Over four years, researchers found fertile females suffered more aggression from males than those that were pregnant or lactating. Male aggression was a major source of injury to fertile females. Males that were more aggressive towards one particular female were found to have had more mating success than those that were less aggressive.
Instead of forcing the females to mate after violence, the males appear to be using the attacks as a means of long-term sexual intimidation that, over time, encourages the female to stick with the male aggressor.
Elise Huchard, another author on the study, tells Newsweek the patterns seen appear to work as a mating strategy in two ways—it discourages the female from leaving the proximity of the male, while also “inciting her to accept his mating facilitation.”
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