Communicator (communicator) wrote,

more on gender

Some scientists put toys in front of vervet monkeys. According to this report the boy monkeys played with trucks and balls, and the girl monkeys with dolls and cooking pots. Thus allegedly proving sex differences which can be extrapolated from monkeys to us.

This is so moronic. What sex difference is this supposed to prove? Cooking pots don't mean anything to monkeys. If the female monkeys were attracted to pots it doesn't show an innate female preference for food preparation or housework because vervet monkeys don't use pots to prepare food. And the report says that 'Males may have evolved toy preferences that involve throwing and moving, skills useful for hunting' but vervet monkeys don't hunt.They mainly eat 'grass, fruits, flowers, leaves, gum and seeds' supplemented with 'insects, grubs, eggs, baby birds and sometimes rodents'.

Wanting to hold a doll is consistent with vervet monkey behaviour though, as reported here. "Within the troop, each adult female is the center of a small family network... Close social bonds with female relatives begin to develop in infancy, relationships thought to endure throughout life. Infants are of great interest to the other monkeys in the troop; subadult females do everything possible to be allowed to groom or hold a new infant.'

In other words baby-holding is an aspect of social bonding and dominance behaviour between female vervets, and dolls clearly trigger this behaviour. But it's not like 'playing with dolls' in humans. And what do the scientists think male monkeys playing with toy trucks means? There is nothing like a 'truck' in the monkeys' world, they don't have even the most primitive tool-using behaviour, they don't relate to machines nor do they have the imagination to extrapolate between a toy and a machine.

Some people complain that evolutionary biologists treat humans like animals, but I think this is treating the poor monkeys like pretend people. And if I can find out those things about vervets in about a minute on the Internet, how come this isn't taken into account in the research?
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