Most animals have sex purely for the purpose of
reproduction. The claim that dolphins have sex for
pleasure is true for a very specific definition of
"sex for pleasure," which is copulation between
the male and female of a species not for the
purpose of reproduction. Most animals cannot
afford to waste the energy that is put into the sexual act unless it leads to the production of offspring.
For most animals, it seems that there
is no biological advantage in engaging in sex when
there is no possibility that their genes will be
passed through the production of offspring.
Therefore, Females of most animal species give off
detectable signals when they are fertile: a change
in appearance, a distinctive smell, specific
sounds or behaviors to signal to their partner
that they are fertile. If fact, most females will
push their mate away or ignore him when they are
Humans, bonobos (also known as Pygmy chimpanzees) and dolphins are a bit different in this aspect. They are all intelligent social animals, whose cooperative behavior proves
to be more successful than that of the individual
alone. It is probable that in these animals, the
use of sex evolved beyond reproduction to serve
additional social functions. It can keep the male around the female and offspring, thus helping tend for the offspring. Sex reinforces intimate social bonds that can form larger social structures, something that may help in overall survival, group hunting defending against intruders and so on.
But there is a difference between humans
and animal in this aspect though. Animals other
than humans have no awareness that their sexual
activities are connected with reproduction: They engage in sex because they're biologically driven to do so, and if the fulfillment of their urges produces a physical sensation we might "pleasure,"it isn't the least bit affected by the possibility (or impossibility) of producing offspring.
Click Here to return to the search form.