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Macachiavellian IntelligenceHow Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World$
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Dario Maestripieri

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226501178

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226501215.001.0001

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Nepotism and Politics

Nepotism and Politics

(p.17) Chapter 3 Nepotism and Politics
Macachiavellian Intelligence

Dario Maestripieri

University of Chicago Press

Nepotism is inherent in both humans and animals. Some animal societies are more or less nepotistic than others, but there is no society in which individuals are biased in favor of non-kin and against their kin. The reason nepotism exists is a phenomenon called kin selection. By helping relatives with whom they share genes, individuals increase the probability that their own genes will be passed on to the next generation. Without information on kinship, it is virtually impossible to understand how any animal or human society is organized and why the individuals in it behave the way they do. This chapter, which examines nepotism and politics among rhesus macaques, first discusses Sigmund Freud's explanation of how sex between family members contributes to human behavior. It looks at incest and dispersal, the origins of same-sex bonding, rhesus macaques' social tolerance of their relatives and other individuals, and their altruism.

Keywords:   rhesus macaques, politics, nepotism, kin selection, kinship, social tolerance, altruism, same-sex bonding, incest, Sigmund Freud

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