Research published in BMC Evolutionary Biology suggests that female bonobos could have become the dominant sex in their societies by deceiving males as to when they are likely to conceive. The females’ sexual swellings, which can remain swollen up to 31 days, make it difficult for a male to monopolise and guard female mates to ensure he sires their offspring. This may reduce aggressive mate competition and male sexual coercion toward females, and results in bonobo societies being relatively peaceful.
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