Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Ova Captures Sperm.

I know I am years late with this news, but I thought it was a rather cool fact when I came across it. The ova is actually the aggressor in the conception process, not the sperm. Indeed, the sperm tries to escape, but the ova sends out chemicals to draw them into her orbit. The analogy of the assertive sperm, winning the race, and fertilising the egg is not the real story. Now, I wonder why such a myth exists? [sarcasm]

Another faulty metaphor oft used in the medical sphere is that of menstruation as a form of death, where the womb and egg is destroyed and passed out, but, on the other hand, when sperm is ejaculated it is talked about as fertilising and spreading of seed, thus life. In fact, the endometrium constantly renews itself, so could be talked about as constantly living, whereas the vast, vast majority of sperm find only death.

Just a turn of phrase, perhaps, but the significance for how we conceive of the operation of the body are massive.

1 comment:

butterflywings said...

:-) Yay, sometimes sexist ideas are not supported by science!

Reminded me of the conception bit in the film Look Who's Talking. The sperm penetrates the egg which is shrieking "no" and "ouch!".
Disturbing, no?