Nonetheless, the evidence is accumulating and is increasingly persuasive.
In songbirds, a male's quality may itself be reflected in his singing. In the previous chapter, we encountered the European great reed warbler, among which females choose EPCs with males who have large song repertoires: As it happens, the survival of young reed warblers is positively correlated with the size of the genetic father's song repertoire. So there is a practical, immediate significance to more songs: better genes. And as one might expect, females of several species give especially intense copulation displays .in response to hearing an elaborate song repertoire. (So perhaps there is something to the old tradition of serenading one's lady love.)
If females engage in EPCs with males who offer especially good genes, then an interesting-and controversial-possibility arises, suggested by the observation that in some species females resist EPCs, sometimes quite vigorously. The possibility is this: Females could gain an advantage for their offspring (good genes) if they make sure that their EPC partner really is of high quality by resisting males' EPC attempts, only submitting to one who shows himself to be unusually determined, competent, and-almost literally-irresistible. As a result, her male offspring might also likely be deter mined, competent, and comparably irresistible when it comes to obtaining EPCs themselves. A chip off the old block.
On the other hand, female resistance to EPCs, when it occurs, may be genuine: Sometimes no really does mean NO! On balance, in fact, female EPC resistance is probably more frequent than acquiescence or solicitation.· (Given the obvious payoff to them, it is not surprising that males seek EPCs and that they typically do so more actively than females. The reason for examining female solicitation of and acquiescence in EPCs is that the phenomenon is so counterintuitive-and yet so frequent.)
—David P. Barash, The Myth of Monogamy, p. 75