chapter  5
Sexual Selection, Signal Selection and the Handicap Principle
ByAmotz Zahavi
Pages 18

Darwin (1871) suggested the mechanism of sexual selection to explain the inheritance of traits that are limited to one sex, "Sexual selection depends on the success of certain individuals over others of the same sex in relation to the propagation of the species." He emphasized, repeatedly and vividly the extravagance and the burden that evolves in males as a consequence of female choice, suggesting that such traits "must be in some manner highly important; and we know that they have been acquired in some instances at the cost not only of inconvenience, but of exposure to actual danger" (p. 399). He wondered: "... .it is doubtful how the more attractive males succeed in leaving a larger number of offspring to inherit their superiority in ornaments or other charms than the less attractive males; but I have shewn that this would probably follow from the females — especially the more vigorous females which would be the first to breed, preferring not only the more attractive but at the same time the more vigorous and victorious males" (p. 400).