Sunday, September 30, 2012
Science Sundays: sexual selection
Welcome back to Science Sundays! I thought we'd delve a little into the interesting and complex world that is sexual selection (it's a crazy world, and one that is always sure to get my student's attention!). So how can this fit into your writing? Well, it influences the natural world quite a bit, and there has been some suggestion that humans, especially when it comes to ornamentation, also have sexual selection at play. Maybe with some of the underlying concepts you can give me some ideas!
Okay, here's what sexual selection actually is: it's a form of natural selection where the reproductive success of one sex is more variable than the other, and therefore there are selective forces that create adaptations that allow for more matings (and not necessarily just survival). In plain natural selection, adaptations are all about reproductive success--passing along genes and surviving to be able to do so. Same goes for sexual selection, but some of the adaptations that arise don't always make an individual the best suited for their environment.
What about humans? Well, not all mates are created equal. (I think that's pretty obvious, yeah?) So members of both sexes will try to attract the highest "quality" mate, depending on what they think that is. So we see all kinds of random use of ornamentation--flashy cars, expressions of wealth, showing of "assets." Can you think of anything else? :)
<--sexy p="p" right="right">
So, how might sexual selection play into a story? Can anyone think of anything?--sexy>