Being Gay Is Good for Birds: Study

And it doesn't hurt reproduction, either
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2010 10:20 AM CDT
Same-sex behavior can be good for birds.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(Newser) – Scientists have been puzzled by homosexual behavior in birds, but a new study shows the proliferation of same-sex mating doesn’t necessarily hurt reproduction—and may help in many other areas. More than 130 bird species engage in some sort of homosexual behavior, from courtship to mating to establishing long-term partnerships and raising offspring (conceived with an outside partner), and an Australian research team found that such same-sex partnerships can help birds defend territories or care for their young.

The team also found that whichever gender has fewer responsibilities in caring for offspring has sex with more partners, including same-sex partners, just because they can. And since many are still also mating with opposite-sex partners, the gay hanky panky doesn’t hurt reproductive numbers, LiveScience reports. Click here for a similar study about the rest of the animal kingdom.

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