Sexual reproduction is a crucial process in the continuance of life on Earth. Some animals and plants use this to produce new organisms. Humans have offspring using this method, too.
What is sexual reproduction?
A male and female are required for this process to occur. During this type of reproduction, sex cells called “gametes” are generated. These contain half of the chromosomes from both male and female, creating the new organisms.
There two types of sexual reproduction.
Syngamy – This is the complete and permanent fusion of two gametes, which creates a zygote. In humans, this type of reproduction is called fertilization. It is also called isogamy if the two fusing gametes are physiologically and morphologically similar with each other.
Conjugation – This is the pairing of male and female to exchange gametes through temporary cytoplasmic bridge.
Aside from producing new organisms, are there other pros and cons of sexual reproduction?
List Of Pros Of Sexual Reproduction
1. Expanding effect.
This is crucial for the multiplication of species. This is because sexual reproduction ensures that an allele (one of two or more parts of a cell that determines characteristics) will find a partner to reproduce genes for people to continue to exist and survive in any habitat.
2. Preserved effect.
Sexual reproduction helps preserve an existing allele’s genetic code to ensure that a certain specie does not mutate.
Reproducing new organisms sexually creates species that can adapt to any environmental changes. Because of the variability of the new organisms produced through this process, there is a higher chance for evolution to happen. With a mixture of traits among offspring, genetic defects might not be passed on. However, this process requires certain amounts of energy when it comes to finding a mate, which means that this reproduction may not be suitable for organisms that are isolated or are unable to move from one place.
4. Pleasure and enjoyment.
These benefits are mostly associated with humans. When two people engage in sexual reproduction, they can gain a sense of enjoyment and pleasure. Aside from the positive feeling that such a physical experience can produce, the joy of having children and helping in the procreation is beyond compare.
List Of Cons Of Sexual Reproduction
1. Genetic malfunction.
The continued reproduction of a species has a higher chance of creating complex genetic processes that could lead to abnormalities in their offspring. This is because sexual reproduction is less efficient in passing favorable genes combinations.
2. Time consuming.
Reproducing offspring sexually takes more time than asexual means. This is because male and female copulation does not happen instantly. Aside from that, it takes nine months for a human being to conceive and produce children. For animals, it takes a few month before they can reproduce. As for plants, it takes years for some trees to bear fruits, which is why breeders prefer the asexual process.
3. Imbalance in the ecosystem.
If sexual reproduction goes out hand, there will be overpopulation. As a result, the ecosystem will lose its balance, destroying the food chain. What’s worse, any having dominant species can trigger extinction of other species coexisting in the same habitat.
Everyone knows that sexual reproduction is crucial for the continuance of the human race as well as other living organisms. But it helps to be aware of its advantages and disadvantage to ensure that people will learn to weigh things, especially the consequences.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.