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breakdown of the middle ground.

Let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel

Urban dictionary online uses the term “flipper chick” in this context:

John: Damn that girl is fine but I think she only like chicks.

Me: Naw you should holla at her because she’s a flipper chick, she’s likes guys and girls.

A flipper is a bisexual (according to that website). This is interesting, because Flipper-as in the dolphin-hails from a species where bisexual activity is common place. So pretty much Flipper was totally bi! Ah ha! If you thought bisexuality was limited to the human race, let me clue you in to a not-so-little secret, the animal kingdom is running rampant with homosexual, bisexual, transgendered, and  transvestite creatures.

In Bruce Bagemihl’s book, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, he discusses the result findings from an extensive 10 research trip where he collected data on animal sexuality. Such as the fact that, “bottlenose dolphins don’t form male-female couples, but males often form lifelong pairs with other males. Some are interested only in males, but others are bisexual and happily indulge in beak-genital propulsion and more with male or female alike.” The males lead lives that are characterized by extensive bisexual behavior.

On dry land it’s all about the girl on girl action though. At least it certainly seems that way within the bonobo ape community. As one of the last large mammals to be found by science they share many similarities to chimpanzees, including a commonality of 98% of the same genetic make up to humans. And unlike other mammals, they even have sex like humans! “Chimpanzees virtually never adopt face-to-face positions, bonobos do so in one out of three copulations in the wild.

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Bagemihl continues to explain that this “species is best characterized as female-centered and egalitarian and as one that substitutes sex for aggression. Whereas in most other species sexual behavior is a fairly distinct category, in the bonobo it is part and parcel of social relations-and not just between males and females. Bonobos engage in sex in virtually every partner combination.”  I find it to be most fascinating that even though the males and females both engage in same sex sexual practices, when the males do it they are back to front, whereas the females remain face to face. (It’s really interesting to see actually. Not that I’m promoting watching bonobos lesbian sex, but I’m just putting it out there that youtube does have several postings on the subject…I’ll let you find them on your own though!) From the readings it definitely seems that where the dolphins are all about the fellas, the apes are all about the ladies…

Now, here’s the big kicker as to why animal sexuality is this week’s bisexual informant. I recently stumbled across a blog that was discussing the possibility of bisexual animals being a subject plot in an upcoming episode on the TV show Fringe. An image of a back issue of Scientific American Mind Magazine on the director’s blog sparked the debate. Upon further investigation and location of the article:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=bisexual-species

(Or view it in its magazine format)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/11606166/Scientific-American-Mind-JuneJuly-2008

It was this quote that really stood out: “Unlike most humans, however, individual animals generally cannot be classified as gay or straight: an animal that engages in a same-sex flirtation or partnership does not necessarily shun heterosexual encounters. Rather many species seem to have ingrained homosexual tendencies that are a regular part of their society. That is, there are probably no strictly gay critters, just bisexual ones. “Animals don’t do sexual identity. They just do sex,” says sociologist Eric Anderson of the University of Bath in England.”

Kind of puts a twist on the whole Discovery channel mating programs doesn’t it? We only assumed all the animals on TV were heterosexual because how can the average person be expected to tell a male and female animal in the wild apart?? (I know I pretty much always go with what the voice over person told me because they never zoomed in that close….)

—posted by Maddie Banks

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Filed under: bi-sexual, Maddie Banks

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