Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Male Reproductive Variance

  • Kelly A. StiverEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1975-1



Within species or breeding population variation in male reproductive success.


Within a species, individuals vary in reproductive success. In a sexual reproducing species, where each individual has one male and one female parent, increased reproductive success for certain individuals of one sex necessitates decreased reproductive success for others of that sex. Put more directly, the more extreme the winners, the more extreme the losers. While the focus of this entry is male reproductive variance, it will by necessity to also discuss female reproductive variance as a contrast, as reproductive variance is a major factor both of and contributing to sex differences, which coevolve with both mating strategies and parental care.

Coevolution with Parental Investment/Care

Across species, males tend to show greater variance in reproductive success than females. This results from females typically having a lower potential...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentSouthern Connecticut State UniversityNew HavenUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Joseph A. Camilleri
    • 1
  1. 1.Westfield State UniversityWestfieldUSA