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Evolution of Female Resistance




Classic models of sexual selection by female choice invoke conflicts of interest between the sexes. While it is in a male’s genetic best interests to fertilize all of the eggs of any female he encounters, that is not necessarily in the same best interests of any particular females. Thus, female traits that discriminate between males are in conflict with the reproductive interests of any particular rejected male. There are a number of models of such conflicts and how they can influence female choice. One model views males as evolving to entice females into mating and females evolving resistance to males, as opposed to attraction to them, in order to reduce the direct costs associated with mating (Gavrilets et al. 2001). Another model suggests that females might evolve resistance to males in order to gain indirect benefits, perhaps by allowing the female to select for males based on their ability to manipulate females or their physical strength in cases where male defense of offspring and mate might be required to select for “better genes” or material resources (Cordero and Eberhard 2003; West-Eberhard 2014).

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Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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