This was seen as further evidence that the species had already evolved a distinctive trait of early prehumans. C. Owen Lovejoy, an anatomist at Kent State University and lead author of two of the journal reports, speculated that these hominids had a social system that involved less competition among males and that this suggested the beginning of pair bonding between males and females. Dr. Pilbeam disputed this conjecture, saying, This is a restatement of Owen Lovejoys ideas going back almost three decades, which I found unpersuasive then and still do.
UPDATE (2009-10-02): The LA Times:
Hill was more blunt, calling Lovejoy's speculation "patent nonsense."