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Study says nearly every species of animal engages in homosexual behavior

  1. Jun 16, 2009 #1
    I'm not sure if I should post this in the politics part of the forum. I found in an excellent source of information claims that dolphins, penguins, frogs and birds engages in homosexual behavior. I was wondering what remains of the argument that homosexuality is against Nature, such as, for instance, bestiality. I guess animals should be banned, as they should face the consequences of their freedom since they have rights.

    Since Cyrus forgot to post his series of questions, I'd like to have his opinion on this matter. I'd be honored if he contributed.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2009 #2


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    From what I've read, homosexuality is rampant in almost all mammalian species. Lower orders seem to opt for being hermaphroditic instead. Earthworms have both sets of sex organs, and are flexible enough to impregnate themselves if nothing better comes along. <Sigh of envy...>
  4. Jun 17, 2009 #3
    I already knew you were gay. SUPERRRRR
  5. Jun 17, 2009 #4
    I even remember an ignobel prize for the first pbservation of a case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck.
  6. Jun 17, 2009 #5
    I've got Milk. It was great.
  7. Jun 17, 2009 #6
    Are you saying Wiki is an excellent source of information or that this Wiki article is an excellent source? I'd agree with the former but the latter is lacking any evidential information. You should at least link to the article it was refering to.

    Sooo, animals should be banned, why? I had this dog, it would practice beastiality on a persons leg. Where are you going with this?

    I think I know. You want to say that homosexuality is natural behaviour. I read an article about the study. Homosexuals might find it offensive. They are claiming that the behaviour that they percieve as homosexual might be a necessary evolutionary ingredient. That homosexuality is a means for nature to selectively remove those genes from the species since it renders them to no longer be available for reproduction. Interesting concept.
  8. Jun 17, 2009 #7
    There seem to be multiple reasons for homosexuality among animals. For some it seems a matter of dominance. Others attempt mating with the same sex for lack of partners of the opposite sex (some animals, as Danger points out, are even capable of changing sex in such a situation). And among at least one species, the bonobo, it seems to be a matter of social bonding.
  9. Jun 17, 2009 #8
    The idea of homosexuality as being "against nature" is probably a poorly defined concept to begin with, so this study seems to identify poor logic on the part of some in the anti-homosexual crowd more than it invalidates any political position (probably concerning marriage) that they hold. I can certainly agree that it's foolish for people to argue that homosexual relationships are morally wrong on the basis that they are somehow unnatural, or to rule out the possibility that homosexuality is an inherited trait. However, humans already do a lot of "unnatural" things, like flying in planes, communicating on Internet forums, and building giant particle accelerators. It would be no large leap of logic to say that the human confinement to heterosexual relationships, while equally unnatural, is still not a bad idea. Heck, I once saw a secular blogger argue without any religious basis that homosexual marriages should not be legal. I hope that no scientifically-minded person will illogically make some moral judgment concerning homosexuality on the basis of studies on gay animals. Since when were we trying to emulate animals?
  10. Jun 17, 2009 #9
    For the record, this discussion has been moved from GD. I agree with TheStatutoryApe that homosexual behavior can have multiple reason.
    I was just being ironical.
    Same-sex sexual behavior and evolution
    Trends in Ecology & Evolution
    In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 17 June 2009
    Nathan W. Bailey, Marlene Zuk
    That's really what I wanted to say, and I was seriously happy that religious arguments do not hold anymore in the face of science. :smile:
  11. Jun 17, 2009 #10
    Just because it is natural, that is, occurs frequently in nature, does not mean it is morally good; infanticide occurs frequently in nature, yet you would hardly argue that is morally good. The same criticism applies to the other side, of course. Just because something does not occur frequently in nature does not mean that it is immoral. Monogamy and modern medicine, for instance, is not particularly natural, yet few religious conservatives would say that monogamy is immoral. Also, just because something is immoral does not mean that it cannot occur in nature. Just because murder is immoral (say), does not mean that the idea of the noble savage is reasonable. Moreover, humans are animals as well and all considerations that apply to animals by virtue of their classification will apply to humans as well.

    As a final nail in the coffin to this sort of thinking is that one cannot neither descriptively or prescriptively superimpose the behavior of one organism onto other organisms. The idea of a behavior being "natural" or "unnatural" is fundamentally not relevant to moral considerations regarding that particular behavior.

    I, too, get an enormous satisfaction when various anti-scientific projects get strongly refuted by science.

    However, the naturalist and moralist fallacies that are embodied in the claims that "homosexuality is natural, therefore not immoral" or "homosexuality is unnatural, therefore immoral" are not intrinsically particular religious in nature, but has been advanced by various anti-scientific worldviews, ranging from the religious right to academic left.

    The core idea that I want to put out there is that the claim that "homosexuality is unnatural, therefore immoral", should not be attacked by saying that homosexuality is natural, because that in itself does not ensure a positive moral status with the behavior due to the fact that i.) it is a form of denying the antecedent and that ii.) whether or not it occurs frequently in nature or not has no bearing on its moral status, since there are natural behaviors such as infanticide that no one considers moral and iii.) it is invalid to both descriptively and prescriptively superimpose behavior from one organism to another.

    Instead, it should be attacked and refuted by pointing out that unnatural does not imply immoral and that "does not occurs frequently in nature" is not a valid standard by which to measure moral propositions. As stated earlier, excellent examples is monogamy. It does not occur frequently in nature, yet few religious conservatives would argue that monogamy is morally wrong. By this approach, the position that "homosexuality is unnatural, therefore immoral" gets decisively refuted and if you are in a discussion with someone of the anti-homosexual lobby, it opens up venues which allows you to strike against the very idea of religious moral theories.

    After this defeat attempt to fall back on proper religious arguments (in the sense of actually being connected to religious beliefs), such as various permutations of "homosexuality is immoral because it is condemned in religious text X". From here, we can simply point out that their scripture (1) contains obviously contradictory moral propositions and (2) supports propositions, such as slavery and genocide, that are very hard for someone to defend. This is, in my opinion, an ultimate dethroning of religious texts or religious ideologies as a source or standard of morality. It could be an interesting road map to consider when debating members of the anti-homosexual lobby. It might not convince the true believers, but can give listeners who are on the fence a new perspective to consider.
  12. Jun 17, 2009 #11
    I found the article to be making stretches and trying to connect dots to arrive at a biased conclusion. For example, it showed a picture of a couple of female birds sharing a nest and a caption talking about this behavior when males were scarce. I showed this to my wife who is a biochemistry major, has worked many years at a veterinary clinic and grew up in the country around farm animals. She thought it was absurd. She said, "That isn't homosexual behavior, that's survival!".

    As the study seems to show, there are animal behaviours that humans exercise and call homosexuality but I'm having trouble connecting the human context with that of other species.
  13. Jun 17, 2009 #12
    Is same sex sexual relations a thorough enough qualifier for non-human animal homosexuality?


    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  14. Jun 20, 2009 #13
    I think the modern day intelligent animals like apes , chimpanzees , humans and baboons etc had a common ancestor which started to practice homosexuality in the wild. Lower oder animals does not practice homosexuality. Homosexuality is usually absent when the level of intelligence in an animal is low . like tigers or lions or elephants dont practice it.

    During the tribal development of this common ancestor it would have become necessary that
    animals of the same sex endure longer periods of time alone in the wild with the opposite sex animals totally missing. Then homosexuality might have started as a practice social bonding or sexual gratification. the same can be said to be true about modern day jails , bible seminaries , same sex hostels etc
  15. Jun 23, 2009 #14
    What part of the brain causes homosexuality? Is it confined to one region or is it in the DNA? It's kinda weird. I've heard gays have different brains, like parts of it are larger than that of straight people.
  16. Jun 23, 2009 #15
    I'm tempted to start a rumor that homosexual brains are softer and more pink than heterosexual brains.
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