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The analogies with our relatives are useful insofar as they give us some idea of the range of behaviours of other animals similar to us in many ways. The assorted ape's behaviours are social conditioned to some extent as well. The ape studies are mostly in opposition the the myth of male-dominated hierarchy as the "natural" state of mankind.

Being socially conditioned is our natural state, but we don't start from a blank slate - we are primed in all sorts of ways and the innate tendencies vary from person to person. If the social conditioning is too much in conflict with our instincts and needs then there is excessive tension and the situation isn't very stable or much fun.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 09:00:15 AM EST
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