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Homosexuality in Science: Does Same-Sex Behavior Natural?

A philosophy student who enjoy researching about social issues and related topics around the globe to gain more perspectives

Homosexuality has become a common thing in the animal kingdom. As a result, research on this behavior has been done a lot. However, before 1999, research on this case was still categorized as merely anomalous or curious behavior. After Bruce Bagemihl wrote a book entitled Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, about the many species that exhibit this behavior—around 450 species are ranging from birds, reptiles, insects to mammals and others—became a turning point for previous research.

Scientists have currently found more than 1,500 species involved in homosexual behavior, as reported by Scientific American.

Why Do Many Species from Kingdom Animalia Engage in Homosexual Behavior?

Many hypotheses have circulated and been tested to understand why animals engage in sexual behavior that does not directly lead to reproduction. As Darwin explained, reproduction aims to pass on genes to keep species from becoming extinct.

According to biologists, SSB behavior is categorized as an evolutionary paradox because it does not fulfill the purpose of the evolutionary framework. Moreover, it is also assumed to be costly that it must produce extraordinary benefits or otherwise be resistant to elimination by natural selection. However, as well as being done by humans, many of the sexual activities carried out do not have a reproductive sense, a.k.a, just mere recreation, as stated by a neurologist, Dr. Ryu Hasan.

There are several hypotheses regarding same-sex behavior (SSB) that were published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This research hypothesis concludes that there is a relationship between SSB and the indiscriminate tendency of ancestors to engage in sexual behavior. This case is because relaxing the selection in the partners' selection can increase reproductive opportunities compared to marriages that are too selective.

The Case of Bonobo

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In addition, if we look at the closest species of Homo Sapiens, namely the bonobo, which has a relatively high intensity of sexual behavior among other species relative to it. Bonobo shows that sexual behavior can be more than just reproduction; it includes homosexual behavior. One of its goals is to strengthen social ties. Junior bonobos can use sex to bond with more dominant group members and enable them to climb the social ladder.

Is Homosexuality a Mental Disorder?

The United States Psychiatric Association (APA) has already stated that homosexuality is not an anomaly in psychology. Since 1974, the Association has removed homosexual behavior from a mental disorder and a sexual disorder. Instead, LGBT is considered a natural and normal behavior. Following this, WHO also excluded homosexuality from mental disorders in 1990. Indonesia's guidelines, the Guidelines for Classification and Diagnosis of Mental Disorders (PPDGJ) in 1983, also removed homosexuality from mental illnesses.

That way, looking at the existing data, commonality of homosexual behavior across species, and other variables, making homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder.


Batoulizzakia (author) from Indonesia on June 29, 2021:

thank you for your feedback. i really appreciate it! but modern science uses different paradigms and methods than the classical ones, that's why they have different conclusions. maybe in the next writings, I will include other perspectives so that it can be more inclusive. Thank you for visiting!

MG Singh from UAE on June 28, 2021:

We cannot reject all the scriptures and books written for the last 4000 years which talk off same-sex as an aberration. I can see it is not a criminal act but definitely not a normal act. It is not something to be glorified and add a person in the world needs psychiatric treatment. Thank you for a very nice article and I can say I enjoyed reading it.

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