He was overtly hedonistic about sex

This report comes from a 1937 research paper dealing with children’s responses to adult sexuality. It is about an 11-year-old boy from Switzerland described as ‘hedonistic’.

Source: Bender, Lauretta and Abram Blau (1937): The Reaction of Children to Sexual Relations with Adults. The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Band 7, 1937, AMS Reprint Company, New York 3, N. Y., S. 500-518.

Since we didn’t have access to the English orginial text, this is a translation back from a German source. If you happen to know the English original, please contact [email protected].

Translated by JUMIMA
Original German text

Ewald H., an 11-year-old boy from Switzerland, was sent to the children’s department for observation because of a series of sexual activities with a man. (…) His physical condition was good and there were first signs of pubic hair development. (…) He was a charming, bright boy and adapted well to everyday life in the hospital. He did not show any obvious sexual activity under observation.

He made good contact with the doctor and openly shared the details of his previous sexual experiences. Around the age of 4, he practiced mutual masturbation with a cousin about the same age. Starting around the age of 6 to 8, he lived with a younger cousin, they bathed together and slept in the same room; every night they played with each other’s genitals. As a 10 year old he visited a beach and changed clothes in the same toilet as a 2 year younger cousin; at his invitation, they repeatedly played sex games with each other through mutual masturbation and bringing their sexual organs in touch with each other. A 13-year-old boy taught him anal sex a year ago, and later he practiced anal sex and oral sex with another boy. He envied adults for their sexual intercourse: he watched men changing on the beach to see their genitals and spied on his mother. Once he admired the genitals of a man who defecated on a field, and later they practiced mutual masturbation. The most recent experience was with a 40-year-old businessman who had a habit of watching boys play. One day the man was accidentally hit on the thigh and pulled down his pants to examine the injury; the boy expressed interest in his genitals and the man invited him to play sex games. The two and a younger boy went to a tunnel; the younger boy refused to participate and went home; our patient and the adult practiced mutual masturbation, oral sex and thigh sex. They met again on two other arranged occasions and repeated the experiences. The younger boy then told his mother about the matter, the patient was interviewed and admitted everything. He agreed to lead the police to the man at the next meeting and the man was arrested. The boy admitted that he had enjoyed the sexual activities. Although he was told that the purpose of sex is reproduction, he refused to believe it and thought that sex was only for pleasure. He said that he had to hold back now because this could cause him new trouble.

Comment: The 11-year-old boy of average intelligence had an openly hedonistic attitude towards sex. His sexual activities were both gay and heterosexual and started in early childhood. It is not possible to say what early influence led him to these interests. There is no doubt that this boy was the adult’s seducer in this case.