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Female Monkey’s Don’t Trust Males — Here’s Why

Monkey see monkey do.


Trust issues? You’re not alone. A recent study has shown that our closest relative, the primate, has found that female vervet monkeys don’t trust their male companions. Sound familiar? Here’s the scientific research conducted by St. Andrews University.

Female vervet monkeys borrowed food-gathering tactics from their lady friends rather than learning better methods if a male monkey demonstrated them first. 

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 lead, rather than copying the more successful male. 

Scientist think this is because females prioritize bonds with other females. The female’s trust their own sex could also be linked to male monkey’s habit of only socializing in multiple groups, and moving around too much. This triggers to female monkeys that they are less reliable and have less local knowledge. 

“The explanation for the sex difference may be that for females the important thing is to maintain close bonds with the other females they spend their whole lives with in the same group.” 

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