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Sexual selection theory


Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection where members of one biological sex choose mates of the other sex to mate with intersexual selection , and compete with members of the same sex for access to members of the opposite sex intrasexual selection.

These two forms of selection mean that some individuals have better reproductive success than others within a population , either from being more attractive or preferring more attractive partners to produce offspring.

The females then arrive and choose the males with the deepest croaks and best territories. Generalizing, males benefit from frequent mating and monopolizing access to a group of fertile females.

Females have a limited number of offspring they can have and they maximize the return on the energy they invest in reproduction. The concept was first articulated by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace who described it as driving species adaptations and that many organisms had evolved features whose function was deleterious to their individual survival, [3] and then developed by Ronald Fisher in the early 20th century.

Sexual selection can, typically, lead males to extreme efforts to demonstrate their fitness to be chosen by females, producing sexual dimorphism in secondary sexual characteristics , such as the ornate plumage of birds such as birds of paradise and peafowl , or the antlers of deer , or the manes of lions , caused by a positive feedback mechanism known as a Fisherian runaway , where the passing-on of the desire for a trait in one sex is as important as having the trait in the other sex in producing the runaway effect.

Although the sexy son hypothesis indicates that females would prefer male offspring, Fisher's principle explains why the sex ratio is 1: Sexual selection is also found in plants and fungi. Many non-exclusive hypotheses have been proposed, [4] including the positive impact of an additional form of selection, sexual selection, on the probability of persistence of a species. Sexual selection was first proposed by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species and developed in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex , as he felt that natural selection alone was unable to account for certain types of non-survival adaptations.

Sexual selection

Sexual selection theory

Sexual selection , theory in postulating that the evolution of certain conspicuous physical traits—such as pronounced coloration, increased size, or striking adornments—in animals may grant the possessors of these traits greater success in obtaining mates. Mutual attraction between the sexes is an important factor in reproduction. The males and females of many animal species are similar in size and shape except for the sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics such as the breasts of female mammals.

There are, however, species in which the sexes exhibit striking dimorphism or physical difference. Particularly in birds and mammals, the males are often larger and stronger, more brightly coloured, or endowed with conspicuous ornamentation.

These traits, however, make animals more visible to predators—the long plumage of male peacocks Pavo cristatus and birds of paradise Paradisaea and the enormous antlers of aged male deer Odocoileus are cumbersome loads in the best of cases.

Darwin knew that natural selection could not be expected to favour the evolution of disadvantageous traits, and he was able to offer a solution to this problem. The concept of sexual selection as a special form of natural selection is easily explained. Other things being equal, organisms more proficient in securing mates have higher fitness. There are two general circumstances leading to sexual selection. One is the preference shown by one sex often the females for individuals of the other sex that exhibit certain traits.

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  • Darwin noted that sexual selection depends on the struggle between males to access females. . Fisher, R. A....
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Sexual selection theory

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Besides, the sexual propaganda theory only argued that mates were opportunistically lead, on the basis of various factors determining the choice such as phenotypic characteristics, apparent vigour of individuals, strength of mate signals, trophic resources, territoriality etc.

The presence of a particular trait among the members of one sex can make them somehow more attractive to the opposite sex. After copulation, male—male competition distinct from conventional aggression may take the form of sperm competition , as described by Parker [33] in The New Synthesis Robert Wright.

Sexual selection by cryptic female choice. Classic examples of reversed sex-role species include the pipefish , and Wilson's phalarope [26].


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I hate myself..Why am I even still talking to her? In one kind of sexual selection, members of one sex create a reproductive differential among themselves by competing for opportunities to mate. The winners. Mathematical models have played an important role in the development of sexual selection theory. These models come in different flavors and..

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  • In one kind of sexual selection, members of one sex create a reproductive differential among themselves by competing for opportunities to mate. The winners.
  • Mathematical models have played an important role in the development of sexual selection theory. These models come in different flavors and. A Guide to Sexual Selection Theory. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. Vol. (Volume publication date December ).
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