Sexual Selection

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The Nature of Sexual Selection

  • Inter- and Intra-sexual Selection
  • Males are more brightly coloured than female counterparts- peacocks.
  • Darwin came up with his theory of sexual selection, desrcribing two processes which it took place:
  • Intrasexual Selection (mate competition)
  • Members of one sex compete with one another for acess to members of the other sex.
  • Victors are able to mate and pass on their genes.
  • These sucessful traits will be passed on to the next generation
  • Intersexual Selection (mate choice)
  • Incolces the preferences of one sex for members of the opposite sex who posess certain qualities.
  • If females prefer tall males, over time there would be an increase in the number of tall males in the population.
  • Preferences determine the areas where the other sex must compete.
  • Plumage or economic resources.
  • Indicators reveal traits to be passed onto offspring,.
  • Short-Term Mating Preferences
  • According to parental investment theory, men evolved a greater desire for casual sex, and would seek it earlier in the relationship. 
  • A male impregnating a large number of women, would have been more sucessful as he has passed on more of his gene.
  • In contrast to women, men lower their standards in the context of short term mating opputunities and show a decrease in attraction following sex.
  • Long-Term Mate Preferences
  • Both sexes invest heavily in offspring.
  • FAvour high levels of choosiness in both


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