Stephanie Alexandra Fox
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew Mexico, Albuquerque, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9815
Approve DateApril 30, 2019
Project TitleFox, Stephanie (New Mexico, Albuquerque, U. of) "Social tolerance and the function of differentiated relationships among wild female chimpanzees"
Patterns of male and female alliance formation in humans, bonobos and chimpanzees have lead researchers to suggest that the ability of each sex to form same-sex alliances directly impacts the dominance relations between the sexes, and ultimately, the species’ social structure. Thus, anthropologists are interested in answering the question – why do female chimpanzees, humans and bonobos differ in their propensity to form social bonds? If we can explain the social and ecological conditions that lead to variation between chimpanzees and bonobos, this comparative data can be used to make inferences about the conditions under which women’s relationships evolved. My goal is to determine whether social and ecological factors constrain the formation of strong social bonds among female chimpanzees and whether differentiated social relationships, expressed through social tolerance, confer benefits to females. I will address these questions using one year of matched behavioral and hormonal data on adult females (N=17) living in the Kanyawara chimpanzee community in Kibale National Park, Uganda. I will further test my hypotheses using nine years of behavioral and hormonal data collected by the Kibale Chimpanzee Project.