While homosexual tendencies may be traced in the history of almost every people, it is extremely difficult, as I have more than once remarked, to separate acquired homosexual vice from true congenital homosexuality. And yet, the cases quoted, as well as many others readily to be recalled, present so many features or points of true organic impulse that a total denial of the latter seems impossible; although I still hold that the classification of modern writers on this point is by far too arbitrary.1
There is not the slightest evidence to show that homosexuality in Greece, where it may be said to have reached its zenith, was an inborn, or congenital, perversion. Parmenides, Au relian us affirms, believed it to be hereditary ; and Aristotle also, in his essay on physical love, seems to distinguish in a hazy kind of way between the acquired and congenital forms of the abnormality; but, on the whole, so far as definite scientific data is concerned, the evidence appears to be almost entirely negative.
I have carefully selected the cases presenting the strongest evidences of congenitality for purposes of absolute fairness; and those who fail to find in them sufficient internal proof to establish the theory, while not repudiating it altogether, should withhold judgment until further research, as intimated in the preceding note, shall have materially enlarged our knowledge respecting it. Meantime, I merely intimate my own agnosticism by an acceptance only in part of the established method of classification.