Sexual variations in the animal kingdom

Sexual variations in the animal kingdom

By Janna, 31.08.2023

Animals are not as heterosexual as we might think. Sexual variation is an intriguing phenomenon in the animal kingdom… From monogamy to promiscuity, hermaphroditism to sexual selection, animals show a remarkable diversity in their reproductive behavior. This variation reflects the many ways in which species adapt to their surroundings and secure reproductive success. It is also proof that homosexuality is indeed natural.

Monogamy and Partnership

Some animal species choose monogamous partnerships, in which a male and female remain together exclusively. This is common with birds like swans, which are often lifelong partners. Monogamy is advantageous because it increases the care for and protection of offspring. Biologists now agree that, contrary to what we initially thought, far fewer animals are monogamous.

Promiscuity and Polyamory

On the other hand, there are animals that are promiscuous and have multiple partners. Bonobos, a species of primates, are known for their promiscuous behavior, using sexual interactions to resolve conflicts and strengthen social bonds. Bonobo males and females have make-up sex with each other, but also with apes of the same sex. For example, the female apes, rub their clits together.


Some animals are hermaphrodites, which means that they have both male and female genitals. This occurs in many mollusks, such as snails and some fish. Hermaphrodite animals often have the possibility to reproduce on their own, but can also choose to sexually reproduce with other individuals. Genetically speaking, it is more advantageous if they reproduce with one of their own.

Sexual selection

Sexual selection is a powerful driving force of sexual variation. Certain traits, such as colorful feathers, conspicuous display behavior or physical characteristics, can be developed to attract mates. We see this, for example, in male peacocks, which use their beautiful feathers to impress females.


Homosexuality has been observed in several animal species, including birds, mammals and reptiles. Male albatrosses and male penguins, for example, are known for long-term homosexual partnerships. On the other hand, male giraffes often have orgies and group sex with each other. They rub their necks together, and lie, suck and frolic together.


Some animals, such as certain kinds of lizards and insects, can reproduce by parthenogenesis, where females fertilize themselves and reproduce on their own, without the need for males.

Sexual variation in the animal kingdom is often the result of complex evolutionary processes that enable species to adapt to different environments and reproductive challenges. This variation is essential for the maintenance of biodiversity and the continued evolution of species.

For years, biologists have only looked at what male and female animals do. Being queer wasn’t accepted among both people and animals and was therefore kept hidden as much as possible. In the meantime, more and more biologists are researching the sexual variation in the animal kingdom and it has become very clear that it is completely natural for animals and therefore also for people to not be exclusively heterosexual.

You may also like