Evolutionary biologist Joan Roughgarden argues that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution prioritises heteronormativity as solely responsible for the survival of the species.
Roughgarden makes this argument in Evolution’s Rainbow (2004), citing a plethora of examples in the animal kingdom that challenge Darwin’s analysis. This selection of coral reef fish residing in the ocean surrounding the Sāmoan archipelago change sex, including their reproductive function, and practice sex role-reversal, allowing their kinship system to become resilient species for centuries.
There are over 900 fish species found in Sāmoa, many of which are being threatened by global warming. The survival of the planet relies on the biodiversity of all underwater species. The plight of non-heteronormative underwater species serves as an allegory to the Fa‘afafine experience.