Electronic Supplementary Material Tables from Causes and consequences of adult sex ratio imbalance in a historical US population

2017-06-26T10:12:14Z (GMT) by Ryan Schacht Ken R. Smith
The responsiveness of individuals to partner availability has been well documented across the literature. However, there is disagreement regarding the direction of the consequences of sex ratio imbalance. Specifically, does an excess of males or females promote male–male mating competition? In an attempt to clarify the role of the adult sex ratio (ASR) on behaviour, here we evaluate both competing and complimentary expectations derived from theory across the social and biological sciences. We use data drawn from a historical, nineteenth-century population in North America and target several outcomes thought to be affected by partner availability: age at first birth, longevity, marital status and completed fertility. Furthermore, we assess the role of various contributors to a population's ASR. We find that both the contributors to and consequences of sex ratio imbalance vary over time. Our results largely support predictions of greater male pairbond commitment and lesser male mating effort in response to partner scarcity. After reviewing our findings, and others from across the literature, we highlight the need to adjust predictions in response to ASR imbalance by the: (i) culturally mediated mating arena, (ii) variable role of demographic inputs across time and place, (iii) constraints to behavioural outcomes across species and (iv) ability and accuracy of individuals to assess partner availability.This article is part of the themed issue ‘Adult sex ratios and reproductive decisions: a critical re-examination of sex differences in human and animal societies’.