The glands of sex serve a double function: they provide the necessary materials for reproduction of the human being, the male sex cell uniting with the female sex cell; they also provide material which goes directly from the glands into the blood, and which determines the nature of the growth of the body. If the amount of the material secreted by the gland into the blood is insufficient, definite changes will take place in the body inclining towards the female side if the male sex tissue is insufficient, and to the masculine side in the woman if the female sex tissue is insufficient.
A deficiency of the male sex material may result from absence or destruction of the gland or from failure to function, in cases where the pituitary gland does not produce the trophic hormone that stimulates the male sex gland. Again, there may be disturbance of the function of the cells within the gland, without actual destruction of the tissue.
A deficiency of male glandular material varies in its effects according to the age at which it occurred. If the material is completely absent, the condition called “eunuchism” is developed; this usually refers to a complete loss. When the loss of sexual gland function takes place before the time of maturation into an adolescent, a deficiency is shown in growth. The skin is delicate; the hair that ordinarily covers the surface of the body of the male is absent; there also may be exaggerated length of the arms and legs with broad hips and a tendency towards the development of a “pot belly”; sometimes also the breast of the male will enlarge.