What is the main function of the male reproductive system?

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main function of the male reproductive system is to produce male sex cells or gametes known as sperm cells.

These contain a nucleus with the haploid chromosome complement which will fuse at fertilization with a haploid egg nucleus to produce a diploid zygote or fertilized egg.

A special type of reductive division called meiosis produces four haploid sperm cells from a diploid testis cell. During meiosis, chromosomes will be rearranged in new ways allowing great variation among the various sperm cells.

An additional function of the male reproductive system is to produce necessary hormones known as androgens. Males who are XY produce male hormones early in a developing embryo. This allows the development of gonads to follow a male pattern resulting in a penis and testes. Cells that have receptors for testosterone will be influenced by this hormone. Testosterone is important for the formation of secondary sex characteristics which become apparent at puberty. 

Testes, which are part of the male reproductive system, produce sperm cells which is their primary function as well as male sex hormones which lead to the development of secondary sex characteristics from puberty and throughout the adult life of a male.