News Stories

The Gay Gene (Continued)

Two years ago we reported that biologists think that 8% of sheep are gay. A new museum exhibition in Oslo, Norway, documents the fact that 50 species of animals exhibit signs of homosexuality.

In LiveScience.com, Sara Goudarzi quotes museum coordinator Petter Bockman as saying, "Homosexuality has been observed in more than 1,500 species, and the phenomenon has been well described for 500 of them." Almost one-fourth of black swan families have homosexual parents, who raise the chicks from eggs donated by heterosexual pairs.

This confuses biologists, because it goes against the idea that species reproduction is intrinsic in nature. Anthropologist Linda Wolfe says that scientists tend to think that "if it doesn't have [something to do] with reproduction it's not important." But the pleasure to be obtained from sex could be an important factor that bonds members of a species together into a pack, which can act as a unit when defending itself or foraging for food.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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