Social evolution of hominids
28 Dec 1996 15:49:29 +0200
Thoughts arisen from some threads in sci.bio.evolution:
I understand that the continuous sexual activity of human females
was not the original situation. This behaviour obviously appeared
after the times of the common ancestor of apes and us, since the
apes have restricted heat times, as do most mammals.
It is not clear to me, how predominant are the leading males
among chimpanzees and gorillas, but obviously this situation,
too, is different from ours, with greater sexual dimorphism?
Whatever degree of a 'dominant male' society there may
have existed among the hominid branch in the beginning, the
change to continuously sexually active females must have had a
dramatic effect on it. An organization with a single top male
was simply not possible any more and there must have been
greater equality between the males, which probably allowed
better cooperation and much greater efficiency.
Now there is the question, at what stage did the change of the
female behaviour occur. Did it appear somewhere along the way
to hominization, or did it hit the pre-hominid population out
of the blue, and initiate the whole process?
To be continuously active sexually, the hominid female had to
develop continuously excitable equipment for the non-heat times,
the most important part of it being the clitoris. So, did the
clitoris initiate our evolution and culture? <G>
Aila Korhonen in Finland firstname.lastname@example.org