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Boy or Girl

  • John Maynard Smith

Abstract

Why, in the great majority of animals, are there equal numbers of males and females? For John Arbuthnot, writing in 1710, it was evidence of the beneficence of God: ‘for by this means it is provided, that the species may never fail, nor perish, since every male may have its female, and of a proportionable age.’ But while that might do for man, it will hardly do for those many species in which there is no monogamous pair bond and no parental care, and in which one male can fertilise many females, and yet which have an equal sex ratio.

Keywords

Simultaneous Hermaphrodite Harem Size Host Caterpillar Female Store Sperm Sequential Hermaphrodite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© John Maynard Smith 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Maynard Smith

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