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THE EGG AND THE SPERM: HOW SCIENCE HAS CONSTRUCTED A
 

Summary: THE EGG AND THE SPERM: HOW
SCIENCE HAS CONSTRUCTED A
ROMANCE BASED ON STEREOTYPICAL
MALE-FEMALE ROLES
EMILY MARTIN
The theory of the human body is always a part of a world-
picture. . . .The theory of the human body is always a part of
a fantasy. [JAMES The Myth of Analysis]'HILLMAN,
As an anthropologist, I am intrigued by the possibility that culture
shapes how biological scientists describe what they discover about
the natural world. If this were so, we would be learning about more
than the natural world in high school biology class; we would be
learning about cultural beliefs and practices as if they were part of
nature. In the course of my research I realized that the picture of
egg and sperm drawn in popular as well as scientific accounts of
reproductive biology relies on stereotypes central to our cultural
definitions of male and female. The stereotypes imply not only that
Portions of this article were presented as the 1987 Becker Lecture, Cornell
University. I am grateful for the many suggestions and ideas I received on this
occasion. For especially pertinent help with my arguments and data I thank Richard

  

Source: Aubin, David - Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu, Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie, Paris 6

 

Collections: Mathematics; Multidisciplinary Databases and Resources