Nature, Culture, and Sexuality

“Kissing girls started earlier for Alexandra, a 16-year-old high school junior in Bellingham, Wash., a town close to the Canadian border. In ninth grade, she says, at a party where the beer was scarce, two of her friends made out with each other for a beer. ‘The guys were cheering it on and encouraging it,’ she says. ‘I thought it was cool that [the girls] got all the attention, and the guys obviously liked it. I went up to them and was like, “Wow, that was crazy!” They were like, “Oh yeah, you’ve never done that before?”‘”

A fascinating look at what people feel is an increasing trend towards a more fluid sexual identity in terms of the younger generation. This piece provides an interesting and (mostly) balanced look at this new form of social interaction / seduction. I was somewhat disappointed at the almost self-pitying tone at points in the article (here’s a hint: if you feel it’s somehow being oppressive to women, don’t do it). And there does seem to be a lack of comment on this type of behavior between *males*. It may not be as common – but there are a surprisingly large number of guys out there who will make out for a free shot from a hot, young woman.

What really got me going with this piece, though, was thinking about it in context of an article linked to on BoingBoing. A short excerpt:

“Japanese macaques, an old world primate, illustrate this principle perfectly. Macaque society revolves around females, who form intricate dominance hierarchies within a given group. Males are transient. To help maintain the necessary social networks, female macaques engage in rampant lesbianism. These friendly copulations, which can last up to four days, form the bedrock of macaque society, preventing unnecessary violence and aggression. Females that sleep together will even defend each other from the unwanted advances of male macaques. In fact, behavioral scientist Paul Vasey has found that females will choose to mate with another female, as opposed to a horny male, 92.5% of the time. While this lesbianism probably decreases reproductive success for macaques in the short term, in the long run it is clearly beneficial for the species, since it fosters social stability. ‘Same-sex sexuality is just another way of maintaining physical intimacy,’ Roughgarden says. ‘It’s like grooming, except we have lots of pleasure neurons in our genitals. When animals exhibit homosexual behavior, they are just using their genitals for a socially significant purpose.'”

Cognitive psychologists just love macaques, namely due to our brain similarities. With this in mind, looking at the Salon piece makes one wonder if this is less an aberration and more a return to default state. One thing that did strike me quite clearly: most of the young women interviewed didn’t even seem to see the girl-on-girl action as much of an issue at all.

Live girl-on-girl action! | Salon Life

The Gay Animal Kingdom

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