In sexual reproduction the new organism receives half of its genetic information from each parent, resulting in offspring that are similar but not identical to either parent. In asexual reproduction just one parent is involved, and genetic information is passed on nearly unchanged.
In prior years, students learned that differences in inherited characteristics might help organisms survive and reproduce. In grades 6-8 students learn how the traits of organisms are passed on through the transfer of genetic information during reproduction and how inherited variations can become adaptations to a changing environment. Sexual reproduction produces variations because genes are inherited from two parents. Variations can be either physical or behavioral, and some have adaptive value in a changing environment. In the theory of biological evolution the processes of inheritance, variation, and adaptation explain both the diversity and unity of all life.