Journal of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 69, Issue 6–7, pp 1719–1742 | Cite as

Simple signaling games of sexual selection (Grafen’s revisited)

  • Pierre BernhardEmail author
  • Frédéric M. Hamelin


We investigate several versions of a simple game of sexual selection, to explore the role of secondary sexual characters (the “handicap paradox”) with the tools of signaling theory. Our models admit closed form solutions. They are very much inspired by Grafen’s (J Theor Biol 144:517–546, 1990a; J Theor Biol 144:473–516, 1990b) seminal companion papers. By merging and simplifying his two approaches, we identify a not so minor artifact in the seminal study. We propose an alternative model to start with Grafen’s sexual selection theory, with several similarities with Getty (Anim Behav 56:127–130, 1998).


Sexual selection Handicap principle Signaling games 

Mathematics Subject Classification

92D15 92D50 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BIOCORE TeamINRIA-Sophia Antipolis-MéditerranéeSophia Antipolis CedexFrance

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