the human amoebas

Humans are obsessed with sex. Well, most humans, to be precise...

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When it comes to animal life on this planet, everything revolves around sex. It’s one of the most critical parts of natural selection and our urge to reproduce is like a ticking time bomb in our bodies, just waiting until we hit puberty. Then, struggling with acne, sweaty palms and breaking voices we clumsily try to obey our awakening libidos. But there’s a small group of people, about 1% of the population, for who this libido never awakens.

The overwhelming majority of humans and animal life in general, would lose their wits without healthy sex lives. Countless studies linked sexual frustration to aggression, a weaker immune system and depression. Sex is instinctual. It’s the biological reason we exist. This is why single people tend to live shorter lives than people who have been married and longer lifespans have been linked to longer sex lives and reproduction cycles in fruit fly studies. So how is an organism which is genetically wired for sex experience no sexual attraction? Or are they really not genetically primed for an active libido in the first place?

While at this point, it would be nice to quote some studies about sexuality in humans and why seemingly healthy and active people have no interest in seeking sexual partners and don’t see their lack of libido as a problem. But there are none. So far all we have is a claim by people who say that while they suffer from none of the problems associated with a lack of a healthy sexual relationship and none of the conditions that could cause a lack of arousal, they just don’t care for sex. Asexuals go out of their way to point out that it’s not voluntary celibacy or some sort of moral protest against society’s sexuality, but just a way of life.

So if there are people out there in perfect health but with no sex drive, it gives scientists a very interesting opportunity to explore the genetic origins of sexuality. Using genome sequencing, they could compare the DNA of an asexual person to those of people with all sorts of different sex drives and sexualities, detecting the gene groups which play a key role in what triggers an active libido and create sexual attraction. Or maybe, the matter is a lot more complicated and goes beyond genes, dealing very heavily with the environment around a child who grows up an asexual and with finer points of psychology or the processes of puberty. Researchers, get your sequencing machines and notepads. Here’s a chance to examine human sexuality from a new angle and maybe learn about the origins of human sexuality.

# sex // asexual / asexuality / medicine / sex drive


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