SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Hooper, P. L., & Miller, G. F. (2008). Mutual mate choice can drive costly signaling even under perfect monogamy. Adaptive Behavior, 16(1), 53–70.

Learning Objective: Understanding role of species recognition markers in sexual selection

Summary: This article focuses on high-cost sexual ornaments and their role and persistence even in highly monogamous species. The authors step away from traditional models of indicator traits and explore the possibility that they are significant for mate choice even in species that don’t experience large variance in reproductive success and major sex differences in choosiness.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is the difference between sexual dimorphism and species recognition markers?
  2. What is the role of indicator traits in highly monogamous species?
  3. Think of a costly trait that could help mate choice in humans. Explain its significance and why you think it persisted.


Article 2: Barbaro, N., Pham, M. N., & Shackelford, T. K.  (2015). Sperm competition risk and sexual coercion predict copulatory duration in humans. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(4), 1–8.

Learning Objective: Understanding new perspectives and findings in researching sperm competition in humans

Summary: Sperm competition is recognized in many species, and there are indications that this mechanism is also present in humans. The authors explain another possible mechanism of sperm competition in humans: the shortening of in-pair copulation when female sexual fidelity is dubious. The authors also investigate the role of sexual coercion in this context.

Questions to Consider:

  1. How can shorter in-pair copulation lead to success in sperm competition?
  2. What is the significance of sexual coercion (physical or psychological) in sperm competition?
  3. How does a time span from suspected infidelity to in-pair intercourse affect sperm competition?


Article 3: Giosan, C., & Wyka, K. (2009). Is a successful high-K fitness strategy associated with better mental health? Evolutionary Psychology, 7(1), 28–39.

Learning Objective: Understanding possible implications and practical application of r/K selection strategies theory

Summary: This article outlines findings supporting a correlation between high-K strategy and mental health. The authors claim that high-K strategy is correlated with fewer issues in mental health.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is differential K? Why is this measure applied to humans?
  2. Which traits are found to be correlated with high-K strategy?
  3. Can you think of any practical implications of a registered correlation between high-K strategy and mental health?