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Clay2012SRep00291CommunicationDuringSex.pdf298.78 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: Communication during sex among female bonobos : effects of dominance, solicitation and audience
Authors: Clay, Zanna
Zuberbuehler, Klaus
Keywords: QL Zoology
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2012
Citation: Clay , Z & Zuberbuehler , K 2012 , ' Communication during sex among female bonobos : effects of dominance, solicitation and audience ' Scientific Reports , vol 2 , 291 , pp. - . , 10.1038/srep00291
Abstract: Bonobo females frequently form close bonds, which give them social power over other group members. One potential mechanism to facilitate female bonding is the performance of sexual interactions. Using naturalistic observations and experiments, we found various patterns that determined female-female sexual interactions. First, while low-ranked females interacted with all females, sexual interactions between high-ranked females were rare. Second, during genital contacts, females sometimes produced 'copulation calls', which were significantly affected by the rank of the caller and partner, as well as the solicitation direction. Third, there was a significant effect of the alpha female as a bystander, while variables relating to physical experience had no effects. Overall, results highlight the importance of sexual interactions for bonobo female social relations. Copulation calls are an important tool during this process, suggesting that they have become ritualised, beyond their reproductive function, to serve as broader social signals in flexible and potentially strategic ways.
Version: Publisher PDF
Status: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 2045-2322
Type: Journal article
Rights: (c) The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Appears in Collections:University of St Andrews Research
Psychology & Neuroscience Research
Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution Research
Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciences Research

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