Sexual selection plays several intricate and complex roles in the related processes of local adaptation and speciation. In some cases sexual selection can promote these processes, but in others it can be inhibitory. We present theoretical and empirical evidence supporting these dual effects of sexual selection during local adaptation, allopatric speciation, and speciation with gene flow. Much of the empirical evidence for sexual selection promoting speciation is suggestive rather than conclusive; we present what would constitute strong evidence for sexual selection driving speciation. We conclude that although there is ample evidence that sexual selection contributes to the speciation process, it is very likely to do so only in concert with natural selection.


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