Click here for a “world clock” (by that constantly updates the total number of, well, lots of stuff: births, abortions, deaths of different types, prisoners, marriages, divorces, extinct species, gallons of oil pumped, and computers, cars, and bicycles built. You can choose to display it by how much has happened in the last year, month, day, or even from a moment, like right… now.

Thanks, Mom!

Ad for men’s slacks. Thanks to Dorotha for finding it here.

Here’s the text:

“Though she was a tiger lady, our hero didn’t have to fire a shot to floor her. After one look at his Mr. Leggs slacks, she was ready to have him walk all over her. That noble styling sure soothes the savage heart! If you’d like your own doll-to-doll carpeting, hunt up a pair of these he-man Mr. Leggs slacks. Such as our new automatic wash wear blend of 65% “Dacron” and 35% rayon—incomparably wrinkle-resistant. About $12.95 at plush-carpeted stores.”

Click here to read about Silo and Roy, gay penguins. They were together for six years before they broke up. One of them paired up with a female.

A children’s book, written about Silo and Roy, was apparently removed from the children’s fiction section at two bookstores because it promoted homosexuality.

A same-sex penguin couple, on the right in the picture below, were segregated from the rest of the penguins because they kept stealing eggs.  Sneakily, they would replace the egg with a rock and take the real egg for themselves.  The zoo keepers eventually decided to give them the eggs of another penguin pair who had a poor record of parenting and, the story says, they are among the best parents at the zoo (via Alas).

NEW!  Another pair of male penguins, this time at a zoo in Bremerhaven, Germany, have become adoptive parents (via). Z and Vielpunkt:


These two male storks, living in a Dutch zoo, are raising a chick together. The zookeepers don’t know how they came across their egg, but somehow they did, and now they’re parents! Click here for the story and a video.

About 20 percent of all black swan couples are male/male according to this study:

Carlos and Fernando just celebrated their fifth anniversary (see here):

A museum in Oslo has gained some attention for their exhibit, Against Nature?, featuring homosexual behavior among animals. Check it out.

And here is a link to a story about same-sex pairs (1/3rd of all pairs!) among wild Albatross.

NEW (Apr. ’10)!  Speaking of the Albatross: they mate for life (if they’re lucky, 60-70 years) and this is a female pair nesting in Kaena Point, Hawaii.

Biologist Lindsay Young, who studies this colony, concurs that about 1/3rd of the couples are same-sex.  They also rear chicks.

The New York Times article, from which I borrowed this images, explains that:

Various forms of same-sex sexual activity have been recorded in more than 450 different species of animals by now, from flamingos to bison to beetles to guppies to warthogs. A female koala might force another female against a tree and mount her, while throwing back her head and releasing what one scientist described as “exhalated belchlike sounds.” Male Amazon River dolphins have been known to penetrate each other in the blowhole. Within most species, homosexual sex has been documented only sporadically, and there appear to be few cases of individual animals who engage in it exclusively. For more than a century, this kind of observation was usually tacked onto scientific papers as a curiosity, if it was reported at all, and not pursued as a legitimate research subject. Biologists tried to explain away what they’d seen, or dismissed it as theoretically meaningless — an isolated glitch in an otherwise elegant Darwinian universe where every facet of an animal’s behavior is geared toward reproducing. One primatologist speculated that the real reason two male orangutans were fellating each other was nutritional.

Courtship behaviors between two animals of the same sex were persistently described in the literature as “mock” or “pseudo” courtship — or just “practice.” Homosexual sex between ostriches was interpreted by one scientist as “a nuisance” that “goes on and on.” One man, studying Mazarine Blue butterflies in Morocco in 1987, regretted having to report “the lurid details of declining moral standards and of horrific sexual offenses” which are “all too often packed” into national newspapers. And a bighorn-sheep biologist confessed in his memoir, “I still cringe at the memory of seeing old D-ram mount S-ram repeatedly.” To think, he wrote, “of those magnificent beasts as ‘queers’ — Oh, God!”

Different ideas are emerging about how these behaviors could fit within that traditional Darwinian framework, including seeing them as conferring reproductive advantages in roundabout ways. Male dung flies, for example, appear to mount other males to tire them out, knocking them out of competition for available females. Researchers speculate that young male bottlenose dolphins mount one another simply to establish trust and form bonds — but those bonds actually turn out to be critical to reproduction, since when males mature, they work in groups to cooperatively gain access to females.

I love this picture!*

It’s a wonderful illustration of the way in which we tend to project a gendered nuclear family model onto animals in ways that make that model seem more “natural” and “universal” than it is. (For the argument, try Donna Haraway’s Teddy Bear Patriarchy.)

Chickens, at least in captivity, do not live in lovely nuclear families like the nice chicken family above. They live in harems with just one rooster and lots of hens. Notice, too, how the hen is looking down (lovingly? maternally?) at her chicks, while the rooster is looking out into the distance (for danger? the protector?). Or maybe he’s checking out all those other “chicks” he gets with.** You know, a man has got to sow his seed. Oh wait, he’s not a man, he’s a CHICKEN!)

Even their bodies match our culturally and historically specific norms. Their height difference nicely matches the ideal in our society for male/female pairs (but not the reality, see here). To take the anthropomorphization further, you can almost see the hen’s fertile hips and the rooster’s strapping shoulders (am I going to far?).

* Unfortunately, I’ve had this picture for a long time and I’m afraid I don’t remember where it came from.

** Did you see that? I managed to get in the infantilization of adult women, um, hens, and the sexualization of young girls, um, chicks.


Make what you will of this. The sexual availability of the female…um…wildlife, all of whom are sexy and sexualized and dancing with the one male, the bottles of Orangina erupting from between the female zebras’ legs, and the female octopus squeezing Orangina out of her boobs…there’s a lot to work with.


Christine B. sent in a link to set of Orangina ads on Flickr:




There are quite a few others, but I’m sure you get the idea.

Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.

Newsweek had an article today wondering if girl’s Halloween costumes might be too risque. I wasn’t surprised (I remember being shocked when I saw young girls dressed up as Spice Girls in 1998) so I decided to look around the Internet to find other questionable costumes. Not surprisingly, Halloween costumes are markers of not only gender and heterosexuality, but of race and class as well.

Let’s take children’s “occupational” costumes, for example. Here are some for girls: The French maid, nurse, and cheerleader costumes were the most prevalent.

And what about occupations for boys?

And look at how race is marked with some of the children’s costume models (2 cats, and a dancer):

And note how the intersections of race, militarization, sexuality and gender are also displayed in this costume. The first is a children’s costume, and the second is for teenagers. Both costumes are called “Major Flirt.”

And now let’s move on to teenage costumes. Here are some particularly popular ones for teen girls– sexy devils and sexy angels.

And some teen girl “occupation” costumes (prisoner, referee, navy):

And of course there are teen bunnies– “Hunny Bunny Teen” and “Classic Playboy Bunny”:

And what do teen boys get to dress up as? Scary clowns, murdering maniacs, and pimps.

The costumes for couples are also pretty telling– marked by heteronormative stereotypes. The first is a “Pimp and Kristy” costume, the second is a cop costume, and finally a costume of a brick layer and a woman dressed as a home, where the woman is literally displayed as the object, as the object of a man’s action.

Anyway, happy Halloween!

PETA is well known for objectifying women in their efforts to encourage us to be kind to animals. Here are some print ads using (near) nudity:

In these two, they actually make women into animals in cages:

This one, found at Feministing, includes the following press release from PETA which in no ways tries to obfuscate their reliance on the objectification of women for their own purposes:

Wearing sexy yellow bikinis outside the legislative meeting of the United Egg Producers in Washington on Wednesday, six PETA beauties will crowd into three cramped cages to mimic conditions for laying hens on factory farms. The ladies will hold egg-shaped signs that read, ‘Chicks Suffer for Eggs.’

In case you were wondering if they were denigrating women as well as showing them naked and in cages… Here you go:

Because women’s natural bodies are actually quite disgusting, apparently.

Boys too!

NEW: Matt S. sent in three more PETA posters and a video featuring Alicia Silverstone:

To see this video featuring Silverstone on youtube, I had to verify my age and was warned that it might not be suitable for minors:

As Matt pointed out, if you didn’t know what PETA is, these ads could just as well work as pro-fur ads, by implying that if you buy a woman a fur, she’ll get naked and be sexually available to you.

Thanks, Matt!