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Genetics And Human Sexuality Essay

1574 words - 7 pages

Human sexuality plays a major role in everyone's life. Regardless, whether we are young or old, man or woman, American or Japanese, it is an integral part of what we do and who we are as a human species. Next to sleeping and eating, it seems that it is one of the most important drives we have to deal with as humans. That is, it takes up so much of our time in thought and behavior that it sometimes seems that every facet of our life revolves around this to a certain extent. Human sexual behavior is different from the sexual behavior of other animals, in that, it seems to be governed by a variety and interplay of different factors. That is, while "lower" animals or species are driven by a "force" to reproduce and therefore partake in sexual behavior. Charles Darwin’s stance on evolution relies on reproduction, without reproduction there would be no way of explaining natural selection or survival of the fittest. The idea that sex functions to provide variation for natural selection to act upon was first advocated by August Weismann and it has dominated much discussion on the evolution of sex and recombination since then. With Darwin’s theory of evolution, the goal of this paper is to further extend the idea that the purpose of human sexuality is reproduction, and how homosexual activities would contradict that evolution theory presented by Darwin through his four principles of evolution.
The dialogue about human sexuality is not possible without first addressing the biological perspective, in particular, hormones (Strong, DeVault, & Sayad, 1996). Hormones may be viewed as one of the major "driving forces" of sexual behavior. Over the past several years, there has been much research done around the examination of the various roles that hormones play in the sexual behavior of humans. Hormones are produced by the gonads (i.e., testes and ovaries), the adrenal cortex, the pituitary gland, and the hypothalamus. In addition, the hormones of androgens, estrogens, and progestins all exist in both males and females. They exist in different concentrations, however, within males and females. Males have a higher concentration of androgens and females have a higher concentration of estrogens and progestins. Androgens are responsible for the sexual differences among the male reproductive system before birth and the sexual maturation of boys at puberty. Testosterone, a specific androgen, is associated with the male sexual drive and possibly with aggressive behavior (Reinisch, Ziemba-Davis, & Saunders, 1991). Estrogens and progestins, found in higher concentrations within females, regulate the menstrual cycle and are essential for reproduction. The relationship of these hormones to the female sexual drive and behavior are unclear. Hormone levels are usually correlated with sexual behavior, but in humans this is not necessarily true because of intervening variables. Thus, an individual may be physiologically ready to participate in sexual behavior, but does not...

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