Female Dolphins Developed 'Protective' Vaginas To Stop Creepy Males From Sexually Assaulting Them

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Scientists Discover Female Dolphins Have 'Protective' Vaginas To Prevent Sexual Assault
Buzz, Sex

Is anyone else noticing a theme here?

Scientists have discovered that the complex layers of folds in the vaginas of female bottlenose dolphins make it possible for them to effectively fight off unwanted attempts at sexual intercourse made by male dolphins.

Because apparently, males of multiple species have trouble grasping the concept that females are entitled to decide for themselves who they do and do not wish to have sex with.

The study, led by marine biologist Dana Orbach, a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University in Canada and ironically published today, just one day following the outpouring of allegations of rape, sexual assault, and harassment by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, is especially noteworthy not only because of the "preventative" structure of the vagina, but because the researchers believe this is an evolution-based "secret weapon to make copulation more challenging for certain males."

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Which essentially means the anatomy of these females naturally morphed over time in a way that would prevent their being raped so as to ensure their survival. 

According to an article in Newsweek:

"To Orbach, that reeks of reproductive tension between males and females — with the vaginal folds serving as a sort of escape hatch for a female mating with a male she doesn’t quite believe is offering her healthy genes. If the female harbour porpoise or bottlenose dolphin twists just a little, the penis tip won’t be able to reach as close to her eggs, reducing the probability her mate will become the father. 'She might be able to control paternity through something as subtle as a small body shift,' Orbach says."

The article goes on to confirm that Orbach's take "rings true" to Janet Mann of Georgetown University.

"As somebody who has witnessed lots and lots of mating behavior in the wild," Mann says, "you see that females do this all the time,' twisting their bodies slightly during mating."

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I'm certainly neither a marine biologist nor an expert on dolphins of any sort, but something about this conclusion comes up short for me.

Even if you're fortunate enough not to be one of the 1 in 5 women estimated to be raped over the course of her lifetime (not including other forms of sexual assault, violence or harassment), it's likely you will at the very least watch a portrayal of a rape in a film, TV show, or some other avenue. The women being attacked in these scenarios will most likely be seen "twisting their bodies" during what could reasonably be called "mating" by someone observing their behavior for the sole purpose of scientific data collection.

But these female mammals, these women, aren't twisting away in order to "control paternity."

They are prey trying to survive an attack by a predator. 

Last year the Internet roared with gales of ironic laughter when a study by zoologist Rassim Khelifa from the University of Zurich revealed that "In order to avoid males of the species bothering them for sex, female dragonflies fake their own deaths, falling from the sky and lying motionless on the ground until the suitor goes away."

While the quote above (written by a human male) states that these females are avoid being "bothered" by males for sex, Khelifa's explanation reveals a far less innocuous, and frankly, less b*tchy-sounding reason.

“His observations showed females would arrive at the ponds where the males were waiting to mate. Males would intercept females mid-air before copulating somewhere nearby. The male then flew away and the female laid eggs on her own, without any protection — unlike many other dragonfly species, where the male will guard the female.

'Females became vulnerable to male coercion at that time because conspecific males were constantly patrolling each corner of the pond looking for a mate,' Khelifa writes.

Further observations showed that the more male competition there was, the more likely female dragonflies were to fake their own deaths. In 86 percent of cases, females would crash to the ground. Those that kept flying 'were all intercepted by a male. Of the 27 motionless females, 21 (77.7 percent) were successful in deceiving the coercive male.”

The female dragonfly quickly became a popular meme for males and females of our species alike.

In fact, I'm pretty sure I probably shared one myself.

But coercive males and their feelings of entitlement to sexual activity with females are obviously no laughing matter.

So here we are in 2017, and we now know that for evolutionary purposes — i.e., IN ORDER TO SURVIVE AS A SPECIES — female bottlenose dolphins can trap and/or trick the penises of male dolphins with their vaginas and female dragonflies drop to the ground, pretend to be dead, and hope against hope the males will pass them by.

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Meanwhile, we human females sift through Kickstarter campaigns for anti-rape garments, devices, and apps, as our President brags about groping women and the men controlling entire industries spend decades taking women's bodies at their will because we "females" haven't figured out a universally effective way to stop them yet.

In the ongoing debate about whether or not dolphins are smarter than humans, I must say, I believe we may just have arrived at the definitive answer.

Senior Editor and happily-former divorce coach/mediator Arianna Jeret is a recognized expert on love, sex, and relationships (except when it comes to her own life, of course) who has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Yahoo Style, Fox News, Bustle, Parents and more. Join her Sundays at 10:20 PM EST for answers to ALL of your questions on Facebook Live on YourTango and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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