But with male and female homosexuality the case is radically different.
Here we are brought into contact with a sexual phenomenon which not only outrages ethical morality, and social decency, but which is a constant menace to domestic happiness, a prolific cause of family discord, and utterly subversive of the normal sexual relationship. It makes little difference that, as has been shown in the earlier portions of this work, it is a condition in which, in many cases at least, the victim of the vice has neither choice nor volition; the offence against conventional decency is yet too grave, the consequences too vast and evil, for the practice to lightly evade the cognizance of the law.
Whether as an absolute psychical transmuiatio sexus, as in that of the Scythians, or the anandreis of the Caucasus (Vid.Hippocrates, loc. cit., p. 611; and Klaproth, "Reise in den Kaukasus," Berk, 1812, v. 285); whether in the almost universal pederasty of the early Romans, practised in part for sanitary reasons, or the similarly vicious habits of our own day, homosexuality, both male and female—pederasty and lesbianism—is a vice of which the criminal law of every enlightened community takes rightful cognizance.
Under the meaningless and confusing captions of sodomy, buggery, and "the infamous crime against nature," it will be found, however, that there is an utter lack of discrimination, in legal text-books, between cases of genuinely inverted instinct and the pederasty which is practised from purely vicious impulses. And this is not surprising. Differentiation of sexual anomalies, even in medicine, is only a very recent matter; while in law, the same chaos which existed a hundred years ago seems yet to pervade the whole realm of sexual psychopathology; an attempt to clarify which, later on, is the main purpose of the present chapter.