Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2024


Undergraduate Arts and Research Showcase


Undergraduate reproductive biology courses are traditionally taught in a reductive manner, prioritizing a binary understanding of sex which oversimplifies reproductive behaviors and reproductive system development across diverse taxa. Although this binary approach to lessons on reproduction is intended to benefit students in learning foundational human reproductive concepts, it does not teach the most recent research in reproductive biology, which identifies reproductive variation as the norm. We designed and implemented a lesson on reproductive biology informed by the most current and accurate research and compared it to a traditionally taught biology lecture for first year majors. Students who received the experimental lesson overall developed a more nuanced understanding of reproductive biology. They were more likely to identify several factors as responsible for sex determination and recognize species-specific processes. Trends in data showed that students who experienced the new lesson exhibited a shift in their conceptualization of sex as immutable.