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Female sexual selection in light of the Darwin--Bateman paradigm


  • Malin Ah-King


As sexual selection theory and research have until recently focused mainly on male behavior and traits, I fully support the intent of this review to bring forth sexual selection in females. Nonetheless, I have some objections that relate to the definition used and that the review is restricted by some of the Darwin--Bateman paradigm's notions that are clearly gender biased. Researchers working with a "female perspective" have had a longstanding interest in sexual selection in females and have also pointed out flaws in this paradigm, such as overfocus on male behavior and traits, overemphasis on sex differences, neglect of female variation, the notion of passive females, and emphasis on competition for number and not quality of mates. The Darwin--Bateman paradigm still dominates sexual selection theory and research. Going beyond this paradigm opens up for a fuller understanding of selection on females and males and starts out with gender-neutral expectations on female and male behavior and traits. Recent theory emphasizes chance effects on reproductive success for the evolution of female and male behavior and suggests that all individuals, irrespective of sex, are flexible in their mating decisions, adjusting them moment-by-moment to social, ecological, and internal constraints. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Malin Ah-King, 2011. "Female sexual selection in light of the Darwin--Bateman paradigm," Behavioral Ecology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, vol. 22(6), pages 1142-1143.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:6:p:1142-1143

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