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On The Generation Of Animals   


male or female according as one part prevails over another.

And, to take a more general view, though it is better to say that
the one part makes the embryo female by prevailing through some
superiority than to assign nothing but heat as the cause without any
reflection, yet, as the form of the pudendum also varies along with
the uterus from that of the father, we need an explanation of the fact
that both these parts go along with each other. If it is because
they are near each other, then each of the other parts also ought to
go with them, for one of the prevailing parts is always near another
part where the struggle is not yet decided; thus the offspring would
be not only female or male but also like its mother or father
respectively in all other details.

Besides, it is absurd to suppose that these parts should come into
being as something isolated, without the body as a whole having
changed along with them. Take first and foremost the blood-vessels,
round which the whole mass of the flesh lies as round a framework.
It is not reasonable that these should become of a certain quality
because of the uterus, but rather that the uterus should do so on
account of them. For though it is true that each is a receptacle of
blood of some kind, still the system of the vessels is prior to the
other; the moving principle must needs always be prior to that which
it moves, and it is because it is itself of a certain quality that
it is the cause of the development. The difference, then, of these
parts as compared with each other in the two sexes is only a
concomitant result; not this but something else must be held to be the
first principle and the cause of the development of an embryo as
male or female; this is so even if no semen is secreted by either male
or female, but the embryo is formed in any way you please.

The same argument as that with which we meet Empedocles and
Democritus will serve against those who say that the male comes from
the right and the female from the left. If the male contributes no
material to the embryo, there can be nothing in this view. If, as they
say, he does contribute something of the sort, we must confront them
in the same way as we did the theory of Empedocles, which accounts for
the difference between male and female by the heat and cold of the
uterus. They make the same mistake as he does, when they account for
the difference by their 'right and left', though they see that the
sexes differ actually by the whole of the sexual parts; for what
reason then is the body of the uterus to exist in those embryos
which come from the left and not in those from the right? For if an
embryo have come from the left but has not acquired this part, it will
be a female without a uterus, and so too there is nothing to stop
another from being a male with a uterus! Besides as has been said
before, a female embryo has been observed in the right part of the
uterus, a male in the left, or again both at once in the same part,
and this not only once but several times.

Some again, persuaded of the truth of a view resembling that of
these philosophers, say that if a man copulates with the right or left
testis tied up the result is male or female offspring respectively; so
at least Leophanes asserted. And some say that the same happens in the
case of those who have one or other testis excised, not speaking truth
but vaticinating what will happen from probabilities and jumping at
the conclusion that it is so before seeing that it proves to be so.
Moreover, they know not that these parts of animals contribute nothing
to the production of one sex rather than the other; a proof of this is
that many animals in which the distinction of sex exists, and which
produce both male and female offspring, nevertheless have no testes,
as the footless animals; I mean the classes of fish and of serpents.

To suppose, then, either that heat and cold are the causes of male

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