But it must be carefully borne in mind that sex-impulses, either in very early or very late life, may be entirely normal; the point to be considered being, whether or not such manifestations follow natural or unnatural lines; and whether they present features of senile dementia in the late, or paradoxia in the early, instances. The cases of sexual manifestations in extreme old age, however, are so comparatively rare as, in themselves, to excite suspicion of a pathological cause. Senectus non quidem annis sed virCbus magis itstimatur, as Zittman very well remarks; and Oesterlen further demonstrates the correctness of the position by his case of a man, of eighty-three years, who underwent three years' imprisonment at Wurtemberg for a certain sexual misdemeanor.1 Dr. C. G- Chaddock, of St. Louis, also recites the pathetic case of a very infirm man, of sixty years, who, under favoring circumstances, made an unsuccessful sexual assault upon a girl of eighteen. At his trial he made full confession, and explained his act as due to ordinary sinfulness. He was the father of a family, living with his wife, and, up to that time, sexually blameless. He was sentenced to five years at hard labor, although totally incapable of even the lightest work; and conversation with him, while in jail, revealed to Dr. Chaddock the terrible fact that he was well advanced in senile dementia?
This is but one of a number of such instances of legal injustice which might be cited; but, that even one such enormity may be committed, in this enlightened age, ought to furnish grave food for reflection on the part of both physicians and jurists.
1 Dr. Chaddock is the American translator of " Psychopathia Sexualis;" the shore appearing as a note in the Philadelphia (1904) edition of that valuable work.