Why We’re Covering This: We love animals and we love queers of all shapes, sizes and species.
Primate expert Dr. Cyril Grueter has led a team of researchers studying wild gorillas in Rwanda over 18 months. Dr. Grueter was working with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund when he first noticed some female gorillas trying to court the dominant male. When they were refused, they decided to go off and have sex with each other.
While the bonobo is considered the sexual superstar of the primates — seriously, bonobos will fuck ANYBODY — great apes’ relationship with homosexuality is relatively unexplored. More reason to thank Dr. Grueter and his team for their work.
The researchers studied two different groups, totalling 22 female gorillas. Of those 22, 18 engaged in homosexual activity, including genital rubbing. While most of the female gorillas got down together, it wasn’t a frequent behavior — making the researchers think it was more about sex than anything else.
According to Dr. Grueter, “We believe it is simply a function of sexual arousal, it doesn’t have another function.” Other theories, including bonding, had also been tested, but lacked evidence. Sometimes it really is just sex.
Dr. Grueter has also referred to female gorilla sexuality as “flexible”; similarly, a Notre Dame study said the same thing about human women — that they’re three times more likely than men to explore bisexuality. Similarly, another study said a majority of human women search for lesbian porn — and since we already know other primates like porn as much as humans, perhaps that’s a new avenue of study?
The full study will be published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
Featured image via University of Western Australia.