Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Do Humans Have Sex like Chimps?

No, these aren't chimps. But Bonobos are so cute!

I'm usually skeptical of evolutionary fuckology because human scientists have done such a bang-up job over time of applying our own social context onto animal societies and then used our interpretation of their behavior to support gender roles and behaviors in humans. But I'm not gonna lie, but this article in the New York Times reminds me a bit of the college fuck behavior I observe [from a distance!!!] every day.
Chimps are particularly likely to be silent and conceal their liaisons when higher-ranking females are nearby. They were most acoustically exuberant when cavorting with a high-ranking male.

The reason may be that other higher-ranking males are likely to be around, too, and by advertising her availability to them a female chimp may gain many influential protectors for her future infant.

The calculus changes when higher-ranking females are around because they are likely to attack the caller and break up the fun.
Sound familiar?

There's more:
“I can imagine that these sort of signals [in humans] may still be very much perceived by other group members and give a female a high degree of control over her willingness to copulate or let others know her sexual state,” said Dr. Zuberb├╝hler, also of the University of St. Andrews.

“If she was truly interested in meeting with the best males, [a female chimp] should do all her calling during that narrow window when it matters,” Dr. Zuberb├╝hler said. “But she doesn’t. She conceals the time of ovulation by calling throughout her cycle.”
Humans might not signal sexual availability through a clearly recognizable body change, but women definitely have ways of demonstrating interest. Like by wearing "True Love Waits" sweatpants.


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