Post Copulatory Sexual Conflict Prezygotic

Sexual conflict after copulation may involve processes occurring at or prior to fertilization (prezygotic) or thereafter (postzygotic) (Table 3.1). The postcopulatory manifestation of intrasexual selection is sperm competition (along with associated factors such as genital locks, penis morphology, etc.), which has attracted much study (e.g., Birkhead and M0ller 1998). Postcopulatory intersexual selection is cryptic female choice (Eberhard 1996), which primarily concerns the differential treatment of sperm in the reproductive tracts of polyandrously mating females (as well as associated phenomena, e.g., abortion). The important question here, however, concerns the potential for conflict between these two postcopulatory processes: how do the benefits to females of cryptic mate choice via multimale mating compare with the costs incurred from male adaptations for sperm competition? Current data are too few to answer this question for primates. Although sperm competition is relatively well investigated (Gomendio et al. 1998), cryptic female choice remains virtually unstudied (Reeder 2003), with the possible exception of H. sapiens (Baker and Bellis 1995; Thornhill and Gangestad 1996). Therefore, I highlight below two areas where postcopulatory-prezygotic sexual conflict might occur in primates.

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