Sexual reproduction occurs when living organisms combine genetic information from two different types. The male gender produces a mobile gamete which travels to fuse with a stationary gamete that is produced by the female gender.
Gametes are germ cells that are able to unit with germ cells from the opposite gender. The primary advantage of sexual reproduction is that it encourages the survival of a species.
Whether discussing people, plants, or animals, mates are attracted to one another based on a hormonal perception of superiority. There is a natural desire to mate with someone from the opposite gender with heterosexual attraction so that the best possible traits can be passed along to the future offspring. The disadvantage of sexual reproduction is that outside influences can determine the viability of the offspring. In humans, for example, a failure for a mother to consume an adequate amount of folic acid is directly linked to neural tube birth defects.
About 3, children in the US are born with neural tube defects in the United States every year. Here are some additional advantages and disadvantages of sexual reproduction to What are the advantages and disadvantages of sexual reproduction compared to asexual reproduction as well. It creates genetic diversity within a species.
In asexual reproduction, a direct copy, a clone, is produced. This allows for reproduction to occur without a mate, but it also increases the chances of a mutation developing within the species. Should the wrong mutation occur, the entire species could eventually be wiped out. Sexual reproduction prevents this issue from occurring because the genetic materials from two parents, not one, are used to produce an offspring. That prevents genetic bottlenecks from occurring.
There is a natural level of disease resistance throughout the species. A greater level of genetic diversity allows for higher levels of natural disease resistance within a species. That is because the bacteria, parasites, and viruses which may affect the health of a species are unable to adapt to one specific genetic profile. There will always be disease, but genome diversity allows for the immune systems of people, plants, and animals to fight off the intrusions so a healthy life can be maintained.
Genetic variation can lead to evolutionary advancements. Darwin suggested that the animals of a species that are best suited to their environment are the most likely to survive. Through sexual reproduction, those survivors pass on their traits to their offspring, which allows the species to begin to evolve on micro-levels, and potentially on macro-levels as well.