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Play and Socio-Sexual Behaviour in a Captive Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes) Group

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1. Play and socio-sexual behaviors were studied in a captive chimpanzee group composed of three mothers and their offspring. 2. Mother-other infant relationships were more extensive and varied than those reported among wild chimpanzees. These relationships did not affect the motherinf ant bond. 3. Socio-sexual behaviors were regularly directed toward infants by all group members, including other infants. It is suggested that infant socio-sexuality should be viewed not only as a developmental phenomenon, but as an important factor in group interaction patterns. 4. Group play centered around the oldest male infant and two mothers played more with other infants than with their own infants. 5. Patterns of interaction among group members were shown to be heavily dependent on age-sex status. 6. Young infants initially tried to behave toward one another much as they behaved toward their own mothers. The way in which this tendency produced entirely new behavior patterns is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Georgia State University and Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; 2: Department of Psychology, Georgia State University and Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, Department of Psychology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.A.


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