, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 109-116
Date: 28 Apr 2011

Communication under sexual selection hypotheses: challenging prospects for future studies under extreme sexual conflict

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Animal communication has been the target of multiple and controversial theoretical and experimental studies. Inter-sexual communication has been considered essential for specific identification and as a mechanism for mate choice. Communication has been re-interpreted as a way for exploitation, taking advantage of pre-existent sensory biases. Both female choice and sensory exploitation hypotheses have assumed the clear existence of inter-sexual communication prior to mating. On the contrary, extreme sexual conflict hypotheses would not recognize the existence of communication among the sexes. We surveyed the percentage of studies involving communication under female choice, sensory exploitation and extreme sexual conflict contexts. We discuss the traditional idea that forced copulations are considered synonymous of the absence of communication among the sexes. We provide suggestions for future studies on communication under extreme sexual conflict.