Sexual Coercion in Primates and Humans

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Professor of Anthropology Martin N Muller, Martin N. Muller, Richard W. Wrangham
Harvard University Press, 2009 - Family & Relationships - 483 pages

Conflict between males and females over reproduction is ubiquitous in nature due to fundamental differences between the sexes in reproductive rates and investment in offspring. In only a few species, however, do males strategically employ violence to control female sexuality. Why are so many of these primates? Why are females routinely abused in some species, but never in others? And can the study of such unpleasant behavior by our closest relatives help us to understand the evolution of men's violence against women?

In the first systematic attempt to assess and understand primate male aggression as an expression of sexual conflict, the contributors to this volume consider coercion in direct and indirect forms: direct, in overcoming female resistance to mating; indirect, in decreasing the chance the female will mate with other males. The book presents extensive field research and analysis to evaluate the form of sexual coercion in a range of species—including all of the great apes and humans—and to clarify its role in shaping social relationships among males, among females, and between the sexes.


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Male Aggression and Sexual Coercion of Females in Primates
Evolution of Sexual Coercion with Respect to Sexual Selection and Sexual Conflict Theory
Intersexual Conflict in Primates Infanticide Paternity Allocation and the Role of Coercion
Orangutans Sexual Coercion without Sexual Violence
Male Aggression against Females in Mountain Gorillas Courtship or Coercion?
The Causes and Consequences of Male Aggression Directed at Female Chacma Baboons
FemaleDirected Aggression and Social Control in Spider Monkeys
Male Aggression against Females and Sexual Coercion in Chimpanzees
Coercive Violence by Human Males against Their Female Partners
The Political Significance of Gender Violence
Intimate Wounds Craniofacial Trauma in Women and Female Chimpanzees
Human Rape Revising Evolutionary Perspectives
Friendship with Males A Female Counterstrategy to Infanticide in Chacma Baboons of the Okavango Delta
The Absence of Sexual Coercion in Bonobos
Sexual Coercion Patriarchal Violence and Law
Sexual Coercion in Humans and Other Primates The Road Ahead

Sexual Coercion in Dolphin Consortships A Comparison with Chimpanzees
Male Aggression toward Females in Hamadryas Baboons Conditioning Coercion and Control

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About the author (2009)

Martin N. Muller is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.

Martin N. Muller is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.

Richard W. Wrangham is Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.

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