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Evolution of Homosexuality


Biological exuberance


Study of transmission of same-sex sexual behavior across animal species and humans.


Sexual behavior takes multiple forms across organisms, and although it has evolved for reproduction, it also serves other social purposes. The evolution of sex has also led to sexual dimorphism, meaning that there are morphologically and behaviorally distinct male and female genders. Across species, males usually have sex with females (heterosexuality); however, this is not always the case, and there are numerous possible variations. For example, many animals possess the sexual organs of both genders either simultaneously or at different times of their lives. Earthworms first mature as males and then lay eggs and fertilize those after copulating with another male. Despite both animals having the male gender at the time of copulation, biologists describe such cases as hermaphroditic rather than homosexual. Clownfish start their life as males and...


  • Epigenetic Mark
  • Fitness Cost
  • Sexual Attraction
  • Homosexual Behavior
  • Great Reproductive Success

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Correspondence to Vincent Savolainen .

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Savolainen, V., Hodgson, J.A. (2016). Evolution of Homosexuality. In: Weekes-Shackelford, V., Shackelford, T., Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham.

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