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Non-conceptive Sexual Interactions in Monkeys, Apes, and Dolphins.

Furuichi T, Connor R, Hashimoto C.

Primates and dolphins exhibit comparable examples of all categories of non-conceptive sexual behaviors, including sexual interactions involving immature individuals, those involving individuals of the same sex, and copulation during the non-conceptive period. Although mammals of other taxa also perform non-conceptive sexual behaviors, the fact that there are so many reports of non-conceptive sexual interactions among higher primates and dolphins suggest a link between the nonreproductive use of sexual behaviors and high intelligence. This link might be because the greater role of learning in sexual behavior expands the possibility for sex to be incorporated into a variety of non-conceptive functions. Non-conceptive sexual behaviors seem to reflect or be influenced by important social factors, including affiliative relations and alliance between individuals of the same or different sex, high social status of females, within-group or between-group tension resolution, mate selection, and infanticide prevention. Animals may employ non-conceptive sexual behaviors to control various important aspects of their relationships with others which they cannot control with other social behaviors, which suggests that instances of non-conceptive sexual behaviors may serve as keys to understanding important aspects of the social relationships or social structure of the species.

Primates and Cetaceans:
 Field Research and Conservation of Complex Mammalian Societies.
 Springer Japan. pp 385-408


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