Sexual Inversion

Wilson and Macmillan, 16, John Street, Bedford Row, W.C.
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Wilson and Macmillan, 16, John Street, Bedford Row, W.C.
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Dec 31, 1897
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Modesty, which may be provisionally defined as an almost instinctive fear prompting to concealment and usually centering around the sexual processes, while common to both sexes is more peculiarly feminine, so that it may almost be regarded as the chief secondary sexual character of women on the psychical side. The woman who is lacking in this kind of fear is lacking, also, in sexual attractiveness to the normal and average man. The apparent exceptions seem to prove the rule, for it will generally be found that the women who are, not immodest (for immodesty is more closely related to modesty than mere negative absence of the sense of modesty), but without that fear which implies the presence of a complex emotional feminine organization to defend, only make a strong sexual appeal to men who are themselves lacking in the complementary masculine qualities. As a psychical secondary sexual character of the first rank, it is necessary, before any psychology of sex can be arranged in order, to obtain a clear view of modesty.

The immense importance of feminine modesty in creating masculine passion must be fairly obvious. I may, however, quote the observations of two writers who have shown evidence of insight and knowledge regarding this matter.

Casanova describes how, when at Berne, he went to the baths, and was, according to custom, attended by a young girl, whom he selected from a group of bath attendants. She undressed him, proceeded to undress herself, and then entered the bath with him, and rubbed him thoroughly all over, the operation being performed in the most serious manner and without a word being spoken. When all was over, however, he perceived that the girl had expected him to make advances, and he proceeds to describe and discuss his own feelings of indifference under such circumstances. "Though without gazing on the girl's figure, I had seen enough to recognize that she had all that a man can desire to find in a woman: a beautiful face, lively and well-formed eyes, a beautiful mouth, with good teeth, a healthy complexion, well-developed breasts, and everything in harmony. It is true that I had felt that her hands could have been smoother, but I could only attribute this to hard work; moreover, my Swiss girl was only eighteen, and yet I remained entirely cold. What was the cause of this? That was the question that I asked myself."

A primeira edição integral em português do clássico de Havelock Ellis sobre homossexualidade.

No final do século XIX, Ellis teve a coragem de publicar abertamente um estudo detalhado e desapaixonado sobre a problemática da inversão sexual, que recentemente havia condenado Oscar Wilde à prisão e nos séculos anteriores classificara os culpados do "nefando pecado" como hereges e degenerados.

No 2º capítulo, Ellis identifica os principais autores, percursores do estudo da homossexualidade, fazendo breves resenha dos seus pontos de vista e das suas principais obras.

"Em 1894, Edward Carpenter publicou privadamente em Manchester um panfleto intitulado Homogenic Love, em que criticou várias teses correntes da psiquiatria sobre a inversão e alegou que as leis do amor homossexual são semelhantes às do amor heterossexual salientando, porém, que o primeiro possui uma aptidão especial para ser exaltado a um nível mais elevado e mais espiritual de camaradagem, desempenhando assim uma função social benéfica. Mais recentemente, em 1907, Edward Carpenter publicou um volume de artigos sobre a homossexualidade e os seus problemas, com o título The Intermediate Sex e mais tarde, em 1914, um estudo mais especializado sobre os invertidos na religião primitiva e na guerra, que intitulou de Intermediate Types among Primitive Folk."

De fundamental importância para os estudiosos do tema (sexólogos, antropólogos, médicos, psiquiatras), esta obra é acessível e interessante para todos os que queiram aprofundar o seu conhecimento sobre esta temática.

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