The choosy sex may only evaluates one, or a couple, traits at a given time when interpreting complex signals from the opposite sex.
Alternatively, the choosy sex may attempt to process all of the signals at once to facilitate the evaluation of the opposite sex.
It has been show that the males of a multitude of species ranging many taxa create complex multi-component signals that have an effect on more than one sensory modality, also known as multi-modal signals.
There are two leading hypothesis on the adaptive significance of multi-modal signal processing.
In addition, some animals attempt to attract females through the construction and decoration of unique structures.
This technique can be seen in Australia's satin bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus), in which males build and decorate nest-like structures called "bowers".
Males may compete by imposing lower mating costs on the female or even providing material or offspring contributions to the female.
However, situations in which males are the sexually selective sex in a species do occur in nature.
Male choice in reproduction can arise if males are the sex in a species that are in short supply, for example, if there is a female bias in the operational sex ratio.
In pipefish (Syngnathus typhle), females use a temporary ornament, a striped pattern, to both attract males and intimidate rival females.
In this case, the female of a species developed a sexually selected signal which serves a dual function of being both attractive to mates and deterring rivals.