The idea of sexual selection came from Charles Darwin. Before he proposed this idea, he had gathered a lot of evidence to support it. Darwin believed that sexual selection was not only important to animals but also to humans. He said “sexual selection arises from differences in reproductive success caused by competition for access to mates”(Charles Darwin). Darwins hypothesis was that sexual selection played a role in the evolution of humans and animals and that sexual selection is influenced by female choice and male competition. Darwin said that males would fight with each other to get the privilege of mating with the female or all of the females. When male lions fight with each other the victor yes the privilege of mating with all the females. He also says that while males are fighting, the female had the chance to get away if she did not want to mate with either of the males that were fighting. Female choice is a major part of sexual selection. Males that have more decorations or have the specific characteristic that a female is looking for are the males that the females tend to choose to mate with. Another example made by lions is that the males that are the leader of the pack tend to have the darker colored manes. If there is two males in a pack, the one with the darker hair is usually the leader and gets to mate with the females, and the other male can just tag a long with no mating privileges. The darker colored hair usually means that male has higher levels of testosterone than the other lighter colored males. More testosterone means that the male is probably stronger and has better genes. Darwins first model to explain female choice was that females want to mate with who they think is the best. If a female is healthy and is waiting to mate then she will choose the best and healthiest male to mate with. He also said healthy females are ready to mate before the less healthy females are. The less healthy females are left to mate with the males that are not the best. The offspring of the healthy female and male have a greater chance of being healthy and surviving than the offspring of the less healthy male and female. Darwin models of direct benefits and indirect benefits better explain why females choose a specific mate. When a female prefers a male that is protective or participates in caring for the offspring, this is a direct benefit. Indirect benefits are the colors, dance, song, or decoration that a female prefers on a male in order to mate with him. The brighter a color is or the more impressive a decoration is, the more likely a female will mate with them because she believes these traits express good genes so her offspring will have good genes. Since females prefer males with the brightest color or other specific trait the offspring will go on to produce more of those traits which means the offspring are evolving with better genes and better decorations.
The book supports this article on sexual selection because it uses the example of peacocks. Peacocks that have the longest tails are the ones that the female chooses to mate with rather than the males with the shorter tails. In class we talked about female choice in humans. Females tend to first notice a guy based on his looks such as if he has perfect teeth, muscles, or masculine jaw line. Sometimes, female choice can go even deeper into emotions. Females want someone who listens to them, has a sense of humor, or someone who would make a good caregiver to children.
Sexual selection helps explain while animals behave the way they do and even the way humans act the way they do. Males in animals and male in humans want to impress the ladies in some way. This article can make you think about what qualities you would want in a mate. This article also makes you realize how similar we are to animals with this type of behavior.
Jones, A. G., & Ratterman, N. L. (2009, June 16). Mate choice and sexual selection:
What have we learned since Darwin? Retrieved January 29, 2018, from http://www.pnas.org/content/106/Supplement_1/10001/tab-article-in