Gay Animals

People have said that animals only have sex for reproduction.  That may be the case.  But what about homosexual animals (or animals that engage in homosexual activity)?  What can we say in those cases?

It seems that we can only say one of two things.

  1. These animals are confused and they don’t know what’s going on.  They’re not normal.
  2. Perhaps there’s more to animal sexuality than we realize.  With this, maybe animals don’t have sex purely for reproductive purposes.

Think about this.  We are considered to be the most intelligent beings on Earth.  Things like worms, bacteria aren’t intelligent because they can’t reason.  However, it’s not purely black and white.  Dogs are much more intelligent than bacteria and worms, but not quite as intelligent as humans.  Pigs are considered intelligent creatures.  Chickens would certainly be considered more intelligent than worms, but not quite as intelligent as pigs or dogs.  In other words, there are different shades of intelligence that we could put on a scale.  Humans would be at the top of the scale, and plants or perhaps even rocks would be at the bottom.  All other living creatures would be somewhere in between.

The same thing could be said about Ugly and Beauty.  There is a definite scale and there are some things that aren’t totally ugly nor beautiful, but somewhere in the middle.

What if the same thing could be said about sexuality?  With humans, our sexuality isn’t just for biological purposes, but we have sub-categories that has its own niches for all sorts of groups and sub-groups.  There are myriads of sexual cultures: S&M, homosexuality, orgies, even sex toys has it’s own niche within human sexuality.  It’s all part of this culture.  I don’t think we can assume that non-human animals don’t have a sexual culture.  Now, it may not be as fully enriched as ours, but it isn’t a pure deadless culture either.  Bacteria don’t have a sexual culture, but other species like dolphins, pigs, prairie dogs, peacocks, monkeys have a range of activities.  But we say they only have sex for reproduction.  I think this is a false dichotomy.

Based on the alternatives above, number one seems to be false.  Out of all the animals in history, it seems unlikely that billions or even trillions of animals were simply “confused.”  I think number two seems to be the best option.  They have their own sexual culture and it isn’t purely for reproductive purposes.  Of course, it isn’t fully advanced or detailed as ours, but just like the scales of intelligence and the Ugly/Beauty have gray areas, I think sexuality can have gray areas too.

Who knows?  Perhaps some species have their own niche where humans aren’t even aware of, just like we have our own niches that animals could never comprehend.

Thus, I think it would be to biologists’ and zoologists’ benefit if we give up the idea that the only purpose of sexuality is for reproductive purposes, for all species.

About shaunmiller

I have just completed a visiting position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
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6 Responses to Gay Animals

  1. thekillerj says:

    You’re probably right. One of my dog still has his nuts. When Katchie and I take Scoot (the one with balls) and Troy over to my Mom and Dad’s house on Sundays to play with Smudge and Maxx, sexual culture comes in to play.

    Scoot is the smallest dog of the four, but routinely punks the other dogs by taking them down and humping them. It’s some prison shit! The little alpha male definitely isn’t confused, he’s dominant!

    It’s unfortunate that when I try this same behavior with our friends they call me gay. I’m just trying to dominate, that’s all.

  2. Katch says:

    This is interesting…. something that I never put any thought into. I think you might be on to something. So do you think that animals instincts just have more levels or do you not think the have any “animal instincts”? I want to make sure I am understanding this right.

  3. shaunmiller says:

    I think they have instincts, but that’s not all they have. We think of animals as purely instinctual, but I don’t think so. I think that there are various levels of sexuality (and possibly others like intelligence).

  4. Nicole says:

    Well, Sheila prefers to hump me over Tony for some reason. Does that make her a lesbo? I think it’s just because she’s more familiar with me since I hang out with her the most. But with the boy dogs upstairs, she totally whips her butt around for an invite.
    What about humans and animals? Does it matter if they have sex with a male or female human? Do you think they can even tell a difference? Watch this sick youtube clip:

  5. shaunmiller says:

    All I can say is wow!

  6. thekillerj says:

    That is ridiculously horrible. It’s like a train wreck for the ears.

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