Some Interesting – shocking to some – research findings on natural social behavior and sex in animals revealed by Primatologists!

Get ready for a few interesting, though perhaps shocking to some, revelations re: social behavior and natural sex behavior and the social relations found in our closest relatives!  The following was published in Annual Edition, Physical Anthropology 98/99 (Dushkin/McGraw Hill: Guilford, Connecticut), 7th Edition:  Article 16:  “What’s Love Got to Do With It?  Sex Among Our Closest Relatives Is a Rather Open Affair,” Meredith F Small, pp. 89-92:


“Maiko and Lana are having sex.  Maiko is on top, and Lana’s arms and legs are wrapped tightly around his waist.  Lina a friend of Lana’s, approaches from the right and taps Maiko on the back, nudging him to finish.  As he moves away, Lina enfolds Lana in her arms, and they roll over so that Lana is now on top.  The two females rub their genitals together, grinning and screaming in pleasure.  This is no orgy staged for an X-rated movie, it doesn’t even involve people—or rather, it involves them only as observers.  Lana, Maiko, and Lina are bonobos, a rare species of chimplike ape in which frequent couplings and casual sex play, characterize every social relationship—between males and females, members of the same sex, closely related animals, and total strangers.  Primotologists are beginning to study the bonobos’ unrestrained sexual behavior for tantalizing clues to the origins of our own sexuality.

 … “Depending on your morals, watching bonobo sex play may be like watching humans at their most extreme and perverse.  Bonobos seem to have sex more often and in more combinations than the average person in any culture, and most of the time bonobo sex has nothing to do with making babies.  … etc. and so forth … you would have to read the rest of the aricle yourself!

A bit more conservative, Introduction to Physical Anthropology, Robert Jurmain, Department of Anthropology, San Jose State University, San Jose California;  Harry Nelson, Emeritus, Department of Anthropolog, Foothill College, Los Altos, California; Lynn Kilgore, Department of Anthropology, Colorado, State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Wenda Trevathan, Department of Sociology and Anthropoogy, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico (West / Wadsworth:  ITP an international Thomson Publishing Company:  Belmont, CQ, Albany, NY, Bonn, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Minneapolis St Paul, New York, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington), 1997, indicated:

Chapter 10:  “Fundamentals of Primate Behavior”:  “Types of Non-human Primate Social Groups” :  “Social Behavior”:

“Since primates solve their major adaptive problems in a social context, we might expect them to participate in a number of activities to reinforce the integrity of the group.  The better known of these activities are described in the sections that follow.  “Dominance”:  Most primitive societies are organized into dominance hierarchies.  Dominance hierarchies impose a certain degree of order within groupsby establishing parameters of individual behavior.  … Individual rank or status may be measured by priority of access to resources including food items and mating partners.  Dominant individuals are given priority by others, and they usually do not give way in confronttions.  Many but not all primatologists postulate that the primary benefit of dominance is the increased reproductive success of the individual.  This observation would be true if it could be demonstrated that dominant males compete more successfully for mates than do subordinate males.  However, there is also good evidence that lower-ranking males of some species successfully mate; they just do so surreptitiously.  Likewise, increased reproductive success can be postuled for high-ranking females, who have greater success to food than subordinate females.  … An individual’s rank is not permanent and changes throughout life.  It is influenced by many factors, including sex, age, level of aggression, amount of time spent in the group, intelligence, perhaps motivation, and sometimes the mother’s social position (particularly true of macaques).  … There are exceptions to this pattern of male dominance among all Madagascar lemurs studied, females are the dominant sexMoreover among species that form monogamous pairs (i.e. indris, gibbons), mles and females seem to be codominant.  … “



About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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