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(1950). Psychosomatic Medicine. XI, 1949: Role of the Hormones in Human Sexuality. William H. Perloff. Pp. 133–139.. Psychoanal Q., 19:285.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychosomatic Medicine. XI, 1949: Role of the Hormones in Human Sexuality. William H. Perloff. Pp. 133–139.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:285

Psychosomatic Medicine. XI, 1949: Role of the Hormones in Human Sexuality. William H. Perloff. Pp. 133–139.

Because the theory of the hormonal regulation of sexual activity in the human is still widely held, Perloff undertook to re-examine the thesis by a series of observations on patients with sexual and endocrine disorders. He arrived at the formulation that the sexual behavior pattern in the human species is the resultant of three influences: a genetic factor, which sets the basic pattern and determines the limits of operation of the other two elements; a hormonal factor, which stimulates the development of the sexual organs and increases their sensitivity to stimulation; and a psychological factor, which determines object choice and regulates the intensity of the sexual emotions. Aside from their role in increasing the size of the sex organs and augmenting their sensitivity to stimulation, Perloff found that steroid hormones have no effect upon sexuality. Such disturbances as homosexuality, 'sexual mannerisms', aggressive behavior, frigidity and impotence were found to be essentially psychological phenomena. No correlation could be found between those states and the levels of hormone excretion, nor could they be favorably influenced by the administration of exogenous hormones, except perhaps in instances where there was other evidence of endocrine disease. Perloff concludes that 'in the adult human, abnormalities of sexual behavior may usually be considered, in the light of our present information, to be due to psychologic deviations, with the hormones playing, at most, a secondary role'.

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Article Citation

(1950). Psychosomatic Medicine. XI, 1949. Psychoanal. Q., 19:285

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