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date: 31 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Males and females compete with each other and amongst their own sex, but often for different reasons. This chapter enriches current understanding of female-female competition in humans by examining competition in other primates; it explores why females compete and discusses when affiliation and cooperation may lead to better outcomes. Socioecological constraints on a species—such as social organization, food competition, and dispersal preference—play a major role in the structure of female-female relationships; notable attention is given to factors that affect social relationships: food competition, reproduction, dispersal, and dominance. Bond maintenance behaviors and communication strategies are also discussed relative to female-female relationships. Three nonhuman primate societies are examined, and potential lessons from these structures are gleaned where possible. The chapter reviews human progress in overcoming phylogenetic and ecological constraints in favor of women’s societal liberties.

Keywords: socioecology, primate sociality, resource competition, phylogeny, chimpanzee, dominance

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