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:3/17/2016)... March 17, 2016 ABI Research, the ... the global biometrics market will reach more than ... increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue ... sensors anticipated to reach two billion shipments by ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ABI Research. ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... -- NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a ... airing of a new series of commercials on Time Warner ... st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg TV, Fox ... Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... announces the airing of a new series of commercials on ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 ... new market research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology ... (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), ... To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is ... to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Summit for Stem Cell has received ... of a patient-specific stem cell therapy for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The Summit ... Loring at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA. , The ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... NEW YORK , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biotechnology acceleration company reports the Company,s CEO  was ... capital titled Accelerators Enter When VCs Fear To ... Life Science Leader magazine is an ... work for everything from emerging biotechs to Big ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... Group, Inc., will hold an open house for regional manufacturers at its Maple ... displays from Tsugami, Okuma, Hardinge Group, Chiron and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most ... devices with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and ... consumers are interacting with biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey ...
Breaking Biology Technology: