Evol Ecol Res 2: 509-523 (2000)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

On Fisher–Zahavi’s handicapped sexy son

Ilan Eshel,1 Ina Volovik1 and Emilia Sansone2

1Department of Statistics, School of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel and 2Department of Mathematics and its Application, University Degli Studi, Napoli, Italy

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: illan@math.tau.ac.il


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.

Keywords: Handicap Principle, long-term evolution, runaway process, sexual selection, ‘sexy son’ argument.

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