Instinct plays a leading rule in the psycho-physiological constitution of every criminal, but more especially of the sexual. It is the germ of the psychic organism; "anterior," as Drahms well says, "to all rational experiences;" and lies, to a very great extent, beyond the influences of educative agencies. Held in common with the lower animals, largely independent of volitional guidance, automatic in its varying cycles of energy and quiescence, it constitutes the true congenital basis of criminal characterization. I am aware that this definition involves the much disputed question of prenatal influences, the theory of "transmitted tendencies," and the bearing of other primordial agencies on the biogenetic basis of delinquent, as of normal, humanity; but notwithstanding all that has been said, and all that ever shall be said, instinct opens the gates of life, and is the starting-point of every man in his mysterious race toward the unknown.
As I have shown the sexual life to be the basis of the social life, closely correlated with it, and both responding sympathetically to the influences which touch or affect either, so it is not at all difficult to show that it lies equally at the root of the individual life; being, next to the instinct of life itself, the strongest and most dominant of the human organism.
As a normal sexual instinct can only exist in a normal man, and as an abnormal sexual instinct is inseparable from an abnormal man, from whatever source of antenatal perversion, or "inherited experiences," it may arise, the solution of the sexual, as of the physical and moral characters, must be sought in the simple law of transmission, by which individuals, normal or abnormal, perpetuate themselves in their offspring. Hence has arisen the now universally accepted doctrine of instinctive crime;1 of which Lombroso, notwithstanding his abruptness, and undeniable faultiness of method as a scientific writer, must be accepted as the legitimate founder,1
' It was s&id of this gifted writer, at the time he made a critical application of his novel theories to a great number of insane persons, while in charge of the department of mental diseases at the University of Pa via, that he was "treating epileptics by damning their ancestors, and measuring madness with a yardstick." Nevertheless, in spite of much ridicule, and criticism of a similarly derisions) kind, his methods and theories made palpable progress, and are now generally adopted in the scientific world.