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Is there a Positive Role for Bodily Hierarchy?

             Albertus Magnus discusses the physiological processes and anatomical structures associated with human reproduction, particularly the sperm, as well as an alphabetized sequence of animal descriptions. In these passages, Albert subtly hints at how "man, the most perfect of all animals#" has a definite social hierarchy inscribed in the body. This may very well be the case, but the role that this hierarchy should play in the lives of individuals is questionable.
             In his discussion of the nature of the male and female sperms, Albert says that "the man's sperm acts as the operative and formative agent while the woman's sperm or generative fluid, along with her menstrual blood, serves as the material basis."# This description conforms to the traditional gender roles held still to this day, with the male being the decisive, "operative and formative agent", and the female provides support and sustenance. Albert notes Galen's observations that the male sperm acts as a necessity, a power, and an agent, while the colder female seminal fluid serves as nourishment of the male sperm.#.
             This sexism is also seen in Albert's passages concerning the determination of the fetus's gender. The traditional belief that the right was better than the left explains why Albert would assume that Hippocrates was correct in his statement. He proffered that pubescent boys with a larger right testicle than left would have boys, while a boy with a left testicle larger than the right would have girls.# .
             In her lecture on Aristotle's theory of inferiority being inscribed in the body, Dr. Leslie Dean Jones discussed in great length how social roles in ancient Greece were formed based on the physical composition and appearance of the body. In Aristotle's world, slavery was ubiquitous and justifiable, because of the belief that there were actually naturally born slaves, that is, humans who were born physically inferior to all Greeks.

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