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Table of contents
PREFACE
INTRODUCTION-1.1
INTRODUCTION-1.2
INTRODUCTION-1.3
INTRODUCTION-1.4
INTRODUCTION-1.5
INTRODUCTION-1.6
INTRODUCTION-1.7
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2
THE STUDY OF SEXUAL INVERSION
SEXUAL INVERSION IN MEN-1
SEXUAL INVERSION IN MEN-2
SEXUAL INVERSION IN MEN-3
HISTORY-1-2-3-4
HISTORY-5
HISTORY-6
HISTORY-7-8
HISTORY-9
HISTORY-10-11-12
HISTORY-13-14
HISTORY-15
HISTORY-16-17-18-19
HISTORY-20
HISTORY-21 (begin)
HISTORY-21 (end)
HISTORY-22-23-24
HISTORY-25
HISTORY-26
HISTORY-27
HISTORY-28-29-30-31-32
HISTORY-33
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-1
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-2
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-3
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-4
HISTORY-34-35-36-37
HISTORY-38
HISTORY-39.1
HISTORY-39.2
HISTORY-39.3
HISTORY-39.4
FOOTNOTES
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-1
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-2
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-3
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-4
FOOTNOTES
THE THEORY OF SEXUAL INVERSION-1
THE THEORY OF SEXUAL INVERSION-2
THE THEORY OF SEXUAL INVERSION-3
CONCLUSIONS-1
CONCLUSIONS-2
CONCLUSIONS-3
CONCLUSIONS-4
FOOTNOTES
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B-1
APPENDIX B-2-3-4
INDEX OF AUTHORS

CHAPTER IV. 

 

SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN. 

 

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. 

 

 

Homosexuality is not less common in women than in men. In the seriocomic 

theory of sex set forth by Aristophanes in Plato's _Symposium_, males and 

females are placed on a footing of complete equality, and, however 

fantastic, the theory suffices to indicate that to the Greek mind, so 

familiar with homosexuality, its manifestations seemed just as likely to 

occur in women as in men. That is undoubtedly the case. Like other 

anomalies, indeed, in its more pronounced forms it may be less frequently 

met with in women; in its less pronounced forms, almost certainly, it is 

more frequently found. A Catholic confessor, a friend tells me, informed 

him that for one man who acknowledges homosexual practices there are three 

women. For the most part feminine homosexuality runs everywhere a parallel 

course to masculine homosexuality and is found under the same conditions. 

It is as common in girls as in boys; it has been found, under certain 

conditions, to abound among women in colleges and convents and prisons, as 

well as under the ordinary conditions of society. Perhaps the earliest 

case of homosexuality recorded in detail occurred in a woman,[137] and it 

was with the investigation of such a case in a woman that Westphal may be 

said to have inaugurated the scientific study of inversion. 

 

Moreover, inversion is as likely to be accompanied by high intellectual 

ability in a woman as in a man. The importance of a clear conception of 

inversion is indeed in some respects, under present social conditions, 

really even greater in the case of women than of men. For if, as has 

sometimes been said of our civilization, "this is a man's world," the 

large proportion of able women inverts, whose masculine qualities render 

it comparatively easy for them to adopt masculine avocations, becomes a 

highly significant fact.[138] 

 

It has been noted of distinguished women in all ages and in all fields of 

activity that they have frequently displayed some masculine traits.[139] 

Even "the first great woman in history," as she has been called by a 

historian of Egypt, Queen Hatschepsu, was clearly of markedly virile 

temperament, and always had herself represented on her monuments in 

masculine costume, and even with a false beard.[140] Other famous queens 

have on more or less satisfactory grounds been suspected of a homosexual 

temperament, such as Catherine II of Russia, who appears to have been 

bisexual, and Queen Christina of Sweden, whose very marked masculine 

traits and high intelligence seem to have been combined with a definitely 

homosexual or bisexual temperament.[141] 

 

Great religious and moral leaders, like Madame Blavatsky and Louise 

Michel, have been either homosexual or bisexual or, at least, of 

pronounced masculine temperament.[142] Great actresses from the eighteenth 

century onward have frequently been more or less correctly identified with 

homosexuality, as also many women distinguished in other arts.[143] Above 

all, Sappho, the greatest of women poets, the peer of the greatest poets 

of the other sex in the supreme power of uniting art and passion, has left 

a name which is permanently associated with homosexuality. 

 

It can scarcely be said that opinion is unanimous in regard to 

Sappho, and the reliable information about her, outside the 

evidence of the fragments of her poems which have reached us, is 

scanty. Her fame has always been great; in classic times her name 

was coupled with Homer's. But even to antiquity she was somewhat 

of an enigma, and many legends grew up around her name, such as 

the familiar story that she threw herself into the sea for the 

love of Phaon. What remains clear is that she was regarded with 

great respect and admiration by her contemporaries, that she was 

of aristocratic family, that she was probably married and had a 

daughter, that at one time she had to take her part in political 

exile, and that she addressed her girl friends in precisely 


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