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Female Co-Dominance in a Virtual World: Ecological, Cognitive, Social and Sexual Causes

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In male-dominant primate species, females are sometimes dominant to some or all males of a group. In this paper, we show a number of variables that increase female dominance over males in a model called DomWorld. This model is relevant, because its results have shown to resemble those of typical egalitarian and despotic macaques. Variables that increase female co-dominance are intensity of aggression, group cohesion, a clumped distribution of food, a similar diet for the sexes and sexual attraction (by one sex to the other, but not mutually). We explain that in these cases female co-dominance increases due to more interactions between the sexes (under certain conditions), and as a consequence of all factors that increase the development of the hierarchy (i.e. a higher number of interactions, more interactions per sex, a higher intensity of aggression and a clearer spatial structure). We suggest model-guided studies of female dominance in real animals.


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