Biological Exuberance is the first comprehensive account of the subject, bringing together accurate, accessible, and nonsensationalized information. Drawing upon a rich body of zoological research spanning more than two centuries, Bruce Bagemihl shows that animals engage in all types of nonreproductive sexual behavior. Sexual and gender expression in the animal world displays exuberant variety, including same-sex courtship, pair-bonding, sex, and co-parenting—even instances of lifelong homosexual bonding in species that do not have lifelong heterosexual bonding. Part 1, "A Polysexual, Polygendered World," begins with a survey of homosexuality, transgender, and nonreproductive heterosexuality in animals and then delves into the broader implications of these findings, including a valuable perspective on human diversity. Bagemihl also examines the hidden assumptions behind the way biologists look at natural systems and suggests a fresh perspective based on the synthesis of contemporary scientific insights with traditional knowledge from indigenous cultures. Part 2, "A Wondrous Bestiary," profiles more than species in which scientific observers have noted homosexual or transgender behavior.
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Shelves: animals-and-humans , shamanism My vote for best book on the planet? Can I just say to Bruce Bagemihl, few have ever done such service to the general public with a book.
It changes your ideas. You need this knowledge. Of value to me was its study of indigenous peoples, how they see animals - the sexual diversity of animals - and the results of this for their culture and ideas about the world. Published 15 years ago, Biological Exuberance documents over species of animals with homosexual practices of one kind or another.
A superb job of reseach on the part of the author. This meticulously researched and documented account catalogues mammals, birds, fish and others demonstrating what humans would call long term homosexual and heterosexual relationships, bisexuality, cross-dressing as well as transgender transformation, group sex, masturbation and the use of sex toys — just to name a few examples.
Ah, you might say, but homosexuality is un-African. You never see homosexual elephants or lions. Wrong again! Among African Elephants, same-sex activity … may be preceded by a great deal of caressing and affectionate behaviours. And the catalogue of lion homosexuality is similar, including trios and mating circles. Or you might say, it just shows you how lascivious homosexuals are, they never settle down. Wrong again. Both male and female homosexual pairs in many species form long-term childraising bonds, for example several gull, tern and goose species amongst birds, and among mammals the list includes grizzly bears, red foxes, warthogs, seals and even cheetahs.
In the case of females, the pair might raise their own biological offspring, while male pairs often "adopt" young. And so it goes on.
This book is pages long, meticulously footnoted, and includes two major sections. There is also a useful section on how it came to be that animal homosexuality was so seriously overlooked in centuries of biological observation. If ever you wanted a story about how even scientists sometimes see only what they want to see, read this book. I own a copy of it and I will pass it along to anyone interested in looking through it.
Every scientist, especially ecologists and biologists, should know about the intersex, diversity and all kinds of queer behavior across the animal kingdom. Every human being should be taught that, of course heterosexuality is NOT the only natural option out there. This world is full of color and beautiful diversity. Embrace the fact that life is not made up of boxes, the world is not black and white. Everyone needs to read this book. Pass it along to age appropriate populations.
Do you duty, spread the word of diversity and the beauty of our world.
Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity
Shelves: animals-and-humans , shamanism My vote for best book on the planet? Can I just say to Bruce Bagemihl, few have ever done such service to the general public with a book. It changes your ideas. You need this knowledge. Of value to me was its study of indigenous peoples, how they see animals - the sexual diversity of animals - and the results of this for their culture and ideas about the world. Published 15 years ago, Biological Exuberance documents over species of animals with homosexual practices of one kind or another.
The first part of the book is an independent page exposition of homosexual, bisexual and transgendered animal sexuality. More interesting to me, though, is the speculation on the sexual origins of language and culture in chapter 2 and the devastating examination in chapter 3 of bigotry in the biological sciences in over two hundred years of observations of animal homosexuality. Field researchers have commonly assumed, with no independent verification, that whenever they see a pair of animals engaging in what appears to be sexual behavior they are observing a male-female pair. Conversely, whenever they observe a known same-sex pair engaging in behavior that would be classified as sexual between a male and female, they classify it in some other way. In some cases, though, it resulted in published studies being repudiated as much as 20 years later when it was discovered that what was presumed to be heterosexual behavior in a population was really entirely homosexual.
Biological exuberance : animal homosexuality and natural diversity