Sex on the Hill

Birds of a feather flock together, and college students, well, we’re not so different. Birds have their own way of attracting other birds, and again, we’re not so different.

In the rainforest of New Guinea, male birds of paradise can be observed in their mating rituals. They create a series of movements and sounds. They begin with a head bob, a couple squawks, and work their way up into a frenzy of bouncing and screeching. Their wings are flapping, they’re jumping around, flashing their feathers, and making ungodly noises. However, the more extravagant they are, the more likely they’ll get noticed by females, and that’s what this is all about.

Then the female shows up and pokes around. She examines the male from afar, then goes in for a closer inspection. After sizing up the male (according to Planet Earth, the bigger the better), she’ll either blow him off entirely, flying away at top speed, or if she finds him acceptable, they’ll get down.

This seems like an incredible amount of work for procreation. Who would have thought that looks were so important to birds?

But are we so unlike birds?

Is going to any party, club, or bar, any less of an obscure mating ritual?

“It seems to be all about displaying yourself. People want to get noticed,” says senior Eric Welkos.

You go in, there’s music playing, people are dancing. Rubbing up against each other, blurting out awkward pick-up lines.

“I see guys sit back and wait for the moment to strike,” said Mike Mandel. “Then they grab the girl and start dancing, and if she doesn’t blow him off, they’ll probably go back to his room.”

Even parties aside, most relationships begin with someone attempting to advertise himself to a person they’re interested in, whether it be through intelligence, fashion sense, taste in music, talents, or really anything.

Obviously, college students and birds of paradise are in it for different things; birds do it for simple procreation, and college students do it for fun.

So is it a bad thing that our methods of finding someone to get it on with are vaguely similar to mating rituals of animals? I don’t think so. After all, a wise man once said, “you and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it like they do…”