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PATHOLOGY OR VICE?

JAMA. 1907;XLIX(25):2090-2091. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530250042009.
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ABSTRACT

The von Moltke-Harden libel suit, with its unsavory revelations telegraphed around the world, is not a pleasant reminder of some of the possible tendencies of even a high modern civilization. Naturally the medicolegal aspects of the case have been the subjects of discussion, and it would seem from the comments of German contemporaries that there is in Germany an active agitation for the repeal, or at least the modification, of the section of the penal code against certain unnatural sexual practices. The only justifiable ground for such agitation is, of course, that the tendency to such criminal acts is a pathologic and not properly a criminal one, but this tendency seems even to be condoned as being perfectly compatible with manly virtues and is claimed to have been an infirmity shared by many of the most illustrious of the earth. The Berliner klinische Wochenschrift calls these views "worldspread," an adjective

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