The menopause clearly marks the end of the reproductive phase in the female, but no comparable event of sudden discontinuity in fertility occurs in the male. Successful paternity in man has been recorded at the age of 94 (Seymour, Duffy & Koerner, 1935). This difference between the sexes is rather surprising, as the male does not seem to age in a fundamentally different way from the female and as, moreover, the death rate for males is higher in all age groups, than for females. This may be related to the presence of only one X chromosome, the eventual defects of which cannot be compensated for by the activity of the homologue. The Y chromosome does not appear to bear vital genes, as it is not essential for life, XO individuals being perfectly viable, in distinction to the YO genotype. Moreover in the absence of male inducers, the phenotype is female, suggesting that the male phenotype is a more complex differentiation. For whatever reason, the lower viability of the male remains a striking fact: males represent only 35% of the age group over 75 years. The persistence of reproductive function into old age is therefore the more surprising. This does not mean, however, that a gradual decrease in sexual activity and testicular function in the ageing male does not occur. From adolescence onwards, there is a continuous decline in sexual interest, arousal and activity, without a sudden discontinuity in any age group.