Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Consent - in the animal kingdom

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Consent - in the animal kingdom
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can anyone share examples of animals doing consent?

Like;

Bonobo chimps thrust their genitals towards others or show them in an obvious way to ask for sexual touch.

Some birds do crazy dances.

Then there are scents, that speak of fertility and sex-readiness.

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brennan
Activist
Member # 72864

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Brennan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Human beings verbally express consent. Canine females excrete pheromones when in heat that attract nearby males. Female cats thrust their hips in the air and piss everywhere, leaving their scent (likely riddled with sex-inducing pheromones) for males to follow.

... I'm not sure where you're really going with this, lol

[ 07-24-2011, 02:37 AM: Message edited by: Brennan ]

Posts: 48 | From: Washington State | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Haha it does seem a bit random, looking back on it!

But, it's because of my misogynist dad, he said that consent didn't exist in the animal kingdom and it just made me so angry!

I really hate how people place the worst parts of our culture's views on sexuality and gender on animals. My dad was like 'male dogs just go mad for a female in heat, they push them to the ground...'

I said, yes, but to a female dog maybe 'being in heat' is continuous desire for mating with any dog, and 'pushing to the ground' does not signify a lack of consent. We don't know *what* the female animal is thinking.

So, I felt like a thread would help me feel better (that female animals have sexual choices) and you really helped with the cats and dogs!

I read an awful book once that said rape (of female animals by male ones) was natural in the animal kingdom, and I don't know why, I just want to think of most female animals as sexually free, because *we're* animals, and I know that's completely irrelevant because we have the capacity to think and make choices whereas animals don't, but, I would like to think the female ones are having a nice time...(not including getting eaten by lions, stalked by humans, running out of berries and all the other perils of being wild).

[ 08-06-2011, 12:06 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kachina
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42505

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kachina     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My mother bred animals including dogs, cats and horses, and it's not really true in my experience that the males all just rape the females.

Sometimes female dogs, even though they were in heat, would not let the male dogs do anything with them if they didn't want it. Some males would just do it anyway and hold them down, but the majority respected their wishes and waited until the females DID want it.

The cats seemed like it was usually the female initiating, sometimes getting very angry at the males if they weren't cooperating and biting them.

The horses spend lots of time snuggling and necking before sex, and the female signals she wants it by turning around and lifting her tail. I've never seen a stallion try to have sex with the mare until she signals she's ready.

Of course, none of these animals were wild but domesticated, but I don't think we taught them how to behave when it comes to sex.

--------------------
~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

Posts: 876 | From: Seattle | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You guys are awesome! Thank you!

My dad tends to alternate between the views that 'animals only ever havev sex for reproduction' but then states that 'all male animals are sex crazed and all females are chaste'.

I think it's the gender part that drives me nuts too, like this culture you-have-a-penis-so-you-are-like-this is just so universal, whether you're human, badger, slug, pigeon...grr!

So thanks Kat for dispelling that with the info on cats! [Big Grin]

[ 08-06-2011, 05:21 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kachina
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42505

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kachina     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sure. Sorry to here your dad is being misogynist, that's always hard.

Speaking of slugs, many slugs are actually hermaphrodites, and they have sex very strange, they wrap their penises around each other and each fertilize the other's ovum.

There is no true statement to be made with "all male animals" or "all female animals" since many animals are not even split with males and females. Not only are there hermaphrodite animals, but there are also some who reproduce by cloning and don't need sex at all. Some lizards are all females and they have sex with each other even though they don't exchange any genetic information when each other but are asexual (in the animal kingdom asexual means they don't reproduce sexually.)

Mammals are certainly closer to us than anything, and even those vary so much, and hardly any have sex the way humans do, even other primates.

(Sorry for the overdoes of information. Yes, I am an animal lover.)

--------------------
~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

Posts: 876 | From: Seattle | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
(Almost totally OT: Kat, I didn't know that about slugs! Nice to have something cool to think about them while I'm bemoaning their world domination plans for my plants. [Smile] )

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Haha Kat, there's no info overdose! I love this stuff, I'm an animal and sexuality geek, so the two together is just peachy!

That lizard thing is incredible - no reproductive sex, but sex all the same...

How come people still reliously claim that naimlas don't feel any pleasure with it, and it's all about duty?

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kachina
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42505

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kachina     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've honestly never had anyone claim to me that animals do it for "duty" and not pleasure... I've usually heard the opposite - that humans SHOULDN'T seek sexual pleasure because that is us "resorting to animal behavior". Instead we should be "above" that and only have sex for noble reasons.

I really doubt most animals have any idea that sex results in babies, so they couldn't really be doing it for that. I think some people might just be ignorant about how animals mate, though. I find plenty of people barely know how HUMANS mate, so I'm not surprised how few understand other animals. Also people like to think we are REALLY different from other animals, far more so than we actually are. People don't like to think of themselves as an animal.

--------------------
~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

Posts: 876 | From: Seattle | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's true. I think people who think that animals don't have sex for pleasure see it more as a 'suvival instinct' rather than 'duty' (someone once said duty and it made me laugh much it gets stuck in my head).

There's a myth that 'only dolphins, humans and bonobos have sex for pleasure'. The unreliable 'Snopes.com' randomly decides that this is absolutely true and gives bogus reasons (a weird and extremely limited and strict definition of sex (hetro, PIV intercourse)): http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/pleasure.asp
Also, snopes seems to have nicked Scarleteen's little lightbulb icon! Grr!

Edit: You know what's really strange about this though, Snopes.com used to say it was false, and then said we can't really know what animals find pleasurable...now it's all changed, I guess they got uncomfy with such a realistic definition of sex.

[ 08-08-2011, 04:10 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kachina
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42505

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kachina     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh I'm so sad to see that snopes.com page! How can they not include homosexual activity when there are many animals where there are NO males? And what about all the hermaphrodite animals? That's not a "male-female" pairing either. What about fish that never engage in PiV but where the male stimulates the female sexually until she lays eggs and then inseminates them? What a horrible definition of sex. Ugh.

Anyone who has seen mammals (especially domesticated ones which we can usually understand what they are expressing very well) mate can usually tell they enjoy it VERY much.

If animals didn't want the pleasure, why would they do anything but the actual insemination part? Most mammals engage in foreplay, masturbation, and homosexual activities, none of which results in reproduction for the most part. (It is theorized some asexual animals that have sex are inciting ovulation to happen even though they aren't exchanging genetic material.)

Ugh now I don't like Snopes.com as much as I used to.

--------------------
~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

Posts: 876 | From: Seattle | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I used to really like it too!

I can't believe that about fish! That's made my day! [Big Grin]

Is there anywhere I can get a list of the animals where there are no males? It's always so hard to find this stuff.

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kachina
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42505

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kachina     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here are some animals that reproduce with parthenogenesis (no fertilization by the male). Some of these species there are still males, but they don't contribute any genetic material to the next generation, and some are all female.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis

Here is an example of a fish that does what's called a "nuptial embrace" to reproduce.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_fighting_fish#Reproduction_and_early_development

--------------------
~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

Posts: 876 | From: Seattle | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brennan
Activist
Member # 72864

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Brennan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by RaeRay2112:

I read an awful book once that said rape (of female animals by male ones) was natural in the animal kingdom

DEVIL'S ADVOCATE POWERS... ACTIVATE!

Well, actually, certain dung beetles drown and inseminate their mates after taking them by surprise... >.>

And if you look at our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, the Chimpanzees, they show absolutely no signs of consent, dissent, or pleasure for that matter.
A general mating session goes like this:

- Female is fertile; exposes engorged vulva while walking/grooming her young, etc.

- Male mounts her and trusts for about ten seconds, then dismounts the female when he ejaculates.

- Female, who likely didn't even stop what she was doing while mounted, goes back to her normal routine.


Truly, sexuality is different between all mammals. I don't know WHY we evolved to have a complex mating ritual and intense orgasms, but I do know the signs, and they're there.

When a male human orgasms at the same time as a female, her cervix essentially bashes itself against the puddle of semen the male deposited in her. This causes suction, and increases the chance of successful impregnation.

Obviously, we've evolved to the point where giving each other mutual orgasms is reproductively superior to not doing so. A far cry from our hairy cousins in the jungles. [Smile]

[ 08-09-2011, 01:50 PM: Message edited by: Brennan ]

Posts: 48 | From: Washington State | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kachina
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42505

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kachina     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
When a male human orgasms at the same time as a female, her cervix essentially bashes itself against the puddle of semen the male deposited in her. This causes suction, and increases the chance of successful impregnation.
All the studies I've read have shown that female orgasm does not play a role in reproduction. Do you have a link to something I can read about this suction theory?

Even if female orgasm doesn't play a direct role in reproduction, it can still be useful evolutionary, because if sex is enjoyable, we might have it more. Also orgasm can play a part in bonding, and humans can raise children better with more parents (unlike chimps where just the mother raises them.) so if the parents stay together and raise children together that is an advantage to offspring. Of course, determining human behavior from evolutionary standards is much harder than other animals, because we don't really base our lives on instinct anymore, and we are much more complex.

--------------------
~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

Posts: 876 | From: Seattle | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brennan
Activist
Member # 72864

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Brennan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, I watched a documentary on human sexuality.. I'll PM a link to you if I can find it online. It has some graphic images of the sexual act and such, but I'm sure you're fine with that.
Posts: 48 | From: Washington State | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oops doubled up - Awesome Kat, thank you! Really interesting. Especially about the siamese fighting fish - when I first saw those I thought you had to keep two - like they had to fight to survive or be happy or something. I guess I though they were pokemon lol

Another weird and funny thing about animals sexuality: when I was a kid, there was a rumour that a pig has an orgasm for half an hour but doesn't enjoy it. We were so shocked. lol if that's true (about the half an hour, not about the enjoyment - it's clear that they do!) I have no idea how anyone ever found that out!

Scientist 1: So what are you choosing to study?
Scientist 2: Oh, I dunno...wonder if piggies are having a nice time sexually... *stares off into the distance*
Scientist 1: ?!

[ 08-10-2011, 01:47 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I do know about Dung Beetles - but it's not rape like we see it. It's about the best two dung beetles with the strongest DNA to create a pregnancy, the female evolves different things (like a stabby tail or a slippery back) so the males camnnot mate with her; not because she doen't want to have sex, but because then she can ensure the strongest and brainiest male with be successful. The cleverest - and therefore genetically superior male who actually can mate with her then passes on his genes. The most well adapted female with the most weapons can join with the most well-adpated male. It's actually a really clever system - I'd call it 'puzzle mating' rather than rape - drowning females, as well as stabbing males, is another stratergy - they're real tough cookies, dung beetles. They're pretty different from mammals, or there would be no mammals!

Some ducks are the same (white-fronted bee-eaters) where the female fights off the males, meaning the successful male is the strongest and they can create the fittest babies. It's different mating stratergies rather than rape, (so different from us that the males don't even have penises) where the female is active; making sure they find the best genes.

Masturbation is sex, and masturabtion is widespread among chimpanzees, so they must feel pleasure. This is especially common with bonobo chimpanzees, who's entire society is built on sex - for resolving conflict, bonding and happiness. Homosexuality is also incredibly widespread in chimps (and throughout the animal kingdom).

When the female chimp's vulva swells up (like human's during arousal), she feels horny all the time. The clitoris and labia - that parts that swell - are incredibly packed with nerve endings and the clioris of a fertile chimp or bonobo can puff to one hundred times it's normal size. (Yes, I'm jealous!). The female chimps bump thses swollen parts with each other for pleasure and bonding. A swollen vulva therefore isn't just to show that she's fertile, it's also to she that she would like to have sex with as many chimps as possible, and now has a huge capacity for pleasure, otherwise the male chimps would just do it all the time, swollen or not. Also, she probably doesn't seem too interested in penis-in-vagina intercourse because there aren't that many nerve endings in the vagina - she'd probably rather play with her clioris herself - but doesn't mind or notice the random vaginal stimulation from the males. This is also because they have so much penis-in-vagina intercourse when they are in estrous that it just becomes uninteresting.

On top of that, female chimps don't really mind too much who they have sex with even outside of having a swollen vulva because they use a very different system (where the many different chimps' sperm compete within the vulva for the egg - obviously very different to humans!), and they do carry on what they were doing while the male does his bit. Unless they really fell like having having a good time for their own pleasure - then it's probably masturabtion for chimpanzees (they don't bond that well either) and partnered sex for bonobos (who really do). As Brennan said, sometimes chimps don't even notice when they are having sex, (they enjoy everything to much - eating, hugging, playing, screaming - sex is just one more awesome thing). It would be unconsentual to us, (and we'd notice!) but it's not to them. This shows that they aren't really good at reciprocity at all but it isn't rape.

Like when the female oranutans fight and bite the males when they're mating - it's more about territory. That's why the clitoral glans in a oranutan is at the bottom of her vulva - so it can be stimulated during intercourse and she won't kick him out of her territory (they're don't really make friends very well). The female thinks 'Oh my God, get out of my territory - oh wait, this feels good - but get out of my territory!' That's why oranutan mating looks like a mixture of forcing and co-operation - it's not, it's forgetfulness (oh yeah sex! Ooh a berry!).

Also when oranutans are 'in estrous' (in heat) they prefer to save mating for the highest ranking and biggest males. The males cannot tell when an oranutan is in estrous because there is no huge swelling only a tiny bit that tells her she is, and makes her vulva feel different. The lower ranking males never develop to adulthood and remain teenagers forever. This means higher ranking females (older and stronger)can fight off the 'teenager' males when they know they are fertile. This means that only the high ranking males and high ranking females sucessfully mate with each other. When the female ornagutan is not fertile, she'll mate with anyone, even low ranking males, for fun - even if that's distactedly.

Similarly, when female chimpanzees scream during intercourse, that's often just taken to be rape. However, she is actually screaming to attract the attention of other males. This is because she's fertile and wants higher ranking males to mate with her as well and the lower ones (using the 'sperm competition' stratergy). Male chimps, and many other monkeys, prefer to mate with higher ranking, older females too, so they best babies are made and have chance of survival.

That book was just stupid, it even claimed a spider stealing another eggs was rape.

[ 08-10-2011, 01:48 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
luanne
Activist
Member # 48638

Icon 1 posted      Profile for luanne     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Has anyone read the mating scene between Samson and Pinky in A Day No Pigs Would Die? Not that that's scientifically accurate...

This is a great thread!! [Smile]

--------------------
♥♥♥

Posts: 69 | From: America | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No, but if they are pigs I'm dying to know if they had a half-hour orgasm! [Big Grin]

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3