Not So Cute: Dolphin Gang-Rape

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by francois, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. kurros Registered Senior Member

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    Why is it humanising them to say that the females are not willing participants? Animals certainly have wants and needs and desires, albeit simple ones. In particular, when it comes to reproducing the females of any species don't just mate with any male that comes along, so of course if the males force her it can be called rape. It may not have the same psychological impact on them as it does on humans, but the technical definition seems perfectly applicable.
     
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  3. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    um VI, do you know how the sea lice mates?
    the male builds a nest and when a female walks by it grabs her and drags her in and "rapes" her. she then (along with all the other victoms) waits for the young to litterally EAT there way out of her.

    Of course the pray mantis (and most spiders) go the other way, during sex the female EATS the male

    So i dont think you can really say that its intelligence which causes rape, rather natural selection (ie the way they develop)
     
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  5. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Dolphins have bigger brains than us. They know exactly wtf they are doing and THEY LIKE IT!! MUHAHAHA

    I love the responses in this thread - lol WTF are you going to do put them in Jail?
     
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  7. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

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    Rape threads are always fun because it brings out the crazy in everyone.
     
  8. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    If you define "rape" to mean "forcing sex on one who doesn't want it" (which is the definition that pretty much the entire English-speaking world uses) then I see no reason not to call it "rape." There are many activities that both humans and dolphins (and other animals) engage in, and it doesn't seem like anthropomorphizing to me to point those activities out. Would you say it's anthropomorphizing to point out that dolphins eat? That they fight?
     
  9. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    so preying mantises commit first degree murder?
     
  10. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    That's the definition of rape for humans ...I don't think that it would extend to the higher animals like the dolphins. Lions also "force" the females to have sex ...they even use enough force with their biting to cause bleeding. And the lioness comes back for more over the next couple of days to make sure that the ..."rape"... took and she was pregnant.

    Rape? As defined by Miriam-Webster? ...LOL!

    Baron Max
     
  11. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    No, Orly, it's just very, very harsh and complete oral sex!

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    Baron Max
     
  12. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Scientific American Mind had an issue a few months back related to Mind and Sex. In it were a number of articles on rape. Most scientists seemed to agree that other animals do not "rape" in the sense of human's rape and to suggest so was anthropomorphizing.

    Take the case of orangutans. If I remember correctly males remain remain at 75Kg if there is an alpha male. The Alpha male will service around 7 females. Each female has her own territory. This means the male needs to travel from area to area to check on each female. The females weigh about as much as a immature male (75Kg). 50% of the offsrping are not related to the alpha male. While the male is away the small female size males force sex with the females. The females make a "rape grunt" noise which sounds like a scream (hence the name rape grunt). It appears the females are being raped. But, unlike in the human sense the females are in no way harmed. It's just the way orangutans procreate. They've evolved this behavior. When the alpha male dies all of the immature males gain about 75Kg in weight at the same time and fight for prime position as alpha male. Killing or chasing off the other males that simultaneously matured. (notice I didn't say "murdered" - they kill them or run them off so that the tribe is left with the strongest alpha male).

    It should be noted that the new alpha male doesn't kill off the new small immature males, even though he knows that they are doing exactly as he did when he was small like them and impregnating the females he's looking after. (he will chase one away if it's messing around and he catches it - but, if he really wanted to stop "rape" he'd simply kill off ALL of the other males ... but, that wouldn't make for a competitive tribe and he'd be the last of his kind).

    So, IMO, "rape" and "murder" are human endeavors. I may be wrong but that's the way I see it. The only time animals act outside of their normal programmed behavior is when they're enclosed in a zoo. Kind of like humans in prison. Then maybe they do "rape" or something approximating rape.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  13. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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    Who says that humans are not acting within their normal programmed behavior when they rape and murder. Some chimps rape and murder and some don't. Some ducks rape and some don't.

    All of this human thinking and ideals and culture and religious superstition may make us feel like we have more free will than animals do but I think this just an illusion and we are really almost as much a product of our programming as the animals are.

    Sure somebody could be shamed or intimidated into not raping when he is naturally inclined to be a rapist but animals also modify their behavior in response to social pressure.
     
  14. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Very good point. I agree.
     
  15. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    I was thinking of the "duck" rape. Do ducks really "want" or "not want" anything at all? Whose to say that when a female duck appears to "not want" sex that this is really just a pre-programmed behavior trait to select for the most persistent and horny duck thereby following her "rape" ensuring that her own offspring are more than likely to also procreate?

    Human's feel things like "want" which is why we have the word, as for ducks? I'm not so sure.
     
  16. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    It really comes down to semantics; if you define "rape" to be something that only humans can do, then that's what the word means. That's the case with "murder" - by definition it can only apply to killing a human, not an animal. But I never really had the sense that "rape" was by definition a strictly human activity. Like I said, there are a great many activities that both humans and other animals engage in, and I don't know why rape shouldn't be considered one of them.
    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. It seems that clearly some species include rape as part of their normal programmed behavior, as an evolutionary strategy. Do you consider a male animal forcing sex on an unwilling female to not be rape so long as the male animal was genetically programmed to do so?
    I don't know about ducks specifically, but if you've spent any significant time around animals it should be clear to you that they can indeed want things. When I'm eating a sandwich and my dog is eagerly hovering a respectful distance away in the hopes of me giving him some scraps, I have no doubt that he wants a piece of my roast beef. While it's true that his psychology is surely vastly different from mine, I don't think you can dismiss all overlap between human and, for example, dog psychology as "anthropomorphizing."
     
  17. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

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    I think you may be correct. And I've read books about sex, sexual selection and evolution. I'm pretty sure there is evidence that backs up what you're saying.

    I think it is a very confusing thing to talk about, because there is definitely an advantage (from the perspective of the duck's genes) in a female getting raped be a competent rapist duck as opposed to one who just kind of half-asses things. The former is a better procreator. Her sons and grandsons will benefit from having the "better procreator" genes. Absolutely.

    But at the same time, there is evidence that female ducks really don't want to be raped. Their vaginas. They have very long cork-screwed vaginas and they have these little things, like rudders, perhaps, that can inhibit or encourage insemination. In other words, females have control. Female ducks won the sex wars.

    In species where there is often forced copulation or promiscuity, sexual selection and sex gadgetry (weird sexual organs) play a greater role. Humans are rather sexual and so the men have large genitals compared to other apes. Women have means of controlling the pH of the fluid in their vaginas and can control when and how much they have sex. Men need to be able to compete with each other. Our sperm are made to destroy other sperm by identifying their chemical signature and then destroying them if they're different. The penis itself is shaped to pump out semen and then shoot out its own. After you've orgasms and came, you want that stuff to stay in there, that's why you have a strong urge to stop--you don't want to pump out your own stuff. Then women have behaviors and gadgetry to control insemination, promote sperm warfare (so she receives only the best, winningest semen) and whatnot. Sex is a real fascinating part of evolution.

    Like I said, ducks have real weird sexual gadgetry. In this case female ducks won the sex wars. But the males are still rapists, so that means there's benefit to this behavior, despite having lost the sex wars. I don't know, perhaps, the males can tell their semen is being blocked and can basically make death threats so that she opens the channel or something.

    The thing is, no matter how fucked up it sounds, if rape enhances the male duck's reproductive potential, then it is also advantageous for the female duck to be raped. Her sons and grandsons will be have that same enhanced sexual reproductivity. Our (male and female) fate is inextricably linked. Although our history and biology reveal horrendous fighting war tactics, we are brothers and sisters, tied together by our progeny below us. Our daughters, brothers and granddaughters and grandsons. It may sound a little confusing and paradoxical, but while it may be advantageous for a male to rape, it's also advantageous for the male duck to have genes that cause female ducks to resist rape and therefore filter the competent from the incompetent rapists. It pays to think further down the line and about the consequences of sex on your progeny who do have your genes and may be male or female.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  18. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    The flip side to this is that although the successful rapist might have better genes, in many species both the male and female parents play a role in caring for offspring. The increased odd of her offspring surviving with a cooperative male can more than cancel out the benefits of slightly fitter genes from the successful male rapist.

    Suppose an offspring has a 75% chance to survive if both parents care for it, and only a 50% chance if only the mother cares for it. If the male can rape two females, his genes will come out ahead; there will be a 75% chance of at least one of his offspring surviving and a 25% chance of both surviving. From the perspective of each female, however, it would be better to have a single mate who stuck around to increase the odds of her offspring (and therefor her genes) surviving, rather than a mate who runs off in search of more females to rape.
     
  19. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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    That is a small variation on the sort of thing that human date rapists have so often said to excuse their behavior.

    Why should a woman care who the father of her children will be? Women have a program that tells them when and who to mate with and if somebody tries to forcibly override that program the women will probably feel emotional distress. Why should we think it is any different for the ducks.

    I think all the attempts to say animals don't have emotions are based on two things, 1 mediocre scientists trying to look super detached to establish their credentials as unemotional higher thinking people and 2 humans in general wanting believe whatever will help them to not feel guilty for treating animals cruelly and unempathetically.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  20. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    Dolphins are also involved in a long-running worldwide campaign of genocide against porpoises.
     
  21. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Some really great posts. I can't say I disagree with anything written here. If anything it makes me stop and think about how taboo the subject of rape is and sure, we do like the word anthropomorphizing don't we

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    I suppose being "civilized" and all, some of us have forgotten that we're really not all that different from the duck :shrug: I've met cage-fighters before and they do seem to be bred for it and are really only "happy" when they're trying to kill someone. something to think about.

    I didn't know Dolphins had a beef with Porpoises?

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  22. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Michael, I have to say that I'm damned impressed by your "confession". It's one of the things that I try to do every day, and often right here on Sciforums ...to view things from a different perspective.

    You're more than right ...we humans are almost always an arrogant, egotistical animal that simply refuses to admit to any failings ....of which he has MANY!

    SAM used to piss me off, upset me, anger me, ....., and yet what she/he did was show things from another perspective (and I didn't always like what I saw from that perspective).

    Just had to compliment you, Michael, because I don't believe anyone else here has had the guts and honesty to do as you've done.

    Baron Max
     
  23. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Hey Hey I'll take that

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    and guess what, some mail got mixed up and I found a peace of mail in the junk mail box that had been sitting there for 2 months - a grant I assumed went down the tubes I got - a small amount but still, 20K will help this year!

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    yeah me!
     

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