Traditional Norms, Animal-style

"March of the Penguins," the conservative film critic and radio host Michael Medved said in an interview, is "the motion picture this summer that most passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing." –from an article describing how some religious leaders and conservative magazines are embracing the blockbuster documentary.

Well, it’s 2010, and what a remarkable five years it’s been. The blockbuster success of March of the Penguins in 2005 triggered a flood of wonderful documentaries about animal reproduction, all of which provide us with inspiring affirmation of the correct way to live our lives. Here are just a few of the movies that can guide you on your path…

Dinner of the Redback Spiders: This documentary follows the heartwarming romance between two spiders that ends with the male somersaulting onto the venomous fangs of his mate, his reproductive organs still delivering semen into the female as she devours him.

Toxic Love of the Fruit Flies: In this movie, male fruit flies demonstrate their ingenuity and resourcefulness by injecting poisonous substances during sex that make it less likely that other males will successfully fertilize the eggs of their mates. Sure, these toxins cut the lifespan of females short, but who said life was perfect?

Harem of the Elephant Seals: Meet Dad: a male northern elephant seal who spends his days in bloody battles with rivals who would challenge his right to copulate with a band of females–but doesn’t life a finger (or a flipper) to help raise their kids.

Step-fathers of the Serengeti: Guess who’s moving in? It’s a male lion taking over a pride of females. Watch him affirm traditional norms by killing their cubs so that they can father his own offspring.

Funky Love of the Bonobos: The sexual shenanigans of some of our closest living ape relatives. Male-female, female-female, and on and on it goes. Warning: Definitely not suitable for children.