Zoology

Can Animals be Homosexual



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A recent exhibit in a Norway zoo displayed "homosexual animals" and promoted the display as proof that homosexuality is completely natural. Geir Soeli, the project leader of the exhibition, told Reuters, "Homosexuality has been observed for more than 1,500 animal species, and is well documented for 500 of them." Conversely, Conservative Voice, columnist Nathan Tabor writes: "If homosexuality were truly strong in the animal kingdom, there would be no animals left, since they would be unable and unwilling to reproduce."

1. Homosexual behavior is observable in animals.
2. Animal behavior is determined by their instincts.
3. Nature requires animals to follow their instincts.
4. Therefore, homosexuality is in accordance with animal nature.
5. Since man is also animal, homosexuality must also be in accordance with human nature.

It is poor science to "read" human motivations and sentiments into animal behavior, and irrational animal behavior is not a yardstick to determine what is morally acceptable behavior for rational man. Certain animals perform acts of infanticide and cannibalism, but does this rationalize the same behaviors in humans? The answer is of course not!

The reasoning for animals acting out in unnatural ways is a combination of mixed stimuli and inability to think like humans. First, animals act purely on sensorial cognition, which is limited to sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. They lack the intellectual perception of humans and often confuse one object for another. Secondly, when animals experience a clash of two stimuli, they are incapable of making rational decisions, leaving the outcome of their actions up to circumstance. Humans on the other hand, can compare and contrast two stimuli and make a sound decision on which to choose. In a case of a dog attacking its owning or a lion attacking its trainer; a good bet is that the animal was prompted to commit such an action due to a mix up in stimuli. Think about the last time someone startled you or scared you unintentionally. Did you turn around and maul them, trying to rip them limb from limb? Male tomcats are known to mistake their young for prey and to kill them. For a brief moment the tomcat's perception gets skewed and he makes an instinctual decision based on reflex to stimuli. Humans have the ability to disseminate instincts and to categorize them into rational and irrational decisions.

In 1996, homosexual scientist Simon LeVay admitted that the evidence of homosexual relations in animals points to isolated acts, not to homosexuality:
"Although homosexual behavior is very common in the animal world, it seems to be very uncommon that individual animals have a long-lasting predisposition to engage in such behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual activities. Thus, a homosexual orientation, if one can speak of such thing in animals, seems to be a rarity."
Despite the "homosexual" appearances of some animal behavior, this behavior does not stem from a "homosexual" instinct that is part of animal nature. Dr. Antonio Pardo, Professor of Bioethics at the University of Navarre, Spain, explains:
"Properly speaking, homosexuality does not exist among animals.... For reasons of survival, the reproductive instinct among animals is always directed towards an individual of the opposite sex. Therefore, an animal can never be homosexual as such. Nevertheless, the interaction of other instincts (particularly dominance) can result in behavior that appears to be homosexual. Such behavior cannot be equated with an animal homosexuality. All it means is that animal sexual behavior encompasses aspects beyond that of reproduction."

Additionally, animals lack the ability to display human motivation and sentiment. Simply put, animals do not engage in deeply emotional relationships that are based on communication, nostalgia and sentimental factors. Dr. Charles Socarides of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) observes, "The term homosexuality should be limited to the human species, for in animals the investigator can ascertain only motor behavior. As soon as he interprets the animal's motivation he is applying human psychodynamics-a risky, if not foolhardy scientific approach."
The conclusion: animals are known to exhibit homosexual behavior, but this does not make them homosexual in human terms. They do not carry out same sex relations for long lengths of time without their instinct to mate kicking in, at which time they go on the prowl for the opposite sex. Arguing for animal homosexuality is like arguing that animals can be in love, it relies heavily on speculation and is based in theory.

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