Hermann Joseph Löwenstein’s Dissertation: De Mentis Aberrationibus Ex Partium Sexualium Conditione Abnormi Oriundis(1823)
AbstractIn the nineteenth century there was a growing number of publications by physicians who were concerned with the relation between abnormal sexual behaviour or abnormal conditions in the genital sphere and psychiatric disorders. These publications were part of an anti-onanism discourse which had been initiated in the eighteenth century. One of the earliest works in this field was Hermann Joseph Löwenstein’s dissertation De mentis aberrationibus ex partium sexualium conditione abnormi oriundis (1823). Löwenstein was influenced by the ideas of authors who saw the only reason for psychiatric disorders in somatic conditions. The chapters deal with the ‘male sex’, the ‘female sex’ and the ‘hermaphroditismus’. Finally, Löwenstein focuses directly on the mental disorders caused by abnormal sexual disorders, the differences between the sexes and the extent to which one can deduce diseases of the sexual organs from psychic disorders.