Sex Glands Of Man And Woman

THE TWO kinds of organs hitherto discussed—testicles and ovaries—are frequently grouped together under the name of Sex Glands. But are they really glands? This question is not an idle speculation; it concerns the very foundation of the sexual life.

We shall never have a proper. insight into the nature of the sexual life, as long as we consider this function merely as a glandular secretion. To do this, is to overlook the most important point. Sexual life is something sui generis. It is the originating of new life, going hand in hand with secretion. In the male the function of secretion, in the woman the creation of new life is predominant.

I have discussed tumour-formation rather fully here because the first mis-en-scene of the sexual life is a kind of tumour-formation—the first modification of growth in contrast with ordinary vegetative growth.

Now there are two special organs in the male: the two testicles which though constructed like a typical gland do not at first secrete anything at all. Only at puberty do they begin to secrete countless fresh vigorous young cells—the male sperm-cells—mixed with a lot of mucus, just as if it were an ordinary glandular secretion.

This production of fresh vigorous young cells which will give rise to the next generation does not fit into our conception of a glandular secretion. For the substances secreted by a gland are its waste products, mixed perhaps with dead and disintegrated cell-fragments.