1. Evolution of Sex and Reproductive Strategies
Global Problems of Population Growth (MCDB 150)
Reproduction is not simple or easy, nor is it fair. Females often bear a larger reproductive burden of child bearing and child rearing. Reproductive strategies can be simplified into two primary strategies for males and two for females: males often either engage in sperm competition or physical competition while females strategize to get resources from males, or to find the best male genes for the offspring. Rape and violence, as reproductive strategies, occur in few species, but violence is especially prevalent among the great apes, probably because eggs are so scarce in these species. In orangutans, rape is common. For gorillas, infanticide is a common form of reproductive violence, and male chimpanzees regularly fight each other and batter females.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
08:19 – Chapter 2. Facts about Sex and Reproduction
20:55 – Chapter 3. Reproductive Competition and Reproductive Strategies
38:24 – Chapter 4. Sexual Coersion, Violence and Rape
45:10 – Chapter 5. Evolution and Sex in the Great Apes
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:
This course was recorded in Spring 2009.
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