EDUCATION
11/07/2011 03:42 pm ET Updated Jan 07, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex: Are We Just Wild Animals? (VIDEO)

Hey, it's Cara Santa Maria. Last week, I invited everyone to join a scientific dialogue about sexuality for the month of November. The conversation quickly turned toward LGBT issues, with comments like these from Karen:

"Gay is, as is straight, so why sit and pick and delve and try to explain...acceptance is what is necessary."

It's interesting that as much as we want to talk about this from a scientific perspective only, you're right, these issues don't exist in a vacuum. Some strong social opinions are bound to come up. And while I completely agree with this comment, and think -- or hope -- that most of us do as well, I want to remind everyone that we aren't trying to moralize here. Let's look at the evidence, think about these issues in a scientifically-minded way, and see what conclusions we come up with.

I also want to be sure that when we talk about sexual preferences, we're not limiting them to a single issue. What about fetishes? Pedophilia? What about some women's tendencies to want a male partner to be taller than her? Or the men who gravitate to women who look just like their mothers? We don't have to limit this conversation. Nothing is off limits.

I also really enjoyed the conversation that was started about biological and evolutionary correlates of human sexuality. For example, Todd said:

"What humans call sex, is the misuse of the act of procreation. Take what you call sex out of your lives and learn to love and respect one another. Do you wonder why there is rape, abortion, disease, kidnapping, murders, divorce, etc. Listen, Learn."

Right, Todd. Because there's no rape or murder in the wild. Lions just sit around waiting for gazelles to die before they eat them, and ducks don't gang rape each other. However, I do like that this is opening up our sexuality conversation to ecology as a whole.

So this week, let's talk about how our tendencies are aligned with those of wild animals. How are we the same sexually? What sets us apart? We know that there are over 140 known species of gay animals. What about monogamy? Is that common in the wild? What about incest? Do our ape relatives have sex for pleasure or just procreation? Were they born that way, or is it "monkey see, monkey do?" (Yes, I know that apes aren't monkeys.)

What do you want to talk about? Hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or leave your comments on my blog. Come on, talk nerdy to me.

See all Talk Nerdy to Me posts: www.huffingtonpost.com/news/talk-nerdy-to-me
Like Cara Santa Maria on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Cara-Santa-Maria
Follow Cara Santa Maria on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CaraSantaMaria