Sexual healing? Not likely

Jan 30, 2012
Dr Damian Dowling

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study shows the production of sperm is more biologically taxing than previously thought, and expending energy on it has significant health implications.

In research published in , Dr Damian Dowling of Monash University's School of Biological Sciences and Professor Leigh Simmons of the University of Western Australia have investigated the trade-off between sperm quality and immunity.

The researchers used the Australian cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus to prove that the production of quality sperm is expensive and males are strategic about investing energy in the .

Dr Dowling said investigations into life history trade-offs - investment in reproduction versus future reproduction and survival prospects - have historically focused on females.

"This study challenges the traditional view that sex, and sperm production, come cheaply to males. It is typically thought that females must invest heavily into reproduction, whereas males can freely produce millions of high-quality, tiny sperm on demand, with few costs," Dr Dowling said.

"Here we show that the costs are in fact large, and these costs dictate how much effort a male will devote into any given ."

The were housed either with sexually immature females, sexually mature females incapable of reproduction, or sexually mature females capable of reproduction. Sperm quality was measured twice and immune function once during the experiment.

Dr Dowling said the male crickets were more likely to produce high quality sperm when housed with sexually mature females with whom they could mate, indicating a strategic investment of energy.

The researchers also found that production of quality sperm appeared to have a negative effect on the crickets' immune systems.

"Males that invested heavily in their sperm paid the price of being more likely to succumb to a . And we are not talking about STDs here - we are talking about how increased investment into the quality of the ejaculate corresponds with general reductions in ," Dr Dowling said.

Explore further: Study shows how chimpanzees share skills

More information: www.plosone.org/article/info%3… journal.pone.0030172

Related Stories

Hens' sperm ejection secrets

Aug 03, 2011

In reproductive warfare sperm is a male’s ultimate weapon to decide who fathers the next generation.

Bright bills in mallards helps duck semen fight bacteria

Apr 15, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The male Mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is known for its colorful neck and a bill that ranges in color from dull green to bright yellow, depending on the amount of carotenoid pigment it con ...

Sex is thirst-quenching for female beetles

Aug 28, 2007

Female beetles mate to quench their thirst according to new research by a University of Exeter biologist. The males of some insect species, including certain types of beetles, moths and crickets, produce unusually large ejaculates, ...

'Paranoia' about rivals alters insect mating behavior

Aug 08, 2011

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that male fruitflies experience a type of 'paranoia' in the presence of another male, which doubles the length of time they mate with a female, despite the female of the ...

Recommended for you

World's first microbe 'zoo' opens in Amsterdam

13 hours ago

The world's first "interactive microbe zoo" opened in Amsterdam on Tuesday, shining new light on the tiny creatures that make up two-thirds of all living matter and are vital for our planet's future.

Study shows how chimpanzees share skills

15 hours ago

Evidence of new behaviour being adopted and transmitted socially from one individual to another within a wild chimpanzee community is publishing on September 30 in the open access journal PLOS Biology. This i ...

Little blue penguin back at sea after hospital stint

20 hours ago

Wildbase Recovery Community Trust ambassador and Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie joined Massey University veterinary staff to release a little blue penguin back into the sea at Himatangi Beach this morning.

User comments : 8

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tommytalks77
5 / 5 (9) Jan 30, 2012
A man climbed a mountain to talk to a lonely wise man that lived atop it.

"Oh wise master, I travelled far to ask you this: why is it that every time I masturbate I get foggy vision?"
to what the old man answered:
"If I knew the answera to that question I would have found my way outta here decades ago!"
quit
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2012
Dr. Dowling looks far too happy for having presented such a depressing paper.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2012
i knew i had to quit fapping and work out more, i geuss this paper finally persuaded me.
roboferret
not rated yet Jan 30, 2012
If this proves anything, it's that fapping IS a workout.
Xbw
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 30, 2012
This guy is never going to get laid with a paper like this.
WorldJunkie
5 / 5 (3) Jan 30, 2012
I love it when they research f**ing crickets (or fruit flies, or whatever) and then generalize the conclusions all the way to humans.
Xbw
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 30, 2012
I love it when they research f**ing crickets (or fruit flies, or whatever) and then generalize the conclusions all the way to humans.


It makes sense. Nothing turns me on more than a lady rubbing her legs together and making sweet sweet cricket music with them - based upon the ambient temperature of course.
WorldJunkie
not rated yet Jan 31, 2012
It makes sense. Nothing turns me on more than a lady rubbing her legs together and making sweet sweet cricket music with them - based upon the ambient temperature of course.


LOL. Be careful not to reproduce with her too often, or you'll get a runny nose :)