Same-sex sexual behavior in birds: Expression is related to social mating system and state of development at hatching

MacFarlane, Geoff R., Blomberg, Simon P., Kaplan, Gisela and Rogers, Lesley J. (2007) Same-sex sexual behavior in birds: Expression is related to social mating system and state of development at hatching. Behavioral Ecology, 18 1: 21-33. doi:10.1093/beheco/arl065


Author MacFarlane, Geoff R.
Blomberg, Simon P.
Kaplan, Gisela
Rogers, Lesley J.
Title Same-sex sexual behavior in birds: Expression is related to social mating system and state of development at hatching
Journal name Behavioral Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1045-2249
1465-7279
Publication date 2007-01-01
Year available 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/beheco/arl065
Volume 18
Issue 1
Start page 21
End page 33
Total pages 13
Place of publication New York, United States of America
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject 0602 Ecology
Abstract We report the findings of a phylogenetic comparative analysis examining patterns and frequency of occurrence of same-sex courtship and mounting behavior in birds. Our analysis has shown associations between same-sex sexual behavior and both mating system and degree of precociousness at hatching. The patterns of expression and frequency of occurrence of same-sex sexual behavior differed markedly for males and females. Patterns of same-sex sexual expression reflected the competitive sexes that actively solicit sexual interactions in heterosexual encounters. Male–male (MM) sexual behavior occurred across all mating systems, but MM mounting was significantly more prevalent in those species with facultative polygamy. The frequency of MM sexual behavior increased with degree of polygamy. Female–female (FF) sexual behavior (especially courtship) occurred most frequently in socially monogamous species and rarely occurred in species that display obligate polygamy (predominantly polygynous species). Both expression and frequency of FF sexual behavior was strongly related to the precocial state of development at hatching. FF sexual behavior is more likely to occur in species in which monogamy occurs together with the production of precocial offspring; that is, in monogamous species that are exceptions to the more common altricial mode of development. We suggest that requirement of biparental care in monogamous species may influence the greater expression of FF sexual behavior and longer term associations. Both spatial and behavioral dispersion of females and engagement in uniparental care may be important in explaining the lower incidence of FF sexual behavior in polygynous species. Social contexts where males congregate at communal leks or display areas may influence the greater expression and frequency of MM sexual behavior in polygynous species. Copyright The Author 2006
Keyword Altricial
Animal homosexual behavior
Mating systems
Monogamy
Polygamy
Precocial
Same-sex sexual behavior
Social learning
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes Advance Access originally published online on October 20, 2006

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 08 Jan 2010, 22:34:24 EST by Simon Utteridge on behalf of Faculty of Science