Not a member?     Existing members login below:

Psychology of Sex-V.2

It was not my intention to publish a study of an abnormal manifestation of the
sexual instinct before discussing its normal manifestations. It has happened,
however, that this part of my work is ready first, and, since I thus gain a longer
period to develop the central part of my subject, I do not regret the change of plan.
I had not at first proposed to devote a whole volume to sexual inversion. It may even
be that I was inclined to slur it over as an unpleasant subject, and one that it was not
wise to enlarge on. But I found in time that several persons for whom I felt respect
and admiration were the congenital subjects of this abnormality. At the same time I
realized that in England, more than in any other country, the law and public opinion
combine to place a heavy penal burden and a severe social stigma on the
manifestations of an instinct which to those persons who possess it frequently
appears natural and normal. It was clear, therefore, that the matter was in special
need of elucidation and discussion.
There can be no doubt that a peculiar amount of ignorance exists regarding the
subject of sexual inversion. I know medical men of many years' general experience
who have never, to their knowledge, come across a single case. We may remember,
indeed, that some fifteen years ago the total number of cases recorded in scientific
literature scarcely equaled those of British race which I have obtained , and that
before my first cases were published not a single British case, unconnected with the
asylum or the prison, had ever been recorded. Probably not a very large number of
people are even aware that the turning in of the sexual instinct toward person s of
the same sex can ever be regarded as inborn, so far as any sexual instinct is inborn.
And very few, indeed, would not be surprised if it were possible to publish a list of
the names of sexually inverted men and women who at the present time are
honorably known in church, state, society, art, or letters. It could not be positively
affirmed of all such persons that they were born inverted, but in most the inverted
tendency seems to be instinctive, and appears at a somewhat early age. In any case,
however, it must be realized that in this volume we are not dealing with subjects
belonging to the lunatic asylum, or the prison. We are concerned with individuals
who live in freedom, some of them suffering intensely from their abnormal
organization, but otherwise ordinary members of society. In a few cases we are
concerned with individuals whose moral or artistic ideals have widely influenced
their fellows, who know nothing of the peculiar organization which has largely
molded those ideals.
I am indebted to several friends for notes, observations, and correspondence on this
subject, more especially to one, referred to as "Z.," and to another as "Q.," who have
obtained a considerable number of reliable histories for me, and have also supplied
many valuable notes; to "Josiah Flynt" (whose articles on tramps in Atlantic Monthly
and Harper's Magazine have attracted wide attention) for an appendix on
homosexuality among tramps; to Drs. Kiernan, Lydston, and Talbot for assistance at
various points noted in the text; and to Dr. K., an American woman physician, who
kindly assisted me in obtaining cases, and has also supplied an appendix. Other
obligations are mentioned in the text.
All those portions of the book which are of medical or medico -legal interest,
including most of the cases, have appeared during the last three years in the Alienist