Each week, one of the CSPH interns reviews a sexuality or gender related issue that appears in the media and reflects upon how it challenged them in ways they didn’t expect. This section is devoted to showing the growth process in becoming a sexuality professional. This week, we’re reflecting on an article that compares the bonobo brain to that of humans, and how this knowledge could shed some light on how humans can learn to resolve conflict peacefully.
How do you resolve conflict? Do you fight or make love?
This semester, I am taking Health Disparities and Minority Health through the College of Public Health at my university. In class on Tuesday, I made an argument that love has the ability to create a kinder, gentler, and more compassionate world with the possibility of ending racism and discrimination. As a student began to back me up, another student interjected saying, “You cannot have a world without war, it just doesn’t happen,” before laughing condescendingly.
“Love is free, free is love
Love is living, living love”
Though we live in a civilized society, human beings have not yet understood as a race how to handle envy, greed and conflict without war. However, the bonobos, sharing 98% of our genetic makeup, can live without conflict or war. One may wonder how the bonobos resolve conflict, and the answer may not be altogether surprising: this peaceful society resolves tension through sex. In essence, the bonobos are a society of John Lennons.
“Love is knowing
We can be”
Brian Hare, Assistant Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University, studies bonobos in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and speaks of them that “there has never been a recorded case in captivity or in the wild of a bonobo killing another bonobo.”
I believe the way of the bonobo is a beautiful way of love. The bonobos’ need for harmonious coexistence is not restricted to adult heterosexual pairs; rather, they create a community without discrimination.