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In terms of biology, the female sex organs are involved in the reproductive system, whereas the secondary sex characteristics are involved in breastfeeding children and attracting a mate. The ovaries, in addition to their regulatory function of producing hormones, produce female gametes called eggs which, when fertilized by male gametes (sperm), form new genetic individuals. The uterus is an organ with tissue to protect and nurture the developing fetus and muscle to expel it when giving birth. The vagina is used in copulation and birthing, although the term vagina is often colloquially and incorrectly used in the English language for the vulva or external female genitalia, which consists of (in addition to the vagina) the labia, the clitoris, and the female urethra. The breasts evolved from the sweat glands to produce milk, a nutritious secretion that is the most distinctive characteristic of mammals, along with live birth. In mature women the breast is generally more prominent than in most other mammals; this prominence, not necessary for milk production, is thought to be at least partially the result of sexual selection.

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