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Psy 265 Week 1 Assignment

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THE SPERM AND THE EGG 01

The Sperm and the Egg

Jessie Stolberg

PSY/265

Jori Reijonen, Ph.D

THE SPERM AND THE EGG 02

Twenty-six years have passed, and Grace, one of the many million eggs produced while still in the fetal ovaries will finally take the journey to become fertilized. It has been a long wait for her, but soon she will join with Leon, the lucky sperm who will help Grace form a new individual. Leon, being the only sperm discharged out of many million for the day is on a mission to successfully complete his journey. His sole purpose is to meet up with Grace and let the creation of a new individual begin.

In the seminiferous tubules, inside the testes, Leon's life begun. He moves himself to the epididymis before the ejaculation, waiting for the push that will guide him through the urethra. While in the urethra, a secretion from the prostate gland is mixed with him in order to help him on his journey to find his female ovum better known as Grace. Leon and the secretion are discharged by strong forces due to contractions of the pelvic muscles. They are followed by a fluid containing sugar from the seminal vesicles, which are glands that empty in to the vas deferens. Leon finally exits his vessel (the penis) and enters the sacred temple (the vagina) where his quest to find Grace begins.

Meanwhile, inside the sacred temple, Grace's day begins. Grace has lived a longer life since she was formed while still in the fetus. Her chances of becoming fertilized are slim. A woman's body ovulates about four hundred times within a lifetime, but Grace still only has about a one in five hundred million chance of being fertilized. Her time of ovulation is a process that takes one or more minutes. The portion of the follicile facing the abdominal cavity ruptures rapidly. The fluid filling the follicile which contains millions of cells runs out. Within the large number of cells is Grace. She is surrounded by thousands of cells that will provide her with nourishment and protection and she makes her journey. While this is happening, the Fallopian tubes have received signals to let them know that Grace is on her way, and they need to capture her. The Fallopian tubes finger-like projections grab Grace, who is still surrounded by thousands of nutrient cells. Grace will wait within the Fallopian tube, preparing for her
THE SPERM AND THE EGG 03 meeting with Leon. Inside the Fallopian tube is where the fertilization will take place.

Leon has been ejaculated against the opening of the cervix, which is the furthest end of the vagina. He only has about six or seven inches to travel before he reaches the Fallopian tube, but it can take him several hours. A talented swimmer and favorable conditions within the vagina allow Leon to reach his destination in a couple of hours rather than several. Leon doesn't realize it, but he had already started changing during his journey. Substances in the cervix, uterus, and Fallopian tubes have transformed him in to what is called “capacitated”, which simply means that he is capable of fertilizing Grace. Since Grace is already waiting in the Fallopian tube, Leon will not have to wait for her to arrive like many others before him have had to do. Some of the others have had to swim around for several days, waiting for their mate to arrive. Full of mitochondria that propels him forward, Leon along with about one hundred others have made it to Grace's outer wall. The sperms all start drilling, causing Grace to rotate counterclockwise. Because the nutrient cells still surround Grace, Leon must clear them away before getting to Grace. Leon's cap, or acrosome, disappears and enzymes are released. This allows Leon to disrobe Grace so he can finally penetrate through her wall. During this, many of the other sperm perish, but Leon refuses to quit. He continues to push forward, determined to join with his mate. He knows that the other sperm are also trying to fuse with Grace, but determination allows him to break all the way through and penetrate the inner cell plasma of Grace. Grace is suddenly overtaken by a chemical composition that changes, shutting out the other sperm. Millions of sperm all going after the same thing, and Leon is the way to accomplish the goal.

After a long journey, Leon can tell that his journey is almost complete. Leon drills away, trying to get to the inner cell of Grace. His tail movements cause his head to continuously rotate like a drill, working hard to finish his journey. Leon finally inserts his head, passing entirely through the ovum THE SPERM AND THE EGG 04 wall, and is close to penetrating the inner cell membrane. His head has penetrated Grace's plasma and is approaching the genetic material that is stored in a nucleus deep within Grace. Both of their nuclei are drawn toward each other and finally join. Instantaneously, many hereditary characteristics of the new individual being created are determined.

THE SPERM AND THE EGG 05
REFERENCES
Human Sexuality in a World of Diversity, Eighth edition, by Spencer A. Rathus, Jeffrey S. Nevid, and Lois Fichner-Rathus. (Chapter 03)

Human Sexuality in a World of Diversity, Eighth edition, by Spencer A. Rathus, Jeffrey S. Nevid, and Lois Fichner-Rathus. (Chapter 04)…...

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