Sexual Conflict in Nonhuman Animals

Joris M. Koene

in The Oxford Handbook of Sexual Conflict in Humans

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396706
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Sexual Conflict in Nonhuman Animals

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Although sexual reproduction is a joint effort of both sexes, they do not necessarily have the same evolutionary interests. As a consequence of the sexes’ noncoinciding fitness optima, reproductive processes can become ongoing battles between the sexes to achieve their respective objectives. This chapter will cover these conflicts at different biological levels, will focus on the more recently worked-out examples, and will highlight differences between the types of sex that can be expressed, that is, separate sex, hermaphrodite, and parthenogen. To start off, several definitions and terms used in the animal literature, which are relevant when thinking about reproduction, are dealt with. Then, after covering intralocus sexual conflict, the chapter moves on toward interlocus conflicts at all the different episodes of reproduction, ranging from just after zygote formation up to parental care. Several examples return when covering the evolutionary consequences of sexual conflict before providing promising directions for further research.

Keywords: arms race; counteradapt; haplodiploid; hermaphrodite; interlocus; intralocus; parental care; parthenogen; postconception; postcopulatory; precopulatory

Article.  10427 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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