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Active males, reactive females: stereotypic sex roles in sexual conflict research?

Karlsson, Kristina LU and Madjidian, Josefin LU (2011) In Animal Behaviour 81(5). p.901-907
Abstract
Sexual selection research has always been a subject for debate. Much of the criticism has concerned the imposition of conventional sex roles based on an anthropomorphic view of animals imposed by the researcher. This conventional view may have hampered research, for example from acknowledging male mate choice. Sexual conflict theory is a fast-growing research field, which initially stems from sexual selection research. We investigated how the sexes are described in sexual conflict research and what characteristics they are assigned. We assessed these topics with literature studies of (1) the terminology used and (2) what parameters are incorporated in sexual conflict models. We found that males and females are consequently described with... (More)
Sexual selection research has always been a subject for debate. Much of the criticism has concerned the imposition of conventional sex roles based on an anthropomorphic view of animals imposed by the researcher. This conventional view may have hampered research, for example from acknowledging male mate choice. Sexual conflict theory is a fast-growing research field, which initially stems from sexual selection research. We investigated how the sexes are described in sexual conflict research and what characteristics they are assigned. We assessed these topics with literature studies of (1) the terminology used and (2) what parameters are incorporated in sexual conflict models. We found that males and females are consequently described with different words, which have different connotations regarding activity in the conflict. Furthermore, theoretical models mainly investigate conflict costs for females, although costs for both sexes are necessary for coevolutionary dynamics. We argue that sexual conflict research uses stereotypic characterizations of the sexes, where males are active and females reactive. Thus, previous discussions on the use of anthropomorphic terms in sexual selection seem not to have had any impact on sexual conflict research, which is why the topic of stereotyping the sexes is still of current importance. We suggest that scientific gains can be made by eliminating a sex-stereotyped perspective. (C) 2011 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
gender bias, male cost, philosophy of science, semantics, sexual, conflict, sexual selection
in
Animal Behaviour
volume
81
issue
5
pages
901 - 907
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000289214300002
  • scopus:79953321781
ISSN
1095-8282
DOI
10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.01.033
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
baa390f3-596a-4a5a-98d2-344a3394751b (old id 1966138)
date added to LUP
2011-05-20 12:03:39
date last changed
2017-09-24 03:13:10
@article{baa390f3-596a-4a5a-98d2-344a3394751b,
  abstract     = {Sexual selection research has always been a subject for debate. Much of the criticism has concerned the imposition of conventional sex roles based on an anthropomorphic view of animals imposed by the researcher. This conventional view may have hampered research, for example from acknowledging male mate choice. Sexual conflict theory is a fast-growing research field, which initially stems from sexual selection research. We investigated how the sexes are described in sexual conflict research and what characteristics they are assigned. We assessed these topics with literature studies of (1) the terminology used and (2) what parameters are incorporated in sexual conflict models. We found that males and females are consequently described with different words, which have different connotations regarding activity in the conflict. Furthermore, theoretical models mainly investigate conflict costs for females, although costs for both sexes are necessary for coevolutionary dynamics. We argue that sexual conflict research uses stereotypic characterizations of the sexes, where males are active and females reactive. Thus, previous discussions on the use of anthropomorphic terms in sexual selection seem not to have had any impact on sexual conflict research, which is why the topic of stereotyping the sexes is still of current importance. We suggest that scientific gains can be made by eliminating a sex-stereotyped perspective. (C) 2011 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Kristina and Madjidian, Josefin},
  issn         = {1095-8282},
  keyword      = {gender bias,male cost,philosophy of science,semantics,sexual,conflict,sexual selection},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {901--907},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Animal Behaviour},
  title        = {Active males, reactive females: stereotypic sex roles in sexual conflict research?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.01.033},
  volume       = {81},
  year         = {2011},
}