The Sex Lives of Insects
August 2, 2011 | James Kohl
Here’s an interesting WSJ article about a new book on the sex lives of insects. It prompted one sex researcher to ask: “Did you know that bedbug males penetrate the exoskeleton of females to fertilize them?” And to comment: “Now that’s penetration!”
Can what is known about insects improve your sex life? The diet of the honeybee queen determines her pheromone production, and every aspect of the hive’s social behavior, including the neuroanatomy of the worker bee’s brain? Now that’s determination!
If the maternal pheromones of mammals alter the developing male brain in a sexually differentiated manner, as I have detailed, the sexual behavior of male mammals may also be conditioned to occur by olfactory/pheromonal stimuli. So, as long as we’re looking at the sex lives of insects, should we not also look at some other comparisons?
The honeybee already serves as a model organism for studying human immunity, disease resistance, allergic reaction, circadian rhythms, antibiotic resistance, development, mental health, longevity, and diseases of the X chromosome. Included among these different aspects of eusocial species survival are learning and memory as well as conditioned responses to sensory stimuli.
Is there any reason to believe that human pheromones are a less powerful influence on human behavior than are honeybee pheromones? The molecular biology of the mechanisms involved is clearly the same.
Kudos to anyone else who helps to detail the cross-species comparisons.