General Replicator Theory

Fashion Traits

Kevin Aylward B.Sc.




This paper is to explain the differences in technique that male and female utilize in order to maximize their replication numbers.


Fashion - is the attempt to masquerade as a better quality Replicator.

Fashion traits - are meme traits that attempt to masquerade other Replicator traits as higher quality traits in an effort to maximize Replicator numbers.

It is shown in Male-Female Behavior, that males are not very selective in selecting mates, where as females are highly selective. The question than is, how dose this reflect in the techniques that males and female use with regard to obtaining the best Replicator.

The main observation is that there is a billion dollar fashion industry, that is heavily weighted toward females, not males. That is, the number and extent of products and efforts to enhance the female look, far outweighs that for males. Why is this, if males are not selective?

Note: Fashion is to be contrasted with status.

Female Passion For Fashion

The reason for females passion for fashion is that, although males are not selective in general, this selectivity is not zero. The very small level of the selectivity, is what drives females, somewhat excessively at times, to appear as attractive as possible.

We have shown that males are only weakly selective to the quality of females. That is, if a higher quality mate is available, they will select such a mate, but if push comes to shove, will select, over rather a broad range, any female. Since the male sensitivity to female quality is so poor, the only way for females to take advantage of such selectivity, is to amplifier their perceived quality to such an extent that even an insensitive detector, can detect it. That is, if a quality male, does not notice a particular quality female, he will simple select any one that is available. A female can only improve her replication odds by selecting the best males, hence she will do whatever it takes to obtain such a male, by expending much effort to be noticed.

Male Non Passion For Fashion

The reason that males lack a relative strong passion for fashion is that, females are very selective, i.e. females are very sensitive to quality. The very high level of sensitivity to quality by females means that males do not have to do much for females to notice the difference. There is therefore, not much incentive for a male to make much effort in appearing of higher quality.

It is also argued here, that the reason that evolution does not drive, from male to male competition, an increase in male fashion, is that such fashion attempts takes time. This time might be better well spent simply finding and mating with a less quality female who will accept the male as is. Fashion is simply a matter of diminishing returns in time investment for a male to not make the effort very worthwhile. As it has been noted, quantity, always wins over quality, assuming unlimited resources. It is also noted that an obvious attempt for a male to masquerade as a higher quality Replicator, might well be detected as fraudulent, as again, it is crucial for a female to select on quality, that she may well have spent considerable evolutionary resources be able to detect such fraudulent behavior. This will result in a meme to limit such behavior by males. Since males are not really fussy at all, it matters little that females might be similar fraudulent, so no such limiting meme should arise for females.


These papers may be freely copied only for non commercial use,

provided full credit is given to the author.

Kevin Aylward 2003 - all rights reserved