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July 26, 2007
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About Those Bonobos

If you care about sex, or apes, or both, you probably know all about the bonobos: peaceful, horny, and female-dominated. Or so we thought, at least. The New Yorker has an article this week discussing recent revelations about the species.

New studies (which observe bonobos in the wild, rather than just in captivity) suggest that the species might not be quite the peace loving, free love spreading apes that popular culture envisions (or at least that orgies are way more likely in captivity than in the wild: and hey, we can dig that!).

Amused as Boinkology is by studies of animal sex lives (and the resulting assumptions that people make about human sex lives), the party line is that its silly to assume that the actions of one species should somehow dictate the actions of another. For example: the existence (or nonexistence) or homosexual animals should not in anyway validate (or negate) the experiences and lives of homosexual humans.

And if wild bonobos turn out not to be quite as sexually active (and sexually, um, experimental?) as previously thought? Well, we’ll just have to have to switch up some of our metaphors (say, “horny as a bonobo in captivity” rather than “horny as a bonobo.”).

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