Maggie Wittlin in Seed Magazine:
Darwin’s primary legacy, the theory of evolution, has robustly withstood years of scientific challenges. But now a team of Stanford researchers has published a paper in Science claiming they can top Darwin’s second monster: sexual selection theory.
The Stanford group says sexual selection theory wrongly models interactions between the sexes as competitive. The group has a new theory, social selection, which models mate selection as a cooperative game where parties seek to maximize group welfare.
Darwinian sexual selection is a theory of conflict: It asserts that men and women have different goals in terms of what they look for in a partner. Males want to have sex with several females in order to create as many offspring as possible, while females want to have sex with very few, high-quality males, who will give their eggs the best genes.