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Shamelessly stolen from raven_arani

Cool article about gay animals.
hellziggy's LiveJournal... Bringing you everything you need to know about all-male giraffe orgies!

The effeminate sheep & other problems with Darwinian sexual selection.

From the JUN/JUL 2006 issue of Seed:

Joan Roughgarden thinks Charles Darwin made a terrible mistake. Not about natural selection—she's no bible-toting creationist—but about his other great theory of evolution: sexual selection. According to Roughgarden, sexual selection can't explain the homosexuality that's been documented in over 450 different vertebrate species. This means that same-sex sexuality—long disparaged as a quirk of human culture—is a normal, and probably necessary, fact of life. By neglecting all those gay animals, she says, Darwin misunderstood the basic nature of heterosexuality.

Male big horn sheep live in what are often called "homosexual societies." They bond through genital licking and anal intercourse, which often ends in ejaculation. If a male sheep chooses to not have gay sex, it becomes a social outcast. Ironically, scientists call such straight-laced males "effeminate."

Giraffes have all-male orgies. So do bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, and West Indian manatees. Japanese macaques, on the other hand, are ardent lesbians; the females enthusiastically mount each other. Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, are similar, except that their lesbian sexual encounters occur every two hours. Male bonobos engage in "penis fencing," which leads, surprisingly enough, to ejaculation. They also give each other genital massages.

As this list of activities suggests, having homosexual sex is the biological equivalent of apple pie: Everybody likes it. At last count, over 450 different vertebrate species could be beheaded in Saudi Arabia. You name it, there's a vertebrate out there that does it. Nevertheless, most biologists continue to regard homosexuality as a sexual outlier. According to evolutionary theory, being gay is little more than a maladaptive behavior.

Clicky here for the rest of the article.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC)
That was fascinating! Thanks for sharing.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
Ms hellziggy, you never fail to astound. :)
Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:00 pm (UTC)
That's a good thing, right? :P
Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
I'm very disappointed in the giraffes at the Minnesota Zoo though. They are both male but both times I've been there since the Africa exhibit opened I haven't seen any giraffe orgies. I think it might be because they only have two giraffes and you really need at least 3 for it to be an orgy. That was poor planning on the zoo's part!
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
I think it's also difficult to have an orgy (or even boring old 2 giraffe sex) with an audience.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)
A scientific approach!
This goes right along with my theory that sex just plain feels good and that's why animals do it.
Hmmm... more research is necessary.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC)
Bonobos have sex to deflate tensions in the troup.

Sounds like a plan.

Interesting article. Thank you. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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