Navigation Links
Females choose sexier friends to avoid harassment
Date:12/6/2011

Scientists have observed a strategy for females to avoid unwanted male attention: choosing more attractive friends. Published today (7 December) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the study is the first to show females spending time with those more sexually attractive than themselves to reduce harassment from males.

Carried out by the Universities of Exeter and Copenhagen, the study focuses on the Trinidadian guppy, a species of small freshwater fish. It shows that the females choose companions that are relatively more attractive than themselves and in this way reduce harassment from males. The research shows that the tactic is successful and by ensuring they are less attractive than other group members, the fish experience less harassment and fewer mating attempts from males.

Male guppies are well known for frequent and sometimes constant harassment of females. This puts a significant burden on females, sometimes preventing them finding food and escaping from predators.

Females are 'receptive' for a few days in each month. During this time they emit a sexual pheromone that attracts males and allow males to glide into a position that facilitates mating.

The researchers used guppies descended from those living in the Aripo River in Trinidad. They identified which females were currently receptive to male sexual attention and which were not. They then monitored the amount of time both receptive and non-receptive females chose to spend with either receptive or non-receptive females.

They found that non-receptive females spent significantly more time with receptive, and therefore more sexually attractive, females and that, by doing so, they received far less attention from males. In fact, they even chose water in which receptive females had recently swum over water that had housed other non-receptive fish. This shows they picked up on chemical cues emitted by receptive females and found this to create a more appealing social environment.

Lead researcher Dr Safi Darden of the University of Exeter said: "It is now becoming apparent that males of some species choose to associate with relatively less attractive males to increase their chances of mating. We wanted to see if females also chose their same-sex companions based on attractiveness, but in this case, to reduce unwanted attention."

"Our results support the idea that social structure can develop around relative attractiveness and mating strategies. Although we focused our study on one species of fish, I would expect that this strategy would be seen in other species where females face similar levels of unwanted sexual attention from males."


'/>"/>
Contact: Sarah Hoyle
s.hoyle@exeter.ac.uk
44-013-927-22062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Pitt team finds molecular evidence of brain changes in depressed females
2. Headaches are common in year following traumatic brain injury, especially among females
3. Females can place limits on evolution of attractive features in males, research shows
4. Avian Axe effect attracts attention of females and males
5. Competition between females leads to infanticide in some primates
6. In fireflies, flightless females lose out on gifts from males
7. Differences in brain development between males and females may hold clues to mental health disorders
8. Male antelopes trick females into extra sex opportunities
9. Male antelopes deceive females to increase their chances of mating
10. Females shut down male-male sperm competition in leafcutter ants
11. Pesticide atrazine can turn male frogs into females
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... BioCatch ™, the global ... the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as CEO. ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of significant ... of its platform at several of the world,s largest ... unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner of ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... for potential users of its soon to be launched ... video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide ... the use of DNA technology to an industry that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , ... industrial engineering, was today awarded as one of ... of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks ... for the real world in the nutrition, health ... work directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP ... individual circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test ... of HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... therapies targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica ... in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a ... , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the ... brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing ... to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: