BIO A 300 A: Evolutionary Biology of Women

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
Location: 
SMI 304
SLN: 
11277
Instructor:
Melanie Martin
Melanie Martin

Syllabus Description:

(Abridged syllabus. Full syllabus linked under 'files').

BIO A 300: EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY OF WOMEN

TUES-THUR 10:30 - 12:20 SMI 304

Instructor: Dr. Melanie Martin (martinm7@uw.edu), Office hours Denny Hall 144, by appointment (https://martinmelanie.youcanbook.me)

Course Description:

What are unique aspects of human female biology? How and why did they evolve? What social and ecological factors influence biological variation across women today? We explore these questions from a biocultural and evolutionary lens. We examine the development and expression of female reproductive traits through key life history phases (puberty, pregnancy, birth, lactation, and menopause), and discuss implications for present-day women’s health and well-being.

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Check Canvas regularly for announcements and updates. Schedule of readings and assignments are subject to change. PDFs of lecture ppts will be posted to canvas within 24 hours AFTER lecture.

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Course Readings:

  • REQUIRED: Breasts: a natural and unnatural history (2012) by Florence Williams. (ISBN: 9780393063189)
  • RECOMMENDED: The wonder down under: the insider's guide to the anatomy, biology, and reality of the vagina (2018) by Ellen Stokken Dahl and Nina Brochmann. (ISBN: 9781681440217)
  • Both texts are available at University Bookstore.They are also on 2-hr reserve at Odegaard Library.
  • Additional research articles, popular media articles, movies and podcasts are assigned and linked in Weekly Modules and Files 

Course Grades:

  • Three assignments (each worth 10-20% of final grade) consisting two reflection essays and a 2-part media critique
  • Three One Minute Responses (done at the end of each lecture seminar; students pre-assigned to three lectures across quarter)
  • Two exams (each worth 25% of final grade) covering lectures and required readings from weeks 1-5 and 6-10, respectively. Both will be take-home, open-note/book, multiple-choice and short answer/essay

 

 

Catalog Description: 
Explores evolutionary influences on human female biological development and physiological expression from puberty through menopause. Applies a biocultural perspective, encompassing ecological and cultural influences, in examining variation in these biological processes and expressions across and within populations. Prerequisite: BIO A 101 or BIO A 201
GE Requirements: 
Natural World (NW)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
February 23, 2020 - 9:00pm