Although it is difficult to lay down any precise scientific data on the subject, it is extremely probable that in a state of nature, and freed from the influences which a high civilization has undoubtedly exercised upon both, the period of the catamenial flow in women corresponds pretty nearly to that of the Bexual appetite in men; in both cases cessation of the generative function being predicated on the period—late or early— of its commencement. Thus a girl who begins to menstruate at, say fourteen, accepting the term set by Gardner, Robertson, Playfair, and others for the continuance of that function—thirty years—will reach her menopause at forty-four; and boys, in whom puberty occurs at a similar age, will, ceteris paribus, if the sexual instinct be not vitiated by premature indulgence, experience a natural decline and almost extinction of the sexual appetite at a corresponding period.
Under existing conditions, however, this must not be accepted as a hard and fixed rule; depending as it does upon the various physical factors of health, occupation, and heredity.
Indeed, some authors fix the cessation of the potenlia gencrandi in males at as late as sixty years; while instances are not wanting in which the potenlia carundi was present in extreme old age; although to meet these extraordinary cases I think it would not be difficult to find an equal number of abnormally late menstruating women. All sociological writers, however, are agreed that diminution of sexual power, with a stubborn persistence of sexual desire, is always a threatening factor in social life; since, with men in whom such an abnormal condition exists, the most violent and flagrant perversions of the sexual instinct—rape, masturbation, pederasty, etc.— are not only always possible but extremely probable. Indeed I think it would not be difficult to trace—as I shall attempt to do under its proper heading—the Negro's passion for child-rape and lust-murder to a sexual degeneracy resulting rather from the vicious practices bequeathed by his Caucasian masters, during the days of slavery, than to any racial inheritance of vice; or, as is popularly believed, an abnormally strong virility and sexual power.
The Negro is not strong sexually; nor is he, in a state of nature, especially addicted to those revolting vices which seem to be rather the pets of civilization. "In Central Africa," as Havelock Ellis informs us, "pederasty appears to be extremely rare; although some cases of effcminatio, and passive pederasty, have been reported from Unyamwezi and Uganda. But among the negro populations of Zanzibar, forms of homosexuality, which are believed to be congenital as well as acquired, are said to be fairly common;"1 and I think it will be fairly shown later on in this work that the Bexuality of the negro is one of display rather than of real power.