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  1. #1

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    (Monkey) Girls Will Be (Monkey) Girls

    I probably should be ashamed of myself for finding this article funny, but I do. A friend of mine said if the wrong people hear about it, it'll set the women's movement back 150 years.

    Female chimpanzees treat sticks and small logs as dolls by cuddling them, creating games and even putting them to bed, new research finds.

    Since young male chimps were less inclined to play dollies, the authors say their study presents the first evidence of an animal species in the wild in which play differs between males and females.
    I like this part also:

    When presented with what the researchers call "sex-stereotyped" toys, monkeys also display clear preferences, according to the scientists.

    Wrangham explained prior research determined that when young vervet monkeys were presented with toy cars, balls, cooking pots and dolls, the females mostly went for the pots and dolls while the males gravitated toward the cars and balls.
    Personally, I grew up with a big brother and when we were young all our friends were boys, so I was pretty much a tomboy.

    But just like a vervet monkey, if I were offered a choice of toys, I would always pick the dolls over the cars!

  2. #2

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    Very cool research, and certainly consistent with everything I've seen with little kids. What a great experiment --- thanks for posting the link!

  3. #3
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    Have you read Ape House by Sara Gruen? It features a tribe of Bonobos. It's fiction, but based on research, and the Bonobos do exhibit some sex-differentiated play behaviours. My favourite bit was when they were given a blow-up doll, and the matriarch seemed quite concerned about the doll's nudity, so quickly covered her with a blanket. I guess that's more "nurturing" than "play," but still ...

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