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Thread: Are animals homosexuals?

  1. #1
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Are animals homosexuals?

    This sounds a serious question. Doesn’t it? In fact today homosexuality is not a disconsolate idea and they have a society of their own and they have got enough recognition. A few years ago the idea of homosexuality suffered bowdlerization. But today they have a league of their own, and is a power, a force and they are a pressure group and have their associations and pacts globally.
    Rather than ignoring it studying it at its very root is the need of the day. Now the issue is different. As questioning is a very exciting thing whether or not we can find the answer. I love questioning.
    Now suddenly a question arises in me: Are animals homosexuals. Homosexuality is an urge, a drive within an animate being.
    Of course the best way to arrive at truth is questioning and to this end to put questions to many persons.
    If it is proved that animals too are homosexuals then homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality. And its acceptance in society will grow eventually. Let us unfold the science of it
    Today we live in a different era and there has come a sea change in our values. Today there has been great progress in a number of disciplines, whether it is science, or technology or philosophy or psychology or sociology or ethics. Of course we do not think the way our grandfathers thought and of course our sons and grandsons think differently. This is an evolutionary process.
    Today we never leave anything unaddressed or unquestioned. We live in an age of doubt. Whether it is about the existence of God or any other ethical questions or sex we never refrain from asking. This is the age of science and our children were born in the eve of it and their logical minds always love questioning.
    What makes them distinguishably scientific minded is their birth at a time which is scientifically and technologically significant in point of fact. And the age demands more daring from them
    Last edited by blazeofglory; 04-18-2010 at 11:10 PM.

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  2. #2
    Pirate! Katy North's Avatar
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    Why yes, Blaze, certain kinds of animals do have homosexual relations:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/p4021223452r617q/
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  3. #3
    biting writer
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    What is this with the constant focus on same sex orientation? I find the question offensive and think the OP needs to reconsider how he wishes to promote discussion. I seriously doubt that any animal, even the apes most related to us, cognate on sexual activity as good or bad, right or wrong.

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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Well compared to the other primates, which are our closest relatives and thus the most important to look at, homosexual acts are completely common place in pretty much all the other primates.

    Chimps - yes
    Bonobo - yes
    Gorillas - yes
    Orangutans - yes

    Then you get some other examples
    Sheep - amongst males yes
    Dolphins - yes
    Several species of birds - yes

    In general it seems to be a trait associated with group living. It's adaptive benefit in different species is debatable. In dolphins and primates it is largely a bonding behavior used for social cohesion.

    Now whether this were "natural" or not in humans is completely irrelevant in my mind. However, if pressed to give an answer I would definitely say, yes it is natural. Moreover, every year there is more and more evidence supporting a hereditary cause. Male homosexuals have more maternal male homosexual relatives than paternal, they are more likely to be born later in life, and they are more likely to have older siblings. There are also other correlations like the length of the index finger being longer in homosexual populations. What this evidence seems to point towards is a genetically determined maternal effect. Environmental effects and upbringing still play a part though, as we see a great deal of diversity in human sexual behavior and even classifying people as homosexual or heterosexual usual is forced to rely on standards of self-identification.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanPip View Post
    There are also other correlations like the length of the index finger being longer in homosexual populations.
    But that correlation is not in and of itself evidence of any kind of set determinism, and I still think the OP is committing a fallacy in asking one huminoid species to put labels on other species on the evolutionary ladder.

    Anyone with pets know most animals live in the moment. They have not developed religions or moral guilt. That is our baggage.

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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozanny View Post
    But that correlation is not in and of itself evidence of any kind of set determinism, and I still think the OP is committing a fallacy in asking one huminoid species to put labels on other species on the evolutionary ladder.

    Anyone with pets know most animals live in the moment. They have not developed religions or moral guilt. That is our baggage.
    Not much in human behavior is going to be set deterministically, it's just too complex, but the existence of physical correlations is indicative of a genetic cause at some level.

    Anyway, I fully agree that there is no way to draw any moral or ethical decisions out of what occurs in nature. I'm not labeling animals that practice homosexual acts as gay in the cultural sense, just merely pointing out that the acts occur in other animals. I don't think human behavior is all that removed from animals for comparisons to be completely meaningless in explaining our behavior. After all, most of what we know about human cell biology and embryology is extrapolated from experiments conducted on mice. Animals are useless if we want to learn HOW we should live, but they are very useful for determining WHY we live the way we live.
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    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozanny View Post
    What is this with the constant focus on same sex orientation? I find the question offensive and think the OP needs to reconsider how he wishes to promote discussion. I seriously doubt that any animal, even the apes most related to us, cognate on sexual activity as good or bad, right or wrong.
    I would agree with Jozanny on this one.
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    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    The OP seems to think that homosexualty in animal seems to validate human homosexuality. I disagree that any comparison with animals can claim such validation - human issues are too complex, but my main objection is why should it matter? Adults make the choices they make, and I don't see why any justification is needed.

  9. #9
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozanny View Post
    What is this with the constant focus on same sex orientation?
    When a culture has been told that homosexuality is bad for thousands of years, the cultural construct becomes pretty hard to deconstruct in minds which have been thoroughly indoctrinated. The christian god killed a couple of cities for it, so it is clearly a Bad Thing. Most cultures have a bit a downer on it.

    On the other hand, I'm a believer that we're all a little bit like Tom Sawyer, who frequently felt gay!

    Surely, the example of men separated from women entirely proves this beyond a shadow of doubt? Some blokes in jail would kill you if you called them gay, but they will practice sodomy as an alternative to doing it for themselves. Boys in boarding schools? Sailors?

    If you feel a little bit gay but the biggest daddy in the universe says gayness is a Bad Thing, for which you will be killed or sent to hell - or both - it probably causes some pretty strange feelings.

    To see animals doing it will help with them understand that there is really no "natural" when it comes to sex.

    I'm ok with that.

    Of course, they could just go out and buy a dog!



    Quote Originally Posted by Jozanny View Post
    I find the question offensive and think the OP needs to reconsider how he wishes to promote discussion.
    I'm sure Blaze meant nothing defamatory in the way these questions are being asked - he's one of the good guys.

    He also is using English which infinitely better than my Nepalese, plus, he comes from quite different cultural norms.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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    Pirate! Katy North's Avatar
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    Of course, they could just go out and buy a dog!
    Tis true!

    We have two neutered male dogs.

    They both seem to think that the other is da sexiest being on the planet.

    I keep trying to explain to them that they can do anything they like to each other, as long as they do it behind closed doors.

    Neither of them seems to listen...
    Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson

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  11. #11
    I believe, as an anthropologist, that we are all, as human beings, bisexual. This sounds shocking at first, but it really isn't. If we are honest with ourselves and consider humans as the animals that we truly are, we must make evaluations. The bonobo chimpanzees that we share 98% of the same DNA with are "hypersexual" or bisexual animals. If we add in the variable of culture to the hypersexual habits of human beings, we are NOT all considered homosexual but I think some of us connect ourselves with hypersexual instincts. So, what I am trying to get at is that animals are not homosexual as much as they are hypersexual.
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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RingoLass View Post
    I believe, as an anthropologist, that we are all, as human beings, bisexual. This sounds shocking at first, but it really isn't. If we are honest with ourselves and consider humans as the animals that we truly are, we must make evaluations. The bonobo chimpanzees that we share 98% of the same DNA with are "hypersexual" or bisexual animals. If we add in the variable of culture to the hypersexual habits of human beings, we are NOT all considered homosexual but I think some of us connect ourselves with hypersexual instincts. So, what I am trying to get at is that animals are not homosexual as much as they are hypersexual.
    I don't think we can really say that humans are naturally pansexual. The capacity for sexual malleability is not necessarily indicative of a blank slate shaped entirely by culture. The common chimpanzee is just as related to the bonobo as we are, yet they don't display identical sexual behavior either.
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    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RingoLass View Post
    I believe, as an anthropologist, that we are all, as human beings, bisexual. This sounds shocking at first, but it really isn't. If we are honest with ourselves and consider humans as the animals that we truly are, we must make evaluations. The bonobo chimpanzees that we share 98% of the same DNA with are "hypersexual" or bisexual animals. If we add in the variable of culture to the hypersexual habits of human beings, we are NOT all considered homosexual but I think some of us connect ourselves with hypersexual instincts. So, what I am trying to get at is that animals are not homosexual as much as they are hypersexual.
    The DNA argument doesn't hold up. The % DNA similarity is close to a number of animals. Also, I am unconvinced about the human/ animal behaviour relationship. So some aspects of Bonobo activity may resemble human activity. But, separated as we are by a million years (?) in evolutionary terms, how close is he totality of Bonobo behaviour to human behaviour- a lot less than 98% I reckon.

  14. #14
    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    We had gay cats... unfortunatly both were unneutered and only indoor cats and well it got very very smell so we ended up getting rid of them when they started competing with spraying everything
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    The OP seems to think that homosexualty in animal seems to validate human homosexuality. I disagree that any comparison with animals can claim such validation - human issues are too complex, but my main objection is why should it matter? Adults make the choices they make, and I don't see why any justification is needed.
    Paulclem I think what blaze is pointing out is that in alot of cultures where homosexuality is seen as wrong it is seen as 'unnatural' but if it occurs in nature then it can't be unnatural right? Also carrying that possible thread of thought forward (and before this upsets anyone I want to say this - this is only one way of looking at it and if you really look at a religion any religion it not this simplistic at all) God created nature perfectly the only creature with free will and choice being human. Animals can not sin. Animals practice homosexuality, therefore homosexuality can not be wrong. Obviously though religious views on sexuality and sexual orientationn are far far far more complicated and conveluted than that.
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    Procrastinator General *Classic*Charm*'s Avatar
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    I think the real issue behind this question lies within the fact that there are only about two species other than humans that have sex for pleasure instead of reproduction. Animals don't look for romantic love the way people do, so an animal that may exhibit homosexual tendencies does not do so for the same reasons as a homosexual person. It's a scientific fact that homosexuals cannot have a child together, thus, their relationships are based on something outside the desire to reproduce. When animals exhibit sexual behaviour there is a biological or behavioural/psychological reason for it, not because they are seeking the romantic love/pleasure that is sought by humans.

    Edited to add that I by no means mean to sound like homosexuals are a different species haha, nor am I saying that what I've referred to as "homosexual tendencies" are chosen/ consciously done. Upon re-read, it sounded kind of harsh so I thought I'd try to clarify
    Last edited by *Classic*Charm*; 04-15-2010 at 08:48 PM.
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