Heredity is not potential in producing sexual inversion, in the vast majority of cases; powerful psychical impressions are; but defective education, homosexual environment and prolonged psychopathic influences, are, as a rule, far more actively causative. In dealing with this and other sexual abnormalities, we are not concerned, nor should society be, in the cases of correlated non-sexual crimes, with establishing a theory, anthropological or psychological; nor merely with the confronting of abstract deductions with other deductions still more abstract; but with the paramount necessity to show that the basis of any and every scheme of social defence against evil deeds, consists in careful observation of the evil-doer; his crime, its character, his curability.
Beccaria eulogized Roman law; made it classical and exemplary; but the Romans, great legal exponents as they were, occupied, possibly, first place as a nation of sexual offenders. So in France and Italy, easily forero in the elucidation of abstract criminal problems, sins against society, particularly sexual sins, have grown to monumental proportions. What then? Are our legal methods radically wrong, in dealing with this, as with other forms of criminal delinquency? Many profound thinkers believe so; Rylands, one of the most noted legalists of England, as well as others, pronouncing our present punitive system of "keeping persons in prison cells for a longer or shorter period of time, society meanwhile keeping watch, with a bland smile, while criminals are thus manufactured in the very establishments designed to eradicate them," as one of the most colossal fatlurt* of history.1
"To fight an enemy with success, it is necessary to know him beforehand. Now this enemy, the criminal, the jurists do not know. In order to know him, one must have studied him for a long time. It is to those who have thus studied, that the future will reserve the mission of harmonizing penal science with the supreme standard of social necessity." (Garofalo.)
1 " Crime: Its Causes and Remedy," L. Gordon Rylands, London, 1880.
The correctional school of criminal jurisprudence, first brought into prominence by Roeder, flourishing in Germany, less in Italy and slightly more in Spain, had only a short existence as an independent school, being easily confuted in its teachings by the close sequence of inexorable facts. (Vid. Ferri, "Criminal Sociology," p. 18.)