The Give and Take of Gender on Evolution

Trivers and Willard realized that the same general principle of sex allocation, which determines the gender of nematodes and fish, applies even to those creatures that cannot change sex but that take care of their young. They predicted that animals would be found to have some systematic control over the sex ratio of their own young. Think of it as a competition to have the most grandchildren. If males are polygamous, a successful son can give you far more grandchildren than a successful daughter, and an unsuccessful son will do far worse than an unsuccessful daughter because he will fail to win any mates at all. A son is a high-risk, high-reward reproductive option compared with a daughter. A mother in good condition gives her offspring a good start in life, increasing the chances of her sons' winning harems as they mature. A mother in poor condition is likely to produce a feeble son who will fail to mate at all, whereas her daughters can join harems and reproduce even when not in top condition. So you should have sons if you have reason to think they will do well and daughters if you have reason to think they will do poorly—relative to others in the population.


Males can produce more offspring, but if there are too many males, then their chances are reduced and it is preferable to have a girl.

Folksonomies: evolution sex sexual selection gender

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Daughter (0.692268): dbpedia | freebase
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 The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Ridley , Matt (2003-05-01), The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature, Harper Perennial, Retrieved on 2011-05-03
Folksonomies: evolution culture sex evolutionary psychology