Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/600

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suppose them to be of exactly the same weight; and let us add the condition of exactly the same quantity and quality of brain in both. The one sex would have exactly the same capacity for transforming energy as the other, and this would be the ideal condition of things for which the reformers plead. But, so soon as a single child is born, a certain amount of woman's energy is transformed and imparted to a new individual. The development of the individual woman holds a constantly inverse ratio to the multiplication of the species. The maintenance of intellectual equality between the sexes is impossible, because it is only supposable by the creation of impossible conditions. If our original men and women, who were in all respects equal, had no offspring, the equality would continue for a generation, until the species should have disappeared with the death of the last of these hypothetical beings.

By reflecting that no such original equality ever existed, but that, on the contrary, a considerable physical superiority has been the possession of man from the beginning; by remembering that, in the perpetual struggle for existence, man's physical and intellectual faculties have been stimulated to the utmost in gaining the means of life for himself and for his weaker mate and offspring; and by considering how large an amount of woman's energy must be diverted from intellectual pursuits to the function of maternity—we see that the conditions of intellectual development are vastly in man's favor. We also see that the main features of these original conditions are permanent conditions of human life on the earth. Woman's inferior size and power will forbid her becoming the successful rival of man in the struggle for existence. Consequently, she will miss the powerful intellectual stimulus which this competition creates among men. Lastly, while society continues to exist, she will always be obliged to expend a large proportion of her energy in the function of maternity. All these enumerated and inevitable facts bear upon her chances of intellectual growth, and have a tendency to widen the intellectual gulf between herself and man. Mr. Darwin, in his "Descent of Man" (vol. ii, p. 313), after enumerating the causes which strengthened the differences in mental power of the sexes, adds, "It is, indeed, fortunate that the law of the equal transmission of characters to both sexes has commonly prevailed throughout the whole class of mammals; otherwise, it is probable that man would have become as superior in mental endowment to woman as the peacock is in ornamental plumage to the peahen."

It is not unlikely that the still imperfectly known laws of heredity have increased the intellectual endowment of the male, for Mr. Darwin finds a general law of transmission in the line of sex. If, too, we accept Mr. Spencer's proof of the inverse ratio between individuation and multiplication, we see that intellectual mothers will have fewer daughters than unintellectual ones; so that the chances of transmission