Discuss both male and female reproductive development in humans
Describe the processes of fertilisation, conception and pregnancy in humans
Define relevant factors limiting human fertility, and how these can be overcome
Discuss the ethical issues and standards around ARTs
Articulate how access to contraception impacts upon our social, political, and clinical wellbeing
Describe issues related to sex and sexualities in Western societies
Are you trying to conceive? Do you want to prevent conception (contraception)? Would you like to know more about your fertility?
Have you considered how social factors influence the choices we make about sex and reproduction? What about the latest technological developments in assisted conception (otherwise known as IVF)? Join world leader in human reproduction, Laureate Professor John Aitken, as we explore the biological, technological, and social factors that influence human reproduction.
In this course you will learn how sperm and eggs are made; the events that result in fertilisation and conception; and how a healthy baby develops and is born.
These biological principles will be studied alongside social factors such as the construct of family, education, poverty, and sexuality.
This course will also examine the enormous role of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) such as IVF in modern society.
Week 1: Gametes, Fertilization & Conception
Sex hormones & reproductive systems
Eggs & sperm
Fertilisation & implantation
Obstacles to conception
Social policy and fertility rates: global trends in fertility
Projection of Australia’s population
Policy options to decrease or increase fertility
Historical changes in fertility rates
Week 2: Pregnancy, Placenta & Birth
Fetal development/maternal adaptation to pregnancy/ Labour
Pregnancy and complications
Developmental origins of health & disease
Sociological approaches to the intergenerational cycle of disease
Social aspects of pregnancy and childbirth
Week 3: Contraception
The history and importance of contraception
Methods of Contraception
Effectiveness and Health Risks
New technologies in male contraception
Contraceptive use in Australia
Week 4: Sex & Sexuality: Social Constructionism & Biology
Biological sexual differentiation
The social construction of sex and sexuality
Psychiatry and homosexuality
Week 5: Infertility & Assisted Reproduction
Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs)
ARTs: now and the future
Ethics of ARTs
Surrogacy case study