GORDON RATTRAY TAYLOR
The materials necessary for an exhaustive historical study of homosexuality do not exist. Even in the culture for which we have more historical material than any other—Europe in the last thousand years—they are inadequate. Legal and ecclesiastical prohibitions of such behavior caused homosexuals to conceal their activities as a rule, while the polemics of the moralists tended, we may be sure, to exaggerate the actual state of affairs.
The presentation of a balanced picture is made more difficult by a second factor, our inevitable tendency to judge all sexual behavior, including homosexuality, by the standards of our own culture. In addition to the need to suspend moral judgments, we need to know a great deal about such matters as family structure and religious beliefs before we can make much sense of the data. When these elements are taken into consideration, a much more interesting situation emerges than one would expect, to judge from the rather crude historical sketches usually found in encyclopedias of sexual knowledge.
I propose, therefore, to start with a short account of the history