Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Monday, September 06, 2010

Research of ape behaviour suggests a male who is egged on by his mother has a greater chance of success

Pushy mums breed successful sons | Courier Mail


BEHIND every great man there is a great woman, but it's far more likely to be his pushy mother than his partner driving him on, according to German scientists.

The finding will ring true for men who have been egged on to do better in life by their domineering mothers.

Men could even owe their sexual triumphs to the support of their mothers.

In climbing the ladder of success, it is the men who have their mothers backing them from the sidelines who do better, a study suggests.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology drew the conclusions after observing bonobo communities. As with humans, successful male bonobos are more attractive to females, they found.

To be successful, male apes have to rise through their community hierarchy, which can involve winning battles with higher-ranking males. This is done either individually or by forming a coalition to see off a more dominant rival.

The males who won these battles were more likely to be the ones who were backed from the wings by pushy mothers, the researchers said.

The German study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, found male bonobos with forceful mothers were not just better at rising up the social ranks, they had more sexual triumphs too.

Martin Surbeck, one of the researchers, added: "Females do not grant this kind of support to unrelated males."

There is an ulterior motive too, according to Mr Surbeck.

"By helping their sons, the mothers may likely increase the number of their own grandchildren," he said.