A light-hearted study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is claiming that, based on the self-reported responses of their test group, around half of 1 percent of females may be having babies without sex.
Animals have been known to experience virgin birth, or parthenogenesis, but it hasn’t ever been documented in humans. Now, a light-hearted report by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is claiming that, based on the self-reported responses of a long running national adolescent study, around half of 1 percent of females may be having babies without sex.
Researchers polled almost 8,000 women multiple times from their teens into adulthood. About 45, who also said talking about sex was difficult for them, insisted they had babies without sex. 15 of those had signed virginity pledges.
Lead author Amy Herring admits it may all be due to errors in self-reporting. The women may have felt social pressure to not confess or may even be confused about how sex is defined.
According to a detailed scientific explanation in the online magazine Slate, several extraordinary events need to happen in succession for a virgin birth in humans, including biochemical changes and division in the egg and two genetic deletions. The article concludes, “while it's possible for a human baby to be born of a virgin mother, it's very, very unlikely: These two genetic deletions might each have a one in 1 billion chance of occurring, and that's not counting the calcium spike and division problem required to initiate parthenogenesis in the first place. “