A Celebration of Women Writers

Married Love, or Love in Marriage
By Marie Carmichael Stopes, Sc.D., Ph. D. (1880-1958)
New York: The Critic And Guide Company, 1918.

In the Unites States of America,
the 1918 edition of "Married Love" is in the public domain.
Follow this link to read this electronic edition.

In Great Britain and many other countries,
Stopes' works are still under copyright.
Check the copyright laws of your country to determine what laws apply.

To obtain permission to reproduce Stokes' works in the United Kingdom
or other countries where copyright applies, contact:
The Galton Institute
19 Northfields Prospect
London SW18 1PE
020 8874 7257

Stopes' book on human sexuality is of great interest and importance as a historical document describing the state of sexual knowledge in the early 1900's. Stopes provided much-needed information about sexuality and human sexual response for a generation who knew little or nothing. Stopes was one of the earliest writers to emphasize that women experienced sexual desire, that the response patterns of men and women naturally differed, and that sexual intercourse should be a source of mutual pleasure and fulfilment for both.

However, readers should not rely on the 1918 edition of "Married Love" as a manual for sexual physiology or birth control! It is startling to realize how little the human reproductive cycle was understood in the 1920's. Subsequent research has revised or disproven a number of the ideas presented in this book. In particular, the belief that coitus interruptus can prevent pregnancy has been shown to be false; small amounts of sperm exit the penis before ejaculation, and once in contact with vaginal fluid within or near the vagina, can cause pregnancy. The most likely times in the woman's cycle for conception to occur are also better understood to-day than they were when Stopes was writing.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom