Scientists thought they had a pretty good handle on how this worked. But according to a new study published January 14 in Science, sperm are actually far more selfish than previously thought. The study was funded by the Massachusettes-based Ohana Biosciences.
Essentially, the new findings suggest natural selection starts on the sperm vs sperm level, long before conception. In other words: Men aren’t just in competition with one another on the evolutionary level — individual sperm are, too. This has profound implications for how we understand genetic inheritance, and how genes influence behavior, development, and even disease.
In this scenario, Friedman explains “alleles spread through a population quickly because they help sperm compete, but not because they help the entire organism survive overall.”