Human Reproduction: Sex, Science and Society (edX)

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Human Reproduction: Sex, Science and Society (edX)
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Human Reproduction: Sex, Science and Society (edX)
A cross-disciplinary look at the biological factors that influence sex, fertility and making babies in modern society. Are you trying to conceive? Do you want to prevent conception (contraception)? Would you like to know more about your fertility? Have you considered how social factors influence the choices we make about sex and reproduction? What about the latest technological developments in assisted conception (otherwise known as IVF)? Join world leader in human reproduction, Laureate Professor John Aitken, as we explore the biological, technological, and social factors that influence human reproduction.

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In this course you will learn how sperm and eggs are made; the events that result in fertilisation and conception; and how a healthy baby develops and is born.




These biological principles will be studied alongside social factors such as the construct of family, education, poverty, and sexuality.

This course will also examine the enormous role of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) such as IVF in modern society.


What you'll learn

- Discuss both male and female reproductive development in humans

- Describe the processes of fertilisation, conception and pregnancy in humans

- Define relevant factors limiting human fertility, and how these can be overcome

- Discuss the ethical issues and standards around ARTs

- Articulate how access to contraception impacts upon our social, political, and clinical wellbeing

- Describe issues related to sex and sexualities in Western societies


Syllabus


Week 1: Gametes, Fertilization & Conception

Sex hormones & reproductive systems

Eggs & sperm

Fertilisation & implantation

Obstacles to conception

Social policy and fertility rates: global trends in fertility

Projection of Australia’s population

Policy options to decrease or increase fertility

Historical changes in fertility rates


Week 2: Pregnancy, Placenta & Birth

Placentation

Fetal development/maternal adaptation to pregnancy/ Labour

Pregnancy and complications

Developmental origins of health & disease

Sociological approaches to the intergenerational cycle of disease

Social aspects of pregnancy and childbirth


Week 3: Contraception

The history and importance of contraception

Methods of Contraception

Effectiveness and Health Risks

New technologies in male contraception

Contraceptive use in Australia


Week 4: Sex & Sexuality: Social Constructionism & Biology

Biological sexual differentiation

The social construction of sex and sexuality

Psychiatry and homosexuality


Week 5: Infertility & Assisted Reproduction

Infertility

Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs)

ARTs: now and the future

Ethics of ARTs

Surrogacy case study



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