The evolution of sexuality in chimpanzees and bonobos

  title={The evolution of sexuality in chimpanzees and bonobos},
  author={Richard W. Wrangham},
  journal={Human Nature},
  • R. Wrangham
  • Published 1 March 1993
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Human Nature
The evolution of nonconceptive sexuality in bonobos and chimpanzees is discussed from a functional perspective. Bonobos and chimpanzees have three functions of sexual activity in common (paternity confusion, practice sex, and exchange for favors), but only bonobos use sex purely for communication about social relationships. Bonobo hypersexuality appears closely linked to the evolution of female-female alliances. I suggest that these alliances were made possible by relaxed feeding competition… 

Comparison of behavioral sequence of copulation between chimpanzees and bonobos

Higher proceptivity and a higher copulation rate during the maximal swelling period of female chimpanzees might suggest that they gain greater benefits from a high frequency of copulations than do female bonobos.

Bonobos (Pan Paniscus) and Alossexual Behavior: A New Concept for the Uses and Practices of Sex among this Great Apes

The present work is theoretical and the goal is to synthetize the uses of sex by bonobos in the social scenario and to propose a new concept. I explore aspects with impact in the sexual behavior, as:

Bonobo but not chimpanzee infants use socio-sexual contact with peers

It is suggested that the socio-sexual behavior previously observed in various captive and wild bonobos is species-typical, and wild-born bonobos originating from a large geographical range develop this behavior long before puberty and without the need for adults initiating such behavior or acting as models for observational learning.

Influence of feeding and short-term crowding on the sexual repertoire of captive bonobos (Pan paniscus)

It is suggested that during feeding bonobos may selectively use non-reproductive sex to reduce tension, and that during short-term crowding they may employ both grooming and non-procreative sexuality to avoid a potential raise in tension.

The “tolerant chimpanzee”—towards the costs and benefits of sociality in female bonobos

The results support the hypothesis that predicts that females trade off feeding opportunities for safety against male aggression, and an integrated view of cooperation and competition over access to the key resources food and mates, both within and between the sexes are tested.

Nonconceptive Sexual Behavior in Bonobos and Capuchins

Observations of sexual behavior in a captive bonobo group and a wild white-faced capuchin group indicate that practice sex occurs in both species, paternity confusion may be a current function of C. capucinus nonconceptive sex, exchange sex remains undemonstrated in capuchins, and communication sex is more important to members of the transferring sex—female bonobos and male capuchin—than to membersof the philopatric sex.

Female contributions to the peaceful nature of bonobo society

Two important questions that arise are addressed, exploring why females of such closely related species show such clear differences in behavior and whether or not the behavioral characteristics of female bonobos contribute to the peaceful nature of bonobo society.

Use and function of genital contacts among female bonobos

It is suggested that genital contacts can be used to investigate both quality and dynamics of dyadic social relationships among female bonobos, and shown rank-related asymmetries in initiation and performance of genital contacts supporting the social status hypothesis.

Wild Chimpanzees

This paper presents a meta-analyses of seven long-term field studies of Chimpanzee Fission–Fusion Social Organization and its Conservation Implications and discusses sex differences in Ranging and Association patterns.

The Other “Closest Living Relative”: How Bonobos (Pan paniscus) Challenge Traditional Assumptions about Females, Dominance, Intra‐ and Intersexual Interactions, and Hominid Evolution

The bonobo evidence suggests that models of human evolution must be reformulated such that they also accommodate real and meaningful female bonds; the possibility of systematic female dominance over males; female mating strategies which encompass extra‐group paternities; hunting and meat distribution by females; the importance of the sharing of plant foods; affinitive inter‐community interactions.



Sociosexual Behavior Used for Tension Regulation in All Age and Sex Combinations Among Bonobos

This author encountered such a situation during his studies of bonobos, and it is of particular interest because this little-known ape species, together with the chimpanzee, is the closest relative of humans.

Issues in Bonobo (Pan paniscus) Sexual Behavior

An understanding of the forms and functions of Van paniscus sexual behavior is best achieved through a comparison to Pan troglodytes, which shows increased female receptivity, variability in copulatory position, male or female initiation of sexual behavior, differential male and female preferences for copulatory positions, and association of food sharing and sexual behavior.

Interaction over Food among Pygmy Chimpanzees

A more precise comparison of this behavior between species is needed to understand not only their phylogenetic relationship, but also the evolutionary development of food sharing, which was a necessary condition for the development of the sexual division of labor in human society.

Sexual Behavior of Pan paniscus under Natural Conditions in the Lomako Forest, Equateur, Zaire

Allusions to the flexible sociosexual behavior of the pygmy chimpanzee (Pan paniscus) have been incorporated into the “bonobo model” of human evolution (Zihlman, 1979; Zihlman and Cramer, 1978;

Dominance and reproduction in Baboons (Papio cynocephalus).

This monograph reports on a 14 month study of yellow baboons in the Masai-Amboseli Game Reserve, Kenya, an attempt to determine the relationship between agonistic dominance and reproductive success in male baboons and centered around testing a priority-of-access model of mating behavior.

Social relationships between immigrant and resident bonobo (Pan paniscus) females at Wamba.

  • G. Idani
  • Psychology
    Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology
  • 1991
Social relations and behaviours of adolescent female pygmy chimpanzees (Pan paniscus) that migrated between unit groups were studied at Wamba, Zaïre. Each immigrant female selected one particular

Genito-Genital Contacts in the Pygmy Chimpanzees (Pan paniscus)

The regularities seen in how GG contacts occur appear on the level of interaction paiterns deternlined by whether the interactions are intra-set or inter-set, and the possibility of a "syntax" analysis of interactions in a certain social system is discussed.

Sexual dimorphism inAustralopithecus afarensis

The Woman That Never Evolved

Sarah Hrdy demolishes myths about sexually passive, "coy", compliant and exclusively nurturing females and expands the concept of female nature to include the range of selection pressures on females, and reminds the reader of the complexity and dynamism of the evolutionary story.

'Concealed ovulation' and sexual signals in primates.

  • A. Burt
  • Biology, Psychology
    Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology
  • 1992
The absence of conspicuous sexual signals in some primates, particularly humans and vervets, has been interpreted as evidence that females of these species are 'concealing' ovulation from males. This