Sex and Business

Dario Maestripieri

in Macachiavellian Intelligence

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780226501178
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226501215 | DOI:
Sex and Business

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In the United States, sex is a multibillion-dollar industry. Sex sells. Selling and buying sex itself is called prostitution, pornography, and many other names. Using sex to sell anything else—food and clothes, magazines and books, TV news and Hollywood movies—is called good business. Men are big buyers of sex: they start at puberty and do not stop until they drop dead. Much like humans, rhesus macaques use sex for business purposes. The key to understanding how sex has turned into a business is the nature of primate female sexuality. Many primate females have menstrual cycles very similar to those of women. Sex is not the only reason primates live in groups. Group living has many benefits, including cooperation to find food and protection from predators. There are also forces other than sex—kinship, for example—that keep these groups together. Back in the 1920s, the British biologist Solly Zuckerman noticed that monkeys seemed to have sex all the time. Early laboratory studies of rhesus macaque sexual behavior seemed to confirm Zuckerman's observations.

Keywords: humans; rhesus macaques; sex; sexual behavior; business; group living; sexuality; females; kinship; Solly Zuckerman

Chapter.  9649 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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