FORMAT: 80 minute LECTURES
READING: One broad review or book chapter per session posted on the website as pdf in advance. Students are expected to send in one question about each reading before each lecture (starting with lecture 2).
DAY: Tuesday and Thursday
TIME: 3:30 pm tyo 4:50 pm
LOCATION: Podemos 0133
Office hours: CARTA Office,
Friday 1 pm to 3pm, click on map
EXAMS: 1) FEBRUARY 15 Midterm, 100 questions multiple choice, 1 hour,
2) MARCH 19 Final: Cumulative, 100 questions simple sentence replies to questions two hours,
EVALUATION: Grades will be based on student reading questions (25%), Midterm (25%) and Final (50%) exam performances.
JANUARY 9: 1. What is sex?
Reading: No reading.
JANUARY 11: 2. Culture and sex
Third party involvement, arranged marriages, bride price, dowry, menstrual taboos,
and other imposed rules.
Reading: Diamond, Milton. (2004) Sexual Behavior in pre Contact Hawai’i:
A sexological Ethnography. Revista Española del Pacifico.
JANUARY 16: 3. Why two sexes? Or are there more?
Heterogamy: small and motile or large and sessile, sex determination in mammals
Reading: Colegrave, Nick (2012). The Evolutionary Success of Sex. EMBO Reports
JANUARY 18: 4. Mating systems across primates
How primates go about mating, from induced ovulation in lemurs to silver backs in gorillas, consortship in chimpanzee, and G-G rubbing in bonobos
Reading: Gagneux, Pascal (2015) Primate Groups and Their Correlates。
International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences,
2nd edition, Vol 18. Oxford: Elsevier
JANUARY 23: 5. Sexual Dimorphism, Sex Ratio
Development, anatomy, endocrinology, physiology, immune system and central nervous system
Reading: Mukherjee Siddartha. (2016) Why Sex is Mostly Binary but Gender Is a Spectrum. Nautilus.
JANUARY 25: 6. Sexual Selection, Finding a mate
Easier said than done
Reading: Steinsalz, David et al. (2015) This Gender Mystery Starts Nine Months Before Birth. The ratio of boys to girls at conception has been misunderstood for centuries. Nautilus
JANUARY 30: 7. Social pairing versus reproductive pairing
Genetic quality versus resource provisioning
Reading: Wilson Michael et al. (2017) Humans as a model species for sexual selection research. Proc R. Soc B.
FEBRUARY 1: 8. The cost of sex: loss of winning combinations, threat of violence/exploitation, threat of infection
Sex is costly in many ways
Reading: Lehtonen, Jussi et al. (2011). The Many costs of Sex. Trends in Ecology and Evolution.
FEBRUARY 6: 9. Sex and conflict: Pairs within larger groups, how is this possible? Sexual jealousy as major reason for murder across societies?
Reading: Crespi, Bernard. and Semeniuk, Chritina. (2004) Parent-offspring conflict in the evolution of vertebrate reproductive mode. The American Naturalist.
FEBRUARY 8: 10. Sex versus reproduction
Uncoupling of sexual behavior and reproduction, recruiting sex for other purposes.
Reading: Morin, Scott et al. (2014) The Separation of Sexual Activity and Reproduction in Human Social Evolution. L. Zhang and C.A. Ducsay (eds.), Advances in Fetal and Neonatal Physiology, 159 Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 814, Springer,
FEBRUARY 13: 11.Sex in art, religion and other business
From earliest symbolic and figurative art to Kajuraho, Rembrandt, Japanese Ukiyo-e, pop art and the virtual world
Reading: Miller, Geoffrey. F. (2001) Aesthetic fitness: How sexual selection shaped artistic virtuosity as a fitness indicator and aesthetic preferences as mate choice criteria. Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts .
FEBRUARY 15: MIDTERM (one hour)
FEBRUARY 20: 12. Genital mutilation – too close for comfort
The need for modifying, identity, covenant, control
Reading: Lane, Sandra, D. and Rubinstein, Robert. A. (1996) Judging the Other,
Responding to Traditional Female Genital Surgeries. Hastings Center Report.
FEBRUARY 22: 13. Sexual violence, Sex and Power
The troubling association between sex, violence and power
Reading: Smutts, Barbara (1992) Male Aggression against Women. Human Nature
FEBRUARY 27: 14. Sex trade, Contraception and Paternity Testing
Big business, big social fall-outs
Reading: Zimmerman, Cathy and Kiss, Ligia (2017) Human trafficking and exploitation:
A global health concern. PLoS Med
FEBRUARY 29: 15. Reproductive disease
Evolution acts mostly on differential reproduction. What are reproductive diseases?
Reading: Inhorn, Maria.C. and Patrizio, Pasquale. (2015) Infertility around the globe:
new thinking on gender, reproductive technologies and global movements in the 21st century. Human Reproduction Update.
MARCH 5: 16. Biology and identity, sex and gender
Bodies and minds, hormones and surgeries, social norms and change
Reading: Fausto-Sterling, Anne (2005) The Bare Bones of Sex: Part 1—Sex and Gender.
Journal of Women in Culture and Society
MARCH 7: 17. IVF/ART assisted reproductive technologies
Is infertility a disease? Will there be evolutionary consequences from over-application of ART?
Reading: Kamphuis, Esme et al. (2014). Are we overusing IVF? British Medical Journal.
MARCH 12: 18. The paradox of human post-reproductive Lifespan
Grandmothers, grandfathers and the transmission of culture
Reading: Coxworth, James et al. (2015) Grandmothering life histories and human pair bonding. Proc. Nat. Aacad. Sci USA.
MARCH 14: 19. Recap and Sum Up
MARCH 19: FINAL EXAM
Statement on Academic Integrity:
“Academic Integrity is expected of everyone at UC San Diego. This means that you must be honest, fair, responsible, respectful, and trustworthy in all of your actions. Lying, cheating or any other forms of dishonesty will not be tolerated because they undermine learning and the University’s ability to certify students’ knowledge and abilities. Thus, any attempt to get, or help another get, a grade by cheating, lying or dishonesty will be reported to the Academic Integrity Office and will result sanctions. Sanctions can include an F in this class and suspension or dismissal from the University. So, think carefully before you act. Before you act ask yourself the following questions: a) is my action honest, fair, respectful, responsible & trustworthy and, b) is my action authorized by the instructor? If you are unsure, don’t ask a friend—ask your instructor, instructional assistant, or the Academic Integrity Office. You can learn more about academic integrity at academicintegrity.ucsd.edu” (Source: Tricia Bertram Gallant, Ph.D., UCSD Academic Integrity Office, 2017)