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Females in monogamous species tend to be more sexually active than females in species with other mating systems. In this paper we consider the possibility that female sexuality has evolved because more sexually active females have received more male assistance. We develop a model in which there is no direct cue available to males indicating whether the female is fertile. Instead males might respond to female behaviour as an indirect cue. The latter could favour increased female sexuality if males tend to stay longer with more sexually active females. Our results show that female sexual behaviour can have a significant impact on social behaviour and that sexually active females and sexual behaviour outside fertile periods can evolve under some circumstances. We end with a discussion of theories of the evolution of female sexuality. We believe that theories based on male assistance fit empirical findings better than theories based on variation in male genetic quality [KEYWORDS: COPULATION BEHAVIOR, SPERM COMPETITION, INSECTS]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-704
JournalAnimal Behaviour
StatePublished - 2001

ID: 47625