Data from: Acceptance threshold theory can explain occurrence of homosexual behaviour
Engel, Katharina C.; Männer, Lisa; Ayasse, Manfred; Steiger, Sandra (2014), Data from: Acceptance threshold theory can explain occurrence of homosexual behaviour, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gh55k
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.