Hormones and the Sexual Behaviour of Monkeys
The sexual behaviour of monkeys is very different from that of non-primate species in that it is, to a large extent, emancipated from gonadal control. Female monkeys when paired daily in the laboratory with the male do not show true periodic oestrous behaviour but are prepared to receive the male throughout their menstrual cycle (Michael and Welegalla 1968), and for long periods even following ovariectomy (Michael and Zumpe 1970). Indeed, female solicitations to the males, an index of their willingness to mate, increase after ovariectomy (Zumpe and Michael 1970), a finding in marked contrast to many rodent species. Sexual interactions with the male do, however, vary during the menstrual cycle, being more frequent in the follicular phase especially around mid-cycle for a number of primate species (Talapoin — Scruton and Herbert 1970; Patas monkey — Rowell and Hartwell 1978; Pigtail macaque — Tokuda et al. 1968; Eaton and Resko 1974; Chacma baboon — Saayman 1970; Gelada baboon — Dunbar 1978; Gorilla — Nadler 1975a; Chimpanzee — Tutin 1980; Macaca fascicularis — Zumpe and Michael 1983). Paradoxically, the females solicitations to the male may be very low at this time, and most of the changes in sexual interactions in relationship to the menstrual cycle can be accounted for by changes in female attractiveness (Keverne 1976).
KeywordsSexual Behaviour Dominant Male Plasma Testosterone Subordinate Male Dominant Female
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