Masturbation is common in the animal kingdom, but it is most common in primates, including humans. Historically, this behavior has been considered either a side effect of excessive excitability, or a vice. However, he also had practical goals that evolved along with our ancestors. Research The evolution of masturbation is associated with postcopulatory selection and pathogen avoidance in primates this is published in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society.
Scientists from UCL Anthropology and Queen Mary University of London have collected the largest data set on primate masturbation in history, analyzing almost 400 sources and 150 questionnaires from biologists and zookeepers. As a result, they found out that this is an ancient trait of primates and the ancestors of humans. However, she was engaged not only for the sake of self-satisfaction.
As it turned out, it can contribute to successful fertilization. Masturbation without ejaculation is known to increase arousal before sex — and this is a useful tactic for low-ranking males who need to finish before some alpha interrupts sexual intercourse. This is quite common in the wild.
Secondly, masturbation with ejaculation allows you to secrete bad sperm, leaving better quality for mating. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that it developed together with group sex, during which competition, as a rule, increases.
In addition, it is possible that male masturbation reduces the likelihood of infection with infectious diseases after copulation by cleansing the urethra (the main place of infection with STIs) with ejaculate obtained as a result of self-satisfaction.
But the meaning of female masturbation remains less clear. More data is needed to better understand its evolutionary role, scientists say.