2004 The Society for the Study of Evolution. All rights reserved.
Evolution, 58(6), 2004, pp. 13831388
SEXUAL CONFLICT AND SEXUAL SELECTION: LOST IN THE CHASE
GO¨ RAN ARNQVIST
Department of Animal Ecology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, University of Uppsala, Norbyva¨gen 18d, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
Abstract. The emergent field of evolutionary biology that studies disparities between the evolutionary interests of
alleles expressed in the two sexes, or sexual conflict, promises to offer novel insights into male-female coevolution
and speciation. Our theoretical understanding of basic concepts is, however, still incomplete. In a recent perspective
paper, Pizzari and Snook provided a framework for understanding sexually antagonistic coevolution and for distin-
guishing this process from other models of male-female coevolution and suggested an experimental protocol to test
for sexually antagonistic coevolution. Here, I show that the framework is flawed, primarily because it is built upon
the mistaken assumption that male and female fitness can evolve independently. Further, while the empirical strategy
advocated has indeed offered important insights in the past, it does not allow unambiguous discrimination between
Key words. Coevolution, fitness, reproduction, sex ratio, sexual selection, sperm competition.
Received July 28, 2003. Accepted November 19, 2003.
The study of sexual conflict is a rapidly expanding field