Sex-specific assumptions and their importance in models of sexual selection
de Vries, C., & Lehtonen, J. (2023). Sex-specific assumptions and their importance in models of sexual selection. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 38(10), 927-935. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2023.04.013
Published inTrends in Ecology and Evolution
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Sexual selection is a field coloured by tension and contrasting views. One contested claim is the causal link from the definition of the sexes (anisogamy) to divergent selection on the sexes. Does theory truly engage with this claim? We survey the extent to which theory makes sex-specific assumptions and engages with anisogamy, and discuss these issues in a broader context. The majority of theory in sexual selection makes sex-specific assumptions and does not engage with the definition of the sexes. While this does not invalidate existing results, debates and criticisms regarding sexual selection force us to think deeper about its logical foundations. We discuss ways to strengthen the foundations of sexual selection theory by relaxing central assumptions.
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Research Fellow, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis research was funded by the Academy of Finland (grant number 340130, awarded to J.L.).
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