sexual selection

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sexual selection:

see selectionselection.
In Darwinism, the mechanism of natural selection is considered of major importance in the process of evolution. Popular formulations sometimes envisage a struggle for existence in which direct competition for mates or for various factors in the environment (e.g.
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Sexual Selection


the particular form of natural selection distinguished by the evolutionary development of secondary sex characteristics. These characteristics include the bright nuptial plumage of many birds, including ducks and grouse, the dances of insects, the mating calls of birds, the fighting of male birds and mammals, the varied sound signals of males used to attract females, and the odoriferous glands of insects and mammals used for attracting the opposite sex. Prominent characteristics, such as coloration, develop chiefly in males. Females, especially during the reproductive period, are usually protected by appropriate behavior, coloration, and form.

The primary basis for sexual selection was the divergence in the identifying characteristics of males and females, which probably facilitated inbreeding of the same species and prevented crossbreeding with other species. Subsequently, individuals with more pronounced sexual characteristics attracted the opposite sex more easily and had the advantage in reproduction.

The ethological or behavioral mechanisms of isolation are partially affected by sexual selection. The course of sexual selection sometimes conflicts with other trends of natural selection. Genotypes that are preserved make reproduction more successful but do not increase the viability of the species as a whole. However, this does not justify contrasting sexual selection with natural selection or considering it an independent factor in evolution. Sexual selection was first suggested by C. Darwin in 1859 and later substantiated in 1871.


Darwin, C. Proiskhozhdenie vidov putem estestvennogo otbora. In Soch, vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939. (Translated from English.)
Darwin, C. Proiskhozhdenie cheloveka i polovoi otbor. In Soch., vol. 5. Moscow, 1953. (Translated from English.)
Shmal’gauzen, I. I. Problemy darvinizma, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1969.


sexual selection

[¦seksh·ə·wəl si′lek·shən]
A special form of natural selection responsible for the evolution of traits that promote success in competition for mates.
References in periodicals archive ?
Similar to sexual selection on premating characters, reduced fitness of hybrids could reflect female choice (e.
Lek formation in Sage Grouse: The effect of female choice on male territory settlement.
Tim Cliffe e-mailed to say that we left out part of the story: female choice in mating.
Sexual selection in fishes is usually the result of an interaction between male-male competition and female choice, as shown through both field observations and laboratory experiments (Fuller, 2001: McGhee et al.
15) Norris had rebelled against the "tea-cup" realism of Henry James, turning instead to popular conceptions of Darwinism that emphasized sexual selection, particularly the role that female choice played in shaping male behavior.
Sexual selection and secondary sexual differentiation in poeciliids: Determinants of male mating success and the evolution of female choice.
Female choice, conflict between the sexes and the evolution of male alternative reproductive behaviours.
Looking for a few good males; female choice in evolutionary biology.
The narrative rapidly changes course to drive home the failings of this ideology by pointing out that the existence of female choice is not being questioned, but instead "Darwin's view of what females are choosing for.
She examines the cultural functions of the burst of discourse about unruly female choice by analyzing how authors of the period used representations of coquetry to assert, define, and assess their culture's modernity--the degree to which the present differed from the past.
The length of the display and its energetic cost, however, may have evolved as a consequence of female choice for energetically displaying males.