Homosexuality necessary for survival of species ?

Lesbian albatrosses and bisexual bonobos have last laugh on Darwin

Charles Darwin argued that sexual preferences can shape the progress of evolution, creating displays, such as the peacock’s tail, that are inexplicable by natural selection alone.

It’s safe to say, however, that he did not anticipate the lesbian albatrosses of Hawaii. Nor bisexual bonobos. Let alone sadomasochistic bat bugs or the gay penguins of New York.

Homosexuality is so widespread among some animal species that it can reshape their social dynamics and even change their DNA, according to the first peer-reviewed survey of research on the subject.

From mammals to snails, and even nematode worms, homosexual behaviour is almost universal across the animal kingdom, and Californian scientists argue that it should be considered a selective force in its own right.

“The variety and ubiquity of same-sex sexual behaviour in animals is impressive — 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, molluscs and nematodes,” write Nathan Bailey and Marlene Zuk of the University of California, Riverside.

Animals engage in same-sex activity for a variety of reasons, ranging from the need for an alternative child-rearing strategy to mistaken identity. “Male fruit flies may court other males because they are lacking a gene that enables them to discriminate between the sexes,” Dr Bailey said.

“But that is different from male bottlenose dolphins, who engage in same-sex interactions to facilitate group bonding, or female Laysan albatrosses that can remain pair-bonded for life and co-operatively rear young.”

See

Lesbian albatrosses and bisexual bonobos have last laugh on Darwin

Times Online

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Gay animals may help species survive, scientists claim

More than 450 species of animals display gay behaviour, scientists have found.

In a paper, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, they suggested that homosexuality among animals may be vital for the survival of the species.

“The variety and ubiquity of same-sex sexual behaviour in animals is impressive,” wrote the paper’s authors Nathan Bailey and Marlene Zuk. “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, molluscs and nematodes.”

“It’s been observed a lot,” Bailey, a post-doctoral researcher at University of California, Riverside continued. “But it took people a long time to put it in an evolutionary context.”

For traditional Darwinism, the notion of animals indulging in behaviour that will not result in procreation may seem confounding. However, Bailey and Zuk have argued that in many cases, gay behaviour in fact supports a species and can improve the chances of survival.

See Gay animals may help species survive, scientists claim PinkNews.co.uk

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In the  article  below  Wikipedia  cites  Bruce Bargemihl, himself   homosexual, who states  that  homosexuality has  been observed  in some 1,500 species.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

Homosexual behavior in animals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For homosexuality in humans, see Homosexuality.

Two female domestic dogs engaging in sex play.

Homosexual behavior in animals refers to the documented evidence of homosexual and bisexual behavior in various (non-human) species. Such behaviors include sexcourtshipaffectionpair bonding, and parenting among same-sex animal pairings. A 1999 review by researcher Bruce Bagemihl shows that homosexual behavior has been observed in close to 1,500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, and is well documented for 500 of them.[1][2] Animal sexual behaviour takes many different forms, even within the same species. The motivations for and implications of these behaviors have yet to be fully understood, since most species have yet to be fully studied.[3] According to Bagemihl, “the animal kingdom [does] it with much greater sexual diversity – including homosexual, bisexual and nonreproductive sex – than the scientific community and society at large have previously been willing to accept.”[4] Current research indicates that various forms of same-sex sexual behavior are found throughout the animal kingdom.[5] A new review made in 2009 of existing research showed that same-sex behavior is a nearly universal phenomenon in the animal kingdom, common across species.[6] Homosexual behavior is best known from social species. According to geneticist Simon Levay in 1996, “Although homosexual behavior is very common in the animal world, it seems to be very uncommon that individual animals have a long-lasting predisposition to engage in such behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual activities. Thus, a homosexual orientation, if one can speak of such thing in animals, seems to be a rarity.[7] One species in which exclusive homosexual orientation occurs, however, is that of domesticated sheep (Ovis aries).[8][9] “About 10% of rams (males) refuse to mate with ewes (females) but do readily mate with other rams.”[9]

The observation of homosexual behavior in animals can be seen as both an argument for and against the acceptance of homosexuality in humans, and has been used especially against the claim that it is a peccatum contra naturam (‘sin against nature’).[1] For instance, homosexuality in animals was cited in the United States Supreme Court‘s decision in Lawrence v. Texas which struck down the sodomy laws of 14 states.[10]

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