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Animal Sex: What it can teach us about heteronormativity June 2, 2009

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, sex.
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Last week, Christina and I posted about the wide range of sexualities/sexual drives that we experience as singles. We think it’s important to acknowledge our diversity as gendered, sexual beings because society tends to stereotype, undervalue — and oftentimes punish — single people when they have so-called “abnormal” sexual desires or lifestyles (ranging from wanting to have sex but not a relationship, for example, to feeling indifferent about sex altogether). The thing is, most of us probably grew up with our parents teaching us about the “naturalness” of sex — families more open about sex might tell us that “the birds and the bees” do it (within the confines of a monogamous relationship, of course), and the rest of us are told that babies are brought to happy, deserving (ie – married) couples by generous storks.

The thing is, nature isn’t exactly “natural” – at least not according to how we humans would define it. Indeed, looking at the truth about animal sex may help reveal the heteronormativity underlying much of what we’re taught about sex and sexuality as children. Let’s begin, as a case in point, with the female praying mantis, who eats her mate immediately after sex (hey, she needed some sugar to process all that sex!):

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