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The bonobo or pygmy chimpanzee (scientific name Pan paniscus) lives in central Africa and together with the common chimpanzee is our closest living relative — and the most despised of all monkeys[note 1] by creationists. Because the two species are not proficient swimmers, the formation of the Congo River 1.5–2 million years ago possibly led to the speciation of the bonobo. Bonobos live south of the river, and thereby were separated from the ancestors of the common chimpanzee, which live north of the river.

Bonobos have a matriarchal society, with male aggression rare. Sex is used as a way to mediate conflicts; they do not mate monogamously. Females are slightly more sexually active than the males, and will engage in genital-to-genital rubbing with other females roughly once every two hours.[1] In addition the bonobo is notorious for its exuberant sexual activity, seen equally in both genders:

  • Using sex as a greeting, a method of avoiding conflict, and a system of post-conflict resolution.[2]
  • Using sex for recreation.
  • Enthusiastically indulging in face-to-face genital sex. This is most frequently female-female. But the guys do "get it on", and when they do, it is called penis fencing.
  • Practice tongue kissing and oral sex.[3]

All this goes on both within and outside the family and involves adults, children and infants.

Humanity may, or may not, have something to learn: like why they are strangely immune to the Simian Immuno Deficiency Virus.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. They're apes, not monkeys, but creationists probably don't care to differentiate (e.g., the so-called Monkey trial)


  1. Balcombe, Jonathan Peter (2011). The Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure. University of California Press. p. 88. 
  2. Angier, Natalie (September 10, 2016). "In the Bonobo World, Female Camaraderie Prevails". The New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  3. Manson, Joseph H.; Perry, Susan; Parish, Amy R. (1997). "Nonconceptive Sexual Behavior in Bonobos and Capuchins". International Journal of Primatology 18 (5): 767–86. 
  4. Sharp, Paul M.; Shaw, George M.; Hahn, Beatrice H. (April 2005). "Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection of Chimpanzees". Journal of Virology 79: 3891–3902.