Son-In-Law Testicle Inspection

I found the following story on @HistoryWeird's blog here. The original source was Jacques Bertillon's "Marriage" in Dictionnaire Encyclopedique des Sciences Medicales, v.5 n.67, 1872.



"After qualifying as a doctor Jacques Bertillon (1851-1922) chose not to practice medicine, instead going into statistical analysis and demographic research. Bertillon was also an active writer, contributing articles to medical and sociological journals. In 1872 a French medical guide published an essay on marriage written by Bertillon. Despite his inexperience (Bertillon was still shy of his 21st birthday) he preached instructions and advice for newlyweds and their families. The fathers of young ladies, urged Bertillon, should carefully but discretely evaluate the manhood of any prospective son-in-law. If a suitor showed any “doubtful traits of virility” – such as “a voice that is pitched high or often breaks”, “a thin, patchy or wispy beard” or any feminine traits – then the future father-in-law, as a condition of marriage, should drag him off to a doctor:

'"…Have the physician inspect the testicular sac, to affirm the presence of testicles, whether there be two or one… and whether one or both be shrunken and flaccid… The so-called man who seeks a wife may be capable of erection or carnal lust, but may not possess true virility or fertile embraces. He is a being who, if he possesses any sense or tact… should remain a stranger to the matrimonial state."'

As someone who is about to get married herself, I . . . I don't want to know what conversations have gone on between my dad and fiance.

I also love how judgmental he is about men who might be infertile. "Can't have kids? *scoffs* You 'so-called man.'" This is why my PhD borders on the medical humanities. The "science" of the time is really just a bunch of guys being giant bitches to everyone else.

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One Response to Son-In-Law Testicle Inspection

  1. Anonymous says:

    Not sure Ben would like this 😉


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