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Chapter 1

ANP 220 Chapter 1: The Egg and the Sperm (1)

3 pages25 viewsSpring 2019

Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANP 220
Professor
Chantal Tetreault
Chapter
1

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“The Egg and the Sperm”
ANP 220
Article Notes
Biology influenced by culture
Egg vs. Sperm i.e. female vs. male
Egg
Monthly cycle with end goal painted as solely child-bearing
Menstruation then seen as failure
Diction: menstruation=dying, losing, expelling-harsh negative
language for necessary biological process
Sperm
Diction: amazing, remarkable, produce
All positive words to describe males’ reproductive capability
“Process of making sperm involves precisely what, in the medical view,
menstruation does not: production of something deemed valuable”
Ovulation
Seen as something females do nothing in, unlike males producing
sperm
Born w/ all eggs you will ever have
Failure in menopause and “degeneration” of eggs as one ages
Proposed Solution
Describing processes as homologous
Discuss women producing ova monthly
Discuss males facing degenerating germ cells
Why the difference?
Celebrate sperm production since in occurs from puberty to old age
Egg production inferior because finished at birth
Paints females as unproductive, wasteful
Eggs degenerating in ovary-why so many eggs if most degenerate
by menopause
Male’s high production of sperm not seen as equally wasteful
One trillion wasted sperm cells in a lifetime vs. 200 wasted eggs in a
lifetime
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