Updated: Jun 14, 2021
Understanding reproductive systems generates better control and more responsible actions with regard to reproductive and sexual impulses. Reproductive organs work together to continue a species through sexual reproduction by combining the genetic material of two organisms.
The female reproductive system produces egg cells. Its environment then protects and nourishes its offspring until birth. The one-function male reproductive system produces and deposits sperm-laden semen that can impregnate the egg. Male reproductive organs located outside of the body and around the pelvis region contribute to this reproduction.
Human evolution has arrived at differences in not only nearly every reproductive organ, but also among sexual activities aimed at pleasing physical, emotional or spiritual needs.
The Male Category
The major reproductive organs of the male represent three categories of purpose:
Sperm production and storage by the oval-shaped testicle housed in the temperature-regulating scrotum (sack).
Production of ejaculatory fluid by cooperation of the seminal vesicles, the prostate gland, and the tube which connects the testes to the urethra (vas deferens, Latin for “carrying-away vessel”).
Copulation (sexual intercourse) which creates deposits of sperm from within the male by way of the penis, urethra, vas deferens, and the Cowper’s gland which lubricates the urethra for a safe passage of the sperm to the female egg cells.
Secondary male sexual characteristics regulated by male hormones include larger, more muscular stature, deepened voice, more facial and body hair, broadened shoulders, and an adam’s apple (which, contrary to popular belief, is present in males and females).
The Female Category
The human female reproductive organs primarily are located inside of the body and around the pelvic region. There are three main parts:
the vagina, which leads from the vulva, the vaginal opening, to the uterus;
the uterus, which holds the developing fetus; and
the ovaries, which produce the female’s ova (eggs).
Interestingly, the breasts, though integral during the parenting stage of reproduction, are not classified as part of the female reproductive system.
There is also a whole lot more going on in the female than the male reproductive system. On one end the vagina goes external at the vulva — the labia, clitoris and urethra show up here. At its other end the vagina attaches to the uterus through the cervix, which is attached via fallopian tubes to the ovaries. Each ovary contains hundreds of egg cells.
Female Reproductive Function
Approximately every 28 days, another gland, the pituitary, stimulates some of the ova to develop and grow. Not unlike a pinball machine’s balls entering the area of play, ova pass through the fallopian tubes into the uterus which, assisted by hormones has prepared a lubricated-and-cleansed reception for it. If an egg is fertilized by sperm, it attaches to the uterus’s lining and develops into a fetus/unborn child.
Each cycle’s unfertilized ova are removed through menstruation.
Benefits Beyond Reproduction
Understanding reproductive systems goes beyond human sperm, eggs and babies. Simply put, this human system houses not only several pleasurable outlets to help the human race survive through generations, but also to experience pleasures of sensual and sexual attraction(erotica) without intent to reproduce.
Possible sexual acts, committed alone or with another or others, and combinations of acts, are many and varied. Reasons for each are understandable. To name a few:
Aesthetic interest and attraction about another person of the same or opposite sex.
Biological attraction, including the human sexual response and basic drive already described herein.
The need for bonding based on affinities between and among individuals.
Emotional expressions, including profound feelings of love, trust, and caring.
Spiritual connections with another or others.
Way Beyond the Biology
The pervasiveness of human sexuality causes many reasons for ongoing give-and-take skirmishes between differing philosophical, cultural, political, legal, and religious aspects of life (issues of morality, ethics and theology).
Sexual activity among humans can connect what pleasures, motivates and energizes bodies to a higher order of knowledge that includes many human intimacies of friendship among and between members of the sexes. Still, the main purpose of the attraction remains a genetic survival of the species’ future through procreation.
Ages ago, Thomas Aquinas summed it up this way:
“Now just as the preservation of the bodily nature of one individual is a true good, so, too, is the preservation of the nature of the human species a very great good. And just as the use of food is directed to the preservation of life in the individual, so is the use of venereal [sexual] acts directed to the preservation of the whole human race…. provided they be performed in due manner and order, in keeping with the end of human procreation.”
Understanding reproductive systems and what motivates bodily activity, and us as human beings, is a worthy, if extensive, body of knowledge to study.
© 2014 by Ronald Joseph Kule and Desiree Lotz. All Rights Reserved.