3 - Sex roles, contests for the control of reproduction, and sexual selection  pp. 37-54

Sex roles, contests for the control of reproduction, and sexual selection

By Patricia Adair Gowaty

Image View Previous Chapter Next Chapter


Sexual selection is a vast topic – the most researched set of ideas in the biology of social behaviour since the 1970s. A thorough, modern, single-source review of sexual selection is Andersson (1994). In the ten years since Andersson, much has been learned about sexual selection. Papers bearing on sexual selection in the primary literature (see, for example, Animal Behaviour, Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Proceedings of the Royal Society) are overwhelmingly common. Their breadth and depth will not disappoint interested neophytes. Because the range of scholarship in sexual selection is so large, it is probably impossible for a single author in a single paper to present more than an idiosyncratic review of the study of sexual selection. My long-standing sensitivity to the sometimes left-out roles of females in sexual selection has affected my view of studies on the subject, and focused my attention particularly on sex roles, which is what I discuss in this chapter. I make no claims that the view here is more than my own; though, of course, I hope it is useful to others. I urge readers – newcomers, especially – to sample widely in the old and new titles of sexual selection, to think critically about all the assumptions of sexual selection theories, and to devise experiments or controlled observational tests capable of rejecting our dearest assumptions, if they are in fact false.

Anderson, W. W., Gowaty, P. A. & Kim, Y. K. 2003. Free mate choice in Drosophila pseudoobscura increases breeder productivity and offspring viability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, in press
Andersson, M. 1994. Sexual Selection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
Bateman, A. J. 1948. Intrasexual selection in Drosophila. Heredity, 2, 349–68
Berglund, A. 1995. Many mates make male pipefish choosy. Behaviour, 132, 213–8
Bisazza, A., Vaccari, G. & Pilastro, A. 2001. Female mate choice in a mating system dominated by male sexual coercion. Behavioral Ecology, 12, 59–64
Borgia, G. 1979. Sexual selection and the evolution of mating systems. In Sexual Selection and Reproductive Competition in Insects, ed. M. S. Blum & N. A. Blum. New York, NY: Academic Press, pp. 19–80
Chapman, T. & Partridge, L. 1996. Female fitness in Drosophila melanogaster: an interaction between the effect of nutrition and of encounter rate with males. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 263, 755–9
Chapman, T., Neubaum, D. M., Wolfner, M. F. & Partridge, L. 2000. The role of male accessory gland protein Acp36DE in sperm competition in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 267, 1097–105
Clutton-Brock, T. H. & Parker, G. A. 1992. Potential reproductive rates and the operation of sexual selection. Quarterly Review of Biology, 67, 437–56
Clutton-Brock, T. H. & Vincent, A. C. J. 1991. Sexual selection and the potential reproductive rates of males and females. Nature, 351, 58–60
Clutton-Brock, T. H. 1988. Reproductive Success: Studies of Individual Variation in Contrasting Breeding Systems. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
Darwin, C. 1871. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. London: John Murray
Dewsbury, D. A. 1982. Ejaculate cost and mate choice. American Naturalist, 119, 601–10
Dill, L. M., Hedrick, A. V. & Fraser, A. 1999. Male mating strategies under predation risk: do females call the shots? Behavioral Ecology, 10, 452–61
Drickamer, L. C., Gowaty, P. A. & Holmes, C. M. 2000. Free female mate choice in house mice affects reproductive success, offspring viability and performance. Animal Behaviour, 59, 371–8
Eberhard, W. G. 1996. Female Control: Sexual Selection by Cryptic Female Choice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
Forsgren, E. 1992. Predation risk affects mate choice in a gobiid fish. American Naturalist, 140, 1041–9
Fuller, R. & Berglund, A. 1996. Behavioral responses of a sex-role reversed pipefish to a gradient of perceived predation risk. Behavioral Ecology, 7, 69–75
Godin, J. G. J. & Briggs, S. E. 1996. Female mate choice under predation risk in the guppy. Animal Behaviour, 51, 117–30
Gong, A. 1997. The effects of predator exposure on the female choice of guppies (Poecilla reticulata) from a high-predation population. Behaviour, 134, 373–89
Goodall, J. 1971. In the Shadow of Man. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin
Gowaty, P. A. & Buschhaus, N. 1998. Ultimate causation of aggressive and forced copulation in birds: female resistance, the CODE hypothesis and social monogamy. American Zoologist, 38, 207–25
Gowaty, P. A. 1992. Evolutionary biology and feminism. Human Nature, 3, 217–49
Gowaty, P. A. 1996a. Battles of the sexes and origins of monogamy. In Partnerships in Birds, ed. J. L. Black. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 21–52
Gowaty, P. A. 1996b. Field studies of parental care in birds: new data focus questions on variation in females. In Advances in the Study of Behaviour, ed. C. T. Snowdon & J. S. Rosenblatt. New York, NY: Academic Press, pp. 476–531
Gowaty, P. A. 1997a. Females' perspectives in avian behavioral ecology. Journal of Field Ornithology, 28, 1–8
Gowaty, P. A. 1997b. Good old wine in a new bottle: a review of W. Eberhard's Female Control: Sexual Selection by Cryptic Female Choice. American Zoologist, 37, 429–31
Gowaty, P. A. 1997c. Sexual dialectics, sexual selection, and variation in mating behavior. In Feminism and Evolutionary Biology: Boundaries, Intersections, and Frontiers, ed. P. A. Gowaty. New York, NY: Chapman & Hall, pp. 351–84
Gowaty, P. A. 1999. Manipulation and resistance: differential fitness among males via male exploitation of variation among females. In Proceedings of the 22nd International Ornithological Congress, Durban, ed. N. Adams & R. Slotow. Natal: University of Natal, pp. 2639–56
Gowaty, P. A. 2002. Power asymmetries between the sexes, mate preferences, and components of fitness. In Evolution, Gender, and Rape, ed. C. Travis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 61–86
Gowaty, P. A., Drickamer, L. C. & Schmid-Holmes, S. 2003. Male house mice produce fewer offspring with lower viability and poorer performance when mated with females they do not prefer. Animal Behaviour, 65, 95–103
Gray, D. A. 1999. Intrinsic factors affecting female choice in house crickets: time cost, female age, nutritional condition, body size, and size-relative reproductive investment. Journal of Insect Behavior, 12, 691–700
Hedrick, A. V. & Dill, L. M. 1993. Mate choice by female crickets is influenced by predation risk. Animal Behaviour, 46, 193–6
Holland, B. & Rice, W. R. 1998. Perspective: chase-away sexual selection – antagonistic seduction versus resistance. Evolution, 52, 1–7
Hrdy, S. B. 1974. Male–male competition and infanticide among the langurs (Presbytis entellus) of Abu, Rajasthan. Folia Primatologica, 22, 19–58
Hrdy, S. B. 1977. The Langurs of Abu. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
Hrdy, S. B. 1979. Infanticide among animals: a review, classification, and examination of the implications for the reproductive strategies of females. Ethology and Sociobiology, 1, 13–40
Hrdy, S. B. 1981. The Woman that Never Evolved. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
Hrdy, S. B. 1986. Empathy, polyandry and the myth of the ‘coy’ female. In Feminist Approaches to Science, ed. R. Bleier. New York, NY: Pergamon, pp. 119–46
Hrdy, S. B. 1997. Raising Darwin's consciousness: female sexuality and the prehominid origins of patriarchy. Human Nature, 8, 1–49
Hubbell, S. P. & Johnson, L. K. 1987. Environmental variance in lifetime mating success, mate choice, and sexual selection. American Naturalist, 130, 91–112
Jiggins, F. M., Hurst, G. D. D. & Majerus, M. E. N. 2000. Sex-ratio-distorting Wolbachia causes sex-role reversal in its butterfly host. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 267, 63–8
Jirotkul, M. 1999. Population density influences male–male competition in guppies. Animal Behaviour, 58, 1169–75
Kim, Y.-K. & Ehrman, L. 1995. Influence of developmental isolation on courtship behavior of Drosophila paulistorum. Drosophila Information Service, 76, 126–7
Kim, Y.-K. & Ehrman, L. 1997. Developmental isolation and subsequent adult behavior of Drosophila paulistorum. IV. Courtship. Behavior Genetics, 28, 57–65
Kingett, P. D., Lambert, D. M. & Telford, S. R. 1981. Does mate choice occur in Drosophila melanogaster? Nature, 293, 492
Moore, P. J. & Moore, A. J. 2001. Reproductive aging and mating: the ticking of the biological clock in female cockroaches. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 98, 9171–6
Moreau, J., Bertin, A. Caubet, Y. & Rigaud, T. 2001. Sexual selection in an isopod with Wolbachia induced sex reversal: males prefer real females. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 14, 388–94
Nunn, C. & van Schaik, C. P. 2000. Social evolution in primates: the relative roles of ecology and intersexual conflict. In Infanticide by Males and Its Implications, ed. C. P. van Schaik & C. H. Janson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 388–419
Owens, I. P. F. & Thompson, D. B. A. 1994. Sex differences, sex ratios and sex roles. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 258, 93–9
Parker, G. A. 1979. Sexual selection and sexual conflict. In Sexual Selection and Reproductive Competition in Insects, ed. M. S. Blum & N. A. Blum. New York, NY: Academic Press, pp. 123–66
Parker, G. A., Baker, R. R. & Smith, V. G. F. 1972. The origin and evolution of gamete dimorphism and the male–female phenomenon. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 36, 529–53
Partridge, L. 1980. Mate choice increases a component of offspring fitness in fruit flies. Nature, 283, 290–1
Partridge, L. 1981. Does mate choice occur in Drosophila melanogaster? – reply. Nature, 293, 492
Poulin, R. 1994. Mate choice decisions by parasitized female upland bullies, Gobiomorphus breviceps. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 256, 183–7
Rand, A. S., Bridarolli, M. E., Dries, L. & Ryan, M. J. 1997. Light levels influence female choice in Tungara frogs: predation risk assessment? Copeia, 2, 447–50
Rice, W. R. & Holland, B. 1997. The enemies within: intergenomic conflict, interlocus contest evolution (ICE), and the intraspecific Red Queen. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 41, 1–10
Rice, W. R. 1996. Sexually antagonistic male adaptation triggered by experimental arrest of female evolution. Nature, 381, 232–4
Shelly, T. E. & Bailey, W. J. 1992. Experimental manipulation of mate choice by male Katydids – the effect of female encounter rate. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 30, 277–82
Sih, A. & Krupa, J. J. 1992. Predation risk, food deprivation and nonrandom mating by size in the stream water strider, Aquarius remigis. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 31, 51–6
Smuts, B. & Smuts, R. W. 1993. Male aggression and sexual coercion of females in nonhuman primates and other mammals: evidence and theoretical implications. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 22, 1–63
Sutherland, W. J. 1985a. Chance can produce a sex difference in variance in mating success and account for Bateman's data. Animal Behaviour, 33, 1349–52
Sutherland, W. J. 1985b. Measures of sexual selection. In Surveys in Evolutionary Biology, ed. R. Dawkins & M. Ridley. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 90–101
Trivers, R. L. 1972. Parental investment and sexual selection. In Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man, ed. B. Campbell. Chicago, IL: Aldine, pp. 136–79
Williams, G. C. 1966. Adaptation and Natural Selection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press