Sexually selected signals are not similar to sports handicaps.

  title={Sexually selected signals are not similar to sports handicaps.},
  author={Thomas Getty},
  journal={Trends in ecology & evolution},
  volume={21 2},
The handicap principle is a simple but powerful metaphor that has had a major impact on how biologists study and understand sexual selection. Here, I show that its application to signalling in sexual selection is not a valid generalization from its roots in economics. Although some signalling systems, with additive costs and benefits, have solutions that resemble sports handicaps, the signalling in sexual selection has multiplicative costs and benefits, and solutions that do not resemble sports… CONTINUE READING