Conformity to the mass standard in sexual selection

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Neil M. Lorber
Cite this article:  Lorber, N. (1980). Conformity to the mass standard in sexual selection. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 8(1), 65-74.


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Courters' conformity to the "mass standard", represented by the courtship ritual of each species, behaviorally confirms their possession of their species' standard genetic programming, thus validating their qualification for reproductive privilege. The standard of each species is thereby affirmed and reinforced and the reproductive worthiness of individuals thereby tested. In this lies the only "universal" element of significance to courtship rituals. Not only do the rituals (which constitute communicational codes of symbolic behavioral "passwords" between conspecifics) serve to verify the "authenticity-normality" of both courter and courted, but, accordingly, the rituals' very behavioral statement is a necessary, validating "key: to the release of further, ultimate mating activity.
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