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90 of male giraffes mate with other males scientists have found it isn t about sexual orientation adult giraffes mate with female giraffes as well

By Morgan Wallace
Published in Animals
February 02, 2024
2 min read
90 of male giraffes mate with other males scientists have found it isn t about sexual orientation adult giraffes mate with female giraffes as well

90% of Male Giraffes Mate with Other Males: Challenging Misconceptions

Young Male Giraffes Necking

When it comes to giraffes, we often picture these graceful creatures roaming the African savannahs, their long necks reaching high into the sky as they browse on treetop leaves. But did you know that a significant number of male giraffes engage in same-sex sexual behavior? Recent scientific research has revealed that approximately 90% of male giraffes engage in homosexual encounters, challenging our preconceived notions about their behavior. However, it’s important to note that this behavior is not driven by sexual orientation but rather serves a different purpose within the social dynamics of giraffe herds.

Homosexual Behavior in Male Giraffes: A Misunderstood Phenomenon

Giraffes Mating

Contrary to popular belief, the sexual encounters between male giraffes are not related to their sexual orientation. Instead, these encounters are a form of social interaction known as “necking,” where male giraffes engage in playful and often vigorous rubbing, pressing, and mounting behavior. Necking is a common behavior seen among male giraffes, and it serves multiple purposes within their social structure, including establishing dominance, forming alliances, and strengthening social bonds.

A Complex Social Structure

Giraffes live in herds consisting of multiple males and females. These herds often exhibit a hierarchical structure, with dominant males maintaining control over access to females for mating purposes. However, hierarchy among male giraffes is not fixed, and it can change as individuals challenge each other for dominance.

During necking, male giraffes engage in intense physical contact, using their long necks as powerful weapons. This behavior allows them to establish dominance by demonstrating their physical strength, agility, and endurance. By engaging in necking, male giraffes are essentially “testing” each other, and the winners are more likely to secure mating opportunities with females. Consequently, necking plays a crucial role in maintaining stability within the social structure of giraffe herds.

Females Remain Integral to Reproduction

While male giraffes do engage in same-sex sexual behavior, it is essential to note that their mating patterns also involve female giraffes. These encounters with females are vital for reproduction, ensuring the continuation of the species. Female giraffes have their own preferences when choosing mates, often opting for the dominant males that have successfully established their dominance through necking.

Understanding the intricate social dynamics and mating behaviors of giraffes provides valuable insights into their cooperative interactions, sexual strategies, and the evolutionary significance of same-sex behavior. It highlights the complexity and diversity of behaviors within the animal kingdom and serves as a reminder that sexual behaviors can serve multiple purposes beyond reproduction.

Source: The Guardian - Shortcuts: 99% of giraffes are gay-loving, or at least that’s what the media thinks




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Morgan Wallace

Morgan Wallace

Political journalist

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