Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version

2015

Start Page

1

Last Page

15

DOI

10.7287/peerj.preprints.680v3

Abstract

A catalyst meeting on sexual selection studies was held in July 2013 at the facilities of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) in Durham, NC. This article by a subcommittee of the participants foregrounds some of the topics discussed at the meeting. Topics mentioned here include the relevance of heritability estimates to assessing the presence of sexual selection, whether sexual selection is distinct from natural selection, and the utility of distinguishing sexual selection from fecundity selection. A possible definition of sexual selection is offered based on a distinction between sexual selection as a frequency-dependent process and fecundity selection as a density-dependent process. Another topic highlighted is a deep disagreement among participants in the reality of good-genes, sexy-sons, and run-away processes. Finally, the status of conflict in political-economic theory is contrasted with the status accorded to conflict in evolutionary behavioral theory, and the professional responsibility of sexual-selection workers to consider the ethical dimension of their research is underscored.

Comments

This paper is a result of a conference held at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) facilities in Durham, NC, in July 2013.

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Date Posted: 02 October 2015