10/13/2006                                                                                       View Comments

Gay animals condemned by Christians

The birds and the bees may be gay, according to the world's first museum exhibition about homosexuality among animals.

With documentation of gay or lesbian behaviour among giraffes, penguins, parrots, beetles, whales and dozens of other creatures, the Oslo Natural History Museum concludes human homosexuality cannot be viewed as "unnatural".

"We may have opinions on a lot of things, but one thing is clear -- homosexuality is found throughout the animal kingdom, it is not against nature," an exhibit statement said.

Geir Soeli, the project leader of the exhibition entitled "Against Nature", told Reuters: "Homosexuality has been observed for more than 1,500 animal species, and is well documented for 500 of them."

The museum said the exhibition, opening on Thursday despite condemnation from some Christians, was the first in the world on the subject. Soeli said a Dutch zoo had once organised tours to view homosexual couples among the animals.

"The sexual urge is strong in all animals. ... It's a part of life, it's fun to have sex," Soeli said of the reasons for homosexuality or bisexuality among animals.

One exhibit shows two stuffed female swans on a nest -- birds sometimes raise young in homosexual couples, either after a female has forsaken a male mate or donated an egg to a pair of males.

One photograph shows two giant erect penises flailing above the water as two male right whales rub together. Another shows a male giraffe mounting another for sex, another describes homosexuality among beetles.

BURN IN HELL

One radical Christian said organisers of the exhibition -- partly funded by the Norwegian government -- should "burn in hell", Soeli said. Laws describing homosexuality as a "crime against nature" are still on the statutes in some countries.

Greek philosopher Aristotle noted apparent homosexual behaviour among hyenas 2,300 years ago but evidence of animal homosexuality has often been ignored by researchers, perhaps because of distaste, lack of interest or fear or ridicule.

Bonobos, a type of chimpanzee, are among extremes in having sex with either males or females, apparently as part of social bonding. "Bonobos are bisexuals, all of them," Soeli said.

Still, it is unclear why homosexuality survives since it seems a genetic dead-end.

Among theories, males can sometimes win greater acceptance in a pack by having homosexual contact. That in turn can help their chances of later mating with females, he said.

And a study of homosexual men in Italy suggested that their mothers and sisters had more offspring. "The same genes that give homosexuality in men could give higher fertility among women," he said.

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10 comments:

Marion said...

Very interesting, but Aristotle was dead wrong. Female hyenas have enlarged clitorises. They are dominant in the pack. This did not penetrate the skull of (male) observers. What Aristotle thought were two male hyenas trying to mate were two female hyanes displaying 'mounting' behaviour. This mounting behaviour is more to do with establishing dominance in the pack than sexual pleasure.
I'll grant you bonobos, but lets not get carried away here. 'Male hyenas' indeed... Until fairly recently we couldn't even establish which was the male and which was the female with hyenas!

scapegoat said...

true enough Marion. I think the whole point is that the old black and white formula of Adam and Eve is now uneducateded nonsense.There is a whole world out there that humans are just beginning to discover. Lets hope the discovery continues.

.:webmaster:. said...

"Aristotle noted apparent homosexual behaviour."

Definition of the word apparent: according to appearances, initial evidence, incomplete results, etc.;

Leonard said...

Muahahahahaa....

I love this shit. :)

All fundies should be forced to read up on this. And man, two whales making sweet man-love... I´d pay to see that.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, this is great! Love the comment about the whales! Must have been sperm whales!! (Sorry, couldnt let that one go by!)

Fascinating how the more we discover about the natural world around us, through whatever our favorite "-ology", the more ridiculous fundyism appears.

No doubt homosexual behaviour in animals will get the "burn in hell" shrieks of indignation from the fundies.

The bonobos really are the mutts nuts though. I once heard them described as "hippy chimps"! Apparently they settle all their arguments and differences through sex....

twincats said...

I saw a documentary on the now-defunct :( Trio channel by a gay British reporter who was trying to study that very subject here in the US. One of the best clips is when he interviews some nature documentarians who openly admitted they filmed quite a lot of 'apparent homosexual behavior' in wild animals, but had to leave that footage out to get aired on Discover, Science Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic, etc.

Avie said...

I already knew there were gay animals. I have 10 cats and one of them is bisexual. He'll mount the other nine, but seems to prefer the males over the females. I had two dwarf hamsters that wouldn't mate with a female. They preferred each other. My grandfather was an avid hunter and told me of gay deer. Papaw's explanation made a lot of sense. He said that it happens when a population gets too large. It's nature's way to keeping a species from breeding themselves into starvation. And it is quite natural;)

nirrti said...

"The bonobos really are the mutts nuts though. I once heard them described as "hippy chimps"! Apparently they settle all their arguments and differences through sex...."


If only it were more acceptable for humans to do the same. Maybe we wouldn't have so much war. Can you imagine Bush and Kim Jong-il getting it on for the sake of nuclear dis-armenant? X^D

Dark Helmet said...

Giraffes too can be gay, on a trip I once saw a male trying to mount another one who didn't look very unwilling. I'm not sure if they know about sodomy but it was quite funny because I was with christian friends there. :D You should have seen the look on their faces...

Anonymous said...

I definately know that male cats in the humane association will mate with other having watched them do it although I dont know if they will do it if they can actually get at a female in heat.