Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Production of Eggs and Sperm

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

Synonyms

Definition

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

Introduction

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...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Baker, R. R., & Bellis, M. A. (1995). Human sperm competition: Copulation, masturbation and infidelity. London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Buss, D. M., & Duntley, J. D. (2006). The evolution of aggression. In M. Schaller, J. A. Simpson, & D. T. Kenrick (Eds.), Evolution and social psychology (pp. 263–285). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ghiselin, M. T. (1974). The economy of nature and the evolution of sex. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  4. Goetz, A. T., & Shackelford, T. K. (2009). Sexual conflict in humans: Evolutionary consequences of asymmetric parental investment and paternity uncertainty. Animal Biology, 59, 449–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hamilton, W. D., Axelrod, R., & Tanese, R. (1990). Sexual reproduction as an adaptation to resist parasites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 87(9), 3566–3573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Li, N. P., & Kenrick, D. T. (2006). Sex similarities and differences in preferences for short-term mates: What, whether, and why. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(3), 468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Maynard Smith, J. (1978). The evolution of sex. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Parker, G. A., Baker, R. R., & Smith, V. G. (1972). The origin and evolution of gamete dimorphism and the male-female phenomenon. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 36(3), 529–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Shackelford, T. K., & Goetz, A. T. (2006). Comparative evolutionary psychology of sperm competition. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 120(2), 139–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Trivers, R. L. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campbell (Ed.), Sexual selection and the descent of man, 1871–1971 (pp. 136–179). Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  11. Zimmer, C. (2009). On the origin of sexual reproduction. Science, 324(5932), 1254–1256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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