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Lisa Moore Interim, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2008

WGS 323 • ANIMAL SEXUALITY

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
48785
-

CREWS, D

Course Description

This is a survey course and designed to teach both the fundamentals and the principles of modern research in sexuality. At the same time you will learn how to analyze and synthesize diverse scientific information. The course is roughly divided equally into two sections. The first half of the course will emphasize fundamentals and principles of modern research in sexuality. This will include the environmental regulation of reproduction, different mechanisms of sex determination, where and how protein and sex steroid hormones are produced and released and where and how they exert their action, the development of eggs and sperm (the gametes), how the brain, pituitary, and gonads interact to control and coordinate gamete production, how hormones exert their action at a genetic level, the effects of hormones early in life compared to later in life, and the structure and function of various brain areas that are important in the regulation of reproductive behaviors. The second half of the course will build on this information. It is essential that you know the principles from the first half as in the second half we learn about how hormones organize and modify female and male sexual and parental behaviors, the effects of stress on sexuality, the adverse effects of synthetic chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers on wildlife and humans due to their mimicking the action of steroid hormones, how chemicals produced by one animal influence other individuals (pheromones) and how the production of these pheromones are controlled by hormones and sexual behaviors, how social organization can control of sexuality, and how hormones can influence how animals perceive the world around them.

Grading Policy

The weightings of the various components of the tests and essays are presented below. For graduate students the required paper will constitute 30% of the grade in lieu of the Quizzes. Late or early tests will not be administered without a doctor's excuse or an academic event with coachs note. Quizzes 30% (10% on First Quiz, 20% on Second Quiz) Examinations 45% (20% on First Examination, 25% on Second Examination) Short Essays 20% (5% each; see above for grading) CPS in class quizzes 5% Student grades will be posted on the Blackboard website. Grades will be listed and identified according to the last four digits of the student's EID number. If there are duplicate 4-digit numbers, the last initial will be appended to the number. Grades will not be given out in class or over the phone; students must come to campus to find out test grades, and final grades will be available over the TEX phone system. Nota Bene - I do not make arbitrary adjustments of grades so that you can get a higher grade. If you earn a 79 on an exam, and a B is an 80, you will get a C. I am absolutely unwavering on this policy. The only exception is that if you have received a grade of 3 on at least 3 of the four Short Essays, and you have attended class regularly (90% attendance), I will give the extra point.

Texts

Recommended Reading: R.J. Nelson, An Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology. Third edition. 2005. Sinauer Associates. J. Becker, M. Breedlove, M. McCarthy, and D. Crews, eds. Behavioral Endocrinology, Second edition. 2002. Bradford Books, M.I.T. Press. E. Adkins-Regan. 2005. Hormones and Animal Social Behavior. Princeton University Press. Recommended for MCAT: M.H. Johnson and B. J. Everitt. Essential Reproduction. Fifth edition. 2000. Blackwell Science. You will notice that the schedule of lecture topics and the assigned readings from the book sometimes may not correspond. Also, I will not cover all of the information that is in the readings, although you will be responsible for knowing the information contained in the required textbook (Nelson). Thus, it will important for you to keep up with the readings and to ask questions in class or come by during office hours. The readings in the two recommended texts (Johnson and Everitt Essential Reproduction and Becker et al. Behavioral Endocrinology) are supplemental to those in Nelson, but for those of you who are interested in the topic, or considering postgraduate schools (medical, dental, or postgraduate education), every effort should be made to read those chapters as well. These supplemental texts have also been placed on reserve in the Life Sciences library (Main Building, second floor). It is strongly suggested for those interested in medical school that you purchase the Johnson and Everitt volume as much of the information contained herein might be found on the MCATS.

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