Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #465
CE Offered: PSY

Learning, Sexual Differences, and Sexual Competition

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Germán Gutierrez, Ph.D.
Chair: Federico Sanabria (Arizona State University)
GERMÁN GUTIÉRREZ (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)
Germán Gutiérrez, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá. He has served as the editor for several journals, including Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología.

Darwin's Sexual Selection Theory has had an important impact on the understanding of male-female differences in morphology, physiology, and behavior, as well as in mate selection and competition for access to reproductive resources. Using an avian model (Coturnix japonica) the presenter and colleagues have found that males and females differ in the expression of sexual learning, both Pavlovian and instrumental. They have also explored how early learning affects sexual preference and receptivity in males and females later in life and how learning contributes to improve male reproductive success in sexual competition situations. For example, male quail trained in a Pavlovian learning situation are better able to copulate with females than non-trained males, and male quail who lose in a male-male competition, improve their success after training that allows them to predict the presence of a female partner. Females, on the other hand, improve their proceptive behavior if provided the opportunity to have access to areas occupied by males. The presenter will discuss results of their work, but will argue for a comparative approach to better understand the evolution of the sexual behavior system.

Target Audience: Behavior analysts interested in basic behavioral processes and their relation to evolution.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) understand the implications of evolutionary theory for sexual differences in behavior; (2) understand how learning affects reproductive fitness; (3) discuss the role of a comparative approach to understand evolutionary processes of behavior.



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