Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Production of Eggs and Sperm

  • Amanda J. TayEmail author
  • Jose C. Yong
  • Norman P. Li
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1991-1



Males and females produce gametes that are differentially specialized to facilitate the sexes in reproduction.


The production of gametes is a biological process occurring in organisms that sexually reproduce. Females make gametes called eggs, and males make gametes called sperm. Both egg and sperm cells begin as identical germ cells and are produced through a process of cell division called meiosis, which reduces the number of chromosomes in the germ cell from 46 (diploid) to 23 (haploid). In human males, meiosis begins after birth, and, upon reaching puberty, men produce sperm continuously for the rest of their lives. In human females, meiosis begins before birth and the raw materials for egg cell production are formed while the female fetus is still within the uterus of her mother. Every female is born into the world with a limited number of...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Singapore Management UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Section editors and affiliations

  • Joseph A Camilleri
    • 1
  1. 1.Westfield State UniversityWestfieldUSA