Posts Tagged ‘plant sexuality’

‘I’m In Love With A Tree! It’s The Best Sex I Ever Had!’

2015 03 23 woman falls in love with tree

Careful, Emma. With all this publicity, Tim could get pretty poplar in that neck of the woods.

This photo of a story from the UK junk tabloid Closer has been making the internet rounds, prompting many to speculate on Tim’s prowess compared to Groot’s . . .

2015 03 23 Groot - for woman falls in love with tree

Actually, Closer does go so far as to (allegedly) get a clinical psychologist to say that Ms. McCabe has “condition known as dendrophilia.” Dr. Mark Griffiths, Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Gambling Studies at the Nottingham Trent University, has posted A Beginner’s Guide to Dendrophilia which discusses how the term dendrophilia “has now been adopted by some in the sexology field to refer to those who have a fetishistic or paraphilic interest in trees.”

So it is a thing. Huh.

2015 03 23 cucumber better than man

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Rapey Plant Stories and the Challenge to Darwinian Ideas About Gender

2015 01 13 rapey plant Philodendron_martianum

I laughed when I first read that in late 18th-century Western Europe, people worried that studying botany, which focused the attention on all those plants fertilizing one another, was too racy a pursuit for proper young ladies. Now I think we have yet, even in the 21st century, to really grapple with how plant being challenges our basic assumptions about sexuality.

Do male plants rape females as a means of propagating the species? That’s the analogy that Dan Janzen used in 1977 when he applied Darwinian-based models of animal behaviour to plants.

Take a look at this thought-provoking article by Jeremy Yoder, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Minnesota, who writes about how scientific theories of sexual selection, themselves originally based in human analogy, have ended up reframing not only stories of animal and human sexuality but also our understanding of plant reproduction.

Thanks to Eric Michael Johnson for passing this along.