Often, very often, chimpanzees are chosen as a model of human sexuality. They are studied by anthropologists because they are the most genetically similar living relative to humans.
Except that bonobos are equally similar and behave completely differently.
Bonobos are one of the least studied primate groups, period. An it makes little to no sense to me, because I’d rather live in a more bonobo like society than a chimpanzee like society.
If I had to guess, I’d suspect this discrepancy is due to the fact that the majority of working scientists today are still men. And chimpanzees are a patriarchal society, whereas bonobos are a matriarchal society.
Today in the world, matriarchal societies are always nicer places to live compared to patriarchal societies. In our historical record, patriarchies have consistently been oppressive and needlessly competitive: feudal societies of east Asia, the capitalism of the United States and slave trading.
Contrast these cultures with those of the matriarchy of the Utopian Union, err, European Union. Nordic countries lead the world in progressive politics: they have the highest test scores around the world, with the least amount of homework and in school hours. They work 36 hour work weeks. They lead the world in autonomous private web searches, servers and IT. They have universal public health insurance for their citizens. They lead the world in renewable energy and environmental stewardship — they don’t dump their trash into their waterways. It all just... makes sense.
Food for thought. Could it possibly be that we have the potential to be both like bonobos and chimpanzees depending on whether we are a patriarchy or a matriarchy? I think the answer is yes. We need to spend more time studying our very close relatives, the bonobos.