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Eugen Steinach

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Name  Eugen Steinach

Eugen Steinach Fotos Eugen Steinach Karikatur JMH Genealogy

Died  May 14, 1944, Montreux, Switzerland
Books  Sex and Life: Forty Years of Biological and Medical Experiments

Wild Talents 24I

Eugen Steinach (January 28, 1861 – May 14, 1944) was an Austrian physiologist and pioneer in endocrinology.


Life and career

He was born on January 28, 1861, in Austria.

Steinach was a physiologist, hormone researcher and biology professor who became the Director of Vienna’s Biological Institute of the Academy of Sciences in 1912, the year in which he conducted experiments in the transplantation of a male guinea pig's testes into a female and the castration of the male. The testes secretion, now known as testosterone, resulted in the female guinea pig developing male sexual behavior such as mounting the partner. This led Steinach to theorize that the gland's secretions were responsible for sexuality.

He developed the "Steinach operation," or "Steinach vasoligature," the goals of which were to reduce fatigue and the consequences of aging and to increase overall vigor and sexual potency in men. It consisted of a half-(unilateral) vasectomy, which Steinach theorized would shift the balance from sperm production toward increased hormone production in the affected testicle.

Famous Steinach surgeons in the 1920s and 1930s included Victor Blum, Robert Lichtenstern and Norman Haire. William Butler Yeats had an outburst of lyrical poetry and a 'second puberty' after Haire 'Steinached' him on 6 April 1934. The procedure was later discredited, but even at the peak of its popularity there were medical sceptics such as Morris Fishbein, who edited the Journal of the American Medical Association and in 1927 likened rejuvenation cures to finding gold: once the ‘cry of “gold, gold” was taken up by Steinach enthusiasts’ and famous actors, physicians, and financiers had the operations, the newspapers reported their good news stories and there was an additional rush of applicants. Steinach received six nominations for the Nobel Prize in Physiology from 1921 to 1938 although he was never to receive it.

He died on May 14, 1944, during exile in Switzerland. Harry Benjamin, in a June 1944 obituary for his colleague, attributed the melancholy of his final years to his enforced exile in Zürich and the ‘unjust criticism’ of his rejuvenations and emphasised the ‘enormous impetus’ his work had for biochemists to concern themselves with all the endocrine glands.


Eugen Steinach Wikipedia

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