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ANT 2301 (23)
Lecture

Sexual Characteristics

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANT 2301
Professor
Geoffrey Thomas
Semester
Fall

Description
ANT NOTES 09-10/12  PRIMARY SEXUAL CHARACTERISTICS o Genitals (sex organs)  Male- penis and testicles  Female- vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries  FERTILIZATION o Process involves a sperm fusing w/ an ovum o Sperm burrows through the outer jelly coat of the egg o Sperm plasma then fuses with the egg’s plasma membrane, sperm head disconnects from it flagellum and the egg travels down the fallopian tube to reach the uterus  EMBYOIC DEVELOPMENT o Week 1-3  5-7 days after fertilizations, blastula attaches to wall of uterus and forms the umbilical cord  Embryo’s growth centers around an axis- becomes spine and spinal cord  Brain, spinal cord, heart, and gastrointestinal tract begin to form o Week 4-5  Menstrual cycle stops  Tissue formation occurs that develops into the vertebrae and some bones  Heart starts to beat and blood starts to flow o Week 6-8  Brain activity begins  Embryo capable of motion  Eyes begin to form  Facial features begin to develop  FETAL STAGE o Fetal period begins at the end of the 10 week of gestation or the 8th week of development o Fetus isn’t as sensitive to damage from environmental exposures as the embryo because precursors of the organs have formed  Toxic exposures often cause physiological abnormalities or minor congenital malformation  EXTERNAL GENITALIA o Until about 9 week of gestational age, external genitalia of males and females look the same o Sex dependent development includes further protrusion of the genital tubercle in the male to form the penis o The labioscrotal folds evolve into the scrotum in males and the labia in females  INFANT DEVELOPMENT o Fully equipped at birth  Ultrasounds have shown male fetuses w/ erections in th uterus and shortly after birth  Female babies capable of vaginal lubrication from birth  Both sexes produce very small amounts of estrogen and testosterone from birth  CHILD DEVELOPMENT o Early Childhood (2-5 years)  Crucial period of physical development  Hand eye coordination, walking and talking  Begin exploration of their bodies o During potty training  What is a boy/girl?  Might engage in sex play (don’t know what it is)  MIDDLE CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT o 6-12 years  sex organs grow in size along w/ rest of the body o overt sexual behavior becomes more private  now know what is appropriate to their culture o begin asking about birds and the bees  no more stork answers  MALE PUBERTY o Changes in primary characteristics o Male gonads show maintained growth w/ rest of the bod until puberty o Size of testes and scrotum rapidly increase o Rate and timing vary between ages of 10 and 18 yrs o Penis grows in both length and garth steadily through childhood o Followed by rapid increase in size beginning at puberty o Testes main function- produce male sex hormones and sperm  Around 10, the hypothalamus begins releasing gonadotropin releasing hormone  ^ This stimulates follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone  Stimulates the produc. Of testosterone which results in sperm production  FEMALE PUBERTY o Changes in primary characteristics  S low progression and growth until puberty  Ovaries are small, undeveloped, and functionally immature  At puberty eggs begin to ripen  One app. Every 28 days or every menstrual cycle  Enters fallopian tube and passes into uterus  Passes through vagina to outside genital opening  ^first definite indication that a young girl has to inform her of her sexual maturity in menarche, or first menstruation  MENARCHE o Pituitary gland begins secreting follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone o ^Stimulates ovaries to produce estrogen o The increase secretion of estrogen cause maturation and growth of fall
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