Field of Science

Sex is too weird for this blog

Sexual selection. Mmmm. No field matches biology, with lab meetings full of discussions about the benefit of sex, details of reproduction, and anatomical wonders of private parts.


Sexual selection is - apparently, and to my amazement - contentious. Not really, but someone think's it doesn't fit the bill. I find that... [just, no comment].


  1. I don't think the sexually-selected-for traits necessarily have to be adaptive otherwise, or associated with adaptive features: All you need is a response to some sort of stimulus (which gets stronger with it), and the other sex will respond by enhancing that stimulus. As I think I may have mentioned here before, I find the whole "birds grow potentially maladaptive long feathers to show off that their genes are good enough to compensate" or whatever hypothesis to be rather unnecessarily awkward. (they state or heavily imply that in some textbooks anyway...)

    But of course, you'd probably find more sexually-favoured features to be also favourable in other situations (eg. freaking out the predators). But there may well be some that have no adaptive value whatsoever aside from being pleasing to the mind of the opposite sex. And we can see how far our own species can go to please the mind of the opposite sex! ^_^

    I just don't see what's amazing about sexual selection -- it's just a subtype of natural selection, and nowhere near as fundamental as some textbooks (and zoologists) make it out to be! For starters, most organisms don't have sex!

    (And I should stop procrastinating with my biochem final...bleh. >_>)


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