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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

old, walking along the streets with the dressmaker's box under 

their arm, modestly bent head and virginal air, realize the 

intense sexual preoccupations often underlying these appearances. 

In the work-rooms the conversation perpetually revolves around 

sexual subjects in the absence of the mistress or forewoman, and 

even in her presence the slang that prevails in the work-rooms 

leads to dialogues with a double meaning. A state of sexual 

excitement is thus aroused which sometimes relieves itself 

mentally by psychic onanism, sometimes by some form of 

masturbation; one girl admitted to Niceforo that by allowing her 

thoughts to dwell on the subject while at work she sometimes 

produced physical sexual excitement as often as four times a day. 

(See also vol. i of these _Studies_, "Auto-erotism.") Sometimes, 

however, a vague kind of homosexuality is produced, the girls, 

excited by their own thoughts and their conversation, being still 

further excited by contact with each other. "In summer, in one 

work-room, some of the girls wear no drawers, and they unbutton 

their bodices, and work with crossed legs, more or less 

uncovered. In this position, the girls draw near and inspect one 

another; some boast of their white legs, and, then the petticoats 

are raised altogether for more careful comparison. Many enjoy 

this inspection of nudity, and experience real sexual pleasure. 

From midday till 2 P.M., during the hours of greatest heat, when 

all are in this condition, and the mistress, in her chemise (and 

sometimes, with no shame at the workers' presence, even without 

it), falls asleep on the sofa, all the girls, _without one 

exception_, masturbate themselves. The heat seems to sharpen 

their desires and morbidly arouse all their senses. The 

voluptuous emotions, restrained during the rest of the day, break 

out with irresistible force; stimulated by the spectacle of each 

other's nakedness, some place their legs together and thus 

heighten the spasm by the illusion of contact with a man." In 

this way they reach mutual masturbation. "It is noteworthy, 

however," Niceforo points out, "that these couples for mutual 

masturbation are never Lesbian couples. Tribadism is altogether 

absent from the factories and work-rooms." He even believes that 

it does not exist among girls of the working class. He further 

describes how, in another work-room, during the hot hours of the 

day in summer, when no work is done, some of the girls retire 

into the fitting-room, and, having fastened their chemises round 

their legs and thighs with pins, so as to imitate trousers, play 

at being men and pretend to have intercourse with the others. 

(Niceforo, _Il Gergo_, cap. vi, 1897, Turin.) I have reproduced 

these details from Niceforo's careful study because, although 

they may seem to be trivial at some points, they clearly bring 

out the very important distinction between a merely temporary 

homosexuality and true inversion. The amusements of these young 

girls may not be considered eminently innocent or wholesome, but, 

on the other hand, they are not radically morbid or vicious. They 

are strictly, and even consciously, _play_; they are dominated by 

the thought that the true sexual ideal is normal relationship 

with a man, and they would certainly disappear in the presence of 

a man. 

 

It must be remembered that Niceforo's observations were made 

among girls who were mostly young. In the large factories, where 

many adult women are employed, the phenomena tend to be rarer, 

but of much less trivial and playful character. At Wolverhampton, 

some forty years ago, the case was reported of a woman in a 

galvanizing "store" who, after dinner, indecently assaulted a 

girl who was a new hand. Two young women held the victim down, 

and this seems to show that homosexual vice was here common and 

recognized. No doubt, this case is exceptional in its brutality. 

It throws, however, a significant light on the conditions 

prevailing in factories. In Spain, in the large factories where 


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