SCIENCE: More Queer Penguins, What “Gay” Sounds Like, HIV-Prevention Drug Delay, And More

An encounter with Antarctica’s Adélie penguins—which included viewing “hooligan” males engage in gay sex and attempt to mount a dead female—so disturbed 19th century explorer George Murray Levick that he only referenced it in a barely-circulated essay. “The pamphlet… commented on the frequency of sexual activity, auto-erotic behaviour, and seemingly aberrant behaviour of young unpaired males and females, including necrophilia, sexual coercion, sexual and physical abuse of chicks, and homosexual behaviour,” writes the Natural History Museum’s Douglas Russell.  [Guardian]

William Leap, an anthropology professor at American University and the organizer of the annual Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference, discusses what “gay” sounds like [WBEZ]

The FDA opted to delay making a decision about whether or not to approve Gilead Sciences’ Truvada, the first pill shown to prevent HIV infection. Earlier this spring, experts recommending approving the drug for people in high-risk groups, including gay and bisexual men. The FDA is expected to make its ruling by September 14. [AP]

Sen.. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Mike Ouigley (D-IL) and other members of Congress signed a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius backing efforts to lift the ban on blood donation by gay men.  “The current policy has been in place since the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s… In the 27 years since, we have seen vast advances in blood screening technology, policy changes in other nations, and staunch opposition from the nation’s blood banks who have called the current ban “medically and scientifically unwarranted.” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Photo: Samuel Blanc

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