Estrus in Humans
Examines why humans do not display estrus, a phenomenon whereby the female exhibits certain physiological changes and emits secretions to attract the male for reproductive purposes.
# 65087 | 2,336 words | 11 sources | MLA | 2005 |
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Animals do not engage in human courtship rituals, asking potential partners for dates and engaging in long, sensitive conversations in an attempt to win over their trust. Instead, animals mate almost mechanically, often at set times of the year known as 'mating seasons,' in which the females enter into a hormonally induced period known as estrus, designed to attract males in order to ensure the birth of a new offspring of litter. The paper shows that such mating rituals would prove rather unsuitable for humans, since the idea of women entering a similar state of estrus is ludicrous, not to mention detrimental to the organization and smooth running of society. Indeed, civilization would become quite vulnerable if all its attentions turned to mating at certain times of the year. The paper shows that to ensure its successful existence, humans have lost this display of estrus, instead resorting to the more familiar mating rituals such as dating and wooing to ensure reproduction through a singularly pleasant means. Furthermore, reproduction among humans can theoretically take place at any time. This paper explores the phenomenon of estrus and why humans have lost this overt phenomenon, so essential to most other species.
From the Paper:"The mechanics of animal reproduction usually distinguish between attractivity, proceptivity, and receptivity. Attractivity is the degree of attractions a female elicits in males, proceptivity is the female's use of signs to elicit a male's interest in reproduction, and receptivity defines how females respond to males' reproductive leads (4). In animals which exhibit estrus, these elements occur almost mechanically when a female enters estrus, or heat. In humans, however, Harris theorizes that human reproduction has evolved into a process-oriented rather than product-oriented system (4). Harris explains that "human courtship is a process that occurs over time and is the result of the behavior of both interactants" (4)."
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