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Billions of Insects are Having Accidental Gay Sex

Ladybugsex

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have been researching the peculiar, but extremely common practice of same-sex mating between insects. The result: bugs are just so excited to procreate that they can't tell the difference before they've mounted each other. There are, it turns out, plenty of factors that go into the randy, six-legged sex-fest, including confusing female pheromones from the bugs' previous mates. Still, some 85% of the insects in the study took part in same-sex mating practices; maybe they're on to something.

Daily Mail reports:

The study found there are no clear benefits for certain species of insects to have same-sex relationships and concluded they may be duped into thinking another is a female, either because of how similar they look or by scents they have picked up. 

Dr Inon Scharf of Tel Aviv University's Department of Zoology and Dr Oliver Martin of ETH Zurich claim mating takes time and energy and can be dangerous, which makes homosexual mating even less appealing from an evolutionary perspective because it lacks the payoff of procreation. 

'Insects and spiders mate quick and dirty,' claimed Dr Scharf. 'The cost of taking the time to identify the gender of mates or the cost of hesitation appears to be greater than the cost of making some mistakes.'

The researchers identify insects' evolutionary flaws as one cause of the phenomenon as well. These bugs are not adept to make cost-benefit analyses, and they are also unable to distinguish between other objects and their own kind. They sometimes "mate with related species or inanimate objects, like beer bottles." The benefits of same-sex coupling, if there are any, remain unclear, but researchers are not done looking into the mating practices of insects.

'Homosexual behaviour may be genomically linked to being more active, a better forager, or a better competitor,' said Dr Scharf. 'So even though misidentifying mates isn't a desirable trait, it's part of a package of traits that leaves the insect better adapted overall.'

To confirm their theory, the researchers plan to study the conditions that make homosexual behaviour more or less likely in bugs. They also want to look more deeply into male resistance to homosexual mating.

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Comments

  1. Is that how the term "buggery" came about?

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Oct 22, 2013 6:32:36 PM


  2. Male insects are always making an honest mistake when they have gay sex. Scientists know this because afterward all the dudes say, "Oops! No homo!"

    More on this offensive claptrap here:

    http://worldclassstupid.blogspot.com/2013/09/evolutionary-biologists-dont-get-much.html

    Posted by: RomanHans | Oct 22, 2013 7:19:08 PM


  3. @JONNYNYNY2FLFL. Ha! Good one.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 22, 2013 7:23:00 PM


  4. I’ve come to find it suspicious when scientists study homosexuality. I question their motives. Why of all the questions to explore are they studying homosexuality? What is their vested interest in this topic? Are they really trying to shed more light on this area, and if so, why? What are their personal attitudes about homosexuality? What types of relationships, if any, have they had with gays?

    When scientists do write about homosexuality, I find they are either unconscientious/careless with their wording (and possible negative biases), or deliberately baiting anti-gays to cherry-pick their work. In just this short article, which doesn’t link to the actual research papers, there are several quotes I find disturbing.

    “The study found that there are no clear benefits … to have same sex relationships.”

    “…makes homosexual mating even less appealing from an evolutionary perspective because it lacks the payoff of procreation.”

    “The researchers identify insects’ evolutionary flaws as one cause of the [homosexual] phenomenon…”

    “These bugs are not adept to make cost-benefit analyses…”

    “They sometimes ‘mate with related species or inanimate objects, like beer bottles.”

    “The benefits of same-sex coupling, if there are any, remain unclear…”

    “…the researchers plan to study the conditions that make homosexual behaviour more or less likely … They also want to look more deeply into male resistance to homosexual mating.”

    All these quotes above (let’s assume there are more in the actual paper) can be used by anti-gay ‘people’ to say that there are no benefits to same-sex pair bonding, that homosexuality is unappealing from an evolutionary perspective because it is non-procreative, that gays have evolutionary flaws, that gays can’t make cost-benefit decisions, and that gays have sex with anything because they are so promiscuous. Also, the last quote above gives anti-gays hope because it reduces homosexuality to ‘behaviour’ rather than an orientation, a behaviour that may be resisted.

    Gross.

    Posted by: Coniferous | Oct 22, 2013 7:49:34 PM


  5. OH, if I could count the times I've had accidental gay sex.

    Posted by: trerry | Oct 22, 2013 8:11:14 PM


  6. I guess this article omitted the part where the scientist sat down with the insects to ask them if it was just an accident, too much drinking or was the lady but just not putting out like she should've.

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 22, 2013 8:21:07 PM


  7. Humans mainly have sex for fun. Procreation is a side effect - and only has to happen a tiny percentage of the time for us to find ourselves in a vastly overpopulated world. My parents had three children in their 15 years together, and I know they had sex a lot more than three times, and enjoyed it.

    How is it that supposedly intelligent, educated people can have lots of sex they know won't lead to procreation, and have lots of non-procreative sexual interests, but then assume that other animals only have sex to procreate? That makes no sense. The urge to have sex is fun for all of us, not just humans or mammals.

    Posted by: E. Carpenter | Oct 23, 2013 12:53:34 AM


  8. "Dude looks like a lady....bug"

    Posted by: wheelie81 | Oct 23, 2013 12:54:54 AM



  9. As a Gay entomologist, I am always questioning colleagues' motives for trying to find a "reason" for homsexual copulation in insects. Bed Bugs, for example, LOOOOVE getting their Gay on :)

    Posted by: Wirrrn | Oct 23, 2013 2:27:25 AM


  10. Wait to Pat Robinson declare they are going to hell!

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | Oct 23, 2013 8:18:41 AM


  11. for a very thorough survey and analysis of the biology of homosexuality in humans and other animals, i suggest reading the book "The Missing Myth", written by a gay biologist.

    Posted by: GBM | Oct 23, 2013 1:54:13 PM


  12. @WHEELIE81 Great!

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 23, 2013 2:11:51 PM


  13. Doesn't "accidental gay sex" sound like the title of a short film shown at an LGBT film festival? A homophobic man does research on the gay community (perhaps the way Pete LaBarbera does at the SF parade yearly) and finds that he has to give up the research. The material he views causes his hand to go where it shouldn't and before he knows it he's having "accidental gay sex!"

    Posted by: Mary | Oct 23, 2013 4:53:39 PM


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