Typos — p. 83: L'asymetrie [= L'asymétrie]; p. 83: eroticisme [= éroticisme]; p. 83: cree [= crée]; p. 83: problemes [= problèmes]; p. 83: Deuxieme [= Deuxième]; p. 84: l'asymetrie [= l'asymétrie]; p. 83: eroticisme [= éroticisme]; p. 85: willingess [= willingness]; p. 85: skillfully [= skilfully]; p. 86: chaperone [= chaperon]; p. 86: Donts! [= Don'ts!]; p. 87: Donts [= Don'ts]; p. 87: concepton [= conception]; p. 88: Empire [= Empire"]; p. 88: provess [= proves]

Criminal assaults on young women in England & Wales

Anthony M. Ludovici

The International Journal of Sexology 8, 1954–55, pp. 83–88

- p. 83 -
According to the Criminal Statistics for 1952, crimes of violence against the person are steadily increasing, and an alarming number of these consist of criminal assaults on girls and young women by men they have allowed to treat them in public houses, give them a lift in a car, or merely accompany them home from cinemas, dance-halls, or even their places of employment.
        There is a monotonous similarity of pattern in the majority of such criminal assaults, especially when robbery has played no part whatsoever in motivating them, and this pattern is as follows:—
        A young woman may either be on her way home from work or from a place of entertainment with a young man, usually one she knows and does not object to; or, on her way home, she may accept the escort of, or a lift from, a young male stranger, whom at first sight she does not object to; or she may have met a man she finds attractive in a public house and, having accepted a few drinks at his expense, will have allowed him to escort her home. Or, finally she may actually be enjoying an outing with a man she knows well enough to feel the utmost confidence in him.
        Now, in any one of the above situations, the girl, whether out of curiosity, genuine inclination, or else merely out of complaisance, may permit what she will deem innocent liberties to be taken under the safe cover of darkness, or in the seclusion of a wood, or quiet lane, or thoroughfare. She will allow her companion to kiss, hug and perhaps even fondle her, and if he seems acceptable, will even respond with some warmth.
        Owing to the peculiar nature of her own sexuality, her reactions to this handling will remain more or less mild and passive and, even if pleasurable to her, will by no means generate any coercive impulse to more complete abandonment and greater intimacy.
        Subjectively judging his condition as being no more inflamed than her own, and assuming that his enjoyment of their caresses does not exceed her own mainly peripheral pleasure, she will imagine, and there is nothing in her experience to prevent her from doing so, that by the time they reach her street, or her father's house, he will be as content as she expects to be with a long farewell kiss.
        Meanwhile, however, the man himself has been reasoning very much along the same subjective lines as she has. Feeling with every fresh caress his surging tumescence mount ever more and more, so that he feels an increasingly compelling impulse to reach the ultimate stage of intimacy, he fancies that she too must have feelings corresponding exactly to his own and also impatiently expecting the relief of detumescence.
        The radical incompatibility of the sexes — a fact inanely denied by the Feminists — thus inevitably creates a mutual misunderstanding so profound that, unless by chance, a third party unexpectedly happens upon the scene, the position, as far as the girl is concerned, is critical. Given a man of vigorous constitution whose sexual appetite has all the insistence of youth and all the pent up momentum of recent abstinence, and nothing can save her. She will either have to yield, or else be subjected to extremes of violence in order to be made to yield.
        As Simone de Beauvoir aptly observes: "L'asymetrie de l' eroticisme male et femelle cree des problemes insolubles. (Le Deuxieme Sexe, Vol. II. Chap. III), and the more unable the couple may be to form a clear idea of this asymmetry and its consequences, and the more they tend subjectively to infer that their own individual sensations are shared by the partner, the more hopelessly perilous the situation for the girl becomes. Because the man, by assuming, as I say, that his companion is as eager as he is to achieve detumescence, proceeds to effect what he considers the necessary preparations for the sexual act. But, at this point, to his genuine astonishment, he suddenly encounters resistance. Unless the girl is a harlot, she will

- p. 84 -
show alarm and resentment at these preparations and, as it becomes increasingly plain to her what they portend, she will panic and struggle to resist them with all her might.
        Not appreciating that she herself has stoked the fires that are now raging to consume her; far from suspecting that the frenzied savage who is now trying to overpower her, is as aghast and nonplussed at her sudden resistance as she is at what she believes to be his unprovoked and gratuitous violence, a wrestling match ensues in which, unless she is exceptionally athletic, she must inevitably be defeated. For, whilst she regards his onslaught as nothing but a wanton and inexplicable display of brutality; he, with her willing and recent caresses fresh in his mind, cannot understand her spontaneous hostility except as a sudden fit of spite, a treacherous breach of a tacit pact scaled by her kisses.
        Then, as the instantaneously generated hatred accumulates on either side, and the utterly conscienceless tumescence of the male reaches its zenith with the violent preparations he is making, if the girl does not actually faint, she will, as a rule, be too violently handled to be able consciously to put up any further opposition. Or, worse still, if she is just able to resist long enough to drive her companion into a blind frenzy of desire, she may even be stunned, strangled, or mortally wounded.
        Now, if we attempt calmly to subject this drama to a narrow scrutiny, what shall we find has happened? — Simply that, owing to l'asymetrie de l'eroticisme male et femelle, and the general inability to appreciate this asymmetry, or disparity, a girl has quite inadvertently brought disaster on herself by imagining the male in her own likeness, and the man has made himself a criminal, exposed to a long term of imprisonment, because he has imagined the female in his own image.
        As I pointed out above, there is a monotonous similarity of pattern about these cases; any one of them taken at random might supply the essential details of the remainder. Take for instance, a typical case reported in the News of the World of October 3rd, 1954.
        A twenty year old girl, J.C., went with a friend "to meet American Servicemen" to two hotels where they drank cider. In one of them they met a U.S. airman, P. Later on, as they were being taken to the N.C.O. club at B. the girl, J.C. and P. got separated from her friend who had gone off with another U.S. airman, and in the sequel P. overpowered J.C. and criminally assaulted her.
        Under cross-examination the girl admitted readily that P. had been allowed to put his arm round her in the public house; also that, as far as making love was concerned, she did not mind "a bit of kissing and all that." And yet apparently with equal frankness, she denied that she had led P. on. Her friend, in evidence, declared that from her last sight of P. and J.C. she had gathered that "they were merry and happy."
        In the course of the hearing it was made perfectly clear that in the end there had been the usual violent struggle in which the couple had come to blows, and as is also usual in such cases, P. had struck the girl when she screamed and ordered her to be quiet. What followed, the girl said, "was without her consent", and the man was committed for trial.
        He told the Court: "I am not guilty. I thought the girl consented."
        It is obvious from this typical case that neither the girl nor the man had the faintest idea of each other's emotional and physical condition. The girl had quite ignorantly assumed that a vigorous young man could go on "kissing and all that" whilst feeling no more aggressively excited than she did, and the man, with corresponding ignorance, had supposed that the girl could hardly have behaved as she did unless she had been deliberately tending towards the same detumescing culmination as himself.
        But who, at bottom, was chiefly to blame? Not either of the parties concerned; for, although both may have been subjected to the palpably fatuous process known as "Sex Education" at the hands of instructors who would have been better employed digging the soil, neither of them had been protected against falling into just such a situation as has been described.
        And what should we understand by "protection" in this respect? English judges, in sentencing men guilty of criminal assault of the kind reported by the News of the World of October 3rd, 1954, are wont to tell the prisoner: "Young women must be protected against men like you." But the fact that imprisonment, even for the maximum term the law allows, does not appear to diminish the incidence of these crimes, indicates that the kind of protection to which English judges refer, is not effective.
        Nor could it be expected to be; for the

- p. 85 -
progressive stages by which a man and a girl become inextricably involved in the kind of drama in question, are controlled by primitive natural forces in the constitution of both sexes; and the fatal and compelling progression of these stages is not foreseen by the participants. Thus when the momentum of the forces called into play gets completely out of hand, the sequel is the outcome of blind action which has served the purpose of the race and of its ancestors in the evolutionary line from the very inception of quadrupedal copulation.
        In the animal world, the male acts on the assumption that any willingess on the part of the female to suffer the initial sex-play means that she is ready for the consummating impregnation. And, owing to the state of "heat" in which the female finds herself in such circumstances he is not mistaken and behaves accordingly.
        In the human species, where there is no real equivalent to the female animal's oestrum, the male is none the less conditioned to become tumescent, i.e., ready for the act of consummation, if love-play is allowed to be carried far enough; and, according to his natural vigour at the time and the amount of sexual abstinence in his recent history, this readiness, if stimulated by protracted ardent dalliance, may produce in him tumescence to the point of physical anguish.
        On the other hand, the human female, although capable of deriving some sensual pleasure from being kissed and fondled, experiences no importunate tumescence that urgently demands relief; and thus, by permitting persistent sex-play in the early and peripheral form of hugging, kissing and possibly also palpation of erogenous zones, may quite inadvertently and innocently stimulate dangerous reactions in her male companion while remaining sufficiently calm and cool herself to believe that she is quite safe. She assumes that provided she remains determined to forbid him the last familiarity — intimacy — she has nothing to fear.
        Her mistake here is due to a defect common to most people and, according to Goethe, universal in degenerate times, and this is to judge others entirely by oneself (subjectivity); whilst her inability to grasp the nature of male sexuality and the belief made current in this age of Feminism that, in any case, the sexes are equal and much more alike than previous generations supposed, both contribute their share to deluding her. His mistake, perhaps more excusable than hers, derives from subjectivity on the one hand, i.e., he assumes that she feels what he feels and also from the experience of millions of male ancestors, the precis of which is stored in his instincts, which impels him to proceed to the ultimate extreme of intimacy if, up to that point, there has been neither indifference nor resistance in his companion.
        The fact that this natural misunderstanding leads to conflict is no more surprising than that the man's knowledge of the penalties he may incur by insisting on the normal means of obtaining detumescence, are at this critical juncture of no avail in preventing his seeking them. Giving, therefore, a male of normal vigour and possibly too with a recent history of sexual abstinence, and his instincts will prevail over his conscious volition.
        The problem of protecting girls against this unexpected outcome of their initial complaisance is consequently not easily met by sanctions. It has, therefore, been suggested that "Sex Education" will equip girls for protecting themselves. But, in practice, this too proves to be illusory. For no amount of theoretical knowledge imparted in the tense and artificial atmosphere of a set lesson on the so-called "facts of life", can make a human being objective enough to understand, and allow for, another's motivations and emotions, especially when this theoretical knowledge is put to the test at times when her own sensations are preoccupying her, and both she and her companion are erotically excited. The simple fact that most quarrels, whether between friends or married couples, arise from a lack of objectivity, and that even among the educated, no amount of preliminary instruction in human psychology can make the parties concerned think and judge objectively, when in moments of disagreement it is most necessary to do so, should sufficiently demonstrate that in the most emotional and instinctive exchanges possible between two people — those concerned with erotic behaviour — it is hopeless, by means of Sex Education, however ably and skillfully conducted, to try to protect girls and young women from the consequences of uncontrolled dalliance with members of the opposite sex.

- p. 86 -
        Indeed, the traditional wisdom of mankind has more or less proved the validity of this conclusion. For ages, in civilizations where the young of both sexes could be relied on to react normally to the stimuli incidental to assiduous courtship and heavy flirtation, the customs of the people have always devised methods of protecting their young womanhood (where this protection was considered essential to the maintenance of virginity before marriage) which had little to do with systematic instruction concerning the "facts of life." The experience of aeons, it would seem, has shown the elders of mankind that, against the dangers of seduction, whether by calculated excitation, by the outcome of the mutual and voluntary love-making of two young people, or by violence, there is only one effective form of protection, and that is close supervision, or strict chaperonage, for every maiden inside or outside her family circle.
        Or may we safely assume that the ancient Hindus, the intelligent French, and the equally intelligent Japanese had never thought of Sex Instruction in this connexion?
        At any rate, if it ever did occur to them, they soon dismissed it as useless; for in all three of these peoples we find strict chaperonage the method of choice in protecting their young womanhood.
        In the Laws of Manu we find the most precise instructions for the constant and vigilant chaperonage of all women, not merely maidens. Men are exhorted "strenuously to guard them". (Chap. IX. 16). The Hindu Sage's sense of the danger in all situations in which a woman finds herself alone with a man, is such that men are forbidden to sit alone even with their mothers, sisters or daughters, "for the senses are powerful and master even a learned man." (Op cit. Chap. VIII).
        In Europe very much the same rules resulted from the experience of men in civilization. Chaperonage of the young women was the method of choice in all countries. When I first went to France, as an adult — for as a child I was not concerned with such matters — I was astonished by the rigid chaperonage of all girls and young women. Accustomed as I was to the much looser social practices of England, I naturally tried my utmost, when any daughter of my acquaintances attracted me, to get alone with her, if only for a short walk, a boating expedition, a drive, or a ride.
        It was quite out of the question. No amount of scheming or cunning could circumvent the determined and unremitting vigilance of her elders. Not that I was necessarily bent on seduction. All I was immediately conscious of wanting was at least some moments of lonely communion, if only to do what young people love doing — explaining themselves to a hair's breadth to each other. But either her mother, an aunt, a brother or else some middle-aged friend or relative, always had to be at hand to "protect" her from the dangers of youthful exuberance and fire. Certainly she would go for a walk with me, but with a chaperone in attendance. Certainly she would like a boat on the river, but with a third party in the helm.
        To argue that this incessant supervision was necessary only because her nation and its elders had been too stupid to think of the bright idea of Sex Education, would in most cases have made even the chaperoned girls themselves burst with laughter. For, even in those days, i.e., in the first decade of this century, there were very few French girls of my age, and even younger, who were ignorant of the facts of life.
        Evidently, however, French society had long ago come to the conclusion that if a critical situation like that described above was to be certainly avoided, there was only one practical and reliable way of avoiding it, which was never to allow a girl for more than a few seconds at most to be alone with a young man.
        Even the expedient of stern and repeated Donts! had evidently been found wanting.
        I remember, for instance, being told by a wise lady friend of mine in Lincolnshire that she always impressed upon every young girl who come to her as a servant, the tremendous importance, in dealing with young men, of never allowing them to lay their hands on her.
        In view of what has been said above, the wisdom of this caution becomes immediately apparent when we bear in mind the extent to which the male's progress towards a state of intolerable tumescence is expedited and promoted by his manipulation of his companion.
        But the advice, though excellent of its kind, suffers from the limitations peculiar

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to all Donts, and that is their liability to be forgotten in a moment of stress, when excitement, especially of the erotic kind, tends to obliterate not only scruple but even memory.
        Allan S. Clifton, in Time of Fallen Blossom (1950, Chap. 14) evidently found that, in the matter of protecting girls and young women, the Japanese also had arrived at the same conclusion as the ancient Hindus and the French; for he writes of his visits with a male friend to a Japanese household as follows:—
        "Terumi and an elder sister were never allowed to be seen alone, whether inside or outside their home. Whenever Harry and I visited the family, often on fictitious official calls, Terumi was never left alone with us. If her father had to leave even for a few minutes, he always called for another member of the family before he excused himself."
        This exactly describes my experience in France as a young man. It is what happens in all civilized countries whether of Europe or elsewhere in which normal psycho-physical reactions may be expected to occur when two healthy and vigorous young people of different sex come together; and I submit that it shows a deeper and wiser understanding of the primitive forces likely to be mobilized in such encounters, than the laxer methods of Anglo-Saxon societies, even with the bright idea of Sex Eduction thrown in.
        In mitigation of the present lack of wisdom in this respect in modern England, however, it should in fairness be said that until comparatively recently, not only was strict chaperonage of respectable young women the rule even in this country, and not only were both men and girls, at least in the governing classes, more liberally endowed than they appear to be now with stamina and fire, but also, until the day when the Feminists began to preach the equality of the sexes, and to minimise their differences, and to place a wholly fanatical emphasis on so-called "Women's Freedom", no one, not even the most puritanical parent, was so idiotic as to doubt that when the spark and tinder of normal young male and female come together, the possibility of inconvenient developments must at least be reckoned with.
        There is, moreover, the factor of male sexual sub-normality, particularly in those classes which unfortunately are most likely to set the tone for the whole nation. The fact that experience has shown the parents in these classes that it is often only too safe to grant the utmost freedom to their daughters; because, as I pointed out in 1923, the negative young man, who abounds to-day in the social stratum above Labour, makes the licence quite harmless, has led to a completely erroneous though peculiar concepton of the function and powers of "Self-Control" in the relations of young people.
        Unfortunately forgetting that self-control is a relative factor and that it acts rather like the escape valve on a steam engine, i.e., it only yields to pressure when pressure is too high for its further resistance, it is quite falsely and naively assumed that the really suspicious safety of our young women of the possessing and upper middle classes when in the company of their falsetto-voiced weedy and low" powered young men, was due to the latters' "self-control". Consequently such freedom as was allowed these young women could safely become a pattern for the whole nation.
        The Feminists anxious to defend their advocacy of "Freedom" for every unchaperoned young virgin, argued that the proper "gentlemanly self-control" of their young men guarantee its safety. It was, of course, completely overlooked that, by implication, this spurious claim imputed a complete lack of proper gentlemanly self-control to all the young men in countries which still insisted on chaperoning their unmarried young women.
        But are we expected to accept this imputation as just?
        There are only two sources from which "self-control" can draw its strength to prevail against the impetuosity and exuberance of a young male's reproductive instinct when confronted, alone, with a young woman, and they are either mutual indifference or dislike, or else the male's superior social instinct.
        So that, from the enormous amount of perfectly "safe" freedom which young English men and girls enjoy, we are invited to infer that in England the social instinct of the young men is superior, to that of the foreigner in proportion as the said freedom is greater. But no one who knows the Continent or even Japan and India could possibly accept such an explanation. There is not a shred of evidence to support

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it. The alternative explanation would be that the majority of young English males, whose class unfortunately sets the tone for the rest of the nation, are sexually less exuberant and less richly endowed than their opposite numbers in countries where girls are chaperoned.
        For the truth about this alleged "self-control" of the male, which enables trustful English parents in the class in question to feel perfectly safe in allowing their daughters to go almost round the world alone with the young men of their choice, — the truth is that in by far the greatest number of cases it is merely negativeness, a minus of passion, defective sexual potency. To speak of self-control in this connexion is about as ingenuous and simple as would be the ascription of self-control to a match that will not strike.
        Somerset Maugham says of the English, "Love with them is more sentimental than passionate" (The Summing Up, p. 38). He is, I suspect, referring to the class that sets the nation's tone. But there is more to it than that. I refer to the frequency with which "married celibates" are encountered in England, and one is reminded of Count Keyserling's perfectly just remark that "nowhere in the world are there so many 'marriages blancs' as in the island Empire. (Europe. 1928. Chap. II).
        All this points to the well-grounded suspicion that, in the alleged "self-control" of the young men with whom unchaperoned modern girls may safely be left to philander, there is a substantial contribution from the quarter of sub-normal ardour and potency. Nor is the multiplication of this kind of male in the class that bred the female leaders of the Feminist Movement surprising; for it is important to remember that these very women prefer, and have for generations preferred, the kind of male who, thanks to his minimum of masculinity, provess less of a challenge to the inferiority feelings engendered by their castration complex.
        When, however, through the inevitable emulation of their betters by the so-called "lower" classes, the approved unchaperoned freedom of young women becomes the fashion throughout the nation, it is no wonder that the more widespread vigour and potency of the latter classes should lead to dramas of which the tone-setting class is more or less free. And when these dramas occur, as they frequently do, it is as fundamentally unfair to penalise the men and to tell them that "the law must protect young women against brutes like you" as to thrash the straying horse whose stable door has been left open.
        If the prevailing customs of a country create the circumstances in which criminal assaults will be attempted with violence by men of normal sexual vigour when during protracted dalliance with unchaperoned girls they are insensibly and by more or less slow degrees excited to a state of frenzied tumescence, it is sheer hypocrisy, not to say stupidity, to speak of "protecting young women" by inflicting supposed deterrent sanctions on the guilty young males after the event. Unless, therefore, we feel able to claim with accuracy that those societies in which strict chaperonage is still insisted on, have never thought of the bright idea of Sex Education as a supposed adequate substitute for parental and adult vigilance and control, and unless we may confidently assert that the aeons of experience which in such societies have culminated in establishing chaperonage as the method of choice for the protection of young women have merely led them into grave error, we shall be compelled to acknowledge that the solution of the problem presented by the increasing incidence of crimes of violence against the person (at least in so far as they relate to girls and young women) is only to be found in at last discrediting the arguments in favour of the unlimited "freedom" of their sex, advanced by the "upper class" viragoes of English Feminism, to which only the impaired potency of their young males has hitherto lent a spurious validity.