A new theory of sexual investment
- Cite this article as:
- Smith, J.M. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1980) 7: 247. doi:10.1007/BF00299371
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If for a given investment the probability of survival is lower for one sex, selection favours greater investment in that sex.
If one sex has a frequency-dependent component of fitness, such that individuals receiving a greater-than-average investment are fitter, selection favours greater investment in that sex.
If the sex of an offspring can be recognised after an investment d, it may be evolutionarily stable to invest only in some fraction r of the more expensive sex, and to abandon a fraction (1-r). However, such behaviour can evolve only if d is a small fraction of the total investment required per offspring.