First Bogus Award of 2008!

In a stunning public development, male researchers have announced that macaque monkeys “pay” for sex. Ah, many of you are thinking, this ought to be interesting. You can imagine the questions: Do boy and girl monkeys pay the same way, in the same amounts? Do these monkeys pay for sex with gourds, or berries, or wooden tools, or some other commodity that can be bartered and sold again for personal advantage? Uh, sadly, think again. In fact, the article could more accurately be titled, “Unchallenged Male Researchers Begin to View All Female Primate Mating Behavior As Prostitution,” because you’ll find that the “payment” is only paid to females, and it is in the form of males grooming females. Yes, a relatively selfless, and unspendable, act ofmonkey-family_1.jpg physical affection and care is what these researchers are calling “payment.” No word on how females-grooming-males is viewed–clearly that is the natural order to these guys. The fact that the amount of time male monkeys spend on grooming females varies, depending on the number of females available in the area, is not seen as an indication of male fickleness, or a sign of girl power, or a measure of the depth of relationships in the absence of distractions, but, instead, as a measure of the impact of “supply and demand” in the (payment-based) female sex market. Perhaps the most accurate title of this article would be “Clueless Researchers Unwittingly Reveal Way Too Much About Their Own World View.” These guys’ follow-up, tenure-securing, study will undoubtedly be titled, “Potential Rape Monkey Victims Proven To Be Asking For It.” For this unchallenged interpretation of interactions between primate genders, we award our first BOGUS (Boneheaded, Obviously Grotesque, Unfounded and Specious) research prize of 2008. Too bad there’s no letter M in the word bogus (for misogynistic)…

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