Showing posts with label Gay Nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Nature. Show all posts

February 26, 2017

The Hunt for the Gay Whale




The Hunt for the Gay Whale

Can animals be gay? Hermione Cockburn investigates the biologists who say they can.

It may sound like a bumper sticker slogan but a new generation of zoologists are hunting for gay whales - and ducks, penguins and otters. They are painstakingly recording examples of frottage, group sex, self pleasuring and aspects of sexual behaviour which owe more to Fellini than Johnny Morris.

Classic Darwinian theory posits that sexual activity is procreational in nature and serves the needs of evolution. Whilst human beings often have recreational sexual activity, this is seen as an anomalous result of human enculturation. Animal sex is seen as having one purpose: breeding.

To that end, Darwin dismissed or recategorised animal sexual behaviours which did not seem to meet the procreational model. If a male animal studded on another it was categorised as "dominance behaviour."

But a new generation of zoological enquiry aims to re-examine animal sexual behaviour and address the tricky issue of animal sexuality, a topic which is seen by some zoologists as simply anthropomorphism, human projection onto animal behaviour.

Joan Roughgarden, a professor of biology at Stanford University catalogued hundreds of varieties of what she categorises as "homosexual" behaviour amongst animals for her book Evolutions Rainbow. These include male big horn sheep who bond through genital licking and anal intercourse, or bottle nose dolphins who cavort in all male sexual groups. Roughgarden claims to have discovered regular same sex contact in 450 different species, proving, she says that homosexuality, far from being an anomalous condition which seems to be an evolutionary dead end, is an adaptive trait that has been carefully preserved by natural selection.
radio episodeDuration: 28 mins
BBC 

November 16, 2016

Sex in the Bushes




In light of the Project Marie police sting in Etobicoke’s Marie Curtis Park, Daily Xtra is re-publishing an August 2004 piece by Vancouver’s former managing editor Gareth Kirkby, called, “Park Sex is a Good Thing.” 

While the piece is Vancouver-focused, the questions it raises, and the police intrusions it challenges, certainly apply to Toronto too.

In Project Marie, Toronto Police Services sent undercover officers into Marie Curtis Park for six weeks to look for sexual activity and arrest men who allegedly solicited the officers for sex. Police charged 72 people with 89 offences. 

Read Kirkby's piece below.
“Park Sex is a Good Thing” 

Why some like sex among the ferns or the beach

While some straights and gays like to make out in the perfumed rainforests or under the open sky, some others wonder why. With Surrey police now harassing gay cruisers at Bear Creek Park, the question hangs unspoken in many media reports.

Below is a wee peek at the culture of park sex, in a question-and-answer format. The questions reflect a few of the comments I've heard from people who don't get why it is that some prefer bushes to mattresses.

Q: Can't we stay out of the parks?

A: Why should we? Sex is fun. Some people like sex in a bed; others prefer it in more adventurous locations. Gays often make and meet friends in parks; there's a major social component to park cruising. All consensual sex is good sex, and we all have our kink. Straights do park sex, too-there are loads of heteros making out in cars at Prospect Point and Ferguson Point and, in summer months, on the beach along English Bay and False Creek. This is good, too. Straights even write songs about it, like "I Found My Thrill on Blueberry Hill." They also invented the 'Mile High Club' for coupling in airplane washrooms. Straights call this 'making out'. When gays do it, society calls it 'public sex' and sometimes treats it as abnormal. What's up with that?
Q: Isn't park sex, like bathhouse sex, mainly about self-loathing closeted men and older out gay guys?

A: Not by a long shot. Sure, many straight-identified married men begin to deal with their same-sex desire at the parks and tubs and in washrooms-and what's wrong with that? But many out, proud and happy gay men like parks and tubs, too. My recent informal survey found that the parks this summer have a profound cross-section of ages-from 20 to 80. In the last couple of years, the number of younger users has increased. Clearly, park cruising is not on the decline. Probably because park sex can be fun and can enrich your life.

Many people go to parks because they're free: other ways of meeting friends or sex partners cost money-for example, restaurants, cafés, bars, bathhouses, phone-sex lines.

Q: Now that we have our rights recognized, won't we see people giving up this stuff? I thought it was a sign of internalized homophobia.

A: No, it's a sign that some people find it fun. Parks all around the world, in liberal countries and oppressive countries, are meeting places for gay men. I doubt if that will ever change-it's been happening for centuries. In countries where they clamp down on park sex, including places where police or death squads arrest and sometimes kill men for having sex in a park, men still go. It's a fact. We all need to deal with it.

Q: But I don't see why the cops should be expected to keep people safe when they're engaged in an illegal act.

A: We in the gay community get used to being second-class citizens; we accept a standard that others wouldn't-such as looking over our shoulders all the time before holding our lover's hand. If a straight couple was murdered by a fiend with a chainsaw at Prospect Point-or Bear Creek Park-do you think the straight community would suggest that they shouldn't have been making out at that location? Not a chance! They'd be calling for the arrest of the killer before others are killed. We have the right to feel safe wherever we are and we don't even feel safe at Davie and Burrard at night.

Police can keep us safe, while not interfering with our making out. We should stay off the roadway and other high-traffic areas while making out-that's just stupidity. Park staff should leave thick vegetative cover in gay cruising areas, instead of thinning them out and then inviting police to arrest people who have now been made visible. If the making out is kept off the trails, police should leave us alone. What's out of sight should be out of mind. We all know cops don't enforce all the laws they see violated on any one day. The anti-sex laws date back to a time when the whole Criminal Code reflected biblical principles; we've come a long way. Violence should be policed; consensual sex not.

Q: But these guys don't represent me. They embarrass me. They're not a part of the 'normal' gay community, are they?

A: Well, you don't represent them either and some of them might be embarrassed by 'Respect Queens.' Let's remember that all gays were considered abnormal just a few years ago. So, we should be the last to judge each other. Hey, it was the drag queens, leather men, public sex aficionados, hustlers and SM dykes who were the first out of the closet, building community, and fighting for our rights for a couple of decades. Our rights, by the way, to have sex our way. They won some of those rights and created the geography where other, more mainstream, gays and lesbians could feel comfortable coming out. We owe it all to these folks, not to the 'respect queens' who try to distance themselves from anything other than vanilla sex practiced by longterm couples in their own bed. We're a diverse community, and we should be supporting each other's choices about where to make love and how and with how many, rather than dividing into "good gays" and "bad gays." For that matter, a recent study found that only two percent of Vancouver's gay males are in longterm relationships of over seven years' duration. I think park sex is probably as 'normal' as any other way of relating in our community. Let's stop being mean to each other over how we make love.

Q: Doesn't anything bother you about park-sex lovers?

A: Actually, I think it's important to stay off trails. And I think gays, including park sex aficionados, need to be nicer to each other in public. We need to use condoms. We need to clean up after ourselves, not littering. We need to smile at each other more. And we need to look out for each other out there. If you hear someone yelling, grab a couple more gay people near you and run to help.

There's safety in numbers. We need lots of people using parks so that each individual cruiser is safer. If you’re a park lover, I say be careful out there, watch out for each other out there, but don’t let this stop you from living your life fully in the way you desire.



Read Gareth Kirkbys original piece here.
If you were charged at Marie Curtis Park during Project Marie, contact lawyer Marcus McCann at mccann@ssmlaw.ca

April 20, 2016

These Two Gay Lions Do More than Kiss



Nicole Cambré/Rex Shutterstock

There is not much to  comment for this video, except that some have been tremendously moved  and others have said the lighter one is a female that looks like a male.  I think you will be able to see it, enjoy it, be amazed by it and see how they do it. I just posted about them a day ago: two-male-lions-madly-in-love-with-each-other  without the video. I got the video today and here it is….
Click and be amazed at some lovemaking in the jungle:

April 18, 2016

Two Male Lions Madly in Love with Each Other




A pair of lions apparently mating in a Botswana safari park has captured the attention of the internet — and has thrown a wrench in the argument that homosexuality is somehow unnatural.
The photograph is one in a series depicting two male lions in Botswana's Lagoon Camp area, captured last month by Nicole Cambré, a Belgian lawyer and award-winning photographer. Her full photo series can be viewed on her website.
Cambré said that despite the presence of lionesses, the two males appeared to be engaging in homosexual behavior. She recounted the experience in a statement to the Huffington Post.
"According to our guide they had only started their behaviour that same week. These intruder males had pushed out the resident males earlier in the year and the other female lions had headed into the Mopani woodlands, an area difficult to access with a safari vehicle. Only one lioness was seen in the centre of the concession where the male lions were and the lions showed no interest in the lioness leading to the assumption that she may have been pregnant. One of the lions was wearing a collar and our guide thought that they may have crossed from Namibia. It is the first time I have seen homosexual behaviour in lions but when reading about it upon my return, it is not that uncommon. With the light just around sunset, it gave some spectacular images."
Homosexuality among lions has been observed before, and it's thought that the behavior reinforces bonds and allegiances between lions. But similar behavior has cropped up in many more species.
LionsYOUTUBE - YOUTUBE.COM
There's research to suggest that homosexual behavior in animals is perhaps more common than previously believed, as one 2012 Yale Scientific article posited. And in 2004, National Geographic filmmakers observed female Japanese macaques engaged in intimate activity.
"The team caught female Japanese macaques engaged in intimate acts which, if observed in humans, would be in the X-rated category," the report noted at the time.
The report also speculated that the homosexual behavior observed in the macaques may have been motivated by a more complex social impulse. "Taking something that's nonreproductive, like mounting another female — if it leads to control of a resource or acquisition of a resource or a good alliance partner, that could directly impact your reproductive success," Amy Parish, a primatologist, suggested at the time.
Whether it's to control a resource and get a leg up on reproductive success, or purely for pleasure, homosexuality in the animal kingdom is apparently far from unnatural.

April 1, 2012

Can A Stroke turned him gay?


Rugby jock says 

By
Ryan Jaslow  .cbsnews.com
CAROUSEL: brain scan mri xray stroke tumor dementia alzheimers concussion(Credit: istockphoto)
(CBS) Strokes can have strange consequences. Some stroke victims wind up with different accents, others with different personalities. Chris Birch said he discovered he was gay when he woke up after a stroke.
The 26-year-old Welshman suffered a stroke after breaking his neck while attempting a back flip at a gym,The Daily Mail reported. His then-fiancée and family stayed by his side, but when he woke, something had changed.
"It sounds strange, but when I came round I immediately felt different," Birch told the paper. "I wasn't interested in women any more. I was definitely gay. I had never been attracted to a man before - I'd never even had any gay friends."
Before the stroke, Birch was a banker who loved playing rugby, watching sports, and drinking beer with his buds. After the stroke, he found he had little in common with his blokes, quit his job to train as a hairdresser, and started dating a man.
"I went back to my job in the bank and tried hard to fit back into things but it didn't seem right anymore," Birch told The Mirror last month. "Suddenly, I hated everything about my old life. I didn't get on with my friends, hated sport, and found my job boring."
He also focused more on his appearance, lost a lot of weight - and became more confident.
Birch's neurologist told him the changes in his personality could be from the stroke "opening up" a different part of his brain, according to the Daily Mail.
What do experts have to say - can a stroke really turn you gay?
Dr. Ira G. Rashbaum, professor of rehabilitation medicine and chief of stroke rehab at NYU Langone Medical Center, wouldn't speculate on this specific case since he wasn't involved in Birch's care, but he told CBS News that it's quite common to see personality changes in patients following a stroke.
Rashbaum said some recovering stroke patients might experience anxiety, depression, or difficulties paying attention. In some cases if a stroke affects the brain's frontal lobe - which controls inhibition - a previously quiet person might become angrier, suddenly telling others off.
But a full-blown personality change?
"This is a more rare circumstance, certainly not a common thing" he told CBS News. He added that profound personality changes usually aren't permanent following rehabilitation with a team that might include psychologists and social workers.
Joe Korner, director of communications for The Stroke Association in the U.K., told CBS News in an email that he's never personally heard of a stroke changing someone's sexuality, but he doesn't doubt the stroke had some impact on Birch's life.
"Strokes are traumatic, life-changing experiences, which can make you reassess life and your feelings so perhaps that's the reason behind it," Korner said. "Whether or not the stroke turned Chris gay, or whether he was gay anyway but unaware of it, his experience seems to be a positive one, which is great."


 

By Neal Broverman Advocate:


CHRIS BIRCH X390 (UK MIRROR) | ADVOCATE.COM
Chris Birch
After breaking his neck attempting a backflip and then suffering a stroke, Welshman Chris Birch went from a sports-loving heterosexual to an out and proud homosexual, or so he says.
Birch made headlines last month in the United Kingdom when he told The Mirror about his accident and subsequent reversal of orientation.
"It sounds strange, but when I came round I immediately felt different," the 26-year-old told the paper. "I wasn't interested in women any more. I was definitely gay. I had never been attracted to a man before — I'd never even had any gay friends."
Birch then became more obsessed with his appearance, which he believes is a gay trait. He also started training to be a hairdresser. CBS News asked Britain's Stroke Association if the organization was familiar with someone "becoming gay" after a stroke — not really, officials with the group responded, but they did say people often reassess their lives after such an ordeal. Read more here. 

December 13, 2011

The Gay Gene


 Faye Flam
www.philly.com/evolution.




Most scientists who study human sexuality agree that gay people are born that way. But that consensus raises an evolutionary puzzle: How do genes associated with homosexuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?
Some gays and lesbians do reproduce, said Pennsylvania State University anthropologist and geneticist Mark Shriver, but not as much as straight people do. Even if a gene decreases people's fertility by 1 percent, it's going to be eliminated.
Scientists offered some possible answers to this mystery earlier this month at a Penn State symposium on the biological basis of sexual orientation. The seminar was planned weeks before the child sex-abuse scandal broke, and organizers said they never considered scrapping the program. How, they asked, could anyone fault them for talking about sex amid a scandal that centered on the failure to talk?
Not that the day lacked controversy and even anger. Several audience members said they were upset, or even "horrified" after Penn State's Shriver suggested that unraveling the biology of sexual orientation could lead to ways for parents to increase or decrease their odds of having a gay child.
Shriver made that forecast in response to a talk by University of Toronto psychiatry professor Ray Blanchard, who presented survey data showing that men with older brothers were more likely to be gay.
Blanchard, who treated patients at the university's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said he didn't think it was likely that parents would be rushing to alter a fetus' sexuality.
But antigay prejudice is still common in America. That was made clear last week in the responses to President Obama's promise to use foreign aid to discourage countries such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Uganda from executing gays.
"Just when you thought Barack Obama couldn't get any more out of touch with America's values . . . this administration's war on traditional American values must stop," responded Republican presidential contender Rick Perry.
At the meeting, researchers assumed that science would encourage tolerance. That has been the long-term trend, said Blanchard.
For most of the 20th century, he said, the medical community wrongly said homosexuality was rooted in childhood experience. That came from Freud and also from the school of psychology known as behaviorism, pioneered by that famed rat researcher B.F. Skinner. The behaviorists thought homosexuality was a mental illness that could be cured, usually by giving electric shocks and other painful stimuli to try to create an aversion to homosexual thoughts.
The psychotherapists used a different technique and told patients it would work only if they really wanted to change, Blanchard said. "I'm sure it didn't change anybody." Nevertheless, both types of therapy were common practice into the 1970s.
Gradually, Freud and Skinner fell from prominence and people started thinking that DNA could influence sexual orientation. In the 1980s, a geneticist named Dean Hamer studied 40 pairs of brothers in which one or both were gay. He found a particular stretch of DNA on the X chromosome that was shared more often when both brothers were gay. When he published the results in 1991, it became known as "the gay gene," though Hamer has objected to this as an oversimplification.
Still, it immediately raised questions about natural selection, said Blanchard. "If there was a gene, then why isn't it flushed out of the population?" he said. "People still wrestle with it."
Studies that attempted to replicate Hamer's finding came up with conflicting results. Today, scientists suspect there are many genes with a small influence on sexual orientation.
The scientists said they had tended to focus more on men because they're easier to study. One of the other speakers, J. Michael Bailey, explained this in a provocatively titled talk: "What Is Sexual Orientation and Do Women Have One?"
Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University, started by explaining that you have to be very specific about the way you define sexual orientation because there are big differences between what people want, what they do, and what they will admit to doing.
Attempting to get at sexual orientation with a scientific approach, researchers have brought men and women into their labs, hooked their genitalia up to various devices, and tried to measure how aroused they got in response to films with a sexual content.
They learned that the majority of men respond strongly to images of either men or women and not to the other. Lesbians respond more strongly to seeing women, but straight women respond about the same to either sex.
It's not that scientists don't care about female sexuality, Blanchard said, but it's easier to classify men as gay or straight.
He was intrigued by the fact that some large surveys have shown that men who have older brothers were more likely to be gay, and that likelihood went up with the number of older brothers. It was as if male fetuses but not female ones left the uterus in a different state than they found it.
There are other conditions that follow this pattern, he said. In some cases, when a mother's blood type is incompatible with that of her fetus, she produces antibodies that can cause illness to a subsequent fetus.
In the case of male homosexuality, he said, the mother might build up antibodies to proteins that are coded in the Y chromosome, and therefore only expressed in male fetuses. Several of these are suspected to be active in the development of the male brain.
So in theory, antibodies remaining from a previous pregnancy could disable these male proteins in a fetus, thereby shaping the brain more along female lines.
The immune idea doesn't change the assumption that genes play a role. Many gay men have no older brothers, after all. And twin studies show that if one member of a pair of identical twins is gay, there's a 50 percent chance the other will be, too. For fraternal twins, that falls to 20 percent, a strong indication there's a genetic component to homosexuality.
Penn State's Shriver pointed out several ways that genes predisposing men to homosexuality could continue to thrive in the human pool. One possibility is that they made women more fecund, perhaps by increasing their sex drive. Another possibility, he said, is group selection - a form of natural selection that acts on the level of groups of organisms.
Scientists disagree on the importance of group selection in shaping humanity, but the basic idea is that if different tribes of humans are competing, some groups will thrive while others go extinct.
Perhaps diversity was good for group survival: Tribes of people that contained all breeders might have been less successful over prehistory than tribes that had almost all breeders except for a Leonardo da Vinci and a Michelangelo.
Or more generally, groups with greater genetic diversity might thrive and grow faster than more uniform groups, especially in variable environments.
Blanchard said he was not particularly worried that parents could someday abort their fetal Leonardos or rearrange their brains with immune therapy.
For one thing, he said, the most avidly homophobic people deny any link to biology. And speculative fears of nefarious technology shouldn't turn people against science. "What scientists do is to discover the truth," 




August 16, 2011

Gay Birds as Faithful as Straight Human Counterparts




Scientists have found same-sex pairs of zebra finches sing to and preen each other as much as 
heterosexual 'couples'.
Zebra finches can form strong same-sex relationships (Photo: Keith Gerstung)The study of finches, whose singing is thought to strengthen bonds between mates, is reported in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.
Lead researcher Julie Elie, from the University of California Berkeley, said: "The research showed relationships in animals can be more complicated than just a male and a female who meet and reproduce, even in birds.
"I'm interested in how animals establish relationships and how they use acoustic communication in their social interactions.
"My observations of them led me to this surprising result: same-sex individuals would also interact in affiliative manners, like male-female pairs."
Julie also found when young male finches were raised in same-sex groups, more than half of them paired up with another male.
When females were introduced to their group the males ignored them in favour of their current partner.
Julie said the findings show that the birds' drive to find a mate is more complicated than just the need to reproduce.
She added: "A pair-bond in socially monogamous species represents a cooperative partnership that may give advantages for survival.
"Finding a social partner, whatever its sex, could be a priority."

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