Is there an evolutionary reason for masturbation?

IE why do we masturbate, other than that it’s fun?

Clean the tubes out? Get rid of the old sperm?

Why does there need to be a reason other than that it’s fun?

If it doesn’t affect reproduction, there doesn’t have to be an evolutionary connection.

It’s fun because of the human sex drive, and there’s a very important evolutionary reason for that.

However, sex drive is more complex than just a desire to have orgasms, so masturbation doesn’t totally replace sex with another person. If it did, there would be evolutionary pressure against it.

Is there anything wikipedia doesn’t have? Evolutionary utility of masturbation

I would question whether the kinds of factors mentioned by Wikipedia would provide enough selective value to promote the evolution of the behavior.

IMO, there’s probably no direct evolutionary reason for masturbation. It’s just a side effect.

It’s evidently useful for humans (or at least it was historically) to have their level of sexual desire and readiness “set” fairly high. This means that many people don’t get as much sex as they want. Masturbation is just something that humans do to relieve this urge. It’s no more adaptive than, say, chewing on a stick to alleviate hunger pains. It just so happens that because of our dexterous hands, we are better at it than most animals.

Why do dogs lick their balls?

Because they can.

First, although I’m not a biologist, many questions about how features evolved decay into untestable speculation. There are some conclusions about evolution that you can’t prove.

In this case I would go with Occam’s Razor and say that masturbation is simply a consequence of the fact that pleasure centers connected to sex encourage more frequent sex and therefore more reproduction, and so it stands to reason that when we figured out that we could also stimulate the pleasure center solo that there was nothing to stop it. You might ask if there’s an evolutionary reason for ice cream sundaes, snowboarding, or Jacuzzis.

Urinating cleans out most of the relevant plumbing out quite effectively.

Old sperm are reabsorbed into the epididymus via phagocytosis (they’re eaten by white blood cells, essentially).

It could be argued, could it not, that it cuts down on unmarriageable men becoming rapists or suicides, or bumping off husbands to get to the wives, and thus increases adult survivability.

Then again, maybe unmarriageable men are as disposable biologically as they are socially.

Rape is only a bad thing in societal terms; it doesn’t affect adult survivability otherwise. Mammalian mating would probably often be considered rape if you could take the female’s state of mind into account.

What about suicide and murder and stuff? Statistically insignificant?

Well, suicide among males who can’t find a mate anyway wouldn’t affect the survivability of the population. Other males would breed more than enough to maintain a higher-than-replacement-rate birthrate.

I would too, I was just surprised that it was on wikipedia. It seems pretty speculative, yet the papers cited appear to be reputable scientific studies.

Interestingly though, the chemicals that give you a “high” during sex are several times stronger when you’re with someone than by yourself. Nature apparently prefers sex to masturbation.

Why do politicians practice before the debate?

Case closed.

Not really, try going without ejaculation for a few months and ejaculate and look at the results. I think you will find, if you manage that, that the result indicate that not everything was cleaned out/reabsorbed as well as you might like. However, it is probably difficult to manage this for most, as after a while, nocturnal emissions will ensue.

Ah but societal effects are pretty crucial in human reproduction, considering the time and effort that goes into raising children. Traumatised, even suicidal women may not make the best mothers ya know. To say nothing that rape is enough to put some women off sex altogether.

From what I understand, in pre-law, “rule of the jungle” societies not only is it significant, it’s the norm. And most women’s relationships typically consist of being taken by one rapist after another, each killed by the previous one. Oh, no doubt nice guys exist - but in a culture like that, all rewards, women or otherwise always go to the most brutal. IIRC, the death by violence rate for adults in such cultures is something like 90%. If masturbation wasn’t an option, I’d expect it to be even worse.

Unless the suicidal gene confers a selective advantage on female siblings (i.e. has a different affect on women). I’ve seen the same theory put forward with homosexuality and genetics. How could a homosexual gene propogate? Well, the theory is that it somehow increases the reproductive success of the females in the family, so the gene continues on. Maybe they are more ‘feminine’ (a completely unsupported WAG, but just an example). The males are a by-product.

not to sound particularly feminist, but to really blunt, arranged marriage where the woman is traded off like a cow is rape. It doesn’t matter that the man may be as gentle as he can, and try to woo her the wedding night, she has no choice in putting out. And if the woman in question is actually lesbian in tendency, it really is rape no matter what because she is simply not attracted to the man at all. It ws the societal norm for most of human history, and is still societal norm in a number of cultures. We wont even get into the whole female genital mutilation thing.
ed for spelling, cant spell for crap this morning

India is the most populous country where arranged marriages take place, and is probably the country most likely to come to mind when mentioning arranged marriages. It would be wrong to think that women are “traded off like a cow,” and in fact, the woman always has the right to refuse. Rather, when the families mutually make the match, the welfare of the potential bride and groom is considered more than the value of a cow.