Ford and Beach's "Homosexual Behavior," 1951

Ford and Beach's Patterns of Sexual Behavior, published in 1951, devotes one chapter to male and female homosexual activity. The authors collected information on homosexuality in seventy-six societies and found that male homosexual activities were regarded favorably in forty-nine (sixty-four percent). Among these favorably inclined cultures are the following American Indian groups: Creek, Crow, Hopi, Mandan, Maricopa, Menomini, Natchez, Navaho, Omaha, Oto, Papago, Ponca, Quinault, Seminole, Tubatulabal, Yuma, Yurok, and Zuni. In addition, the Chiricahua, Crow, Ojibwa, and Yuma were found to approve female homosexual relations. Against this, only four Indian tribes were found to disapprove of mole homosexual relations: the Chiricahua (which, as mentioned, approve Lesbian relations), Ojibwa (which likewise approve Lesbianism), Klamath, and Pima.[1]

Ford and Beach's book was quickly taken up by the American homosexual emancipation movement, which used its cross-cultural research and conclusions to place the anti-homosexuality of contemporary Western society in a socially and historically relative perspective.


Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (NY: Crowell, 1976) pg. 326.

  1. Clellan S. Ford and Frank A. Beach, Patterns of Sexual Behavior (N.Y.: Harper & Row, 195t), p. 136-40.