In other words, the male wants to maximize his reproductive success and the number of offspring that he sires, which is why extra pair copulation — meaning, cheating by mating with someone else besides his monogamous partner, then ditching her — is useful to him. The female only wants to mate with the male she chose as her mating partner, wanting her offspring to inherit the genetic benefits of that male only; thus, she doesn’t want to extra-pair copulate.
Well, yes, ducks are at the extreme of the actions that facilitate this, that’s true. “Duck Rape” is a real thing.
Ducks are mostly socially monogamous, forming a bond with a single partner per breeding season. These bonds are formed by female choice, while the males compete by giving vocal and visual ritual displays in which they show off their colorful plumage to prove their “quality.”
Sexual conflict occurs when there is a difference in the mating strategies benefitting the male and the female of a species.
The thing being that’s extant in all species. The logic is the same for all even as the expression is different. And, of course, it’s also true in humans. Trying to insist we stand out above all this is to make the same error as any other attempt to insist we’re all above evolution and game theory.
OK, now try to talk to the Salon folks about how men and women are – slightly perhaps – different because of different mating strategies……