Yukio Mishima: Saint Sebastian Eroticism.
To The Seminal Truth? Table of Content.
Identities: Schizophrenia, Indian Males, The Sambia, and Gay Males.
The Gendered Atom / Semen-Sperm

"Since 1985, an insightful anthropologist, Emily Martin, has been studying the sperm-egg research problem. '(She] was surprised to find that popular literature, textbooks, and even medical journals were crammed with descriptions of warrior sperm and damsel-in-distress eggs ... In all her research, Martin came up with only a single depiction of less-than-mighty sperm: Woody Allen's movie EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK. Yet, the reality is that sperm is quite passive and that 'the egg plays anything but a passive role' (23: 62).

"In 1986, Martin began an investigation of research teams studying the sperm-egg phenomenon and realized that she was even infected with cultural bias. This caused her to experience delays - of 'a few years" - in detecting 'the disparity between the discoveries [of sperm-egg realities] and the way the findings were written up.' The conclusion was that 'the cultural conditioning these biologists had absorbed early in their careers influenced more than their writing: it skewed their research.' Martin asserts: 'I believe, and my husband believes, and the lab believes, that they would have seen these results sooner if they hadn't had these male-oriented images of sperm. In fact, biologists could have figured out a hundred years ago that sperm are weak forward-propulsion units, but it's hard for men to accept the idea that sperm are best at escaping. The imagery you employ guides you to ask certain questions and to not ask certain others' (23: 64). 'Scientific training involved a rigorous socialization process that doesn't allow for different perspectives. It's hard to say that women biologists are any less guilty of these things than men.' 'The macho image of sperm not only obscures reality; it actually reverses what's been observed' (23: 65)" (Tremblay, 1992).

If biologists have been doing what is noted above - 'simply' because their gender socialization caused them to have a gender-role based perception of sperm (meaning that our perceptions of sperm are still intimately linked to sex roles) - the 'crimes' that social scientists have been committing are likely similar, or worse if this was possible. The problem, however, is that we have all been gender socialized and most of us are thus collaborators with social scientists who generally exist to confirm whatever a society believes - and what is believed could well be the opposite of reality.

Roszak, Theodore (1999). The Gendered Atom: Relections on the sexual psychology of science. (Foreword by Jane Goodall.) Berkeley, CA: Conari Press.

23. Freedman, David H (1992).The Aggressive Egg. Discover, June, 61-65.

Tremblay, Pierre (1992). The Homosexuality Factor in Social Violence. Presented to the Action Committe Against Violence, City of Calgary, March, 1992. Calgary, AB: Privately Published, 120 pages.

Martin, Emily (1991). The Egg and the Sperm: How science has constructed a romance based on stereotypical male-female sex roles. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 16(3), 485-501.

Tomlinson, Barbara (1995). Phallic Fables and Spermatic Romance: Disciplinary crossing and textual ridicule. Configurations, 3(2), 105-134.

Yukio Mishima: Saint Sebastian Eroticism.
Identities: Schizophrenia, Indian Males, The Sambia, and Gay Males.

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