A new study came out this week on Chimpanzees, examining dominance and social pecking order of female Chimpanzees, and comparing dominance strategies against males. Social dominance for Chimpanzees is established in males by conflict. Male Chimpanzees will actively challenge other males, with successful challenges leading to a rise in the social pecking order. Aggressiveness and conflict…that’s what establishes your “rank”.
Females on the other hand were found to literally never establish dominance through conflict. Instead, the study found female Chimpanzees have social pecking orders established right as they mature. After that, their pecking order is set, with the only moves up in the pecking order occurring when older or more dominant females die. In short, females “wait their turn”, and dominance is established with time and experience, without conflict.
There certainly appears to be a lesson here! I can’t read the news any more without an eye-rolling moment, and quite often it’s related to chest-thumping and conflict that, frankly, usually just seems like it’s conflict-for-the-sake-of-conflict. And 99% of the time, it’s my own sex that’s responsible. As this study shows, it’s not just humans! There’s a biologic component to aggressiveness (and may I say, stupidity) among men! (and hey, this is all coming FROM a guy…)
As is ALWAYS the case, science explains everything. The Chimpanzee study is a great example of why we end up with men like Trump, Putin, Kim Jung-un, etc. 🙂