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November 1, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(18):1381-1382. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610440061031

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To the Editor:  —A recent editorial (The Journal, Aug. 23, 1919, p. 612) emphasizes the relationship obtaining between basal metabolism and sexual expression, as evidenced by Miles' account of the diminished sex activities of a group of men on a reduced ration experiment. As Miles intimates these results have been foreshadowed by Riddle. Riddle (Theory of Sex, Science, N. S. 46:19-24 [July 6] 1917; J. Washington Acad. Sc.7:319, 2, 1917, for references to earlier papers) has revived the metabolic theory of sex through extensive experiments on pegeons in which he has affected the metabolism of the germs (egg yolks) through such measures as reproductive overwork and hybridity, thereby producing abnormal sex ratios, while the dietetic factor has been held constant. (An excess of females is produced by overwork, and an excess of males from wide crosses.) He has further shown that when these sex reversals take place

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