The gendering of animal sacrifices in Roman religion

In class a week or so ago we were discussing the function of animal sacrifices as part of the rituals of Mediterranean religions. A few students noticed in our readings that the gender of the animal to be sacrificed is specified. They inquired into the reasoning, but Dr. Duptuis and I lacked an insightful response. Today I posted the following onto the class blog to try to "follow up" with them:

One or two of you expressed interest a few class sessions ago in the “meaning” of the gendering of animal sacrifices, both as expressed in the Hebrew Bible and Roman literature. Well, I came across an answer provided by Jörg Rüpke in his book Religion of the Romans. In Chapter 4 (“Religious Action”) he claims that most ritual did allow for improvising, but that there were certain rules that were stricter than others, one example being, “…male animals are offered to male divinities, female animals to female deities.” (p. 110) While this is probably not useful for interpreting Leviticus, it helpful for understanding the broader Mediterranean. It is useful to keep in mind, as Rüpke states in this chapter, that many of these practices may have lost meaning, or the meaning was more subtle than we’d imagine where people learned the “explicit and tactic” rules without reflecting deeply on their meaning (for example, we known what green, yellow, and red traffic lights “mean” but most of us may struggle to explain “why” those colors mean what they do [what about green “means” go?]).

Is there more to be said about this? Anyone out there have an article suitable for undergraduates that I could share or one I could read then summarize? If someone out there is knowledgable about this subject I'd be happy to receive any insights you'd like to give me!