Re: Social evolution of hominids

Frederick W Colbourne (
Sat, 28 Dec 1996 15:30:04 GMT wrote:

>Thoughts arisen from some threads in

>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