Friday , December 4 2020

Traits: Bisexual female bonobos make prolonged eye contact during sex to form intimate social bonds



To help establish social bonds with other females, bisexual female bonobos make prolonged eye contact during sexual acts, a study has reported.

Researchers studied the role of eye-to-eye contact in the socio-sexual behavior of 17 bonobos at the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, in southwest Germany.

They found that the less two female bonobos got to know each other, the more they would try to make eye contact during sex – highlighting how these primates bond.

Female bonobos develop bonds with each other to build social strength, which they use to assert themselves against the males of the species.

Bonobo apes are our closest animal – with 98 percent genetic compatibility – and are often used in research on how we evolved as a species.

Sex between bonobos is not sex-specific – experts believe that nearly all apes are bisexual and as much as 75 percent of their sex is non-reproductive.

To help establish social bonds with other females, bisexual female bonobos make prolonged eye contact during sexual acts, a study reports.

To help establish social bonds with other females, bisexual female bonobos make prolonged eye contact during sexual acts, a study reports.

The study was carried out by biologist Giulia Annicchiarico of the University of Pisa, Italy, and her colleagues.

‘Girls [bonobos] engaging in homosexual ventro-ventral, genito-genital rubbing where they hug each other while rubbing part of their vulva and, occasionally, the clitoris, ” the team wrote in their paper.

Face-to-face – or ‘ventro-ventral’ – sex positions have long been considered exclusive to the human sex, but are enjoyed by bonobos of both sexes, whether in female-female, female-male or male-male partners.

‘Ventro-ventral, genito-genital rubbing facilitates conflict resolution, anxiety reduction and social bonding.’

Ms Annicchiarico added: “We found that MEE was negatively affected by women’s bonding – the more eye contact, the weaker the social relationship.”

‘My scientific interest is primarily concerned with areas of behavior that are considered exclusively human – emotions, empathy and altruistic behavior and non-verbal communication,’ he continued.

Research like this can shed light on the similarities between human and ape behavior – and how eye contact influences similar interactions in human social dynamics.

Researchers studied the role of eye-to-eye contact in socio-sexual behavior, pictured, of 17 bonobos at the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, in southwest Germany.

Researchers studied the role of eye-to-eye contact in socio-sexual behavior, pictured, of 17 bonobos at the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, in southwest Germany.

They found that the less two female bonobos knew each other, the more they would try to make eye contact during sex - highlighting how these primates, depicted, bonded.

They found that the less two female bonobos knew each other, the more they would attempt to make eye contact during sex – highlighting how these primates, depicted, bonded.

‘Great apes, in my opinion, can tell us a lot about why we are like this, why we act in certain ways and can also suggest different behavioral strategies,’ said Annicchiarico.

While much work has been done on eye contact between primates, it has traditionally focused more on the interactions between parents and their babies.

Researchers found that eye contact had a positive influence on ‘performance’ success, and was the key to long-term relationship success – with its importance becoming less and less important as certain relationships grew.

Female bonobos develop bonds with each other to build social strength, which they use to assert themselves against the males of the species.

Female bonobos develop bonds with each other to build social strength, which they use to assert themselves against the males of the species.

Bonobos use sex at all ages and combinations because the need for peaceful coexistence is not limited to heterosexual adult couples.

Researchers found that female homosexual behavior occurred very frequently and very often – even many times a day.

Sexual acts serve to reduce social tensions between individual apes and are most often seen in times of high stress, such as before and during competition for food and after conflict, as behavior of reconciliation.

Some bonobos have even been seen provoking each other to initiate sex in response.

According to Annicchiarico, there is no linear hierarchy in bonobo societies – which are matriarchal – so they rely on flexible patterns of domination, in which social power is spread across groups.

Eye contact is an evolutionary trait that has been positively selected to allow cohesion between women, who gain social bonds and strength through sexual contact, the team concluded.

Social power among the bonobos is held by those who form the strongest coalitions, something that is likely to develop as a strategy to counter attacks by men, who tend to be more isolationist.

The full findings of the study are published in the journal Behavior.

HOMOSEXUALITY IN ANIMALS

Homosexuality in nature seems counterintuitive but is observed in a wide variety of species around the world.

There has been no accepted explanation based on neurological, chemical or behavioral factors to explain why some animals are homosexual and some or heterosexual.

Some scientists say this may be due to exposure to testosterone levels in the uterus, although this is still a hot topic of debate that has yet to be proven.

In a book entitled: ‘Homosexual Behavior in Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective’, the author, UCL professor Dr Volker Sommer, writes: ‘In certain species, homosexual activity is widespread and occurs at levels close to or sometimes even beyond heterosexuals. activity.’

Homosexual behavior has been observed in many animals, including: apes, pygmy chimpanzees, dolphins, orcas, and humans.

Some studies suggest that homosexuality may be common in up to 95 percent of all animal species.

There are two main schools of thought regarding the prevalence of homosexuality in nature.

One theory is that homosexuality in animals needs no explanation, with animals that are homosexual as natural as heterosexual.

It seems implausible to survive as a trait because it hinders the ability to reproduce directly, but many speculate that it allows individuals to ensure their genetic material is passed down from generation to generation indirectly because they can look after their family members with offspring. .

For example, helping to raise a sister’s offspring.

Similar behavior dedicated to the ‘greater good’ of a large group has been seen in various species.

For example, in a familial wolf pack, only a pair of animal races – alpha and beta. Other animals ensure protection, feeding and care for feces.

This allows their genetic material to be passed on indirectly to the next generation through sisters, brothers, mothers, etc. or whatever the relationship is.

The same school of thought applies to animals that have passed their reproductive age.

For example, a female elephant who is now too old to have offspring.

They still play an important role in protecting the young, a matriarch leading the group to feed, water and chase potential predators.

These actions ensure the survival of young and vulnerable members of their families, again helping to ensure that their genetic material is passed on from generation to generation in an indirect manner.

Similar concepts can be applied to homosexuality, claim some experts.

Without the ability to reproduce directly, they can expend energy looking after the offspring of family members.

Another theory suggests that homosexual behavior helps in the long-term success of gene transmission when young animals ‘practice’ mating techniques and attracting the opposite sex.

The extent of homosexuality in different species continues to be unknown, as ongoing research finds more nuances of homosexuality in nature.

It continues to be found in more species but the degree to which homosexuality in individual species has not been studied enough to be able to determine whether homosexuality is becoming increasingly common.


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