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STUDIES IN THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, VOLUME II
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
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
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.
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
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