Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 2

Havelock Ellis
Studies in the Psychology of Sex,
Volume 2
by Havelock Ellis

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Volume 2
(of 6), by Havelock Ellis
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Title: Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 2 (of 6)
Author: Havelock Ellis
Release Date: October 8, 2004 [eBook #13611]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland and the Project Gutenberg Online
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Sexual Inversion

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 as here.

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
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