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Medical Why does natural selection favor convoluted vaginas?

  1. Sep 24, 2017 #1
    While it's true that it prevents successful penetration by unwanted males, but any unsuccessful fertilization by any males, unwanted or otherwise, results in fewer offsprings. This means lower genetic fitness for convoluted vaginas.

    EDIT: Not in humans. But in other species in nature such as ducks.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  3. Sep 24, 2017 #2


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    Natural selection is not about having the most offspring.
  4. Sep 24, 2017 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    @Orodruin has it. Positively stated - it is about survival of offspring, so they live long enough to provide genetic material for the next generation. And FWIW there is no such thing as a convoluted vagina in humans. You could have mentioned that this is about ducks.

    So, let's keep this discussion within bounds of what is, rather than what could be imagined.
  5. Sep 24, 2017 #4
    Not in humans. But in other species in nature such as ducks.
  6. Sep 24, 2017 #5

    jim mcnamara

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    Yes, see my edit above. This is in part of what is called sexual selection. Most examples you will see are in birds anatomy, colors, calls, etc.

    Note that some aspects of sexual selection improve the odds of successful mating and offspring but can be detrimental - like brightly colored male birds are easier for predators to see. Females are often mottled brownish gray colors so they blend in while incubating eggs - sometimes called brooding.

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  7. Sep 24, 2017 #6


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    Some animals have limits to how many eggs the females have. (I am guessing ducks are no different.)
    Females of many species also put a significant amount of their time and energy into raising the offspring.
    Males on the other hand have an operationally unlimited supply of sperm.

    This is the evolutionary basis for females of these species to be selective with whom that mate.
    They will want the best genetic contribution for their offspring obtainable, thus sexual selection on the part of the female.

    Females of the human species use different methods to enforce their selective preferences.
  8. Sep 26, 2017 #7

    Andy Resnick

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    Not just ducks: pigs, whales and dolphins as well.

    This matters to the discussion because it shows there is a general principle involved, not specific to ducks (or birds), and that there are many 'solutions' in the sense that there are different solutions for vision: at least 10 different types of eyes exist.
  9. Oct 11, 2017 #8
    My 7th grade biology teacher explained, of breeding sweet pea flowers, that nature takes the <whole number> of <viable, healthy> plants, throws out the ones that are too (big, small, color deviant, vulnerable to pests, etc.) near the edge of viability or sustainability, so we are left with the best result for the current climate and conditions.

    It seems to me that a convoluted genetic pool would not promote a genetic weakness, but prevent a genetic pollution of sorts. But, I should also think that breeding habits would play a part in this particular question, as the convolution may serve to balance or correct an aspect in process which favored diversity among smaller populations, previously.

    "We must not presume a finished process, but look to where it may be going. What does the current evidence suggest a future generation might be? What information does our climate and environment provide for the genetic equation? Does nature build in resistance to pollution?" ~ A Great Teacher with a difficult name, who got us all to look at the whole system.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
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