ABSTRACT

According to humoral theory the chief difference between the sexes was in the degree of natural heat they possessed. Men were far hotter than women. Heat was the cause of vigour, strength, courage and intellect, and thus it followed that men were naturally superior to women in all these respects; ‘so that a woman is so much less perfect then a man, by how much her heat is lesser and weaker than his’. 1 Women’s seed was watery and cold, men’s was finer and more spirituous and therefore more highly endowed with active procreative principle. 2 Women had more blood in their bodies than men, but it was of a much inferior quality. 3 It was therefore a scientific fact that ‘a Female is a thing more imperfect then a Male’. 4