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Publications (7 of 7) Show all publications
Ah-King, M. (2022). The Female Turn: How Evolutionary Science Shifted Perceptions About Females. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Female Turn: How Evolutionary Science Shifted Perceptions About Females
2022 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This book traces the history of how evolutionary biology transformed its understanding of females from being coy, reserved and sexually passive, to having active sexual strategies and often mating with multiple males. Why did it take so long to discover female active sexual strategies? What prevented some researchers from engaging in sexually active females, and what prompted others to develop this new knowledge?

The Female Turn provides a global overview of shifting perceptions about females in sexual selection research on a wide range of animals, from invertebrates to primates. Evolutionary biologist and feminist science scholar Malin Ah-King explores this history from a unique interdisciplinary vantage point. Based on extensive knowledge of the scientific literature on sexual selection and in-depth interviews with leading researchers, pioneers and feminist scientists in the field, her analysis engages with key theoretical approaches in gender studies of science. Analyzing the researchers’ scientific interests, theoretical frameworks, specific study animals, technological innovations, methodologies and sometimes feminist insights, reveals how these have shaped conclusions drawn about sex. Thereby, The Female Turn shows how certain researchers gained knowledge about active females whereas others missed, ignored or delayed it – that is, how ignorance was produced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022. p. 325
Keywords
sexual selection, epistemology of ignorance, situated knowledges, science history
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-213794 (URN)10.1007/978-981-19-7161-7 (DOI)978-981-19-7160-0 (ISBN)978-981-19-7161-7 (ISBN)
Projects
The ”Female Turn” in Evolutionary Biology – a science study of shifting canonical knowledge 1980-2000
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-02048
Available from: 2023-01-17 Created: 2023-01-17 Last updated: 2023-01-26Bibliographically approved
Ah-King, M. (2022). The history of sexual selection research provides insights as to why females are still understudied. Nature Communications, 13, Article ID 6976.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The history of sexual selection research provides insights as to why females are still understudied
2022 (English)In: Nature Communications, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 13, article id 6976Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While it is widely acknowledged that Darwin’s descriptions of females were gender-biased, gender bias in current sexual selection research is less recognized. An examination of the history of sexual selection research shows prevalent male precedence—that research starts with male-centered investigations or explanations and thereafter includes female-centered equivalents. In comparison, the incidence of female precedence is low. Furthermore, a comparison between the volume of publications focusing on sexual selection in males versus in females shows that the former far outnumber the latter. This bias is not only a historical pattern; sexual selection theory and research are still male-centered—due to conspicuous traits, practical obstacles, and continued gender bias. Even the way sexual selection is commonly defined contributes to this bias. This history provides an illustrative example by which we can learn to recognize biases and identify gaps in knowledge. I conclude with a call for the scientific community to interrogate its own biases and suggest strategies for alleviating biases in this field and beyond.

Keywords
sexual selection, gender bias
National Category
Gender Studies Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-213122 (URN)10.1038/s41467-022-34770-z (DOI)000884426700021 ()36379954 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85141940848 (Scopus ID)
Projects
The ”Female Turn” in Evolutionary Biology – a science study of shifting canonical knowledge 1980-2000
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-02048
Available from: 2022-12-20 Created: 2022-12-20 Last updated: 2023-03-28Bibliographically approved
Ah-King, M. (2019). Flexible Mate Choice (2ed.). In: Jae Chun Choe (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior: (pp. 421-431). Elsevier
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Flexible Mate Choice
2019 (English)In: Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior / [ed] Jae Chun Choe, Elsevier, 2019, 2, p. 421-431Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Traditionally, investigators and theorists have supposed that mate choice is directional and fixed within a species as well as static within individuals over time. Lately, accumulating evidence shows that mate choice is often flexible, so that individuals change their behavior, depending on the social or ecological situation they experience or their condition. Recent theory proposes that animals should change their mate choice adaptively moment by moment in response to changes in environmental, internal, and social factors. Mate choice plasticity should be explored more in empirical studies as well as its implications for mate choice evolution and sexual selection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019 Edition: 2
Keywords
Chance, Choosiness, Female choice, Individual variation, Male choice, Mate assessment, Mate choice, Mate preference, Plasticity, Preference function, Sexual selection
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-170370 (URN)10.1016/B978-0-12-809633-8.01280-2 (DOI)978-0-12-813252-4 (ISBN)
Note

This is an updated version of the chapter published in 2010.

Available from: 2019-06-27 Created: 2019-06-27 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Ah-King, M. & Hayward, E. (2019). Toxic Sexes: Perverting Pollution and Queering Hormone Disruption. Technosphere magazine (March 20)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Toxic Sexes: Perverting Pollution and Queering Hormone Disruption
2019 (English)In: Technosphere magazine, no March 20Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What cultural nerves are triggered by the mutations of sexed biologies associated with artificially produced hormones? Evolutionary biologist and gender studies scholar Malin Ah-King and gender studies scholar Eva Hayward question the essentialist and heteronormative assumptions that frame contemporary discourses on the toxicity of endocrine disruptors.

National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-170369 (URN)
Note

This essay is a shortened and slightly edited version of the original essay, published in O-Zone: A Journal of Object-Oriented Studies, Issue 1: Object/Ecology (2013).

Available from: 2019-06-27 Created: 2019-06-27 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Powell, S., Ah-King, M. & Hussénius, A. (2018). 'Are we to become a gender university?' Facets of resistance to a gender equality project. Gender, Work and Organization, 25(2), 127-143
Open this publication in new window or tab >>'Are we to become a gender university?' Facets of resistance to a gender equality project
2018 (English)In: Gender, Work and Organization, ISSN 0968-6673, E-ISSN 1468-0432, Vol. 25, no 2, p. 127-143Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Gender equality (GE) is something we cannot not want'. Indeed, the pursuit of equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all women and men throughout a society freed from gendered oppression is widely visible in recent organizational GE initiatives. In practice, however, GE initiatives often fail in challenging gendered norms and at effecting deep-seated change. In fact, GE measures tend to encounter resistance, with a gap between saying and doing. Using a GE project at a Swedish university, we examined the changing nature of reactions to GE objectives seeking to understand why gender inequality persists in academia. We used resistance' to identify multiple, complex reactions to the project, focusing on the discursive practices of GE. Focusing our contextual analysis on change and changes in reactions enabled a process-oriented analysis that revealed gaps where change is possible. Thus, we argue that studying change makes it possible to identify points in time where gendered discriminatory norms are more likely to occur. However, analysing discursive practices does not itself lead to change nor to action. Rather, demands for change must start with answering, in a collaborative way, what problem we are trying to solve when we start a new GE project, in order to be relevant to the specific context. Otherwise, GE risks being the captive of consensus politics and gender inequality will persist.

Keywords
academia, resistance, gender equality, meritocracy
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150450 (URN)10.1111/gwao.12204 (DOI)000429418400003 ()
Available from: 2017-12-19 Created: 2017-12-19 Last updated: 2022-02-28Bibliographically approved
Ah-King, M. & Gowaty, P. A. (2016). A conceptual review of mate choice: stochastic demography, within-sex phenotypic plasticity, and individual flexibility. Ecology and Evolution, 6(14), 4607-4642
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A conceptual review of mate choice: stochastic demography, within-sex phenotypic plasticity, and individual flexibility
2016 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 6, no 14, p. 4607-4642Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mate choice hypotheses usually focus on trait variation of chosen individuals. Recently, mate choice studies have increasingly attended to the environmental circumstances affecting variation in choosers' behavior and choosers' traits. We reviewed the literature on phenotypic plasticity in mate choice with the goal of exploring whether phenotypic plasticity can be interpreted as individual flexibility in the context of the switch point theorem, SPT (Gowaty and Hubbell ). We found >3000 studies; 198 were empirical studies of within-sex phenotypic plasticity, and sixteen showed no evidence of mate choice plasticity. Most studies reported changes from choosy to indiscriminate behavior of subjects. Investigators attributed changes to one or more causes including operational sex ratio, adult sex ratio, potential reproductive rate, predation risk, disease risk, chooser's mating experience, chooser's age, chooser's condition, or chooser's resources. The studies together indicate that choosiness of potential mates is environmentally and socially labile, that is, induced - not fixed - in the choosy sex with results consistent with choosers' intrinsic characteristics or their ecological circumstances mattering more to mate choice than the traits of potential mates. We show that plasticity-associated variables factor into the simpler SPT variables. We propose that it is time to complete the move from questions about within-sex plasticity in the choosy sex to between- and within-individual flexibility in reproductive decision-making of both sexes simultaneously. Currently, unanswered empirical questions are about the force of alternative constraints and opportunities as inducers of individual flexibility in reproductive decision-making, and the ecological, social, and developmental sources of similarities and differences between individuals. To make progress, we need studies (1) of simultaneous and symmetric attention to individual mate preferences and subsequent behavior in both sexes, (2) controlled for within-individual variation in choice behavior as demography changes, and which (3) report effects on fitness from movement of individual's switch points.

Keywords
Adaptive flexibility, choosy, genetic complementarity, indiscriminate, mate choice, OSR, parasite load, switch point theorem
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133233 (URN)10.1002/ece3.2197 (DOI)000380033400002 ()27547301 (PubMedID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-09-12 Created: 2016-09-05 Last updated: 2024-01-17Bibliographically approved
Ah-King, M. (2016). Queering biology teaching. In: Nadine Balzter, Florian Cristobal Klenk, Olga Zitzelsberger (Ed.), Queering MINT: Impulse für eine dekonstruktive Lehrer_innenbildung. Verlag Barbara Budrich
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Queering biology teaching
2016 (English)In: Queering MINT: Impulse für eine dekonstruktive Lehrer_innenbildung / [ed] Nadine Balzter, Florian Cristobal Klenk, Olga Zitzelsberger, Verlag Barbara Budrich, 2016Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Verlag Barbara Budrich, 2016
Keywords
biology, queer, gender, education
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128261 (URN)10.2307/j.ctvdf06ds.13 (DOI)978-3-8474-0766-9 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-03-22 Created: 2016-03-22 Last updated: 2023-03-07Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-7108-2275

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