This is an introduction to the scientific study of sex in humans. Within an evolutionary framework, the course examines genetic, physiological, ecological, social and behavioral aspects of sex in humans. After providing the basic principles of evolutionary biology, the course will examine the development of sexual anatomy and physiology. How is sex determined? How is orgasm achieved? Why do girls and boys develop sexually at different ages? The role of ecology and social life in shaping human mating patterns will be evaluated through the use of ethnographies and cross-cultural materials on a variety of human cultures. Does everybody have sex the way we do? Why marry? Are there biological bases for love? Why do we experience jealousy? Finally, topics relevant to human sexuality today will be discussed, such as recreational sex, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases. Examples are drawn primarily from traditional and modern human societies; data from studies of nonhuman primates are also considered.
Living World Sector (all classes)
Section 401 - LEC