This week’s cartoon takes inspiration from a study published in this month’s issue of Current Biology, which suggests sex-specific play preferences in chimpanzees. The researchers followed a community of chimpanzees in Uganda, observing their “stick-carrying” behaviour. Stick-carrying refers to a type of play in which the chimpanzees treat sticks in a manner which resembles the treatment of infants by their mothers. The researchers found that female chimpanzees were more likely to indulge in this sort of play than males, and suggest that this is a form of “play-mothering”. The idea of biological predisposition to differences in play preferences between the sexes is controversial, and the disparity is often attributed wholly to social factors. However, the authors believe that their evidence suggests the possibility of innate preference for mothering play in females primates and suggest that this may, in part, explain similar differences observed in human children.
Dario can be caught blogging unawares at “Remain Indoors”.