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APY First Response Paper.docx

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University at Buffalo
APY 107
Niki Bertrand

Fanny Wong The Exotic Behavior of Bonobos Article: Bonobo Sex & Society Frans B. M. De Waal wrote an article, BONOBO Sex & Society that discusses bonobo’s sexual behavior and the differences between the behavior and social systems of bonobo’s and chimpanzees. In the beginning of the article, Waal tells us that bonobo’s substitute sex for aggression and they “engage in sex in virtually every partner combination” (p.1). However, their rate of reproduction in the wild is the same as the chimpanzees. (Waal, 2006, p.1) This article also discusses how humans share more than 98 percent of the same genes as bonobos and chimpanzees. Waal, later on, describes bonobo’s as graceful animals compared to chimpanzees from their “long legs and small head atop narrow shoulders…lips are reddish in a black face, the ears small and the nostrils almost as wide as gorilla’s.” (p.2) From these features, Waal perceives bonobos as a stylish and graceful animal based on their physical features.After that, Waal talks about bonobo’s aggression and how the key to their social life is sex, which is completely different compared to chimpanzees. Chimpanzees will fight and then reconcile after. However bonobos use sex to relieve their aggression. Bonobo’s are a strange and intriguing animal to study because of the many differences they have. Sex is something that happens in all animals. But for all other animals sex is used as a form of reproduction. However, in bonobos, sex and reproduction are separate issues in their life. Sex is used for a different purpose and females are in control of the reproduction. In addition, bonobos like to pleasure themselves even without the other sex. Bonobo’s rub their genitals, which is a form of sex pattern. (Waal, 2006, p.3) Moreover, Bonobo’s are easily aroused, such as by food. Bonobo’s would relieve their stress before doing anything else. Although chimpanzees and bonobo’s have many differences, they have some similarities. Both creatures live in fission-fusion societies and both males stay in their natal group and females tend to be the migrating sex. However bonobo males tend to stay with their mothers for their whole life and rely on the mother when they face fights. That is a huge difference because in male chimpanzees, they like to fight themselves. (Waal, 2006, p.5)As you can see, bonobos and chimpanzees have many differences even though both of them have 98 percent of the same genes as humans, which makes this all more fascinating. In my opinion, bonobos are fascinating creatures to study because of their shocking resemblance to humans. When I see bonobos and read
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