- Letitia Falk
Lab Technician/Recent MSc graduate, University of British Columbia
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Sexism a product of reproductive misunderstanding
I have an idea I want to get some feedback on that merges my interest in biology with my passion for feminism ;) The explanation is a bit long so I will post a summary and then explain below. Tell me what you think!
Although we exaggerate the differences between men and women culturally, arguably the main difference between the sexes is reproductive. Our biological understanding of reproduction should therefore be paramount in shaping the way that we understand, and differentially attribute value to the sexes.
Historically, humans have gone through large cultural shifts in beliefs with regards to the relative importance of men or women compared to one another. This is how I think our understanding of reproduction matches:
1. Hunter Gatherer Societies
-Women seen as responsible for life
2. Agriculture/Domestication of livestock
-Fertilization understood, emphasizing the importance of men in reproduction
3. Modern Science
-Microscope allows for the identification of sperm and eggs, discovery of DNA and equal genetic contribution from mother and father
If this trend is accurate then we should be moving closer and closer towards equality between the sexes...well, maybe slightly towards women with the discovery of mitochondrial DNA ;)