February 08, 2004

Gay Penguins

Posted by shonk at 01:29 AM in Sex | TrackBack

According to the New York Times, homosexuality is common among animals. Thank God; maybe cultural conservatives will finally stop yammering about how homosexuality is “un-natural” and, therefore, ought to be punishable by jail time. Incidentally, I would mention that this position is only one half of the silly argument from nature and the other half isn’t any more intelligent. As Paul L. Vasey, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge, points out:

For some people, what animals do is a yardstick of what is and isn’t natural. They make a leap from saying if it’s natural, it’s morally and ethically desirable. Infanticide is widespread in the animal kingdom. To jump from that to say it is desirable makes no sense. We shouldn’t be using animals to craft moral and social policies for the kinds of human societies we want to live in. Animals don’t take care of the elderly. I don’t particularly think that should be a platform for closing down nursing homes.

Abiola gets a little more worked up :

Even if it could be established that homosexuality was rampant in other animal species, that would still tell us nothing about whether we as humans ought to endorse it: after all, cannibalism is rampant amongst animals too, but we refrain from giving it our approval. On the other hand, even if it could be shown that in no other species had homosexuality ever occurred, we would have no justification for ruling it out in our own - no other species builds skyscrapers, drives cars or watches movies, either. Rather than waste time and energy on a spurious appeal to an ill-defined concept of what is “natural” or otherwise, I think gay activists are better off taking the libertarian position: “it’s my life, I’m not forcing you to join me, so leave me alone.

Anyway, I personally couldn’t care less about anybody else’s sexual orientation (or “preference”, as seems to be the new buzzword), but I do have two questions. First off, how exactly do lesbian penguins have sex? Maybe I’m behind the times, but I was under the impression that penguin engineers hadn’t mastered the vibrating motor yet. Second, what, exactly, was this article doing in the “Arts” section? Surely the “Science” section (or “Politics” at a real stretch) would have been more appropriate to the content. Or were the Times editors trying to ensure that the article’s readership would be exclusively homosexual?

(Those were jokes, dammit. Not very good ones, I’ll admit, but at least I tried to inject some humor. Don’t I get some credit for that?)


Okay, the image of lesbian penguins with vibrating pleasure sticks...that is humor.

Posted by: Elliot at February 9, 2004 08:21 PM

I'm glad someone noticed.

Posted by: shonk at February 9, 2004 10:12 PM