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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

 

With girls, as with boys, it is in the school, at the evolution of 

puberty, that homosexuality usually first shows itself. It may originate 

in a way mainly peripheral or mainly central. In the first case, two 

children, perhaps when close to each other in bed, more or less 

unintentionally generate in each other a certain amount of sexual 

irritation, which they foster by mutual touching and kissing. This is a 

spurious kind of homosexuality, the often precocious play of the normal 

instinct. In the girl who is congenitally predisposed to homosexuality it 

will continue and develop; in the majority it will be forgotten as quickly 

as possible, not without shame, in the presence of the normal object of 

sexual love. 

 

I may quote as fairly typical the following observation supplied 

by a lady who cannot be called inverted: "Like so many other 

children and girls, I was first taught self-indulgence by a girl 

at school, and I passed on my knowledge to one or two others, 

with one of whom I remember once, when we were just 16, spending 

the night sensually. We were horribly ashamed after, and that was 

the only time. When I was only 8 there was a girl of 13 who liked 

to play with my body, and taught me to play with hers, though I 

rather disliked doing so. We slept together, and this went on at 

intervals for six months. These things, for the sake of getting 

enjoyment, and not with any passion, are not uncommon with 

children, but less common, I think, than people sometimes 

imagine. I believe I could recall without much difficulty, the 

number of times such things happened with me. In the case I 

mentioned when I did for one night feel--or try to excite in 

myself and my girl-companion of 16--sensual passion, we had as 

little children slept together a few times and done these things, 

and meeting after an absence, just at that age, recalled our 

childish memories, and were carried away by sexual impulse. But I 

never felt any peculiar affection or passion for her even at the 

time, nor she for me. We only felt that our sensual nature was 

strong at the time, and had betrayed us into something we were 

ashamed of, and, therefore, we avoided letting ourselves sleep 

too close after that day. I think we disliked each other, and 

were revolted whenever we thought of that night, feeling that 

each had degraded the other and herself." 

 

The cases in which the source is mainly central, rather than peripheral, 

nevertheless merge into the foregoing, with no clear line of demarcation. 

In such cases a girl forms an ardent attachment for another girl, probably 

somewhat older than herself, often a schoolfellow, sometimes her 

schoolmistress, upon whom she will lavish an astonishing amount of 

affection and devotion. There may or not be any return; usually the return 

consists of a gracious acceptance of the affectionate services. The girl 

who expends this wealth of devotion is surcharged with emotion, but she is 

often unconscious or ignorant of the sexual impulse, and she seeks for no 

form of sexual satisfaction. Kissing and the privilege of sleeping with 

the friend are, however, sought, and at such times it often happens that 

even the comparatively unresponsive friend feels more or less definite 

sexual emotion (pudendal turgescence, with secretion of mucus and 

involuntary twitching of the neighboring muscles), though little or no 

attention may be paid to this phenomenon, and in the common ignorance of 

girls concerning sex matters it may not be understood. In some cases there 

is an attempt, either instinctive or intentional, to develop the sexual 

feeling by close embraces and kissing. This rudimentary kind of homosexual 

relationship is, I believe, more common among girls than among boys, and 

for this there are several reasons: (1) a boy more often has some 

acquaintance with sexual phenomena, and would frequently regard such a 

relationship as unmanly; (2) the girl has a stronger need of affection 

and self-devotion to another person than a boy has; (3) she has not, under 

our existing social conditions which compel young women to hold the 

opposite sex at arm's length, the same opportunities of finding an outlet 


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