Models predict a reduced allocation to sperm when females preferentially use one of two males' sperm and the males do not know who is favoured. An analogous discounting occurs in plants when their paternity success is skewed by random, non–heritable factors such as location in the population and pollinator behaviour. We present a model that shows that skewed paternity can affect the sex allocation of hermaphrodites, that is it leads to a female–biased investment. The model highlights the close links between local mate competition and sperm competition. We use paternity data from Ficus in order to illustrate that skews in paternity success can lead to a high degree of sibling gamete competition in an apparently open breeding system. Since skews in paternity are ubiquitous in hermaphroditic plants and animals these findings should apply broadly.