Why Does Sex Exist?- Part 2

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We know from part 1 that reproduction can happen randomly and that males and females aren’t necessary to produce offspring. So why does sex really exist? To understand this, you have to go back to our genetic beginnings.  Single-celled organisms started life on earth, (and are still the most numerous and successful), from there they mutated and multiplied. As these new organisms became more elaborate they faced new dangers. One major issue is attacking parasites. Disease ridden bacteria and viruses become a paramount threat. By mutating and replicating, the healthy cells lived long enough to reproduce. However, as life forms became more elaborate, mutations became slower.  That put the process in peril.  A species’ success depends on mutating faster than the bad bugs.  So nature decided to try something new and VIOLA, sex was born! Nature’s experiment so begins – combine genetic material in faster ways to keep up with the replicating villains. This makes us better, healthier carriers for good cells. Sexual unions formed powerful combinations of strong cells and it worked so it stayed.

It takes complex organisms, like animals, relatively long to reproduce, so mutation through sex kept the healthy alive to stay ahead of the bugs. The healthy disease resistance genes were passed on to the next generation.  In his 1993 book, The Red Queen, Matt Ridley argues this disease – resistance theory.  He explains that the virus that causes AIDS has mutated and changed its genitic makeup more times in a decade than humans have changed in millions of years. So through the millennia, to fight the onslaught of bacteria and viruses trying to kill us we had to find a way to beat them at their game.  Sex kept many species, (including ours) alive.  As evolution plundered on, males and females became the preferred delivery systems of chromosomes; 23 from dad and 23 from mom.  Oh and don’t forget the two sex cells.  A XY chromosome = your buying blue, and XX=your buying pink.

I know what your’re thinking, could there be anything more un- romantic? Are we simply vessels driven by cells to combine chromosomes in order to keep the species alive?   Is that why we are attracted to each other?  Science says yes, religion says no. Romantics and realists can argue it ad infinitum, but there is one thing that we can all agree on. Humans (or my fav abbreviation -H. Saps), do it best.  We think about it more, have it more, enjoy it more and bond stronger from it than almost all other animals-  Stay tuned to find out why and how it has become the cornerstone of our success.

Author: drmaxmccullen

When Max McCullen first read Alfred Kinsey’s landmark book, Sexual Behavior In the Human Male, he began contemplating why so little is known about human sexuality. Since its publication in 1948 that body of knowledge has grown marginally. Why do we think about sex all the time? How much does sex really influence our behavior? And why do we still know so little about it? He completed undergraduate studies at University of the Pacific and The University of London and then his research led him to the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. IASHS was founded by Kinsey’s research assistant, Wardell Pomeroy. His initial curiosity soon evolved into a passion, which drove him to acquire his Doctorate of Education in Human Sexuality and Gender Studies. In 2004 Dr. Max began working for GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK), one of the largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide. This experience contributed to his understanding of medical treatments for male sexual dysfunction. He became familiar with how Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis function on a biological level and their social implications. His expertise naturally transitioned into him working with some of the most prestigious Urology offices in Southern California. These doctors and passionate medical personal, illustrated firsthand the impact treatment of male sexual dysfunction can have on patient care and their overall well being. This experience made him yearn for more direct contact with patients in a clinical setting. So after GSK he worked with Boston Medical Group (BMG), an international, clinic based organization, comprised of board certified Urologists and other specialties. BMG focuses on low libido, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and testosterone replacement therapy. With BMG, Dr. Max was not only their spokesperson doing radio interviews and lecturing but worked as the physician liaison connecting patients with doctors for treatment. He also worked as a consultant for University Specialty Urologicals, based in San Diego, meeting with Urologists all over the west coast to train them on various treatments for men and women's sexual health issues, including hormone replacement therapy. During this time he also hosted online webinars for patients with questions; he also has a written and video blog series and does private consultation for patients. Dr. Max McCullen brings a historical knowledge of the human sexuality field together with the reailties of living in a digital age. “The issues that confronted our elders in the 50’s and 60’s are different today - but no more impactful. Where they were learning about their sexuality and beginning to embark into the sexual revolution we are over exposed to the commodification of sex. This makes the navigation of sex and emotional intimacy difficult” Dr. Max McCullen

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