Psychopathia Sexualis Ch. V part 6

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Psychopathia Sexualis by Dr. R. v. Krafft-Ebing, Twelfth Edition, tr. F.J.Rebman, pp 552-560


6. Violation of Individuals Under the Age of Fourteen. (Austrian Statutes, §§ 128, 132; Austrian Abridgment, §§ 189, 191; German Statutes, §§ 174, 176.)

By violation of sexually immature individuals, the jurist understands all the possible immoral acts with persons under fourteen years of age that are not comprehended in the term “rape.” The term violation, in the legal sense of the word, comprehends the most horrible perversions and acts, which are possible only to a man who is a slave to lust and morally weak, and, as is usually the case, lacking in sexual power.

A common feature of these crimes, committed on persons that really still belong more or less to childhood, is that they are unmanly, knavish, and often silly. It is a fact that such acts, excepting pathological cases, like those of imbeciles, paretics, and senile dements, are almost exclusively committed by young men who lack courage or have no faith in their virility; or by roués who have, to some extent, lost their power. It is psychologically incomprehensible that an adult of full virility and mentally sound should indulge in sexual abuses with children.

Non-Psychopathological Cases.

Non-psychopathological cases of immoral acts with children may be summarized as under:

1. Debauchées who have tasted all the pleasures of normal and abnormal sexual pleasures with woman. The only motive for the infamous act can be found in a morbid psychical craving to create a novel sexual situation and to revel in the shame and confusion of the child victim. A subordinate motive may be sexual impotence with the adult seeking a new stimulus in the extraordinary coitus with an immature female. If virility also fails in this instance, sexual contact with boys is very likely resorted to, especially in the form of pederasty. In large cities the markets for these filthy needs are well stocked. (Cf. Tardieu’s revelations of Paris, and Tarnowsky’s of St. Petersburg.) Casper tells us that lewd mothers often prepare their little daughter for the use of these libertines.

2. Young men who are afraid of the adult female or are diffident about their own virility. These are chiefly recruited from the bands of masturbators suffering from psychical impotence or some irritable weakness of the sexual organs which render coitus cum muliere impossible and seek a compensating equivalent in the manipulation of the female organs in the child which as a rule suffices to produce orgasm and ejaculation in themselves. If potency is still unimpaired, immissio penis will be attempted in almost every case.

Casper in his “Clinical Novels,” [1] cases 4 and 5, shows that even brothers have proved dangerous fiends toward their little sisters.

3. A large percentage of cases is represented by lewd servant girls, governesses and nursemaids, not to speak of female relatives, who abuse the little boys entrusted to their care, for sexual purposes [2] and often even infect them with the gonorrhœal poison.

The cases in which lascivious tutors, governesses, etc., cane or spank their pupils without provocation, are open to investigation as to the pathological condition of the malefactor.[3]

The manner in which acts of immorality are committed on children differs widely, especially where libertines are concerned. They consist chiefly in libidinous manipulations of the pudenda, active manustupration (using the child’s hand for onanism), flagellation, etc. Less frequent is cunnilingus, irrumare in boys or girls, pædicatio puellarum, coitus inter femora, exhibition. The possibilities in this direction are inexhaustible.

The finer feelings of man revolt at the thought of counting the monsters among the psychically normal members of human society. The only presumption is that these individuals have suffered shipwreck in the sphere of morality and potency. This should not, however, preclude the moral responsibility of the perpetrator, as sheer moral depravity may be at the bottom of the act, especially in individuals oversated with natural sexual intercourse, in lascivious characters or drunkards. Judgment of the act should ever be guided by the monstrosity and the degree in which it psychically and physically differs from the natural act.

Psychopathological Cases.

A great number of these cases, however, certainly depend upon pathological states.

A review of the psycho-pathological cases of immorality with children shows that the largest number may be reduced to conditions of acquired mental weakness. First of all we must mention dementia senilis[4] (Kirn, “Allg. Zeitschr. f. Psychiatrie,” 39, p. 217), then chronic alcoholism,[5] paralysis,[6] mental debility due to epilepsy,[7] injuries to the head and apoplexy,[8] lues cerebri.[9] Then follow the original mental defects,[10] and states of degeneration.[11]

The cause of these offences may also be found in states of morbid unconsciousness.

Not infrequently these outrages on morality are due to overindulgence in alcoholic stimulants or epilepto-psychical conditions of an exceptional character, at times also to error sexus aut personæ. They may be explained on the ground of the sexual excitement concomitant with these conditions, especially in epileptic subjects.[12] Rape and pederasty are of frequent occurrence under these circumstances. In the states of psychical weakness the point whether virility is at command decides as to the quality of the sexual act.

In addition to the aforesaid categories of moral renegades, and those afflicted with psychico-moral weakness — be this congenital or superinduced by cerebral disease or episodical mental aberration — there are cases in which the sexually needy subject is drawn to children not in consequence of degenerated morality or psychical or physical impotence, but rather by a morbid disposition, a psycho-sexual perversion, which may at present be named pædophilia erotica.[13]

In my own experience I have come across four cases only. They all refer to men. The first case is of more value than the others for it appears in the form of platonic love; but it manifests its sexual character in the fact that this (paranoic) lover of children is only stimulated by little girls. He is quite callous towards the grown-up woman and, as it appears, a hair-fetichist. (In the other cases it came to libidinous acts.)

Observation No. 2 represents a man tainted by heredity. Since the time of puberty (which came very late at the age of twenty-four) sensual emotions towards little girls of five to ten years of age. The very sight of such a girl brought on ejaculation; a touch from her absolute sexual paroxysm with only a succinct recollection as to its duration. The marital act gave a slight gratification, thus enabling him to control his desire for little girls for a time. But a heavy neurasthenia supervened (chiefly due to coitus interruptus) when he became a criminal either because his moral powers of resistance slackened, or his sexual appetite increased in volume.

The third case is a man tainted by heredity and constitutionally neurasthenic; cranium abnormal, never had a normal inclination to the adult woman; but in coitus was like an animal at rutting time. To immorally touch little girls gave this man the highest possible pleasure. He became pædophilic only at the age of twenty-five.

My fourth case is a man, tainted, who has ever found sexual charm only in immature girls. Mature women had but little attraction for him. When impotence (e tabe?) and dementia paralytica set in he could no longer resist the morbid impulse.

The cases quoted here under the head of “pædophilia erotica” in the sense of sexual perversion have the following traits in common:—

(1) The individual afflicted is tainted.

(2) The affection for immature persons of the opposite sex is of a primary nature (quite in opposition to the debauchée); the imaginary representations are in an abnormal manner and very strongly indeed marked by lustful feelings.

(3) The libidinous acts — if you exclude the one case in which virility was present — consist only in immodest touches or manustupration of the victim. Nevertheless they adduce the gratification of the subject, even though ejaculation be not attained.

The following cases taken from Magnan (“Lectures on Psychiatry”) show clearly that this pædophilia erotica occurs also in women.

Magnan’s first case is a lady twenty-nine years of age, tainted by heredity; has delusions and phobias.

Since eight years strong desire for sexual union with one of her (five) nephews. First her desire is directed towards the oldest when he was five years of age. She transferred this desire to each of them in turn as they grew up. The sight of the child in question was sufficient to produce orgasm and even pollution. She was able to resist her inclination, which she cannot explain. She had no inclination for mature men.

The second case is a woman thirty-two years of age, mother of two children; heavily tainted by heredity; separated from her husband on account of brutal treatment.

For several months she had neglected her children, had visited a friend’s house every day, and always at the time when the son of the house was returning from school. She hugged and kissed the child, and at times said that she was in love with him and wanted to marry him.

One day she told his mother that the boy was ill and unhappy. She wanted to cohabit with him in order to cure him.

She was forbidden the house, but laid siege to it.

One day she tried to force her way in, when she was sent to an asylum, where she continued to rave about the boy.

That pædophilia erotica may occur periodically is demonstrated by Anjel’s observation (vide supra, cases 187 and 188).

In the sphere of antipathic sexual instinct this perversion is by no means rare. In the same measure in which the former is an equivalent of the heterosexual instinct, so in this instance the predilection for the immature is equally abnormal and exceptional. Practically speaking, acts of immorality committed on boys by men sexually inverted are of the greatest rarity.

I have already laid stress upon this fact in my pamphlet “Der conträr Sexuale vor dem Strafrichter,” second edition, p. 9. I have pointed out there that the real seducer of youth is the weak-minded man, though born sexually normal; the roué who is impotent or at least sexually perverted and morally depraved; the senile man who is morally enfeebled but sexually excited.

Under such accidental conditions, the sexually inverted individual may also eventually become a danger to boys (cf. case 127 of the present and 109 of the ninth edition of this book); but this has nothing to do with pædophilia, for the very reason that in these cases the boys were pubertati proximi, whilst in cases of genuine pædophilia the subject is drawn only to the sexually quite immature. The second case of Magnan seems to be the most instructive in this regard, for in it the desire turned in each instance from the older boy to the younger one as he grew to the age of three to five years.

The following case, reported by Pacotte and Raynaud (“Archives d’Anthropologie criminelle,” x., p. 435), may be looked upon as a proof that pædophilia erotica may also occur in cases of antipathic sexuality.

Case 228. X., thirty-six years of age, journalist; heavily tainted by heredity; ethically and intellectually defective; since early youth afflicted with epileptoid spells; intolerant of alcohol; face asymmetrical; never cared for woman; masturbated since he was eighteen; attempts at coitus found him cold and impotent.

But boys of ten to fifteen years of age excited him very much. Although he was conscious of the criminality of the act, he could not resist the impulse to pædicate with them. Oftentimes he was sated with their “enchanting looks and their sweet smiles”.

Neither adult nor little girls possessed any charms for him. Only at the age of twenty-two, when a boy twelve years old forced sexual intercourse upon him, he became pædophilic. At that time he refused his seducer, but soon he could resist no longer the desire awakened in him by that incident, although he was repeatedly sentenced and imprisoned for this offence. His life was blighted by this unfortunate weakness, and he made several attempts at suicide.

Expert opinion established congenital sexual inversion, and, within the limits of homesexuality, a special anomaly, viz., exclusive love for boys of a certain age and of delicate constitution.

It was claimed that degenerative mental disturbance affected the soundness of his mind and rendered him a danger to the community.

X. was inconsolable over the result of his trial, for he was sent to an insane asylum. He had anticipated a free pardon.

In my “Arbeiten” (Heft 4, pp. 119-124) I have published three other eases of pædophilia erotica, which came under my personal observation. Two other cases in my possession have never been published. It seems to me as if all these cases might be reduced to fetichism. This would at once account for the paradox apparent in the manifestations of pædophilia erotica. It can only be explained on the ground of heavy taint, for a strongly marked degenerative predisposition can always be found in these individuals. That these cases are not of every-day occurrence and require a fetichistic impulse, may also account for their rarity.

Pseudopædophilia — occurring in individuals who have lost libido for the adult through masturbation and subsequently turn to children for the gratification of their sexual appetite — is much more frequently observed. (Cf. case 106 of the tenth edition of this book.)

Another classical case may be found in my “Arbeiten,” Heft 4, p. 125.

Irresponsibility should, as a rule, not be claimed in these cases, for experience teaches that pædophilic impulses can be mastered, unless a weakening or total loss of will power has been superinduced by pathological conditions, such as neurasthenia gravis or dementia paralitica. A plea for ameliorating circumstances, however, may be indicated. Nevertheless a criminal enquiry should always be made in flagrant cases of pædophilia erotica. The question of responsibility in concreto facto depends entirely on the synthetic comprehension of all the characteristics of the individual involved. Hypersexuality, overindulgence in alcoholic drinks, moral weakness, etc., should be carefully considered as they frequently counteract the freedom of action.

At any rate these unfortunate beings should always be looked upon as a common danger to the weal and welfare of the community, and put under strict surveillance and medical treatment. The proper place for such persons is a sanitarium[14] established for that purpose, not the prison.[15]

That a cure is possible is evidenced by two severe cases which came under my observation and treatment.

Unfortunately the presumption that psycho-pathological conditions are present cannot always be proved. But the fact that pathological moments are not wanting, should be carefully weighed. At any rate, a thorough investigation of the mental status of the individual must be made. This is especially the case when old men seduce children. Moral and intellectual idiocy, heavy psychical degeneration, defects springing from acquired organic causes and mental aberrations are frequently at the bottom of these excesses. The beginning of dementia senilis or paralitica is not always as yet sufficiently pronounced to allow of a proper diagnosis. Proper care must therefore be exercised.


  1. Tardieu, attentats aux moers; Casper, Klinical Novels, case 1; Maschka, Handbuch, iii., p. 175; Casper, Vierteljahrschr., 1852, Bd. 1.
  2. Lop, Archives d’antropol. crimin., x., 55, Annales d’hygiéne, xxxv., p. 462; Bernard, attentats à la pudeur sur les petites filles, Thèse de Lyon, 1886; New York Med. Journ., 1893, 13 December.
  3. Albert, Friedreich’s Blätter f. ger. Med., 1859, p. 17.
  4. Cases, No. 163, 164, 165 quoted in this book.
  5. Leppmann, “Die Sachverständigenthätigkeit,” p. 96; Lombroso, “Archivio di psichiatria,” viii., p. 519.
  6. Cf. supra, page 468, and my “Arbeiten,” Heft 4, p. 96 (Incest, immorality with children.)
  7. Cases 181, 182, supra; Liman, “Zweifelhafte Geisteszustände,” case 6.
  8. Cases 174, 175.
  9. Case 176.
  10. Casper’s “Klin. Novellen,” p. 161, 193, 272; Leppmann, op. cit., p. 115; Henke’s, “Zeitsehr.” xxiii., “Ergänzungsh.,” p. 147; cf. supra, pp. 445, etc.; 501, etc.
  11. Vide supra, cases 193 and 194, 10th ed. and 209 supra, “Vierteljahrsschr. f. ger. Med., N. F. xlix., 2.
  12. Vide supra, cases 178, 179, 184, 185. — Also v. Krafft “Arbeiten,” iv., p. 97 (Schändung von Kindern im epil. Dämmerzustand des Thäters)
  13. Cf. author’s original article in Friedreich’s “Blatter f. ger. Med., 1896, and “Arbeiten,” Heft 4, p. 105.
  14. Fuchs, Therapie der anomalen vita sexualis, p. 11.
  15. Cf. Zeitschrift f. Psychiatric, 58, 4.

Language Notes

  • paretics
partial paraletics
  • manustupration
  • irrumare
I irrumate, insert the penis violently into another's mouth
II abuse or defile
  • paedicatio puellarum OR
  • pædicatio puellarum
anal sex with a young girl
  • coitus inter femora
intercours between the thighs
  • pædicate
perform anal intercourse
  • pubertati proximi
near pubertal

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  • Posted by Randy on 2013-May-1 04:04:57, Wednesday
  • PATHOLOGICAL SEXUAL LIFE BEFORE THE CRIMINAL FORUM Twelfth Edition, tr. F.J.Rebman, pp 552-560 (b)V.