Should animal behaviour serve as a reference for human behaviour ?
The American Supreme Court seems to think so as it is said to have used
the book Biological Exuberance written by Canadian Bruce Bagemihl to
arrive at its decision to remove sodomy laws in the USA.
In Biological Exuberance the author reviews scientific articles about
homosexuality in non-human species.
To the best of this author’s knowledge the book itself is not peer-reviewed.
Books are rarely subject to peer-review, the usual method of determining
whether material meets the standard to be published as scientific in journals.
However experts in a field may review a book written about material in their field.
This area of work is likely to be new so there may not be many or any experts.
On their website Amazon publishes an editorial review and several user
The author is said to be himself homosexual. A brief profile may be seen at :
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: Biological Exuberance
Bruce Bagemihl is a biologist, linguist, and author. Best known for his critically acclaimed bookBiological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, he has published widely on subjects ranging from zoology to cognitive ethnomusicology to queer theory. Previously on the faculty of the University of British Columbia and a consultant to Microsoft, he currently lives in Seattle.
Although gay himself, Bagemihl says he did not write his landmark book (which he spent nine years researching) simply because of his own sexual identity but rather because “the implications for humans are enormous.” As if to echo this sentiment, his work on animal homosexuality was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas to demonstrate the naturalness of male-male sodomy. The law in question, which criminalized sodomy, was ruled unconstitutional.
Author of books:
Biological Exuberance, Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity (1999)
animal homosexuality and natural diversity
A Publishers Weekly Best Book
One of the New York Public Library’s “25 Books to Remember” for 1999
Review: Biological Exuberance
Editorial Review – Kirkus Reviews
A scholarly, exhaustive, and utterly convincing refutation of the notion that human homosexuality is an aberration in nature. Biologist Bagemihl, who formerly taught cognitive science at the University of British Columbia, argues persuasively that our current understanding of biology and evolution is tainted by a heterosexually biased interpretation of animal behavior. He intends as his audience both a scientific and a general readership; he reaches both with his clear and straightforward presentation. Focusing primarily on mammals and birds, and citing only strictly documented case studies, he firmly establishes in part one of this work that homosexual and transgendered behaviors occur widely in the animal world. Bagemihl’s definition of homosexuality includes a diverse range of activities organized under five headings: courtship, affection, sex, pair-bonding, and parenting. He views the challenge before us now as the need to abandon a traditional point of view, whereby “same-sex activity is routinely described as being ‘forced’ on other animals” or is viewed as a substitute for heterosexual coupling that occurs only when no other (i.e., no heterosexual) mate can be found as the first choice of those concerned. A new understanding of animal relationships should therefore also recognize that not all animal sexual activity is aimed at reproduction—we must reconsider traditional explanations of the links between reproduction, evolution, and natural selection. Part two is organized as a thorough reference guide to homosexual behaviors in individual animals and birds, complete with extensive examples and rigorous footnotes. Bagemihl does realize that some among us will never be convinced that homosexuality occurs freely and frequently in nature. But his meticulously gathered, cogently delivered evidence will quash any arguments to the contrary.
A small percentage (approx. 3%) of Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) have
been reported to play with and eat stool “scat”.
This activity is called “coprophagia” and is not uncommon among animals.
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Coprophagia /kɒp.rə.ˈfeɪ.dʒi.ə/ or coprophagy is the consumption of feces, from the Greek κόπρος copros, “feces” and φαγεῖν phagein, “to eat”. Many animal species practice coprophagia as a matter of course; other species do not normally consume feces but may do so under unusual conditions. Coprophagy refers to many kinds of feces eating including eating feces of other species (heterospecifics), other individuals (allocoprophagy), or its own (autocoprophagy), those once deposited or taken directly from the anus.