Monkeys pay for sex
By Colin Barras. SEX has probably been a commodity for as long as human society has existed, and perhaps even longer. Gumert looked at research on a strong group of long-tailed macaques in Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia, that covered a month period. He found there was an increase in sexual activity after bouts of male-to-female grooming.
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Penguins use stones for building their nests. Some pair-bonded female penguins copulate with males who are not their mates and then take pebbles for their own nests. The notion of such "transactional sex" among chimpanzees has been critiqued by many scholars, citing that androcentric bias and researchers projecting their own gendered assumptions onto non-human animals may play a significant role in interpretations of "prostitution. According to the report about the study published by BBC News Online , some female penguins sneak around on their partners. These prostitutes have sex with unattached males and take a pebble from the male's nest after having sex. Pebbles are used for building nests, but are scarce, and hence valuable. In an actual study, the researchers speculate that the female has bent over to grab a stone and the male has misinterpreted the gesture—she hasn't changed her mind or performed a trick.
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Michael Gumert, a primatologist at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said in a telephone interview Saturday. Gumert's findings, reported in New Scientist last week, resulted from a month observation of about 50 long-tailed macaques in a reserve in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Gumert found after a male grooms a female, the likelihood that she will engage in sexual activity with the male was about three times more than if the grooming had not occurred. And as with other commodities, the value of sex is affected by supply and demand factors: A male would spend more time grooming a female if there were fewer females in the vicinity. The mating actually becomes cheaper depending on the market," Gumert said.
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Published online 1 February Nature doi Michael Hopkin. To a monkey, some things are worth looking at more than others. A US study has shown that rhesus macaques will pay to look at images of powerful or sexually interesting fellows.