The evolution of sexually antagonistic phenotypes

Jennifer C. Perry, Locke Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Sexual conflict occurs whenever there is sexually antagonistic selection on shared traits. When shared traits result from interactions (e.g., mating rate) and have a different genetic basis in each sex (i.e., interlocus conflict), then sex-specific traits that shift the value of these interaction traits toward the sex-specific optimum will be favored. Male traits can be favored that increase the fitness of their male bearers, but decrease the fitness of interacting females. Likewise, female traits that reduce the costs of interacting with harmful males may simultaneously impose costs on males. Ifthe evolutionof these antagonistic traits changesthe nature of selection acting on the opposite sex, interesting coevolutionary dynamics will result. Here we examine three current issues in the studyof sexually antagonistic interactions: the female side of sexual conflict, the ecological context of sexual conflict, and the strength of evidence for sexually antagonistic coevolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this