Thursday, May 27, 2010

The More You Harass, the More You Get

The headline for this story at New Scientist is that male chimpanzees don't trade meat for sex. Or not in a simple quid pro quo way; some studies do suggest that males who give meat to females have more sex over the long term.

So why do male chimps share their meat? Because others harass them:

A more likely explanation is that chimps share meat because others beg, [primatologist Ian] Gilby says. He has found that the more a chimp eating meat is harassed, the more he shares; that begging slows the speed at which chimps eat meat; and that begging tends to stop once meat is shared.

"It doesn't involve males thinking about who owes them favours," Gilby says. "It is essentially 'you're in my face bugging me, because you're there harassing me for meat I can't eat'."

Much is hereby explained about the behavior of human children, who seem to have internalized this rule that the more you harass, the more you get.

1 comment:

Carole67 said...

like - "The squeaky wheel..."