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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Taken together, My Antonia and One of Ours thus reveal a commitment to translating Darwin's theory of sexual selection into a project of social change.
Summarizing the treatment of Darwin's theory of sexual selection in the hundred years after it was first articulated, Cronin writes: "Throughout most of this period, sexual selection remained on the Darwinian sidelines, neglected, distorted or misunderstood.
(127.) See Paul, supra note 109, at 878 ("[S]ince the 1970s, the theory of sexual selection and mate choice has experienced a fulminant revival, with major new theoretical insights and empirical findings." (alteration added)).
theory." "Darwin is incorrect in almost all details." "Diversity in gender expression and sexuality undercuts the foundation of Darwin's theory." True, she's only talking about Darwin's theory of sexual selection, not his theory of natural selection, but the chatter on a website called "The Evangelical Outpost" suggests that such misinterpretation has already begun.
In the theory of sexual selection traits seen as desirable but which give no competitive advantage to a species are passed down through generations.
Darwin (1871) introduced the theory of sexual selection to explain an unusual class of traits that he called secondary sexual characters.
When introducing his theory of sexual selection, Darwin (1859) envisaged two distinct mechanisms.
Darwin s theory of sexual selection and the data subsumed by it.
Darwin's theory of sexual selection and the data subsumed by it, in the light of recent research.

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