Sex and parenting: The effects of sexual conflict and parentage on parental strategies

David F. Westneat, R. Craig Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is perhaps no more popularized aspect of animal behavior than the things parents do for offspring. Yet our understanding of the evolution of care is only rudimentary, perhaps because parental behavior is one of the most variable behavioral traits we know. Sexual reproduction, particularly in anisogamous species, has a major impact on variable patterns of care. Recent work on conflicts between the sexes over care and the consequences of variable paternity on paternal care has generated fascinating new ideas about the evolutionary forces acting on parenting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume11
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the National Science Foundation and the University of Kentucky for supporting our research, and our colleagues and students within the Center for Ecology, Evolution and Behavior for many enjoyable and helpful discussions. D.F.W. is indebted to Paul Sherman for his encouragement and good ideas on parentage and parental behavior. Finally, we both thank our wives, Susan Westneat and Susan Smith-Sargent, for compensating with a minimum of overt conflict.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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