Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

Unforeseen Advantages of Gay Intercourse in Beetles

Why homosexuality have persisted is, from an evolutionary stand point, not really completely understood. It has been suggested that it may provide a way for males to exert dominance over each other, a way for males to “practice” for straight sex or that it may just be an epiphenomenon of other evolutionary traits. Well, a new study showed that male flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum) actually transfer sperm when having gay intercourse, and that this sperm, occasionally, could be transferred to the female when the receiving male beetle later reproduces. This did not happen often though (only in about 1% of the cases), but it could still provide an evolutionary advantage for beetles participating in gay intercourse. Really kind of fascinating…. (In all fairness, the researchers also suggested that male-on-male intercourse could be a way of dumping old sperm, but that would be the boring explanation, wouldn’t it?) For those interested, here is a video of the beetles getting it on.


October 20, 2008 - Posted by | Evolution, Creationism and ID, General Science | , , , , , , ,

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