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Lesbian Japanese Macaques – move over Penguins August 23, 2009

Posted by Geekgirl in genetics, Other species.
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Much has been written in the popular media about gay penguins living in zoos, to the point where the Chinese had a wedding ceremony for two gay penguins. Other zoos with gay penguins are in New York City and Germany. It is so controversial that the children’s book And Tango Makes Threeis on the censorship list of anti-gay rights groups. I can assure that the book is wholesome and adorable. I know. I read it. Any child would love it and it’s a great way to introduce your children to the concept of love between two beings of the same gender.

Well, it’s not just penguins in zoos. Many other animal species participate in same sex behavior. Here’s a recent report on Japanese macaques, which are a type of monkey.

Arch Sex Behav. 2009 Aug 18. [Epub ahead of print]

The Biogeography and Evolution of Female Homosexual Behavior in Japanese Macaques.

Vasey PL, Jiskoot H.

Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, AB, T1K 3M4, Canada, paul.vasey@uleth.ca.

In certain Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) populations, females routinely engage in same-sex courtship, mounting, and consortship activity. Drawing on behavioral, biogeographic, and genetic research, we suggest that female homosexual behavior may be associated with genetically distinct free-ranging populations of Japanese macaques. In addition, we briefly discuss the implications of this research for the evolution of female homosexual behavior in this species.

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