R. von (Richard) Krafft-Ebing.

Psychopathia sexualis, with especial reference to the antipathetic sexual instinct : a medico-forensic study online

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of boys. She is the rival in their play, preferring the
rocking-horse, playing at soldiers, etc., to dolls and other
girlish occupations. The toilet is neglected, and rough
boyish manners are affected. Love for art finds a sub-
stitute in the pursuits of the sciences. At times smoking
and drinking are cultivated even with passion.

Perfumes and sweetmeats are disdained. The con-
sciousness of being a woman and thus to be deprived of
the gay college life, or to be barred out from the military
career, produces painful reflections.

The masculine soul, heaving in the female bosom,
finds pleasure in the pursuit of manly sports, and in
manifestations of courage and bravado. There is a strong
desire to imitate the male fashion in dressing the hair
and in general attire, under favourable circumstances even
to don male attire and impose in it. Arrests of women
in men's clothing are by no means of rare occurrence.
A case of a woman who for years successfully posed as
a man (hunter, soldier, etc.,) is related by MiXller in
Friedreich's "Blatter"; another by Wise {op. cit.) and

The ideals of such viragines are certain female char-
acters who in the past or the present havd excelled by virtue
of genius and brave and noble deeds.

Gynandry represents the extreme grade of degenerative
homosexuality. The woman of this type possesses of the
feminine qualities only the genital organs ; thought, senti-
ment, action, even external ajopearance are those of the

Often enough does one come across in life such
characters, whose frame, pelvis, gait, appearance, coarse
masculine features, rough deep voice, etc., betray rather
the man than the woman. Moll {op. cit. p. 331) has given
many interesting items about the mode of life led by these
men-women, and about the way in which they satisfy
their sexual needs.

Mutatis mutandis, the situation is the same as with the
man-loving man. These creatures seek, find, recognise,


love one another, often live together as "father" and
"mother" in pseudo marriage. Suspicion may always
be turned toward homosexuality when one reads in the
advertisement columns of the daily papers: "Wanted, by
a lady, a lady friend and companion".

Numerous psychical hermaphrodites of the female
gender, and even homosexualists, enter upon matrimony
with men partly on account of being ignorant of their
own anomaly, and partly because they wish to be pro-
vided for. Some of these marriages linger on in a way,
the husband, perhaps, being psychically sympathetic, thus
rendering the marital act possible to the unhappy wife.
But in most cases, when one or two children have been
born, she seeks under all kinds of pretexts to avoid the
connubial duty.

More frequently, however, incompatibility wrecks these
unions. Homosexual intercourse continues after marriage
just the same as with the homosexual man.

When viraginity prevails marriage is impossible, for
the ven' thought of coitus cum viro arouses disgust and

The intersexual gratification among these women
seems to be reduced to kissing and embraces, which seems
to satisfy those of weak sexual instinct, but produces
in sexually neurasthenic females ejaculation.

Automasturbation, faute de mieux, seems to occur in all
grades of the anomaly the same as in men.

Strongly sensual individuals may resort to cunnilingus
or mutual masturbation.

In grades 3 and 4 the desire to adopt the active role
towards the beloved person of the same sex seems to in-
vite the use of the priapus.

Case 153. .Psychical hermaphroditism. Mrs. X.,
twenty-six years of age, suffered from neurasthenia. She
was hereditarily tainted, sufFerod periodically from delu-
sions. She ]iad been married seven years, had two healthy
cjiildren, a boy of six and a girl of four years. Success in


gaining the confidence of the patient. She confessed that
she always inclined more to persons of her own sex, and
that, although she esteemed and liked her husband, sexual
intercourse disgusted her. Since the birth of the younger
of the two children she had prevailed upon him to give it
up altogether. When at the seminary she interested her-
self in other young ladies in a manner which she could only
describe as love. At times, however, she also found her-
self drawn to certain gentlemen, and especially of late
her virtue had been sorely tried by an admirer to whose
advances she was afraid she might succumb, for which
reason she avoided being alone with him. But such
episodes were only of a quite transient character as com-
pared with her passionate liking for persons of her own
sex. Her whole desire was to be kissed and embraced by
them and have the most intimate intercourse with them.
She suffered much from nervousness because she could
not always realise these desires. The patient is not
aware of this inclination to persons of the same sex being
of a sexual character, for beyond kissing, embracing, or
fondling them she would not know what to do with them.
Patient thought herself to be of a sensual nature. It was
likely that she was addicted to masturbation.

She considered her sexual perversion as "unnatural,

There was nothing in the behaviour or the manners or
the external appearance of this lady which in the least
betrayed her anomaly.

Case 154. Psychical hermaphroditism. Mrs. M.,
forty-four years of age, claimed to be an instance illus-
trating the fact that in one and the same human being, be
it man or woman, the inverted as well as the normal di-
rection of sexual life may be combined. The father of this
lady was very musical, generally possessed considerable
talents for art, was a great admirer of the gentle sex, and
himself of exceptional beauty. He died, after repeated
apoplectic attacks, with dementia in an asylum. His



brother was neuropsychopathic, as a child was afflicted with
somnafflbulism, and later on with hyperwsthesia sexualis.
Although married and father of several married sons, he
fell desperately in love with Mrs. M., then eighteen years
of age, and attempted to abduct her.

Her grandfather (on the paternal side) was. very ec-
centric and a well known artist, who had originally studied
theology, but for love of the dramatic art became a mimic
and singer. He was given to excess in Baccho et Venere,
extravagant and fond of splendour, and died at the age of
forty-nine from apoplexia cerebri. Her mother's father
and her mother both died of pulmonary phthisis.

She had eleven brothers and sisters, but only six sur-
vived. Two brothers died at 1he age of sixteen and twenty
of tuberculosis. One brother was suffering from laryngeal
phthisis. Four living sisters the same as Mrs. M. were
physically like unto the father, very nervous and shy.
Two yoimger sisters were married and in good health, and
both had healthy children. Another one, a maiden, was
suffering from nervous affection.

]\Irs. M. was the mother of four children, mostly deli-
cate and neuropathic.

There was nothing of importance in the history of the
patient's childhood. She learned easily, had gifts for
poetry and aesthetics, was somewhat affected, loved to
read novels and sentimental literature, was of neuropathic
constitution and very sensitive to changes of temperature,
the slightest draught would make her flesh creep. It is
noteworthy, however, that one day when ten years of age
she fancied her mother did not love her. Thereupon she
put a lot of sulphur matches in her coffee and drank it to
make herself ill, in order to draw her mother's love to

Puberty began without difficulty at the age of eleven,
with subsequent regular menses. Even previous to that
period sexual life had awakened, which ever since was
very potent. The first sentiments and emotions lay in
the homosexual direction. She conceived a passionate,


though platonie, affection for a young lady, wrote love-
songs and sonnets to her, and never was happier than
when, upon one occasion, she could admire the "charms
of her beloved" in the bath, or when she could gaze
upon the neck, shoulders and breasts of this lady whilst
dressing. She could resist only with difficulty the desire
to touch these physical charms. When a girl she was
deeply in love with Eaphael's and Guido Eeni's Madonnas.
She was irresistibly impelled to follow pretty girls and
ladies by the hour, no matter how inclement the weather
might be, admiring their air of refinement and watching
for a chance of showing them a favour, giving them
flowers, etc. The patient asserted that up to her nineteenth
year she had not the slightest knowledge of the difference
of sexes, since she had been brought up by a prudish old
maiden aunt like a nun in a cloister. In consequence of
this crass ignorance she fell a victim to a man who loved
her passionately and insidiously betrayed her virtue. She
became the wife of this man, gave birth to a child, and
led an "eccentrically" sexual life with him, but felt sat-
isfied with the sexual intercourse. A few years later
she became a widow. Since then her affections again
turned to persons of her own sex, the principal reason for
which, was, the patient averred, the fear of the results of
sexual intercourse with man.

At the age of twenty-seven she entered upon a second
marriage • with a man of infirm constitution. It was not
a love match. Thrice she became a mother, and fulfilled
all the conditions of maternity ; but her health ran down,
and during the latter years her dislike for coitus ever
increased, chiefly on account of her husband's infirmity,
although her desire for sexual gratification remained

Three years after her second husband's death; she dis-
covered that her daiighter by the first husband, now nine
years of age, was given to masturbation and going into
decline. She read an article about this vice in the Ency-
clopcedia, and now could not resist the temptation to try


it herself and thus became an onanist. She hesitated to
give a full account of this period of her life. She stated,
however, that she became sexually so excited that she had
to send her two daughters away from home in order to
preserve them from something "terrible". The two boy's
could remain at home.

Patient became neurasthenic ex masturhatione (spinal
irritation, pressure in the head, languor, mental constipa-
tion, etc.) at times even dysthymic, with worrying tcedium

Her sexual inclinations turned now to woman, now
to man. But she controlled herself, suffered much from
her abstinence, especially since she resorted to mastur-
bation on account of her neurasthenic afflictions only at
the last instance. At the age of forty-four — still having
regular periods — the patient suffered from a violent pas-
sion for a young man with whom, on account of her avoca-
tion, she was bound to be in constant contact.

The patient did not offer anything extraordinary in
her external appearance, though graceful of build, she was
slight of form. Pelvis decidedly feminine, but arms and
legs large, and of pronounced masculine type. Pemale
boots did not really fit her, and she had quite crippled
and malformed her feet by forcing them into narrow
shoes. Genitals quite normal. Excepting a descensus
uteri with hypertrophy of the vaginal portion, no changes
were noticeable. She still claimed to be essentially homo-
sexual, and declared that her inclination arid desire for the
opposite sex were only periodical and grossly sensual. Al-
though she had strong sexual feelings towards the man
aforementioned, yet her greatest and noblest pleasure she
found in pressing a kiss upon the soft cheek of a sweet
girl. This pleasure she enjoyed often, for she was the
"favourite aunt" among these "dear creatures," to whom
she rendered the services of the "cavalier" unstintingly,
always feeling herself in the role of the man.

Case 155. Homosexuality. Miss L., fifty-five years


of age. ISTo information about her father's family. The
parents of her mother were described as irascible, ca-
pricious and nervous. One brother of her mother was au
epileptic, another eccentric and mentally abnormal.

Mother was sexually hypersesthetic, and for a long
time a messaliria. She was considered to be psychopathic
and died at the age of sixt}'-nine of cerebral disease.

Miss L. developed normally, had only slight illnesses
in childhood, and was mentally well endowed, but of a
neuropathic constitution, emotional, and troubled with
numerous fads.

At the age of thirteen, two years previous to her first
menstruation, she fell in love with a girl-friend ("a dreamy
feeling, quite pure of sensuality").

Her second love was for a girl older than herself who
was a bride; this was accompanied by tantalising sensual
desires, jealousy, and an "undefined consciousness of mys-
tical impropriety". She was refused by this lady and
now fell in love with a married woman, who was a mother
and twenty years her senior. As she controlled her sensual
emotions, this lady never even divined the true reason of
this enthusiastic friendship which lasted for twelve years.
Patient described this period as a veritable martyrdom.

Since she was twenty-five she had begun to mastur-
bate. Patient seriously thought that, perhaps, by marriage
she might save herself, but her conscience objected, for
her children might inherit her weakness, or she might
make a sincere husband unhappy.

At the age of twenty-seven she was approached with
direct proposals by a girl who denounced abstinence as
absurd, and plainly described the homosexual instinct
which ruled her and was very impetuoiis in her demands.
She suffered the caresses of the girl, but would not con-
sent to sexual intercourse, as sensuality without love dis-
gusted her.

Mentally and bodily dissatisfied the years fled by,
leaving the consciousness of a spoiled life. Now and then
she became enthusiastic about ladies of her acquaintance,


but controlled herself. She also rid herself from mastur-

"When she was thirty-eight years of age she became
acquainted with a girl nineteen years her junior, of ex-
ceptional beauty, who came from a demoralized family,
and had been at an early age seduced by her cousins to
mutual masturbation. It could not be ascertained whether
this girl A. was a case of psychical hermaphrodism or of
acquired sexual inversion. The former hypothesis seems
the likelier of the two.

The following is taken from an autobiography of Miss

"Miss A., my pupil, began to show me her idolatrous
love. She was sympathetic to the highest degree. Since
I knew that she was entangled in a hopeless love affair
with a dissolute fellow and continued iiitimate intercourse
with demoralised female cousins, I decided not to repulse
her. Compassion and the conviction that she was surely
drifting into moral decay determined me to suffer her

"I did not consider her affection as dangerous, as I did
not think it possible that (considering her love affair) in
ONE soul two passions (one for a man and another for a
woman) could exist simultaneously. Moreover, I was
certain of my power of resistance. I kept, therefore, Miss
A. about me, renewed my moral resolutions, and con-
sidered it to be my duty to use her love for me for en-
nobling her character. The folly of this I soon found
out. One day whilst I lay asleep Miss A. took occasion'
to satisfy her lust on me. Although I woke up just in
time, I did not have the moral strength to resist her. I
was highly excited, intoxicated as it were — and she pre-

"What I suifered immediately after this occurrence
beggars description. Worry over the broken resolutions,
which to keep I had made such strenuous efforts, fear of
detection and subsequent contempt, exuberant joy at last
to be rid of the torturing watchings and longings of the


single state, imspeakable sensual pleasure, wrath against
the evil companion, mingled with feelings of the deepest
tenderness towards her. Miss A. calmly smiled at my
excitement, and with caresses soothed my anger.

"I accepted the situation. Our intiAiacy lasted for
years. We practised mutual masturbation, but never to
excess or in a cynical fashion.

''Little by little this sensual companionship ceased.
Miss A.'s tenderness weakened; mine, however, remained
as before, although I felt no longer the same sensual
cravings. Miss A. thought of marriage, partly in order to
find a home, but especially because her sensual desires had
turned into the normal paths. She succeeded in finding
a husband. I sincerely hope she will make him happy,
but I doubt it. Thus I have the prospect before me to
linger on the same joyless, peaceless life as it ever was in
youtjiful days.

''It is with sadness that I remember the years of our
loving union. It does not disturb my conscience to have
had sexual intercourse with Miss A., for I succumbed to
her seduction, having honestly endeavoured to save her
from moral ruin and to bring her up an educated and
moral being. In this I honestly think I have succeeded
after all. Besides, I rest in the thought that the moral
code is established only for normal humans, but is not
binding for anomalies. Of course, the human being who
is endowed by nature with sentiments of refinement, but
whose constitution is abnormal and outside the conven-
tionalities of society, can never be truly happy. But I
experienced a sad tranquillity and felt happy when I
thought Miss A. to be so too.

"This is the history of an unhappy woman who, by
the fatal caprice of nature, is deprived of all joy of life
and made a victim of sorrow."

The author of this woeful story was a lady of great
refinement. But she had coarse features, a powerful but
throughout feminine frame. She passed through the
climacterium without trouble, and since then had been


entirely free from sensual worry. Sexually she had never
played a defined role towards the woman she loved; for
men she never felt the slightest inclination.

Her statements about the family relations and the
health of her paramour, Miss A., establish a heavy taint
beyond doubt. The father died in an insane asylum, the
mother was deranged during the period of her climac-
terium, neuroses were of frequent occurrence in the family,
and Miss A. herself suffered at times heavily from hystero-
pathy, with hallucinations and delirium.

Case 156. Homosexuality. S. J., age thirty-eight,
governess. Came to me for medical advice on account
of nervous trouble. Father was periodically insane, and
died from cerebral disease. Patient was an only child.
She suffered early from anxiety and alarming fancies,
e.g., that she would wake up in a coffin after it had been
fastened down ; tliat she would forget something when
going to confession, and thus receive holy communion
unworthily. Was often troubled with headaches, very
excitable, easily startled, but notwithstanding had a great
desire to see exciting things such as funerals, etc.

From the earliest youth she was subject to sexual
excitement, and spontaneously practised masturbation.
At the age of fourteen she began to menstruate. Her
periods were often accompanied by colicky pains, intense
sexual excitement, neuralgia and mental depression. With
the age of eighteen she gave up masturbation successfully.

The patient never experienced an inclination towards
a person of the opposite sex. Marriage to her only meant
to find a home. But she was mightily drawn to girls.
At first she considered this affection merely as friendship,
but she soon recognised from the intensity of her love
for girl friends and her deep longings for their constant
society that it meant more than mere friendship.

To her it is inconceivable that a girl could love a man,
although she can comprehend the feeling of man toward
woman. She always took the deepest interest in pretty


girls and ladies, the sight of whom caused her intense
excitement. Her desire was ever to embrace and kiss
these dear creatures. She never dreamed of men, always
of girls only. To revel in looking at them was the acme
of pleasure. Whenever she lost a "girl friend" she felt
in despair.

Patient claimed that she never felt in a defined role,
even in her dreams, towards her girl friends. In appear-
ance she was thoroughly feminine and modest. Feminine
pelvis, large mammae, no indication of beard.

Case 157. Homosexuality. Mrs. R., aged thirty-five,
of high social position, was brought to me in 1886 by her
husband for advice.

Father was a physician; very neuropathic. Paternal
grandfather was healthy and normal, and reached the age
of ninety-six. Facts concerning paternal grandmother
are wanting. All the children of father's family were said
to have been nervous. The patient's mother was nervous,
and suffered with asthma. The mother's parents were
healthy. One of the mother's sisters had melancholia.

From her tenth year patient had been subject to
habitual headache. AVith the exception of measles, she
had no illness. She was gifted, and enjoyed the best of
•training, having especial talent for music and languages.
It became necessary for her to prepare herself for the
work of a governess, and during her earlier years she
was mentally overworked. She passed through an attack
of melancholia sine delirio, of some months' duration, at
seventeen. The patient asserted that she had always had
sympathy only for her own sex, and found only an aasthetic
interest in men. She never had any taste for female work.
As a little girl, she preferred to play with boys.

She said she remained well until her twenty-seventh
vear. Then, without external cause, she became depressed
and considered herself a bad, sinful person, had no plea-
sure in anything, and was sleepless. During this time of
illne3§ she wa? also troubled with delusions; she must


think of her death and that of her relatives. Recovery
after about five months. She then became a governess,
was overworked, but remained well, except for occasional
neurasthenic symptoms and spinal irritation.

At twenty-eight she made the acquaintance of a lady
five years younger than herself. She fell in love with
her, and her love was returned. The love was very sensual,
and satisfied by mutual masturbation. "I loved her as
a god; hers is a noble soul," she said, when she mentioned
this love-bond. It lasted four years and was ended by the
(unfortunate) marriage of her friend.

In 1885, after much emotional strain, the patient be-
came ill with symptoms of hystero-neurasthenia (dyspep-
sia, spinal irritation, and tonic spasmodic attacks; attacks
of hemiopia with migraine and transitory aphasia;
pruritus pudendi et ani). In February, 1886, these symp-
toms disappeared.

In March she became acquainted with her present
husband, whom she married without taking much time
for reflection ; for he was rich, much in love with her,
and his character was in sympathy with her own.

On 6th April, she read the sentence, "Death misses
no one." Like a flash of lightning in a clear sky, the
former delusions of death returned. She was forced to
meditate on the most horrible manner of death for
herself and those about her, and constantly imagined
death-scenes. She lost rest and sleep, and took no
pleasure in anything. Her condition improved. Late in
May, 1886, she was married, but was still troubled by
painful thoughts at that time: that she would bring
misfortune on her husband and those about her.

First coitus on 6th June, 1886. She was deeply de-
pressed morally by it. She had no such conception
of matrimony. The husband, who really loved his wife,
did all he could to quiet her. He consulted physicians,
who thought all would be well after pregnancy. The
husband was unable to explain the peculiar behaviour
of his wife. She was friendly toward him, and suffered


his caresses. In coitus, -which was actually carried out,
she was entirely passive, and after the act she was tired,
exhausted all day long, nervous, and troubled with spinal

A bridal tour brought about a meeting with her old
friend, who had lived in an unhappy marriage for three
years. The two ladies trembled with joy and excitement
as they sank into each other's arms, and became insepar-

Online LibraryR. von (Richard) Krafft-EbingPsychopathia sexualis, with especial reference to the antipathetic sexual instinct : a medico-forensic study → online text (page 35 of 52)