Chapter 9: How God Designed Sex
By Herbert W. Armstrong
The huge, intricately designed modern newspaper and magazine presses bring exclamations of amazement from visitors seeing one for the first time. I am reminded of this, because we have a number of these big magazine presses in our enlarged printing plants in Radlett, England; and North Sydney, Australia; and, previously, in Pasadena, California.
But the largest, most complicated machines man has designed pale to insignificance beside the most wonderful of all mechanisms—the human body and mind!
This awe-inspiring mechanism also was formed from matter out of the ground. It was the supreme masterpiece of God’s great creative handiwork! The Almighty formed man after His own likeness! And His spiritual creation is still in process!
God reveals much about Himself! He is composed of Spirit—not matter. He is a God of supreme mind. He tells us He has eyes, ears, nose, mouth. He has arms and legs—feet and hands! He wrote the Ten Commandments on stone tablets with His own finger!
The marvelous human body is formed and shaped like God, unlike any other creature! Yet God, being Spirit, possesses inherent eternal life. He has endowed man with only a limited physical existence, sustained chemically, in principle, much like the motor in your car.
So God designed in the human body two basic types of systems.
One is the life-sustaining apparatus. This includes the highly complicated digestive, circulatory, respiratory and other systems. These are coordinated in functioning by the nervous system, which, in turn, is directly connected with the mind.
The other basic system is the genital, or sex system, making humans male and female. This has no direct part in sustaining the individual’s existence. It serves to perpetuate, not the individual, but the race. But it also generates love and a desire to marry a certain one, and stimulates marital love to preserve the home and family. This genital system, too, is connected by the nervous system directly with the mind.
These two general systems serve different purposes, yet there is a connection between the two. The genital apparatus exercises a considerable influence on the life-sustaining functions. The female sex hormones cause a woman’s body and mind to be feminine. The male sex hormones cause a man’s body and mind to be masculine.
Also there is a closer analogy between male and female sex organs and sex functioning than is generally understood.
It is the genital system that we need here to describe.
We shall use, in this description of sex anatomy and functioning, the medical, or scientific, terminology. I strongly urge all parents to learn these terms, and to use them in teaching their children.
If it were not entirely too embarrassing, a social gathering could be given a hilarious evening by each, one at a time, saying right out loud the names for sex organs and functions—especially the eliminative functions—which their mothers taught them! Probably no two people at the party would reveal the same terminology. Every young mother seems to think up some new outlandish names for such things. It becomes a sort of secret language.
If I might, at this point, be permitted one digression intended to be humorous, I should like to mention the cute saying of a year-and-a-half-old little girl. Her mother had tried to break her of bed-wetting by making a shaming face and uttering a sound something like “kh—kh—kh—.” In her baby talk this little girl soon began to call this particular means of elimination by a term she pronounced “kuh”—almost like “koo.” Then one day, for the first time in her life, the little girl saw an ocean. She was tremendously impressed by its magnitude.
“O Mommie!” she exclaimed, excitedly. “Ocean kuh pang!” “Pang” was her baby talk for panties. The adults haven’t stopped laughing since.
The moral is, children should be taught the proper professional terms rather than some weird terminology of your own devising.
Three Functional Categories
We humans cannot live the clean and happy lives the Creator intended and made possible, unless we understand His purposes, and the laws regulating sex functions. This is true regardless of age, sex or marriage status. It applies to all from the age of puberty. And there are many things about sex which parents need to teach children as soon as little minds begin to become curious about little bodies.
This book is not intended to be a technical scientific textbook to educate professionals—though certainly every doctor, psychiatrist or other professional dealing with sex ought to know what has been covered in this book.
It is, however, the purpose of this book to reveal not only God’s purposes, and the right attitude toward sex, but those basic though somewhat elementary biological facts which ought to be known by teenagers as well as the marriageable and the married.
Man, utterly unlike animals, arrives at sexual maturity several years before he achieves mental, emotional and social maturity. Boys and girls are capable of becoming parents years before they are qualified for the responsibilities of parenthood.
Teenagers need this knowledge for their own protection. In this age of pressures toward promiscuity, blinded by false teachings, adolescents cannot be expected to resist premarital sex unless their minds are opened to intelligent acceptance of God’s purposes and laws.
Also, all married people need this knowledge if their marriages are to be preserved in happiness. It is the lack of this knowledge which has caused 90 percent of all marital unhappiness, contention, separation and divorce.
None can understand what he needs to know without an elementary knowledge of the anatomy of sex organs, as well as some knowledge of sex stimuli and sex functioning. And so we approach, here, the necessary knowledge of anatomy and functioning in a manner quite different from that which has been commonly used.
The genital system is composed of three functional categories. These are:
1) Glands. These produce the germinal cells and the hormones. In the male these glands are called testes, or testicles, and in the female, ovaries.
2) Ducts. These tubes transport the germinating cells from testes and ovaries, and render possible fertilization. In the male they are the vasa efferentia, the epididymis, the vas deferens, the ejaculatory duct and the urethra. In the female, they are the Fallopian tubes, or oviducts, through which the ovum is carried from the ovary to the uterus.
3) Organs of copulation. Through these the male germinal cells, called spermatozoa, reach the ovum for fertilization. These organs are, in the male, the penis, and in the female, the vagina. The fertilized ovum remains in the female uterus or womb, where it is nourished and developed sufficiently to be born.
The Body like the Church
No book I have examined and researched on sex anatomy and functions makes any mention of the great Architect who planned, designed and produced it. Sex is viewed coldly merely as something man finds he has—not knowing why, or anything of the Designer’s purposes—knowing only what he sees, and, in his self-centered concupiscent human nature, experiences.
But the Eternal, in His Instruction Book for mankind, compares the marvelous human body to God’s Church, which is the “Body of Christ.”
The various members in God’s Church have various functions, and God provides them with various spiritual gifts for performance of these functions. This is found in the chapter devoted to the “spiritual gifts,” the 12th of 1 Corinthians.
The human body—like God’s true Church—is not composed of one member, but many. It is the same with God. As explained previously, the biblical Instruction Book reveals God as a divine Family—only the one God, but composed of more than one divine Person.
So with the Church. And so, likewise, with the God-designed human body, made in the likeness of God. Here, then, we see still another manner in which man is made in the likeness of God—one God, more than one Person; one human body, more than one member. Also one Church, more than one member.
Notice! “If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body … And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him” (1 Corinthians 12:15-18).
It was God who designed and set the sex apparatus in the physical human body—“as it hath pleased him”!
Then let us learn what we need to know about them, without false modesty or foolish prudery—but as God would have us know!
Follow this 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians a little further. The stern, harsh prudes who formulated a false so-called “Christian” ethic about sex said of the genital system, “We have no need of thee!” God rebukes them—and they should, even in those early centuries, have read His rebuke!
Here it is—beginning verse 21: “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble [Moffatt: rather delicate—or dishonorable], are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable [sex], upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.”
When we come to consider the human body from the mind of God—we see it, not as something shameful and evil, but as something wonderful, to be understood with clean and healthy minds, in awe of the handiwork of the great Designer. For this is what God beheld, when He had formed it, and pronounced “very good.”
The Psalmist was inspired to cry out: “I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works!”
God has given each of us a marvelous human body—to use as He has directed in His Instruction Book. The possession of such a body imposes on each individual a sacred responsibility! It is something you may use to God’s honor and glory—and to your own great happiness; OR you may misuse and abuse it to dishonor the Creator, and bring degradation, shame and curses on yourself.
The Male Genital System
First, then, we examine the masculine genital organs.
God says, through Paul: Those physical organs of the body which humans regard as more uncomely, He has made very necessary, with honor. And He continues: “Yes, God has tempered the body together, with a special dignity for the inferior [uncomely] parts, so that there may be no disunion in the body, but that the various members should have a common concern for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:24-25; Moffatt). And all this is compared to God’s Church—the Body of Christ!
It may seem to many that the most “uncomely” parts of the male body are those organs we now explain first—the germinal glands, called testicles. That is, until the truth about them is learned. And then one should stand in awe at the divine mind and handiwork of the great God who designed and produced such a marvelous mechanism!
See the matchless mind and hand of the Creator in these extremely necessary glands! Actually, they are the most important organs in the male generative apparatus.
The testes are a pair of oval-shaped glands. They are enclosed in a cutaneous sack, or bag, called the scrotum. It is made up of several layers, and is divided into two compartments, each containing a testicle. Each testicle is about the size of a hickory nut, approximately 1½ inches long, and 1 inch thick.
The testes, with the scrotum, hang between the thighs, forward, underneath the base of the penis, by the spermatic cord. The testes are located on the outside of the body. Did you ever wonder why? The Creator had a very good reason! This will be explained.
Many men themselves do not realize it, but the left testicle hangs a little lower in the scrotum than the right. There is
an important reason. Could blind evolution, without intelligence, have thought this out and made it thus? There is perhaps no pain a boy or man can suffer that is as excruciating as a crushing of or injury to the testicles. Did blind “nature” know this? Or did an all-intelligent Creator, concerned for our welfare, design it so that, in case the thighs are crowded together, one testicle will slip over the other, thus avoiding any crushing. No evolution here!
Miniature “Colossal” Laboratories
When we understand what science tells us about these glands, we ought to be struck with amazement. Small as they are, still they are “laboratories” performing a colossal work, going on day and night! They perform an astonishing dual activity. They produce both the germinal or reproductive cells, which impart human life to an otherwise infertile ovum; and also the hormones which cause the body to be masculine in shape, the voice to be masculine in tone, and the mind to be masculine in its thinking! And that’s an incredible job to be performed by two small “factories” weighing less than an ounce each!
Let’s take a quick inspection of these “laboratories” that generate human life. Each small testicle contains a very large number of convoluted tubules, sometimes called seminiferous tubes—infinitely tiny. There are about 300 of them, intertwined in a tiny but vast network of coils. If stretched out straight, the length of these tubules, in the two testes, would be approximately 1 mile in length! And all within “factories” only 1½ inches in length! Astonishing? I should say!
These tiny coils of tubules produce the male reproductive cells at an astounding rate—actually millions an hour, any one of which could impart a human life to an ovum!
These male reproductive cells are called spermatozoa (singular, spermatozoon)—and are quite generally, in professional circles, called “sperm cells” for short—or, sometimes, just sperm. These sperm cells are unbelievably infinitesimal—the smallest cells in either male or female body. They are very different from any other cells in the human body. Each has a minute egg-shaped head, an intermediate segment and a tail comparatively long. They look, under a microscope, like tiny tadpoles. These infinitesimal cells cannot be seen with the naked eye, but are visible and measurable under a high-powered microscope. Each sperm is approximately one four-thousandth of an inch in length. Even the female egg cell, or ovum, is only about the size of a fine pinpoint—just barely visible to the naked eye—and a sperm cell is not more than about one fiftieth as large as an ovum.
Think of it! Every human being starts his existence in so miniature a size!
Spermatozoa of animals are much larger than those of humans.
The scientific authorities have now discovered that each human spermatozoon contains 23 chromosomes—and that it is through these that the characteristics of the father—and also of grandparents—are transmitted, by heredity, to the child. Of course the mother’s characteristics also are passed on, through the nucleus within the ovum.
The tiny intertwined tubules within each testicle, in which the spermatozoa are produced, are so narrow that a hair could not pass through them. This book is not intended, as mentioned before, to be a technical or professional scientific work. But I do feel that certain of these more technical facts are important, for the reader should come to a realization of the awesome mind and purpose of the Creator!
This vast, intricate network of intertwined canals, or convoluted tubules, unite near the top to form a set of larger ones—the so-called vasa efferentia, and these in turn unite to form the epididymis. All this is encased within the scrotum. And finally, the tubules forming the epididymis converge into one seminal duct or tube, called the vas deferens. The vas deferens continues up into the body, carrying spermatozoa to the seminal vesicle—which will be explained later. As there are two testicles, there are also the vasa efferentia, the epididymis and the vas deferens for each—terminating into the two seminal vesicles located beside, or just under, the bladder within the body.
The Male Hormones
But before we leave the description of these tiny yet colossal “laboratories”—the testicles—there is still another most important function they perform.
They produce also the male hormones. These are of vital importance, and deserve a brief description.
Scattered among these seminiferous tubules are microscopically tiny islands of cells. In these infinitesimal islands the male hormones are produced. These are not carried through the vas deferens, as are the spermatozoa, but pass directly into the bloodstream, and thus circulate through the body.
These male hormones cause changes in the shape of the body. Thus, from age of puberty, a boy’s body develops into the masculine form—narrow hips, wide shoulders for masculine strength; beard on the face, hair on the chest and other parts of the body more than is common to females; the deeper voice.
And these hormones directly influence the mind. There are certain pronounced differences between male and female minds, some of which will be explained later—although many of these are generally recognized by all.
For example, little girls are interested in dolls and feminine things, little boys in machines and masculine things. Boys and girls are not sex conscious before the age of puberty in the same manner they become after puberty—bodily changes become pronounced after puberty—yet there are noticeable mind differences in young boys and girls.
Let me illustrate further the enormous importance of these “uncomely parts” which humans too often regard as “less honorable,” but on which the great Designer has bestowed “more abundant honor.”
Certain experiments made in the interests of “science” should teach us an impressive lesson. Perhaps, in the sight of the Eternal, such experiments ought not to be made. But men have made them, and the results are both intriguing and enlightening.
As far back as history records, men have practiced castration. It is widely practiced today on animals—removing testes before male animals reach sexual maturity. You probably eat steer beef often, and capon occasionally—to name just two examples.
Of course castration destroys reproductive capacity. No spermatozoa are produced. But also the male hormone production is destroyed, and that is the striking thing revealed by certain experiments.
Of course, the castration practice in modern stock raising is not done primarily to destroy breeding capacity. It is done to alter the appearance and behavior of the animal.
The stock-raiser does not need a bull for every cow. One bull can take care of the breeding requirements for a number of cows. But steers make fatter and more tender steaks, and if the steer is not butchered for meat, the animal which, uncastrated, would have grown into a wild bull, will, as a result of castration, become a docile ox, willing to work. The castration causes changes in bodily form, and in the horns. Roosters and pigs are castrated to increase the poundage and therefore the profits.
In the Bible you read of castrated humans, called eunuchs. Middle East sultans and other rulers used eunuchs to serve in harems. The eunuch lost all sexual desire—the harem women offered no temptation. They were once used at the papal court—said to be employed as singers because of their high-pitched voices. Eunuchs become obese, without beard or normal male hair growth on the body.
However, even though castration is an age-old practice, much of the true importance of male testes and female ovaries was unknown until the experiments of Berthold in 1849.
It had always been known, of course, that the comb of a castrated cock degenerates. But Berthold experimented further. He removed the testes of cocks and then regrafted these testes on the cocks’ backs. The combs remained the same as in all uncastrated roosters. All bodily appearances remained the same. But of course all reproductive capacity was lost!
This proved that the testes serve a dual purpose. Many similar experiments have been made since. They prove that the testes and ovaries not only serve to reproduce one’s kind, they also determine the sex characteristics of the individual.
Some astonishing experiments were made by the scientist of Vienna, Professor Steinach. First, he castrated both male and female animals of the same species. They both acquired a neutral appearance—neither male nor female. But this professor went further. He exchanged ovaries and testes. Into castrated males he grafted female ovaries and into the females the germinal glands removed from the males. The former males now took on female characteristics, and the former females acquired those of males. The former females now behaved as males toward the former males—and the males now took on the behavior of females. Former males even developed mammary glands, and nursed the young!
Of course there is much more to the hormone story than this. Other glands in other parts of the body have their coordinating relation to bodily characteristics—such as the pituitary, pineal, thyroid and suprarenal glands. It is not our purpose to discuss them here. But what little has been covered about the hormones, it is hoped, will be of interest.
Marvelous Temperature Gauge
The question has been asked, why are the testes located outside of the body? The great Architect had a very good reason—but men never learned this reason until quite recent times. The earliest account of it I have been able to find dates from 1950.
Scientists, it seems, stumbled onto this in making tests on animals to learn how long spermatozoa retain both their motility and their fertility at various temperatures.
Then, in these experiments, the testes of rabbits were kept in a refrigerator. The sperm cells remained alive much longer than when kept at body temperature.
So next, they made tests on live animals to determine what happens in testes at various temperatures. They discovered that the temperature inside the scrotum was several degrees lower than body heat.
They made an experiment on male mice, in a hatching oven at 110 degrees. They found fertility drastically reduced, and soon nil.
Test now followed test. They were learning things!
So next they tried heating the testes alone, with bodies at normal temperatures. This experiment was made on sheep, goats and pigs. The same thing happened—fertility rapidly reduced, until there were no fertile spermatozoa!
Finally a Dutch scientist determined that the temperature inside the human scrotum is actually 6 to 15 degrees lower than body temperature!
It took man thousands of years to learn what the Creator planned and designed! Finally men learned that these colossal, yet miniature “laboratories” are so designed that they require this slightly lower temperature to produce fertile life-imparting cells for the reproduction of the race!
Then they discovered additional proof.
In the fetal stage of development before birth, the testes first develop inside the male fetus, and then descend into the scrotum some considerable time prior to birth, through the inguinal canal. In all normal cases male babies are born with the testes already in the scrotum. But it sometimes occurs that one or both testicles remain in the abdomen at and after birth. These infants are born with either a half-empty or wholly empty scrotum. Doctors today bring down the testes with a minor operation.
Yet, when this was not known, there were cases where the testes remained, after puberty, and after marriage, inside the body. Formerly, neither these men—nor, for that matter medical science, could understand why such men appeared in every other way normal men—they could marry—they had normal desire and ability for coitus—yet they could not become fathers! Their testes were normal—they did manufacture spermatozoa. But not fertile sperms. They were sterile! Today it is known that the cause was, simply, that these marvelous and mighty little “factories” generating human life do not perform their wonderful operation of producing life-imparting sperm cells at bodily temperature. They must be kept at a temperature several degrees lower!
So now scientists have at last learned something else!
The scrotum—the sack which houses the testicles and epididymides—is made up of a kind of skin different from any other in man or woman! It is a nonconductor of heat! It is made up of folds. In cold temperatures, or if the man is bathing or swimming in cold water, these folds shrink up, and draw the testes up tight against the body—almost partially into it—lest the outside temperature become too cold for these marvelous little “laboratories.”
But, in very warm weather, they stretch out, until the testes are dropped down a considerable distance farther from the warmer-than-normal body.
Thus, this scrotum not only needed to be on the outside of the body—it also acts as an automatic temperature gauge, to keep these little life-germinating “factories” producing at temperatures proper for their work!
If you think “mother nature,” blindly, and without mind, intelligence or knowledge, planned and worked all this out, you are welcome to your ridiculous opinion! It was not dumb and stupid “mother nature”—it was the supreme FATHER-GOD—who instructed Christ, who “spoke” and commanded, and the Holy Spirit was the power that brought it into being. If you think the evolutionary fable sounds more rational as a means of accounting for such wonders—well, of course you are allowed your opinions, however far from fact!
The “Authorities” Speculate
These experimenting scientists deduce something further from their experiments. Their tests indicate that male sperm cells gradually lose both vigor or motility, and also fertilizing power, under the normal bodily temperature once deposited within the female body. Some experimenters insist spermatozoa retain power for fertilization only 48 hours, and that ova must be fertilized within 24 hours, in the Fallopian tube. Thus, if this were true, there is only a period of a few hours in any month when human conception is possible. This “discovery” led to the “rhythm cycle” theory. But this so-called method of planned parenthood has, in fact, produced quite a bumper crop of babies!
However, the doctors and scientists do not agree among themselves! A European “authority” says: “This period of time is variously estimated. Some authorities think it is only from 24 to 36 hours. Others assume 8 or even 14 days. Taking into consideration the analogy of various animal species and practical experience rather than experimental research, I am inclined to believe in a long continuance of seminal vitality.”
Notice these expressions in the above quotation—typical of “scientific” language, as I have expressed in an earlier chapter: “Variously estimated”; “Some authorities think …”; “Others assume …”; and “I am inclined to believe ….”
We are dealing, here, not with the authority of revelation, but with the speculations, opinions and guesses of “science.”
Personally I claim no authority, save that of God. I have seen charts in medical books generally available only to doctors—and I have read many statements of experience, which do indicate that pregnancy is possible at any time of the month.
And so we have now covered the most important organs in the male generative apparatus.
Female Generative System
We come next to the equivalent system in the female.
I am departing altogether from the method followed almost universally in the flood of books on the subject of sex, in covering essentials of the sex organs. Instead of grouping the organs as to external and internal—male, and then female, it seems more logical, for our purposes here, to describe them according to functional classification.
The most important organs in the generative system of the female are the ovaries. There are certain similarities between the female ovaries and the male testes—yet in other ways they are quite dissimilar.
The ovaries are located on the inside of the body. They do not, like the male generative “laboratories,” require lower-than-bodily temperature to do their work.
They are, like the testes, a pair, located within the pelvis, in the lower abdominal region, one on each side of the upper portion of the uterus. Also, like male testes, each ovary is about l 1/2 inches in length, but they are more almond-shaped. They are connected to the uterus by a pair of ducts called Fallopian tubes.
The ovaries produce the egg cells, called ova (singular, ovum). When an ovum is fertilized by a sperm cell, it is the start of a new human life.
In each ovary, many egg cells (ova), between the age of puberty and menopause, are in various stages of development. But ova are produced very much more slowly than spermatozoa. A mature ovum is released from the ovaries about once every four weeks—alternating every other month, so that each ovary produces a mature ovum approximately every eight weeks.
Each ovum is an almost round, or globular, cell, about the size of a pinpoint, just barely discernible by the naked eye—if your eyes are really sharp. Yet, tiny as they are, each ovum is about 50 times larger than a spermatozoon.
As they are produced inside the ovary, each ovum is surrounded by, and enclosed in, a sort of very tiny bladder, called a Graafian follicle. This follicle is filled with fluid. As each ovum matures, enclosed in its follicle, it is developed in the outer layer of the ovary. This causes the outer ovarian wall to bulge. Then the Graafian follicle bursts, or rather explodes its contents out into the abdomen. The ovum is caused to bounce out, like a ball, into the fringed, or near funnel-shaped end of the Fallopian tube. This fringed end of the Fallopian tube, shaped something like a carnation flower, seems to open like an outstretched hand, to receive the ovum, which is virtually shot into it. It opens only when an ovum is mature and ready to be released into it. This discharge of the ovum from the ovary into the Fallopian tube is called ovulation.
The Female Hormones
At this same instant something else, quite interesting and very important, happens.
The female sex hormone is called follicular hormone, because it is formed within this membranous envelope or follicle. When the follicle bursts, only the infinitesimal round ovum is shot into the oviduct (Fallopian tube). The follicular hormone is then released into the abdomen, absorbed into the bloodstream and thus carried by the blood to do its work in various parts of the body.
So the hormone production in females is unlike that in males. It is formed in the female germinal cells—the ovaries—but not in tiny islands among tiny tubules. Ova are not formed in tubules, as sperm cells are formed in testes. Instead of being developed in a system of coiled tubules, both ovum and hormone are formed near the outer surface of the ovary.
In a sense, this membranous envelope formed around the ovum compares to the shell covering a hen’s egg. When the follicle bursts and the ovum is bounced out of the ovary, it would quickly perish if it were not, in a fraction of a second, shot directly into the oviduct, where an albuminous substance immediately protects it.
And that, in brief, is the story of the sexual glands in both men and women. They are, indeed, miniature “laboratories,” or tiny “factories,” where, in a sense, human beings are being manufactured—or, at least the germinating cells which start every human life!
It is, when seen from the approach, and through the eyeglasses of the revelation of the Creator, a fascinating and awe-inspiring bit of knowledge.