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Inter-Mount Social Interactions During Heterosexual and Homosexual Consortships in Japanese Macaques

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Abstract

In this study, we examined whether female Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) exhibited male-typical patterns of inter-mount social behaviour during homosexual consortships. Data were collected on heterosexual and homosexual consortships from a population of free-ranging Japanese macaques in Arashiyama, Japan. Inter-mount intervals were defined as the period between two consecutive mounts. A total of 3374 heterosexual inter-mount intervals and 1412 homosexual inter-mount intervals were analysed. We examined nine different categories of inter-mount behaviour. Sex differences between heterosexually consorting males and females existed for three of the inter-mount behaviours we examined (i.e. ventral-to-dorsal orientation, aggression directed toward third party individuals, tree-shaking displays). The subordinate female partners in homosexually consorting pairs exhibited some sex-atypical inter-mount behaviours. This sex-atypicality did not appear to reflect generalized developmental canalization in the direction of a male-typical suite of behaviours. Rather, the observed behavioural sex-atypicality could be best explained in terms of the unique alliance-related dynamics that characterized homosexual consortships in Japanese macaques.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, Canada 2:  Neuroscience & Behaviour Program, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, USA

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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