-        Aristotle, The Generation of Animals - first full systematic exposition of biology;


male is active, female passive;

male rational, female emotional;

male "normal", female "departure";


"The first departure from type is indeed that the offspring should become female instead of male; this, however, is a natural necessity."

- woman a "monstrosity". 


First generation of humans all male; Prometheus deceives Zeus by stealing fire; gods create Pandora as punishment;


Premise that body heat governs development; "That which has by nature a smaller portion of heat is weaker."

Believe women less body heat than men; smaller body, brain less developed.


"In all the kinds in which male and female are found, except the bear and leopard, the females are less spirited than the males.  The females are softer and more mischievous.... Even when the cuttlefish is struck with the trident, the male stands by to help the female; but when the male is struck, the female runs away. Woman is more compassionate than man, more tearful, but at the same time more jealous, more apt to scold, more shameless, more prone to despondency, more deceptive.  The male is more courageous and ready to help."


reproduction meeting of sperm & "catamenia" (female seed - "semen not in a pure state, but in need of working up" – since women’s blood colder;


"If, then, the male stands for the effective and active, and the female for the passive, it follows that what the female would contribute to the semen of the male would not be semen, but rather material for the semen to work upon.  This is just what we find to be the case, for the catamenia have in their nature an affinity to primitive matter."


"The offspring produced by a female are sometimes female, sometimes male, because the female is as it were a deformed male." 

“The female is, as it were, a mutilated male, and the catamenia are semen, only not pure; for there is only one thing they have not in them, the principle of soul." 


Life = matter + spirit;

   Catamenia contribute matter, semen contribute spirit “more divine”

"it is the male that has the power of making the sensitive soul.”


Male embryo moves at five weeks, female at eleven;

males more birth defects – proves superiority – since greater heat, the male embryo "moves about more & is therefore more liable to injury." 


girls enter puberty sooner -"For females are weaker & colder in nature, and we must look upon the female character as being a sort of natural deficiency.  Accordingly, while it is within the mother it develops slowly because of its coldness, but after birth it quickly arrives at maturity & old age on account of its weakness, for all inferior things come sooner to their perfection."


- women inferior in reasoning;

"The rule of the soul over the body is natural, [which makes] the male by nature superior and the female inferior; the one rules and the other is ruled.  The courage of man is shown in commanding, of a woman in obeying."


Hierarchy designed by "nature":

soul over body,

rationality over emotion,

male over female,

masters over slaves,

humans over animals,

Greeks over barbarians


Alternatives - Plato, The Republic

"If the difference [between men & women] consists only in women bearing & men begetting children, this does not amount to proof that a woman differs from a man in respect to the sort of education she should receive."

women join "men in war & other duties of civic guardianship", but only in "lighter tasks because of women's weakness";


Plato: "There is nothing practiced by mankind in which the masculine sex does not surpass the female."


Medical writer Hippocrates (5th C BC)

-        body as balance of four fluids:

blood (hot, dry),

black bile (hot, wet),

yellow bile (cold, dry),

phlegm (cold, wet)

-        female cold & wet, male hot & dry


-        Greek physician Galen (130-200)

-        "The female is less perfect than the male for one principal reason - because she is colder." 

-        seed from right testis creates a boy. seed from left testis, "full of residues & watery," creates a girl;