Sunday, July 9, 2017

Gender Intimidation is Deeply-Embedded Across Primate Species #Science #Sociology #Feminism

At the outset, something which is possibly a fine point is the frequent mention of sexual intimidation in the article but the Rockhouse views it as gender intimidation since the physical act of sex really didn't have anything to do with it; however, the male gender frequently intimidated the female gender.  Perhaps some regard that as nitpicking but the Rockhouse sees a difference.  In any case, all of this is observation.  We read that which the researchers wrote so we take a look at it.

A female baboon presenting to a male in a form of sexual solicitation (incitation to copulate). 

Credit: Alice Baniel

After observing the mating habits of chacma baboons living in the wild over a four-year period, researchers have found that males of the species often use long-term sexual intimidation to control their mates. The findings reported in Current Biology on July 6 suggest that this mating strategy has a long history in primates, including humans, and may be widespread across social mammals—especially when males of a species are typically larger than females.

"This study adds to growing evidence that males use coercive tactics to constrain female mating decisions in promiscuous primates, thereby questioning the extent of sexual freedom left for females in such societies and suggesting that sexual intimidation has a long evolutionary history in primates—a taxonomic group that of course includes humans," says Alice Baniel at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, France.  Long-term sexual intimidation may be widespread in primate societies

Sex and gender are being used interchangeably and the Rockhouse doesn't like it but doesn't want to get needlessly pedantic about it and we take their point that this type of intimidation goes deep in the Order of Primates.

To explore those dynamics, the researchers collected data on sex and aggression across four years in two large baboon groups. Their studies showed that fertile females suffered more aggression from males than pregnant and lactating females did. In fact, male aggression was a major source of injury for fertile females. Males who were more aggressive toward a certain female also had a better chance to mate with her when she was close to ovulation.

Males didn't appear to harass females into mating with them or punish them soon afterward, they report. Rather, males appeared to take the long view. They would attack and chase particular females repeatedly in the weeks preceding their ovulation, apparently to increase their chances of monopolizing sexual access to them when the time was right. That behavior, the researchers say, "can be seen as a form of long-term sexual intimidation."

- PO

The interested student is invited to the original article since there's more regarding the actual dynamics of intimidation.

Perhaps in some measure of defensiveness, we observe not all males are the same.

Baniel and colleagues will continue studying their baboons to explore variation in levels of male aggression toward their female mates.

"My feeling was that some males were more aggressive with females than others and that some females were 'happier' than others with their mate-guarding male," she says. "I would like to understand if several mating strategies could coexist among males, i.e., being chosen by females versus intimidating them."

- PO

Defensiveness is ludicrous in the face of something which is so deeply embedded across an entire Order of creatures (i.e. Primates) and that makes it the Nature of Things.

The question for modern society is how far we can rise above the Nature of Things as the intrinsic behavior embedded within us is a weak excuse for the failure of intelligence to go beyond that.


Anonymous said...

I did not realize Putin was such a itty bitty guy!

Peas InOurThyme said...

He's definitely a walk softly and carry a big stick kind of fellow. He just impresses the hell out of me.