Coining spermatorrhoea: Medicine and male body fluids, 1836-1866

Stephens, Elizabeth A. (2009) Coining spermatorrhoea: Medicine and male body fluids, 1836-1866. Sexualities, 12 4: 467-485. doi:10.1177/1363460709105713

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Author Stephens, Elizabeth A.
Title Coining spermatorrhoea: Medicine and male body fluids, 1836-1866
Journal name Sexualities   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1363-4607
Publication date 2009-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1363460709105713
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 12
Issue 4
Start page 467
End page 485
Total pages 19
Editor Ken Plummer
Place of publication London, UK
Publisher Sage
Language eng
Subject C1
2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Formatted abstract
When Lallemand coined the term spermatorrhée in the first volume of Des pertes séminales involontaires (1838), an earlier discourse on 'seminal weakness' was transformed into something new: a recognizable and treatable medical disorder, with its own specific aetiology and nosology. To the symptoms of seminal weakness - blushing, crying, breathlessness, melancholy, lack of confidence and extreme sensitivity - were added symptoms such as spermatozoa in the urine detectable only with the use of new, microscopic medical technologies. While the spermatorrhoea epidemic thus reflects an increased anxiety about male fluidity at this time, it also produced a profound change in the practice and organization of medicine. The flourishing of 'quack' doctors in this area forced licensed physicians to incorporate treatment of sexual disorders and diseases within general practice, while new legislation regulated the medical profession itself. (Copyright © 2009 SAGE Publications)
Keyword Male body
Seminal weakness
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Centre for the History of European Discourses Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 18 Mar 2010, 01:17:45 EST by Lesley Colling on behalf of Centre for History of European Discourses