Bruce Bagemihl

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Bruce Bagemihl is a Canadian biologist, linguist, and author of the book Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

He served on the faculty of University of British Columbia, where he taught linguistics and cognitive science,[3] and earned a Ph.D. in linguistics from there in 1988.

Biological Exuberance cites numerous studies on more than 450 species (see List of animals displaying homosexual behavior) showing that homosexual and bisexual behaviors are common among animals and proposes a theory of sexual behavior in which reproduction is only one of its principal biological functions.[4] Bagemihl proposes that group cohesion and lessening of tensions, seen for example among bonobos, are other important functions of sexual behavior.[5] He also argues that the implications for humans of homosexual behaviour across the animal kingdom are "enormous."[4][5]

His book on homosexuality in animals was cited by the American Psychiatric Association and other groups in their amici curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas,[6] the case which ultimately struck down sodomy laws across the United States.[7] The book formed the basis for the museum exhibition Against Nature?.[7]

He has also published several essays and scientific articles on issues related to language, biology, gender, and sexuality.[3]


  1. ^ McDonald, Maggie (January 4, 2006). "Biological Exuberance by Bruce Bagemihl". New Scientist. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  2. ^ Fletcher, Martin (January 3, 2007). "Birds do it, bees do it ..." The Times. Archived from the original on February 17, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Publisher-supplied biographical information about contributor(s) for Biological exuberance : animal homosexuality and natural diversity / Bruce Bagemihl ; illustrated by John Megahan". Library of Congress. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b Harrold, Max (February 16, 1999). "Creature Comforts". The Advocate. No. 779. Here Publishing. pp. 61–62. Retrieved March 10, 2018. In his news book, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity ... author Bruce Bagemihl portrays an animal kingdom that embraces a whole spectrum of sexual orientations ... [and] a complex mosaic that resembles humanity ... 'It's an expanded vision of what the natural world is all about,' [Bagemihl] says. 'We're not alone in having a range of sexual behaviours. This is something that is all-encompassing.' ... At 751 pages and with photos and documentation of homosexual behaviour in more than 450 species of mammals, birds, repties, and insects, Biological Exuberance brings the dusty facts to light as Bagemihl deconstructs the all-heterosexual Noah's Ark we've been sold. ... Although he doesn't claim to know the motivations of animals, Bagemihl says he does know procreation is not always the driving force: 'Same-sex couplings occur in the presence of the opposite sex, and in and out of captivity, and in and out of mating season.'
  5. ^ a b Kluger, Jeffrey (April 26, 1999). "The Gay Side of Nature". Time. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved March 10, 2018. Although gay himself, Bagemihl says he did not write his landmark book (which he spent nine years researching) simply because of his own sexual identity but rather because 'the implications for humans are enormous.'
  6. ^ American Psychological Association; American Psychiatric Association; National Association of Social Workers; Texas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (January 2003). "Brief for Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners in the case of John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner v. State of Texas" (PDF). Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Dinitia (February 7, 2004). "Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name". The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2007.

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