FUNCTIONS OF THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
human species could not survive without functional male and female reproductive
systems. The reproductive systems play essential roles in the development of
the structural and functional differences between males and females, influence
human behavior, and produce offspring. However, a reproductive system, unlike
other organ systems, is not necessary for the survival of an individual human.
Most of the body’s organ systems show little
difference between males and females, but the male and female reproductive
systems exhibit striking differences. On the other hand, they have a number of
similarities. For example, many reproductive organs of males and females are
derived from the same embryological structures , and some hormones are the same
in males and females, even though they produce different responses. The
reproductive system performs the following functions:
Production of gametes. The reproductive system
producesgametes: sperm cells in the testes of males and oocytes (eggs) in the
ovaries of females.
Fertilization. The reproductive system enhances
fertilizationof the oocyte by the sperm. The duct system in malesnourishes
sperm until they are mature and are deposited in the female reproductive tract
by the penis. The female reproductive system receives the male’s sperm and
transports them to the fertilization site.
and nourishment of a new individual. Thefemale reproductive system
nurtures the development of a new individual in the uterus until birth and
provides nourishment (milk) after birth.
Production of reproductive hormones. Hormones producedby the reproductive system
control its development and the development of the gender-specific body form.
These hormones are also essential for the normal function ofthe reproductive
system and for reproductive behavior.