I Did Not Know That
In the case of chimps, their mating habits are probably the source of the fierce evolutionary pressure on their Y chromosome. When a female comes into heat, she mates with all the males in the group, setting up competition within her reproductive tract between the sperm of different males.
As my friend Mike notes, it’s like the Thunderdome, except more than two sperm enter.
This crudeness has been extracted from a very interesting piece in the NY Times about the Y chromosome’s rapid-cycling evolution, a recently discovered phenomenon that explodes the old belief of the male gene being in a state of decay. The new, scientific masculinism: competition makes babies, man genes determine change in the species, only the strong survive. Everything old is new again, I guess.
Too bad the religious guys who like subjugating women — that’s fundamentalist Christian and Muslim, for those of you playing along at home — don’t dig on the human-chimp connection. If they believed in science, they’d have some good ammunition here for the male-dominated society, ie Strong Man Make Strong Baby, Strong Man Make Strong Species, Woman Take Strong Sperm.