Masturbation: now with more purpose.

September 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm (science) (, , )

Jane Waterman has been observing Cape Ground Squirrels for a long time.  Those are the squirrels famous for having genitals like this:

She noticed that these squirrels masturbate a lot, and that their masturbation had patterns.  Sex researchers have been trying to come up with explanations as to why we masturbate for years, with the two main theories being a) the sexual outlet hypothesis, which reasons that masturbation is a side effect of a sexual society, and b) that masturbation cleans the pipes, gets rid of the old sperm and makes way for the new stuff.

But Waterman found that her squirrels were masturbating after having sex, which makes no sense, and masturbating more when females were willing to mate, which also makes no sense.  Her theory?


That’s right, by cleansing their genitals on the outside with their mouths (sorry, but that’s how they do it), and on the inside by flushing out more sperm, they are trying to prevent sexually transmitted infections.  This theory is pretty genius and is sure to make waves across the animal kingdom.  Plus, she adds, “by eating their ejaculates afterwards, the squirrels can prevent the needless loss of water.”

What, did I take that too far?  Go read more here!

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