Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/741

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OCTOBER, 1888.


AS is well known, the diversity of sex is of very ancient origin. It appeared in the history of life before the rise of any but the most rudimental mentality, and has at various points in the line of development of living things displayed itself in the most pronounced manner. Great peculiarities of sex structure are witnessed in the higher forms of life, as in birds and mammalia. The greatest peculiarity of mental sex character can only be seen where mind is most developed—that is, in man.

From what we know of sexual as compared with non-sexual reproduction, the advent of the former marked an important advance in the possibilities of progress. Reproduction by gemmation in non-sexual forms, and parthenogenesis in sexual animals, have a different result from sexual reproduction. In the former the characters of the single parent are reproduced with great fidelity. The cultivator who wishes to keep his stock true, uses buds and cuttings. On the other hand, seedlings are variable; because the offspring of two sexes inherit twice as many elements of difference as those of a single sex. Another great gain was secured in the development of a male sex. Being free from the disabilities imposed by maternity, the male could acquire a greater mastery over his environment than the female. His time would be less occupied, and his opportunity for physical exertion greater, and he could and would take a more active part in the struggle for existence. Hence, of the two sexes the male became the fighter and the provider, and necessarily, from the increasing muscular strength acquired in this more active life, the master of the two. He, therefore, became more specialized in some respects, particularly in those necessary to success in his various