Sexual selection is a powerful yet poorly understood evolutionary force. Research into sexual selection, whether biological, computational, or mathematical, has tended to take a top-down approach studying complex natural systems. Many simplifying assumptions must be made in order to make these systems tractable, but it is unclear if these simplifications result in a system which still represents natural ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Here, we take a bottom-up approach in which we construct simple computational systems from subsets of biologically plausible components and focus on examining the underlying dynamics resulting from the interactions of those components. We use this method to investigate sexual selection in general and the sexy sons theory in particular. The minimally necessary components are therefore genomes, genome-determined displays and preferences, and a process capable of overseeing parent selection and mating. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach (i.e we observe the evolution of female preference) and provide support for sexy sons theory, including illustrating the oscillatory behavior that developed in the presence of multiple costly display traits.

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