The laws which apply to instinctive criminality, in general, will be found, in a large majority of cases, to govern the sexual form; practically, therefore, the sexual criminal may be dealt with precisely as the non-sexual. The sexual invert is a moral anomaly; antisocial, yet not always consciously so; a being in rebellion against his surroundings; and holding to ideals which, while conflicting with settled forms of social conduct, represent rather a sexual misstep in anthropological evolution, than any result of criminal adaptation, or of volitional wrong. It strikes me that the interpretation of his character, then, is a strictly moral and medical one; his self-revelation, unlike that of the normal man, taking an unusual path, and placing itself, both as to society and ethics, entirely beyond the bounds of ordinary legal tests.
The educative and repressive agencies, which stand as the equivalents of selection in social evolution, have little or no effect on the sexual offender. He is a child; a creature of impulse; a product of the occipital center; ruled by volition alone, destructive, cruel sometimes, as are most children; retaliatory, mobile of character, vain, and, worse than all, simply content with life as he finds it; the true test of the atrophied, or undeveloped, man.
This is the congenital sexual offender. Now what shall we do with him?