Sexual Selection

Richard Mcelreath and Robert Boyd

in Mathematical Models of Social Evolution: A Guide for the Perplexed

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780226558264
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226558288 | DOI:
Sexual Selection

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Sexual selection refers to selection on individuals of the non-limiting sex (usually males) caused by differential access to the limiting sex (usually females). Following Julian Huxley, most people divide sexual selection into two components: intrasexual selection and intersexual selection. Intrasexual selection refers to selection caused by male-male competition, while intersexual selection refers to selection caused by female preferences. This chapter focuses on the evolution of preferences for seemingly maladaptive, exaggerated male traits. Much of the literature divides explanations for the evolution of female preferences into three distinct categories: Fisherian runaway models, good-genes models, and sensory bias models. This chapter also presents a new set of tools to model the evolution of female preferences. It begins by considering the quantitative genetic models and then looks at Russ Lande's model of the runaway process as well as its descendants. The chapter also examines a game-theoretic model by Hanna Kokko, John McNamara, and their coworkers that provides a very clear understanding of the relationship between Fisherian models and so-called good-genes models.

Keywords: genetic models; Fisher's runaway models; female preferences; male traits; good-genes models; sensory bias models; Russ Lande; game-theoretic model; sexual selection

Chapter.  9193 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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