No bias whatsoever in the above statement.
According to Roughgarden, sexual selection can't explain the homosexuality that's been documented in over 450 different vertebrate species. This means that same-sex sexuality—long disparaged as a quirk of human culture—is a normal, and probably necessary, fact of life.
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.
After cataloging the wealth of homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom two years ago in her controversial book Evolution's Rainbow—and weathering critiques that, she says, stemmed largely from her being transgendered—Roughgarden has set about replacing Darwinian sexual selection with a new explanation of sex.So going to a gay pride parade provides the epiphany for a new biological theory. I thought the only side effect of those parades were nausea.
Indeed, biology now knows better. Nobody is hornier than a female macaque or bonobo (which mount the males because the males are too exhausted to continue the fornication). Peacocks are actually the exception, not the rule.
Roughgarden first began thinking Darwin may have been in error after she attended the 1997 gay pride parade in San Francisco, where she had gone to walk alongside a float in support of transgendered people.
The more socially complex the animal, the more sexual "deviance" it exhibits. Look at primates: Compared to our closest relatives, contemporary, Westernized Homo sapiens are the staid ones.
According to Roughgarden, gayness is a necessary side effect of getting along. Homosexuality evolved in tandem with vertebrate societies, in which a motley group of individuals has to either live together or die alone. In fact, Roughgarden even argues that homosexuality is a defining feature of advanced animal communities, which require communal bonds in order to function. "The more complex and sophisticated a social system is," she writes, "the more likely it is to have homosexuality intermixed with heterosexuality."Right, I just want to go ahead and go kiss my neighbor right before I borrow his lawnmower.
Roughgarden remains defiant. "I think many scientists discount me because of whoI think they may be on to something.
I am. They assume that I can't be objective, that I've got some bias or hidden LGBT agenda."
Congrats Obama, that endorsement is going to help with the faithful.
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