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mattbrowne's avatar

Was there lesbian love during the Stone Age?

Asked by mattbrowne (31648points) June 30th, 2009

From Wikipedia: The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric time period during which humans widely used stone for toolmaking. The period encompasses the first widespread use of technology in human evolution and the spread of humanity from the savannas of East Africa to the rest of the world. It ends with the development of agriculture, the domestication of certain animals and the smelting of copper ore to produce metal.

Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. The word may be used as a noun, to refer to women who identify themselves or who may be identified by others as having the primary attribute of female homosexuality.

Although female homosexuality has appeared in many cultures throughout time, not until recently has lesbian described a group of people. In the late 19th century sexologists published their observations on same-sex desire and behavior, designating lesbians in Western culture as a unique entity. As a result, women who became aware of their new medical status formed underground subcultures in Europe and North America. Further broadening of the term occurred in the 1970s, influenced by second wave feminism. Historians since have re-examined relationships between women in history, and have questioned what qualifies a woman or a relationship as lesbian.

I know all answers are probably highly speculative, but I’m curious about what you think.

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16 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Probably. I’ve always wondered if homosexuality didn’t evolve as form of cooperative breeding him humans. I suspect it’s trait that’s been around a very long time.

Fangorn81's avatar

More than likely considering homosexual behavior has been observed in countless species. I see no reason why primitive man would be excluded, especially since it is known to exist in modern man and through all of recorded human history

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

dude. its wikipedia…therefore has zero creditability.

applesaucemanny's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen wikipedia is pretty reliable except for the articles that say they need citations and that is not one of them

loser's avatar

I have no doubt about that!

casheroo's avatar

I have no doubt that homosexuality existed back then. It is natural and I’m sure women desired other women, and men desired other men.

kenmc's avatar

Back then there was no such thing as homosexuality as we know it.

Everyone fucked everyone. It didn’t matter the gender as long as they were able and willing.

Ria777's avatar

@boots: different cultures have different sexual mores. if humans at all resembled present-day paleolithic cultures would have had varied sexual practices. you can’t generalize. as far as homosexual desire, yeah, of course it existed back in them days. why wouldn’t it have?

this comment goes for everyone in general, too.

Grisaille's avatar


I want in.

Thammuz's avatar

Let me see: First and foremost the oldest report of lesbianism i know of is WAY back in time, ancient greece, Sappho the poetess (
Greek culture has indeed exported a big deal into western culture, so one might think that was a product of that contact.

We have to take in accountm though, that female homosexual intercourse is considered common practice in many tribes of Africa (if i recall, if not, some other really underdeveloped area where tribes still exist) so IF that’s a by-product of a culture it must trace back to the point where that culture and the greek culture were still one. Therefore it’d be safe to say that yes, there were lesbians in the stone age.

On the other hand it’s been proven that homosexuality is a normal behaviour in nature, mammals have at it without problems so it’s likely that it existed even BEFORE the stone age.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m surprised you guys don’t know this. Have you never read the translation of “Oomph and Urgh: the love that dare not speak it’s name?” The original manuscript was found in a Mungo burial mound, along with the remains of the Mungo Lady. According to Wikipedia:

The pattern of burn marks on the bones of Mungo I implies an unusual ritual that after she died, the corpse was burned, smashed, then burned a second time. It was suspected that her descendants had tried to ensure that she did not return to haunt them.

Based on the accompanying stone manuscript (symbols placed on local schist using red ochre), it has been determined that Mungo Lady was a lesbian, and her bones were burned in a ritual that is the first known instance of homophobia and gay bashing. Literally. This is also the earliest known instance of religious fundamentalism. The people of the clan were clearly concerned that the evil spirits of lesbianism would return and force them all to take up the practice.

Unfortunately, we may never know if they were correct in that fear, since no descendants remain today. At least, that we know of. The worldwide genome project has, to date, collected nearly one billion gene samples, but none can be said to be related to the Mungo Lady. Whose hair was found mixed into the red ochre. That’s where the gene sample came from. Yeah.

Anyway, I’ve settled that permanently, not to mention forever. Never let it be said that a little research can lead to a huge amount of misinformation. Or, perhaps, you should say that.

Blondesjon's avatar

Lesbian Cavewomen?

Great, now I’m poppin’ a partial…

filmfann's avatar

I have always considered Lesbianism the intelligent choice for women. However, I am gonna need video evidence here.
Does this involve Rachel Welch in One Million Years BC and Daryl Hannah in Clan of the Cave Bear? Yowsers!

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Great… Ancient porn….

mattbrowne's avatar

@daloon – Thanks for sharing the Mungo Lady story!

kerryyylynn's avatar

Of course! Its not like homosexuality is a virus that was discovered sometime after that period. Its a natural feeling that Im sure was felt back then as much as today.

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