There is a bit of politics when it comes to fertilization of eggs in humans. The female body is selective when it comes to reproduction. Consider yourself a winner in this winner-takes-all game of fertilization, millions of sperm race toward the egg that’s waiting at the finish line. Plenty of sperm of your friends in pre-fertilisation period didn’t even make it off the starting line, thanks to missing or deformed tails and other defects. Still, others lacked the energy to finish the long journey through the female reproductive tract, or they got snared in sticky fluid meant to impede all but the strongest swimmers. For the subset of a subset of spermatozoa that reach their trophy, the final winner (you) were determined by one last sprint to the end. The exact identity of the sperm was random, and the egg waited passively until the Michael Phelps of gametes final.
One thing to note. Female reproductive anatomy is more cryptic and difficult to study, but there’s a growing recognition of the female role in fertilization. And sexual selection is as old as human origin itself. “As soon as you have eggs and sperm, you have sexual selection. There are incredible things that eggs and seminal fluid can do,” explained Andrea Pilastro, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Padova in Italy.
Emily Martin, an anthropologist at New York University, in a 1991 paper. “The egg is seen as large and passive. It does not move or journey but passively ‘is transported’ … along the fallopian tube. In utter contrast, sperm are small, ‘streamlined,’ and invariably active.” However, with this leading discovery in human biology, there is more to understand in the little politics involved in the gendering of human biology.