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Sexy son hypothesis

The sexy son hypothesis is a concept from evolutionary biology, proposed by P. J. Weatherhead and R. J. Robertson in 1979. [1] It posits that a female animal's optimal choice among potential fathers is a male whose genes will produce male offspring with the best chance of reproductive success. In particular, the sexy-son hypothesis implies that a potential mate's capacity as a caregiver is irrelevant to his value as potential father of the female's offspring.

The sexy son hypothesis has been suggested as the origin of some aspects of human sexual behavior. In particular, it has been shown that human females are more attracted to traditionally masculine men ("cads") during the most fertile times of their menstrual cycles, and more attracted to relatively feminine men ("dads") during the remainder of the cycle. [2] These observations have led to the controversial conclusion that women's infidelity is natural, and evolutionarily advantageous, on the grounds that it will enable them to secure both the best genes and the best caregiver for their offspring.


  1. ^ Weatherhead, P. J., and R. J. Robertson. 1979. Offspring quality and the polygyny threshold: 'The sexy son hypothesis'. American Naturalist 113:201-208.
  2. ^
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sexy_son_hypothesis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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