The innovative research carried out at the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania is famous for enlightening humans about the behaviour of chimpanzees.
However, this research is often useful in providing researchers insight to the psychology behind many human behaviors as well. JGI would like to share with you two recent studies written by scientists at Gombe, one focusing on chimpanzee gender roles and one which explores the ‘social networking’ capabilities of wild chimpanzees.
Boys Will Be Boys
People often wonder where our male/female gender roles originate. Is it simple biology that makes us the way we are, or is it perhaps the social conditioning permeating human society that shapes our perceptions of gendered behaviours?
Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf and her fellow researchers addressed this issue as it relates to chimpanzee society in her study Boys Will Be Boys, published in the Animal Behaviour journal earlier this year.
Chimpanzee Civil War and Social Networking
In 1971, the Gombe Stream National Park was the site of an intense but nearly bloodless civil war among chimpanzees. While conflicts between chimpanzee groups are not uncommon, this event was rare in that the two groups of fighting chimpanzees originated from one larger group.