Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Monkey Business

My academic background is in the life sciences so I enjoy reading related stuff. Alternet posted a nice article discussing the behavior of various species of primates which I think should be read by those dealing with White Supremacy and it's affects on African people. The article contains some very interesting cases dealing with socialization, which we had posted on before, specifically with Elephants. you can read the entire article here:

http://www.alternet.org/story/32755/

I thought this experiment was very interesting:

The results were that Forest Troop was left with males who were less aggressive and more social than average and the troop now had double its previous female-to-male ratio. The social consequences of these changes were dramatic. There remained a hierarchy among the Forest Troop males, but it was far looser than before: compared with other, more typical savanna baboon groups, high-ranking males rarely harassed subordinates and occasionally even relinquished contested resources to them. Aggression was less frequent, particularly against third parties. And rates of affiliative behaviors, such as males and females grooming each other or sitting together, soared. There were even instances, now and then, of adult males grooming each other -- a behavior nearly as unprecedented as baboons sprouting wings.

This unique social milieu did not arise merely as a function of the skewed sex ratio; other primatologists have occasionally reported on troops with similar ratios but without a comparable social atmosphere. What was key was not just the predominance of females, but the type of male that remained. The demographic disaster -- what evolutionary biologists term a "selective bottleneck" -- had produced a savanna baboon troop quite different from what most experts would have anticipated.

But the largest surprise did not come until some years later. Female savanna baboons spend their lives in the troop into which they are born, whereas males leave their birth troop around puberty; a troop's adult males have thus all grown up elsewhere and immigrated as adolescents. By the early 1990s, none of the original low aggression/high affiliation males of Forest Troop's tuberculosis period was still alive; all of the group's adult males had joined after the epidemic. Despite this, the troop's unique social milieu persisted -- as it does to this day, some 20 years after the selective bottleneck.

In other words, adolescent males that enter Forest Troop after having grown up elsewhere wind up adopting the unique behavioral style of the resident males. As defined by both anthropologists and animal behaviorists, "culture" consists of local behavioral variations, occurring for nongenetic and nonecological reasons, that last beyond the time of their originators. Forest Troop's low aggression/high affiliation society constitutes nothing less than a multigenerational benign culture.

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