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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/232

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and depraved in them than in men. They prove themselves most cruel, and when compared with normal women they are found wanting in every attribute belonging to the latter. For example, among women born with criminal tendencies there is a total want of maternal affection, pity, and love; they are excessively erotic and revengeful, revenge among women naturally criminals being one of the chief motives for crime. By a curious contrast in this class a mawkish sentimentality, which is particularly apparent in their letters, takes the place of real and strong sentiment. For instance, Avelina wrote to her lover thus: "I am jealous of Nature, which seems to madden us by its beauty. Dearest one, don't you think that this beautiful weather is made for lovers and speaks of love?" Again: "How I wish the undertaking which would render us free and happy were over" (the murder of her husband); "I must succeed in it, as paradise is in view. The turning of the path is full of roses." Lombroso concludes thus: "Since these women are morally insane, and are wanting in all noble and deep sentiments, they exchange them for exaggerated sophistications, just as a coward boasts of a chimerical and absurd courage in his discourses."

Women born criminals are intelligent, and make up for their weakness and want of physical power to satisfy their natural depravity by having recourse to cunning in their fight against society. But as a whole the type of the woman born to be a criminal shows a great likeness to the type of men criminals, and in the rare case of complete criminality women surpass men in wickedness. Females who have become delinquents by accident—and the greater number of female criminals belong to this class—may be divided into two categories: the one represented by females born with only slight criminal tendencies, the other containing delinquents who differ very slightly from normal women, and who sometimes are nothing but ordinary women whose condition in life has been such as to develop that fund of immorality which is latent in every woman. Prof. Lombroso determines by indubitable data the much-debated question of the affinity between prostitution and criminality, concluding that the psychological and anatomical identity between criminals and born prostitutes could not be more complete; both being morally insane, by a mathematic axiom they become equal. In drawing his conclusions on women who have become prostitutes through circumstances Lombroso says that mentally these are more abnormal than women who have become criminals by choice, because, according to the theory of his school, prostitution and not criminality is the true degeneration of woman, innate female criminals being rare and monstrous exceptions. He says: "Chastity is the strongest feminine sentiment after maternity; it is a sentiment