The following description of a female invert is the most classical I have come across; portraying, as it does, the perfect simulation of masculine habits and bearing in their minutest details. "While wearing feminine garments, her bearing is as nearly as possible a man's. She wears her thin hair thrown carelessly back, a la Umberto, and fastened in a simple knot at the back of her head. Her breasts are little developed, and compressed beneath a high corset. She wralks out alone, refusing the company of men, or accompanied by a woman, as she prefers; offering her arm, and carrying the other hand at her waist with the air of a fine gentleman. In a carriage her bearing is peculiar, and unlike that habitual with women. Seated in the middle of the scat, her knees crossed, or the legs well separated, with a virile air, and easy, careless movement, she turns her head in every direction, finding an acquaintance here and there with her eye, and saluting with a large gesture of the hand, just as a business man would. In conversation her pose is similar. She gesticulates much, is vivacious in speech, with great power of mimicry; and while talking, arches the inner angles of her eyebrows, making vertical wrinkles at the center of the forehead. Her laugh is open and explosive, uncovering her white teeth, and with men she is on terms of careless equality." 1
1 Zuccarelli, "Inversione congenita dell' istinto sessuale io una donna," Naples, VAnomaU), Feb., 1889.
The tendency of girls to dress in men's attire is a matter of very general observation, in large cities particularly; and I have little doubt that a fair proportion of cases reported by the newspapers, in which young girls suddenly disappear from their homes, for a longer or shorter period of time, may be thus accounted for. To show, however, that these manifestations of viraginity are in most cases purely psychical, though we frequently find associated with them a certain masculinity of physical texture, and coarseness of feature, there is seldom any trace of the more distinctive masculine appendages, such as hairy legs, beard and mustache.1
The inverted woman lacks that softness and delicacy peculiar to her sex, and will convey a masculine impression to the sense oj touch; but to what extent this may be due to her assumption of manly habits, with their natural coarsening, I am not aware that I have seen discussed. Flatau examined the larynx in a number of female inverts, and found a decided approach to the masculine type, especially in cases of congenital origin; and this result seems to be borne out by the well-known love of smoking among women of that class.
But this is only one of a number of points in which the sexual invert deviates from the normal type. The boy-invert seeks the companionship of girls, plays with dolls, cooks, sews, and develops a taste for the feminine toilette. He taboocs chewing tobacco, smoking, drinking, and all manly sports; and gives himself up almost exclusively to the cultivation of the aesthetic. He loves the female role in masquerades; strives with feminine instinct to make himself pleasing to men; and simulates, in a manner often quite ludicrous, the peculiar undulating movement of a girl's hips in walking, as well as her attitude, manners and mysterious involutions of dress.
With a female of the same class these, and similar, symptoms are of course reversed. She plays with the boys, Beeks to rival them in gymnastic sports, has a romantic passion to play the robber, or the soldier, and likes especially to be ridden by, or to ride, a boy in the game of "horse." With reference to the sexual feelings of both, they are so identified with the sex the individual has assumed, in his or her thought, as to become, subjectively, quite real. The girl feels herself to be a boy, and the boy, a girl. They are antagonistic to their own sex, when the latter is abnormally constituted, like themselves, showing the jealousy of women for one another; but are attracted to those of their own sex who are either sexually normal, or homosexual.