Blute Blog

Blute's blog about evolutionary theory: biological, sociocultural and gene-culture.

Sex and Sexual Selection in Economic Terms

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In 2019 I published a paper in Biological Theory that sex is trade in somewhat different naturally-selected strategies which reduces risk and that sexual selection is conflict over the profits of that trade. Recently, while exchanging some views and papers with Ugo Pagano, I was drawn to the conclusion that that theory, put in economic terms, is that sex is profit-seeking and sexual selection is rent-seeking.

One of Pagano’s papers that was published in the Journal of Bioeconomics led me to browse further in that unfamiliar journal. Low and behold, I came across there a paper published in 2016 by a great evolutionary biologist, Michael Ghiselin, (whom I had met a couple of times at ISHPSSB meetings and who is well known for his work on sequential hermaphroditism among other things), titled “What is sexual selection? A rent-seeking approach”! Great company obviously – I just wished I had seen the paper in time to cite it!

Written by Marion Blute

October 18, 2021 at 2:34 pm

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