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Evolution of the Dragon, by G. Elliot Smith, [1919], at


Prof. Barton's statement (supra, p. 64) is typical of a widespread misapprehension, resulting from the confusion between sexual relations and the giving of life. At first primitive people did not realize that the manifestations of the sex instinct had anything whatever to do with reproduction. They were aware of the fact that women gave birth to children; and the organ concerned in this process was regarded as the giver of life, the creator. The apotheosis of these powers led to the conception of the first deity. But it was only secondarily that these life-giving attributes were brought into association with the sexual act and the masculine powers of fertilization. Much confusion has been created by those writers who see manifestations of the sexual factor and phallic ideas in every aspect of primitive religion, where in most cases only the power of life-giving plays a part.

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