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November 1961

Sexual Impotence in the Male

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(5):804. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620110144024

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The author defines the problem of male impotence and then discusses the etiology which is predominately of functional origin. Patients complaining of this disorder are found to have significant organic lesions in only ten per cent of instances. Discussion of these lesions then follows, and there is sly humor that the first of these is absence of the penis.

I found the exposition of the functional causes less satisfying, less clear, based on "common sense," and at times almost antipsychiatric. All who deal with this problem agree that "sexuality among humans... is a very complicated psychocultural performance." The physician's apostolic function must be utilized to the fullest. However, as fever may be indicative of a simple abscess or metastatic dissemination of a malignancy, so the doctor must determine whether sexual impotence arises from ignorance of sexual matters, etc., or from a concealed psychiatric disturbance. The author extends excellent advice to

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