Sexual Diversity Protects Against Disease…Maybe

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parasites might be a factor that selected for sexuality in their hosts, but that hosts can somehow “sense” that they’re infected, and produce more genetically diverse offspring.

in some cases, the evolution of sex is connected with resistance to infectious agents—i.e., that sex is an adaptive response that wards off infections by producing so many diverse progeny that some of them will have combinations of genes that resist infection. Or, to say it yet another way, genes for sexual reproduction are advantageous because they happen to be present in those individuals that have other genes allowing them to better survive infections. Sex genes “hitchhike” on infection-resisting genes.

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