Sex with oneself in the world of plants and animals is called, fittingly, "selfing." The offspring of selfing females share 100 percent of their mothers' genes, and they can go on to produce their own offspring.
The offspring of "outcrossing" (the sexy science term for mating) males and females, on the other hand, share 50 percent of each parent's genes. Some offspring, naturally, are males that cannot bear offspring.
Of the two systems, it turns out that outcrossing produces offspring whose more diverse genetic codes lead to greater chances for longer lives, lower susceptibility to … Read more