Bioevolution/Adaptive Selection in Polygamous Procreation?

Hannah Dvorak-Carbone hdvorak at
Tue Oct 20 00:04:40 EST 1998

In article <70eg3u$sk4 at>, sunnyesq at says...
>I must say that this sounds like a very large load of CRAP!!!!

I think that's an overreaction.  Sperm competition has been well-documented in 
various species, mostly birds (I believe), although I haven't seen 
documentation in the scientific literature of sperm attacking each other. (I 
did once see a show on the Discovery Channel or maybe the Learning Channel 
claiming that human sperm can indeed attack each other, but that's not exactly 
a peer-reviewed source.)  It doesn't seem likely that the regular partner's 
sperm would necessarily be dominant or more successful.

The second statement seems less likely, but again, there is evidence in other 
species for female choice (not at a conscious level, of course) between sperm 
of various males.  See, for example, Birkhead, T.R., 1998, Cryptic female 
choice: Criteria for establishing female sperm choice, Evolution 

- Hannah Dvorak-Carbone (out of my field - I'm a neurobiologist - but my 
undergrad senior project was in behavioural ecology, which is why this rang a 
bell for me)

>sunnyesq at
>        "anonymous" <anonymous@?.com> wrote:
>>During a lecture in Psychology 18: Human Development @ Sac City College,
>>Davis, CA, the following statements we're made by several classmates but
>>could not be verified:
>>Concerning polygamous heterosexuality & pregnancy:
>>* A woman's regular partner's sperm will be dominant and agressively
>>"attack" a foreign or new partner's sperm if both are present in the
>>sexual organs at the same time. ( Territorial Phagocytosis of some sort
>>* A woman who has sperm in her from 2 different partners, will fertilize
>>with the partner who has given her the most pleasure and/or the partner
>>she has the strongest attraction for. ( Does orgasm have any
>>effects on fertility?)
>>Can anyone verify these or similiar points and possibly site case
>studies or
>>Please respond via this newsgroup.
>>Thank you.
>>No, this is not a request for help with homework. It's just a very
>>provocative & interesting subject that I'd like 2 hear more about.
>>cdogg in nor cali!
>>Re: Bioevolutionary Adaptation of Spermatazoa/Procreation in Polygamous

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