WASHINGTON (Circa) — Female monkeys are hesitant to trust the opposite sex, according to new research.
The study, conducted by St. Andrews University and reported in the journal Current Biology, found that female vervet monkeys borrowed food-gathering tactics from their fellow females, but were less likely to mimic better methods if they were demonstrated by a male monkey.
In the experiment, a dominant male and a dominant female monkey were baited with a fruit box, which was triggered to open on different sides for each monkey. Researchers allowed the male access to the part of the box containing more food.
Females watching still followed the dominant female’s lead, rather than copy the more successful male behavior.
This is because females prioritize bonds with other females, scientists say. The females’ tendency to trust their own sex may also be linked to male monkeys’ habit of socializing with multiple groups, which signals to females that they are less reliable.