If you thought only humans engaged in same-sex relationships, it might surprise you how prevalent this occurrence is in nature. It’s an entire universe out there beaming with 1500 species, potentially more.
From the kings of the jungle to primates, birds, etc., many animals engage in homosexual activities.
But can guinea pigs be gay?
Guinea pigs can be gay, as is the case with so many animals. In fact, numerous animals mate with the same gender to show dominance, loyalty, or companionship. Male guinea pigs can be alone, and although they may fight sometimes, seclusion from females eliminates reproduction chances.
Do Animals Mate With the Same Gender?
Many animals form pair bonds with members of their gender. Males bond with each other while females choose mates based on physical characteristics such as size, color, and shape.
Besides, there are even cases where animals form long-term relationships with members of their gender.
Homosexuality occurs when an animal has sexual attraction towards another member of its species. The same-sex behavior usually happens during mating season.
Male animals often exhibit homosexual behaviors because they want to mate with females. On the other hand, female animals tend to show more bisexual behavior than males.
However, some studies suggest that these animals might prefer one gender over the other. For example, gay swans may spend their lives exclusively with one partner and even rear foster chicks together.
Guinea pig owners should know that their pets may have homosexual tendencies if they live with other male or female animals. If you own two males together, it may cause sexual stress for both of your pets.
And besides that, it could lead to aggression between the two.
In general, homosexuality occurs more frequently in monogamous species than in polygamous ones. For example, heterosexual cats have been observed mating with same-sex partners while dogs mainly pair with opposite-sex mates.
Male birds like swans display more likely to be gay than other animals. Did you know that one in five swan relationships has same-sex couples?
On the other hand, some animal species seem to be completely bisexual. An example is the bonobo apes, a primate group that uses sex as a conflict resolver and attention diverter.
What Causes Homosexuality in Animals?
Many factors contribute to homosexuality in animals. Some include genetics, hormones, socialization, environment, and nutrition. These all play a role in whether or not an animal becomes sexually attracted to members of its kind.
Some people believe that homosexuality is inherited through genes. Animals who inherit certain genetic traits may develop homosexual tendencies.
For example, altering a gene called fucose mutarotase, increased the probability of female mice exhibiting lesbianism.
Animals raised by humans may be more likely to display homosexual behavior due to seclusion. Socializing young guinea pigs exposes them to both males and females. And this gives them room to determine which partners they prefer.
According to some studies, hormonal levels and gonadal sizes may also impact how sexually active an animal is and what gender they prefer.
For instance, increasing estradiol and testosterone tended to increase homosexual activity in heterosexual female animals.
Moreover, boosting sex hormone levels in pregnant animals increases the likelihood of siring gay young ones.
Studies indicated that intake of certain substances might result in homosexual tendencies.
For example, male ibises showed more likelihood to pair with other males when exposed to increased mercury poisoning.
Homosexuality in Guinea Pigs
Female Guinea Pigs
When sexually aroused, female guinea pigs may exhibit behaviors associated with lesbianism. Female guinea pigs often lick or nibble one another’s genitals. Some females even masturbate using objects such as spoons or toothbrushes.
These actions usually occur between 2–4 weeks old. The first signs of these behaviors appear when the female begins producing milk. She then uses her nipples to stimulate herself.
As soon as some females stop nursing, they start licking and nibbling at their genital area. This activity is called “nipple play.” It continues until the female reaches maturity. At this point, nipple play becomes less frequent but still occurs occasionally.
Guinea pig males have been known to perform oral sex on other males. They also use their penises for masturbation purposes.
Sometimes, they will rub against trees or bushes to reach orgasm. Other times, they’ll lie down and let themselves go.
Homosexuality in male guinea pigs isn’t common, though. Most males only practice it once during puberty.
Are Guinea Pigs Born Homosexual?
It’s challenging to say that guinea pigs are born homosexual or not. Remember, one reason some point could cause homosexuality is genetics.
While most guinea pigs develop into heterosexual adults, they are likely to exhibit same-sex behaviors at some point.
Nevertheless, guinea pigs are not likely to show homosexual tendencies while young. It takes time before they start engaging in same-sex sexual activities.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Sometimes Act Like Lesbians?
The main reason why guinea pigs behave like lesbians is due to lack of socialization. When parents don’t allow young female guinea pigs to play outside, they spend all day locked away in cages.
Because of this, they grow up being isolated from other members of their species. In addition, they’re deprived of typical sexual experiences. Without proper stimulation, they begin acting out what they’ve seen others doing.
Another reason could be hormonal imbalance. When guinea pigs reach adolescence, they undergo hormonal changes. These hormones can affect their behavior.
In particular, testosterone levels increase during this period. Testosterone is known for its masculinizing effects on body structure and function. It promotes aggression among males and sexual activity among females.
The increased level of testosterone may explain why adolescent guinea pigs behave aggressively towards each other.
Females sometimes participate in lesbianism but rarely. You most likely don’t notice them interacting sexually with other females as much as the males do.
And this could be likely because they aren’t showing their dominance like males, a behavior you may mistake for homosexuality.
Could It Be Dominance?
Like many pets, guinea pigs also like to show dominance, and you may assume the expression of dominance to be showing homosexuality.
Guinea pigs typically mount each other as they fight for dominance. They use their forelegs to hold onto each other while using their hind legs to push off and gain momentum.
When mounting, the animal’s head goes up high, and his neck arches back. His eyes go wide open, and his ears point forward. He uses his teeth to bite at the opponent’s face.
The more aggressive an individual is, the higher his chances of winning a battle. A dominant animal has better health than a subordinate animal. As long as there is no injury from fighting, the winner will have a more robust immune system.
In addition, a dominant animal tends to eat well. Guinea pigs tend to prefer foods rich in protein and fat. Their diet consists mainly of hay, grasses, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, grains, and insects.
In contrast, a submissive animal eats less food and prefers softer diets. Subordinate animals need to conserve energy, so they don’t get injured by fighting. Also, they must avoid getting eaten by predators.
Some people say that male guinea pigs become dominant when paired with females. This means that males will chase down female guinea pigs who want to mate.
If you notice your guinea pig chasing another one, it could mean that he’s trying to establish dominance. Dominant males usually win fights against weaker opponents.
Can Male Guinea Pigs Be Alone?
Male guinea pigs can live without females if given adequate space. Moreover, most guinea pigs prefer company over solitude.
Male guinea pigs enjoy spending time together because they share similar interests such as grooming and playing games. If you want your pet to remain happy, make sure he has plenty of room to roam around.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Prevent My Guinea Pig from Becoming a Homosexual?
You can prevent your guinea pig from becoming a homosexual by creating more opportunities to interact with his peers.
When Does Homosexuality Start in Guinea Pigs?
The onset of homosexuality varies from animal to animal. In general, most male guinea pigs become interested in other males after reaching adulthood. Females typically show interest in other females before they’re mature.
Does Homosexuality Cause Infertility in Guinea Pigs?
Homosexuality does not cause infertility in guinea pigs. Although homosexual behavior causes a decrease in fertility rates among guinea pigs, there aren’t any scientific studies that prove this claim.
There are many factors involved in determining why some guinea pigs turn out to be homosexual. Some researchers believe that genetics play a role.
Others think environmental influences such as socialization and nutrition might cause this condition. Still, others argue that both genetic and environmental causes contribute to homosexuality.