three pairs of lovers with space

GREEK LOVE IN THE AMERICAS

 

Hubert Howe Bancroft’s monumental The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America, published in five volumes in New York in 1875-6, included several references to pederasty, while showing that much of the indiginous practise of it was in the form of gender-differentiated homosexuality, with boys adopting, apparently indefinitely, the behaviour of women.

Greek love in French Guiana, 1870s is a 19th-century French doctor's account of pederastic practices in a land then best-known for its brutal penal colonies.

 

The United States of America

Homosexuality Among Tramps by Josiah Flint is an authoritative essay, published in 1897 in the first scientific English-language study of homosexuality, which describes Greek love as the predominant form of sex amongst tramps and hoboes in the USA.

"Jockers" and "Punks" in the early 20th-century north-western USA explores the diverse reasons why working-class boys often sought out sexual relationships with men.

Scotty Bowers on his boyhood is an Illinois boy's account of his Greek love adventures in the 1930s, notable for the influence positively-felt early experience seems to have had in developing the narrator's lifelong pansexual enthusiasm, as suggested in a review here. It also brings to life the hustlers' scene in the Chicago of that era.

L'arrivée de Christophe Colomb by Pierre Joubert

An American initiated in war-time Naples, 1943-67 is the account of one George C. as to how he had become sexually enthusiastic about boys.  In the context of North America, where the notion of fixed sexual orientation had taken hold as firmly and as long as anywhere, and with far-reaching consequences for people's self-perception, George's account is especially interesting as an instance of the survival there into the 1960s of pre-modern assumptions about sexuality. George explains his willingness to try out sex with a boy as occasioned purely by his strong sex drive combined with circumstance, and his eventual preference for boys in middle age as learned from experience. Likewise, Ben, the boy with whom he had his most important affair, beside his need for love, wanted sex with men only because they offered an outlet for his exceptionally strong sexual urges, not because he was "gay".

Fifteen American case studies ranging in date from the 1930s to 1964 were presented in Some Uncomplicated Greek Love Affairs and Some Difficult Greek Love Affairs, two chapters from Greek Love by J. Z. Eglinton.

Another nine case studies ranging from 1946 to 1970 were presented in The Male Adolescent Involved With a Pederast Becomes an Adult, for which psychologist R. H. Tindall selected the nine cases of pederasty out of 200 he had studied "where he most detailed follow-up in regard to sexual practices was possible." All nine boys had begun their liaisons with men willingly at 13 or 14, and the sex, which in every case was only part of a valued relationship, had petered out some time after they were 17. His most significant finding was that all later married and none regarded themselves as homosexual, leading him to conclude that liaisons with men did not make boys homosexual.

The United States in Boys for Sale by Drew and Drake (1969) is a short history of boy prostitution there. Boy Prostitution in New York in 1968, A survey of eighteen New York boy prostitutes and A biography of Len, a New York pimp are parts of their detailed survey of New York in the late 1960s for the same book.

Writing under the pen name of Casimir Dukahz,  Brian Otto Drexel (1909-88), an American boysexual (to use the word he coined himself) wrote four successive books recounting his sexual adventures with boys: The Asbestos Diary, Vice Versa, It's a Boy, and Growing Old Disgracefully. Unsurprisingly, he obscured the question of whether they were memoirs or fiction with the typically witty disclaimer that "all characters and incidents ... are impurely imaginary". However, word on the grapevine is that, allowing for a little literary license, they were very autobiographical, and thus they are presented here as a valuable and amusing illumination into ways that pederasty was practised in the United States between 1946 and the latish 1970s, an era when it was repressed, but not yet hysterically so.

 

Canada

Though independent of Great Britain from 1931, Canada followed, with slight delays, the same path of repression towards Greek love as the mother country, with a significant variation only in the late 20th century. Hence, the law against sodomy (meaning pedication in both countries and theoretically a capital offence until 1869) was broadened into prohibition of all male homosexuality in 1892, with willing boys over 14 also considered culpable.

The treatment of pederasty by the law in the most populous province of the country between 1890 and 1935 is the subject of 'Horrible Temptations': Sex, Men and Working-Class Male Youth in Urban Ontario" by Steven Maynard.[1] Shedding interesting light on the social and cultural conditions that gave rise to sex between men and boys, as a survey of all criminal proceedings there, it unsurprisingly includes everything from rape to long-lasting love affairs.  In the few cases where boys  complained of sex they had consented to, the cause was almost invariably having been cheated of a promised reward. Often they had to be forced to testify; in one remarkably case, a boy who had been beaten by his parents refused to succumb to threats made by the court that he would be punished if he did not.

The sexual revolution of the 1960s briefly ushered in sufficient sexual freedom to make Canada the only English-speaking land apart from the U.S. state of Hawaii where pederasty was ever quasi-legal,[2] with homosexuality legalised for boys over fourteen in 1969, though pedication was excepted and the age of consent was raised to sixteen in 2008.

 

[1] The Canadian Historical Review, Volume 78, No. 2, Toronto, June 1997, pp. 191-235.

[2] For absolute accuracy, this statement should be qualified by the observation that sex between men and boys may well have been allowed by the English themselves before their conversion to Christianity over the course of the 7th century. This can only be guessed at from the very little known about pederasty amongst the ancient Germanic tribes.