Gohli et al. (2013) report a positive relationship between genetic diversity and promiscuity across passerine birds, and suggest that female promiscuity acts as a form of balancing selection, maintaining differences in genetic variation across species. This is an interesting hypothesis, but the enormous variation in genetic diversity present within species is not taken into account in their analyses. This, combined with a small sample size at several levels, makes the relationship between genetic diversity and promiscuity very difficult to interpret. Demonstrating that species-level differences in genetic diversity (if they occur at all) are affected by promiscuity would require a far more comprehensive study than is presently possible.