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Alcohol Alters Female Sexual Behaviour

22 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2019 Sneak Peek Status: Review Complete

See all articles by C. Ruth Archer

C. Ruth Archer

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation; University of Ulm - Institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics

Cleo Alper

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Laura Mack

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Melanie Weedon

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Manmohan D. Sharma

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Andreas Sutter

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation; University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich Research Park, School of Biological Sciences

David J. Hosken

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

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Abstract

Consuming alcohol can influence sexual decision-making, but potential effects on female mating-behaviours like mate-choice are unclear. If alcohol alters female mate-choice then its consumption will affect sexual selection, a major mechanism of organic evolution. Here, we tested whether alcohol intake affected female mate preferences, choosiness and copulation duration using the fly Drosophila simulans as a model, while simultaneously testing for genetic variation in possible effects. We found that alcohol intake did not affect copulation duration, but did reduce female choosiness and weakened the strength of mate preference, as females mated more quickly and with more males after consuming alcohol. Although female genotype significantly affected choosiness, the effects of alcohol were broadly consistent across genotypes. Thus alcohol consumption reduced female choosiness and weakened mate-preference, potentially reducing the strength of sexual selection.

Suggested Citation

Archer, C. Ruth and Alper, Cleo and Mack, Laura and Weedon, Melanie and Sharma, Manmohan D. and Sutter, Andreas and Hosken, David J., Alcohol Alters Female Sexual Behaviour (April 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3378006 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3378006
This is a paper under consideration at Cell Press and has not been peer-reviewed.

C. Ruth Archer

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Cornwall
United Kingdom

University of Ulm - Institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics

Ulm
Germany

Cleo Alper

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Cornwall
United Kingdom

Laura Mack

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Cornwall
United Kingdom

Melanie Weedon

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Cornwall
United Kingdom

Manmohan D. Sharma

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Cornwall
United Kingdom

Andreas Sutter

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Cornwall
United Kingdom

University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich Research Park, School of Biological Sciences

Norwich
United Kingdom

David J. Hosken (Contact Author)

University of Exeter - Centre for Ecology and Conservation ( email )

Cornwall
United Kingdom

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