The evolution of mate choice and mating biases

Proc Biol Sci. 2003 Mar 22;270(1515):653-64. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2002.2235.


We review the current status of three well-established models (direct benefits, indirect benefits and sensory drive) and one newcomer (antagonistic chase-away) of the evolution of mate choice and the biases that are expressed during choice. We highlight the differences and commonalities in the underlying genetics and evolutionary dynamics of these models. We then argue that progress in understanding the evolution of mate choice is currently hampered by spurious distinctions among models and a misguided tendency to test the processes underlying each model as mutually exclusive alternatives. Finally, we suggest potentially fruitful directions for future theoretical and empirical research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Choice Behavior
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal*