Homosexual Behavior Between Male Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Primate Behavior and Ecology

Publication Date



Homosexual behavior is defined as genital contact or genital manipulation between same-sex individuals. In nonhuman primates, it may regulate social relationships by serving as a means of reconciliation, tension alleviation, or alliance formation. Grappling is a rare and complex behavior, which most frequently occurs between same-sex individuals of the genus Ateles and can include mutual manipulation of the genitalia. Here we report three cases of penile–anal intromission during grappling between wild male spider monkeys living in the natural protected area of Otoch Ma’ax Yetel Kooh, Mexico. In all the observed cases, the same adult male was the actor. To our knowledge, this is the first report of penile–anal intromission between males in any New World primate species.


This article was originally published in Archives of Sexual Behavior. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Archives of Sexual Behavior


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