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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Sex difference in learning the allocation of social grooming in infant stumptailed macaques
Author(s): Mondragon-Ceballos, Ricardo
Chiappa, Pilar
Mayagoitia, Lilian
Lee, Phyllis C
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Keywords: social learning
inter-generational transmission
developmental sex differences
Stump-tailed macaque
Mother and infant
Social behavior in animals
Learning in animals
Sex differences
Issue Date: 2010
Date Deposited: 3-May-2011
Citation: Mondragon-Ceballos R, Chiappa P, Mayagoitia L & Lee PC (2010) Sex difference in learning the allocation of social grooming in infant stumptailed macaques. Behaviour, 147 (9), pp. 1073-1099.
Abstract: Among primates, the intense mother-infant bond provides offspring with a lengthy period for learning from an experienced and reliable demonstrator. Since adult life differs for females and males, the expertise of mother may not be equally useful to both sexes of infant, particularly with regard to social relationships. Here, we report on differences between infant female and male stumptailed macaques in learning how to allocate social grooming, using their mothers as demonstrators. Infant females were significantly more socially precocious than males, starting at early ages to groom mothers. Throughout their first year of life, daughters showed more instances of mirroring mothers’ behaviour than sons did. In addition, while grooming on their own, grooming durations of daughters to specific partners was significantly concordant with time devoted by mothers to such recipients. We suggest that daughters learn from their mothers how to distribute grooming amongst social companions, while sons primarily use mother as a secure platform to initiate socializing. These results lend support to the idea that mirroring equates with learning and leads to reinforcement of innate propensities for gender roles in primates.
DOI Link: 10.1163/000579510X505436
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