Why Sex?

“Sex — it gives us diseases, sucks away our energy, clouds our judgment and doesn’t even transfer our genes that efficiently anyway. So why have humans and most other animals evolved this bizarre, slightly dirty quirk of sexual reproduction? Why haven’t we all taken Woody Allen’s advice, and evolved to reproduce with someone we love, instead?” (more…)

3 comments On Why Sex?

  • Because as homosapiens, we thrive on the thrill of the hunt. Like predators, we identify/seek, hunt, catch, and capture. Did I mention it also is fun?

  • The Fearsome Randall

    Sexual reproduction is about as primitive as it gets for humans. I don’t think we can talk about sex at the species level of homo sapiens or even hominid “evolution”.

    If we want to talk about something that is more primitive we would have to talk about something like “bilateral symetry”, or something fancy like that. There are organizims that reproduce by “parthogenesis” but they are not in any way related to the genetic liniage of humans.

    What is interesting about the article is that it mentions the explanation of sexuality and evolution that is seemingly closest to the logical inferences that we can make from neo-darwinism ( i.e. The so-called “Red Queen” hypothesis). But it actually emphasizes something called the MDH hypothesis.

    But firstly the MDH hypothesis seems as though it would be in conflict with the existence of organizisms that *do* sucessfully reproduce by parthogenesis. Secondly, the article explains the mechinism of MDH in relation to relation to the self-contained context of an individual organism, but it does not relate this mechinism to the larger context of its particular environment. Thirdly, it does not explore the potentialities of the relation of the “Red Queen” hypothesis and the MDH hypothesis.

    So over-all I am very sceptical that this MDH hypothesis is the “favored” explaination of the importance of sexuality in relation to evolution.

    It basically tries to explain an evolutionary mechinsim exclusively at the “mutations” level without considering the environmental context.

    Yet even more suspect than this. The artilcle relates Love and sex as though they were mutally exclusive.

    First, of all I shoud clarify that humans are not hardwired for anything behaviorally speaking. Sex is at best a very strong genetic predisposition. After all we can abstain from sex is we want. We can even starve ourselves (and many people do).

    In relation to this I would like to suggest that this inclination that stems from a purely biological inclination to reproduce can easly be related to the “divine” Love that we normally associate with the exclusivity of the love that we save for our romatic partner.

    The greek word ‘Eros’ is usually assciated with the “unfree” intoxicated inclination towards an individual’s satisfaction towards the flesh. And who can deny the selfish motivations that are initially responsible for the desire of another in relation to sexual satisfaction?

    Yet it is this very same insecure, and indeterminate yearning for a self-satisfying “ecstasy” that brings us out of the closed and inward-looking self, towards an ‘other’. Yes, it is this primitive desire for self-satisfaction that actually initiates the “exodus” outside ourselves towards the concern of an ‘other’.

    And it is when we go outside ourselves towards this other, where we no longer think of the self-satisfacitons of the ego, where we “liberate” ourselves from the purely biological inclinations, and think not of ourselves, but the good of the ‘other’. In this way we “liberate” ourselves when we “give” ourselves towards the good of an ‘other’. And it is when we again “recieve” ourselves after this act of self-giving that Love manifests.

    So in this way, the primordial power of Eros (or the purely sexual desire) is not seperated by an unbridgable gap between Love, instead, they are necessarily bridged and related. Love is instead the ultimate redeemer of sexual desire, the purifier, the positive pathway forward. Love legitimizes sex, and initiates the movment from the selfish motivations of the ego towards the ethical relations concerning an other (exclusivity, sacrifice, and the good).


  • Although I agree with both assesments above, I have another point of view. Mine is of an older woman (to you guys, pfffft) and there’s truth to the saying that you don’t miss what you don’t have. Or use it or lose it. I choose maybe not to open Pandora’s proverbial box so to speak and have directed my energy towards other things to fullfill my life.

    It seems so many times you get into a relationship with the intention not to lose yourself into the other person, but sex becomes a staple, even to the point of doing it just because it’s expected.

    Yes, there have been a couple of times in the last decade that I’ve endulged, and the release was needed. But I didn’t know just how much! I choose to keep away from it for basically no other reason but to be stronger than a penis. No, I’m not a lesbian. But my neighbors assume I am because they see no men visit. It floors them.

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