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A recent New York Times Magazine article by Jon Mooallem discusses the research and assumptions surrounding “gay animals”. One of the more interesting issues that becomes a thread in the story is how often humans anthropomorphize animals in particularity using sexual orientation as a way to either prove or demonize the legitimacy of homosexuality.
“we’re quick to conceive of that great range of activities in the way it most handily tracks to our anthropomorphic point of view: put crassly, all those different animals just seem to be doing gay sex stuff with one another. ”
Jon Mooallem goes further to explore further how it has effected sciences, in particularly challenging assumptions around efficient evolution.
“Homosexuality is a tough case, because it appears to violate that central tenet, that all of sexual behavior is about reproduction. The question is, why would anyone invest in sexual behavior that isn’t reproductive?” –— much less a behavior that looks to be starkly counterproductive. Moreover, if animals carrying the genes associated with it are less likely to reproduce, how has that behavior managed to stick around”
The article covers a lot of fascinating information about the prevalence of what may be considered “gay” behavior in animals but in the end highlights more importantly how this is often simply a human construct and …”results in slushy logic. It’s naïve to slap conclusions about a given species directly onto humans.”
(interesting note: Photos by Jeff Koons)