Do Animals Enjoy Sex Just Like Humans?

Recent observational evidence is helping to resolve the age-old debate over whether animals experience the same pleasurable feelings that humans do during sex.

What's the Latest?


Recent observational evidence is helping to resolve the age-old debate over whether animals experience the same pleasurable feelings that humans do during sex. In an article published this year in Zoo Biologyresearchers presented evidence culled from 116 hours of behavioural observations that two bears living in a sanctuary in Croatia had performed 28 acts of oral sex on each other. The researchers claim the behavior is a "result of early deprivation of suckling behaviour, since both bears were brought to the sanctuary as orphans, before they were fully weaned from their absentee mothers." And because the behavior was pleasurable, it continued.

What's the Big Idea?

Biologists have long taken the view that animals copulate primarily to procreate but in cases where the frequency of sexual activity extends beyond what is required by nature, scientists speculate that the pleasure principle is at work. The female lion, for example, may engage in up to 100 mating sessions per day during the week of her ovulation. Other research into the habits of Japanese macaques has found that increases in heart rate and vaginal spasms may indicate a female orgasm. Interestingly, the frequency of the alleged orgasms increase during copulation with males who occupy higher status in the macaque society. 

Read more at BBC Future

Photo credit: sunsinger/Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.