Gah! here’s the lastest headline at New Scientist: Female ducks fight back against raping males.
I will say this one more time. With emphasis.
Forced copulation in animals is NOT the same as rape in humans. These two terms are not synonymous.
To repeat what I said in the past:
“Forced copulation happens in non-human animals. (And so does infanticide and cannibalism, BTW.) But does a female duck that’s been mobbed by a group of males experience the mental trauma that humans do?”
Dave, at the Behavioral Ecology blog, also made another good point:
“The word “rape” has inescapably moral connotations, and I think most of us would agree that non-human organisms cannot be moral agents. “
I just really, really have issues with this. Sigh.
Aside from all this, the mallard system is very cool. Zimmer has a very nice article on this, and didn’t have to use the R word once. Kudos.