Is sex as simple as "insert part A into slot B"? Probably not, at least when you consider the entire animal kingdom. The differing motivations of the sexes - at least from an evolutionary perspective - leads to tremendous diversity both in sexual behavior and in anatomy. In her talk at TED Global, Dr. Carin Bondar explains that the "sexual strategies and reproductive structures that we see in the animal kingdom dictate the way that males and females interact with eachother." That message isn't new - it's fairly a straightforward explanation of sexual selection - but this probably isn't the lesson you got in your high school biology class. It's another reminder that our understanding of human behavior only be enriched when placed in the context of our space on the tree of life.

The talk was originally given in June 2013; it was made available online last week.


[Scientific American Blogs]