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Darwin-L Message Log 8:46 (April 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<8:46>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Fri Apr 15 09:29:17 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Apr 1994 09:29:17 -0500
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: sexual selection

In message <9404150147.AA28186@midway.uchicago.edu>  writes:

>> On the other hand, females are competing for high status males and thus are
>> under sexual selection themselves to be sexy. Hence males express
>> preferences for young, healthy, fertile females.
>
> This is somewhat oblique to the issue, but was a preference for young females
> ever established by observation in chimp, or any other animal society? If
> "fertile" designaes "estrus" than that must be tautologically correct.

Human male preference for "fertile" is inferred from the interest in youth,
beauty (in various interpretations), and health. Estrus is not a factor in this
equation. Goodall (1986) observed male chimps rejecting "adolescent" females in
spite of active solicitation by those females. She interpreted this as a
judgment by the male that the female had a low probability of fertility at that
age. The attraction that adolescent females have to mature human males may be
better compared to the harem-gathering strategies of certain other primates.
Those males intend to establish a long-term relationships with the females.

JOHN H. LANGDON                email   LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY          FAX  (317) 788-3569
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS     PHONE (317) 788-3447
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46227

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