May 1, 1997

Variation in mate choice and mating preferences: a review of causes and consequences

Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
M D Jennions, M Petrie


The aim of this review is to consider variation in mating preferences among females. We define mating preferences as the sensory and behavioural properties that influence the propensity of individuals to mate with certain phenotypes. Two properties of mating preferences can be distinguished: (1) "preference functions'-the order with which an individual ranks prospective mates and (2) "choosiness'-the effort an individual is prepared to invest in mate assessment. Patterns of mate choices can be altered by changing the costs of choosiness without altering the preference function. We discuss why it is important to study variation in female mating behaviour and identify five main areas of interest: Variation in mating preferences and costs of choosiness could (1) influence the rate and direction of evolution by sexual selection, (2) provide information about the evolutionary history of female preferences, (3) help explain inter-specific differences in the evolution of secondary sexual characteristics, (4) provide information about the level of benefits gained from mate choice, (5) provide information about the underlying mechanisms of mate choice. Variation in mate choice could be due to variability in preference functions, degree ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Sexual Behavior, Animal
Mating Behavior
Sex Ratio
Mimic brand of tebufenozide
Exogenous Factors
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Animal Communication
Ilex paraguayensis homeopathic preparation
Phenotype Determination
Variation (Genetics)

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