Article

Male coercion and the costs of promiscuous mating for female chimpanzees. Proc R Soc Lond B

Department of Anthropology, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Impact Factor: 5.05). 05/2007; 274(1612):1009-14. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.0206
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

For reasons that are not yet clear, male aggression against females occurs frequently among primates with promiscuous mating systems. Here, we test the sexual coercion hypothesis that male aggression functions to constrain female mate choice. We use 10 years of behavioural and endocrine data from a community of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) to show that sexual coercion is the probable primary function of male aggression against females. Specifically, we show that male aggression is targeted towards the most fecund females, is associated with high male mating success and is costly for the victims. Such aggression can be viewed as a counter-strategy to female attempts at paternity confusion, and a cost of multi-male mating.

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    • "Hybrid zones may prove useful to investigate this natural interplay between these two factors. Behavioural studies of hamadryas-olive baboon hybrid groups (Sugawara 1979;Muller et al. 2007;Beehner 2003;Bergman and Beehner 2004) have already indicated that there may be a genetic basis to male herding behaviour. Future work combining behavioural and genetic studies on Guinea-olive baboon hybrids would contribute to our understanding of the genetic basis of male physical coercion of females as well as the extent to which females can and do exhibit choice. "
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    • "Similar male dominance relationships have also been reported for captive chimpanzees (de Waal, 1982de Waal, , 1989). For male chimpanzees, there appear to be adaptive benefits to aggression and even female harassment, with evidence from the wild showing a positive association between male dominance, aggression and copulation rates (Constable et al., 2001;Muller et al., 2007;Muller & Wrangham, 2009) and that sexually coercive males sire more offspring (Feldblum et al., 2014). However, male coercion does not work well in all circumstances; a study of chimpanzees living in the Tai forest, Ivory Coast, showed that male coercion was relatively rare, only employed by less preferred males and was not, in fact, effective in constraining female mate choice (Stumpf & Boesch, 2010). "
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    • "Similar male dominance relationships have also been reported for captive chimpanzees (de Waal, 1982de Waal, , 1989). For male chimpanzees, there appear to be adaptive benefits to aggression and even female harassment, with evidence from the wild showing a positive association between male dominance, aggression and copulation rates (Constable et al., 2001;Muller et al., 2007;Muller & Wrangham, 2009) and that sexually coercive males sire more offspring (Feldblum et al., 2014). However, male coercion does not work well in all circumstances; a study of chimpanzees living in the Tai forest, Ivory Coast, showed that male coercion was relatively rare, only employed by less preferred males and was not, in fact, effective in constraining female mate choice (Stumpf & Boesch, 2010). "

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