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Stephen, K. (1932). The Evolution of Sex and Intersexual Conditions: By Dr. Gregorio Marañón. Translated from the Spanish by Warre B. Wells. (George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 1932. Pp. 344. Price 15 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 13:490-491.

(1932). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 13:490-491

The Evolution of Sex and Intersexual Conditions: By Dr. Gregorio Marañón. Translated from the Spanish by Warre B. Wells. (George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 1932. Pp. 344. Price 15 s.)

Review by:
Karin Stephen

The thesis which Dr. Gregorio Marañón attempts to prove is stated on the first page, where he says that 'masculine and feminine are not two diametrically opposed entities but successive degrees in the development of a single function—sex:' and again later he restates what he calls 'the fundamental notion, that woman is an organism, arrested at puberty, with collateral maternal differentiation, but with general characteristics of frankly infantile accent': and again: 'The woman, in sexual evolution, is in a condition midway between adolescence and virility': and again 'the female is an organism midway between the infantile and the virile organism, the latter is the terminal phase of the former'. He produces a chart to illustrate what he believes to be the evolution of sex, showing how in all human beings it evolves from infancy via a feminoid phase to a terminal phase of masculinity which is thus 'equivalent to a differentiated and almost perfect form'. In the male the feminine phase, occurring during the crisis of puberty, is brief: in the female the feminine phase lasts till the climacteric, and only after passing this crisis does she continue her evolution along the path of virility, which even then she cannot hope to attain completely, shewing only an approximation to it in the matter of an increased pilosity and an improved aptitude for practical affairs.

The height of virility, we are told, is achieved only when the head is bald and the pilosity of the lower parts of the face and the body extensive. There is no portrait of the author attached to this volume.

From this evolutionary view of sex it follows that sex itself is neither feminine nor masculine, since in the course of its development it passes through the former phase on the way to the latter.


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