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It has been remarked by Professor Wilhelm Ostwald that the problem of

homosexuality is a problem left over to us by the Middle Ages, which for

five hundred years dealt with inverts as it dealt with heretics and

witches. To regard the matter thus is to emphasize its social and

humanitarian interest rather than its biological and psychological

significance. It is no doubt this human interest of the question of

inversion, rather than its scientific importance, great as the latter is,

which is mainly responsible for the remarkable activity with which the

study of homosexuality has been carried on during recent years.

The result has been that, during the fourteen years that have passed since

the last edition of this _Study_ was issued, so vast an amount of work has

been carried on in this field that the preparation of a new edition of the

book has been a long and serious task. Nearly every page has been

rewritten or enlarged and the Index of Authors consulted has more than

doubled in length. The original portions of the book have been still more

changed; sixteen new Histories have been added, selected from others in my

possession as being varied, typical, and full.

These extensive additions to the volume have rendered necessary various

omissions. Many of the shorter and less instructive Histories contained in

earlier editions have been omitted, as well as three Appendices which no

longer seem of sufficient interest to retain. In order to avoid undue

increase in the size of this volume, already much larger than in the

previous editions, a new Study of Eonism, or sexo-esthetic inversion, will

be inserted in vol. v, where it will perhaps be at least as much in place

as here.



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 persons 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 and Neurologist_, the _Journal of Mental Science_,

the _Centralblatt für Nervenheilkunde_, the _Medico-legal Journal_, and

the _Archivo delle Psicopatie Sessuale_. The cases, as they appear in the

present volume, have been slightly condensed, but nothing of genuine

psychological interest has been omitted. Owing to some delay in the

publication of the English edition of the work, a German translation by my

friend, Dr. Hans Kurella, editor of the _Centralblatt für

Nervenheilkunde_, has already appeared (1896) in the _Bibliothek für

Sozialwissenschaft_. The German edition contains some matter which has

finally been rejected from the English edition as of minor importance; on

the other hand, much has been added to the English edition, and the whole

carefully revised.

I have only to add that if it may seem that I have unduly ignored the

cases and arguments brought forward by other writers, it is by no means

because I wish to depreciate the valuable work done by my predecessors in

this field. It is solely because I have not desired to popularize the

results previously reached, but simply to bring forward my own results. If

I had not been able to present new facts in what is perhaps a new light, I

should not feel justified in approaching the subject of sexual inversion

at all.





Homosexuality Among Animals--Among the Lower Human Races--The

Albanians--The Greeks--The Eskimos--The Tribes of the Northwest United

States--Homosexuality Among Soldiers in Europe--

Indifference Frequently

Manifested by European Lower Classes--Sexual Inversion at

Rome--Homosexuality in Prisons--Among Men of Exceptional Intellect and

Moral Leaders--Muret--Michelangelo--Winkelmann--

Homosexuality in English

History--Walt Whitman--Verlaine--Burton's Climatic Theory of

Homosexuality--The Racial Factor--The Prevalence of Homosexuality Today.





Lydston--Raffalovich--Edward Carpenter--Hirschfeld.



Relatively Undifferentiated State of the Sexual Impulse in Early Life--The

Freudian View--Homosexuality in Schools--The Question of Acquired

Homosexuality--Latent Inversion--Retarded Inversion--


Question of the Invert's Truthfulness--Histories.



Prevalence of Sexual Inversion Among Women--Among Women of

Ability--Among the Lower Races--Temporary Homosexuality in Schools,

etc.--Histories--Physical and Psychic Characteristics of Inverted

Women--The Modern Development of Homosexuality Among Women.



Analysis of Histories--Race--Heredity--General Health--

First Appearance of

Homosexual Impulse--Sexual Precocity and Hyperesthesia--

Suggestion and

Other Exciting Causes of Inversion--Masturbation--

Attitude Toward

Women--Erotic Dreams--Methods of Sexual Relationship--


Attraction--Physical Sexual Abnormalities--Artistic and Other

Aptitudes--Moral Attitude of the Invert.



What is Sexual Inversion?--Causes of Diverging Views--

The Theory of

Suggestion Unworkable--Importance of the Congenital Element in

Inversion--The Freudian Theory--Embryonic Hermaphroditism as a Key to

Inversion--Inversion as a Variation or "Sport"--

Comparison with

Color-blindness, Color-hearing, and Similar Abnormalities--What is an

Abnormality?--Not Necessarily a Disease--Relation of Inversion to

Degeneration--Exciting Causes of Inversion--Not Operative in the Absence

of Predisposition.



The Prevention of Homosexuality--The Influence of the School--Coeducation--The Treatment of Sexual Inversion--Castration--Hypnotism--Associational Therapy--Psycho-analysis--Mental and Physical Hygiene--


Children of Inverts--The Attitude of Society--The Horror Aroused by

Homosexuality--Justinian--The _Code Napoléon_--The State of the Law in

Europe Today--Germany--England--What Should be our Attitude Toward



Homosexuality Among Tramps.


The School-friendships of Girls.






Homosexuality Among Animals--Among the Lower Human Races--The

Albanians--The Greeks--The Eskimos--The Tribes of the Northwest United

States--Homosexuality Among Soldiers in Europe--

Indifference Frequently

Manifested by European Lower Classes--Sexual Inversion at

Rome--Homosexuality in Prisons--Among Men of Exceptional Intellect and

Moral Leaders--Muret--Michelangelo--Winkelmann--

Homosexuality in English

History--Walt Whitman--Verlaine--Burton's Climatic Theory of

Homosexuality--The Racial Factor--The Prevalence of Homosexuality Today.

Sexual inversion, as here understood, means sexual instinct turned by

inborn constitutional abnormality toward persons of the same sex. It is

thus a narrower term than homosexuality, which includes all sexual

attractions between persons of the same sex, even when seemingly due to

the accidental absence of the natural objects of sexual attraction, a

phenomenon of wide occurrence among all human races and among most of the

higher animals. It is only during recent years that sexual inversion has

been recognized; previously it was not distinguished from homosexuality in

general, and homosexuality was regarded as a national custom, as an

individual vice, or as an unimportant episode in grave forms of

insanity.[1] We have further to distinguish sexual inversion and all other

forms of homosexuality from another kind of inversion which usually

remains, so far as the sexual impulse itself is concerned, heterosexual,

that is to say, normal. Inversion of this kind leads a person to feel like

a person of the opposite sex, and to adopt, so far as possible, the

tastes, habits, and dress of the opposite sex, while the direction of the

sexual impulse remains normal. This condition I term sexo-esthetic

inversion, or Eonism.

The nomenclature of the highly important form of sexual

perversion with which we are here concerned is extremely varied,

and most investigators have been much puzzled in coming to a

conclusion as to the best, most exact, and at the same time most

colorless names to apply to it.

The first in the field in modern times was Ulrichs who, as early

as 1862, used the appellation "Uranian" (Uranier), based on the

well-known myth in Plato's _Banquet_. Later he Germanized this

term into "Urning" for the male, and "Urningin" for the female,

and referred to the condition itself as "Urningtum."

He also

invented a number of other related terms on the same basis; some

of these terms have had a considerable vogue, but they are too

fanciful and high-strung to secure general acceptance. If used in

other languages than German they certainly should not be used in

their Germanized shape, and it is scarcely legitimate to use the

term "Urning" in English. "Uranian" is more correct.

In Germany the first term accepted by recognized scientific

authorities was "contrary sexual feeling" (Konträre Sexualempfindung). It was devised by Westphal in 1869, and used

by Krafft-Ebing and Moll. Though thus accepted by the earliest

authorities in this field, and to be regarded as a fairly

harmless and vaguely descriptive term, it is somewhat awkward,

and is now little used in Germany; it was never currently used

outside Germany. It has been largely superseded by the term

"homosexuality." This also was devised (by a little-known

Hungarian doctor, Benkert, who used the pseudonym Kertbeny) in

the same year (1869), but at first attracted no attention. It

has, philologically, the awkward disadvantage of being a bastard

term compounded of Greek and Latin elements, but its significance--sexual attraction to the same sex--is fairly clear

and definite, while it is free from any question-begging

association of either favorable or unfavorable character. (Edward

Carpenter has proposed to remedy its bastardly linguistic

character by transforming it into "homogenic;" this, however,

might mean not only "toward the same sex," but "of the same

kind," and in German already possesses actually that meaning.)

The term "homosexual" has the further advantage that on account

of its classical origin it is easily translatable into many

languages. It is now the most widespread general term for the

phenomena we are dealing with, and it has been used by

Hirschfeld, now the chief authority in this field, as the title

of his encyclopedic work, _Die Homosexualität_.

"Sexual Inversion" (in French "inversion sexuelle,"

and in

Italian "inversione sessuale") is the term which has from the

first been chiefly used in France and Italy, ever since Charcot

and Magnan, in 1882, published their cases of this anomaly in the

_Archives de Neurologie_. It had already been employed in Italy

by Tamassia in the _Revista Sperimentale di Freniatria_, in 1878.

I have not discovered when and where the term

"sexual inversion"

was first used. Possibly it first appeared in English, for long

before the paper of Charcot and Magnan I have noticed, in an

anonymous review of Westphal's first paper in the _Journal of

Mental Science_ (then edited by Dr. Maudsley) for October, 1871,

that "Conträre Sexualempfindung" is translated as


sexual proclivity." So far as I am aware, "sexual inversion" was

first used in English, as the best term, by J.A.

Symonds in 1883,

in his privately printed essay, _A Problem in Greek Ethics_.

Later, in 1897, the same term was adopted, I believe for the

first time publicly in English, in the present work.

It is unnecessary to refer to the numerous other names which have

been proposed. (A discussion of the nomenclature will be found in

the first chapter of Hirschfeld's work, _Die Homosexualität_, and

of some special terms in an article by Schouten, _Sexual-Probleme_, December, 1912.) It may suffice to mention the

ancient theological and legal term "sodomy"

(sodomia) because it

is still the most popular term for this perversion, though, it

must be remembered, it has become attached to the physical act of

intercourse _per anum_, even when carried out heterosexually, and

has little reference to psychic sexual proclivity.

This term has

its origin in the story (narrated in Genesis, ch.

xix) of Lot's

visitors whom the men of Sodom desired to have intercourse with,

and of the subsequent destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This

story furnishes a sufficiently good ground for the use of the

term, though the Jews do not regard sodomy as the sin of Sodom,

but rather inhospitality and hardness of heart to the poor (J.

Preuss, _Biblisch-Talmudische Medizin_, pp. 579-81), and

Christian theologians also, both Catholic and Protestant (see,

e.g., _Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, vol.

iv, p. 199,

and Hirschfeld, _Homosexualität_, p. 742), have argued that it

was not homosexuality, but their other offenses, which provoked

the destruction of the Cities of the Plain. In Germany "sodomy"

has long been used to denote bestiality, or sexual intercourse

with animals, but this use of the term is quite unjustified. In

English there is another term, "buggery," identical in meaning

with sodomy, and equally familiar. "Bugger" (in French,

_bougre_) is a corruption of "Bulgar," the ancient Bulgarian

heretics having been popularly supposed to practise this

perversion. The people of every country have always been eager to

associate sexual perversions with some other country than their


The terms usually adopted in the present volume are


inversion" and "homosexuality." The first is used more especially

to indicate that the sexual impulse is organically and innately

turned toward individuals of the same sex. The second is used

more comprehensively of the general phenomena of sexual

attraction between persons of the same sex, even if only of a

slight and temporary character. It may be admitted that there is

no precise warrant for any distinction of this kind between the

two terms. The distinction in the phenomena is, however, still

generally recognized; thus Iwan Bloch applies the term

"homosexuality" to the congenital form, and

"pseudo-homosexuality" to its spurious or simulated forms. Those

persons who are attracted to both sexes are now usually termed

"bisexual," a more convenient term than "psycho-sexual

hermaphrodite," which was formerly used. There remains the normal

person, who is "heterosexual."

Before approaching the study of sexual inversion in cases which we may

investigate with some degree of scientific accuracy, there is interest in

glancing briefly at the phenomena as they appear before us, as yet

scarcely or at all differentiated, among animals, among various human

races, and at various periods.

Among animals in a domesticated or confined state it is easy to find

evidence of homosexual attraction, due merely to the absence of the other

sex.[2] This was known to the ancients; the Egyptians regarded two male

partridges as the symbol of homosexuality, and Aristotle noted that two

female pigeons would cover each other if no male was at hand. Buffon

observed many examples, especially among birds. He found that, if male or

female birds of various species--such as partridges, fowls, and

doves--were shut up together, they would soon begin to have sexual

relations among themselves, the males sooner and more frequently than the

females. More recently Sainte-Claire Deville observed that dogs, rams, and

bulls, when isolated, first became restless and dangerous, and then

acquired a permanent state of sexual excitement, not obeying the laws of

heat, and leading them to attempts to couple together; the presence of the

opposite sex at once restored them to normal conditions.[3] Bombarda of

Lisbon states that in Portugal it is well known that in every herd of

bulls there is nearly always one bull who is ready to lend himself to the

perverted whims of his companions.[4] It may easily be observed how a cow

in heat exerts an exciting influence on other cows, impelling them to

attempt to play the bull's part. Lacassagne has also noted among young

fowls and puppies, etc., that, before ever having had relations with the

opposite sex, and while in complete liberty, they make hesitating attempts

at intercourse with their own sex.[5] This, indeed, together with similar

perversions, may often be observed, especially in puppies, who afterward

become perfectly normal. Among white rats, which are very sexual animals,

Steinach found that, when deprived of females, the males practise

homosexuality, though only with males with whom they have long associated;

the weaker rats play the passive part. But when a female is introduced

they immediately turn to her; although they are occasionally altogether

indifferent to sex, they never actually prefer their own sex.[6]

With regard to the playing of the female part by the weaker rats it is

interesting to observe that Féré found among insects that the passive part

in homosexual relations is favored by fatigue; among cockchafers it was

the male just separated from the female who would take the passive part

(on the rare occasions when homosexual relations occurred) with a fresh


Homosexuality appears to be specially common among birds. It was among

birds that it attracted the attention of the ancients, and numerous

interesting observations have been made in more recent times. Thus Selous,

a careful bird-watcher, finds that the ruff, the male of the _Machetes

pugnax_, suffers from sexual repression owing to the coyness of the female

(the reeve), and consequently the males often resort to homosexual

intercourse. It is still more remarkable that the reeves also, even in the

presence of the males, will court each other and have intercourse.[8] We

may associate this with the high erotic development of birds, the

difficulty with which tumescence seems to occur in them, and their long


Among the higher animals, again, female monkeys, even when grown up (as

Moll was informed), behave in a sexual way to each other, though it is

difficult to say how far this is merely in play. Dr.

Seitz, Director of

the Frankfurt Zoölogical Garden, gave Moll a record of his own careful

observations of homosexual phenomena among the males and females of

various animals confined in the Garden (_Antelope cervicapra, Bos Indicus,

Capra hircus, Ovis steatopyga_).[9] In all such cases we are not concerned

with sexual inversion, but merely with the accidental turning of the

sexual instinct into an abnormal channel, the instinct being called out

by an approximate substitute, or even by diffused emotional excitement, in

the absence of the normal object.

It is probable, however, that cases of true sexual inversion--in which

gratification is preferably sought in the same sex--may be found among

animals, although observations have rarely been made or recorded. It has

been found by Muccioli, an Italian authority on pigeons, that among

Belgian carrier-pigeons inverted practices may occur, even in the presence

of many of the other sex.[10] This seems to be true inversion, though we

are not told whether these birds were also attracted toward the opposite

sex. The birds of this family appear to be specially liable to sexual

perversion. Thus M.J. Bailly-Maitre, a breeder of great knowledge and a

keen observer, wrote to Girard that "they are strange creatures in their

manners and customs and are apt to elude the most persistent observer. No

animal is more depraved. Mating between males, and still more frequently

between females, often occurs at an early age: up to the second year. I

have had several pairs of pigeons formed by subjects of the same sex who

for many months behaved as if the mating were natural.

In some cases this

had taken place among young birds of the same nest, who acted like real

mates, though both subjects were males. In order to mate them productively

we have had to separate them and shut each of them up for some days with a

female."[11] In the Berlin Zoölogical Gardens also, it has been noticed

that two birds of the same sex will occasionally become attached to each

other and remain so in spite of repeated advances from individuals of

opposite sex. This occurred, for instance, in the case of two males of the

Egyptian goose who were thus to all appearance paired, and always kept

together, vigorously driving away any female that approached. Similarly a

male Australian sheldrake was paired to a male of another species.[12]

Among birds generally, inverted sexuality seems to accompany the

development of the secondary sexual characters of the opposite sex which

is sometimes found. Thus, a poultry-breeder describes a hen (colored

Dorking) crowing like a cock, only somewhat more harshly, as a cockerel

crows, and with an enormous comb, larger than is ever seen in the male.

This bird used to try to tread her fellow-hens. At the same time she laid

early and regularly, and produced "grand chickens."[13]

Among ducks, also,

it has occasionally been observed that the female assumes at the same time

both male livery and male sexual tendencies. It is probable that such

observations will be multiplied in the future, and that sexual inversion

in the true sense will be found commoner among animals than at present it

appears to be.

Traces of homosexual practices, sometimes on a large scale, have been

found among all the great divisions of the human race.

It would be

possible to collect a considerable body of evidence under this head.[14]

Unfortunately, however, the travellers and others on whose records we are

dependent have been so shy of touching these subjects, and so ignorant of

the main points for investigation, that it is very difficult to discover

sexual inversion in the proper sense in any lower race.

Travellers have

spoken vaguely of crimes against nature without defining the precise

relationship involved nor inquiring how far any congenital impulse could

be distinguished.

Looking at the phenomena generally, so far as they have been recorded

among various lower races, we seem bound to recognize that there is a

widespread natural instinct impelling men toward homosexual relationships,

and that this has been sometimes, though very exceptionally, seized upon

and developed for advantageous social purposes. On the whole, however,

unnatural intercourse (sodomy) has been regarded as an antisocial offense,

and punishable sometimes by the most serious penalties that could be

invented. This was, for instance, the case in ancient Mexico, in Peru,

among the Persians, in China, and among the Hebrews and Mohammedans.

Even in very early history it is possible to find traces of homosexuality,

with or without an implied disapproval. Its existence in Assyria and

Babylonia is indicated by the Codex Hamurabi and by inscriptions which do

not on the whole refer to it favorably.[15] As regards Egypt we learn from

a Fayum papyrus, found by Flinders Petrie, translated by Griffiths, and

discussed by Oefele,[16] that more than four thousand years ago homosexual

practices were so ancient that they were attributed to the gods Horus and

Set. The Egyptians showed great admiration of masculine beauty, and it

would seem that they never regarded homosexuality as punishable or even

reprehensible. It is notable, also, that Egyptian women were sometimes of

very virile type, and Hirschfeld considers that intermediate sexual types

were specially widespread among the Egyptians.[17]

One might be tempted to expect that homosexual practices would be

encouraged whenever it was necessary to keep down the population.

Aristotle says that it was allowed by law in Crete for this end. And

Professor Haddon tells me that at Torres Straits a native advocated sodomy

on this ground.[18] There seems, however, on the whole, to be little

evidence pointing to this utilization of the practice.

The homosexual

tendency appears to have flourished chiefly among warriors and warlike

peoples. During war and the separation from women that war involves, the

homosexual instinct tends to develop; it flourished, for instance, among

the Carthaginians and among the Normans, as well as among the warlike

Dorians, Scythians, Tartars, and Celts,[19] and, when there has been an

absence of any strong moral feeling against it, the instinct has been

cultivated and, idealized as a military virtue, partly because it

counteracts the longing for the softening feminine influences of the home

and partly because it seems to have an inspiring influence in promoting

heroism and heightening _esprit de corps_. In the lament of David over

Jonathan we have a picture of intimate friendship--

"passing the love of

women"--between comrades in arms among a barbarous, warlike race. There is

nothing to show that such a relationship was sexual, but among warriors in

New Caledonia friendships that were undoubtedly homosexual were recognized

and regulated; the fraternity of arms, according to Foley,[20] complicated

with pederasty, was more sacred than uterine fraternity.

We have,

moreover, a recent example of the same relationships recognized in a

modern European race--the Albanians.

Hahn, in the course of his _Albanische Studien_

(1854, p. 166),

says that the young men between 16 and 24 lore boys from about 12

to 17. A Gege marries at the age of 24 or 25, and then he

usually, but not always, gives up boy-love. The following passage

is reported by Hahn as the actual language used to him by an

Albanian Gege: "The lover's feeling for the boy is pure as

sunshine. It places the beloved on the same pedestal as a saint.

It is the highest and most exalted passion of which the human

breast is capable. The sight of a beautiful youth awakens

astonishment in the lover, and opens the door of his heart to the

delight which the contemplation of this loveliness affords. Love

takes possession of him so completely that all his thought and

feeling goes out in it. If he finds himself in the presence of

the beloved, he rests absorbed in gazing on him.

Absent, he

thinks of nought but him. If the beloved unexpectedly appears, he

falls into confusion, changes color, turns alternately pale and

red. His heart beats faster and impedes his breathing. He has

ears and eyes only for the beloved. He shuns touching him with

the hand, kisses him only on the forehead, sings his praise in

verse, a woman's never." One of these love-poems of an Albanian

Gege runs as follows: "The sun, when it rises in the morning, is

like you, boy, when you are near me. When your dark eye turns

upon me, it drives my reason from my head."

It should be added that Prof. Weigand, who knew the Albanians

well, assured Bethe (_Rheinisches Museum für Philologie_, 1907,

p. 475) that the relations described by Hahn are really sexual,

although tempered by idealism. A German scholar who travelled in

Albania some years ago, also, assured Näcke (_Jahrbuch für

sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, vol. ix, 1908, p. 327) that he could

fully confirm Hahn's statements, and that, though it was

difficult to speak positively, he doubted whether these

relationships were purely ideal. While most prevalent among the

Moslems, they are also found among the Christians, and receive

the blessing of the priest in church. Jealousy is frequently

aroused, the same writer remarks, and even murder may be

committed on account of a boy.

It may be mentioned here that among the Tschuktsches,

Kamschatdals, and allied peoples (according to a Russian

anthropological journal quoted in _Sexual-Probleme_, January,

1913, p. 41) there are homosexual marriages among the men, and

occasionally among the women, ritually consecrated and openly


The Albanians, it is possible, belonged to the same stock which produced

the Dorian Greeks, and the most important and the most thoroughly known

case of socially recognized homosexuality is that of Greece during its

period of highest military as well as ethical and intellectual vigor. In

this case, as in those already mentioned, the homosexual tendency was

frequently regarded as having beneficial results, which caused it to be

condoned, if not, indeed, fostered as a virtue. Plutarch repeated the old

Greek statement that the Beotians, the Lacedemonians, and the Cretans were

the most warlike stocks because they were the strongest in love; an army

composed of loving homosexual couples, it was held, would be invincible.

It appears that the Dorians introduced _paiderastia_, as the Greek form of

homosexuality is termed, into Greece; they were the latest invaders, a

vigorous mountain race from the northwest (the region including what is

now Albania) who spread over the whole land, the islands, and Asia Minor,

becoming the ruling race. Homosexuality was, of course, known before they

came, but they made it honorable. Homer never mentions it, and it was not

known as legitimate to the Æolians or the Ionians.

Bethe, who has written

a valuable study of Dorian _paiderastia_, states that the Dorians admitted

a kind of homosexual marriage, and even had a kind of boy-marriage by

capture, the scattered vestiges of this practice indicating, Bethe

believes, that it was a general custom among the Dorians before the

invasion of Greece. Such unions even received a kind of religions

consecration. It was, moreover, shameful for a noble youth in Crete to

have no lover; it spoke ill for his character. By _paiderastia_ a man

propagated his virtues, as it were, in the youth he loved, implanting them

by the act of intercourse.

In its later Greek phases _paiderastia_ was associated less with war than

with athletics; it was refined and intellectualized by poetry and

philosophy. It cannot be doubted that both Æschylus and Sophocles

cultivated boy-love, while its idealized presentation in the dialogues of

Plato has caused it to be almost identified with his name; thus in the

early _Charmides_ we have an attractive account of the youth who gives his

name to the dialogue and the emotions he excites are described. But even

in the early dialogues Plato only conditionally approved of the sexual

side of _paiderastia_ and he condemned it altogether in the final


The early stages of Greek _paiderastia_ are very interestingly

studied by Bethe, "Die Dorische Knabenliebe,"

_Rheinisches Museum

für Philologie_, 1907. J.A. Symonds's essay on the later aspects

of _paiderastia_, especially as reflected in Greek literature, _A

Problem in Greek Ethics_, is contained in the early German

edition of the present study, but (though privately printed in

1883 by the author in an edition of twelve copies and since

pirated in another private edition) it has not yet been published

in English. _Paiderastia_ in Greek poetry has also been studied

by Paul Brandt, _Jahrbuch für sexuelle

Zwischenstufen_, vols.

viii and ix (1906 and 1907), and by Otto Knapp (_Anthropophyteia_, vol. iii, pp. 254-260) who seeks to

demonstrate the sensual side of _paiderastia_. On the other hand,

Licht, working on somewhat the same lines as Bethe (_Zeitschrift

für Sexualwissenschaft_, August, 1908), deals with the ethical

element in _paiderastia_, points out its beneficial moral

influence, and argues that it was largely on this ground that it

was counted sacred. Licht has also published a learned study of

_paiderastia_ in Attic comedy (_Anthropophyteia_, vol. vii,

1910), and remarks that "without _paiderastia_ Greek comedy is

unthinkable." _Paiderastia_ in the Greek anthology has been fully

explored by P. Stephanus (_Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_,

vol. ix, 1908, p. 213). Kiefer, who has studied Socrates in

relation to homosexuality (O. Kiefer, "Socrates und die

Homosexualität," _Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen_, vol. ix,

1908), concludes that he was bisexual but that his sexual

impulses had been sublimated. It may be added that many results

of recent investigation concerning _paiderastia_ are summarized

by Hirschfeld, _Die Homosexualität_, pp. 747-788, and by Edward

Carpenter, _Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk_, 1914, part

ii; see also Bloch, _Die Prostitution_, vol. i, p.

232 et seq.,

and _Der Ursprung der Syphilis_, vol. ii, p. 564.

It would appear that almost the only indications outside Greece of

_paiderastic_ homosexuality showing a high degree of tenderness and

esthetic feeling are to be found in Persian and Arabian literature, after

the time of the Abbasids, although this practice was forbidden by the


In Constantinople, as Näcke was informed by German inverts living in that

city, homosexuality is widespread, most cultivated Turks being capable of

relations with boys as well as with women, though very few are exclusively

homosexual, so that their attitude would seem to be largely due to custom

and tradition. Adult males rarely have homosexual relations together; one

of the couple is usually a boy of 12 to 18 years, and this condition of

things among the refined classes is said to resemble ancient Greek

_paiderastia_. But ordinary homosexual prostitution is prevalent; it is

especially recognized in the baths which abound in Constantinople and are

often open all night. The attendants at these baths are youths who

scarcely need an invitation to induce them to gratify the client in this

respect, the gratification usually consisting in masturbation, mutual or

one-sided, as desired. The practice, though little spoken of, is carried

on almost openly, and blackmailing is said to be unknown.[23] In the New

Turkey, however, it is stated by Adler Bey that homosexual prostitution

has almost disappeared.[24]

There is abundant evidence to show that homosexual practices exist and

have long existed in most parts of the world outside Europe, when

subserving no obvious social or moral end. How far they are associated

with congenital inversion is usually very doubtful. In China, for

instance, it seems that there are special houses devoted to male

prostitution, though less numerous than the houses devoted to females, for

homosexuality cannot be considered common in China (its prevalence among

Chinese abroad being due to the absence of women) and it is chiefly found

in the north.[25] When a rich man gives a feast he sends for women to

cheer the repast by music and song, and for boys to serve at table and to

entertain the guests by their lively conversation. The boys have been

carefully brought up for this occupation, receiving an excellent

education, and their mental qualities are even more highly valued than

their physical attractiveness. The women are less carefully brought up and

less esteemed. After the meal the lads usually return home with a

considerable fee. What further occurs the Chinese say little about. It

seems that real and deep affection is often born of these relations, at

first platonic, but in the end becoming physical, not a matter for great

concern in the eyes of the Chinese. In the Chinese novels, often of a very

literary character, devoted to masculine love, it seems that all the

preliminaries and transports of normal love are to be found, while

physical union may terminate the scene. In China, however, the law may be

brought into action for attempts against nature even with mutual consent;

the penalty is one hundred strokes with the bamboo and a month's

imprisonment; if there is violence, the penalty is decapitation; I am not

able to say how far the law is a dead letter. According to Matignon, so

far as homosexuality exists in China, it is carried on with much more

decorum and restraint than it is in Europe, and he thinks it may be put

down to the credit of the Chinese that, unlike Europeans, they never

practice unnatural connection with women. His account of the customs of

the Chinese confirms Morache's earlier account, and he remarks that,

though not much spoken of, homosexuality is not looked down upon. He gives

some interesting details concerning the boy prostitutes.

These are sold by

their parents (sometimes stolen from them), about the age of 4, and

educated, while they are also subjected to a special physical training,

which includes massage of the gluteal regions to favor development,

dilatation of the anus, and epilation (which is not, however, practised by

Chinese women). At the same time, they are taught music, singing, drawing,

and the art of poetry. The waiters at the restaurants always know where

these young gentlemen are to be found when they are required to grace a

rich man's feast. They are generally accompanied by a guardian, and

usually nothing very serious takes place, for they know their value, and

money will not always buy their expensive favors. They are very

effeminate, luxuriously dressed and perfumed, and they seldom go on foot.

There are, however, lower orders of such prostitutes.[26]

Homosexuality is easily traceable in India. Dubois referred to houses

devoted to male prostitution, with men dressed as women, and imitating the

ways of women.[27] Burton in the "Terminal Essay" to his translation of

the _Arabian Nights_, states that when in 1845 Sir Charles Napier

conquered and annexed Sind three brothels of eunuchs and boys were found

in the small town of Karachi, and Burton was instructed to visit and

report on them. Hindus, in general, however, it appears, hold

homosexuality in abhorrence. In Afghanistan homosexuality is more

generally accepted, and Burton stated that "each caravan is accompanied by

a number of boys and lads almost in woman's attire, with kohled eyes and

rouged cheeks, long tresses and hennaed fingers and toes, riding

luxuriously in camel paniers."

If we turn to the New World, we find that among the American Indians, from

the Eskimo of Alaska downward to Brazil and still farther south,

homosexual customs have been very frequently observed.

Sometimes they are

regarded by the tribe with honor, sometimes with indifference, sometimes

with contempt; but they appear to be always tolerated.

Although there are

local differences, these customs, on the whole, seem to have much in

common. The best early description which I have been able to find is by

Langsdorff[28] and concerns the Aleuts of Oonalashka in Alaska: "Boys, if

they happen to be very handsome," he says, "are often brought up entirely

in the manner of girls, and instructed in the arts women use to please

men; their beards are carefully plucked out as soon as they begin to

appear, and their chins tattooed like those of women; they wear ornaments

of glass beads upon their legs and arms, bind and cut their hair in the

same manner as the women, and supply their place with the men as

concubines. This shocking, unnatural, and immoral practice has obtained

here even from the remotest times; nor have any measures hitherto been

taken to repress and restrain it; such men are known under the name of


Among the Konyagas Langsdorff found the custom much more common than among

the Aleuts; he remarks that, although the mothers brought up some of their

children in this way, they seemed very fond of their offspring. Lisiansky,

at about the same period, tells us that: "Of all the customs of these

islanders, the most disgusting is that of men, called _schoopans_, living

with men, and supplying the place of women. These are brought up from

their infancy with females, and taught all the feminine arts. They even

assume the manner and dress of the women so nearly that a stranger would

naturally take them for what they are not. This odious practice was

formerly so prevalent that the residence of one of these monsters in a

house was considered as fortunate; it is, however, daily losing

ground."[29] He mentions a case in which a priest had nearly married two

males, when an interpreter chanced to come in and was able to inform him

what he was doing.

The practice has, however, apparently continued to be fairly common among

the Alaska Eskimos down to recent times. Thus Dr.

Engelmann mentioned to

me that he was informed by those who had lived in Alaska, especially near

Point Barrow, that as many as 5 such individuals (regarded by uninstructed

strangers as "hermaphrodites") might be found in a single comparatively

small community. It is stated by Davydoff, as quoted by Holmberg,[30] that

the boy is selected to be a _schopan_ because he is girl-like. This is a

point of some interest as it indicates that the schopan is not effeminated

solely by suggestion and association, but is probably feminine by inborn


In Louisiana, Florida, Yucatan, etc., somewhat similar customs exist or

have existed. In Brazil men are to be found dressed as women and solely

occupying themselves with feminine occupations; they are not very highly

regarded.[31] They are called _cudinas_: i.e., circumcized. Among the

Pueblo Indians of New Mexico these individuals are called _mujerados_

(supposed to be a corruption of _mujeriego_) and are the chief passive

agents in the homosexual ceremonies of these people.

They are said to be

intentionally effeminated in early life by much masturbation and by

constant horse-riding.[32]

Among all the tribes of the northwest United States sexual inverts may be

found. The invert is called a _boté_ ("not man, not woman") by the

Montana, and a _burdash_ ("half-man, half-woman") by the Washington

Indians. The _boté_ has been carefully studied by Dr.

A.B. Holder.[33]

Holder finds that the _boté_ wears woman's dress, and that his speech and

manners are feminine. The dress and manners are assumed in childhood, but

no sexual practices take place until puberty. These consist in the

practice of _fellatio_ by the _boté_, who probably himself experiences the

orgasm at the same time. The _boté_ is not a pederast, although pederasty

occurs among these Indians. Holder examined _boté_ who was splendidly

made, prepossessing, and in perfect health. With much reluctance he agreed

to a careful examination. The sexual organs were quite normal, though

perhaps not quite so large as his _physique_ would suggest, but he had

never had intercourse with a woman. On removing his clothes he pressed his

thighs together, as a timid woman would, so as to conceal completely the

sexual organs; Holder says that the thighs "really, or to my fancy," had

the feminine rotundity. He has heard a _boté_ "_beg_ a male Indian to

submit to his caress," and he tells that "one little fellow, while in the

agency boarding-school, was found frequently surreptitiously wearing

female attire. He was punished, but finally escaped from school and became

a _boté_, which vocation he has since followed."

At Tahiti at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Turnbull[34] found

that "there are a set of men in this country whose open profession is of

such abomination that the laudable delicacy of our language will not admit

it to be mentioned. These are called by the natives _Mahoos_; they assume

the dress, attitude, and manners of women, and affect all the fantastic

oddities and coquetries of the vainest of females. They mostly associate

with the women, who court their acquaintance. With the manners of the

women they adopt their peculiar employments, making cloth, bonnets, and

mats; and so completely are they unsexed that had they not been pointed

out to me I should not have known them but as women. I add, with some

satisfaction, that the encouragement of this abomination is almost solely

confined to the chiefs."

Among the Sakalaves of Madagascar there are certain boys called _sekatra_,

as described by Lasnet, who are apparently chosen from childhood on

account of weak or delicate appearance and brought up as girls. They live

like women and have intercourse with men, with or without sodomy, paying

the men who please them.[35]

Among the negro population of Zanzibar forms of homosexuality which are

believed to be congenital (as well as acquired forms) are said to be

fairly common. Their frequency is thought to be due to Arab influence. The

male congenital inverts show from their earliest years no aptitude for

men's occupations, but are attracted toward female occupations. As they

grow older they wear women's clothes, dress their hair in women's fashion,

and behave altogether like women. They associate only with women and with

male prostitutes, and they obtain sexual satisfaction by passive pederasty

or in ways simulating coitus. In appearance they resemble ordinary male

prostitutes, who are common in Zanzibar, but it is noteworthy that the

natives make a clear distinction between them and men prostitutes. The

latter are looked down on with contempt, while the former, as being what

they are "by the will of God," are tolerated.[36]

Homosexuality; occurs in various parts of Africa. Cases of _effeminatio_

and passive sodomy have been reported from Unyamwezi and Uganda. Among the

Bangala of the Upper Congo sodomy between men is very common, especially

when they are away from home, in strange towns, or in fishing camps. If,

however, a man had intercourse with a woman _per anum_

he was at one time

liable to be put to death.[37]

Among the Papuans in some parts of New Guinea, as already mentioned,

homosexuality is said to be well recognized, and is resorted to for

convenience as well, perhaps, as for Malthusian reasons.[38] But in the

Rigo district of British New Guinea, where habitual sodomy is not

practised, Dr. Seligmann, of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to

Torres Straits, made some highly important observations on several men and

women who clearly appeared to be cases of congenital sexual inversion with

some degree of esthetic inversion and even some anatomical

modification.[39] These people, it may be noted, belong to a primitive

race, uncontaminated by contact with white races, and practically still in

the Stone Age.

Finally, among another allied primitive people, the Australians, it would

appear that homosexuality has long been well established in tribal

customs. Among the natives of Kimberley, Western Australia (who are by no

means of low type, quick and intelligent, with special aptitudes for

learning languages and music), if a wife is not obtainable for a young man

he is presented with a boy-wife between the ages of 5

and 10 (the age when

a boy receives his masculine initiation). The exact nature of the

relations between the boy-wife and his protector are doubtful; they

certainly have connection, but the natives repudiate with horror and

disgust the idea of sodomy.[40]

Further light is thrown on homosexuality in Australia by the supposition

of Spencer and Gillen that the _mika_ operation (urethral subincision), an

artificial hypospadias, is for the purpose of homosexual intercourse.

Klaatsch has discussed the homosexual origin of the _mika_ operation on

the basis of information he received from missionaries at Niol-Niol, on

the northwest coast. The subincised man acts as a female to the as yet

unoperated boys, who perform coitus in the incised opening. Both informed