Fisher’s sons’ effect in sexual selection: absent, intermittent or just low experimental power?
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Reason for embargo
The Fisherian sexual selection paradigm has been called the null model of sexual selection. At its heart is the expectation of a genetic correlation (rG) between female preference and male trait. However, recent meta-analysis has shown estimated correlations are often extremely weak and not statistically significant. We show here that systematic failure of studies to reject the null hypothesis that rG = 0 is almost certainly due to the low power of most experimental designs used. We provide an easy way to assess experimental power a priori and suggest that current data make it difficult to definitively test a key component of the Fisher effect.
We thank the Leverhulme Trust and BBSRC for funding and Adam Chippindale for helpful discussion on these matters, plus Mike Jennions and two anonymous referees for valuable input. The authors have no conﬂict of interests to declare.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.