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Sexual Behavior of Bonobo Monkeys

Sexual intercourse plays a major role in bonobo society observed in captivity, being used as what some scientists perceive as a greeting, a means of conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconciliation. With the exception of a pair of Cohan gorillas observed doing so,[23] bonobos are the only non-human animal to have been observed engaging in all of the following sexual activities: face-to-face genital sex, tongue kissing, and oral sex.[24] In scientific literature, the female-female behavior of touching genitals together is often is referred to as GG rubbing or genital-genital rubbing or "scissoring". This behavior, however, has not been established as any more sexual in nature than a friendly greeting.[8]

The sexual activity happens within the immediate family as well as outside it.[25] Bonobos never form permanent relationships with individual partners. They also do not seem to discriminate in their sexual behavior by sex or age, with the possible exception of abstaining from sexual intercourse between mothers and their adult sons; some observers believe these pairings are taboo. When Bonobos come upon a new food source or feeding ground, the increased excitement will usually lead to communal sexual activity, presumably decreasing tension and allowing for peaceful feeding.[26]

Bonobo males frequently engage in various forms of male-male genital behavior, which is perceived by some scientists as being sexual (frot).[27][28] In one form, two males hang from a tree limb face-to-face while "winky fencing".[29][30] Frot also may occur when two males rub their penises together while in face-to-face position. A special form of frot called "rump rubbing" occurs to express reconciliation between two males after a conflict, when they stand back-to-back and rub their scrotal sacs together. These practices, however, have only been observed in captivity, except for occasional sightings in the jungle. There is little knowledge of the Bonobos' sexual behavior in their natural habitat.

Bonobo females also engage in female-female genital behavior, (tribadism), possibly to bond socially with each other, thus forming a female nucleus of Bonobo society. The bonding among females allows them to dominate Bonobo society—although male Bonobos are individually stronger, they cannot stand alone against a united group of females.[30] Adolescent females often leave their native community to join another community. Sexual bonding with other females establishes the new females as members of the group. This migration mixes the Bonobo gene pools, providing genetic diversity.

Bonobo reproductive rates are not any higher than that of the Common Chimpanzee. Female Bonobos carry and nurse their young for five years and can give birth every five to six years. Compared to Common Chimpanzees, Bonobo females resume the genital swelling cycle much sooner after giving birth, allowing them to rejoin the sexual activities of their society. Also, Bonobo females who are sterile or too young to reproduce still engage in sexual activity.

Craig Stanford, an American primatologist, has challenged the claim that Bonobos are more sexually active than Common Chimpanzees[clarification needed]. Stanford compared existing data on Common Chimpanzees and Bonobos in the natural habitat and found that female Common Chimpanzees copulated at least as often as female Bonobos, while he recorded that male chimpanzees copulated more than male Bonobos.[31] His comparison excluded same-sex sexual contacts, however, which are very common in Bonobos. De Waal's book on Bonobos includes interviews with field workers and relies on the studies by Takayoshi Kano, the only scientist to have worked for two decades with wild Bonobos.[32] New studies in Africa by Gottfried Hohmann, suggest occasional violence, but the fact remains that there are thus far no documented cases of lethal aggression among Bonobos, in sharp contrast to the evidence for Common Chimpanzees.[33]******************************************
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Added: Jul-3-2009 
By: Songun
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Tags: Bonobo, Monkey Love
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