A1 Journal article (refereed)
Sex roles and the evolution of parental care specialization (2019)

Henshaw, J. M., Fromhage, L., & Jones, A. G. (2019). Sex roles and the evolution of parental care specialization. Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences, 286(1909), Article 20191312. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1312

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Henshaw, Jonathan M.; Fromhage, Lutz; Jones, Adam G.

Journal or series: Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences

ISSN: 0962-8452

eISSN: 1471-2954

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 286

Issue number: 1909

Article number: 20191312

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1312

Research data link: https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4614224.

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66411


Males and females are defined by the relative size of their gametes (anisogamy), but secondary sexual dimorphism in fertilization, parental investment and mating competition is widespread and often remarkably stable over evolutionary timescales. Recent theory has clarified the causal connections between anisogamy and the most prevalent differences between the sexes, but deviations from these patterns remain poorly understood. Here, we study how sex differences in parental investment and mating competition coevolve with parental care specialization. Parental investment often consists of two or more distinct activities (e.g. provisioning and defence) and parents may care more efficiently by specializing in a subset of these activities. Our model predicts that efficient care specialization broadens the conditions under which biparental investment can evolve in lineages that historically had uniparental care. Major transitions in sex roles (e.g. from female-biased care with strong male mating competition to male-biased care with strong female competition) can arise following ecologically induced changes in the costs or benefits of different care types, or in the sex ratio at maturation. Our model provides a clear evolutionary mechanism for sex-role transitions, but also predicts that such transitions should be rare. It consequently contributes towards explaining widespread phylogenetic inertia in parenting and mating systems.

Keywords: sexual selection; gender differences; reproductive behaviour; monogamy; evolution

Free keywords: division of labour; mating competition; monogamy; parental investment; sexual selection; sex-role reversal

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2021-09-06 at 09:38