Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Human Precopulatory Sexual Conflict

  • Gregory GorelikEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1987-1


In sexually reproducing species, some degree of cooperation between the sexes is an inevitable result of the dependence of each sex on the other for reproduction. Some degree of conflict should also be expected, however, because each member of a reproducing pair has conflicting genetic interests. This conflict is termed “sexual conflict” and is responsible for the evolution of an arms race, or antagonistic coevolution (Rowe and Day 2006), between the sexes, whereby the evolution of offensive and defensive adaptations in one sex creates the selection pressure for the evolution of counter-adaptations in the other and so on.

The two major categories of sexual conflict are “intralocus” and “interlocus” sexual conflict (Parker 2006; Rowe and Day 2006). Intralocus sexual conflict describes the contradictory effects of two autosomal alleles at a particular genetic locus within an individual. For example, males are usually physically stronger than females due to the selective...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AustinUSA

Section editors and affiliations

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