Monday, February 9, 2009

Science and Nature

Within the parameters of 'Science and Nature,' the question I am asking is, "How does the human reproduction process influence gender roles and stereotypes in our society?"  That is, how does the biological behavior of the sperm seeking the egg influence how men and women act in their daily lives?  The areas of science my question is related to are the biology of human sexual reproduction and sexology.  

My exploration of this topic will visually represent the action/process of reproduction (i.e. fertilization of the egg) - bringing the inside process to the outside; which is one theory proposed by certain feminists.  The notion suggested by such feminists is that gender roles are present in the physical biological systems of men and women, specifically in the act of sexual reproduction.  Millions of sperm are ejaculated by the male into the female's vagina, all seeking to 'win' the 'trophy' - which is to 'conquer' by fertilizing the female's egg, and thus, produce offspring.  The female's egg is in a subordinate role as she (i.e. the egg) is stagnant and waiting for the male to woo her (i.e. waiting to be fertilized).  Males, on the other hand, are all aggressively trying to get her first (i.e. fertilize the egg) and will fight (& kill) each other to win the 'war.'  So, if we were to think of this implication in society, men play the dominant role which is aggressive and competitive in nature; whereas women play the subordinate role that is passive and maternal.  The female sexual reproductive organs become a 'battlefield' where the strongest and most worthy male (i.e. sperm) is the one who wins the 'war.'  Men are the 'soldiers/warriors' attempting to be 'king of the mountain' by being the strongest & most aggressive, and by killing all those who get in their way (i.e. they eliminate the competition). 

My representation of this concept will consist of using mixed media.  I am planning on having a drawing of the internal female reproductive organs which will act as a 'landscape' (i.e. the 'battlefield'), and have (3-dimensional) toy soldiers wage war upon each other in their attempts to 'conquer' and 'win' the 'trophy' (the female's egg).  

I am still currently researching for the names of the specific people who have studied similar subject matter with regards to the connection between gender roles and human biological functions during reproduction.  There are many people who have done similar studies.  Darwin's theories, for example, examined human male and female characteristics and gender roles which coincided with his or her sex (e.g. 'sexual selection,' 'survival of the fittest,' etc...).

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