Sex differences in adolescent rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) Behavior

Authors

  • Irwin S. Bernstein,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens
    2. Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
    • Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602‒3013
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  • Peter G. Judge,

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens
    2. Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Thomas E. Ruehlmann

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Georgia, Athens
    2. Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
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Abstract

Sex differences in the behavior of 2.5- to 4.5-year-old rhesus monkeys, living in two social groups approximating natural compositions, were studied over a period of 3 years. Both sexes interacted significantly more often with members of their own sex in agonistic and affiliative interactions even when total rates and durations for male and female subjects did not differ. Strong sexual segregation was also seen in proximity, nonspecific contact, and huddling partners. Males were more involved in play and sex than were females and engaged in these activities primarily with other males. Females did more grooming than males, but groomed both male and female partners. Females also appeared to interact with a wider age range of partners than did males. Although total participation in aggressive interactions did not differ between the two sexes, females used more active forms of agonistic expression than did males. These differences in the behavior of adolescent rhesus are hypothesized to lead to social bonding among adolescent males, while females remain bonded to their matri-lines, including younger males and some fully adult males associated with matrilineal relatives. Adolescent males emigrate from their natal groups but retain sociality and bond to males and females in new groups as they become adult. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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