I keep getting more and more interesting things coming my way as Bug Girl…but the problem is, I like being Bug Girl, and not (fill in real name here). Keeps life simpler, and boss happy.
What do you think? Should I give up and come out?
Example: this headline from Science Daily: Fruit Fly Sperm Makes Females Do Housework After Sex
Seriously. How freakin’ embedded in your culture do you have to be to project your heteronormist, traditional gender role shit onto FLIES, people?
Do fruit flies have a monogamous sex life? No.
Do fruitflies live in houses? No.
Do fruitflies live in nuclear families? No.
Do fruitflies iron, bake, or do any sort of traditional Western gender-role stuff? No.
Is it necessary to have all science news stories relate to humans? No.
Is it necessary to have all science news stories relate to sex? No. Maybe. Yes. What was the question?
PhD comics has an EXCELLENT description of the science news cycle. If you haven’t seen this, go print it out and stick it on your door/cube/whatever.
The paper they were actually describing is this one:
Isaac, R., Li, C., Leedale, A., & Shirras, A. (2009). Drosophila male sex peptide inhibits siesta sleep and promotes locomotor activity in the post-mated female Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277 (1678), 65-70 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1236
Oddly, no mention of dustpans and ironing there….
The paper is actually pretty fascinating–it provides a connection between a peptide in a male fruit fly’s sperm and a change in behavior in female flies after mating. Mated females skip their afternoon naps (fruit flies take a siesta, as mentioned in the title of the paper) and spend that time looking for food, or places to lay eggs.
This is, regrettably, described as “domestic type activities” by one of the paper’s authors in the news story, although the actual research paper stays on point and doesn’t branch off into this sort of silly anthropomorpic speculation.
For bonus points, guess the Order of Insect covered in this news release before you click through:
EDITED 11.30.09 TO ADD: Ha! the title of the article has now been changed to “Female fruit flies do chores after sex”. Screen shot of the original article now linked.