Genetic correlations between the sexes can either help or hinder adaptation.

Intralocus sexual conflict

Genetic correlations between the sexes can either help or hinder adaptation.

Intralocus sexual conflict

Intralocus sexual conflict occurs when different trait values are favoured by selection on males versus females, but each sex is constrained from evolving towards its own phenotypic optimum by genetic correlations between male and female traits. For example, the selectively optimum body size is often different between the sexes, yet male and female body size are largely affected by the same loci, meaning that the sexes evolve to some sort of maladaptive compromise (creating the so-called ‘gender load’). Intralocus sexual conflict is a fascinating process with many improlications for conservation biology, as well as many of the big questions in evolutionary biology (such as the evolution of sex problem and the lek paradox).

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Luke Holman
Senior Lecturer

Publications

We synthesised 459 effect sizes from 65 pertinent experimental evolution studies using meta-analysis, and found that sexual selection …

The capacity of a population to adapt to selection (evolvability) depends on whether the structure of genetic variation permits the …

Reproductive skew theory seeks to explain how reproduction is divided among group members in animal societies. Existing theory is …

The ultimate causes of honest signaling remain a subject of debate, with questions remaining over the relative importance of costs and …

Polyandry, by elevating sexual conflict and selecting for reduced male care relative to monandry, may exacerbate the cost of sex and …