The evolutionary effects of mate selection.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

131 Scopus citations


Sexual selection is the subset of natural selection that depends on differential success in obtaining mates, which in turn depends on the outcome of preference by a member of one sex for certain members of the other sex, on the outcome of intrasexual competition, or on a combination of both processes. Theoretical ideas behind choice of best mate are explored, with reference to the characteristics that should be important (species and sexual identity, fertility, genetic quality, parental care quality, resource quality, and safety from interference). Empirical studies discuss examples of species in which males provide resources or parental care, species where males provide neither of these, and female choice on extravagant characters (eg. male coloration in fishes and song types in birds) . The evolutionary effect of female mating preferences is often simply to reinforce natural selection. In many other cases, female choice reinforces intra-sexual selection. Male genetic quality is generally less important than male parental quality and resource quality in determining mate preferences. Where genetic quality is important, maximizing heterozygosity in the offspring is the most general goal of choice, approached by preference for genetically unrelated males.-P.J.Jarvis

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual review of ecology and systematics. Volume 13
EditorsR.F. Johnston, P.W. Frank, C.D. Michener
PublisherAnnual Reviews Inc. , Palo Alto
Number of pages29
StatePublished - Dec 1 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The evolutionary effects of mate selection.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this