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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

the penis of his father who was urinating, and had his ears boxed, whence 

arose a train of thought and feeling which resulted in complete sexual 

inversion. In two of the cases I have reported we have parallel incidents, 

and here we see clearly that the homosexual tendency already existed. I do 

not question the occurrence of such incidents, but I refuse to accept them 

as supplying the causation of inversion, and in so doing I am supported by 

all the evidence I am able to obtain. I am in agreement with a 

correspondent who wrote:-- 

 

"Considering that all boys are exposed to the same order of 

suggestions (sight of a man's naked organs, sleeping with a man, 

being handled by a man), and that only a few of them become 

sexually perverted, I think it reasonable to conclude that those 

few were previously constituted to receive the suggestion. In 

fact, suggestion seems to play exactly the same part in the 

normal and abnormal awakening of sex." 

 

I would go so far as to assert that for normal boys and girls the 

developed sexual organs of the adult man or woman--from their size, 

hairiness, and the mystery which envelops them--nearly always exert a 

certain fascination, whether of attraction or horror.[187] But this has no 

connection with homosexuality, and scarcely with sexuality at all. Thus, 

in one case known to me, a boy of 6 or 7 took pleasure in caressing the 

organs of another boy, twice his own age, who remained passive and 

indifferent; yet this child grew up without ever manifesting any 

homosexual instinct. The seed of suggestion can only develop when it falls 

on a suitable soil. If it is to act on a fairly normal nature the 

perverted suggestion must be very powerful or iterated, and even then its 

influence will probably only be temporary, disappearing in the presence of 

the normal stimulus.[188] 

 

Not only is "suggestion" unnecessary to develop a sexual impulse already 

rooted in the organism, but when exerted in an opposite direction it is 

powerless to divert that impulse. We see this illustrated in several of 

the cases whose histories I have presented. Thus in one case a boy was 

seduced by the housemaid at the age of 14 and even derived pleasure from 

the girl, yet none the less the native homosexual instinct asserted itself 

a year later. In another case heterosexual suggestions were offered and 

accepted in early life, yet, notwithstanding, the homosexual attraction 

was slowly evolved from within. 

 

I have, therefore, but little to say of the influence of suggestion, which 

was formerly exalted to a position of the first importance in books on 

sexual inversion. This is not because I underestimate the great part 

played by suggestion in many fields of normal and abnormal life. It is 

because I have been able to find but few decided traces of it in sexual 

inversion. In many cases, doubtless, there may be some slight elements of 

suggestion in developing the inversion, though they cannot be traced.[189] 

Their importance seems usually questionable even when they are 

discovered. Take Schrenck-Notzing's case of the little boy whose ears were 

boxed for what his father considered improper curiosity. I find it 

difficult to realize that a mighty suggestion can thereby be generated 

unless a strong emotion exists for it to unite with; in that case the seed 

falls on prepared soil. Is the wide prevalence of normal sexuality due to 

the fact that so many little boys have had their ears boxed for taking 

naughty liberties with women? If so, I am quite prepared to accept 

Schrenck-Notzing's explanation as a complete account of the matter. I know 

of one case, indeed, in which an element of what may fairly be called 

suggestion can be detected. It is that of a physician who had always been 

on very friendly terms with men, but had sexual relations exclusively with 

women, finding fair satisfaction, until the confessions of an inverted 

patient one day came to him as a revelation; thereafter he adopted 

inverted practices and ceased to find any attraction in women. But even in 

this case, as I understand the matter, suggestion merely served to reveal 

his own nature to the man. For a physician to adopt the perverted habits 


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