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Physiol Behav. 1990 Mar;47(3):403-8.

The effects of depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) on copulation-related and agonistic behaviors in an island colony of stumptail macaques (Macaca arctoides).

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  • 1Department of Anthropology, Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903.


This study examined the effects on copulation-related and agonistic behaviors of repeated DMPA (depo-Provera) treatment of adult females in a heterosexual island colony of stumptail macaques (Macaca arctoides). Comparison of mean rates revealed a decrease in male approach to females and dominant male following of females after they were treated with DMPA. As treatment did not affect female genital present, female approach or follow of males, we conclude, consistent with earlier results, that DMPA primarily reduced female sexual attractiveness. DMPA treatment was also consistently associated with increased female agonistic behavior (i.e., low-level threat, bite, and fear grimace), with aggression directed primarily at subadults, juveniles, and infants. Treatment did not alter dominance relationships. These data suggest that DMPA treatment is associated with increased low-key contact aggression.

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