On fisher-Zahavi's handicapped sexy son

Ilan Eshel*, Ina Volovik, Emilia Sansone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study looked at the long-term dynamics of male investment in secondary sexual traits and female attraction to such traits in dense polygenous populations. It was assumed that mate-choice in such a population does not affect the direct reproductive success of females, but does affect the distribution of genes among their offspring and hence the offspring's success. Fisher's 'sexy son' argument is compared to Zahavi's Handicap Principle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-523
Number of pages15
JournalEvolutionary Ecology Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2000


  • 'Sexy son' argument
  • Handicap principle
  • Long-term evolution
  • Runaway process
  • Sexual selection


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