PerspectiveEvolution

An unexpected cost of sex

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Science  27 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6225, pp. 948-949
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa6495

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Summary

Selection arising from interactions between the sexes is responsible for some of the most striking diversity on the planet. These interactions generate coevolutionary dynamics between males and females that have shaped traits such as the striking courtship displays of male birds and the less winsome mating appendages of some male insects (1). But research on sexual selection has relevance beyond understanding the weird sex lives of animals. For example, human disturbance of sexual selection can lead to the loss of native species (2) and sexually selected male harassment of females can increase a species' risk of extinction (3). On page 985 of this issue, Mitchell et al. (4) show that sexual selection can also be relevant to human health.

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