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Sexual Selection

  1. Jacqui A Shykoff

Published Online: 22 JUL 2003

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001718



How to Cite

Shykoff, J. A. 2003. Sexual Selection. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. CNRS UPRESA 8079, Université Paris XI, Orsay, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 JUL 2003


Sexual selection was proposed by Darwin to explain the evolution of traits that do not contribute to survival or fecundity, such as the elaborate train of the peacock, the horn of the rhinoceros beetle, and the bright red belly of the stickleback. The development of such characteristics gives some individuals higher reproductive success because they achieve more matings or successful fertilizations. Sexual selection operates between individuals of the same sex as they compete for mates, and between the sexes as individual choices are made of mating partner.


  • female choice;
  • fisher's runaway;
  • good genes;
  • sexual dimorphism;
  • sexually antagonistic evolution