Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 853–861 | Cite as

Male Homosexual Behavior in a Free-Ranging All-Male Group of Japanese Macaques at Minoo, Japan

  • Jean-Baptiste LecaEmail author
  • Noëlle Gunst
  • Paul L. Vasey
Original Paper


We documented nine male homosexual consortships within three different male–male dyads in a free-ranging all-male group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), at Minoo, Japan. A total of 63 male–male mounts were observed during these consortships. Male homosexual interactions shared most of the behavioral components that have been reported to characterize heterosexual and female homosexual consortships in this species. Convergent behavioral data, including analysis of male–male solicitations, mounting postures, body orientations, inter-mount activities, and third-party male intrusions supported the conclusion that male–male consortships are a sexual phenomenon. We discussed a series of proximate and ultimate hypotheses that purport to account for the occurrence of male homosexual behavior in all-male groups of primates, including humans. This first report of male homosexual interactions in an all-male group of Japanese macaques contributes to the growing database used to provide insights into the developmental processes, causal mechanisms, adaptive significance, and phylogenetic pathways of same-sex sexual behavior.


Male–male consortship Ventro-ventral mounts Sociosexual behavior Macaca fuscata 



This study was funded by the following agencies: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB), the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, as well as the Office of the Dean of Arts and Science and the Office of Research Services at the University of Lethbridge. We thank Lydia Ottenheimer Carrier for assistance with data collection. We thank Penny D’Agnone for help securing AIHS funding. We thank Y. Iwanaga for permission to work at Meiji Memorial Forest Minoo Park and S. Suzuki for valuable information in the field. We thank the Editor, Alan Dixson, and one anonymous reviewer for fruitful comments on a previous version of the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Baptiste Leca
    • 1
    Email author
  • Noëlle Gunst
    • 1
  • Paul L. Vasey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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