CROSS-SPECIES COMPARISONS: HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR

Sexual activity between individuals of the same sex has been reported for many nonhuman species. The typical pattern for both sexes of a given species generally involves the same sexual mounting pattern that is typical for that species. Beach (1968) reports that some type of female-female mounting has been observed in 13 different species and is most likely to occur when one female is in estrus. Among captive male monkeys, attempts at anal intercourse have been observed (Erwin and Maple, 1976). Lorenz (1966) has even reported a long-term homosexual relationship between two ducks, animals that typically form lifelong bonds or relationships.

Again, many apparent similarities have been observed between, on the one hand, homosexual behaviors of humans and, on the other hand, homosexual behaviors of nonhumans. However, unlike masturbation, a critical analysis of the data does not suggest that such behaviors among the several species are, in fact, analogous. Homosexual behaviors in lower organisms have been termed a "temporary inversion of mating roles" (Beach, 1976), explainable in terms of biologically inherent stimulus-response relationships which are to some extent influenced by sex hormones. While the behaviors may "look the same," human homosexuality appears different in terms of both causal mechanisms and the functional outcomes. Consequently, the use of animal data as a model of human homosexuality is not appropriate in the light of our present knowledge.

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Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction

 

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