04w44:1 The Status of Sex

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 44 number 1 (the status of sex)


Roughgarden Interview | The Current
“It’s a rite of passage between parent and child. For generations, the story of the birds and the bees has been an efficient way to answer complicated questions, such as ‘where do babies come from?’ And why do males and females get together to make them? Now some scientists are arguing that we’ve only been telling a part of the story. In her new book Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender and Sexuality in Nature and People, Joan Roughgarden argues that the animal and human world is way more sexually complex than we thought it was—especially when it comes to orientation and gender. She’s a biology professor at Stanford University, who has also discovered that, in fact, homosexuality is common in 3-hundred species—-from lesbian lizards to bisexual Bonobo chimpanzees. Joan Roughgarden was in San Francisco, California. ” Real Audio file (20:06min)

Glad to be asexual | Sylvia Pagan Westphal
“Discovering our sexuality, we are told, is a perfectly normal process that must be celebrated[…]co ncepts such as celibacy or abstinence work on the implicit assumption that we are deliberately rejecting sexuality. Doctors tell us that if we lose interest in sex we must seek help with the problem. Unsurprisingly, one of the hardest things about being asexual is convincing other people that there is nothing wrong with you. Tell someone on the street that you are asexual and they’ll stare at you in disbelief, says Jay. The immediate supposition is that you’re just a late bloomer, he adds. “

Survival of genetic homosexual traits explained | Andy Coghlan
“The researchers discovered that women tend to have more children when they inherit the same – as yet unidentified – genetic factors linked to homosexuality in men. This fertility boost more than compensates for the lack of offspring fathered by gay men, and keeps the ‘gay’ genetic factors in circulation. The findings represent the best explanation yet for the Darwinian paradox presented by homosexuality: it is a genetic dead-end, yet the trait persists generation after generation. “

Platypus sex is XXXXX-rated | Rachel Nowak
“In most mammals, including humans, sex is decided by the X and Y chromosomes: two Xs create a female, while XY creates a male. In birds, the system is similar: ZW makes for a female, while ZZ makes for a male. But in platypuses, XXXXXXXXXX creates a female, while XYXYXYXYXY creates a male. In other words, rather than a single chromosome pair, platypuses have a set of ten-chromosomes that determine their sex”

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 25 October 2004 @ 5:02 PM

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