Thursday, August 25, 2011

Are We More Like Chimps Or Bonobos?

In Sex at Dawn, Ryan and Jethá argue that humans are more like bonobos. This is, in part, because we both 1) employ diverse sex positions, 2) have sex for non-reproductive ends, and 3) gaze into each other's eyes during sex (when this jives with #1).

In his review (pdf, OA), Ryan Ellsworth disputes their thesis and makes the case for the chimp model. He emphasizes that humans and chimps (but not bonobos) share "sex-based hierarchies, sex-biased cooperation and coalitions, and intergroup hostility."

I've only skimmed Sex at Dawn, but I find Ellsworth's review much more persuasive. I'm happy being chimp-like.

(photo credit to patries71)