International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 515–535

Sexual dimorphism in weight among the primates: The relative impact of allometry and sexual selection

  • Steven J. C. Gaulin
  • Lee Douglas Sailer

DOI: 10.1007/BF02692284

Cite this article as:
Gaulin, S.J.C. & Sailer, L.D. Int J Primatol (1984) 5: 515. doi:10.1007/BF02692284


In this paper, we examine allometric and sexual-selection explanations for interspecific differences in the amount of sexual dimorphism among 60 primate species. Based on evidence provided by statistical analyses, we reject Leutenegger and Cheverud’s [(1982). Int. J. Primatol.3:387-402] claim that body size alone is the major factor in the evolution of sexual dimorphism. The alternative proposed here is that sexual selection due to differences in the reproductive potential of males and females is the primary cause of sexual dimorphism. In addition, we propose that the overall size of a species determines whether the dimorphism will be expressed as size dimorphism,rather than in some other form.

Key words

sexual dimorphismsexual selectionallometryweight dimorphismmodulation model

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven J. C. Gaulin
    • 1
  • Lee Douglas Sailer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and Pymatuning Laboratory of EcologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh
  2. 2.Department of Anthropology and Center for Multivariate AnalysisUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh