Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Evolutionary Biologists don't get much respect. And rightly so! Whereas many intelligent people contribute to the world by investigating the regulation of serotonin uptake by postsynaptic receptors or the effect of cognitive behavior therapy on body dysmorphia, EBs spend years struggling to explain why people still have eyebrows.

They come up with these ridiculous explanations -- spoiler alert: it's all about sex -- and then preface them with disclaimers like, "Of course, there's no way we can know for sure." Men have pubic hair because it holds pheromones, thereby attracting sexual partners. Men have facial hair because it provides physical evidence of reproductive prowess, thereby attracting sexual partners. Gosh, I guess that's why there are so few Chinese! And if indeed the end-all of evolution was to get us all laid, wouldn't there be at least a couple people with the words "I'M RICH!" spelled out in freckles on their foreheads?

When they wander away from the human community, however, EBs go entirely nuts. A terrific example is this compilation of studies examining homosexual behavior in insects. Short answer? The eight-legged dudes were all positive their partners had vaginas.

Whereas larger animals have developed more complicated homosexual motivations — like maintaining alliances, which has been found in certain primate and seagull species — insects seem to mistakenly partake in it in a hasty attempt to secure mates.

This opening statement says more about the scientists than about the bugs. There are a lot of reasons to have gay sex, they say, then cite that it's a great way to make friends. Really? If I want to make friends, I lend someone money. Help them pack. Feed their dog when they're on vacation. Put their erect penises in my mouth? It's not going to make the top ten.

Insects, though, don't even use this stupid excuse to go gay. No, they're in such a hurry to fuck, they don't even notice their partner's lack of vagina. After every instance of homo insect sex, apparently, the EBs have witnessed dude smacking his exoskeleton forehead and going, "Oops! Sorry! No homo!"

The study's idiot co-author goes even farther up the ridiculous-theory ladder.

"[Insects] have evolved to mate quick and dirty," said study co-author Inon Scharf, an evolutionary ecologist at Tel Aviv University. "They grab every opportunity to mate that they have because, if they become slow, they may give up an opportunity to mate." Sometimes, such extreme indiscrimination leads to mating with inanimate objects, as has been observed in beetles trying to mount glass bottles.

Got that? Beetles don't just mistakenly fuck dudes because they think they're chicks. No, they mistakenly fuck bottles because they think they're chicks. Scharf actually says that glass bottles look like giant female beetles. I guess that explains why women always run screaming out of liquor stores.

Other studies do, however, show evidence of more intentional and malicious motivations behind homosexual insect sex. Male butterflies, moths and wasps, for example, use same-sex encounters to distract competitors from potential female mates.

Really? You know, I've had sex a few times. Guys have approached me in bars, said, "Why don't we go back to my place?", and we've fucked. But I'm relatively sure the guy's primary motivation hasn't been to keep me away from the hot chicks. And I'm not sure how a scientist would determine this motivation. He see a bunch of moths, both male and female. The male moths start fucking. They're all lubed up and screwing and an actual, thinking scientist says, "Wow, they really want to distract the other dudes from all the women!"

Certain beetles have even been found to use same-sex mounting as a way to spread sperm to other males that may then pass it along to the next female he mounts,...

Sigh. Well, I guess we should have seen that coming. Now Bob Beetle is ejaculating on Barry Beetle's chest in hopes it'll get rubbed against Betty Beetle. I'm trying to figure out how EBs work out this whole cause-and-effect. Beetles have gay sex, then still dripping sperm they hang around with females. I'm thinking (1) they have to hang around with females because there's no Insect West Hollywood, and (2) beetles have a hard time cleaning up.

     Dear Scientists,
     Maybe the beetles would have wiped off the cum but, you know, they don't have Kleenex.
     Hope this helps,

Are you getting the idea that beetles have a lot of gay sex? Well, it appears you're right.

[O]ne study found that certain male insects have developed femalelike genitals to lower the risk of damage from homosexual penetration.

That's my favorite beetle anecdote, and definitely the pièce de résistance. That's the story that sets intelligent people giggling because it destroys that whole "confused hetero" theory. Let's set the scene: there's a whole colony of horny insects, but all the males are just buttfucking each other. Constantly buttfucking. In fact, they buttfuck so often it's actually a threat to their lives. (Mental note: could this be why crabs walk sideways?) Male insects go gay so often that even God is throwing in the towel. He's like, "Holy Christ! If I give you guys fake vaginas, would you please stop fucking each other in the butt?"

And what's the first thing Evolutionary Biologists have to say about these insects? NONE OF THEM ARE GAY.

Sadly, I see a lost cause, at least for the near future. Because if rampant gay sex won't convince scientists that not all insects are straight, what will? Will they need to carry little rainbow flags? Hold parades? Open discos? That would certainly be one of the most disgusting things I could think of, and I've been to Oil Can Harry's.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Your blog is aptly named.

RomanHans said...

Wow. Your college education is really showing with your passionate, erudite defense of this study.

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