Tag Archives: biology

FOR PARENTS: Finally, We Can Have More Than Two Parents.

article-1378486-0BB1BAFD00000578-741_468x523When a child is adopted by a step-parent it can feel like a double edged sword. Under most laws, in order for such an adoption to happen, one biological parent has to give up rights. To a child in the midst of this kind of legal posturing by adults, it can feel like abandonment by one parent and that they are being sold to the highest bidder. But what if the courts decided families can forgo any feelings of loss by simply adding legal responsibility to an additional adult?

That’s the case with the brand new California law signed into legislation by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday. Authored by Senator Mark leno, the bill finally takes into account the fact that family structures have been changing for decades. It also covers same sex couples who may have a biological egg or sperm donor who also has an interest in the child’s welfare.

Not surprisingly, in the era of a shrinking but vocal, hyper-conservatism, some Republicans see the law as an attack on the traditional family. According to the LA Times, “The measure was opposed in the Legislature by the conservative Capitol Resource Institute, which called it detrimental to children. The group said children thrive in homes with their biological mother and father, or with adoptive parents being male and female role models.”

If only they knew that a “traditional” family, one where a heterosexual woman and a heterosexual man live in the same house with both having a biological connection to all the offspring in the house, is a relatively new invention in human’s evolution. For thousands of years, our hunter/gatherer ancestors roamed in multi-generational tribes where most people were related and all these “alloparents” helped raise the offspring. While there was plenty of monogamy, as there is today, there was also some polygamy and some serial monogamy, that resulted in step-children. An offspring’s survival was directly related to the number of adults who took an interest in raising them.

In my opinion, this law is returning to something more natural to our biology and human culture. Kudos to California.

FOR SINGLES: The Economy of Sex – Watch my Talk here!

economic-graph_1670122cIn art and poetry, the price of sex is love. But seen through the lens of anthropology, sociology, and psychology, the cost of sex varies. Today, in our high supply sexual economy, sex has “price tags” that range from the cost of a lengthy courtship to the barrel-bottom price of one well-worded text. While some women control the supply side, trading sex only for “expensive” love and commitment, many men and women have unknowingly been shuttled onto the sexual mass market. In the hook-up culture, men are encouraged to take-all-sex-at-any-cost, and women, constricted by the sexual double standard, are encouraged to be free while be astutely aware of their count. Yet, research shows only 3% of men are players, 25% of college students are virgins and young people are having less sex that the 1980’s! After Dr. Walsh’s riveting lecture you will never look at your social life the same way again. If your goal is care, commitment, and a healthy relationship where your genes will survive in evolutions’ chain, Dr. Walsh has the secrets to successful mating strategies for both genders. Click on the link below to watch her lecture that includes:

•  The real statistics on the hook up culture
•  The anthropological underpinnings of the sexual double standard
•  Five sexual myths that keep women single
•  How high supply sex creates men who fail to launch in business
•  The three tenants of the slow love movement

FOR WOMEN: Which Sperm Will Your Body Choose?

9bc3f865da62463d93de2c18f47b1895Can a female have biological power over sperm and choose the gender of her baby? In at least one animal, they can. Biologists from Syracuse University found that female Drosophila flies have more control over the baby daddy of their little girl and boy flies than meets the eye. Stefan Lüpold, Scott Pitnick and John Belote, Syracuse University biology professors, found that female flies selectively eject sperm from storage organs, which will later fertilize her eggs. They determined that the ejected sperm were let go, because they didn’t make the cut, genetically speaking. The body of the female fly helps her pick a daddy. Lüpold states, “Giant sperm tails represent the cellular, postcopulatory equivalent of peacock tails, having evolved mainly through female sperm choice.” Even female flies have a say in their mating rituals.

So, what about humans? Could the female Drosophila fly be an indicator of how man and woman procreate? Well, if more than one baby daddy is vying for her coveted egg, she does, in fact, have some biological control. British biologist Robin Baker discusses biological sperm wars in his book, Sperm Wars. This form of warfare occurs when two or more sperm from different males are vying to fertilize a single egg. The tiebreaker in this situation, the female’s womb, allowing a particular sperm to fuse with the egg. This means the female’s body makes a decision based on which littler swimmer is superior. From an evolutionary standpoint, all animals want to be better, faster, and stronger, “Because females of most species mate with multiple males within a reproductive cycle, intrasexual competition and intersexual choice can continue in the form of sperm competition and cryptic female choice,” states Pitnick. Not every female animal on the planet is mating with multiple males; however, it does put into perspective the power female bodies have over their offspring. If a woman’s body makes a choose about sperm, that means it is choosing genetic traits for a future offspring such as, gender, hair color, eye color and many more characteristics. And men try to take all the credit…

 

FOR MEN: Can a Woman Rape a Man?

SilencedThe headline jumped out at me from CNN.com and I clicked through fast. Three women in Zimbabwe charged in series of sex attacks on men.

My impulse to click was exactly the reaction CNN’s web team had targeted. But I read the article for a reason other than a sexual charge. It was more a medical question. Can a woman really rape a man? What if he ejaculates? Is this rape?

The news story was this: Three women in their twenties are charged with raping 17 men in Zimbabwe and keeping their sperm in condoms for some sort of health related ritual. (That logic is reason only for the world to step up efforts to educate girls.) The young women apparently used drugs and raped the men at gunpoint. This is where the medical question popped into my head.

We all know that a woman can certainly be raped while drugged and full of terror, but a man, well, a man has to sort of function to complete the task. But can he function on drugs or at gunpoint? I know men who can’t even pee if someone is watching.

Not convinced that a Google search would yield my answer, I decided to go to a real authority — my predominantly male Facebook page. There is a nice cross section of the male body (pun intended) among my 5000 friends so I knew they would have the answers. Not surprisingly the comment stream was long. And at the beginning, my male friends were as confused as I. Some dismissed the whole notion that this was a rape.

“Unless you are a straight man with dudes forcing sex on you, you can’t be raped,” said one. “You can’t rape the willing,” said another. More than a couple told they couldn’t comment because they were busy booking a ticket to Africa.

So, I brought up the drug and gunpoint thing again. Was ejaculation possible under such circumstances? The answers were mixed.

“If you’re scared and drugged your not going to orgasm.”

“I don’t agree. If a man is stimulated, he would ejaculate regardless of “willing” or not.”

“It’s not uncommon, since men produce sperm intoxicated on regular basics.”

Then came a true voice of wisdom. Apparently, one of my Facebook friends teaches at a medical school and tells me this very question is sometimes on Medical Board exams. So here’s how the professor weighed in:

“Ejaculation is a spinal level reflex, it can happen. I have seen it happen in people having seizures or read documented evidence that it happens during hanging too. It’s even a question asked on med boards often enough whether a tetraplegic can ejaculate. It’s my understanding that as long as sympathetic nervous arc is intact one can come, for erection it’s parasympathetic one and it’s influenced by the higher centers, i.e. erotic thoughts etc.”

Thanks doc. In household language, he’s basically saying that an erection isn’t necessary to produce sperm. Got it.

Of course the much more important question here isn’t medical. It’s criminal. Can a woman rape a man?  Yes. If someone does not agree to have sex with another and a sexual act is forced upon them, that is called rape. And it is clearly illegal, hopefully as much in Africa as in North America.

Reposted from AskMen.com