Female co-dominance in a virtual world: Ecological, cognitive, social and sexual causes

Charlotte Hemelrijk, Jan Wantia, Mare Dätwyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


In male-dominant primate species, females are sometimes dominant to some or all males of a group. In this paper, we show a number of variables that increase female dominance over males in a model called DomWorld. This model is relevant, because its results have shown to resemble those of typical egalitarian and despotic macaques. Variables that increase female co-dominance are intensity of aggression, group cohesion, a clumped distribution of food, a similar diet for the sexes and sexual attraction (by one sex to the other, but not mutually). We explain that in these cases female co-dominance increases due to more interactions between the sexes (under certain conditions), and as a consequence of all factors that increase the development of the hierarchy (i.e. a higher number of interactions, more interactions per sex, a higher intensity of aggression and a clearer spatial structure). We suggest model-guided studies of female dominance in real animals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1247-1273
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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