Ernest Rumley Dawson.

The causation of sex in man; a new theory of sex based on clinical materials together with chapters on forecasting or predicting the sex of the unborn child and on the determination or production of either sex at will online

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the bursting of the ovarian or Graafian follicle. This must
help also to float the ovum onwards towards one or other
tubal end.

As W. Williams 1 says:

"The correctness of this view has been substantiated by the
experimental work of Pinner, Jani and Lode. The former injected
cinnabar, and the latter ova of ascarides, into the peritoneal cavity
of animals, and found that they made their way to the pelvis, where
they were taken up by the tubes, through which they were carried
to the uterus, and eventually appeared in the vagina."

As was recently pointed out by Dr. R. Boxall, 2 the peri-
toneal cavity is, during life, with the abdomen unopened,
a cavity in name only, the pelvic organs and intestines
being in close apposition. It was therefore

" quite easy to imagine how the ovum, floating about like a drop
of oil, might readily find its way from one ovary to the abdominal
ostium of the Fallopian tube of the opposite side, and so be swallowed ' ' ;

while Dr. Cullingworth, 3 after pointing out that not only
were the ovaries and abdominal ostia of the tubes closer
together than was generally supposed, but were often in
actual contact, said:

" Writers spoke of the ovum travelling across the peritoneal
cavity, and conveyed the impression of a long and almost incon-
ceivable journey, whereas the ovum might merely have to step
in next door."

Harrison Cripps and H. Williamson 4 reported a case of
tubal gestation with external migration of the ovum.

Howard Kelly has reported a case of removal of the right

1 Whitridge Williams, " Obstetrics," 1903, p. 79

2 " Trans. Obstet. Soc.," 1904, vol. xlvi. p. 104.

3 Loc. cit. t p. 105.

4 " Brit. Med. Journ.," March, 1904.


Fallopian tube and the left ovary. The patient subse-
quently conceived intra-uterine, and bore a healthy child

" The ovum necessarily passing from the right ovary up the left
uterine tube, and so into the uterus."

Kustner has reported a similar case.

I have thus shown how external migration may occur
with the tubes and ovaries normally situated or stationary ;
it must evidently more readily occur if the two tubes and
ovaries should be misplaced, or in any way approximated
to the same side.

The tubes are, it is generally admitted, very freely mov-
able, and there can be no doubt that when a woman is
lying on one side, gravity may help the upper tube to cross
over or fall down towards the side she lies on, and thus
cross over the body of the uterus, so that the tube's ex-
panded abdominal opening is nearer to the opposite, or
lower-in- the-pel vis, ovary; and thus it may come to pass
that an ovum has almost a choice of tubes to enter. This
used to be described as the tube of one side grasping the
opposite ovary. That the tube ever actually grasped the
ovary was incorrect, but it grasped an ovum, for by ap-
proximating its open end to the ovary of the opposite side,
it is only reasonable to suppose it occasionally secured,
grasped, or received an ovum from that opposite-sided ovary.

Dr. Byron Robinson*- writes that, owing to its " wide
range of movement, the abdominal or ampullar end of the
tube is capable of securing ova from either ovary."

A case is described by Alban Dor an 2 where the dilated
right pregnant tube " had fallen behind the uterus and
developed towards the left side."

He removed the right tube and the right ovary, which
contained no corpus luteum. The left tube and ovary,
being normal, were not touched ; as the right ovary contained
no corpus luteum, the sign of ovulation, the ovum must have
come from the opposite left ovary, and got into the right
tube, which had become approximated to the left ovary
that is, it migrated, or entered the opposite tube.

1 Dr. Byron Robinson, " Anatomy of the Oviduct," Feb. 1903-

2 Doran, " Trans. Obstet. Soc.," 1900, p. 135.


This, which may be described as normal or temporary
approximation of the tubes to one side, occasionally becomes
permanent and pathological through adhesions binding
both tubes down to one side.

Sir J. Bland-Sutton^ has described and figured such a case ;
both tubes are lying attached to the left side of the uterus,
so that the right tube is more likely to receive a left ovum
than one from its own, or right ovary.

In other cases the tube of one side may be of extra or
abnormal length, and this, in conjunction with its mobility,
must increase the probability of its open end occasionally
falling in close proximity to the ovary of the opposite side,
and thus securing an ovum from it.

Dr. T. Wilson 2 describes a case of extra long tube, where,
instead of the average length of four inches, " the left
Fallopian tube runs longitudinally to the left for nine

Occasionally, too, we find, as in cases by Dr. Herman*
and Sir J. Bland-Sutton, 4 a tube is misplaced, and fixed up
to the top of the uterus, and in this position, therefore, it is
as likely to receive an ovum from the opposite ovary as
from its own ovary.

In other cases both tubes and ovaries are displaced back-
wards behind the uterus, hence it becomes equally possible
for a tube to receive an ovum from the opposite ovary as
from its own ovary. Thus Howard Kelly 5 says:

" I have repeatedly found both tubes and ovaries lying low down
behind the uterus, with the fimbriated extremity of the right tube
in contact with the left ovary and vice versa."

Dr. Giles 6 describes such a case. The pregnancy was in
the left tube, corpus luteum in right ovary, none in left

Both tubes and both ovaries were bent backwards behind
the uterus, so that the receipt of the ovum by the left tube
from the right ovary is not difficult to realise.

1 Bland-Sutton, " Trans. Obstet. Soc.," 1892, pp. 9 and 10.

2 Wilson, Ibid., 1897, p. 172.

3 Herman, Ibid., 1897, p. 135.

4 Bland-Sutton, Ibid., 1897, p. 164.

B Kelly, " Operative Gynaecology," 2nd ed., vol. ii., p. 449, 1906.
6 Giles, " Trans. Obstet. Soc.," 1897, p. 244.


I have thus shown that we may have

Extra long tubes.

Displaced tubes, so that both approximate one ovary,

either both tubes backwards, or to the same side of

uterus, or to the top of uterus.

But besides these misplacements of the tubes, we may also
have the ovaries displaced so much so that one tube may
almost have a choice of ovaries to secure an ovum from.

Dr. R. Pollock 1 says:

" In both ovaries there was a dermoid tumour; the left ovary was
lying over the right in the right iliac fossa, and was fixed there by a
piece of omentum."

Glockner 2 reported a case of right cornual pregnancy, no
corpus luteum in right ovary, but in the left, thus supporting
migration of ovum.

There is also some evidence of the occasional trans-
peritoneal migration of the spermatozoa as well as of the

We can therefore take it as settled that External Migration
of the ovum does take place in mankind, and the probability
of its occurrence is increased by the frequent misplacements
of one tube, or ovary even, as well as by the temporary
physiological changes of relative positions due to the postural
changes in the woman.

Internal Migration of the ovum is the passage of an ovum
from one tube via the uterine cavity to the other tube.

It is much more difficult to prove that this internal
migration actually takes place: that it is possible and
feasible is evident from these facts. The journey for the
ovum from one uterine ostium of the tube, across the
uterine cavity, to the other uterine ostium, is not a long
journey; for the uterine cavity transversely (the uterus not
being at the time enlarged, because it is not pregnant) has
a lesser diameter than the vertical one, which latter con-
stitutes the usual length of journey made by the ovum on
its passage out of the uterus, and in placenta praevia cases;

1 Pollock, " Trans. Obstet. Soc.," 1898, p. 120.

2 Glockner, " Journ. Obst. and Gynec.," vol. i. 1902, p. 99.


so that if it is capable of making the longer one, it should
not be unusual for it to sometimes make the shorter or trans-
verse journey.

Richet (quoted by Hart and Barbour*) gives the following
as the measurements:

Virgin. Multipara.

Vertical diameter of cavity of uterus 1-80 in. 2-44 in.
Transverse ,, ,, ,, -60 ,, 1-24 ,,

that is to say, the journey down the uterus is three times
as far in the virgin as across the uterus, while it is twice
as far in a multipara. Placenta praevia cases prove the
complete vertical journey of the ovum.

Another point which is in favour of the occasional internal
migration of the ovum is that a woman lying in bed on her
side makes the transverse diameter of her uterine cavity (or
shorter journey) into, for the time being, a vertical diameter,
so that gravity may help the passage of the ovum from one
uterine Fallopian opening to the other.

Kussmaul, quoted by Play fair, 2 thinks the muscular
contractions of the uterus may work the ovum across.

There are, then, two explanations of those cases where
a male foetus, say, is found in the left Fallopian tube or
left horn of the uterus, the corpus luteum being in the
right ovary.

They are the External and Internal Migration of the
Ovum, both of which evidently occur, though the external
migration is more easily proved.

Owing to the two horns of the uterus freely joining each
other in the body of the uterus in the mammalia, forming
the uterus bicornis unicollis, internal migration of the ovum
is very often seen, the fertilised ova being washed down one
or other cornu, and attaching themselves as often as not
in the opposite horn. This I have known to occur very
often in sheep, cats, and rabbits.

We therefore see that the presence of a male foetus in
the left Fallopian tube in no way disproves my theory, nor
do females in the right tube, or the right uterine cornu in
the mammalia.

1 Hart and Barbour, " Manual of Gynaecology," 2nd ed. p. 16.

2 Playfair, op. cit., p. 194.


PREGNANCY in mammals differs from pregnancy in the
human female from the fact that in most of the mammalia
the pregnancy is a multiple one.




(From nature.)

The chief difference, however, is due to the two anatomical
facts that in mammals-
fa) The uterus is not a single-cavity-containing organ,
but is practically bifid. It is said to be bicornuate i.e. to
possess two horns or arm-like processes. These join each
other to form a more or less Y-shaped cavity.

Into the divergent extremities of the two cornua the
Fallopian tubes, which are exceedingly small in comparison
to the cornua, open.

y? 7

9 8


The portion of the uterus formed by the coalesced ends
of the two cornua forms the body, and terminates in the
neck or cervix of the uterus.

(6) The uterus so lies in the mammalian abdominal cavity
that when the animal is standing on all four feet the uterus
lies parallel to the spinal column i.e. is horizontal with,
as a rule, the tubal ends of the cornua at a slightly lower











level in the abdomen than the cervical or vaginal end; in
fact, as Arthur Johnstone, of Cincinnati, puts it:

" The os uteri of the horizontal animal points upwards; the other
end of the uterus points downwards."

It will thus be seen that a great difficulty would have
occurred in emptying the uterus had the mammalia men-
struated regularly.

The erect posture of woman, with the mouth of her womb
in the most dependent position, must facilitate drainage
away of the menstrual discharge; so that only vertical
animals really menstruate.


The horizontal or mammalian uterus, too, is very soft and
very readily bent, and does not easily spring back into
position, as, owing to its hardness and elasticity, does the
human uterus.

Physiologically, too, there is the difference that in the
mammalia coition in the natural state practically always
ends in pregnancy; sexual congress is only permitted by
the female at those times when pregnancy will result
i.e. only when ova are already provided will the female
permit insemination.

The occasional non-occurrence of pregnancy in the
domesticated mammalia e.g. mares, cows, etc. when put
to the male is due to the choosing of the day for sexual
congress by the ignorant groom or herdsman, rather than its
being left to the female to gratify her desire when she pleases,
and when she instinctively knows that pregnancy will
result. Among the mammalia, heat, rut, or oestrus is the
external sign that ova are matured, and ready for im-

Fane says:

"In the mammalia the periods of emission of ova from the ovary
and their passage down the Fallopian tube are undoubtedly coin-
cident with oestrus or rut. It is only on these occasions that the
female manifests an instinctive desire for copulation. She is then
said to be in heat. The condition is of brief duration; but whatever
be its duration, it is the only period during which the female can be

Having been fertilised, the ova or oosperms travel down
their respective tubes (for in the polytocous mammalia
i.e. those which bear many young both ovaries ovulate
at the same time) and thus reach their respective cornua.
where they usually attach themselves and develop; others
travel farther, even into the opposite cornu, and develop there.

We are quite ignorant as to what determines the site of
attachment of the fertilised ovum. Probably movements
of the fluid in the uterine cavity are largely instrumental
in causing the fertilised ovum to be carried to a distance
before attaching itself, aided by changes in the posture of
the animal. And we are not in a position to deny to the fer-
tilised ovum some power of movement, or even of site selection.


Proof that the fertilised ova on arrival in the uterus
travel some distance before being attached to the uterine
wall is derived from the fact, as Bischoff pointed out long
ago, of the occurrence of the foetus, especially in cases of
single pregnancy, in the opposite horn of the uterus to the
corpus-luteum-bearing ovary.

This necessitates a journey for the oosperm down its
corresponding cornu into the body of the uterus, and thence
into the opposite cornu. Garrigues 1 says:

" In animals it has been proved that an ovum can migrate from
one horn of a bicornuate uterus to the other. "

Another explanation of this occurrence, especially in
cases where the cornua do not freely intercommunicate, is
furnished in the chapter on the Migration of the Ovum.

However many ova are fertilised, a corresponding number
of corpora lutea will be found in the two ovaries together,
and they will equal the number of foetuses found present in
the two cornua.

This was pointed out years ago by Abernethy? who said:

" If in any animal in a virgin rabbit, for instance, after she had
taken the buck you find four or five young ones, you would find
four or five corpora lutea."

I have satisfied myself of the correctness of this in different
animals e.g. cows, sheep, pigs, rats, mice, cats, and rabbits.
In a large tame pregnant rabbit I examined there was the
unusual number of fourteen young rabbits in the two
cornua, and there was a corresponding number of corpora
lutea viz. six corpora lutea in the right ovary and eight
corpora lutea in the left ovary.

That the body of the mammalian uterus is not the usual
site of fertilisation is evident from the presence of living
spermatozoa not only in the Fallopian tubes, but even on
the surface of the ovaries shortly after insemination.

I have made numerous observations of the sexes of the
young in the two cornua, and these confirm the opinion that

1 Garrigues, " Obstetrics," 1902, p. 13.

2 Abernethy, " Lectures on Anatomy, Surgery, and Pathology," 1828,
p. 422.



From a photograph of the Author's specimen.

Inter-cornual Fold and Sulcus. 2. Left Cornu of Uterus: not pregnant. 3. Left Fallopian
Tube. 4. Left Ovary opened: no Corpus Luteum therein. 5. Cervix Uteri plugged with
Mucus. 6. Male Calf partly extracted from the Right Cornu. 7. Right Cornu of Uterus:
pregnant. 8. Right Ovary opened, showing large bisected Corpus Luteum. 9. Sound
passed into Bladder. 10. Rod passed along Vagina up to the Cervix, n. Vagina opened,
showing the Cervix.

To face page 101.]


fertilisation takes place in the tubes, and the fertilised ova
often wander widely before attaching themselves to the
cornual wall and developing.

Thus in the monotocous animal, though it is most usual
to find the young animal in the cornu corresponding to the
corpus-luteum-containing ovary i.e. the ovary which
yielded the ovum that was fertilised this is not always the
case, as I shall shortly show. The opposite or non-pregnant
cornu undergoes sympathetic hypertrophy, and a decidua
forms in its interior.

Early in March 1902 I opened the pregnant uterus of
a cow, usually a monotocous animal, though not always.
There was no corpus luteum in the left ovary; there was a
large typical corpus luteum in the right ovary, so I foretold
a bull calf before I opened the actual uterus. The left
cornu was not pregnant; the right cornu was occupied by
a male or bull calf (see Fig. 16). The left cornu could be
easily emptied of its fluid contents, etc., via the right cornu,
showing the very free communication between the cornua.

I have also found the same occur on the other side in
other cows, a female calf in the left cornu being found with
the corpus luteum in the left ovary. I have found the same
thing, too, in sheep.

In other cases, as I have said, the foetal animal is in the
opposite cornu to the corpus luteum, showing, in those cases
where the cornu communicates, a journey down one cornu
through the cervical portion of the uterus and so into the
opposite cornu.

Thus in a sheep I have found a female lamb in the right
cornu, with the only corpus luteum in the left ovary, and
I have seen many similar cases in cows.

This condition of foetus in one horn and corpus luteum in
the opposite ovary occurs also in women, if the uterus be
double or bicornuate, as in the following case :

Dr. J. R. Ratcliffe 1 reports a case of pregnant uterus bicornis.

" The left horn contained the foetus. The right ovary (that on
the opposite side to the pregnant horn) showed a true corpus luteum ;
none in the left ovary. The cervix was short and broad, only a
quarter of an inch deep. The os externum is single."

1 " Trans. Obstet. Soc.," 1892, vol. xxxiv. p. 469.



The sex of the foetus, which was between the second and
third month of gestation, is not given.

The committee appointed to report on this specimen say :

" The ovum from the right ovary may have been washed up the
left cornu just as it left the right cornu immediately above the os
externum, but from the shallowness of the os this seems hardly



(Original drawing from nature.) .

There is no corpus luteura in the right ovary; both uterine cornua are pregnant with a female
lamb, and the left ovary contains two well-marked distinct corpora lutea, because it had
provided both ova.

Why this shallow cervix, which was a quarter of an inch
deep, should be thought an obstacle to an ovum of at most
one hundredth of an inch diameter I cannot understand;
the more so when we recall that it has already travelled
down the Fallopian tube, whose diameter is infinitely less
than a quarter of an inch, the depth of the cervix.


In the polytocous animals, or those which bear multiple
offspring, we find that one cornu is very rarely empty if
there be more than one embryo that is, it is rare to find
two or more foetuses in one cornu and none in the opposite

If an animal have only two foetuses in the uterus, one
will usually occupy each cornu regardless of its sex; thus
in a pregnant sheep I opened, I found the right ovary small,
with no corpus luteum. The left ovary contained two quite
distinct threepenny-piece-sized corpora lutea; though, as
both horns were manifestly pregnant, I diagnosed before
opening them a female lamb in each horn, and such they
turned out to be when I slit them open.

I may add that there could be no question as to the sex,
for they were covered in wool and so sufficiently developed
to be able to tell by inspection; further, in most cases I
opened the foetuses and found the uterus, etc., or else the
male organs.

In another sheep I fo'und a male lamb in the right cornu
and a female in the left, with a corpus luteum in each ovary.

In those animals, such as pigs, cats, rabbits, mice, which
I have examined, whose offspring are truly multiple, the
foetuses are mixed up in the two cornua; but, as I have
before pointed out, the ovaries contain between them a
corresponding number of corpora lutea, both individually
as regards sex and collectively as regards numbers.

Thus, in a pregnant cat there were four kittens, three
females and one male ; three corpora lutea in left ovary, one
in the right ovary. They were lodged thus : two females in
the left cornu, and one female and one male in the right.

In February 1902 I examined the young pigs in a sow's
cornua, and found that, like the young of cats, rabbits, mice,
etc., they are mixed as regards sex in the cornua.

From some experimental operations by Prof. Leonard Don-
caster 1 on one of the rodentia to wit, the multiple off-
spring bearing rat it would appear that removal of one
of her ovaries does not prevent a rat having young of both
sexes. We have, however, no evidence that what occurs
in the polytocous animals especially these members of

1 L. Doncaster, " Journal of Genetics ? " Nov. 1910,


the mammalia whose chief characteristic is their small
size and prolificacy must equally apply to monotocous
woman. It is to be regretted the operation was not tried
on one of the monotocous anthropoid apes.

Sir William Gowers has said in somewhat similar circum-
stances, "I do question an inference from guinea-pigs
to men," as the writer does from rats to women. It is
certainly a " far cry " from rats to women.

Among the specimens at the Royal College of Surgeons
Museum, the following show the way in which the pro-
spective family is distributed in the cornua:

Specimen No. 3576. Pregnant hedgehog: four foetuses
in right cornu, two in the left cornu.

Specimen No. 3566A. Pregnant cat: two foetuses in
each uterine horn.

Specimen No. 3574. Pregnant mole: three foetuses in
right, two in the left cornu.

Specimen No. 3469A. Pregnant mouse: four fcetuses in
each uterine cornu.


THOUGH there is no uniform proportion or numerical
relation between the numbers of male and female children
born to any two parents, i.e. in any one individual family,
yet there is a very definite or normal numerical relation
between the sexes at birth on taking the average of a country
or several countries, the proportion being 106 male to 100
female children.

That this excess of male births is not accidental is evident
by its universality.

As Hav clock Ellis 1 says :

" There are more boys than girls born among the Germans,
French, English, and most civilised European races ";

the slight variation in the proportions as given for the
different countries not affecting the average proportion of
1 06 males to 100 females for all countries. The pro-
portion is reputed to be in excess of these figures in those
countries only e.g. Spain, Roumania, Greece where we
should least expect birth certification and registration to
be carefully and accurately carried out. This fact of the
excess of male births over female births has been noticed
and recorded for over two hundred years, so that its ex-
planation must apply to that time also.

Why it is imperative that Nature should produce more
boys than girls, is evidently due to the necessity that exists

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Online LibraryErnest Rumley DawsonThe causation of sex in man; a new theory of sex based on clinical materials together with chapters on forecasting or predicting the sex of the unborn child and on the determination or production of either sex at will → online text (page 8 of 18)