Among the numerous confessions sent to Krafft-Ebing of sexual aberration, it is interesting to note, nor one came from a woman, and I think the experience of other writers, as well as undoubtedly my own, will be found very similar. Whether women are more secretive, more diffident of publicity, or less prone to fully developed sexual abnormality, than men, is a question on which psychologists differ,1 and which I do not think it here profitable to discuss; but, while young girls, by sleeping together, touching each other's genitalia, or breasts, may awaken a precocious play of the sexual feeling, in most cases perfectly innocent, and followed by shame, this must not be classed with that intentionally produced homosexuality which is indicative of true acquired inversion.
The most passionate lesbian attachments among girls will usually be found in theatres, between chorus and ballet-girls, where the erotism of the play, the romantic character of the surroundings, and the privacy of the dressing-rooms, furnish ready incentives to the growth and gratification of this kind of sentiment. In almost every stock company will be found a circle of girls, usually avoided by the rest, who, although they frequently flirt, and even have intercourse with men, are particularly devoted to their own especial girl "chums" or "pals;" never being seen in the street without them, and both of a pair eating and sleeping together.
1 On this subject compare Hippocrates' treatise "Of Generation; H. Elba, "Man and Woman," chaps, xin and xv; Maudsley, " Relations Between Body and Mind;" Lancet, May, 1870; and Beaunis, "Les Sensations Internes," p. 151.
Such passionate friendships, frequently of no conscious sexual character, are also common in boarding-schools, colleges, and wherever girls are segregated for educational purposes; although in such institutions, sexual, as well as other forms of knowledge, coming rapidly within the intellectual purview, contrary relationships are often formed of the most intelligent, fundamental, and enduring character.