New York, April 20: What can be the best way to defuse a fight or a conflict? Sex. Yes, you read it right.
Learn the art from bonobos, a species of dwarf chimpanzee. Rather than allowing a fight to escalate, they employ sexual contacts to diffuse tension and restore peace.
“Observing bonobos, it becomes clear that sex can play many roles in bonobo society – especially in resolving social tension,” said Zanna Clay from Georgia-based Emory University who is studying how bonobos use sex after conflicts.
The researchers tested four main hypotheses regarding post-conflict sexual contacts: stress reduction, reproductive benefits, mediate food-conflicts, and repairing valuable bonds.
“It appears that the sexual physiology of bonobos is closely related to their stress alleviation,” added co-author Frans de Waal.
This may have to do with the rubbing of sexual organs causing reductions in cortisol levels in the blood or causing increases in “bonding” hormones such as oxytocin or vasopressin, the researchers were quoted as saying in a report on wired.com.
Nevertheless, although bonobos use sexual contacts especially frequently and habitually in stressful contexts, the relationship between stress and non-reproductive sexual contacts is actually quite widely observed across numerous animals, including humans, they concluded.