International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 853–877 | Cite as

Sex differences and intersexual relations in adult white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus)

  • Linda Fedigan


I aim to explicate the pattern of differences and relations between the sexes in two groups ofC. capucinus, in terms of phylogenetic, social and ecological predictors. I use three lines of evidence to develop predictions as to how male and femaleC. capucinus interact and how the sexes differ in behavior: (1) phylogenetic similarities to other species ofCebus; (2) a general model of sex differences in “female-bonded” social systems; and (3) ecological analogy of Old World monkeys. First, I conclude that phylogenetic affinity is a good predictor in thatC. capucinus are similar to other species ofCebus in many patterns of sex-differentiated behavior. An exception is that, unlikeC. apella andC. olivaceus, in which a single breeding male is reported to be highly conspicuous in each group,C. capucinus live in a decidedly multimale system. Secondly, the general model of sex differences in female philopatric, male-dispersal societies, which was originally developed for Old World species, also accurately predicts several aspects of social behavior inC. capucinus. Thirdly, a proposed ecological analogy betweenCercopithecus ascanius andspecies of Cebus is not substantiated in this study of C. capucinus, though the analogy is apparently well suited to the social dynamics of other species in the genusCebus.

Key Words

Cebus sex differences social systems female bonded 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Fedigan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Alberta, EdmontonAlberta

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