Sexual selection, population density, and availability of mates

Ilan Eshel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The evolution of sexual features designed to attract individuals of the opposite sex is studied. When limitation of sexual choice by physical availability of mates is accounted for, the exact distribution of the number of alternative mates available to a choosing individual (usually female) proves crucial for the evolution of sexual attractiveness. Selection for or against the attractive type or maintenance of a protected polymorphism of types in the population are shown to be dependent upon this distribution. It is further demonstrated that high high population density is always favorable to the evolution of the attractive type. Some ecogenetical aspects of sexual selection and population density are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-314
Number of pages14
JournalTheoretical Population Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1979


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