Adult sex ratios: causes of variation and implications for animal and human societies

Type Article
Date 2022-11
Language English
Author(s) Schacht Ryan1, Beissinger Steven R.ORCID2, Wedekind ClausORCID3, Jennions Michael D.4, Geffroy BenjaminORCID5, Liker András6, 7, Kappeler Peter M.ORCID8, 9, Weissing Franz J.ORCID10, Kramer Karen L.11, Hesketh Therese12, 13, Boissier Jérôme14, Uggla CarolineORCID15, Hollingshaus MikeORCID16, Székely TamásORCID17, 18
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Anthropology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA Ryan Schacht
2 : Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
3 : Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, 1015, Lausanne, Switzerland
4 : Ecology & Evolution, Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Acton, Canberra, 2601, Australia
5 : MARBEC Univ Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, Montpellier, France
6 : ELKH-PE Evolutionary Ecology Research Group, University of Pannonia, 8210, Veszprém, Hungary
7 : Behavioural Ecology Research Group, Center for Natural Sciences, University of Pannonia, 8210, Veszprém, Hungary
8 : Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Unit, German Primate Center, Leibniz Institute of Primate Biology, 37077, Göttingen, Germany
9 : Department of Sociobiology/Anthropology, University of Göttingen, 37077, Göttingen, Germany
10 : Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, 9747 AG, Groningen, The Netherlands
11 : Department of Anthropology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
12 : Institute of Global Health, University College London, London, UK
13 : Centre for Global Health, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, P.R. China
14 : IHPE Univ Perpignan Via Domitia, CNRS, Ifremer, Univ Montpellier, Perpignan, France
15 : Stockholm University Demography Unit, Sociology Department, Stockholm University, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden
16 : Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
17 : Milner Centre for Evolution, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK
18 : ELKH-DE Reproductive Strategies Research Group, Department of Zoology and Human Biology, University of Debrecen, H-4032, Debrecen, Hungary
Source Communications Biology (2399-3642) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2022-11 , Vol. 5 , N. 1 , P. 1273 (16p.)
DOI 10.1038/s42003-022-04223-w
WOS© Times Cited 4

Converging lines of inquiry from across the social and biological sciences target the adult sex ratio (ASR; the proportion of males in the adult population) as a fundamental population-level determinant of behavior. The ASR, which indicates the relative number of potential mates to competitors in a population, frames the selective arena for competition, mate choice, and social interactions. Here we review a growing literature, focusing on methodological developments that sharpen knowledge of the demographic variables underlying ASR variation, experiments that enhance understanding of the consequences of ASR imbalance across societies, and phylogenetic analyses that provide novel insights into social evolution. We additionally highlight areas where research advances are expected to make accelerating contributions across the social sciences, evolutionary biology, and biodiversity conservation.

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Schacht Ryan, Beissinger Steven R., Wedekind Claus, Jennions Michael D., Geffroy Benjamin, Liker András, Kappeler Peter M., Weissing Franz J., Kramer Karen L., Hesketh Therese, Boissier Jérôme, Uggla Caroline, Hollingshaus Mike, Székely Tamás (2022). Adult sex ratios: causes of variation and implications for animal and human societies. Communications Biology, 5(1), 1273 (16p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :