Study: Female Fish are Turned on by Male Gay Fish Sex
A study out of Germany found that a species of tropical male fish that are related to the guppy can attract female fish if it has sex with other males, the South African daily newspaper the Times Live reports.
German scientists from the University of Frankfurt claim that when small, non-dominant Atlantic molly males are passed up for larger and more colorful fish during mating season, they can increase their attractiveness by engaging in sex with other male fish.
Mollies are freshwater fish that come in a number of different colors and spot patterns, including black, white, black and white spots, orange and orange and white spots. The fish are also a relative of the guppy.
The researchers in the study questioned whether same-sex behavior in the Poecilla Mexicana would increase a male's chances of mating with a female.
"P. mexicana females increase their preference for initially non-preferred males not only after observing those males interacting sexually with females, but also when having observed them initiating homosexual behavior," the scientists wrote of their findings in the journal Royal Society Biology Letters. They also wrote that female mollies usually prefer to mate with large, colorful and dominate males.
"As homosexual behavior is regularly seen in small P.mexicana males, we speculate that it might represent an alternative mating tactic used by subordinate, and thus, less attractive males," the researchers added.
The scientists even referenced director Woody Allen in their study and cited the "Annie Hall" star's quote: "Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night".
"Direct benefits for males of exhibiting homosexual behavior may help explain its occurrence and persistence in species in which females rely on mate choice copying as one component of mate quality assessment," said the reads.
The article notes that some female animals prefer when males engage in gay sex as they can evaluate the quality of a potential mate, a phenomenon known as "mate choice copying."
Fish aren't the only animals to engage in same-sex behaviors. Male penguins have made national headlines over the years for getting together with other males to hatch eggs and raise offspring. In May, a zoo in Madrid, Spain, gave a same-sex penguin couple an egg to watch over after the pair built nests together.
"We wanted them to have something to stay together for - so we got an egg," zookeeper Yolanda Martin said. "Otherwise they might have become depressed."
Also, just last month South Florida Gay News reported that two King penguins in Denmark were performing mating rituals on each other for several years and even tried to steal female penguins' eggs. Finally, zookeepers had an extra egg and gave it to the couple.
A similar phenomenon occurred in Germany in June 2009 when a pair of male penguins watched over an egg that was rejected by its biological parents. The couple hatched the egg and then raised the chick.