Scientists at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the University of Rhode Island recently reported on the same-sex mating habits of Octopoteuthis deletron, a deep-sea squid that indiscriminately shoots sperm packets onto both male and female squids passing by.
O. deletron isn't alone in its same-sex sexual behavior. In a review article published in 2009, biologists Nathan Bailey and Marlene Zuk at the University of California, Riverside, noted that "many thousands of instances of same-sex courtship, pair bonding and copulation have been observed in a wide range of species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, mollusks and nematodes."
Some animals, when given a choice, show a preference for the same sex, and researchers have even ascribed a same-sex sexual orientation to members of certain species. Read on for some fascinating examples.
Jennifer Abbasi is a science and health writer and editor living in Brooklyn. Follow Jen on Twitter @jenabbasi and email her at email@example.com.
they are just curious. they dont have the proper intelligence to care about being gay. its all curiosity. humans turn to homosexuality because they choose to. they think it out. it is not necessary for survival. animals only care about the essentials in life in order for them to survive and mate. it is imprinted in our dna and other lifeforms to mate with others of the opposite sex in order to reproduce and survive to ensure survival of the species.
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
I believe Elton John was once quoted as he is not getting married to another man, but making a union or partnership. Marriage is a religious term.
The word “GAY " is a human social term as well, too.
It would be better, if this article use the correct terms as they apply to animals.
you're an idiot. its not some choice.
why would someone stay gay by choice, so they could be judged, persecuted, insulted, beaten, and even have the threat of death.....all by choice...
I do not agree at all with "JediMindset". No one would choose to have a sexuality that faces so much unjustified discrimination. No one would choose to be harassed or threatened or persecuted. Just as yjakez says, no one would choose that for themselves. Just like other natural traits, there may be a variety of causes both natural and environmental that ultimately determines an individual's sexuality, though I think genetic predisposition is the most prominent determining factor. The vast majority of individuals who identify themselves as being gay are not so because they choose to be, but rather it is how they were born. Straight and gay I also don't believe to be like an on or off switch. It is more like a sliding scale in which one may be born more one way or the other. Environmental and social factors may very slightly push someone a tiny bit one way or the other on this scale for a time (often at great stress to the individual), but it is not going to make a straight person gay or a gay person straight or otherwise significantly alter their sexuality over a prolonged time.
There has been some very serious scientific research that shows homosexuality may be a genetic disposition along the same lines as any other physical trait. If you believe sexual orientation is a choice try to change your mind, a straight person such as myself would have no more of an ability or desire to do so then a homosexual person would.
As far as the statement that people can be classified as intelligent or not based on religious views, many Nobel Prize winners for scientific contributions are profoundly religious people and some aethiest are complete morons.
We can however choose to be prejudiced and disrespectful, although that can be argued to be a result of low intelligence and hence not really a choice.
Yes, George, there are gay animals. Read "Sex In Nature" by Chris Catton & James Gray, published by Facts on File Publications - 1985. As the whole animal and mammal kingdom would say, "We're here, we're queer...get use to it."
Nature does not discriminate and it even uses homosexuality to control populations where food is scarce. Welcome to planet Earth.
I am having problems of finding the name George above. Does anybody else see a George?
Why those are homosexual and why not is equal to asking every single 7 billion people on earth, why they do what they do. We vary so much in individuality, environment, and social factors. It could be a force biological choice for some and it could be a real personal choice for others and also the environment social surroundings could affect your choices too. I find this question impossible to answer.
But I do believe in people right to choose and live a normal life. L&L&L. Live and Let Live and continue to Learn in life.
Now to why animals make variety in sexual choices, I have not a clue either and it is as much a mystery for me.
blue the george he was referring to is jedimindsets pic.
does anyone here believe that evolution is true? if so why would any "gay" animals still exist?
i believe that your surrounding environment can some sort of impact on your sexual orientation. that and genes. im not saying that its always a chose. everyone one is different. ive know homosexuals that chose to be gay because women treated them like trash. they were not "born" gay. they were just angry that all women. so once again they are not all "born" gay. sometimes they might be but not all the time.
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
Humans are not just animals, and i think anyone who justifies there behavior on the fact that wild animals do it two is definitely looking in the right place to learn how to behave
First of all, humans are animals...period. Mammals to be more exact.
Second of all, homosexuality is not a choice. Duh. You can however choose to do a sexual act that is homosexual in nature even if you are heterosexual.
And lastly, why would anyone choose to be gay? It is harder to be that way because of society, so anyone who says it is a lifestyle choice is ignorant, or just plain stupid. And the people who do say it is a choice are never gay...so hmmmm.....what does that tell us?
"The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain."
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
is ignorant. I have a 142 IQ and I'm a Christian. I'm also gay. I'm also left handed, blond haired and blue eyed. I'm a statistical anomaly.
Ya, homosexuality is not a choice. If it were, I would sooo choose to be gay! Admit it, life would be so much easier if we didn't have to deal with women. I just can't stand the thought of doing anything sexual with another dude. But if you like doing that, more power to you and just know that I'm jealous that you found out how to beat the system! :)
If your IQ really was 140+ you would know that an IQ test is a poor indexer of intelligence. I have an IQ of 132, so I might just be too stupid to be compared to you but IQ tests do not account for my business skills and "streets smarts" or even my emotional intelligence. In fact it doesn't even even predict my scholastic potential. What does this mean? IQ is a poor indicator of intelligence as a whole! Research it!!!
Regardless of this you're still an anomaly, not not because of your genetic composition, but because you have the sanity to publicly admit your orientation as you attempt to break a social taboo, brought upon, partially by your own religion.
I read your characteristics and I think you A-O-K! No worries! ;)
I am statically a square, with a pie in the face. Stuff happens and yes we all feel odd on some days, lol!
Ptssss, ptsss, I said the word square and pie, because this is POPSCI and these people like these words. Say SKYNET, Robotics, Autonomous, Cosmos, Neutrinos or Faster than Light and you will get a giant WAVE like at a football game, lol. ;)
@azaria, if you have such a high IQ then you must read alot and since you claim to be Christian then you would know that in the Bible, homosexuality is condemned in multiple books and time periods. You can't pick and choose.
"Homosexuals shall not inherit the Kingdom of God," should have tipped you off a little. I'm not criticizing anyone, but I'll stand up for what I believe.
As for animals and humans being gay, survival of the fittest and most eagerly to adapt would have killed off any chance of being gay in genetics along time ago. Two gay men can't have a baby therefore the genetic error ends there. It is not passed on.
I had to putmy two cents in. I know MANY gay people with their own children. There are plenty that don't realize they have been living a lie pretending to the world they are straight. They find out (through great pai nand misery) so late into the game after they have already had children. The argument that the "gay" gene can't happen just because gay people can't reproduce is lacking the right information. Not everything is as black and white as you think it is. The question this brings up to you now would be, well how did they have kids with the opposite sex if it truely isn't a choice. Have you ever heard of peer pressure? Except this isn't just peers. This is family, friends, religion, the world. Beating down on your mind, telling you that you HAVE to be this way. It's like this or you go to hell. Damnation, destruction, etc. etc. etc. Thats a lot of pressure and that can make people do things they wouldn't normally do.
I tell you clearly and I tell you now from my heart, I care about you, your family and all those around you, your friends. You are beautiful and are much deserving of caring and love! You and yours are in my prayers! I wish good things for you and yours! Be yourself, be kind to others, live your OWN proudly life! I am on your side!
@Imongi, you probably believe in evolution so your argument doesnt matter. Humans have been around long before peer pressure even mattered. The gene would have been lost millions of years ago before the concept of gay existed. Let alone spoken language.
@titans3775 genes can be dormant and not active for several generations. also its common to be a carrier of a gene and never know it.
clay aiken, gay. father. ur argument doesnt matter
30k years is more than a few generations. If it doesn't come out in that amount of time it will never see the light of day.
I apologize ahead of time for the long post. BUT if you read the first few lines you will see the relevance. its shows the ABSOLUTE ignorance of people like TITTAN3775
"In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, which was posted on the Internet.
Dear Dr. Laura: Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination .... End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them. 1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians? 2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? 3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness -Lev15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense. 4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them? 5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it? 6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination? 7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here? 8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die? 9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves? 10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging. Your adoring fan, James M Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian)"
I believe people may be over-thinking this one. It's obvious that both human beings and animals engage in homosexual behavior for pleasure. The question with animals is do they bond in more or less the same way as human beings who identify as homosexual? In other words, are they only having sex for pleasure or are they capable of truly approaching a homosexual relationship in the same way they would approach a heterosexual relationship?
The trouble that I think many people have when pondering this question is that love is a powerful emotion. So much so that we tend to place undue significance upon it, as if it were something mystical or spiritual. When in reality it's biochemically motivated.
We can't ask an animal to relate to us its thoughts on love. However, we can infer from their behavior whether or not it is plausible to assume that homosexuality in some animals goes beyond pleasure.
It turns out that there are some animals which are known to produce individuals who are exclusively homosexual. They won't mate with the opposite sex, only the same sex.
It seems counter-intuitive for exclusively homosexual individuals to persist in a population. But as they do exist and actually represent a significant portion of some populations, we need to ask ourselves how this can be reconciled with the basic tenets of evolutionary theory.
Just off the top of my head, one possible explanation for the benefits of homosexuality to a population:
Homosexuality serves a beneficial purpose to the species at a cost to the individual. There are many instances of this in nature, although there isn't sufficient evidence at this time to suggest a mechanism by which homosexuality may be beneficial in this way.
Having said that, a possible (yet unproven) explanation might be environmental pressures as a trigger for homosexuality. It may be that certain stressors within a population result in the increased expression of homosexual tendencies. Homosexuality could be an evolutionarily developed countermeasure to overcrowding, for instance.
I'm not saying this is how it is, but I don't think people who say that homosexuality can't be reconciled with evolutionary theory are really thinking this through. I mean you don't honestly believe that homosexuals are incapable of feeling love, do you? But since they do, how do we explain the fact that they persist in the population?
They exist. They aren't making a choice or purely seeking pleasure (as evidenced by animals who also engage in exclusively homosexual behavior). And there's no evidence to suggest that it's in decline and will eventually weed itself out of the population.
Wouldn't that require us to seek an evolutionary mechanism for homosexuality? Wouldn't you have to ask yourself at that point, "How do I explain this?" We're past the point of denial here, aren't we?
Maybe those animals are just too stupid to understand what their sexual reproductive organs are for.
It's kinda like trying to feed yourself through your ear. LOL
Just a note to everyone, be careful how much you rely on the "Why would anyone choose to be gay?" argument. You make homosexuality seem like something a person should dread. All the talk about persecution would almost make it seem like homosexuality is something that one should be rescued from as if it were possible. (It might even start sounding like the racist question "Why would anyone want to be black?") While it may not be your intention, those of you who push this question are making the idea of being homosexual to be something loathsome and something that should be avoided at all costs.
The answer to the question "Why would anyone choose to be homosexual?" lies with those who make the choice to be homosexual. While there may be some evidence showing that people can be genetically predisposed to homosexuality there is no evidence (and it maybe impossible to show) that absolutely no one can choose to be homosexual no matter how terrible the consequences of being homosexual might seem to others.
Besides, there are people who may be homosexual but choose to be heterosexual for any number of reasons (family pressure, religious beliefs, societal pressure). Does it really defy all logic and reason that someone could choose to be homosexual? If that were the case would the consequences of that choice be so terribly horrific that no sane person could ever make such a choice?
A couple of points:
Evolution: In a social species like humans, evolution may actually favour populations which have a certain percent of non-child producing adults- thus favouring a certain number of gay people. Especially in olden days when families were closer knit. A gay aunt or uncle that helps raise a child of their siblings may have more chance of their family genes being passed on then if they were to have their own children competing for the resources- in which none of the children may have enough to prosper and reach reproductive age.
Many birds have similar traits where they will help close relatives raise their young. Many species may have ancestors that do this.
If you think of the honeybee as a classic example- the workers do not directly pass on their genes- but they help continue their own genetic line by helping their mother reproduce.
Driving Factors: who says it is one size fits all. As with most behavioural things; it is probably a combination of nurture and nature. Our genes and our environment probably both play towards our preference. Most likely it is not all one or the other.
As for animals vs humans: It seems birds, and monogamous species seem to fit more into the human definition. There may be more "movement" between preference in these animals than with humans because humans seem to be more likely to apply logic and label themselves as one or the other... one who labels himself straight or gay is likely to stick to that definition. We teach ourselves consciously or subconsciously that certain traits are desirable.
Even in humans though- people "change" preference as they learn to relabel themselves.
This is one of those issues where it doesn't matter what you believe - facts are facts: The concept of marriage has existed throughout countless human societies, religions and legal systems. If marriage spans myriad cultures and thousands of years of written history, then it cannot exclusively be a religious institution. Defining marriage through religion is simply ignorant and narrow minded.
Regarding homosexuality in general, people are more dishonest with themselves then they realize - if you believe you can choose your sexuality, then you are probably some flavor of bisexual (or a closeted homosexual). I didn't choose to be straight, I just don't find any pleasure in intimacy with men - that's not a choice, it just is.
But then again Neil deGrasse Tyson said it best: Labels are mentally lazy ways by which people assert they know you without knowing you.
Here's my theory. Take it for what it is.
Homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom and subsequently in human nature is derrived from the domination aspect of sexual intercourse as it happens with animals.
According to a study about the purpose behind the development of [human] female orgasms, females have not always had the biological capability to respond to intercourse orgasmically. It's also well known that in the animal kingdom, and with prehistoric human species, that males forcefully have intercourse with females. This being the origin of courtship being a chase for men.
To put things into perspective, within the animal kingdom there is also a structure of hierarchy that is determined by strength. Those at the top of the hierarchy are designated the Alpha male. Other than the fact that they tend to have prime choice over food, shelter, and mating, when challenged, a dominating male may end a violent conflict by sexually penetrating another male as an animalistic act of dominance, solidifying there place in the hierachy. Such behavior serves to psychologically deter the challenger and any others from disturbing the order.
Much like the theory that females have evolved to experience orgasms in sexual intercourse as a psychological motivator behind reproduction, homo-sexual behavior in modern humans is probably nothing more than a psychological evolution of the experience of pleasure in homosexual domination as a means to survive an otherwise psychologically traumatic experience. In every relationship, there is a dominant spouse and a recessive spouse. This paradigm is indescriminant to heterosexual or homosexual relationships, male or female; the two roles depends on the people.
Sense the same rules do not apply to the animal kingdom, homosexual activity is simply nothing more than a biologically developed behavior of dominance that in this stage of evolution may also exist as an instinctual action as much as a deliberate one.
This is not new. Homosexual erotic behavior has been documented in primates since at least the 1950's. Of course, the new research is interesting, but gay animals are nothing new.