Are Some Sheep Gay?

Newman and Roselli scoured the web, trying to answer blog posts that they said misrepresented Roselli's work. They got a sympathetic ear from such influential figures as Andrew Sullivan, who writes for Time Magazine's Web site. The New York Times noticed the traffic on the subject, calling the story "a textbook example of the distortion and vituperation that can result when science meets the global news cycle."

But Roselli's biggest champion is a man who will only be known as "emptypockets" -- a blogger who took up his cause.

"Whether killing an animal is worth it for an experiment is an important and always welcome discussion. What's not welcome is lies," wrote emptypockets on a blog called the Next Hurrah.

"I understand he's on the East Coast, and I believe he's a biologist, but I have no idea who he is," said Newman at the university press office.

Oh, by the way -- why do 8 percent of male sheep consistently try to mount other male sheep? Roselli said that's the original point. "This particular study," he said in a release in 2004, "strongly suggests that sexual preference is biologically determined in animals, and possibly in humans."

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