Since in many species, sperm is males’ only contribution to
reproduction, biologists have long puzzled about why evolutionary
selection, known for its ruthless efficiency, allows them to exist.
British scientists have an explanation: Males are required for a
process known as “sexual selection” which helps species to ward off
disease and avoid extinction.
A system where all offspring are
produced without sex – as in all-female asexual populations — would be
far more efficient at reproducing greater numbers of offspring, the
But in research published in the journal Nature
on Monday, they found that sexual selection, in which males compete to
be chose by females for reproduction, improves the gene pool and boosts
population health, helping explain why males are important.
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