There are many examples of male mate choice for female traits that tend to be associated with high fertility. I develop quantitative genetic models of a female trait and a male preference to show when such a male preference can evolve. I find that a disagreement between the fertility maximum and the viability maximum of the female trait is necessary for directional male preference (preference for extreme female trait values) to evolve. Moreover, when there is a shortage of available male partners or variance in male nongenetic quality, strong male preference can evolve. Furthermore, I also show that males evolve to exhibit a stronger preference for females that are more feminine (less resemblance to males) than the average female when there is a sexual dimorphism caused by fertility selection which acts only on females.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics