The evolution of sexual reproduction is arguably the single most consequential event in the evolution of life on Earth. This class will explore the diversity of biological sex. We will focus on sexual differentiation in animals, including humans. Students will learn the genetic, developmental, and hormonal mechanisms that give rise to sex phenotypes, while exploring the evolutionary and behavioral impacts of sexual differentiation. Students will learn how our understanding of genetic sex and sexual development has advanced to form our modern concept of biological sex. Topics will include sexual selection; the role of testosterone and estrogen in neural development and sexual behavior; alternative reproductive tactics; the evolution of sexual orientation in animals; and the emerging concept that biological sex is a mosaic of genetic, developmental, physiological, morphological, behavioral, and cognitive phenotypes.
Delivery Method: Hybrid in-person and remote, with faculty in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
T/F 8:30AM-12:10PM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years
Categories: All courses , Biology