Skip to main content

Male-Female, Female-Female, and Male-Male sexual behavior in the stumptail monkey, with special attention to the female orgasm

Abstract

Mating behavior in Macaca arctoides has several features unique to the macaques. Observations of laboratory groups of stumptail monkeys revealed that their single-mount copulations are exceptionally long, that male orgasm is unusually salient (being characterized by body rigidity followed by body spasms and a characteristic facial expression and vocalization), and that the couple generally remains united, or “tied,” in a genital lock after ejaculation. This pattern behaviorally accentuates some of the physiological aspects of coitus. Consequently, they can be more easily observed than in any of the other macaques. Homosexual encounters were numerous. They always involved sexual inversions (that is, the assumption of the coital role generally assumed by the opposite sex). Orgasms were observed in females during homosexual interactions—they were easily distinguished by all the features enumerated above as characterizing masculine orgasms. Examination of the behavior of females during heterosexual coitus suggests that female orgasms also occur during heterosexual interactions. The female potential for orgasm and ability to assume inversed sex roles offer a new view of nonhuman primate sexuality. Females are evidently capable of taking active roles in coitus, and their potential for orgasm is much more similar to that of males than previously thought.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Bernstein, I. S. (1967). A field study of the pigtail monkey (Macaca nemestrina).Primates 8: 217–228.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bertrand, M. (1969). The behavioral repertoire of the stumptail macaque: A descriptive and comparative study.Bibl. Primatol., Vol. 11, Karger, Basel.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Blurton-Jones, N. G., and Trollope, J. (1968). Social behavior of stump-tailed macaques in captivity.Primates 9: 365–394.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Burton, F. D. (1971). Sexual climax in femaleMacaca mulatta. InProceedings of the Third International Congress of Primatology, 1970, Vol. II, Karger, Basel, pp. 180–191.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Carpenter, C. R. (1942). Sexual behavior of free ranging rhesus monkeys.J. Comp. Psychol. 33: 113–162. [Also published in Carpenter, C. R. (1964).Naturalistic Behavior of Nonhuman Primates, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Pa.]

    Google Scholar 

  6. Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S. (1971a). The ontogeny of communication inMacaca speciosa. Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. [In press as Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S. (1974). The ontogeny of communication in the stumptail macaque,Macaca arctoides. Contrib. Primatol., Vol. 1, Karger, Basel.]

    Google Scholar 

  7. Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S. (1971b). The female sexual response in stumptail monkeys (Macaca arctoides), and its broad implications for female mammalian sexuality. Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, New York, November 1971.

  8. Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S. (1971c). Homo- and heterosexual behavior in stumptail monkeys (Macaca arctoides). Paper presented at the symposium Biological and Cultural Bases of Sex Role Differentiation, American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meetings, Philadelphia, December 1971.

  9. Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S. (1973). Facial expression of emotion in nonhuman primates. In Ekman, P. (ed.),Darwin and Facial Expression: A Century of Research in Review Academic Press, New York, pp. 11–89.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S. (1974). Heterosexual copulatory patterns in stumptail macaques,Macaca arctoides, and in other macaque species.Arch. Sex. Behav. (to be published).

  11. de Benedictis, T. (1972). Personal communication.

  12. Kanagawa, H., and Hafez, E. S. E. (1973). Patterns of sexual behavior and anatomy of copulatory organs in macaques. Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress of Primatology.Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 38(2): 233–239.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Kanagawa, H., Hafez, E. S. E., Nawar, M. M., and Jaszczak, St. (1972). Patterns of sexual behavior and anatomy of copulatory organs in macaques.Z. Tierpsychol. 31(5): 449–460.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Kaufman, I. C., and Rosenblum, L. A. (1966). A behavioral taxonomy forMacaca nemestrina andMacaca radiata, based on longitudinal observation of family groups in the laboratory.Primates 7: 205–258.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Kling, A. (1972). Personal communication.

  16. Kummer, H., and Kurt, F. (1965). A comparison of social behavior in captive and wild hamadryas baboons. In Vagtborg, H. (ed.),The Baboon in Medical Research University of Texas Press, Austin.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Lemmon, W. B., and Oakes, E. (1967). “Tieing” between stump-tailed macaques during mating.Lab. Primate Newsletter 6: 14–15.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Masters, W. H., and Johnson, V. E. (1965). The sexual response cycles of the human male and female: Comparative anatomy and physiology. In Beach, F. A. (ed.),Sex and Behavior Wiley, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Masters, W. H., and Johnson, V. E. (1966).Human Sexual Response Little, Brown, Boston.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Michael, R. P. (1969). The role of pheromones in the communication of primate behaviour. InProceedings of the Second International Congress of Primatology, 1968, Vol. I, Karger, Basel, pp. 101–107.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Nadler, R. D., and Rosenblum, L. A. (1971). Factors influencing sexual behavior of male bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata). InProceedings of the Third International Congress of Primatology, 1970, Vol. III, Karger, Basel, pp. 100–107.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Nadler, R. D., and Rosenblum, L. A. (1973). Sexual behavior of male pigtail macaques in the laboratory.Brain Behav. Evol. 7(1): 18–33.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Rowell, T. E. (1967). A quantitative comparison of the behavior of a wild and caged baboon group.Anim. Behav. 15: 499–509.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Trollope, J., and Blurton-Jones, N. G. (1970). Breeding the stump-tailed macaque.Lab. Anim. 4: 161–169.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Zumpe, D., and Michael, R. P. (1968). The clutching reaction and orgasm in the female rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta).J. Endocrinol. 40: 117–123.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

This research was supported in part by the Interdisciplinary Training Program, Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, San Francisco, and by United States Public Health Service Training Grant No. 5-T1-MH-7082 from the National Institute of Public Health.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S. Male-Female, Female-Female, and Male-Male sexual behavior in the stumptail monkey, with special attention to the female orgasm. Arch Sex Behav 3, 95–116 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01540994

Download citation

Keywords

  • Sexual Behavior
  • Facial Expression
  • Body Rigidity
  • Mating Behavior
  • Physiological Aspect