Major Papers


Abraham Myerson, Male Homosexuality, Scientific Sex Research, Endocrinology


For the last 150 years scientific sex researchers have attempted to explain the occurrence of homosexuality. The science of sexuality recognized the normativity of heterosexual attraction in connection with the dualism of male and female biological sexes, which defined sexual attraction towards women as masculine and men as feminine. Researchers in the early twentieth century began measuring male and female sex hormones and correlating hormonology patterns to sexual constitution to try and understand how a male could possess a feminine sexuality.

This paper explores the sex hormone studies of Abraham Myerson, a leading physician and researcher, who between 1938 and 1942 tried to uncover the relationship between sex hormone excretion and homosexuality in men. While prevailing cultural models of heterosexuality as normative identified femininity and homosexuality in men as abnormal, Myerson’s framework and experimental research transcended the duality of male and female sexual biology while he studied this sexual abnormality. Adopting the theory of organic bisexuality, he argued that all men possessed a natural variability of masculinity and femininity in their biological, social, and sexual characteristics, and that these discrepancies could be measured using sex hormones. In reconstructing these experiments, this paper uses Myerson’s variable denotation of masculine and feminine sexual characteristics, their quantified endocrine measurements and biological states, and their interconnection to a variety of homosexual constitutions to highlight the intricacies of male and female sexual biology and cultural constructs of sexual normality when identifying and researching human sexual constitution.

Primary Advisor

Steven Palmer

Program Reader

Pauline Phipps

Degree Name

Master of Arts



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year