Male big horn sheep live in what are often called “homosexual societies.” They bond through genital licking and anal intercourse, which often ends in ejaculation. If a male sheep chooses to not have gay sex, it becomes a social outcast. Ironically, scientists call such straight-laced males “effeminate.”
Giraffes have all-male orgies. So do bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, and West Indian manatees. Japanese macaques, on the other hand, are ardent lesbians; the females enthusiastically mount each other. Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, are similar, except that their lesbian sexual encounters occur every two hours. Male bonobos engage in “penis fencing,” which leads, surprisingly enough, to ejaculation. They also give each other genital massages.
As this list of activities suggests, having homosexual sex is the biological equivalent of apple pie: Everybody likes it. At last count, over 450 different vertebrate species could be beheaded in Saudi Arabia. You name it, there’s a vertebrate out there that does it. Nevertheless, most biologists continue to regard homosexuality as a sexual outlier. According to evolutionary theory, being gay is little more than a maladaptive behavior.
All of the above is contrary to the teachings of almost every religious order. After all if homosexuality is ‘morally abhorrent’ why would God make so many animals that were gay. Unfortunately, just like everything else that seems to contradict most established religions these days(..hmmm wonder that might say about established religion…), it just so happens to be true. Most people are unaware of this, and assume that male animals lick one anothers balls because the animals have poor eyesight and mistake testicles for grass (think of this as the animal version of the George Michael defence).
Knowledge of homosexuality in other species has been around ever since Darwin and is no secret, although established Religious orders generally don’t go out of their way to promote knowledge of this. Despite all of this, a teacher has been suspended for providing the above article to his class as an optional reading assignment, a parent complained and the teacher was suspended. In the article the scientist puts forward a proposition that homosexuality might be essential to evolution, and this proposition requires the author to go into some detail:
Japanese macaques, an old world primate, illustrate this principle perfectly. Macaque society revolves around females, who form intricate dominance hierarchies within a given group. Males are transient. To help maintain the necessary social networks, female macaques engage in rampant lesbianism. These friendly copulations, which can last up to four days, form the bedrock of macaque society, preventing unnecessary violence and aggression. Females that sleep together will even defend each other from the unwanted advances of male macaques. In fact, behavioral scientist Paul Vasey has found that females will choose to mate with another female, as opposed to a horny male, 92.5% of the time. While this lesbianism probably decreases reproductive success for macaques in the short term, in the long run it is clearly beneficial for the species, since it fosters social stability. “Same-sex sexuality is just another way of maintaining physical intimacy,” Roughgarden says. “It’s like grooming, except we have lots of pleasure neurons in our genitals. When animals exhibit homosexual behavior, they are just using their genitals for a socially significant purpose.”
If you said to me that you can’t take the researcher’s opinion as fact I would have to agree with you. The researcher has taken the occurrence of homosexuality in animals and drawn an alternative conclusion to Darwin. However, given the prevalence of homosexuality in the animal kingdom it does not seem an unreasonable conclusion to make.
It is tempting to defend the teacher on the specifics of the case, namely that the essay was optional reading, or on the grounds that the above does not necessarily contradict God’s teachings (for example, just because the hunger for human blood is built into numerous animal species, doesn’t mean God wants us to become cannibals). Good points both, but personally I don’t think we should have to use them. The fact is, even if it was a compulsory assignment and contradicted the teachings of God it should have been allowed. It is not the public education system’s job to shield children from knowledge of homosexuality (or sexuality for that matter). It is to absolutely no public benefit whatsoever for 17 year olds (which is the other thing, these ‘kids’ are 15-17! WTF is the school board doing censoring content in this manner for 15-17 year olds??) to go around without knowledge of naturally occurring homosexuality in animals or to not know what the word ‘anus’ means. I was taught by a number of teachers whose political views I did not agree with…they referred all sorts of slanted information to the class (the Russian Revolution was great, Communism was awesome, etc etc) that I flat out disagreed with. However, I cannot say that I am poorer for having heard these views or that I automatically absorbed their opinions by osmosis. In fact, being challenged by these views taught me HOW to argue, and exposed me to a wider range of views that I later learnt how to kick the living shit out of.
As for the objection that the content is just too lewd for school, well that seems like a little bit of a straw man argument to me. Why, after all, should it be considered lewd unless you have a huge problem with homosexuality? Terms like ejaculation are not exactly secret (read a paper on In-Vitro Fertilisation sometime…) and 15-17 year olds should have a good knowledge of animal biology (and human biology) by the time they reach that age anyway. If a 17-year old is squeamish at the sight of the word ‘anus’ then that 17-year old is an idiot, of course a 17-year old would never complain about the word ‘anus’ so perhaps I should correct that: the 17-year old’s MUM is an idiot, period.