In the broad area of reproduction and sexual behavior, the organization of another symposium or preparation of a new book in the present period of scientific proliferation might hardly be cause for prolonged positive reflection. The onlooking investigator questions: What’s new here and is it worthwhile? For the solicited participants in such an undertaking the venture may even pose a definite problem. They actively ask: Why another symposium or book; what new could be said or needs restatement? The organizer or editor, in turn, must justify his promotional aims. In the present instance the questions seem easily answered and justification easily found.
Primarily this book is the developmental outgrowth of an effort for perpetuating and recognizing the achievements of a dedicated scholar and respected scientist well known for his studies in reproduction and sexual behavior: William C. Young.
Originally, this recognition was to consist of a program organized and presented in his honor. Over fifty investigators initially volunteered to take part in such an undertaking. From these, sixteen distinguished scientists were invited to participate in a symposium and discussion on selected topics within the field of reproduction and sexual behavior to be held in collaboration with the 1966 San Francisco meeting of the American Association of Anatomists. Before the symposium could be held, Dr. Young died. The program was held in memoriam and a dinner, with Mrs. Young in attendance, followed.
The caliber of the presentations and the manifold challenging problems discussed prompted consideration that, as a lasting memorial to Dr. Young, a permanent record be made of the proceedings. With this impetus all participants to the original program were asked to prepare their presentations for publication. I’m sorry to say that several were not able to do this. To round out the coverage of the field and include some of the scientists originally precluded from participation by program time limits, several others were also invited to submit contributions. Their papers, for the sake of cohesiveness of the volume, have been placed following the discussion papers and preceding the dinner eulogies.
The inductive method of science calls for a wealth of data being available before conclusions are drawn. I have, nevertheless, requested each contributor to present, in addition to an area of pertinent research data, discussion and projections that may indeed be speculative. Good data and review could thereby be supplemented with incisive questioning, exposure to unsolved problems, and cogent speculation. Not all authors, however, have taken this course and several formats are to be seen. Although this has resulted in a collection of various types of papers, there nevertheless remains a communality in that each manuscript represents coverage of an active area of research presented from the perspective of a leading proponent in its development. The resulting book, I trust, provides a mixture of basic material as well as an invigorating intellectual experience. The chapters reveal not only what is known but much of what we need to know. The sophisticated investigator as well as the new graduate student should find areas galore for deep discussion as well as experimental inspiration and well-spent perspiration. For a memorial volume to do as much should indeed honor any man, for it provides a living source of ideas and challenges that is not soon to be exhausted.
To increase the utility of the contribution and facilitate search and retrieval, I have attempted to index the volume’s material from various viewpoints. Attention is called to several categories that the reader might not spontaneously consider: Clinical problems; Organizing action; Sensory deprivation; Sex problem therapy; Sex research; Sex research, future problems; Species comparisons; and various “Neonatal” and “Sexual” categories. For any significant omission, I apologize.
Throughout the preparation of this volume the encouragement of the contributors, well wishers, and the publisher was of immeasurable assistance and comfort to me. Special thanks, however, are due to my wife Kit, who despite her own problems always sought ways of solving mine.