Tag Archives: reproduction

Female Orgasms: Not Evolutionarily Necessary But Definitely Awesome

Both men and women like the pleasure that orgasms bring–but only male orgasms are actually “necessary.” At least that’s what science says–because only male orgasms are needed to make a baby. And now they’re trying to figure out why we should bother caring about women’s orgasms at all.

Ah, science. Science has clearly never had sex or it would know why female orgasms are necessary. In the meantime, Indiana University professor Elizabeth Lloyd, who has whittled down the purpose of the female orgasm into three main possibilities:

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Late-Night TV: India’s Latest Weapon Against Overpopulation

India has a rather novel idea to curb overpopulation — late-night TV! Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad wants the country to increase efforts to bring electricity to the country’s rural areas in the hopes that watching late-night TV will kill the libidos of this huge population and discourage procreation. “If there is electricity in every village, then people will watch TV till late at night and then fall asleep,” Azad argued. “When there is no electricity there is nothing else to do but produce babies.” India’s population grows about 1.6 percent annually and accounts for about 17 percent of the world population even though the country makes up only 3 percent of the Earth’s land. Azad said 80 percent of India’s population growth can be reduced by TV, which is a great medium to combat the problem. [Impact Lab]

Kudos to India for increasing its effort to bring electricity to rural areas (it’s only 2009, after all), but wouldn’t more conventional approaches like, you know, sex education and contraceptives, prove more effective in fighting overpopulation? Keep reading »

Sperm Are Smart Little Guys

As we learned earlier today, sperm have minds of their own. If you want to get pregnant, you might want to have sex with a specimen who is on the opposite end of the attractiveness spectrum as Brad Pitt. And, according to another study, you better hope you’re attractive. When scientists conducted researched on red junglefowl, they found growing evidence that promiscuous species can mate with many females, but their chances of fertilizing a lady increased when the female was a hottie. So, when we say men think with their dicks, rather than their brains, maybe we shouldn’t be giving their members so much credit. It seems to the sperm are the smart ones. [Discovery News] Keep reading »

Super Sperm

I love the scene in “Look Who’s Talking” where the basic rule of human reproduction plays out on screen: the fastest sperm wins the race to the egg. But in the animal kingdom at large, that is not always the case. Scientists have found an ancient species called Ostracods where the largest sperm won. Even though Ostracods were kinda snail like and less than centimeter long, the males produced sperm nearly ten times their size. I can only imagine that super sperm would make reproduction mega painful, but fear not! Evolution endowed the female sea critters with huge cavities (pictured above is an X-ray image of one cavity half filled with the massive man juices) nearly a third of their body size, to store the mammoth sperm. Well now you know: when it comes to the big O (O, meaning “Ostracod”), bigger is better. [IO9] Keep reading »

The Chemistry Of Kissing

Kissing might just seem like a way of passing time with the man in your life, but it really triggers a chemical response that promotes mating and reproduction. Helen Fisher, a researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey, conducted brain imaging studies and believes a kiss, or full-on make-out session, can activate chemicals that arouse different areas of the brain used for sex and reproduction. One brain system locking lips can stimulate is the one related to romantic or passionate love, which Fisher said causes a person to focus on one mate. The second is attachment, which helps prolong the relationship, at least long enough to raise a child. And the third is sex drive, which is related closely to testosterone. “We do have evidence that saliva has testosterone in it. And there is also evidence that men like sloppier kisses, and more open-mouthed kisses. That suggests to me they are unconsciously trying to transfer testosterone to trigger the sex drive in women,” said Fisher. So just when we thought we’d been liberated enough that kissing and sex are random acts of our choosing, our bodies remind us of the true purpose — reproduction. Ugh. [Reuters] Keep reading »

First Live Birth After Ovary Transplant Could Mean Older Women Having Babies Without In Vitro

Doctors in St. Louis successfully transplanted an ovary from one twin to another who had gone into early menopause at age 15. The transplanted ovary restored the woman’s full fertility and she gave birth at 38. According to researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, this is the first time an entire ovary has been transplanted and resulted in a live birth.

Dr. Sherman Silber of the Infertility Center of St. Louis said that this success could help two groups of women: those who have undergone chemotherapy and lost ovarian function, and those who want to extend the time they are fertile. For the latter group, a doctor could remove one of two ovaries when the patient is in her 20s and freeze it. Then, when she’s in her 40s, the doctor could transplant it back. Because so many women are having babies later in life, this could be away to avoid costly rounds of in vitro fertilization. Putting one ovary in the freezer might soon become as commonplace as depositing money in the bank for retirement. [Reuters] Keep reading »

Men: The Weaker Sex?

According to a new study, men are fast becoming the weaker sex. In recent years, some 100,000 chemicals have entered the atmosphere and are wreaking havoc upon masculinity. Apparently, “gender bender” chemicals are messing with hormones, resulting in a “feminisation of the males.” In male animals, symptoms include testicular dysfunction, smaller penises, and reproductive challenges, and some species are experiencing an uptick in hermaphrodites, among them polar bears born with male and female genitalia. These evolutionary “red flags” don’t bode well for humans: “If we are seeing problems in wildlife, we can be concerned that something similar is happening to a proportion of human males.” Some polluted countries are experiencing a surge in female births over male births, male children of women exposed to certain chemicals are exhibiting feminization, and in Rotterdam “boys whose mothers had been exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea sets rather than with traditionally male toys.” With sperm counts dropping “precipitously” around the world, women may transform from the fairer sex to the stronger one. [The Independent] Keep reading »

Male Wasps Think Orchids Are Sexy

Orchids that look like female wasps make life confusing for male wasps. The men think the flowers are female wasps, therefore, they try to copulate with them, which doesn’t work very well. They just waste their precious sperm. “Unquestionably, producing sperm, ejaculate, or seminal fluids is costly for many animals,” reports the study, published in The American Naturalist. “The energetic demands of sperm production can result in reduced body mass, a shortened life span, or limited lifetime sperm production.” Nature must have done a really good job with these orchids, because the male pollinators sometimes prefer them to the females they mimic. The male wasps will even prematurely end a romp with a female wasp to visit an orchid. Poor gals. The orchids are super smart, too, because by tricking the men into getting busy with them instead of wasps, they’re limiting the future wasp female population while possibly increasing the male population (which would then pollinate the orchids), because female wasps can asexually reproduce male wasps, but not females. [Reuters] Keep reading »

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