Question Video: Understanding the Importance of the Location of the Scrotum outside the Body Science

The testes hang outside the body in a sac called the scrotum. Why is this important?

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Video Transcript

The testes hang outside the body in a sac called the scrotum. Why is this important? (A) It ensures the testes do not press against the bladder and cause unwanted urination. (B) It provides the testes with a flow of blood that is separate from the rest of the body. (C) It minimizes the risk of injury to the testes. (D) It keeps the testes at a lower temperature than the rest of the body, which is best for sperm production.

This question is asking us about the testes and scrotum, both of which are part of the male reproductive system. One of the roles of this system is to deliver semen, which contains sperm, to the female reproductive system using the penis. A sperm cell can then combine with an egg cell that’s produced by the female reproductive system to make a fertilized egg. This fertilized egg can then go on to make a baby, which can develop in the female reproductive system.

Sperm cells are produced in the testes, or testis as singular. These are sometimes called the testicles. Once sperm is produced, it can travel along the vas deferens as shown here. Then sperm can mix with different fluids produced by special glands, including the prostate gland. This forms semen. Semen can then be ejaculated through the penis during sexual intercourse. The sperm in semen can then combine with an egg cell in the female reproductive system.

When sperm is produced by the testes, the testes are kept outside the body in a sac called the scrotum. This is because sperm are very sensitive to high temperatures. And by keeping the testes outside the body, the sperm are protected from heat. Therefore, the option that best explains why the testes hang outside the body in a sac called the scrotum is given by answer choice (D). It keeps the testes at a lower temperature than the rest of the body, which is best for sperm production.

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