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12: Sex Strategies

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    Learning Objectives
    • Compare and contrast the costs and benefits of asexual reproduction versus sexual reproduction, and explain hypotheses for the evolution of sexual reproduction.
    • Explain the variety of ways in which sexes are determined across plants and animals.
    • Describe different types of mating systems in plants and animals.
    • Describe the different forms of sexual selection, and explain hypotheses for the evolution of female choice.


    The paradox of sexual reproduction is that although it is ubiquitous in multicellular organisms, there are many disadvantages to reproducing sexually when we compare it to asexual reproduction. This chapter explores some of the multitude of hypotheses for why sexual reproduction exists, the variety of ways in which sexes are determined in plants and animals, and some of the variation in mating systems of sexual organisms. This chapter also focuses on sexual selection, a form of natural selection that occurs when traits that improve mating success are favored by selection, even if they cause a decrease in survival.

    12: Sex Strategies is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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