After watching beetles mate for 50 generations researchers think they know what men are good for.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Scientists, like the rest of us, have long wondered why Darwinian selection chose to complicate the reproductive process with the addition of the male species. Their contribution to the project amounts to mere genetic material. They’re basically sentient sperm factories. A group of researchers conducted an experiment on 50 generations of beetles to suss out an explanation for the evolution of sexual production. Publishing their findings in the Nature, they found that sexual selection—and reproduction—allowed for genetic variety, which, they say, is critical to the survival of each species.
The experiment, which lasted seven years, was carried out using two groups of beetles. In the control group, the females were given no choice in the mating process, and were forced to breed with the only available suitor. In the second group, female beetles were given multiple options. The control group only lasted 10 generations. The second group lasted 20. The idea is that the ability to choose mates allowed the female beetles to select the males with the healthiest genetic material, allowing them to weed out the ones with genetic mutations caused by inbreeding. Basically, getting to choose is essential to our survival as a species.
Science, however, is still working on a definitive answer to why women react so negatively to men wearing fedoras, although we’re willing to bet that this research is somehow related.