Darwin on sex and dimorphism

Useful quotes in case the thought police come calling about a poem.

“Individuals of the same species often present, as is known
to every one, great differences of structure, independently
of variation, as in the two sexes of various animals”


“Nevertheless these cases
are only exaggerations of the common fact that the female
produces offspring of two sexes which sometimes differ from
each other in a wonderful manner.”
“In some instances the males
alone, in other instances both males and females, have been
observed thus to differ in a slight degree. When the differ-
ences are rather more strongly marked, and when both
sexes and all ages are affected, the forms are ranked by all
entomologists as good species.”

SEXUAL SELECTION 101 If the numbers be wholly kept down by the causes just indi- cated, as will often have been the case, natural selection will be powerless in certain beneficial directions; but this is no valid objection to its efficiency at other times and in other ways; for we are far from having any reason to suppose that many species ever undergo modification and improvement at the same time in the same area. SEXUAL SELECTION. Inasmuch as peculiarities often appear under domestica- tion in one sex and become hereditarily attached to that sex, so no doubt it will be under nature. Thus it is rendered pos- sible for the two sexes to be modified through natural selec- tion in relation to different habits of life, as is sometimes the case ; or for one sex to be modified in relation to the other sex, as commonly occurs. This leads me to say a few words on what I have called Sexual Selection. This form of selec- tion depends, not on a struggle for existence in relation to other organic beings or to external conditions, but on a struggle between the individuals of one sex, generally the males, for the possession of the other sex. The result is not death to the unsuccessful competitor, but few or no offspring. Sexual selection is, therefore, less rigorous than natural se- lection. Generally, the most vigorous males, those which are best fitted for their places in nature, will leave most progeny. But in many cases, victory depends not so much on general vigour, as on having special weapons, confined to the male sex. A hornless stag or spurless cock would have a poor chance of leaving numerous offspring. Sexual selection, by always allowing the victor to breed, might surely give in- domitable courage, length to the spur, and strength to the wing to strike in the spurred leg, in nearly the same manner as does the brutal cockfighter by the careful selection of his best cocks.

Among other mentions throughout and in other books of his.

Female sexual selection is good for the species, according to Darwin, as you can plainly see.

Americans butcher the English ‘gender’, a psychological CONCEPT (i.e. not reality) to mean ‘sex’, a biological term from Darwinian theory and sexual dimorphism. That’s a false equivalence.

Discussing biological realities of sex is a distraction from the biological realities of race.

1. Be civil. 2. Be logical or fair. 3. Do not bore me.

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