24 PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
and this is biologically useful for the organism in danger.34
It has recently been discovered that cortin, which is secreted from the outer portion of the adrenals, is essential to life, for a removal of the supply causes prompt death of animals under experiment. Serious deficiency in this secretion is now recognized as the cause of Addison's disease, a condition first described in 1855. Its symptoms are extremely low blood-pressure resulting eventually in death from circulatory failure. Victims of this disorder show the psychological symptoms of fatigue, exhaustion and depression. It can now be treated with glandular preparations. Cortin seems also related to sexual development, although the exact nature of its influence in this field is obscure. Over-activity of the adrenal cortex before birth results in abnormalities in the sex organ in girls, tending towards the male type.172 Its occurrence in childhood may cause precocious puberty. In adult women an excess of cortin gives rise to virilism, in which the female sex functions are inhibited, the voice deepens and a beard appears on the face. The extent to which slight excesses of this gland may contribute to masculinity in women is not yet fully known.
The gonads (sex glands), in addition to their function of developing reproductive cells, secrete hormones which determine the secondary sexual characteristics of bodily form, voice and the growth of hair. The male sex hormone is secreted in the testes by the interstitial cells which lie in the tissue supporting the cells producing the reproductive spermatozoa. If this hormone is not secreted, because of injury or atrophy affecting the glands or because of the inhibiting influence of other glandular disorders, the secondary sex characteristics of the male do not appear. The shape of the body remains childish or tends to a distinct type of obesity, the voice is high-