You packed up/torched his things, tore down the pictures of your first vacation as a couple in Miami hanging above your bed, defriended him on all social networks (even LinkedIn) and when you meet people with the same stupid name as his, you instantly hate them. But according to a new study, even after you’ve moved on and found your soul mate, your horrible ex may not actually be gone. Turns, out his sperm is still hanging around after all these years. Yep, your future children may end up looking exactly like the man you never, ever wanted to see again.
What the …? Thanks to fruit flies, we have some freaky new research showing how exes can continue to haunt you — and your children.
Scientists at the University of South Wales discovered that for these buzzing little flies, physical traits of previous sexual partners are actually passed down to future children. In the study, offspring’s traits matched up to those of the first male the mother mated with, not it’s biological father. This study sounds like a Maury episode waiting to happen.
Researchers think the lurking semen from the first partner (aka the evil ex) might be absorbed by the female’s eggs. Creepy. Not even fruit flies can get away from their exes — and now they have an everyday reminder of them. Kind of makes you feel bad for all those fruit flies you battled in the kitchen this morning.
As for you and your innocent, future kiddies? The study’s author, Dr. Angela Crean,says, “Our new findings take this to a whole new level — showing a male can also transmit some of his acquired features to offspring sired by other males,” she explained. “But we don’t know yet whether this applies to other species.”
Telegony, this notion that a male can leave a mark on his sexual partner’s body and influences her offspring with different male, is actually nothing nothing new. In fact, it comes from Aristotle but was dismissed as incompatible with genetic science in the early 1900s.
If nothing else, this idea of exes lingering for far too long and leaving their mark is frightening. Add this study to the list of one of the many reasons to always wear a condom.