Are You a Chimp or a Bonobo?
Are you a Chimp or a Bonobo?
Are there multiple approaches to existence?
We share approximately 98.7% of our DNA with both chimps and bonobos. And yet, chimps and bonobos have very different approaches, from one another, to life and community. So, is it really a surprise that holds true for us, as humans?
Chimps are highly competitive. They engage in sexual aggression and conflict that often leads to death. Under stress, chimps release testosterone. Chimps are wired into what we identify as the Fight stress response.
Bonobos are highly cooperative. They do not kill their own kind. Under stress, bonobos release cortisol instead of testosterone. They resolve conflict through social bonding, including sexual activity. Bonobos, therefore, are wired into their Fawn/Friend stress response.
Recent research has shown that the Fight or Flight response in humans and chimps recently evolved, compared to other primates, possibly "in response to the threat of warfare." So, violence is evolutionary, which means we can continue to shift away from it.
Ultimately, it's important to remember that, as humans, we have different genetic predispositions to living and coping strategies from one another. So we also need different strategies to support ourselves and our communities.
Clearly, I lean Bonobo over here. How about you?