Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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VOLUME 17 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2023 ) > List of Articles


The Narratives vs Biological Evidence in Understanding Early Human Embryo Development: The Example of Homunculus in the Sperm

Srećko Gajović, Anton Glasnović

Keywords : Embryo, Fertilization, Gastrulation, Narrative, Organogenesis

Citation Information : Gajović S, Glasnović A. The Narratives vs Biological Evidence in Understanding Early Human Embryo Development: The Example of Homunculus in the Sperm. Donald School J Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2023; 17 (1):103-105.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10009-1954

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 14-04-2023

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2023; The Author(s).


The societal controversies addressing the human embryo and its features classify the embryo as a bio-object, where biological facts blend with the societal contexts. Here we consider a narrative of homunculus in the sperm based on the iconic image from 1694 by one of the first microscopists, Nicolaas Hartsoeker, as an example of male-derived deterministic understanding of embryo development. The narrative was confronted with the biological evidence of variability of the sexual reproduction and adaptive nature of human embryo development. The relations between narratives and biological evidence can contribute to the understanding of the societal perception of biological phenomena.

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