The Biology of Sex
This course is featured as a general education course within the Department of Biology. Serving to complement courses currently offered within biology that only touch upon the subject of sex, this course will dive into specifics regarding sexual behavior and will serve to highlight new discoveries that have been facilitated by novel scientific techniques and approaches. As we study the biology of sex in the animal world, it becomes apparent that sex is achieved in a multitude of ways, many appearing rather bizarre and flamboyant. Yet under these guises, animals are still able to mate and reproduce. Sex is often defined according to sexual reproduction, whereby two individuals that are male and female mate and have offspring. However, many organisms engage in asexual reproduction and/or a combination of the two reproductive strategies. Reproductive anatomy and behavior will be addressed as we explore a variety of organisms, ranging from marine mollusks and their "sex changes" to the (female) marmoset monkey that can give birth to chimeras (an offspring with more than two parents). As an organism pursues sex, what are the mating strategies? Are all genes selfish (individual selection vs. group selection)? And, what are the chemicals of sex (pheromones and hormones)? By examining the biology of sex in detail, we will also debate age-old topics such as whether sexual reproduction is sexist, and whether differences in the male and female brain dictate male and female behavioral profiles.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
|Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available