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Sexual dimorphism and sexual selection: A unified economic analysis

Publication Abstract

Chu, C. Y. Cyrus, and Ron Lee. 2012. "Sexual dimorphism and sexual selection: A unified economic analysis." Theoretical Population Biology, 82(4): 355363.

We develop a life history model with two sexes, and study the optimal energy allocation strategy of males and females. We join Darwin and others in suggesting that the origin of sexual dimorphism and sexual selection is the difference between male and female reproduction costs. Due to this assumed cost difference, the resulting Bellman equations of gene dynamics in our two-sex life history model imply a large "energy surplus" on the part of males. This allows the male form to devote energy to the development of some costly male traits that help the males to compete for access to females. These costly male traits are sexually dimorphic. Using this life history model, we are able to explain important features of sexual dimorphism, as well as why males often transfer less to their offspring than do females, and why only females have a menopause. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1016/j.tpb.2012.06.002 (Full Text)

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