The term sodomy, so often loosely applied to both pederasty and intercourse with animals, is a verbal excrescence, so confusing and useless, in a scientific sense, that it may very well be discarded entirely in these studies. In its correct scriptural sense it meant originally, however, intercourse by the rectum, a theme already sufficiently treated under the head of homosexuality; and the early theologians, as a rule, recognized, and gave the word its right meaning—concubitua cum persona ejusdem sexus; although later jurists, as Krafft-Ebing,remarks,"brought confusion into the terminology by establishing a sodomia ratione sexus, and a sodomia ratione generis." 1
Monstrous and revolting as the vice is, human intercourse with animals is by no means uncommon, nor in the regular manner alone. Not long ago I was called to treat an injury of a young man's penis, which, he finally confessed, had been received from a mare's teeth while he had his organ in her mouth; and there are few physicians who will not easily recall cases of habitual sexual intercourse with heifers, sheep, goats, and even вows.,
Polak affirms that in Persia the vice is practised under the belief that it cures gonorrhea, just as in some parts of Europe a similar delusion exists as to the curative effect in Buch diseases of intercourse with children; and the action of Frederick the Great, in the case of a cavalryman who had committed bestiality with his mare, in "reducing them both to the infantry ranks," is a well-known joke in history.
In the case recorded by Schauenstein, where the act was undertaken with hens,8 there was plainly an element of insanity; but, on the whole, little attention seems to have been paid at the time to an examination of mental condition involved in such absurd proceedings.
Bceteau tells of a case in which a basis of psychical degeneration is plainly evinced. A boy of twelve, seeing how other boys masturbated a dog, fell into the habit of performing the same act upon cats, rabbits and other animals; developing such a passion for the filthy sport that he came to feel sexual pleasure in it, and finally to attempt regular sexual intercourse with the animals. Rabbits, for which he had an especial preference,
* A farmer's son, personally known to the writer, had, with considerable care and labor, trained a young heifer to thus submit to his sexual attentions. The act was performed by the boy in a sitting posture, while the animal was lying down; and of one of the performances I was privileged to be an actual unseen eye-witness.
• Comp. Olfus, "Pastoral Medicine." p. 78; Krauss, Psychol, d. Verbrech.. p. 80; Maschka, Humid., p. 188, and the numerous briefs of coses recorded in the "American and English Encyclopedia of Law," Art. "Sodomy." humanity, there can, it seems to me, be but one explanation of the latter.
On the same ground, and for identically the same reason, that two children who have been born and reared together, notwithstanding what novelists say to the contrary, rarely marry, so the pairing instinct—love, tumescence, and sexual desire—dulled by constant association, is excited by novelty, by the powerful sensory stimuli proceeding from a strange person of the opposite sex, culminating in tumescence and erethism, is awakened and developed by new impulses, always, rather than by those of previous knowledge and habitude.