Best documentaries about sex, reproduction, and silly mating rituals

Sexual Health 10 years ago (2010) Barbara
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Because I’m such a party animal, there’s nothing I’d rather do than spend a night watching a documentary.  I’ve recently discovered Netflix, and I’ve been devouring all the instant-watch docu-series I can find.  Here’s a list of my favorite ones, centered around the theme of reproduction.

  1. The Human Body Part 2–”Everyday miracle” explores the fragility of pregnancy, and the surprising obstacles that make human conception particularly difficult. The BBC’s Robert Winston presents spectacular video footage of ovulation and conception that had never been seen before this series.
  2. Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, Episode 2– “One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue” centers around the emergence of life on earth through abiogenesis, and the evolution of life from balls of amino acids to the complex life we see on earth today. Carl Sagan discusses artificial and natural selection, and the mechanisms that propel them.
  3. The Life of Mammals, Episode 1–”A Winning Design” focuses on the reproductive strategy of the strangest mammals, monotremes and marsupials.  This episode features the egg-laying strategy of the platypus and echidna, and the birth and nursing of marsupials like the kangaroo and koala.
  4. The Business of Being Born–This film by Ricki Lake discusses the pressures hospitals place on mothers, and the benefits of home birthing.  Although it is a bit one sided, I think it’s an compelling look at the darker side of the law suit fearing medical industry.
  5. The Human Body Part 4–”Raging Teens” explains the changes that occur during puberty, and the development of secondary sexual characteristics.
  6. The Life of Birds, episode 7–The elaborate mating rituals of birds are showcased in “Finding Partners.” This episode left me speechless at the exquisite displays and tactics birds use to find a mate.
  7. Pornucopia–as high brow as all the other members of this list are, I could not leave out this 6-episode series on the porn industry in the San Fernando Valley. (oh, my lovely hometown. . . ) Although this documentary is at times overwhelmingly positive about porn culture and the status of women in the industry, I still found it intriguing enough to watch all six episodes in one night.

Have you seen these documentaries? Are there other excellent ones that I didn’t mention? Please share in the comments section, as I love finding new documentaries to watch.

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