Carpenter's "Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk," 1911

Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds were the two pioneering figures in the early English homosexual emancipation movement. Citing the research on homosexuality among "primitive" peoples published in Germany in Magnus Hirschfeld's Jahrbuch fur sexuelle Zwischenstufen (Yearbook for sexual intermediate types) especially the anthropological work of Ferdinand Karsch-Haack, as well as the English-language compilations of documents by Westermarck and Boncroft, Carpenter was himself among the first to take up the discussion of Native homosexuality as part of his campaign to demonstrate the contributions, functions, and high status of male and female homosexuals in various "primitive" societies.

In July 1911, Professor G. Stanley Hall's American Journal of Religious Psychology and Education published Carpenter's essay on homosexuality among Native peoples, later reprinted as four chapters on "The Intermediate Sex in the Service of Religion" in Carpenter's book Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk: A Study in Social Evolution (1914).[1]

Carpenter's sources on male homosexuality among the Native peoples of what is now the United States include Catlin, Lafitau, W. A. Hammond, Maximilian, John T. Irving, W. H. Keating, Charlevoix, and A. B. Holder.


Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (NY: Crowell, 1976) pg. 320-321.

  1. Edward Carpenter, Intermediate Types among Primitive Folk: A Study in Social Evolution, and ed. (London: Allen and Unwin, 1919; photo reprint, N.Y.: Arno, 1975).