribes the youth is not allowed to take a wife until he has killed a rhinoceros. Among the Dyaks of Borneo, and other peoples in the Malay Archipelago, no one can marry unless he has acquired