Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/196

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EQUALITY AND INEQUALITY IN SEX.

By G. DELAUNEY.

THE sentimental pretensions put forward by a political school which holds that woman is intellectually the equal of man, give a character of actuality to the question of the comparison of the sexes. This question, which it has been the custom to treat from a metaphysical point of view, is to us purely anthropological, or rather zoological; for we propose to show by characteristic examples borrowed from the whole animal kingdom that sexuality undergoes the same evolution in all species, including the human species. The female surpasses the male in certain inferior species. The males are smaller than the females among many cephalopods, and among some cirripeds. With a few exceptions, the superiority of the females prevails among the annelids, and among certain articulates, as bees, hornets, wasps; and female butterflies are larger and heavier than males, a difference being observable even among the larva?. A like superiority of females may be observed in many fishes, as in the cyprinoids, and in reptiles. This is, however, no longer the case among the superior vertebrates. The males of birds and mammals are nearly always superior to the females.

To sum up, the two sexes, at first unequal in consequence of the superiority of the female over the male characterizing the lowest species, become equal among species a little more elevated in the animal scale, and become unequal again in consequence of the pre-eminence of the male over the female, which is observed in all the higher species. The supremacy of the female is, then, the first term of the evolution which sexuality undergoes, while the supremacy of the male is the last term. Let us now see wherein the superiority of the male is manifested.

The nutritive phenomena in birds and mammals, including the human species, are more intensive in the male than in the female. The blood is denser, redder, contains more red globules and hemiglobine (Quinquand, Korniloff), fewer white globules, and less water. M. Malassez has found a million more red globules in a cubic millimetre of man's than of woman's blood. Man eats more than woman. Public charities recognize that it costs more to feed a boy than a girl. But, though she eats less, woman is more of a gourmand (Brillat-Savarin), and eats more frequently, being oftener pressed by hunger. Women in the cities eat between-meals, like children. In asylums for the aged, where women are not allowed more meals than men, they abstract food from each meal to eat in the intervals, so as to double the number of their meals.

The respiratory phenomena of men are also stronger than those of women. The pulmonary capacity of a woman is a pint less than that