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Mating inlcudes the key phrase "also to raise their offspring." Copulation has nothing to do with that. Two separate pages required.--Richardb43 12:51, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Redirect to Sexual intercourse[edit]

I'm changing this redirect target from Mating to Sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse seems more appropriate. For example, the Merriam-Webster dictionary entry for copulation is simply:

  • to engage in sexual intercourse

It's true that the same dictionary lists, for mate, copulate, as a synomym. However, that suggests that Mating might require a hatnote directing readers to Sexual intercourse. It does not suggest that redirecting copulation to Mating is preferred over Sexual intercourse. --Noca2plus (talk) 17:08, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Article in own right[edit]

Sexual intercourse, both as an article and as a term, refers to a human activity, while Copulation refers to all animals in which the male injects sperm in to the female. Cites spiders, from an excellent zoology book. Other examples:

  • cephalopods (ooh, those arms)
  • many terrestrial invertebates - arthropods, flatworms, etc.
  • Any one for cannibalism? Mantises do it, spiders do it, even little mosquitoes do it.

Thinking about it, I could nearly do a GA on what I already know - but I have 2 projects on the go already. If someone redirects it again, any one for ANI? And if I lose, I'll be back. --Philcha (talk) 17:23, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

"Sexual intercourse" can also be used to refer to copulation among non-human animals, as that article makes clear. And as I stated on your talk page, I'm not seeing why this article should exist, considering that the only way it is distinguished from sexual intercourse is that it sometimes refers to procreation only -- sexual reproduction between males and females.[1][2] But then again, so does sexual intercourse. They are largely synonymous, as those same sources show. This is why Copulation has redirected to Sexual intercourse for so long. Why didn't you simply add this information about spiders there? I'm not seeing how Copulation will grow too much bigger, and be distinguished from sexual intercourse, unless it starts to have information about procreation only and regarding all animals. And if it doesn't grow in size soon, I'm sure someone will redirect it again. Flyer22 (talk) 17:53, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Your definition that it "is the process in which males of many species introduce sperm into the females body" is only one aspect of the definition, as the term generally just means sexual intercourse. Flyer22 (talk) 17:57, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
In that case you'd need to (re-)structure a package of articles, e.g.:
  • At the top level, all phyla in which copulation appears. General advantages and disadvantages for animals. Etc.
  • Then in other articles about major taxa, sections about copulation (often in "Reproduction ...").
Sexual intercourse should be re-titled "Human ..." if it includes the content about ethical and religious aspects.
Same-sex copulation needs a big think, as its function in non-human animals (?only mammals) varies. --Philcha (talk) 18:34, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what you mean. There is no need to retitle Sexual intercourse to Human sexual intercourse, as "sexual intercourse" refers to all animal sexual activity. The fact that the term is usually reserved for humans is all the more reason to keep it titled Sexual intercourse. I'm saying that we do not need a Copulation article, as "sexual intercourse" covers copulation as well. Anything about copulation can go in the Sexual intercourse article. We do have an In other animals section there. That section can be expanded with subsections and the like. And if the information you are looking to add is only about non-human animals reproducing, which it seems it is, it can go in the Mating article. The Mating article also has a better definition of copulation when it comes to the narrow, procreative definition of copulation. I am not seeing a strong argument for keeping the Copulation article, as distinguished from sexual intercourse. And not when the Mating and Sexual intercourse articles already exist. The Sexual intercourse article is quite clear: "Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which the male reproductive organ enters the female reproductive tract. The two entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails." That first line is sourced to the Encyclopædia Britannica. And we have that same source, among various others, showing that sexual intercourse refers to sexual activity of both humans and non-human animals, and is the same thing as coitus/copulation when referring to reproduction.[3] Flyer22 (talk) 19:32, 8 April 2011
"Copulation" is the standard term in zoology. "Mating" has a different meaning, related to "Copulation" but has a longer time-scale (from searching for mates to support of offspring), and more emphasis on behaviour and ecology than on anatomy and physiology. I'll complete my current projects then do the job on Copulation. --Philcha (talk) 20:00, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
"Mating" covers "copulation"; it covers the same thing, except with a wider scope (as you just stated). Thus, I am not seeing how you are arguing that it has a different meaning. The fact are speaking of sexual reproduction, and the Mating article covers sexual reproduction -- of animals, whether same-sex reproduction or not, as well as plants and fungi. And the sexual intercourse article covers copulation. "Sexual intercourse," in fact, covers human and non-human animals. So, again, I am not understanding your insistence that the Copulation article should exist. You are ignoring the sources above -- the fact that sexual intercourse and copulation are largely synonymous. You are ignoring the fact that your definition of copulation is inadequate. There is no way that this article can be distinct from Mating and Sexual intercourse. There is no reason that this information should not be in either article, or in both. Flyer22 (talk) 20:20, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Merge We have many terms is English that are exceedingly similar to one another but may have slight variations in meaning. IMO the best thing to do is have a single page. Than begin the article with a section on classification and have a subheading defining / detailing what these minor differences. Per WP:MEDMOS we have a section on "In other animals" this is where copulation would be dealt with. If / when this section becomes to large it could than be summarized and split off. The word copulation till that time can be redirected to that section. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:21, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Hey, James. Thanks for weighing in. "Copulation" doesn't just refer to non-human animals, though. So I would advise against it being redirected to that section only. Just redirecting to Sexual intercourse is enough. Flyer22 (talk) 20:31, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
"Per WP:MEDMOS" and concentration on medicine and human zoology is a major problem all over WP. --Philcha (talk) 21:10, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean, but I'm starting a WP:RfC below. It will help bring other editors in on this matter, so that they can comment. You and I have already commented, so others can just look at what we've already stated on the matter. Flyer22 (talk) 21:37, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Should the Copulation article exist?[edit]

Opinions are needed on whether the Copulation article should exist. One argument is that, "Sexual intercourse, both as an article and as a term, refers to a human activity, while Copulation refers to all animals in which the male injects sperm in to the female." The other argument is that "copulation" does not always only refer to reproduction, "sexual intercourse" and "copulation" are largely synonymous, and that this is why "copulation" is already covered by the Sexual intercourse article. Thus, any information on it should be merged there (or to the Mating article) and the Copulation article should again be redirected to Sexual intercourse.

For those viewing this on the RfC page, the arguments are made above this section, and below, on the Copulation talk page. Flyer22 (talk) 21:37, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

View of Philcha[edit]

  • "Copulation" and "Sexual intercourse" are related but distinct, and the same applies to "Mating". "Copulation" is the standard term in zoology for the process that immediately precedes insemination. It applies to several phyla, mostly invertebrate, for example arthropods, molluscs (see cephalopods), flatworms and annelids. Humans are only a part of one phylum, chordates. The processes are very different, for example the females of some insects and spiders eat the males during copulation.
    Sexual intercourse rightly describes the religious and ethical aspects, which, so far as we know, apply only to humans. Same-sex intercourse appears among humans, chimpanzees, bonobos and dolphins, but AFAIK is physically impossible to invertebrates.
    "Mating" is harder to pin down. It includes searching for and selecting mates, and parental care of offspring (scorpions are devoted mothers, see File:Scorpionwithyoung.JPG). But mating behaviour can be celibate (e.g. Gandhi) or same-sex (including parental care in some cases).
    If merged, the result would be ridiculously long.
    On a lighter note, if the articles were merged under Sexual intercourse, the lead image would have be of an insect, as there about 1.5 speccies of insects! --Philcha (talk) 08:35, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I note we also have Animal sexual behaviour - how much of the material you are envisaging might be able to be placed there? I guess I'd see an advantage in fewer, better articles.Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:56, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Copulation and sexual intercourse are not distinct. I have provided sources that show they are not distinct.[4][5][6] Philcha, you have shown nothing to show they are distinct. It's silly to say that they are distinct when both are used to refer to sexual intimacy, and sexual intimacy in the hopes of sexual reproduction. It does not matter that "copulation" is the standard term in zoology for the process that immediately precedes insemination; it is still largely synonymous with sexual intercourse. Further, your statement that "copulation" is the standard term is not backed up by any sources. Plenty of researchers studying sexual behavior of non-human animals use the words "sexual intercourse" and "mating." Just because sexual intercourse encompasses religious and ethical does not make it distinct from copulation. Of course it covers those aspects since the term encompasses human sexual activity, as well as non-human sexual activity. "Mating" is not harder to pin down. It includes sexual intercourse/copulation and reproduction, and extends things a little. Your material can more than fit there. And, no, we do not have to include insects in the lead in the Sexual intercourse article if your Copulation information about spiders is merged there. Sexual intercourse covers all animals. Insects are animals too. The lead is for summarizing, per WP:LEAD, not mentioning every animal that engages in sexual intercourse/sexual reproduction. If merged, the result would not be ridiculously long, unless you create significant sections mostly focusing on just about every insect. And you should not. You should summarize. And there should be no WP:UNDUE (undue in terms of the In other animals section focusing more so on insects than on any other animal). And you can also take this information (or some of it) to the Mating article. So far, you have given no valid arguments for keeping the Copulation article or for not merging your material to the Mating article. You also have the Animal sexual behaviour article, as Casliber pointed out above. That article addresses exactly what you want to address. Flyer22 (talk) 16:01, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

View of User:Jmh649[edit]

We need to try an avoid having different pages occurring at each synonym of a meaning. Sexual intercourse and copulation are similar enough that they should be dealt with on the same page as these terms are frequently used interchangeably. The small differences (if reliable sources can be found to substantiate them) can be discussed in the first section of the article named "definition". Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:29, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I am leaning this way too. Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:57, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Very reasonable. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 14:03, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
It is already known that I support this view. As I stated above, copulation and sexual intercourse are not distinct. I have provided sources that show they are not distinct,[7][8][9] while Philcha has shown nothing to show they are distinct. My longer reply is in the Philcha section. Flyer22 (talk) 16:04, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Jmh649's view. ZooPro 14:20, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
At first glance, the only reason to split these articles would be for length reasons, per WP:FORK. Even then, you'd need clear disambiguation or completely new titles to distinguish which aspects were covered in each. Also, as said above, the Definition section can lay out the different uses of the terms in their various contexts, reducing the need for formal separation. That said, whatever Philcha knows should be added to the article, regardless of whether it has its own title. Ocaasi c 00:59, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

View of User:Kaldari[edit]

This is a tricky question. Obviously in most cases copulation and sexual intercourse mean the same thing, however this is not the case 100% of the time, and they are typically used in different contexts. For example, in entomology, copulation often refers to the act of physical coupling (i.e. clasping or holding), whether or not there is actual "sexual intercourse" in the strict sense (insemination). So, for example, two male moths can copulate, but not have sexual intercourse. However, that's something of an edge case I suppose. The real difference is context. Even though copulation and sexual intercourse mean virtually the same thing, "copulation" is rarely used to describe human sexual activity, and "sexual intercourse" is rarely used to describe non-human sexual activity, but this is purely by convention, not by definition. So how do you resolve that in the context of Wikipedia? I'm not sure. The only thing I do know is that we currently have too many articles on this subject and most of them are rather poor quality. Probably better to consolidate some of them. Kaldari (talk) 20:58, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Good points. And thanks for weighing in. I'm pretty sure that this is why Doc James stated that any differences could be addressed in a Definitions section in the Sexual intercourse article, and that these terms are not distinct enough to warrant separate articles. Like you stated, copulation and sexual intercourse mean virtually the same thing. I'm wouldn't say a Definitions section is needed just to cover a small sometimes-difference as this, though. If a Definitions section is created, it would be best to also detail there how some forms of sexual intercourse/sexual acts are not considered "real sex." This was briefly touched on in the lead for some months, but is no longer there, and the article is lacking without the debate of what constitutes "real sex." The only thing I worry about with that is too much overlap of information that is already found in the Reproduction and sexual practices section. Flyer22 (talk) 22:24, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Not to mention all the material at sexual reproduction. Kaldari (talk) 22:29, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I meant to state this earlier: I would say that the Sexual reproduction article can stand on its own, as plenty of beings sexually reproduce without engaging in sexual intercourse, but there is also the fact that there is the Reproduction article and Asexual reproduction article. Looking at all three articles, it doesn't seem that we need three articles to cover all that. It could all be covered in Reproduction, until it needs to be split off. Flyer22 (talk) 16:22, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, asexual reproduction is actually a pretty complex subject, so I could see a reason for needing a stand-alone article on that as well. Kaldari (talk) 18:49, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

View of Tijfo098[edit]

The titles need to be worked out, but I think two different articles are justified, one human-centric and the other not, just like we have brain and human brain. Tijfo098 (talk) 05:45, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

View of[edit]

Intercourse is a very wide term - "Interpersonal communication, any kind of human communication and/or interaction." >100 years ago it just meant 'conversation'.
Interpersonal sexual communication, any kind of human sexual communication and/or sexual interaction.
It would be very useful to keep 'intercourse' wide eg flirting and 'copulation' narrow ie "The thing itself", to quote Brave New World.
Unfortunately legal usage takes the widest term and gives it the narrowest meaning. -- (talk) 22:28, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Redirect to Sexual intercourse committed[edit]

Looks like I stuck my foot in it nicely by performing the redirect today without being aware of the discussion here. As it stood, the article looked too much like a stub and especially since the redirect target listed "copulation" as a synonym in the lead. Feel free to revert this, I recognise that the topic is a complex one, especially when approaching invertebrate biology and the like. -Agamemnon2 (talk) 16:14, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

That's nice. Does it mean Sexual intercourse will be dominated by invertebrates, with the lead pic and most of the others being of invertebrates? --Philcha (talk) 17:16, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
One can only hope :) Seriously though, it seems like most of the opinions above were leaning in that direction anyway. Kaldari (talk) 17:30, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I've thrown down the gauntlet at Talk:Sexual intercourse#Article is overwhelmingly dominated by human sex. Kaldari (talk) 18:07, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

So what? The article "sexual intercourse" remains human-dominated, but this confusing redirect gave rise to clueless edits like [10]. Maybe, mating will be a better target, indeed? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 17:25, 22 September 2012 (UTC)