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female choiceWeibchenwahl (ger.)

  • Despite competition between males for mates, it is females who retain primary control over reproduction. This is due to the fact that she alone produces eggs and exerts a great deal of control over which male's sperm will fertilize her eggs. A variety of factors come into play when a female decides which male she will allow to inseminate her--male resources, male appearance, and courtship displays all play roles. Males have evolved elaborate ways of influencing female behavior, and this evolutionary process has, over time, produced more and more effective operators in the arena of sexual interaction. (
    The males sedulously court the females, and […] take pains in displaying their beauty before them. Can it be believed that they would thus act to no purpose during their courtship? And this would be the case, unless the females exert some choice and select those males which please or excite them most. If the female exerts such choice, all the above facts on the ornamentation of the males become at once intelligible by the aid of sexual selection.
    Darwin, C. (1871). The Descent of Man (2nd ed.): 295.
    choice of the female
    Darwin, C. (1871). The Descent of Man (2nd ed.): 181 (FN).
    choice on the part of the female
    Darwin, C. (1871). The Descent of Man (2nd ed.): 191.