The Sexual Psychoendocrinology of Aging

  • Julian M. Davidson
  • Gary D. Gray
  • Erla R. Smith


If the need for sex changed with age in exact parallel to the capacity for sex, this chapter would be primarily an academic exercise instead of an attempt to explore the biological basis of a real human problem. This problem is well exemplified by the case of King David. Prophets 1:1 tells us: “Now King David was old and advanced in years and although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. Therefore his servants said to him, let a young maiden be sought for ... and let her lie in your bosom ... the maiden was very beautiful and she ministered to him; but the King knew her not.” We may surmise that the aging David was not merely suffering from hypothermia. Rather, judging from the use of the biblical euphemism “knew,” his problem was the discrepancy between libido and potency which is a common experience of aging men as has been substantiated in several studies (Verwoerdt et al., 1969a,b; Kinsey et al.,1948; Davidson et al., 1983).


Sexual Behavior Sexual Activity Luteinizing Hormone Sexual Function Sexual Interest 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian M. Davidson
    • 1
  • Gary D. Gray
    • 1
  • Erla R. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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