Animal Sexual Behaviour - Interpretation Bias

Interpretation Bias

The field of study of sexuality in non-human species has been a long standing taboo, with researchers either failing to observe or mis-categorizing and mis-describing sexual behaviour which does not meet their preconceptions. (See: Observer bias.) More current research provides views such as that of the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo, which in 2006 held an exhibition on animal sexuality:

Many researchers have described homosexuality as something altogether different from sex. They must realise that animals can have sex with who they will, when they will and without consideration to a researcher's ethical principles. —

An example of overlooking behaviour relates to descriptions of giraffe mating:

When nine out of ten pairings occur between males, "very male that sniffed a female was reported as sex, while anal intercourse with orgasm between males was only 'revolving around' dominance, competition or greetings. —

Other aspects that are often misinterpreted by humans are the frequency and context in which animals engage in sexual behaviors. For example, domestic or farm animals display behaviors like mounting and head butting during both sex and competition or combats with each other. Careful analysis must be made to interpret what animal activities are implied by those behaviors.

Read more about this topic:  Animal Sexual Behaviour

Famous quotes containing the word bias:

    The solar system has no anxiety about its reputation, and the credit of truth and honesty is as safe; nor have I any fear that a skeptical bias can be given by leaning hard on the sides of fate, of practical power, or of trade, which the doctrine of Faith cannot down-weigh.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)