It is not easy to understand human behavior in terms of social relationships. Many books have been written on the subject and many more will be written in the future. Perhaps this is due to the fact that an interest in social interactions, especially between males and females, will always be a subject of inquiry for us. However, a University of Michigan professor has made a valid attempt at giving us certain insights about human relationships between the sexes based on her many years of field research where she studied the social relationships of primates.
Dr. Smuts received her PhD from Stanford University; as a scholar she has focused on primates and analyzed the relationship between males and females while conducting field research studies. What she observed and learned in her studies may help us to better understand similar relations between humans of different genders. By having a better understanding of nonhuman social interactive relationships, we could be in a better position to understand our own forms of human behavior and perhaps even to improve on them. Such information is becoming more important because we are at a time in our society when more attention is being given to male and female interpersonal relationships. Dr. Smuts’s works will increase in value because of their contributions to a better understanding of these roles.
- Smuts, B. B. (1999). Sex and friendship in baboons (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.