Biology professor talks on the sexes


Associate biology professor Erich Otten speaks in the library for the Diversity Common Reader Program. Photo by Megan Martin

Megan Martin

Associate biology professor Erich Ottem spoke Tuesday afternoon for the Diversity Common Reader Program (DCRP). Many NMU students and community members took advantage of the free presentation at the Lydia M. Olson Library.

Ottem began the discussion by explaining the basics of chromosomal sex, genetic sex and hormonal sex. He explained how sex is more than just the basis of genes and more the development of the brain.

He went on to discuss the societal understanding of sex verses the scientific. Ottem explained the hormonal route your body takes during development and how it is not just based on the X and Y chromosome.

“Take the stigma away and hopefully the violence away too,” Ottem said nearing the end of the

He talked about multiple studies done on rats relating it back to human development and how our bodies manage hormones regardless of our chromosomal sex.

“No one said it better than Tom Petty ‘you don’t know how it feels to be me,’” Ottem said as he closed the presentation by sharing the music video to the song.

The DCRP is a semester-long initiate focusing on embracing diversity by exposing a new cultural or ethic idea at a campus-wide level.

The next Diversity Common Reader Speaker will talk at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28 in the library. Political science department head and professor, Carter Wilson will present a talk about “Toxic Masculinity and Racial, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Oppression.”