Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Nonhuman Sexual Conflict

  • Tara DeLecce
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3078-1



Nonhuman sexual conflict refers to any type of conflict that arises between members of the animal kingdom as the result of male and female reproductive interests being at odds with one another.


In much of the animal kingdom, mating is not a cooperative process. Instead, it is marked by conflict and arms races between males and females to achieve their opposing reproductive goals (Parker 1979). Such conflict can be manifested in many forms, but they fall into two broad categories: precopulatory conflict and postcopulatory conflict (Parker 2006). The following sections provide brief overviews of the most commonly studied forms of conflict in nonhuman species under these two categories.

Precopulatory Conflict

In general, precopulatory conflict is centered around identification of potential mates before any DNA has been exchanged (Parker 2006). Typically,...

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© Springer International Publishing AG (outside the USA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Catherine Salmon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RedlandsRedlandsUSA