Chapter

Male Strategies and the Nature of Society: Conflict, Compromise, and Cooperation Between the Sexes

Alexander H. Harcourt

in Gorilla Society

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780226316024
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226316048 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226316048.003.0012
Male Strategies and the Nature of Society: Conflict, Compromise, and Cooperation Between the Sexes

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Although gorilla society might seem permeated by the influence of males on females, the relatively thin distribution of females in the environment in fact affects the distribution of males. It forces the males to stay with females instead of roaming in search of them. Concomitantly, mating competition among males, particularly the use of infanticide, forces females to associate with a protective male (who also protects them against predators), instead of roaming alone. Hence, gorilla society is one of stable, cohesive groups. While gorillas are a classic single-breeding-male society, with all the associated behavioral and anatomical correlates, some questions remain. This chapter explores gorilla male strategies and the nature of gorilla society, focusing on conflict, compromise, and cooperation between the sexes.

Keywords: gorillas; gorilla society; gorilla males; gorilla females; conflict; compromise; cooperation; mating competition

Chapter.  2435 words. 

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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