July 18, 1966


JAMA. 1966;197(3):214. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110030108037

To some, sex is the ultimate area of privacy, and hence not appropriate for study and evaluation. No scientific criteria can justify such a conclusion. It is no more reasonable to teach students the anatomy of the reproductive organs and ignore the way these organs function during their ordered activities than it would be to study the anatomy of the stomach but disdain any knowledge of motility, secretion, or disease under various kinds of gastric activity.

Myths have plagued science in attempting to assess and explain both the specific and the general reactions of the body to sexual activity. We have all heard quasi-scientific anecdotes, for example, about myocardial infarction occurring during sexual intercourse. And most physicians who care for patients recovering from infarction attempt to prohibit coitus for a varying period after apparent recovery from the cardiac insult. These related situations seem to be based on logic; tachycardia and

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