Too much male sexual attention harms attractive females, according to a new Australian and Canadian study on fruit flies.
Associate Professor Steve Chenoweth from The University of Queensland's School of Biological Sciences said the study showed that male harassment of females hampered the species' ability to adapt to new environmental conditions.
"We found that sexually attractive females were overwhelmed by male suitors," he said.
"Female fruit flies with superior genes that allow them to lay more eggs were so attractive to male suitors they spent most of the time fending off male suitors rather than actually laying eggs. The end result was that these supposedly 'superior' genes could not be passed on to the next generation."