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Acceptance threshold theory can explain occurrence of homosexual behaviour

Title data

Engel, Katharina C. ; Männer, Lisa ; Ayasse, Manfred ; Steiger, Sandra:
Acceptance threshold theory can explain occurrence of homosexual behaviour.
In: Biology Letters. Vol. 11 (2015) Issue 1 . - No. 20140603.
ISSN 1744-957X
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2014.0603

Project information

Project title:
Project's official titleProject's id
No informationSTE 1874/3-1

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Same-sex sexual behaviour (SSB) has been documented in a wide range of animals, but its evolutionary causes are not well understood. Here, we investigated SSB in the light of Reeve's acceptance threshold theory. When recognition is not error-proof, the acceptance threshold used by males to recognize potential mating partners should be flexibly adjusted to maximize the fitness pay-off between the costs of erroneously accepting males and the benefits of accepting females. By manipulating male burying beetles' search time for females and their reproductive potential, we influenced their perceived costs of making an acceptance or rejection error. As predicted, when the costs of rejecting females increased, males exhibited more permissive discrimination decisions and showed high levels of SSB; when the costs of accepting males increased, males were more restrictive and showed low levels of SSB. Our results support the idea that in animal species, in which the recognition cues of females and males overlap to a certain degree, SSB is a consequence of an adaptive discrimination strategy to avoid the costs of making rejection errors.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER147339
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2019 12:56
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 12:56
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48346